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 →

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 →

While the major campaigns of the War of 1812 get the spotlight and widely known, and it is true; these were the battles that shaped the course and action of the war those weren’t the be all and ended all of the war. And even today the British capture and occupation of what is now Maine, or as it was two hundred years prior Massachusetts, the War of 1812 remains relatively unknown even to those living in the modern communities today. I would not have even known about this conflict if it were not for my reading and participating in the reenactment of the warRead More →

While one of the least known engagements during the War of 1812, the siege of Prarie du Chien, was part of the drama that happened during the entire span of the war and sealed British dominance in the northwest until the signing of the Treaty of Gent that ended the way. The battle was the only one fought on the soil of what would become the state of Wisconsin. Two hundred years ago the small fur trading post of Prarie du Chien was a part of the Illinois Territory. Founded by the French in the late 1600s, turned over to British control following the French-IndianRead More →

The penultimate battle of the War of 1812, at least in the eyes of the Americans, and the final big battle in the entire war. By the middle of November 1814 the war in Upper Canada had all but finished for the campaign season, in Ghent the negotiations for peace continued, and if they went well, war would not return. But for the United States the war was far from over and far closer to home. Everything that the government feared would happen with Napoleon’s abdication happened. In June of 1814 a force under General John Sherbroke captured 100 miles of coastline in what wouldRead More →

Despite having lost Lake Erie to the Americans in 1813, Commodore James Lucas Yeo was not about to let Commodore Isaac Chauncy repeat this on Lake Ontario. As such both men engaged in one of largest arms race during the war, the constant construction of ships. Yeo at the King’s navy yards in Kingston and Chauncy at Sackets Harbor. A note on the name of the title as ‘Raid on Oswgeo’ often you will find this known as Raid on Fort Oswego, this is simply not true, the main fort in the town was Fort Ontario, and was the only manned fortification in the city.Read More →

The Battle of Cooks Mill was the final battle in the sequence surrounding the last campaign on the Niagara Peninsula in 1814. By the 21st of September, General Gordon Drummond had lifted the siege against Fort Erie where the Americans had holed up, pulled back and established a fortified line at Chippawa to refit and restore his army and prevent the Americans from rolling up the peninsula. The Chippawa River today, the fortifications are long gone. General Izard arrived at Fort Erie on the 28th of September with fresh troops to reinforce General Brown’s army. Brown having access to a large force again wanted toRead More →

While the Battle of Lake Erie was considered the greatest inland naval battle of 1813, the Battle of Plattsburg or rather Battle of Lake Champlain was the greatest inland naval battle of 1814. By fall of 1814 the British army had beaten back Napoleon and was pouring troops into North American at a rapid pace, already General Robert Ross had burning Washington DC and was marching for Baltimore, another force had captured most of what would become Maine. Yeo and Chauncy continued to chase each other around Lake Ontario, and Lake Huron had been secured under British control with the bold captures of the TigressRead More →

The final engagement in the Northern Theatre of the War of 1812 was two different naval actions, but as the two are intimately connected, I have combined them into one entry and titled it after the second engagement, the Battle of Lake Huron. The results of this battle gave the undisputed British control over the North by the end of the war, and sole control of Lake Huron. Following Croghan’s failure to take back Mackinac Island in his frontal assault in August of 1814, Sinclair opted to blockade the small island fort and cut off the supply line which meant locating H.M. Schooner Nancy. Eventually,Read More →