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The Battle of Queenston Heights was one of the largest battles in the War of 1812. It was part of a four part American plan to invade and occupy Canada, thereby bringing a quick end to the war.
A Failed American Bid to Take Canada
Because the Canada campaign had proceeded poorly to that point, there was considerable pressure on the Americans to gain a victory. On October 13, 1812, 3,000 American soldiers under the command of Steven Van Rensselaer attempted to cross the Niagara River and attack British position at three o' clock in the morning. The much smaller British forces met the Americans with constant bombardment. The savage bombardment damaged American ships and unnerved its soldiers preventing them from crossing the river in substantial numbers. British cannons pounded American artillery, which had begun battle on shore. When the British were reinforced by 1,000 Mohawk (Iroquois) warriors, American forces surrendered, rendering their hopes of invading and conquering Canada lost. The American suffered almost 1,100 casualties, compared to only 128 for the British. In the Battle, British general Isaac Brock was killed.