Re: Re: [WarOf1812] a proper sea
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 -  the road to York and Kingston,  the road to Brant's Ford and the
Thames Valley, and the 'bread basket' of Norfolk County;  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
> 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.
> CO 41st Regt
> HQ Hamilton, Ontario
Dave: Ray, I'll join you in that drink! and I lean towards
Wish I could join you all at Fort Erie this year, but will be at the
Grand national event next year.
1st U.States Infantry
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