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Ldot Vets - The War of 1812

The Battle of Queenston Heights

October 13, 1812

On the night of October 13, American Brigadier-General Van Rensselaer's troops crossed the Niagara River to take the village of Queenston. With winter approaching Van Rensselaer wanted a quick victory before retiring to winter camp. On the night of the 13 the American's crossed the Niagara in flat boats. The British sentry there did not fire his musket which may alert the Americans, instead he ran all the was to the main guard. While the attackers were getting organized a genadier company of the 49th Foot under James Denis, fired upon them sending dozens down. The sound of gunfire alerted the militia who began to form and the American Lewiston battery who tried to knock out the 18 pounder half way up the heights. The pickets guarding the Vrooman's Point battery were soon put into action as a boat of Americans missed there landing and were taken prisoner.

Major-General Isaac Brock awoke to the sound of the guns. He dressed and saddled his horse, Alfred. Accompanied by his aides Lt. Colonel John Macdonell and Capt. John Glegg. As Brock arrived a loud cheer erupted from the troops awaiting. Wanting to see the whole battle Brock rode up to the 18 pounder. There his troops kept up a steady fire that was costly for the Americans.

Having information about a fisherman's path leading up to the heights Capt. John Wool of the 13th US Infantry led a charge that led up to taking the heights. Turning around just in time Brock saw Wool leading a charge. Quickly the gunners spiked the cannon rendering it useless while they were bayoneted. With Alfred and some survivors Brock retreated down with the rest of his troops who were seeking shelter in the Hamilton House. Thinking whoever controlled the heights controlled Canada, Brock rallied up his soldiers and led a attack straight at the heights. A quick volley took Brock down and sent the attackers back the the house carrying their fallen leader. Brock's aide Lt. Colonel Macdonell jumped on his horse and led another desperate attack. He too was shot in the back and was carried to the rear. Needing re-enforcements the British retreated. finally around eleven Major-General Roger Sheaffe with the Fort George garrison. There he waited for further re-enforcements from Chippawa. At three o'clock finally Sheaffe started his attack with sending out the Indians to skirmish while he advanced with the 41st. With American command falling to Winfield Scott and low on supplies the Americans surrendered.

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