Authors and Sources


The War of 1812, 1812-1814 (Volume II, Plate 22, Concise Plate 38)
WILLIAM G DEAN Department of Geography, University of Toronto

Thanks are due to Frank Jones (deceased), former curator, Military Museum, Dundurn Castle, Hamilton, and Hugh R Dean, Burlington, for their encouragement, and to Robert Stacey for permission to reproduce the watercolour The Battle of Lundy's Lane, by his grandfather, Charles W. Jefferys.


Logistics of the War, 1812-1814 (Map)

The map on logistics for the War of 1812 attempts to illustrate the overwhelming superiority of the 'internal' supply lines of the American armies over the 'external' supply lines of the British armies. The United States had a relatively large population (over 7 000 000), and its national strength in terms of manpower, commerce, manufacturing, and agricultural output was more than 12 times that of the provinces of British North America (BNA). Transportation routes on rivers, roads, seas, and lakes were denser and provided shorter, and thus quicker, lines of communication and supply for the Americans. However, as the British naval blockade tightened during the war, various land and water routes were severely disrupted. Chesapeake Bay, in particular, was for a time completely cut off.
The British transatlantic communication and supply routes were open to attack on the ocean, and were particularly vulnerable along the St Lawrence waterway. Moreover, break-of-bulk points at Quebec, Fort William Henry, Montreal, Kingston, and York meant long delays in transshipment. Men and supplies were transferred from ocean going ships to schooners, bateaux, Durham boats, or cargo canoes for river or lake transport, or to wagons for overland travel. On the average rates of travel in BNA were slower than in the United States.
The relatively small population of the Maritimes and the Canadas(fewer than 500 000)meant extremely limited resources of food, fodder, and transportation for the British commissariat. Thus, most supplies had to be shipped across the Atlantic or obtained from the United States. Smuggled food (largely cattle) and ammunition from the New England states, which had opposed the war from the start, became a major source of supply for the British.
  • Bouchette, Joseph. Map of the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada with the Adjacent Parts of the United States of America. London: Faden, 1815
  • Cappon, Lester J., Barbara B. Petchenik, and John H. Long, eds. Atlas of Early American History: The Revolutionary Era .1760-1790. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1976. Pp 2-5, 20-1
  • Everest, Allan S. The War of 1812 in the Champlain Valley. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1981
  • Paullin, Charles 0. Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States. Ed J.K. Wright. Baltimore: Hoen, 1932. Pl 78,136
  • Stanley, George EG. The War of 1812: The Land Operations. Canadian War Museum Publication no.18. Toronto: Macmillan, 1983
  • Steppler, G.A. "A duty troublesome beyond measure": Logistical Considerations of the Canadian War of 1812.' MA thesis, McGill University, 1974
  • Tanner, Helen Hornbeck. Atlas of Great Lakes Indian History. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986. Maps 20, 21

    Strategic Thrusts by Year, 1812-1814 (Map)

    In three seasons of offensive warfare the Americans made little inroad into BNA. Instead, they lost territory in Maine, in the Mississippi valley, and Fort Astoria in the Oregon Territory. The fragmented and scattered segments of maps on this plate reflect the uncoordinated tactical actions of the American troops.
    Most of the tactical actions are shown on the yearly map segments. Since it is impossible to locate every action on maps at these scales, only the principal border actions are shown. There were, of course, many actions elsewhere, such as numerous American Indian engagements in the American territories as well as British raids in Chesapeake Bay and in the New Orleans area.
  • Berton, Pierre. Flames across the Border, 1813-1814. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1981
  • Berton, Pierre. The Invasion of Canada, 1812-1813. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1980
  • Hitsman, J.M. The Incredible War of 1812: A Military History. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1965
  • Lossing, Benson J. The Pictorial Field Book of the War of 1812 ... New York : Harper, 1868
  • Stacey, Charles P. 'An American Plan for the Canadian Campaign: Secretary James Monroe to Major General Jacob Brown, February, 1815.' American Historical Review 46 (1940-1): 348-58
  • Stanley. The War of 1812. 1983
  • Tucker, Glenn. Platoons and Patriots: A Popular Account of the War of 1812. 2 vols. Indianapolis: Bobbs, Merrill, 1954

    Military Transport, 1812-1814 (Table)

    Times and distances on this table were calculated from travellers' reports in numerous secondary sources.
  • Dunbar, Seymour. A History of Travel in America, Showing the Development of Travel and Transportation ... 4 vols. Indianapolis: Bobbs, Merrill, 1915
  • Encyclopedia Canadiana. Ottawa: Grolier, 1958. Articles on bateaux, vol 1, p 338; Durham boats, vol 3, p 324
  • Guillet, Edwin C. Early Life in Upper Canada. Repr Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1963
  • Hannon, Daniel W. A Journal of Voyages and Travels in the Interior of North America ... New York: Allerton, 1922

    The British Naval Blockade, 1811-1815 (Graph)

    The object of the naval blockade was the destruction of commerce. This was effected not by fighting but by having enough naval vessels patrolling off-shore to intercept all outgoing or incoming commercial vessels. Naval records in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, England, estimate the numbers of British blockading vessels patrolling the American coast from 1812 to 1815 to be as follows: July 1812, 23; July 1813, 57; Dec 1813, 72; Nov 1814, 121; Jan 1815,136.
    The War of 1812 saw the final flourish of privateering. This was the practice of outfitting commercial vessels with guns and enlarged crews and then sending them off to prey on enemy commercial vessels on the high seas; privately owned vessels became, in effect, an auxiliary navy. There were unknown hundreds of American privateers as well as unofficial pirates roaming the oceans throughout the War of 1812. The Maritime provinces armed 49 privateers, which made 207 recorded captures.
  • Adams, Henry. The War of 1812. Ed. H.A. DeWeerd. Washington: The Infantry Journal, 1944. PP 150-62, 238-53
  • Albion, Robert G., and Jennie B. Pope. Sea Lanes in Wartime: The American Experience, 1775-1941. New York: Norton, 1942
  • Forester, C.S. Tbe Age of Fighting Sail: The Story of the Naval War of 1812. Garden City, NY. Doubleday, 1956
  • Mahan, Alfred T. Sea Power and Its Relations to the War of 1812. 2 vols. Boston: Little, Brown, 1905
  • Pearsall, A.W.H., historian, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Personal communication regarding numbers of Royal Navy vessels on the blockade at various times
  • Snider, C.H. Under the Red Jack. Privateers of the Maritime Provinces of Canada in the War of 1812. London: Hopkinson, 1928


  • Jefferys, Charles William (C.W.). The Battle of Lundy's Lane. c. 1921. Work on paper. Archives of Ontario, Government of Ontario Art Collection, 621234
  • Rawdon, R. & B. Col. Johnson's Mounted Men charging a party of British Artillerists and Indians at the Battle fought near Moraviantown October 2nd 1813. c. 1813. Hand coloured engraving. Courtesy of Library and Archives Canada. Copy negative: C-007763

    Further Readings

  • Burt, Alfred L. The United States, Great Britain, and British North America from the Revolution to the Establishment of Peace after the War of 1812. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1940
  • Coffin, W.F. 1812, The War and Its Moral: A Canadian Chronicale. Montreal: J. Lovell, 1864
  • Dunlop, William. Tiger Dunlop's Upper Canada ... Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1967