Battle of Queenston Heights

Date Tuesday, October 13, 1812
Weather Cloudy and cool - 46 degrees
Location Queenston, Ontario

British Empire

United States

Belligerents Canadian Provinces, United Kingdom The United States of America
Commanders Isaac Brock, Roger Hale Sheaffe Stephen Van Rensselaer
Casualties Force: 1,300
Killed: 21
Wounded: 85
Captured: 22
Force: 6,000
Killed: 93
Wounded: 90
Captured: 835

The Battle of Queenston Heights was the first major battle in the War of 1812 and resulted in a British victory. It took place on 13 October, 1812, near Queenston in Upper Canada (the present-day province of Ontario). It was fought between United States regulars and New York militia forces led by Major General Stephen Van Rensselaer, and British forces and Canadian militia led by Major General Isaac Brock, and Major General Roger Sheaffe, who took command when Brock was killed.

The battle, the largest in the war to that point, was fought as the result of an American attempt to establish a foothold on the Canadian side of the Niagara River before campaigning ended with the onset of winter. This decisive battle was the result of a poorly managed American campaign, and may be most historically significant for the loss of the British commander.

Despite their numerical advantage and the wide dispersal of British forces against an invasion attempt, the Americans, who were stationed in Lewiston, New York, were unable to get the bulk of their invasion force across the Niagara River due to the work of British artillery and reluctance on the part of the undertrained and inexperienced American militia. As a result, British reinforcements were able to arrive and force those Americans on the Canadian side to surrender.