Thursday, April 27, 2017

April 27, 1813, the Battle of York, an overwhelming American victory with questionable strategic outcome.

York (Toronto) was the capital of Upper Canada. An American force supported by a Lake Ontario naval flotilla landed on the lake shore to the west of York.
The Americans quickly suppressed a small group of Ojibway warriors defending the shore and proceeded to knock out the town’s meager batteries. 

The American force of 1700 men easily assumed control. With the fort poorly defended by an undersized garrison of 700 soldiers and backed by an unenthusiastic militia, the British General Sir Roger Hale Sheaffe, retreated with his surviving regulars to Kingston, abandoning the militia and civilians. 
The Americans captured the fort, town and dockyard. They themselves suffered heavy casualties, including force leader Brigadier General Zebulon Pike and others killed when the retreating British blew up the fort's magazine. 
The American forces subsequently carried out several acts of arson and looting in the town before withdrawing.
Though the Americans won a clear victory, it did not have decisive strategic results as York was a less important objective in military terms than Kingston, where the British armed vessels on Lake Ontario were based.

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