When he was 20 he sailed under Lord Nelson against Denmark, two years before he sailed against Holland and briefly spent time in a French prison.
In Canada, FitzGibbon served in the 49th Regiment of Foot under Isaac Brock. It was General Brock who made sure FitzGibbon was schooled in the military way of life.
Later James FitzGibbon recieved permission to form a group of men to harrass the American army in Upper Canada, they became known as the Green Tigers or the Bloody Boys
James FitzGibbons became a hero in Upper Canada, where after the war he lived for a great many years. After his wife Mary died James returned to England, that's where he died on December 10th 1863. He was 83 years old.
In his last few years he longed to be back in Canada. In 1855 he wrote to Walter Mackenzie, one of the young lads he drilled in military tactics back in the 1830's.
He wrote " I sometimes exclaim, "Thank God, I have Canada to fall back upon. It's future seems to me more full of promise than any other section of the Human family. I long to be among you."
James FitzGibbons also served in the Glengarry Light infantry in Canada during the War of 1812.