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Re: Re: [WarOf1812] a proper sea

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  • ray.hobbs@sympatico.ca
    Dave: Thanks for the reference. A brief comment - such advantages as were gained at the Battle of Lake Erie are of no long term benefit unless they are fully
    Message 1 of 9 , Aug 5, 2004
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      Thanks for the reference. A brief comment - such advantages as were gained at the Battle of Lake Erie
      are of no long term benefit unless they are fully exploited. As I recall from my reading, Harrison
      withdrew from Moraviantown to Detroit. Militia and some British regulars were active in the area
      McArthur's and Campbell's raids did not accomplish very much, except a few bonfires. John Norton in
      his journal notes that the buildings McArthur burnt were replaced within a few months of his raid, and at
      a tiny fraction of the cost of bringing his troops the distance he did.
      It seems to me that if the US forces in late 1813 and then in early 1814 had pushed hard to Burlington
      Heights - something the British always feared - then the victory at sea (or lake) would have been a
      fitting prelude to the takeover of Upper Canada. The three most important roads in Upper Canada met
      within a mile of the Heights - [1] the road to York and Kingston, [2] the road to Brant's Ford and the
      Thames Valley, and the 'bread basket' of Norfolk County; [3] the road to Niagara and Forts George and
      Erie. Capture this link, and you control the western part of the Province.
      I wonder how little the US generals knew about the chaotic state of the British and the low state of their
      morale in and around Burlington Heights from October 1813. Their original plan was to retreat as far as
      Kingston at least, but preferably to Montreal and Quebec. The awful weather and the poor state of the
      roads held them at the Head of the Lake. Vincent complained that he had no water transport - the 'fleet'
      of batteaux he had would not float!!
      He also complained thst by the end of September 1813 all but a few of his staff were sick, and over half
      his army was sick. I am not saying they would have been a pushover, but if the US cards had been
      played right, who knows what might have happened after Lake Erie and Moraviantown.
      My two cents' worth
      PS: Look forward to meeting you next year at the Grand Tactical.

      > From: "ebclemson" <ebclemson@...>
      > Date: 2004/08/05 Thu PM 09:35:07 EST
      > To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: Re: [WarOf1812] a proper sea
      > Hey Ray,

      --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, <ray.hobbs@s...> wrote:
      > Interesting though - the US victory on Lake Erie, and the sort-of
      stand still on Lake Ontario did not result
      > in US dominance on land in Upper Canada.  'Cept for one or two
      encounters, like York,  Ft George and
      > Chippawa, but IMHO they were not properly exploited. (I guess that
      makes three ;->))

      Dave: Skaggs and Altoff in their book "Signal Victory" on page 153
      state that "For the American crews there was no rest; they
      immediately began refurbishing the ships of both squadrons and
      preparing to transport General Harrison's Northwestern Army across
      the lake.  page 159 ".... Meanwhile the commodore refused to rest on
      his laurels. The whole purpose of winning lake Erie was to obtain a
      secure line of supply for General Harrison's Detroit
      campaign.  ...Upon retaking Detroit and destroying British Indian
      resistance in southwestern Upper Canada at the battle of the Thames,
      Perry's squadron transferred elements of Harrison's army from the
      Detroit frontier to the Niagara frontier to augment the campaign in
      that theater."

      > However, I raise a glass to all who fought on both sides for what
      they believed in. But, I lean towards
      > His Majesty's cause. 
      Ray Hobbs
      > CO 41st Regt
      > HQ Hamilton, Ontario

      Dave:  Ray, I'll join you in that drink!  and I lean towards
      Freedom's cause.   

      Wish I could join you all at Fort Erie this year, but will be at the
      Grand national event next year.  

      Cap'n Dave
      1st U.States Infantry

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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