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Battle of Chippawa

Left: The monument memorializing the soldiers that fought in the War of 1812, including the Aboriginal warriors. Top right: The entrance to the park where visitors can begin their self-guided walking tour of the Battlegrounds. Bottom right: Chippawa Battlefield Park entrance sign. Photos: [Erin Duffy].

 

GENERAL INFORMATION


The Battle of Chippawa is considered to be one of the bloodiest battles in the War of 1812. As the Niagara Campaign was coming to a close, tensions between the Aboriginal communities and their British allies were running high. To make things worse, an earlier development resulted in the Americans enlisting the help of Iroquois warriors living on their side of the river. The two Iroquois groups met in the forest just minutes from the battlefield. This event marks the only time that the Iroquois warriors fought their kinsmen. The result was a bloody battle between brothers that entirely changed the Iroquois’ outlook on the war.

 

The site of the Battle of Chippawa sits directly across from the Niagara River in the small community of Chippawa, Niagara. It features a monument with commemorative plaques as well as a series of signs which contain information about the War of 1812 and the battle itself. Beside the park is an open field that is surrounded by forest. This combined with the Niagara River on the opposite side offers visitors beautiful scenic views to admire while taking in the site’s historic importance. This point of interest features no amenities, but is just a five minute drive from the quaint community of Chippawa, where you will find a variety of small restaurants and shops.

 


Photo Gallery

 


TripClip Audio File

(more about TripClips...)

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Click to play or download the Battle of Chippawa TripClip (mp3 format).

This destination is also part of the TripClip tour entitled War of 1812 - Aboriginal Perspectives.
 


Hours of Operation

Open year-round.

 

Battle of Chippawa Memorial Ceremony occurs once a year on July 5 at 7:00pm.

 


DIRECTIONS

From Toronto:
- Take the QEW/ON-403 Westbound

- Keep left to continue on the QEW and follow signs for Niagara/East Hamilton/Fort Erie

- Take exit 21 for Regional Road 47 E/Lyon's Creek Road E toward Chippawa

- Turn left onto Lynons Creek Rd/Regional Rd 47

- Continue onto Main st

- Turn right onto Niagara Parkway

Destination will be on the right. 


From Fort Erie:

- Take Garrison Rd (westbound toward Stevensville Rd)

- Turn right onto Gorham Rd/Regional Rd 116 (signs for Regional Road 116/Gorham Rd/Stevensville)

- Continue to follow Regional Rd 116

- Turn right onto Netherby Rd/Regional Rd 25

- Turn left onto Niagara Parkway

Destination will be on the left.

 


Historical

 

When the Americans declared war on Britain on June 19, 1812, the Six Nations in both the United States and Canada came to an agreement that each community would remain neutral. This agreement was created to ensure that the warriors would not meet their brothers in battle. However, both American and British military leaders desperately wanted the Aboriginal warriors’ assistance as they were a powerful force in battle. In Canada, John Norton, a Mohawk war chief, was able to enlist the help of hundreds of Aboriginal warriors who were integral to the success of many battles throughout the Niagara Campaign. In the United States, Red Jacket and Farmers Brother led Six Nations forces against the British. They remained neutral until July 3, 1814 when the British invaded the headquarters of the US Navy in Black Rock. As a result of this invasion, the American Six Nations warriors declared war on Great Britain.

 

On July 5, 1814, the Americans invaded Canada from across the Niagara River. At this point, John Norton and roughly 200 Iroquois warriors were still allied with the British. The Iroquois snipers harassed the American camp throughout the morning. In early afternoon, Norton led a group of warriors and light infantry into the woods, who then divided into three groups to engage the American left flank. Meanwhile, Red Jacket and his group of warriors set out through the woods to eradicate the Iroquois snipers. When the two groups met, the American Iroquois rushed the snipers, killing whoever was in their path. While some of the Iroquois who were under British command were able to escape, many met their demise by way of the American Iroquois tomahawk. 

 

Once they reached Norton and his group of warriors and infantry, Red Jacket and his warriors retreated towards American lines as they feared that they were outnumbered. On their pursuit, Norton and his company stumbled upon the bodies of their brothers and fellow warriors. They were not able to reach their enemies in time as the American Iroquois crossed their own line. Major General Phineas Riall, who was the commanding general at the time, called for a withdrawal from the battlefield. 

 

The resulting casualties were staggering – 85 dead Iroquois warriors on the British side, and 25 dead on the American side. This battle saw the highest number of Aboriginal casualties of the entire war. Perhaps most importantly, these casualties were at the hand and the tomahawk of brothers and kinsmen. One source states, “Three tired and despondent warriors rest, after battle, on the remnants of a broken and fallen pine tree. One warrior holds a friend, who is mourning the loss of their comrades with his foot on a war club as if wanting to crush it and make it disappear into the earth”. The sight of Iroquois fighting Iroquois caused distress for Aboriginal warriors on both sides of the border and resulted in many reinstating their neutral stance.

 


ECOLOGICAL


Situated between the Niagara River, and open field, and forest, the site of the Battle of Chippawa offers gorgeous and picturesque scenic views.

 


Further Information

 

http://www.historynet.com/iroquois-battle-fellow-iroquois-on-the-niagara-frontier-during-the-war-of-1812.htm

 

http://www.eighteentwelve.ca/?q=eng/Topic/51

 

Benn, Carl. (1998). The Iroquois in the War of 1812. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

 

 

 

Facilities

There are no facilities or amenities at this site.

Admission Fee

There is no admission fee.

Address

Battle of Chippawa
Niagara Falls, Niagara Regional Municipality
Niagara Falls, Ontario
L2G Municipality St. Catharines

GPS Co-ordinates

Latitude 43.052127
Longitude -79.024720
UTM easting 660867.8682442624
UTM northing 4768496.833329654

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