Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The War of 1812 in Florida-- Part 4

Fernadino, on Amelia Island, just south of the St. Marys River was an important port.  General Matthews sent nine ships to protect American interests there.  The  small Spanish force commanded by Don Jose Copens was forced to surrender on March 17, 1812.

An agreement was signed to allow Fernadino to be a free port, open to all, but should war begin between the U.S. and Britain, British ships could not trade there.


Monday, May 4, 2015

The War of 1812 in Florida-- Part 3: Beachin' It at PCB

As I sit here typing away overlooking the Gulf of Mexico here in Panama City Beach on a perfect spring day with blue skies, sun, a slight breeze and all that blue and light green water just about 100 yards away, I think it appropriate to delve into the role that Florida played during the War of 1812.

Thunder on the Beach, the annual spring motorcycle gathering just ended.  Bikers are kind of like a modern day Conquistadores.

Try not to disturb the noisy gulls and every so often a pelican flying by.

Earlier this week, we were by the St. Mary's River as well as Jacksonville and its beaches along the Atlantic Ocean.  And, we are not but about 80 miles from Pensacola which also played a role.  We also spent a night in St. Augustine which actually came under attack by forces from the Republic of Florida.


The War of 1812 in Florida-- Part 2: The Republic of Florida

From the Exploring Florida site, War of 1812.

As relations between Britain and the United States worsened in the years  leading up to the war, the U.S.government began to fear that Britain would just seize Florida from Spain and use it as a base of operation against them.  President Madison tried unsuccessfully to get Spain to cede Florida to the United States.

Even before the war started there was a movement to form the Republic of Florida along the banks of the St. Marys (which separated Florida from Georgia).  They decided to act on the Florida question immediately and moved against the Spanish.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Florida's Role in the War of 1812-- Part 1: Early and Late

Florida was still a part of Spain during the war.

But, already, the United States was essentially looking to annex it (much the same as it intended to do with British North America, Upper and Lower Canada).

There was also the nascent Republic of Florida.

Florida's biggest role in the war occurred early on, in 1812 and then right at the end of it, around the St. Marys River.


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Georgia in the War: British Blockade-- Part 3

The state of georgia then undertook its own defense of its shoreline and built batteries and fortifications at key locations, including Old Fort Morris at Sunbury (left over from the American Revolution) which was rebuilt and named Fort Defiance.  The battery at Point Peter in St. Marys was developed as well as other sites.

However, there were no serious British efforts to attack Georgia until late 1814 after Napoleon's defeat.

This involved the British occupation of St. Marys and Cumberland Island which I have written a lot about in previous post.


Georgia in the War: British Blockade-- Part 2

Georgia citizens clamored for help from the U.S. government which finally came as a naval expedition in the summer and fall of 1812.  This came to Sudbury, Georgia, to use its deep harbor as a staging area for several armed barges/gunboats.  They were to ply the intercoastal waters between Savannah and St. Marys on the Florida border to thwart any British attempts to attack.

The expedition, however, was a failure because of poor planning, negligent leadership and a lack of supplies.


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Georgia in the War of 1812: British Blockade-- Part 1

From New Georgia Encyclopedia.

Because of the British blockade on all French ports during the Napoleonic Wars, Britain was in dire need of ships and sailors.  They seized American ships suspected of trading with France and impressed seamen.

Georgia's long coastline and many  prosperous ports made it an ideal target for the British.  During the American Revolution, the state's coast had been largely under British control,  And now, during this second war with England, Georgia would again become a traget, especially the port and city of Savannah.

Sadly for Georgia, the U.S. government regarded the state as a backwater and never did much to defend it.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Old Fort Jackson

Construction of this fort began around 1808 and it was partially finished by the time of the War of 1812.  It protected Savannah from British attack, but none ever came.

It was manned by several units of local militia as well as regular U.S. troops.

It was essentially abandoned for many years after the construction of the much larger Fort Pulaski further downriver.


Monday, April 27, 2015

Old Fort Jackson

In a sort time we will be visiting Savannah's Old Fort Jackson, located about a mile downriver from the old city.  It was built during the War of 1812, but never saw action.

During the Civil War, it likewise never fired a shot, but acted as the headquarters for the river defense of the city and had the ironclad CSS Georgia tied up by it.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

War of 1812 in Georgia

The Creek War 1813-1814.

The British armed and encoraged the local Indians to do battle with the United States.  The Indians were only too happy to do that as it had become evident that the Americans wanted their land and planned to take it from them.  The Creek War took place primarily in Alabama-Georgia area.

On August 30, 1813, the Creeks attacked and destroyed Fort Mimms in Alabama which touched off a major U.S.-Creek confrontation.

U.S. Genera; John Floyd was ordered to build a string  of forts in Georgia from whence to protect the state and attack the Creeks.  He did so starting in September 1813 when he attacked into Alabama from Fort Mitchell on the Chattahoochee River.

Fighting continued into 1814 when the Creeks were finally and decisvely defeated  by Genereal Andrew Jackson at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend.


Friday, April 24, 2015

War of 1812 in Georgia

From New Georgia Encyclopedia.

For the most part, Georgia's role in the War of 1812 has been overshadowed.  But, its coastline and extensive frontier area did become aspects of the war.

There were three main theaters of action:

1.  The Creek War (1813-1814

2.  The British Blockade

3.  The British occupation of St. Marys and Cumberland Island 1814-1815.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Frederick, Md., Honors War of 1812 and Civil War With Interpretive Markers

From the April 5, 2015, Frederick (Md) News-Post  "Interpretive Unveiling slated for Bell & History Day (April 11th) to Honor Various "Fredericktonians Under the Flag."

