A Question of Loyalties
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A Question of Loyalties
Americans Strike Back
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Introduction
On October 13, 1812, at 4:00 o'clock in the morning, the garrison at Fort George, on the Niagara River, was awakened by the thunder of heavy guns.
Sir Isaac Brock led the British forces that successfully defended Upper Canada in the first year of the war.. (As portrayed by Stephen McHattie in Canada: A People's History)
Sir Isaac Brock led the British forces that successfully defended Upper Canada in the first year of the war.. (As portrayed by Stephen McHattie in Canada: A People's History)
Brigadier-General Isaac Brock didn't even wait for his aide, but galloped off alone into the night toward the sounds of fighting. He was anxious to determine if this was a real invasion or a diversionary tactic.

Across the Niagara River on the American side, Major John Lovett at Fort Grey was doing his best to pound the British defenses to pieces. Their national honour had been shaken by the taking of Detroit two months earlier and now the Americans were responding.

"My battery pelted alternately upon the batteries and upon musketry on shore... On both sides fixed cannon, flying artillery and the roll of musketry... the mountain seemed to shake beneath the stride of death," Lovett wrote.

Major Lovett was a lawyer, occasional poet and pacifist who had never been in a battle.
So narrow at parts a musket ball could be fired across it, the Niagara River was the launching point of an American attack during the War of 1812.
So narrow at parts a musket ball could be fired across it, the Niagara River was the launching point of an American attack during the War of 1812.
He viewed the war as a costly, inhumane waste.

"If any man wants to see folly triumphant," he wrote to his friend John Alexander, "let him come here, let him view friends by friends stretched for hundreds of miles on these two shores, all loving and beloved; all desirous of harmony; all wounded by being coerced, by a hand unseen, to cut throats... History, while recording our folly, will dress her pages in mourning, the showers of posterity's tears will fall in vain; for the sponge of time can never wipe this blot from the American name."

On the dark water below, American troops ran a gauntlet of musket fire trying to cross the river.
Brock had his answer: this was a full-scale invasion of Upper Canada.


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