CANADA/USA HISTORY YOU WERE PROBABLY NEVER TAUGHT #6
Continuing with "Canada - A People's History"
A few miles down stream from Niagara Falls the river is so narrow
a musket ball can be fired across it. Here in the fall of 1812
the second American army prepared to avenge the humiliation of
Detroit. On the heights of Queenston the British waited and
watch. In the early hours of October 13th the garrison at Fort
George is aroused from bed by the thunder of heavy guns. Brock
does not wait for his aids but gallops off on his horse into the
night towards the sound of the fighting. He's not sure if this is
a bluff or the real thing.
Seven miles away the two sides are hurling cannon balls and
musket shots at each other across the Niagara river. One young
"The mountains seem to shake beneath the stride of death."
On the dark water below 1,200 American troops are flooding across
the river. Brock has his answer - it's a full scale invasion.
At first the British guns pin down the Americans on the beach
below Queenston Heights. Then by chance they discover a
fisherman's path up the steep bank, and with a surprise attack
they seise the British cannon.
As General Brock arrives the battle is fast turning in favor for
the Americans. At day break he decides on a desperate counter
attack. It fails.
Now the fate of "upper" Canada rests in the hands of 80 Mohawk
warriors. They are led by the adopted son of Joseph Brant - a man
named John Norton - he's half Cherokee and half Scot.
"Comrades and brothers, remember the fame of ancient warriors,
whose breasts were never daunted by odds of numbers. We have
found what we came for. There they are, it only remains for us to
Out-numbered 15 to 1, Norton's warriors strike and run
repeatedly, the Americans stagger and cannot consolidate their
position. It's a critical failure. At 2 o'clock, 10 hours after
the attack began, British and Canadian re-enforcements pour into
Queenston. Now 1,000 strong with Norton's warriors on the flank,
they break cover and advance. Norton wrote:
"The whole line opened fire on us, we rushed forward, from the
side of a hill they lay and fired again; we came upon them
swiftly, they left their cannon and ran."
The American commander Winfield Scott surrenders, delivering 925
Barely 4 months in the war and two American armies have fallen.
But the battle has been costly, a dozen warriors and two Mohawk
chiefs were killed. The British and Canadians lost nearly 100
men. But the Americans suffered far worst - the estimates of
their casualties range as high as 500.
For a young Canadian militia man John Beverly Robinson the
victory is bitter sweet. He wrote:
"Thus ended the business of the day. The invasion of our peaceful
shores has terminated in the entire destruction of their army and
the total loss of everything brought over. Still we have much to
In the desperate charge at dawn, a sniper had recognized General
Brock's uniform. A Canadian volunteer in Brock's regiment saw the
"One of them took deliberate aim and fired and our gallant
General fell from where I stood. 'Are you much hurt Sir,' I
enquired. He placed his hand on his breast and made no reply, and
slowly sunk down."
Isaac Brock is buried at Fort George as the British cannon fires
a 21 gun solute across the river. The Americans answer with their
Brock will be remembered as the savior of upper Canada. A place
he did not much care for and whose people he never trusted. But
in the critical first year of the war he bought the Province
time, and gave it a reason to fight.
What sad happenings among brother peoples, who knew not the true
God, nor His way, nor the prophecies of Genesis, where God had
promised to Joseph that in the last days his descendants, from
his sons Ephraim and Manasseh, would inherit the choices parts of
the earth. It all could have been given to them without
bloodshed, if they had but put their hearts and minds and lives
into loving God and living by His every word, if they had trusted
Him and not the power of the gun.
Sad, sad, is the history of man. We take courage that there will
be a resurrection day for all, when all will have deceptive
blindness removed, when they will see errors and sins and
mistakes, when they will have a chance to REPENT and find grace
To be continued