Battle of Cook's Mill
October 19, 1814, Cook's Mill, Upper Canada
The Battle of Cook's Mill was the last engagement between U.S. and British/Canadian armies fought on Canadian soil during the War of 1812.
Gen. George Izard had marched overland from Plattsburgh, New York to reinforce the Americans at Fort Erie under Gen. Jacob Brown. The more aggressive Brown wished to immediately attack Gen. George Drummond with the combined forces totalling 7,000. Drummond had established a defensive position complete with new field defenses at Chippawa.
Izard, being the superior officer, chose not to risk the casualties of attacking a strong defensive position. Angered at Izard's lack of action, Brown left with half the fort's strength and returned to Sacketts Harbor. Izard finally decided on a plan to attempt to lure Drummond away from his defensive position. Izard sent a brigade under Brig. Gen. Daniel Bissell to capture a British supply depot along Lyon's Creek at Cook's Mill. Bissell had about 1,200 men under his command.
Skirmishing on October 18 led Bissell to believe a sizeable British force was opposing him across the creek. In fact, Drummond had sent about 750 men under Lt. Col. Christopher Myers to protect Cook's Mill. The British had congrieve rockets and one cannon and these proved effective in balancing the numbers.
On the morning of October 19, Myers attacked and drove advance American units back across Lyon's Creek. The British kept up the attack and crossed the creek. Bissell managed to hold off the attack and immediately planned a counterattack. The Americans attempted to outflank the British, but Drummond responded quickly. The Americans surged across the creek and Myers retreated in orderly fashion.
The battle showed the effects of Izard's well trained troops. The American forces took Cook's Mill and burned about 200 bushels of wheat and flour intended to feed the British Army. Despite this victory, it became apparent that Drummond was not going to move from his defenses. Circumstances compelled the Americans to exchange their advance for a somewhat inglorious retreat. Both commanding officers filed reports claiming victory.
Izard withdrew back to Fort Erie, where he destroyed the fort and returned to the American side. Drummond moved to the remains of Fort Erie but chose not to rebuild it and thus the fighting along the Niagara Frontier came to an end.