Rural Raids and Divided Loyalties – Southwestern Ontario and the War of 1812
While many of us may be familiar with the major battles and events of the War of 1812 in Ontario, such as the battle of Queenston Heights and the death of Sir Isaac Brock or the battles of Stoney Creek and Lundy’s Lane, few know the stories of the American raids on Southwestern Ontario. Following the British withdrawal from Detroit and the loss of Lake Erie after the Battle of Put in Bay in 1813, the entire peninsula was defended by only small contingents of largely untrained militia. The Americans took advantage of this situation and launched a series of raids meant to demoralize the populace and deny the British army of one of their main sources of food and provisions. The raids also tested the loyalty of those living in the region, many of whom were recent immigrants from the United States.
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