WAR OF 1812

A few HISTORIC EVENTS  of War of 1812 

 Burning of Washinton D.C.

Bladensburg, 17 - 29 August 1814. After the surrender of Napoleon the British dispatched Maj. Gen. Robert Ross from France on 27 June 1814 with 4,000 veterans to raid key points on the American coast. Ross landed at the mouth of the Patuxent River in Maryland with Washington as his objective on 19 August and marched as far as Upper Marlboro (22 August) without meeting resistance. Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. William Winder, in command of the Potomac District, had assembled a mixed force of about 5,000 men near Bladensburg, including militia, regulars, and some 400 sailors from Commodore Joshua Barney's gunboat flotilla, which had been destroyed to avoid capture by the British fleet. In spite of a considerable advantage in numbers and position, the Americans were easily routed by Ross' force. British losses were about 249 killed and wounded; the Americans lost about 100 killed and wounded, and 100 captured. British detachments entered the city and burned the Capitol and other public buildings (24-25 August) in what was later announced as retaliation for the American destruction at York. Dolly Madison saves White House treasures.

Star Spangled Banner written by Francis Scott KEY

Fort McHenry, 13 September 1814. While the British marched on Washington, Baltimore had time to hastily strengthen its defenses. Maj. Gen. Samuel Smith had about 9,000 militia, including 1,000 in Fort McHenry guarding the harbor. On 12 September the British landed at North Point about 14 miles below the city, where their advance was momentarily checked by 3,200 Maryland Militiamen. Thirty-nine British (including General Ross) were killed and 251 wounded at a cost of 24 Americans killed, 139 wounded, and 50 taken prisoner. After their fleet failed to reduce Fort McHenry by bombardment and boat attack (night of 13-14 September), the British decided that a land attack on the rather formidable fortifications defending the city would be too costly and on 14 October sailed for Jamaica. Francis Scott Key, after observing the unsuccessful British bombardment of Fort McHenry, was inspired to compose the verses of "The Star Spangled Banner."

Many Tennesseans in Battle of New Orleans

New Orleans, 23 December 1814 - 8 January 1815. On 20 December 1814 a force of about 10,000 British troops, assembled in Jamaica, landed unopposed at the west end of Lake Borgne, some 15 miles from New Orleans, preparatory to an attempt to seize the city and secure control of the lower Mississippi Valley. Advanced elements pushed quickly toward the river, reaching Villere's Plantation on the left bank, 10 miles below New Orleans, on 23 December. 

In a swift counter-action, Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson, American commander in the South, who had only arrived in the city on 1 December, made a night attack on the British on 23-24 December with some 2,0000 men supported by fire from the gunboat Carolina. The British advance was checked, giving Jackson time to fall back to a dry canal about five miles south of New Orleans, where he built a breastworks about a mile long, with the right flank on the river and the left in a cypress swamp. A composite force of about 3,500 militia, regulars, sailors, and others manned the American main line, with another 1,000 in reserve. A smaller force - perhaps 1,000 militia - under Brig. Gen. David Morgan defended the right bank of the river. Maj. Gen. Sir Edward Pakenham, brother-in-law of the Duke of Wellington, arrived on 25 December to command the British operation. He entrenched his troops and on 1 January 1815 fought an artillery duel in with the Americans outgunned the British artillerists. Finally, at dawn on 8 January, Pakenham attempted a frontal assault on Jackson's breastworks with 5,300 men, simultaneously sending a smaller  force across the river to attack Morgan's defenses. The massed fires of Jackson's troops, protected by earthworks reinforced with cotton bales, wrought havoc among Pakenham's regulars as they advanced across the open ground in front of the American lines. In less than a half hour the attack was repulsed. The British lost 291 killed, including Pakenham, 1,262 wounded, and 48 prisoners; American losses on both sides of the River were only 13 killed, 39 wounded, and 19 prisoners. The  surviving British troops withdrew to Lake Borgne and reembarked on 27 January for Mobile, where on 14 February they learned that the Treaty of Ghent, ending the war, had been signed on 24 December 1814.

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