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Half-Hearted Enemies: Nova Scotia, New England and the War of 1812 [Paperback]

John Boileau

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Book Description

May 6 2005
The untold chapter of reluctant enemies caught up in a continental war

When the US declared war on Great Britain in 1812, the Canadian colonies found themselves committed to armed conflict with their American neighbours. While Upper and Lower Canada became the main battlegrounds, Nova Scotia was reluctant to disrupt its lucrative trade with New England and immediately established a truce so that commerce could continue to flow freely.
In this book author John Boileau explores many aspects of the involvement of Nova Scotia in the War of 1812. He recounts many of the famous privateering and naval escapades up and down the coast, including the most famous prize, USS Chesapeake, which was captured by the Royal Navy and brought into Halifax Harbour. Halifax was also the site of the military prison where, over the course of the war, 10,000 men endured overcrowded and unhealthy living conditions. In May 2005 a ceremony will take place in Halifax to memorialize the 200 American prisoners who died in Melville Island prison.
During the war many escaped slaves found passage to Nova Scotia. This book reveals that instead of peace and prosperity the refugees found prejudice, hardship and smallpox.
This book sets out the history of a war whose spoils helped to establish Dalhousie College (now Dalhousie University) and the Cambridge Military Library (Halifax).

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Review

"This is not only marvelous socical history, it is also the best account of the War of 1812 from a Maritime perspective." (Bill Twatio esprit de corps)

"The most unusual and compelling aspect of Half-Hearted Enemies, beyond the well-told stories of land and sea battles, is the fact that great efforts were made to maintain normal peacetime relations between Nova Scotia and New England during the War of 1812." (Bruce Erskine The Chronicle Hearld)

"John Boileau explores the complexities of families and neighbours at war. Overall, a most revealing an valuable review." (BIO-Oceans Association Newsletter)

"[Boileau] has a neat way of summing up events with short, insightful observations. . . . [A] lively, readable book." (Jim Lotz Canadian Military History Book Review Supplement)

About the Author

JOHN BOILEAU is a retired Canadian army colonel and author of ten books and nearly 300 articles. He is a frequent commentator on military issues for radio and television and a lecturer to service organizations and historical societies. In 2010 the Minister of National Defence appointed him Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel of the Halifax Rifles. He lives in Nova Scotia.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars Something I did not know about... Sept. 10 2011
By Michael Valdivielso - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Nova Scotia and New England were not happy about the War of 1812. It cut into their trade and, frankly, friendships. While at war they tried to continue to trade and act peaceful towards each other. While American History classes taught me that New England wanted out of the war, those classes suggested it was just for profit. But this book makes it clear that there were other issues. Many people on both sides of the border were related - this was a war that was causing pain and damage to families and society. The book deals with daily life, garrison and prison life, the even the refugees that flowed into Nova Scotia in the form of freed slaves.
It brings more details, which I was not aware of, into the already complex events we call the War of 1812. A must for any history or military library. Allows us to see the cost of conflict and the impact on the home front.
I would also suggest The War of 1812 (The Chicago History of American Civilization) and The Dawn's Early Light (Maryland Paperback Bookshelf) if you wish to know about the War of 1812.

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