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Queenston Heights, battle of

Queenston Heights, battle of, 1812. The first major battle of the War of 1812 occurred when 1,000 New York State militia crossed the Niagara river and unexpectedly scaled the river cliffs. The British commander, Sir Isaac Brock, was killed leading a charge. British reinforcements and Indian allies eventually forced the surrender of over 900 Americans at a cost of 28 British fatalities. It was believed that Brock's last words were, ‘Push on, brave York volunteers’, addressed to colonial troops. Queenston Heights thus became a symbolic Canadian rejection of the USA. Brock and his second-in-command, militia officer John Macdonell, were ceremonially reburied on the battlefield in 1824, and a memorial column was erected in 1853.

Ged Martin

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