Town of Porter
Map Site 1: Fort Niagara

Captured by the British on the morning of December 19, 1813. It was held by the British until the end of the war when the Treaty of Ghent returned it to the United States.

Fort Niagara was constructed by the French in 1726, successor to two previous French Forts in the late 17th century. The British took the Fort in 1759 during the French and Indian War. They held the Fort until 1796 when it was finally turned over to the American army. During the early years of the 19th century the Fort kept a garrison of under 100 men. The officers of both Fort Niagara and Fort George would often dine at each others respective posts. When hostilities erupted between the United States and Great Britain, both Forts were sent reinforcements bringing Fort Niagara’s garrison to over 400 men. During the Battle of Queenstown Heights, both Forts exchanged cannon fire. To gain the advantage of height over Fort George, the roofs of the French Castle and the two redoubts were removed. The bombardment continued through November, with few casualties but causing considerable damage to both Forts. On the morning of December 19, 1813, the British crossed the Niagara River and marched north to Fort Niagara. After bayoneting the pickets and securing the batteries along the River Road, the British marched toward the main gate of Fort Niagara. They happened to arrive at about 5 a.m., just at the changing of the guard, and were able to overcome the soldiers and enter the Fort undetected. Once inside, they met with little resistance from the troops and soon the Fort was under their control. The American loss was sixty-five, all bayoneted, fourteen wounded and three hundred and thirty-four taken prisoner. The British loss was six killed and five wounded. The real prize for the British was the amount of armaments and other valuable supplies found in the Fort. The British held the Fort until the War ended in 1815, much to the chagrin of the Americans.

Link to Fort Niagara website: oldfortniagara.org

 


 

 

© 2013 NCHS & J.Christian Krull