Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics

British Army Unit Strengths: 1808-1815
War of 1812

By Andrew Bamford

The War of 1812

These sets of returns cover British forces in North America during the conflict with the United States. Some, but not all, Canadian units are also included in these listings. They break down into three sections: Canada, Nova Scotia, and the American Coast. Except in the last case coverage is from January 1812 to July 1815, to record the build-up of forces as war began, and their run-down after peace was concluded.

Canada

These are the returns for the main British forces on the North American continent.

1812

Canada Monthly Return, January 1812
Canada Monthly Return, February 1812
Canada Monthly Return, March 1812
Canada Monthly Return, April 1812
Canada Monthly Return, May 1812
Canada Monthly Return, June 1812
Canada Monthly Return, July 1812
Canada Monthly Return, August 1812
Canada Monthly Return, September 1812
Canada Monthly Return, October 1812
Canada Monthly Return, November 1812
Canada Monthly Return, December 1812

1813

Canada Monthly Return, January 1813
Canada Monthly Return, February 1813
Canada Monthly Return, March 1813
Canada Monthly Return, April 1813
Canada Monthly Return, May 1813
Canada Monthly Return, June 1813
Canada Monthly Return, July 1813
Canada Monthly Return, August 1813
Canada Monthly Return, September 1813
Canada Monthly Return, October 1813
Canada Monthly Return, November 1813
Canada Monthly Return, December 1813

1814

Canada Monthly Return, January 1814
Canada Monthly Return, February 1814
Canada Monthly Return, March 1814
Canada Monthly Return, April 1814
Canada Monthly Return, May 1814
Canada Monthly Return, June 1814
Canada Monthly Return, July 1814
Canada Monthly Return, August 1814
Canada Monthly Return, September 1814
Canada Monthly Return, October 1814
Canada Monthly Return, November 1814
Canada Monthly Return, December 1814

1815

Canada Monthly Return, January 1815
Canada Monthly Return, February 1815
Canada Monthly Return, March 1815
Canada Monthly Return, April 1815
Canada Monthly Return, May 1815
Canada Monthly Return, June 1815
Canada Monthly Return, July 1815

Monthly total figures for this force can be found here: Canada Monthly Totals

Sources: The National Archives, WO17/1516-9

Nova Scotia

These are the returns for the forces based on Nova Scotia but also encompassing New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island, Bermuda, and troops engaged in operations against Maine. Some of the troops from Bermuda were also engaged in operations against the Atlantic coast of the USA.

1812

Seven Companies of the 98th Foot and a detachment of the Royal Artillery were on Bermuda, in addition to those complete units so indicated in the tables.

Nova Scotia Monthly Return, January 1812
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, February 1812
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, March 1812
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, April 1812
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, May 1812
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, June 1812
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, July 1812
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, August 1812
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, September 1812
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, October 1812
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, November 1812
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, December 1812

1813

The detachment of the 98th Foot on Bermuda was reduced to four companies during the spring, which in turn returned to Nova Scotia in December. Other whole units serving on the island are indicated as such in the table.

Nova Scotia Monthly Return, January 1813
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, February 1813
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, March 1813
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, April 1813
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, May 1813
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, June 1813
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, July 1813
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, August 1813
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, September 1813
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, October 1813
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, November 1813
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, December 1813

1814

Nova Scotia Monthly Return, January 1814
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, February 1814
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, March 1814
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, April 1814
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, May 1814
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, June 1814
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, July 1814
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, August 1814
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, September 1814
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, October 1814
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, November 1814
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, December 1814

1815

Nova Scotia Monthly Return, January 1815
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, February 1815
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, March 1815
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, April 1815
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, May 1815
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, June 1815
Nova Scotia Monthly Return, July 1815

Monthly total figures for this force can be found here: Nova Scotia Monthly Totals

Sources: The National Archives, WO17/2241-3

American Coast

These are the returns for the forces engaged in the attacks on Washington, Baltimore, and New Orleans, including units at sea in preparation for these attacks. The return for October 1814 is a composite of two returns, one for the troops that had come from the failed attack on Baltimore, under Brooke, and the other for reinforcements at sea under Lambert.

American Coast Monthly Return, June 1814
American Coast Monthly Return, July 1814
American Coast Monthly Return, August 1814
American Coast Monthly Return, September 1814
American Coast Monthly Return, October 1814
American Coast Monthly Return, November 1814
American Coast Monthly Return, December 1814
American Coast Monthly Return, January 1815
American Coast Monthly Return, February 1815

Monthly total figures for this force can be found here: American Coast Monthly Totals

Sources: The National Archives, WO17/1218

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: January and May 2014

 

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