Here we are, a long time coming but, this is the end, and it has been a long and fascinating journey to reach this point. It’s always a bittersweet feeling when such a long and involved project comes to an end. But all things must end, and so must my journey into the War of 1812. At least I can say that I’ve done more than just scratching the surface of the conflict that would go on to define the relations between Canada, England, and the United States still today. When I first started the project way back in March 2012, I had no ideaRead More →

George Armistead, one of the great defenders of the United States of America, stalwart commander of Fort McHenry, an action that would lead him to an early grave. George was born in New Market, Virginia on 10 April 1780. He along with his five brothers would all serve their country in the armed service. But for George, his service began at the age of 19 as an Ensign in the 7th US Infantry. He proved himself an excellent officer and promoted to First Lieutenant by the turn of the century. However, with the end of the Quasi-War with France, the army was reduced in size,Read More →

Robert Ross is unique among the British Military leaders of the time as he never accepted any honours due to his actions. Born at his family estate at Rostrevor, Ireland in 1766. Before he joined the British army he attended Trinity College in Dublin while attending classes there he also served as the treasurer for the college’s historical society. Upon his graduation, he purchased an ensign’s commission in the 25th (Sussex) Regiment before advancing to captain a few years later in the 7th (Royal Fusiliers) Regiment. Ross would taste combat for the first time in 1799 at Krabbendam in the Netherlands during the French RevolutionaryRead More →

With Washington’s destruction, Major General Ross could turn his attention to his primary target, Baltimore. The city was a hotbed of privateer activity and Anti-British sentiments. Capture of Baltimore also would cause a ripple effect in the American economy that was crucial for the continued war effort and might tip the negotiations in Gent to favour the British. Ever since the British blockade began in 1813, General Samuel Smith, tasked with the city’s defense had constructed a ring of redoubts and bastions around the city. General Smith had the support of the state government and called out the militia when Ross landed at Benedict, andRead More →

One of the more controversial actions of the War of 1812 is the destruction of Washington DC. It is something that Canadians hold over the heads of our American neighbours, something we have no right to do. The fact was that the Americans in the area were used to British raids and destruction of property. The commander-in-chief of the North American Station had in 1813 proclaimed his subordinates that any American property was forfeit. But now amassed British army had a clear path to the capital, and in the aftermath of the Battle of Bladensburg the American government was hurriedly packing up shop and headingRead More →

Brigadier General William H Winder, like many officers in the American Army, made a name for himself in the War of 1812, and I don’t mean that in a good way. Winder has been grouped by many in the same category as William Hull and is considered one of the worst generals of the war. The ill-starred general was born in 1775 near Baltimore, Maryland, Winder wound attend the University of Pennsylvania and study law and return to Baltimore and began to practice law in 1798 and earned a reputation for being one of the best lawyers in the entire state. The battle field fromRead More →

One of the most iconic and controversial campaigns of the Anglo-American War of 1812 are the British operations in the Chesapeake Bay region of the United States during the late summer and fall of 1814. This action was a true invasion; it was an attempt to force the US to sue for peace but on British terms, but it was more than that, it was revenge. It was the action that took the war to President Madison doorstep. The Anacostia River as it stands today. The British would approach from this side, while the fighting would occur on the other side. Hasselblad 500c – CarlRead More →

To the American people, Fort McHenry is the most important symbol of continued American freedom in the face of the British Empire, due to one single action during the greater War of 1812. Situated on a spit of land and stands to this day watching over Baltimore’s harbour. The original fort, however, was not called McHenry, but rather Fort Whetstone. Constructed on Whetstone Point, the five-point star earthworks fort was placed in an ideal spot to defend the city without its guns endangering the city itself. Whetstone was constructed by the Continental Army to defend Baltimore against potential British attacks which never materialised. As theRead More →

Robert Barrie is one of the more unique people related to the War of 1812 that I have researched and written on. While he managed to earn a disreputable reputation among the American population among the British and Canadians whom he interacted with he was well liked and respected. Barrie was born on the 5th of May 1774 in Florida, which at the time was still under British Rule, the son of Doctor Robert Barrie and Dolly Gardner. Despite his birth in North America he was raised in England. After his father passed away when he was still an infant his mother would move backRead More →

Commodore Charles Moris, commander of the American forces during the British invasion of what is today Maine, a man who devoted his life to a single organization, the United States Navy. Born on 26 July 1784 in Woodstock, Maine, and at the age of 15 was commissioned with the rank of Midshipman in the fledgling US Navy. His early service took him to the Mediterranian during the two wars against the Barbary Pirates and then the Quasi-War with France. During this time he saw a promotion to Lieutenant. When he returned to the United States, he was promoted to Commander and assigned as the secondRead More →