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Raids into Western Upper Canada

From late March until according to at least one account the middle of August 1814, the American forces under the command of Colonel John Campbell raided the communities of Patterson's Creek, Charlotteville (Turkey Point), Port Talbot, Long Point, and Port Dover in western Upper Canada.

All of these communities saw the destruction of their public buildings, grain mills,distilleries and private homes and barns at the hands of American troops and the traitor Joseph Wilcox and the Canadian Volunteers

General Brown had Colonel John Campbell brought before a court of inquiry, which contented itself with reprimanding him for displaying bad judgement.

Colonel Campbell's raids into these communities were an exercise in needless brutality and they were considerably condemned by his own troops, even the crops in the fields and cattle were deliberately destroyed in order to reduce the availability of the region to support the British army in the field.

One account by a Mr James occured as follows:

On the 16th of August, a party of about 100 Americans and Indians landed at Port Talbot on that lake (Lake Erie); and robbed 50 heads of families of all their horses, and every article of household furniture, and wearing apparel, belonging to them. The number of individuals who were thus thrown naked and destitue upon the world, amounted to 49 men, 37 women - three of the latter, and two of the former, nearly 70 years of age, - and 148 children. A great many of the more respectable inhabitants were not only robbed, but carried off as prisoners: among them, a member of the house of assembly, Mr. Barnwell, though ill of fever and ague.

A record of this account is in the "Loyal and Patriotic Society of Upper Canada."

It would seem that these raids were the acts of revenge for the burning of Buffalo the previous December. Sir George Prevost is outraged, as he had already indicated that vengence for the destruction of Newark (Niagara-on-the-Lake) had ended with the burning of Buffalo.

Prevost now asks the navy, patroling the eastern seaboard to raid American towns and villages to deter future acts against civilians living in Canada. Vice-Admiral Alexander Cochrane issues an order to "destroy and lay waste such towns and districts as you may find assailable". The firing of private property becomes official British policy, and it does not end until Washington itself is in flames.