November 21, 2012

The forgotten Battle of Frenchman’s Creek

It was Saturday, November 28, 1812 when the Americans made a renewed attempt to invade the Niagara above Niagara Falls at Frenchman’s Creek.
After the failed invasion at Queenston Heights, the Americans amassed a force under the command of Brigadier-General Alexander Smyth. The Americans gained some initial success by dispersing a small British force and spiking the British guns, but soon the American invasion ran into problems. The force sent to destroy the bridge over Frenchman’s Creek did not bring enough axes for the task. After destroying part of the bridge, the Americans were forced to retreat due to incoming British forces from Fort Erie.
Battle of Frenchman's Creek plaque
After learning that the British guns had been spiked, Smyth sent William Winder with a force of about 300 to cover the evacuating troops. However, Winder’s force came under heavy fire soon after landing from over 300 British reinforcements. Smyth attempted to send his 3,000 reinforcements across but only about 1,200 could fit in the boats. With torrential rain and freezing temperatures, Smyth decided to postpone the invasion. Smyth never managed to renew his invasion of Canada before withdrawing his force to winter quarters.
In the end, the British suffered more casualties during the Battle of Frenchman‘s Creek than at Queenston Heights with 17 killed, 47 wounded and 35 missing.
On Sunday, November 25th the Fort Erie Bicentennial Committee will be having a commemoration service for the Battle of Frenchman’s Creek. Don’t miss the commemoration of this historic event. Click here for more details.

1 comment:

  1. Warfare is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.

    Your article is very well done, a good read.