A long-awaited history of this important Canadian regiment, The 104th (New Brunswick) Regiment of Foot in the War of 1812 looks at this military unit from its beginnings in the early days of the 19th century to its disbanding in 1817. Best known for its perilous Winter March through the wilderness of New Brunswick to the battlefields of Upper Canada, the 104th was a British unit whose early role in the War of 1812 was to defend the Maritimes. In 1813, it was ordered to Upper Canada and took part in a raid on the American naval base at Sackets Harbor, New York. From there, they were sent to the Niagara Peninsula and fought in the Battle of Beaver Dams. Returning to Kingston, parts of the regiment fought in the Battle of Lundy's Lane and took part in the siege of Fort Erie, during which their commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel William Drummond, was killed. The 104th fought its last action at Lyon's Creek in October 1815. The end of the war in 1815 saw the regiment in Montreal, where it disbanded in 1817.
Although styled as a New Brunswick regiment, it drew its members from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Upper and Lower Canada, England, Scotland, and Ireland. The story of the 104th can be seen as a truly national endeavour, whereby "British Americans" in British North America, and Britons alike, defended those colonies from foreign aggression. After the war, many of the veterans remained in British North America and helped to build what would eventually become Canada. Today there are a few memorials, a bridge named in the regiment's honour, and a few artifacts, but the story of the 104th has largely been forgotten. The bicentenary of the War of 1812 has revived interest in this regiment -- the only regular regiment of the British Army to be raised and employed on this continent during the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812. This history of the 104th relies upon period correspondence, reports, diaries, and journals to describe the exploits of this famous unit.
The 104th (New Brunswick) Regiment of Foot in the War of 1812 is volume 21 of the New Brunswick Military Heritage Series.