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War of 1812 Timeline: January 1813 - March 1813

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                                                    January 1813 - March 1813


Arrival of British reinforcements to Quebec City, Lower Canada: 101st Regiment and Royal Marine Artillery.


Raising of the Frontier Light Infantry (militia), Lower Canada.

Winter 1812-1813

American contraband enters Canada to sustain British troops.

Illegal commerce between the U.S. and British North America was abetted by frozen waterways in the winter and by geography since too few troops were available to patrol the lengthy border.  U.S. contraband was generally foodstuffs required to feed British troops.  Meat was a common export as colonial supplies could not match military demands and the high price paid for this commodity by the government made it a worthwhile endeavour for American entrepreneurs.  Goods entered Canada, among other places, from the Thousand Islands, Prescott, and Cornwall, Upper Canada, and into Lower Canada along Lake Champlain and the Richelieu River.

January 1813

The transport vessel Diligence, loaded with weapons for the New Brunswick militia, runs aground near Machias, District of Maine; crew and cargo are captured.


British authorities forbid Major-General George Stracey Smyth to issue any more privateer commissions, thereby forcing New Brunswick merchants who are interested in privateering to obtain letters of marque in Halifax, or else to invest in Nova Scotia-based privateering ventures.


Ensign George Morehouse of the New Brunswick Fencibles leads a detachment from Meductic and captures Houlton, District of Maine in an effort to help secure the strategically important line of communication between Saint John New Brunswick and Quebec, Lower Canada.


Royal Engineer Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Bruyeres completes a survey of the Canadian shore of the St. Lawrence River and recommends fortifying key locations from Coteau-du-Lac , Lower Canada to Kingston , Upper Canada.

January-October 1813

Several volunteer militia companies are formed on Prince Edward Island, and the colony's militia districts are reorganized.

9 January 1813

Great Britain officially declares war on the United States.


HMS Acasta and HMS Poictiers capture the American privateer schooner Highflyer, which is taken into British service.

11 January 1813

A company of Provincial Royal Artillery Drivers is raised in Lower Canada.

17 January 1813

The HMS Narcissus captures USS Viper in the Gulf of Mexico.

21 January 1813

Raising of the Canadian Light Dragoons, Lower Canada.

22 January 1813

Battle of Frenchtown, Michigan Territory. 

On 18 January, American regulars and Kentucky Militia led by Brigadier General James Winchester expelled the British forces from Frenchtown.  Four days later, from across the frozen Detroit River at Fort Amherstburg, Colonel Henry Procter counterattacked with a force of British regulars, militia, the Provincial Marine, and over 600 First Nations fighters led by Wyandot Chief Roundhead (Stiahta).  Procter's men surprised the Americans who, before surrendering, inflicted heavy casualties on the British.  Fearful of a counterattack, Procter quickly withdrew to Amherstburg, abandoning the wounded American prisoners of war.  These were executed by the fighters prompting the American battle cry: "Remember the Raisin!"  The battle forced Winchester's superior, Major General William Henry Harrison, to cancel his 1813 winter offensive and instead constructed Fort Meigs in Ohio.

6 February 1813

In retaliation for American privateers harassing their merchant ships, the British institute a blockade of Delaware and Chesapeake Bays.

7 February 1813

Raid on Elizabethtown (Brockville), Upper Canada. Captain Benjamin Forsyth's company of United States Riflemen and New York State Militia successfully attack the settlement on the St. Lawrence River.

15 February 1813

Six companies (573 men of all ranks) of the 104th Regiment (formerly the New Brunswick Fencibles) begin their epic winter march from Fredericton, New Brunswick to the Canadas.

In early 1813, Governor General Sir George Prevost ordered reinforcements from the Nova Scotia command, which included New Brunswick. The order reflected Prevost's belief that the majority of the fighting would occur in the Canadas, and that the Royal Navy would guarantee the relative security of the Maritime Provinces. The 573 men of the 104th Regiment left Fredericton in mid-February and snow-shoed in the bitter cold to Québec, Lower Canada the last of them arriving on 15 March. After briefly resting, they proceeded to Kingston, Upper Canada and eventually to the Niagara Peninsula, where they saw plenty of action. Their march drew attention to the strategic importance of the Saint John River in winter, when ice rendered the Gulf of St. Lawrence inaccessible to ships.

