Saturday, August 30, 2014

200 Years Ago: Battle of Caulk's Field, Maryland

AUGUST 30, 1814:  Captain Sir Peter Parker is killed leading a British naval landing party near Chestertown, Maryland.  They are repulsed and the event will become known as "The Battle of Caulk's Field."

I have written a lot about OPeter parker and this battle.  Click on the labels.


200 Years Ago: British Lake Champlain Campaign Begins

AUGUST 30, 1814:  The British Lake Champlain Campaign began.  British forces led by Governor general Sir George Prevost began their campaign to take Lake Champlain from American control.  This was a joint Army-Navy effort and failed at the Battle of Plattsburg on September 11th.


Nantucket Island Declares Its Neutrality

AUGUST 28TH, 1814:  Nantucket declares its neutrality. New England opposed the War of 1812 and there was even talk of secession because of it.  That never happened, but the island of Nantucket off Massachusetts did take the action of signing a peace treaty with the English Navy.

On this date, representatives of the island and British naval officers signed an agreement whereby Nantucket renounced all support for the United States for the duration of the war.

Part of the problem with Nantucket was its complete dependence on the sea and the British blockade which caused a great deal of hunger and bad times for its inhabitants.


Friday, August 29, 2014

British Naval Expedition to Alexandria, Va.

AUGUST 28TH, 1814:  A British naval expedition led by Captain James Alexander Gordon sails up the Potomac River to capture Alexandria, Virginia.  They capture 21 prize ships, and massive quantities of flour, cotton, tobacco, sugar, wine and other commodities.


Fort Washington, Maryland

I mentioned this fort on a previous post this week, and having never heard of it, did a quick search for more information.

From Wikipedia.

Fort Washington borders Washington, D.C. and today has a town by the same name around it.  It was built in 1809 and on completion, was the only defensive fortification protecting the city. The fort is a stone structure and is on the Potomac River.  During the War of 1812, it was captured by the British three days after they burned Washington (they attacked from land).

The British soon left the fort and 12 days later, Major Pierre L'Enfant (the designer of D.C.) was sent to rebuild it, but a short time later was replaced by Lt.Col. Walker K. Armistead and the fort was completed in 1824.  Remodeled in the 1840s and had its first cannons installed in 1846.

Walker Armistead's brother George commanded Fort McHenry during the British attack that led to "The Star-Spangled Banner" and his son, Lewis was a Confederate general killed at the Battle of Gettysburg during Pickett's Charge.

Before the war, it was manned by the 1st, 3rd and 4th U.S. Artillery regiments.

Except for a few cannons at the Washington Armory, Fort Washington was the only defense of the city until the Civil War.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Edwardsville's Lusk Cemetery-- Part 3

Reuben Hopkins, Benjamin Stephenson and Thomas Tamil have new grave markers.

Hopkins died at age 75 in 1822.  He was a lawyer known as "The General."  Every 4th of July he read the Declaration of Independence at the annual celebration.  He enrolled in the American Army early in the Revolutionary War and was at Bunker Hill at age 28, rising through the ranks eventually to brigadier general.

Benjamin Stephenson signed the Kickapoo Indian Treaty and his home is a historical attraction at 409 South Buchanan.  He was a close personal friend of Ninian Edwards, Territorial Governor and for whom the town is named.

By the 1900s, Lusk Cemetery had fallen into disrepair and the city took it over in 1914.  The headstones were removed in the 1920s.  In the 1930s part of the cemetery was bulldozed for a Works Progress Administration road project.  More headstones were removed.

In 1961, the Lusk Cemetery Association was formed to keep it from becoming a park after the city announced plans to do that.  Their license expired in 1981 and the city took it over and it became a park.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Edwardsville's Lusk Cemetery-- Part 2

Veterans buried at Lusk Cemetery (now Lusk Park)

REVOLUTIONARY WAR: Reuben Hopkins and John Tindall

WAR OF 1812: John Lusk and Benjamin Stephenson

BLACKHAWK WAR:  John Lusk and Martin Lusk
MEXICAN WAR   John W. Biggerstaff, Geo. C. Lusk, Richard G. Lewis and one unknown

CIVIL WAR: twelve veterans

WORLD WAR I:  two veterans.


Edwardsville's (Ill.) Lusk Cemetery

Last week on August 20th and 24th, I wrote about Colonel Benjamin Stephenson of the War of 1812 being buried at Lusk Cemetery in Edwardsville and how the colonel received a marker.

From the April 20, 2011, Edwardsville (Ill.) Intelligencer "Lush Cemetery among city's oldest" by Ann Niccum.

The cemetery is a 2.8 acre plot located at 536 Randle Street and is where prominent resident, early settlers and veterans of seven wars as well as circuit riders are buried.  It was established in 1818 about the time that Ebenezer Cemetery fell into disuse.  Lusk cemetery was one of the first in the area to use headstones instead of boulders.

It was named for John Thomas Lusk, one of Edwardsville's earliest settlers.  Lusk came to the area in 1805 and built the first hotel.  he and his family are buried at the cemetery.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

200 Years Ago: August 26-27, 1814

AUGUST 26, 1814:  A British gunboat flotilla captures two American vessels on the St. Lawrence River, near Kingston, Upper Canada.

