On the morning of July 17, 1812, Lieutenant Porter Hanks awoke to discover Captain Charles Roberts and some 600 British, Canadian, and Native American soldiers poised on the heights above Fort Mackinac. Hanks, commanding fewer than 60 American artillerymen at this, one of the most distance outposts of the United State, assembled his troops for battle. Before violence broke out, Roberts sent a note across from the British lines: surrender or else. Confused, outnumbered, and unable to properly defend both Fort Mackinac and the civilian community on Mackinac Island, hands acquiesced. Roberts and his British troops took possession of the fort and island at noon. Hanks and his men did not know it, but the surrender of Fort Mackinac marked on of the first engagements of the War of 1812, then a month-old conflict between the United States and Great Britain. It would not be the last time British and American forces wrestled for command of Mackinac Island.