William Hull had a good war in the American Revolution. A friend of patriot martyr Nathan Hall, he fought bravely in many battles of the war, was praised by Washington, and ended it a Lieutenant Colonel. The War of 1812 was going to be a very bad war for him. At the beginning of the conflict he was 59 years old and had initially refused to take up a military command. He should have stuck to his initial decision.
His “army” at the beginning of the war consisted of 1200 men of three Ohio and Kentucky militia regiments and the three hunred men of the US 4th infantry. Hull, who had been governor of the Michigan Territory since 1805, had declared long before the war that any invasion of Canada from Detroit was doomed unless an American fleet was constructed to control Lake Erie. No such fleet was in existence at the beginning of the war, but Hull was under orders to commence an invasion.
With his small force Hull commenced the invasion of Upper Canada from Detroit, crossing the Detroit River into Canada on July 12, 1812. We will see how this invasion fared in future posts. For now we will close with this grandiloquent proclamation that Hull issued to the inhabitants of Canada on the date of his invasion: (more…)