The Battle of Chippawa

On July 3rd 1814 at approximately 2 a.m., the Americans invaded Upper Canada by crossing the Niagara River from Black Rock and landing north of Fort Erie. The invasion was spotted and the Americans landed in Niagara under a hail of gun fire.

The meager British force of 137 soldiers quickly surrendered before being over run by a much larger American force.

Once landed, the 6,000 American soldiers began marching northward towards Chippawa. The battle of Chippawa began on July 5th 1814 at Street’s Creek (Usshers Creek). It took place in fields located between Street’s Creek and Chippawa Creek (Welland River). The battle lasted approximately 30 minutes. The 1,300 American regulars had defeated the 1,500 British soldiers. During this battle the British had sustained 148 soldiers killed, 221 wounded and 46 captured. The Americans had sustained 44 soldiers killed and 224 wounded.

The Americans forced the British to retreat under heavy gun fire to Chippawa Creek (Welland River). As the British rear guard withdrew over the King’s Bridge, they removed the wood plank flooring rendering it impassable. This would be the first battle where the American regular forces defeated the British regular forces. 

The British were under the command of Major General Phineus Riall. The British retreated to the North side of the Welland River to escape the advance of the Americans. For the next three days, the British and the Americans faced each other from across the river, before the British retreated to Fort George as the Americans marched northward.

On July 12 1814, the Americans burned the settlement of St. David’s and enraged the British. Reinforcements were ordered into the battle for the British side and they arrived from York.

The Americans now had troop strength of 2,800 soldiers.
On July 24th 1814, Major General Brown withdrew his forces back to Chippawa in order to re-supply his army.

Major General Brown had decided to by-pass Fort George and attack Burlington Heights instead. Brown reasoned that if Burlington Heights fell into American hands, then Fort George and Fort Niagara would be cut off from men and supplies.

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