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Instead of marching through Canada without difficulty, the Americans found themselves trying hard to keep the British out of the state of Ohio.For a while, the small American Navy was doing better than the Army.
Just two months after the war started, the United States warship Constitution forced a British ship to surrender.
Several months later another American ship, the Wasp, captured the British ship Frolic.
The next American attack was made from Fort Niagara, a military post in New York on the shore of Lake Ontario.
A small group of American soldiers crossed the Niagara River and attacked the British.
Most of Britain's forces were battling the soldiers of Napoleon Bonaparte in Europe.
The United States had not fought a war, or needed an army, for a long time. President James Madison named two top generals: 62-year-old Henry Dearborn and 63-year-old Thomas Pinckney.He was chased by a smaller force of British soldiers and Indians.After the war, Hull was tried by a military court on charges of cowardice. But president, because of Hull's service during the Revolutionary War, permitted the old soldier to live.They captured an American fort in northern Michigan.And Indians — fighting for the British — captured a fort at the place now known as Chicago.“A majority of them supported the Madison administration, and agreed that they tried the embargo and it failed, and that something had to be done because national honor, they felt, was at stake.And that they needed to stop the British practice of impressment.But some Americans from New York refused to cross the border to help against the British.They calmly watched as British soldiers shot down the attacking Americans.The United States had only a few warships and gunboats with which to face the British navy—the most powerful naval force in the world.Historian and professor Alan Taylor says the American people were divided about the war.