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Battle of Queenston Heights

History -- Military history -- List of battles

The Battle of Queenston Heights was a battle of the War of 1812 on October 13, 1812.

Battle of Queenston Heights
ConflictWar of 1812
DateOctober 13, 1812
PlaceNear Queenston, Ontario
ResultBritish victory
Britain, MohawksUnited States
Isaac Brock †,
Roger Sheaffe
Stephen van Rensselaer
1000 troops6000 troops
20 dead
77 wounded

General Sir Isaac Brock believed the Americans would attack his headquarters at Fort George, but he learned instead that they were planning to invade across the Niagara River from Lewiston, New York. Brock and about 1000 British troops marched to Queenston to meet the invading force.

The Americans under General Stephen van Rensselaer charged up the Heights to capture the British cannons; Brock was there watching the battle, his bright red coat making him an easy target, and he was killed at about 1 pm. Brock's aide Lieutenant-Colonel John Macdonnell tried to drive the Americans back, but he too was killed. The Americans briefly held the cannons and turned them on the British troops.

Major-General Roger Sheaffe took command after Brock was killed. He reorganized the British troops and led them back up the Heights, recapturing the cannons. Meanwhile, John Norton, a Mohawk chief allied with the British, attacked the Americans from the rear. A second wave of Americans across the river at Lewiston refused to cross the river to fight the natives, and the remaining Americans on the Heights were surrounded and forced to surrender. Of the 6000 American troops, about 500 were killed or wounded, and 1000 were taken prisoner, including Colonel Winfield Scott. The British suffered about 20 men killed, with 77 wounded; one of the wounded was James Secord, husband of Laura Secord.