D is for Detroit


On July 12, 1812, General William Hull led an invading American force of about 1,000 untrained, poorly equipped militia across the Detroit River and occupied the Canadian town of Sandwich (now a neighbourhood of Windsor, Ontario).

During the War of 1812, the Detroit River served as a major barrier between the American Michigan Territory and British Upper Canada, especially during the Battle of Fort Detroit in August 1812, when Detroit briefly fell to the British.

The Siege of Detroit, also known as the Surrender of Detroit, or the Battle of Fort Detroit, was an early engagement in the War of 1812. A British force under Major General Isaac Brock with Native American allies under the Shawnee leader, Tecumseh, used bluff and deception to intimidate the American Brigadier General William Hull into surrendering the fort and town of Detroit, Michigan, and a dispirited army (numbering 2,500 with the addition of 500 Canadians), although they outnumbered the victorious British and Native Americans (330 regulars, 400 militia, and 600 First Nations).

'Bombardment Of Fort Detroit, 1812 by Peter Rindlisbacher.'

‘Bombardment Of Fort Detroit, 1812 by Peter Rindlisbacher.’

The American loss was considerable: some 2188 men, 39 guns, and a large store of shot, flint, and powder.  The surrender not only cost the United States the village of Detroit, but control over most of the Michigan Territory.

The British victory reinvigorated the militia and civil authorities of Upper Canada, who had previously been pessimistic and affected by pro-American agitators. Many Native American people in the Northwest Territory were inspired to take arms against American outposts and settlers.

The British held Detroit for more than a year before their small fleet on Lake Erie was defeated, which forced them to abandon the western frontier of Upper Canada,

But that will be my Monday post, as E is for Erie.






A is for Anishinaabe ~ B is for Brock ~ C is for Coloured Corps

A2Z-BADGE-000 [2015] - Life is Good

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behaviour.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, we blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 3 is “C,” and so on. Please visit other challenge writers.

My theme is ‘The War of 1812’, a military conflict, lasting for two-and-a-half years, fought by the United States of America against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, its North American colonies, and its American Indian allies. The Memoirs of a British naval officer from the war is central to my novel “Seeking A Knife” – part of the Snowdon Shadows series.

Further reading on The War of 1812:




31 thoughts on “D is for Detroit

    • Thanks for the regular visits, and comments. Think the next victory – E is for Eire – was even more significant, although I suspect the achievements got ignored at the post-war bargaining table.


    • Agree Liz, I learnt very like about the Americas in my UK education. Although went on to specialize in History so did stray a bit beyond Europe – like Spanish & Portuguese Seaborne empires. Will be doing my A to Z tour later in month as trying to finish a 100k in 100 days challenge – 6 days to finish line. So see you on about April 12th 🙂


    • How much has Detroit retained from the distant past – stuff that might excite a 13-year-old? We have places in UK where the history has been buried and others where you are living alongside it. Castles anyone?


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