Battle with Lacolle Mills

during the British-American war of 1812 came it to 27. November 1812 and to 30. March 1814 to two battles between British - Canadian and American troops with the Canadian city Lacolle (Québec ), lain south of Montréal, in their focus the close convenient mill (English. Lacolle Mills) stood. Both ended with British victories and defeated American attacks on Montréal.

first battle with Lacolle Mills, 27. November 1812

after American attempts to invade over the Niagara River to Canada by the defeat of Queenston Heights had failed, decided US major general Henry Dearborn a direct attack on Montréal. The Americans hoped to in this way interrupt the British supply lines at the Ontariosee and the Eriesee. The preparations ran however very slowly, among other things , because the recruitment of war kriegsfreiwilligen encountered in new England large difficulties - most new Englishmen were not against the war and had interest in an attack on their neighbours and trade partner beyond the border. Most of the 6,000 Milizionäre, which Dearborn could finally pull together in Albany, came from other Federal States. President James Madison, which needed a victory in view of the preceding military debacles, in order to calm the public opinion down, lost the patience and set the hesitating general substantial under pressure, without beginning consideration for the weather and other obstacles finally with the invasion. Of the combat morale of the US troops the refusal of militias from Vermont and New York was characteristic to exceed the Canadian border.

Dearborn finally shifted a large part of its army after flat castle and exceeded to 27. November 1812 south of Montréal in the proximity of the city Lacolle the border. With the mill of Lacolle (Lacolle Mills) 300 frankokanadische Milizionäre (Canadian Voltigeurs) had themselves and 230 Krieger of the Kahnawake Mohawk among Colonels Charles Michel de Salaberry stations, who finally withdrew themselves after hard resistance in view of the American supremacy. The Americans occupied the mill and prepared a further advance on the next day. During the night another American unit seized the mill on their commander had not obviously been informed that it was in American hand. Since the defenders of the mill counted on a British counter attack, they opened the fire. It came to combat lasting several hours and bloody. Only in the morning-grey noticed the Americans their mistake. When to the shock own soldiers to have killed still another surprising counter attack of de Salaberrys men came, the US troops without further resistance withdrew themselves over the border. The beginning of winter prevented a renewed attack on Montréal.

In view of this embarrassing Fiaskos general offered his resignation, which was accepted by Madison in the spring 1813 to Dearborn.

second battle with Lacolle Mills, 30. March 1814

after its embarrassing defeat in the battle with Chrysler's farm against British troops tenfold which were subject undertook the American major general James Wilkinson in the spring 1814 with 4.000 men a renewed invasion to Canada. To 30. March exceeded it the Canadian border and attacked the small British outguard Lacolle Mills close of the Grenzstadt Lacolle , which had become already 1812 the scene of an American defeat.

Lacolle Mills consisted of a stone mill and a wooden blockhouse and became of a company 13. British infantry regiment defends, which covered altogether about 80 men under major Hancock. The soldiers were strengthened in view of the American threat still around the infantry company of their regiment and around some contactors. Altogether it is to have concerned approximately 180 men. In the process of combat still two Milizkompanien pushed in addition. Instead of attacking immediately, the US troops develop a cannon battery, which consisted of two cannons and a mortar. The British answered the bombardment with Congreve rockets. Depreciating, which zweitere for their opponents felt, shows up in the fact that they led even two counter attacks despite their inferiority on the American cannons, which had to be broken off however in view of covering by US infantry.

Since the bombardment of the American cannons had only few effects on the thick walls of the mill, further reinforcement for the British moved forward and heavy cannons of the British navy went into position, the Americans finally gave their project up and withdrew themselves over the border. The Americans counted altogether 154 dead ones, wounded one or missed one, the British 61.

While the Americans placed the British on the western theater (Niagara peninsula) in the year 1814 with better trained troops and capable commanders before large difficulties, showed up with Lacolle Mills the characteristic weaknesses of the US army in the war of 1812: Incompetent officers and a halfheartedness almost puzzling in view of the numeric superiority, who already led with smaller setbacks to the complete task of campaign plans. The behavior Wilkinsons and other generals is explainable probably only by an inferiority complex opposite the British and their outstanding trained regular soldiers. So engagements could attain like this a meaning, which stands in no relation to its actually slight character.

See also: List of wars, list of battles


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