John Chrystie

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John Chrystie was a United States Army Lieutenant Colonel who played a major but controversial part in the Battle of Queenston Heights during the War of 1812.

He joined the Regular Army in 1808 and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the 13th U.S. Infantry by 1812.

At Queenston Heights, he was to command the regular contingent in the initial crossing of the Niagara River from New York State into Ontario. He crossed over the Canadian side of the river once a secure foothold had been established, but his boat crew panicked and returned to the American side of the river, and was absent when the U.S. troops who had crossed were cut off and forced to surrender. He was blamed for the American defeat by Colonel Solomon Van Rensselaer and other officers. Chrystie was accused of cowardice after the incident.

Chrystie died of natural causes in July 1813. There is a street named for him on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

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