War of 1812

Napoleon's First Abdication
Napoleon's First Abdication, April 11, 1814. ©Gaetano Ferri
1814 Apr 11

Napoleon's First Abdication

Paris, France

The end of the war with Napoleon in Europe in April 1814 meant that the British could deploy their army to North America, so the Americans wanted to secure Upper Canada to negotiate from a position of strength. Meanwhile, 15,000 British troops were sent to North America under four of Wellington's ablest brigade commanders after Napoleon abdicated. Fewer than half were veterans of the Peninsula and the rest came from garrisons. Most of the newly available troops went to Canada where Lieutenant General Sir George Prevost (who was the Governor General of Canada and commander in chief in North America) was preparing to lead an invasion into New York from Canada, heading for Lake Champlain and the upper Hudson River. The British begin to blockade the entire US east coast.