The Steiner House at 368 W. Patrick Street will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m... It was constructed in 1808 and the Steiner family played important roles in both the War of 1812 and the Civil War.

The "Home of the Brave" is at Mt. Olivet Cemetery where nearly 38,000 are buried.  One of these people is Francis Scott Key  there are also 108 War of 1812 veterans buried there.

A recent grant from the Star-Spangled 200 (Md.) Bicentennial Commission helped fund the granite/bronze veteran markers at four interpretive waysides.

Three of these will be unveiled at 3 p.m. the n there will be a walking tour of War of 1812 and Civil War graves.  These will include Key, Barbara Fritchie and Southerners buried in Confederate Row.


Monday, April 20, 2015

USS/HMS Linnet

From Wikipedia.

The Linnet was a 16-gun brig built for the Royal Navy in 1814 at Ile aux Noix.  Originally named the Niagara, the name was changed.  It was captured at the Battle of Lake Champlain, but never sailed again.  Sold in 1825.

It was 82-feet long and had a crew of 99.

At the Battle of Lake Champlain, it engaged the American brig USS Eagle, 18 guns, and did much damage to her until Macdonough's flagship, the Saratoga raked it causing the Linnet to strike its colors.  The Linnet lost 10 killed and 15 wounded in the action.  It was taken into American service, but not used because of the end of the war.


USS Allen

The USS Allen was a 70-foot long row galley with a crew of 40 mounting two cannons.   It was built in Vergennes, Vermont, by Adam and Noah Brown and commissioned in the summer of 1814 under the command of sailing master William M. Robbins.

it was apart of Commodore Thomas Macdonough's Lake Champlain squadron and took part in the Battle of Lake Champlain.


Wrecks of HMS Linnet and USS Eagle Found in 1981

In 1981, underwater exploration found the wrecks of the HMS Linnet, a row galley, and the USS Eagle.  The USS Allen was discovered near the Eagle.  It and five other row galleys were built in Vergennes, Vermont in the spring of 1814.

In 1815, after the war, the U.S. Navy tried to sell them, but only received low bids and the sale was cancelled.  They were sunk in the cold waters for preservation.

Only the USS Allen was kept in service for patrol and survey, which lasted until 1825 when it was laid up at the mouth of the Poultney River with other War of 1812 vessels.

Only the ship bottoms remain.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

List of British Prison Hulks-- Part 2

This is taken from the much-longer Wikipedia list which covers all hulks.  I went through the list and pulled out just the ones that served the purpose during the War of 1812 (1812-1815).

I also found that many of them ceased to be prison hulks in 1816, after the War of 1812 and the Napoleonic Wars were over.

Glorze--  1814-1817, Bermuda.  16-gun sloop-of-war commissioned 1798.
Hector--  1808-1816  73-gun 3rd Rate SOL, built 1774.
Justitia--  1812-1830
Laurel--  1798-1821

Oiseau--  1810-1816
Portland--  18012-1817
Prothee--  1795-1815
Prudent--  1779-1814

Success--  1814-1820
Temeraire--  1812-1814
Vengeance--  1808-1816


A Revolutionary Prison Hulk, the HMS Jersey

Of interest, I was watching the AMC TV show "Turn" about spies and there was mention of Americans being sent to the British prison ship Jersey and the remark made that this would be like a death sentence.  This of even more interest since I am doing some research and writing about British prison hulks right now.

The HMS Jersey was on the Wikipedia list I used for the last post.

HMS JERSEY--  1776-1783, stationed at New York.  60-gun 4th Rate ship-of-the-line built 1763 at Plymouth.  Most noted for service as a prison hulk in the American Revolution.

Abandoned at New York in 1783.

Someone was doing their homework at the show.

Home Bad Home on Those Hulks.  --Brock-Perry

List of British Prison Hulks-- Part 1

List of British Prison Hulks from Wikipedia.

These were used quite extensively by the English.  they were most often decommissioned warships.  These were all ships used during the War of 1812.

Antigua--  1804-1816
Bellerophon--  1815-1824
Belliqueux--  1814-1816
Canada--  1810-1834 at Chatham.  74-gun Third Rate ship-of-the-line commissioned 1765.

Crown--  1798-1802, 1806-1815 in Portsmouth, 64-gun ship-of-the-line (SOL)
Defiance--  1813-1817, 74-gun SOL commissioned 1783.
Edgar--  1814-1835, 74-gun Third Class SOL commissioned 1779.  renamed Retribution in 1814.
Fortitude--  1795-1820 at Chatham 74-gun, Third Rate SOL

Gelykeid--  1807-1814
Glory--  1809-1814, 90-gun Second Rate SOL


Friday, April 17, 2015

HMS Crown

From Wikipedia.

The last entry had the Americans transferred to the Crown Prince.  I came across no listing for an HMS Crown Prince, but there was one for an HMS Crown, which most likely was the one they were on.

It was launched 15 Match 1782 at Blackwell Yard and was a 54-gun, 160-foot 3rd rate ship-of-the-line.  It became a prison ship in 1798 and was broken up in 1816.

It was a prison ship in 1798, a powder hull from 1802-1806 then a prison ship in 1806 before being put into ordinary in 1815.  Broken up in 1816.


A Prisoner of the British-- Part 5

The Americans were transferred to the Crown Prince which also held French prisoners and was moored at Gillingham Reach.  The American seamen on the Crown Prince had chiefly been impressed by the British before the war, but once it began, they gave themselves up as POWs, refusing to serve.

The British also didn't want them getting out and serving in the U.S. Navy.