Dearborn in the War of 1812
In 1812 President Madison appointed Dearborn senior major general of the US Army, and put him in charge of the northeastern sector from NIAGARA to the New England coast. Dearborn established his headquarters at Greenbush, across the Hudson River from Albany, but spent weeks away in Boston strengthening coastal defenses and trying to persuade New England governors to allow their militia to be used in an invasion of Canada. He did not succeed and the result was that he launched no major offensive against LOWER CANADA.
His leadership improved slightly in 1813, but instead of focusing his efforts along the Lake Champlain route to attack Montréal or Québec City, he allowed his forces to remain scattered to the west. He commanded the successful attacks on YORK, the capital of UPPER CANADA, and on FORT GEORGE, but neither victory produced decisive results. Dearborn suffered repeatedly from illness and was relieved of his command in July 1813. He sat on General HULL's court martial which he probably should not have done because his inaction in the summer of 1812 had meant that Isaac BROCK could concentrate on attacking Detroit without worrying about an invasion of Lower Canada.
Dearborn was honorably discharged from the army in 1815 and remained active in politics in Massachusetts. Madison had nominated him for secretary of war, but after intense protest at the nomination Madison withdrew it. In 1822 President James Monroe sent Dearborn as minister to Portugal, a post which he held until 1824. He returned at his own request and retired to Roxbury, Massachusetts.
Dearborn was more effective as a follower than as a leader. His biographer concludes that he was moderately successful, "the near total failure of his military command in the War of 1812 being the notable exception."
Author WES TURNER
Links to Other Sites
The website for the Historica-Dominion Institute, parent organization of The Canadian Encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. Check out their extensive online feature about the War of 1812, the "Heritage Minutes" video collection, and many other interactive resources concerning Canadian history, culture, and heritage.
The Battle of Stoney Creek and the Blockade of Fort George
A very long and detailed account of British and US military planning and strategic maneuvers in the Battle of Stoney Creek and the blockade of Fort George that was part of the War of 1812. From the Niagara Historical Society.