Military History: War of 1812 - Dundurn
Feb 14, 2023

Military History: War of 1812

The War of 1812 lasted two years and eight months, and there’s so much to learn within this period. Here are a few books we recommend you read to examine this time in history.

Warriors and Warships by Robert D. Banks

In 1789, the first dockyard was built at Point Frederick opposite present-day Kingston, Ontario. French and British shipwrights made warships that forced Americans into port in 1814, leading to their withdrawal from Canada. Fun fact: the dockyard was closed in 1853 and is now the home of the Royal Military College.

Laura Secord: Heroine of the War of 1812 by Peggy Dymond Leavey

Through an outstanding act of perseverance and courage in 1813, Laura walked an astonishing 30 kilometers from her home to a British outpost to warn Lieutenant James FitzGibbon of an upcoming ambush. Despite facing rough terrain and the ever-present danger of being caught by American troops, Laura reached FitzGibbon just in time for the British to prepare and execute an ambush on American military nearby, forcing the U.S. general to surrender.

The Call to Arms: The 1812 Invasions of Upper Canada by Richard Feltoe

While the War of 1812 saw battles and combat take place in vastly separated locations of the United States and British North America, nowhere was the fighting more intense than in Upper Canada, specifically as seen in the Battles of Detroit, Queenston Heights, and Frenchman's Creek. This is the first book in the Upper Canada Preserved — War of 1812 series.

Guidebook to the Historic Sites of the War of 1812 by Gilbert Collins

If seeing historical sites is more your thing, then this well-illustrated book covers more than 400 historic sites of the War of 1812, both well-known and obscure, in both Canada and the United States. Besides giving you a detailed history of the events that occurred at the sites, the author describes what they have to offer visitors today, be it a historical plaque, historic house, or major interpretive centre.

Canada On Fire: The War of 1812 by Jennifer Crump

For the young adults looking for a digital resource, this is an exciting account of the War of 1812 as told through the stories of the heroes who helped to defend Canada, people such as Mohawk chief John Norton (who led a small army into battle against the wishes of his tribe), and Red George Macdonnell (who spent the war defending the St. Lawrence River). Not only that, you get descriptions of the battle at Lundy’s Lane, the adventures of the Sea Wolves, and the antics of James Fitzgibbon and his Bloody Boys, revealing the War of 1812 as it has seldom been seen.