A brief history of the Battle of Queenston Heights

The first major battle on the Niagara Frontier was fought at Queenston Heights. Before dawn on October 13, 1812, the New York State militia began an invasion in rowboats across the Niagara River from Lewiston. The Village of Queenston, just below the Heights, was only lightly defended by a gun on the redan overlooking the river. Discovering a hidden path to the top of the escarpment, the Americans were able to capture the redan and gain control of the battle. Major-General Isaac Brock, commanding British and Canadian forces, personally led a charge to regain the position, losing his life in the unsuccessful attempt. After Brock's aide-de-camp, Lieutenant-Colonel John Macdonell, was mortally wounded in a similar vain assault, Major-General Roger Hale Sheaffe, arriving from Fort George with reinforcements, together with Iroquois allies under the command of John Norton, ascended the heights out of sight of the Americans. Attacking from the rear, Sheaffe trapped the enemy between his army and the cliff. Using the woods for cover, the Iroquois mounted a seemingly never-ending series of charges on the American position on the Heights. Their battle tactics kept the Americans scrambling and their war cries rattled the inexperienced soldiers. These cries carried back across the river to the already unenthusiastic militia.

Portrait of Sir Isaac Brock

When the smoke had cleared, almost 1000 Americans were taken prisoner while the victors lost only 28 killed and 77 wounded - regular, militia and Native. Unfortunately, one of the losses was irreplaceable-the much-admired Isaac Brock. The victory, following hard on Brock's bloodless capture of Detroit, did much to raise the morale of the inhabitants of Upper Canada and convince them that they could resist conquest by their larger neighbour to the south.

Queenston Heights National Historic Site

 

Events

28
Sep

Good Night and Good Luck (George Clooney 2005) 1 hr. 33 mins

Good Night and Good Luck (George Clooney 2005) 1 hr. 33 mins

5
Oct

Community Yoga Series

Join Shine On Yoga for a FREE community yoga class.

7
Oct

Reclaiming Cultural Identity: Workshop #1 Woven Words – The Meaning of Wampum Belts

How are Wampum Belts viewed from Haudenosaunee and Anishnabek perspectives?

12
Oct

Media Rebels Fall Film Series - Sweet Smell of Success

Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander Mackendrick 1957) 1 hr. 36 mins.

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