Harrison and Winchester, conflict in command in the Raisin River campaign of 1812-1813

Date of Award

Spring 1970

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




During the first year of the War of 1812 an inept American army suffered a series of costly defeats in its attempt to acquire the most vulnerable portion of the British empire, Canada. The leaders of each campaign received damaged or destroyed reputations. Williaa Hull, who lost Detroit to the British General Isaac Brock, was cashiered from the army and sentenced to death for cowardness. Stephen Van Rensselaer re- signed in disgrace after the Battle of Queenstown. His replacement, the Virginian Alexander Smyth, was dropped from the service after a failure to take Niagara. 1be nation's highest ranking officer, Major General Henry Dearborn, resigned under pressure after an indecisive campaign against Montreal. For most American commanders the Canadian adventure became a cemetery of lost hopes and ruined ambitions.

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