The Caroline

AuthorCraig Forcese
Chapter 5
The Caroline
From yonder murky shore
What demon vessel glides,
Stemming the unemm’d tides? —
Where madd’ning breakers roar
In hoile surges round her path,
Or hiss recoiling from her prow,
That reeling aggers to their wrath,
While diant shores return the glow
That brightens from her burning frame,
And all above — around — below —
Is wrapt in ruddy f‌lame!
—   18381
O  , the Canadian militia forces at Chippawa
would commence a cannonade of Navy Island, with virtu-
ally no ef‌fect.2 But even before that, the situation appears to
have arrived at a stalemate by 29 December.
This impasse probably favoured the Canadians. An outright
assault on the invaders entrenched on the island could prove costly
and was logistically challenging because of the current in the river.3
As noted, the insurgents themselves faced the same serious tac-
tical challenges. And even if they came ashore successfully on the
Canadian side, they would be left to mount an invasion in mid-
winter, during an era when winters in southern Ontario were truly
cold. Moreover, the insurgents were an unruly, impatient lot, and
their commander, Van Rensselaer, a notorious drunkard.4 Waiting
out the invaders and prevailing on the American authorities to
enforce US neutrality law — was probably the best option.5

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT