A band of Americans and pro-American Canadians living in Upper Canada, the Canadian Volunteers were a company-sized regiment that fought on the American side during the War of 1812. Their leader was a controversial traitor to Britain, Joseph Willcocks, who carried the Volunteers through a streak of violent campaigns that eventually secured his own death.
After the American Revolution (the American War of Independence), most "loyalist" Americans (those who wanted British victory against the rebels) fled the United States and settled in large numbers in Upper Canada thanks to generous land grants and other assistance that robbed the young American nation of much of its educated and wealthy class. They were joined by many Americans simply seeking a better opportunity for themselves in British North America, but with no special love for king and country. For many in government and military circles, the newly arrived Americans constituted a possible threat as well as a benefit. When the War of 1812 began, men like Sir Isaac Brock worried that this population would act as informants and perhaps saboteurs in support of Washington should war break out between Britain and the US in North America. After the outbreak of hostilities, some pro-Americans in Upper Canada supported the invasion by General Hull, but Brock's early victories bolstered British support among the populace.
Canadian Volunteers - Fort George July, 1813
The Canadian Volunteers made their first appearance at Fort George. They consisted of 9 officers and 44 men. They were reviewed by the Inspector General of the American army. He described them as, "able-bodied men well disposed to join against the enemy."
Canadian Volunteers Burn the town of Newark (present-day Niagara-on-the-Lake) on December 10, 1813
The Canadian Volunteers
Defending a bridge crossing over to Tonawanda, New York
Battle of Chippewa,
July 5, 1814
Battle of Lundys Lane- July 25, 1814
Canadian Volunteers Garrisoned at Fort Erie 1814 under General Porters Brigade
Joseph Willcocks was fatally shot in the chest and dies - September 4, 1814, Fort Erie
His body was buried initially in "the circle or open square of that village Buffalo, New York and reburied in Forest Lawn Cemetery in the 1830s. Willcocks' grave is unmarked.
CLICK HERE! To Watch The Canadian Volunteers In Action Photo by : Rolf Gollin