Battle of Chippewa

The Battle of Chippewa took place on July 5, 1814, near Ft. Erie. In the battle that American forces and Gen. Winfield Scott decisively defeated the British forces.


The Americans decided to make another attempt to cross the Niagara River and enter Canada.  Commanding the assault was General Winfield Scott.  He had 2,000 men with him as he crossed the Niagara River on the morning of July 3, 1814.  As his boat neared the shore Scott tested the depth with is sword and announced that it shallow enough for him go ashore.  When he left the boat he disappeared into a hole.  He was dragged back into the boat, not an auspicious start of the campaign. 

 A few moments later the boat neared the shore and Scott and the men began to disembark.  Scott and his men soon surrounded Fort Erie.  By the evening the fort with 170 British soldiers had surrendered. 

At Fort George British General Phineas Riall headed south to stop the American advance beyond Fort Erie.  Riall created a line at the Chippewa River two miles above the Niagara Falls.  Riall had 2,000 men with him. On the morning of the 5th Scott was almost captured after being lured for breakfast at a Canadian home.

By the afternoon General Riall decided to advance on the American troops and crossed the Chippewa River to engage the American forces.  The British forces had brought across their artillery.  Scott moved his troops to be ready to face the British.  He formed up a line, which was anchored, with his own artillery pieces.  Rail assumed that the Americans were militia and would break easily.  When the fighting began and they didn’t Riall realized his mistake and is widely reported to have said “those are regulars by god”. 

The two sides advanced on each other but the Americans the Americans were able to flank the British on both sides thus enveloping them in more sustained fire.  The British troops were not able to sustain the levels of casualties they sustaining and after a half an hour Riall ordered the British troops to withdraw.  The Americans had one the day.  While not a very large battle by European standards it was a very important victory, for the first time equal size regular armies of British and American troops met on the field of battle and the Americans were victorious.