Roger Hale Sheaffe
Hale Sheaffe (1763 - 1851) had no desire to fight this war, but his devotion
to being a professional soldier compelled him to follow orders. Though Sheaffe
was born in Massachusetts, his long-standing military career began with
fighting in the British in the American Revolutionary War under the Duke
of Northumberland. The war split Sheaffe's family, and would become a concern
for him over the course of the 1812 conflict.
Like Brock, he served in Holland and came to Canada in 1802, rising to the rank of major general in 1811. He took command of the forces at Fort George when Brock went to meet William Hull's army, and took over completely from Brock when that General died in Queenston. Not only did he take command of all Canadian forces but he also inherited the position of civil administrator of Upper Canada.
Sheaffe was not so bold as his predecessor, but showed solid leadership when he took over command at Battle of Queenston Heights. Despite his talent, neither fellow officers nor the ordinary rank and file were content to serve under him (this may have been due in part to his American background). He was known to be overly serious, and to hold the Canadian militia in contempt. Sheaffe was so disliked that some men in Fort George even plotted to kill him.
That Sheaffe could never seem to get on George Prevost's right side only added to his problems. As 1813 unfolded, Upper Canada was at its most vulnerable and Sheaffe sustained a large part of the blame for the situation. Many thought Sheaffe to have acted wisely in saving his badly outnumbered troops by abandoning York in April of 1813. This action however, earned him the ire of many Upper Canadians. When U.S. raids on the Niagara Peninsula became more frequent, Prevost removed Sheaffe claiming that he had lost the confidence of the province and the ability to command. He was recalled to England in the fall of 1813 where he lived out the rest of his life, and redeemed his military reputation.