The British supply system began 3,000 miles away in
The British transported troops, war material, naval equipment and even food. Great Britain before the
War of 1812 was able to produce enough food for its population; however, with
the large influx of British troops, native allies and militia away from their
farms, more food was needed. Ironically, the Upper Canada supplied a large quantity of
food to the British during the war through illegal trade routes, greatly
assisting in British war efforts. U.S.
In order to move supplies, a series of portage routes were in place throughout
On the St. Lawrence, supply ships had to portage around treacherous
rapids near Canada
in the summer. In the winter, the freezing of the St. Lawrence meant that sleds
could move boats and supplies to open waters. In Niagara, transporting supplies
used a similar procedure. Niagara Falls Portage Road
has its name for obvious reasons. This road became the major supply route for goods
and troops heading from modern day Niagara-on-the-Lake to Niagara Falls Fort
Erie. Its use during the War of 1812 was vital to keeping the
British adequately supplied in the Niagara Region.
|Birch bark canoe|
The long supply route leading to
caused some hardship for British forces during the war. Perhaps the greatest
supply shortage for the British in Niagara
occurred during the 1814 campaign. During the British siege of the American
held defences at Fort Erie, the British
suffered from numerous supply shortages. Many men lacked adequate clothing,
including shoes, in addition to tents, food and even ammunition. These shortages
crippled the British and contributed to their lifting of the siege.
Despite these challenges, Portage
Road provided an essential link to supplying
British forces in the Niagara Region.
If you would like to find out more about logistics and portaging, you can join
on June 9th for their Great Niagara Portage Adventure. This event will feature
a number of teams carrying canoes and food items in support of Project SHARE.
For more information, click here. Niagara Falls