03/20/06 - canada

In today's excerpt - the US tries to conquer and occupy Canada:

"The spring of 1813 found America's thirst for Canada unabated.  Any hopes of easy conquest, however, had been sorely tempered by the failed campaigns of the previous summer ...

"All across the Niagara peninsula on both sides of the river, an eerie and vengeful veil of guerrilla warfare descended.  It was neighbor versus neighbor, friend versus friend.  With the principal combatants all speaking English and indeed sometimes being related, it was difficult to know which side someone was on and which house might be offered for shelter or capture ...

"New York militia general George McClure ... ordered the burning of the nearby Canadian village of Newark.  In a blinding snowstorm and amid bitter cold, its inhabitants were put out on the streets, among them many widows and wives with small children.  ... In all, ninety-eight houses were burned that night, almost the entire town of Newark. ... The British troops and Canadian militia ... would remember this. ... This was personal.  The revenge would be personal as well, and would burn far longer than the flames of Newark, not only across the river to Buffalo, but also all the way to Washington the following year."


Walter R. Borneman


1812: The War That Forged a Nation


Harper Perennial


Copyright 2004 by Walter R. Borneman


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