On June 18, 1812, the United States declared war on Great Britain. Almost immediately they called for an invasion of Canada. The initial American successes turned to a number of defeats resulting in English ships effectively blockading the American coastline and subjecting it to a series of hit and run raids and the capture of numerous ships. The majority of the crew captured from the American ships were transported to Plymouth in south west England to spend their time in the notorious Dartmoor depot, a prison constructed primarily to house 3,000 French prisoners-of-war was used to incarcerate 10,000 American prisoners. None of them were prepared for what lay ahead.