[Dave Renshaw] The battle of Frenchman’s Creek was the second attempt of the Americans to invade Canada across the Niagara River following the battle at Queenston Heights and their defeat there.
To regain the initiative, the Americans had established a force of over 4,000 troops on the American side at Black Rock, and were prepared to invade Canada. To create a bridgehead on the morning of the 28th of November 1812, a force was set across the river to capture the bridge at Frenchman’s Creek here, and to march into Fort Erie, going southward to take out the guns, the British artillery that was commanding the river.
The fort sent the British and militia troops out, they came along the river and intercepted the American force destroying the bridge and they cut back into Fort Erie and recaptured the guns the Americans had taken and spiked.
A third party had arrived and they were driven off. There were several skirmishings that went on through the night. Finally, reinforcements arrived from Chippewa and the Americans were driven back, ending their hopes of creating a bridgehead in a second invasion.
We’re standing here at St. Paul’s Church in Fort Erie, at the grave site of Col. James Kirby. Col. James Kirby commanded the 2nd Lincoln artillery, that was the militia unit supporting the British Royal artillery that had gun positions along the Niagara River, commanding the river from the Heights here in Fort Erie.
Col. Kirby fought in the battle of Frenchman’s Creek which was the second attempt to invade Canada across the Niagara River, and was very successful in repelling the Americans at that time and discouraging their plans to invade.
He also was known as a prominent figure in the area, he was a tax collector following the war and an administrator here, and he also is noted as being a pallbearer at General Brock’s funeral following the battle of Queenston Heights.
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