22 February 1813

Raid on Ogdensburg, New York.

The war along the St. Lawrence River frontier was characterized mainly by predatory acts launched from both sides of the river.  Partly in retribution for a U.S. raid on Elizabethtown (Brockville), Upper Canada in February 1813, and as a ploy to distract the Americans while Governor General Sir George Prevost departed Prescott, Lieutenant-Colonel George Macdonell led troops from that post and feigned performing military drills on the frozen river before initiating an attack on Ogdensburg, the only garrisoned U.S. town along the St. Lawrence.  The Americans were driven out of the town during the assault after which their military and private stores were plundered.  For the remainder of the war, Ogdensburg remained ungarrisoned making the St. Lawrence River route more secure for British supply convoys.

24 February 1813

USS Hornet takes HMS Peacock off the coast of Guyana.

26 February 1813 

Raising of the 6th Battalion of the Lower Canada Select Embodied Militia.

March 1813          

The British naval blockade is extended along the eastern seaboard of the United States.


The Provincial Artillery Company is raised in Upper Canada under the command of Captain Alexander Cameron of the Lincoln Militia.

3 March 1813

Niagara Provincial Light Dragoons, known as "Merritt's Troop," is formed.  This small unit, commanded by Lieutenant, later Captain William Hamilton Merritt, will participate in the campaigns on the Niagara Peninsula until the end of the war and will often confront former neighbours led by Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Willcocks, commander of the treasonous Canadian Volunteers.


Another company of Provincial Royal Artillery Drivers is raised in Upper Canada to reinforce the inadequate numbers of the Corps of Royal Artillery Drivers stationed in British North America.  The men of this militia force are paid, fed and clothed the same as Royal Artillery Drivers.


During a reorganization of the Upper Canada Militia, the Corps of Provincial Artificers is formed.

10 March 1813

The first escaped African American slaves in Chesapeake Bay seek refuge onboard HMS Victorious.

15 March 1813

The sixth company of the 104th Regiment reaches Quebec City, Lower Canada.


Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry is ordered to assume command of the American squadron on Lake Erie by Commodore Isaac Chauncey. Perry arrives at Erie, Pennsylvania for his new command on 27 March.

17-18 March 1813

Artillery duel between Black Rock, New York and Fort Erie, Upper Canada.

18 March 1813

Raising of the Volunteer Incorporated Militia Battalion, Upper Canada.

Soldiers of the Sedentary Militia and Flank Companies raised at the county level in Upper Canada enlisted for short terms of service, which had a negative impact on unit effectiveness.  Thirteen companies of the Incorporated Militia were formed for permanent service in Prescott, Kingston, York and Niagara.  Trained and equipped in York, the regiment was sent to the Niagara peninsula in July 1814, arriving before the Battle of Lundy's Lane. Here, the battalion absorbed the American attack on the British left flank and suffered one third losses.  The survivors rallied and reformed under Major James Kerby, a local merchant.  The Regiment served on the Niagara Peninsula until the end of 1814.  It was disbanded on 25 March 1815.

19 March 1813

Commodore Sir James Lucas Yeo is named the chief commander of Britain's naval force on Canadian waters.

25 March 1813

Raising of the Dorchester Provincial Light Dragoons, Lower Canada.


27 March 1813

The men of the 104th Regiment leave Quebec, Lower Canada for Kingston, Upper Canada.

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War of 1812 Timeline

Section 1: 1775 - November 1811
Section 2: January 1812 - June 1812
Section 3: July 1812 - September 1812
Section 4: October 1812 - December 1812
Section 5: January 1813 - March 1813
Section 6: April 1813 - June 1813
Section 7: July 1813 - September 1813
Section 8: October 1813 - December 1813
Section 9: January 1814 - March 1814
Section 10: April 1814 - June 1814
Section 11: July 1814 - December 1814
Section 12: January 1815 - 1871

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