Pierre Berton's War of 1812
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To commemorate the bi-centenary of the War of 1812, Anchor Canada brings together Pierre Berton's two groundbreaking books on the subject. The Invasion of Canada is a remarkable account of the war's first year and the events that led up to it; Pierre Berton transforms history into an engrossing narrative that reads like a fast-paced novel. Drawing on personal memoirs and diaries as well as official dispatches, the author has been able to get inside the characters of the men who fought the war - the common soldiers as well as the generals, the bureaucrats and the profiteers, the traitors and the loyalists.
The Canada-U.S. border was in flames as the War of 1812 continued. York's parliament buildings were on fire, Niagara-on-the-Lake burned to the ground and Buffalo lay in ashes. Even the American capital of Washington, far to the south, was put to the torch. The War of 1812 had become one of the nineteenth century's bloodiest struggles.
Flames Across the Border is a compelling evocation of war at its most primeval - the muddy fields, the frozen forests and the ominous waters where men fought and died. Pierre Berton skilfully captures the courage, determination and terror of the universal soldier, giving new dimension and fresh perspective to this early conflict between the two emerging nations of North America.
l.23 Ibid., p. 262. 31 l.27 Ibid., pp. 263–71. DETROIT 1 l.28 Beall, p. 786. 2 l.12 Ibid., p. 787. 3 l.32 Ibid. 4 l.25 Ibid., p. 788. 5 l.28 Ibid., p. 789. 6 l.32 Ibid., pp. 789–90. 7 l.12 Ibid., p. 791. 8 l.1 Lossing, Field-book, p. 258. 9 l.7 Hull, Memoirs, p. 76. 10 l.25 Williams, p. 12, Hull to Meigs, 11 July 1812. 11 l.29 Ibid., pp. 13–14. 12 l.16 Cruikshank, Documents Relating to the Invasion, pp. 40–41, Hull to St. George, 6 July 1812. 13 l.30 Ibid., p. 41, St. George to
naval barracks. FitzGibbon, whose Bloody Boys are hidden in nearby barns, is convinced that a lightning attack against the settlement, if managed with complete surprise, can deal the enemy a serious blow and also serve to stretch the dwindling supplies of the British. The troops are in a bad way. The commissariat is out of salt, the necessary item to preserve meat. The Green Tigers, as the 49th are dubbed, are in the words of one officer “literally naked.” The 41st on the Detroit frontier is in
children have reached Pratt’s Ferry to find a long queue waiting to cross the river. Men, women, children, soldiers, oxen, horses, wagons of every description from great timber haulers to tiny go-carts scarcely big enough for a baby mill about at the water’s edge. Suddenly, Martha St. John hears a loud groan from the multitude and, turning, sees tall pillars of brown smoke billowing above the treetops. As the refugees realize that their homes are being destroyed, a sound of wailing and sobbing,
Gathering a force of twenty men, he prepares to charge the foe. He has dressed with his customary panache—an unmistakable target, six feet tall, in a white blanket coat that stands out starkly in the gloom. As he leads his men toward the enemy, three balls pierce his body. “I am a dead man,” cries Jo Daviess. His followers carry him to the cover of a sycamore tree as the Indians vanish. He has not long to live. “Unfortunately, the Major’s gallantry determined him to execute the order with a
Americans, dressing smartly by the right, begin a steady advance under British artillery fire, Riall revises his opinion. “Why, those are regulars!” the little Irishman exclaims, with an oath. The months of parade-ground toil are paying off. Scott’s men move inexorably forward, halting, loading, firing in unison. Young Hanks stands by the side of Sergeant Elias Bond, drum slung over one shoulder, holding the sergeant’s ramrod in his other hand, saving so much time that the sergeant manages to