The War of 1812

After the American Revolution, tensions between the United States and Great Britain remained high. The United States became incensed at the British practice of impressing American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy and, on June 18, 1812, the war began.

Because the British was involved with the Napoleonic Wars in continental Europe, and with the Americans having yet to attain the ability to move its military in large numbers across the Atlantic, the northern U.S., Ontario and Quebec and the Great Lakes saw much of the fighting, although the war did spread as far south as Washington, Baltimore and New Orleans.

Southwestern Ontario saw a great deal of action during the War, including The Battle of the Forks (near Chatham) on October 4, 1813, the Battle of the Thames (near Thamesville) on October 5, 1813, the Battle of Hungerford Hill (near Byron) on October 6, 1813, the Battle of Longwoods (near Wardsville) on March 4, 1814 and the Battle of Reservoir Hill (near London) on August 29, 1814.

The war ended with the Treaty of Ghent on February 18, 1815, with both the U.S. and Canada returning to their pre-war boundaries.

Researched and written by John Milner.

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