Shrill, earsplitting shrieks exploded out of the cool, calm night air. Inside the fort the alarmed American soldiers ran and grabbed their guns. In the morning, the British General Brock rode out of the trees on his famous horse, Alfred, and demanded the Americans surrender. The Americans gave up Fort Detroit without a fight.
General Brock was a very tall and smart man who led the British and Canadian troops during the War of 1812. He knew the Americans had more soldiers than he did and he also knew that they were terrified of the First Nations people. So, he worked with the First Nations’ leader, Tecumseh, and ordered the First Nations warriors to do their terrifying war cries in the forest outside Fort Detroit at night. In the morning he had his untrained militia dress up in the British red uniforms to make it look like he had many fully trained soldiers. This was the British second victory during the War of 1812 between the British and Americans.
Brock then died from a bullet wound on October 13, 1812 but his troops were still at it twelve battles later, at the Battle of Crysler’s Farm. The American General was trying to head north to capture Montreal in Lower Canada. The new British commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Morrison, ordered his troops to go forward in their scarlet uniforms, go back into the forest and turn their uniforms inside out. When they walked forward again in their “white” uniforms the Americans thought there were more Canadians than they were and they retreated. In fact there was actually only one Canadian soldier for every ten Americans!
Throughout the War of 1812, each British general who led the British and Canadian troops would usually use Brock’s strategy of bluffing to win.