Isaac Brock celebrated his forty-third birthday one week before the battle of Queenston. He was a career solder who joined the army in 1785 as a fifteen year old ensign in the 8th Regiment. He rose through the ranks by purchasing commissions and by being promoted. In 1797 he became the seniorlieutenant colonel in the 49th Regiment. Before being sent with the 49th to Quebec in 1802, Brock was involved in two major campaigns and wounded once. Although his battle experience was limited, he became known as a well respected officer who was admired for his steadiness and charisma. An American officer who met Brock after his victory at Fort Detroit described him in this manner; "His personal appearance was commanding; he must have been six feet three or four inches in height; very massive and large boned, though not fleshy, and apparently of immense muscular power"
During the summer of 1812 Brock lived at Government House, which stood between Fort George and the village of Newark. Two active young men served as his aides de camp at Newark. They were Captain John B. Glegg of the 49th Regiment and Lieutenant Colonel John Macdonell of the Upper Canada Militia.