Major Events Of The War Of 1812

Home / Major Events Of The War Of 1812


June 18

U.S. declares war on Great Britain over maritime interference and supposed British support of the native war effort to halt colonization in the US mid-west

July 12

The American army, led by General Hull, crosses the Detroit River and enters Upper Canada in search of American sympathizers

July 17

First Nations, Métis, & British Alliance under the command of Captain Charles Roberts (men from around the areas of Sault Ste. Marie, St. Joseph Island, and Fort St. Joseph) capture the American Garrison of Fort Michilimackinac without bloodshed. This is the first offensive military maneuver in the War of 1812. Hull returns to Detroit fearing Native retaliation.

August 15

Fall of the American fort – Fort Dearborn – present day Chicago.

August 16

British Commander General Brock and Native Chief Tecumseh win the battle for Detroit. General Hull believed that General Brock had the support of 5000 Natives, so he had no choice but to surrender. General Brock captures 35 cannons, 2500 muskets, 500 rifles, ammunition and provisions for his success.

October 13

General Brock is killed at Battle of Queenston Heights (near Niagara on the Lake). The Americans are repelled back across the river with reinforcements from Fort George.

November 20

De Salaberry’s militia and 300 Native allies repel Major-General Dearborn and his 6000 men from entering Lower Canada south of Montreal. The US Navy gains control of Lake Ontario forcing British ships to remain at Kingston and York (now Toronto).



During winter, British warships are constructed at Kingston and York, Americans build battleships on Lake Erie

April 27

Americans using warships capture York which was the capital of Upper Canada. The parliament and other buildings are burned, looting of private homes takes place, ship and naval stores are captured. A second raid on July 31 results in more damage.

May 27

The Americans take Fort George (near Niagara-on-the-Lake), burning it to the ground.

June 5

The British at Stoney Creek stop the Americans from advancing further into the Niagara Peninsula at decisive Battle of Beaverdams, Laura Secord becomes heroine.


Naval battle at Boston Harbor -the British capture American warship and blockade the US east coast reducing trade and tax money needed for the war

September 10

Americans destroy the British Naval power at Put-in-Bay on Lake Erie. Britain’s plan for naval domination of the upper Great Lakes is unsuccessful.

September 27

Procter moved out of Sandwich on his way to the Thames, leaving the public buildings at Amherstburg (Fort Malden), Sandwich and Detroit in smoking ruins. His position had become untenable, and he had resolved to take the only avenue of retreat that lay open to him, towards the junction with the British forces at the head of Lake Ontario. However, to appease Tecumseh and his warriors, who feared that they were being abandoned, he agreed to make a stand at the Moravian village of Fairfield, on the Thames River.

October 5

Americans are victorious at Battle of Thames River near Moraviantown. Shawnee Chief Tecumseh supporting British North America is killed.

October 25

800 British soldiers, Canadian militiamen, and First Nations allies defeat an American army of 7000 soldiers at Battle of Crysler’s Farm (12 km east of Morrisburg)

December 10

Americans set fire to the town of Newark, abandon Fort George

December 18

American Fort Niagara is taken and Buffalo burned on Dec. 29


Numerous raids and skirmishes on both sides of the border result in stalemate

July 25

The Battle of Lundy’s Lane (near Niagara Falls) is the bloodiest battle of the whole war with 1300 casualties. Neither side can claim a victory, but the Americans withdraw back to Fort Erie.

July 21

American troops from Tigris and Scorpion burn Nor’Wester’s fur post and many homes in both sides of the river – Sault Ste. Marie.

August 4

Lt. Col. McDouall’s mixed force with notable Native Commanders – Tomah, Oshkosh (at age 15), Iometah (brother of Tomah), Yellow Dog & L’Espanol successfully defends Fort Michilimackinac

August 14

Schooner Nancy is burned in Nottawasaga Bay by the Americans

August 19-25

Washington is occupied by the British. The President’s mansion is set on fire. It was then repainted white and renamed “The White House.”

September 3-5

Lt. Worsley captures the American schooners Tigress and Scorpion just east of St. Joseph Island.

September 11

Sir George Prevost leads a British invasion south, but they are defeated at Plattsburgh on Lake Champlain.

December 24

The Treaty of Ghent (peace treaty) is signed by the United States and Britain in Ghent, Belgium, on December 24, 1814, concluding the War of 1812. Under its terms, the border is to be restored to that before the war


January 8

The Battle of New Orleans. Andrew Jackson wins this fight for the Americans but he has no knowledge that the peace treaty has already been signed.


Turner, Wesley 1990. The War of 1812; The War that Both Sides Won. Dundurn Group, Toronto,144 pp.

Minor Source:

Gough, Barry M. 2006. Through water, Ice and Fire: Schooner Nancy of the War of 1812.

Dundurn Group, Toronto. 213 pp.

Detailed Reference:

Latimer, Jon 2007. 1812 War with America. Cambridge (MA) and London, Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press. 637 pp.

Encyclopedia of the War of 1812. David Stephen Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler. Naval Institute Press. Annapolis, Maryland. p. 505