The Fighting Begins in Canada:
Summer of 1812:
Battle of Lake Erie:
One of the world's major powers was engaged in a war with the young United States, but on the basis of available resources the two belligerents were rather evenly matched. With most of Britain's forces tied up in the war against Napoleon, very little military and naval assistance could be spared for the defense of Canada. When the war began, Maj. Gen. Isaac Brock, the military commander and civil governor of Upper Canada, had 800 militiamen available in addition to his approximately 1,600 Regulars. In the course of the war, Canada put a total of about 10,000 militia in the field. The support of Indian tribes gave Canada one source of manpower that the United States lacked, 3,500 Indians were serving in the Canadian forces by the fall of 1813, probably the largest number during the war.
In September 1812, three months after the outbreak of war, Britain had no more than eleven ships of the line, thirty-four frigates, and about an equal number of smaller naval vessels in the western Atlantic. These were all that could be spared for operations in American waters, which involved the tremendous task of escorting British merchant shipping, protecting the St. Lawrence River, blockading American ports, and hunting down American frigates.