A joint army-navy expedition departs Halifax, Nova Scotia, for the invasion of the District of Maine.

AUGUST 27TH, 1864:  British occupy Point Lookout, Maryland.

The USS Wasp captures the HMS Avon in the waters south of Ireland.

The retreating garrison destroys Fort Washington, Maryland..


Monday, August 25, 2014

HMS Confiance is Launched at Ile aux Noix, Lower Canada

AUGUST 25TH, 1814:  Because of their ambitious 1813-1814 ship-building program, the Americans regained command of Lake Champlain.  In a bid to wrest back control of this waterway, Britain began laying down a large frigate at Ile aux Noix, Lower Canada.

Construction was delayed by a lack of supplies and the vessel was scarcely equipped in time for the Battle of Plattsburg Bay.

Armed with 37 guns, the Confiance would become Captain George Downie's flagship and, together with a number of smaller vessels also constructed at the naval yard, including gunboats and the brig HMS Linnett, made up the British fleet that fought at Plattsburg in which Downie died and his ship was captured.

The HMS Confiance was the largest ship on either side to sail on Lake Champlain during the war.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

200 Years Ago: The Battle of Bladensburg and Occupation of Washington, D.C.

AUGUST 24TH-25TH:  The British campaign in the Chesapeake Bay began in earnest on August 24th when the British entered Bladensburg, Maryland,  just outside the capital city of Washington.  With the Americans waiting on the other side of the Potomac River, the British crossed the bridge and attacked.

Major General Robert Ross ordered the launching of Congreve rockets, the terrible and unfamiliar noise caused the enemy to run.  It was a humiliating episode in the war for the Americans.

Ross and his men marched on and later that evening scored a major victory by taking Washington and setting most of its public buildings on fire, including the recently-vacated presidential mansion.  One of the few to be spared was the Marine Corps Commandant's house, now the oldest public building in Washington.

I have heard that the Marine commandant's house was spared because the British were impressed with the resistance put up by the Marines at the Battle of Bladensburg.

One of the public buildings burned by the British was the U.S, Capitol.  In 1815, a temporary Capitol was built to house Congress while the original was rebuilt.  During the Civil War, this temporary Capitol became a prison for Confederates called Old Capitol Prison where many Confederate prisoners died.  I have been writing about it in my Saw the Elephant Civil War blog.


Friday, August 22, 2014

200 Years Ago: Barney Destroys His Flotilla to Prevent Capture

AUGUST 22ND, 1814:  American Commodore Joshua Barney deliberately destroys his flotilla near the town of Pig Point, Maryland, preventing its seizure by a British force under Rear Admiral George Cockburn.

Deprived of these prizes, the British nevertheless succeed in capturing several merchant ships as well as the town and a large quantity of tobacco.


Illinois' Colonel Benjamin Stephenson-- Part 2

Benjamin Stephenson was born July 8, 1769, in York, Pennsylvania.  His father James was a private in the Revolutionary War and served as a waggoner at Valley Forge during the horrendous winter of 1777.  His mother Mary was the daughter of Lt. Col. James Reed who also was in the Revolution.

In the 1790s, his parents moved to Martinsburg, Virginia.  In 1799, Benjamin married Lucy Swearingen and moved to Harpers Ferry, Virginia, in 1803.

In 1807, he moved to Logan County, Kentucky and waited for the opening of the Illinois Territory in 1809.

In June 1809, Territorial Governor Ninian Edwards appointed Stephenson sheriff of Randolph County.  he later was appointed adjutant general of Illinois state militia under commander Edwards.  In September 1812, there were eight companies with 570 men at Fort Russell in Edwardsville commanded by Stephenson.

From 1814-1815, he was in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 1815, he was appointed by President James Madison as Receiver of Moneys in the Edwardsville Land Office, a position he held until his death Oct. 12, 1822.


Illinois' Colonel Benjamin Stephenson-- Part 1

From Illinois Historic Sites.

I'd never heard of this colonel from Illinois, but wrote about the dedication ceremony at his grave in Edwardsville, Illinois back in July.

It turns out that his postwar house is a state museum.  We've been in Edwardsville on several occasions in regards to Route 66, most recently in June to sign up for the 2014 Illinois Route 66 Motor Tour./  I understand there is a good chance the town will be hosting the International Route 66 Festival in 2015.

Anyway, his house was built in the Federal style in 1820 and is classified as a living museum.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Mosquito That Saved Canada?-- Part 3: Chauncey's Fleet

I read that Chauncey had nine ships at his disposal during this time and found the names of eight of them:

USS JONES:  brig mounting 16 42-pdr carroades, 4 long 24-pdrs
USS JEFFERSON:  same armament as the Jones
USS SYLPH:  schooner mounting 18 24-pdr. carronades and 2 9-pdrs.

USS ONEIDA:  brig mounting 18 24-pdr. carronades
USS MOHAWK:  frigate mounting 28 long 24-pdrs and 16 32-pdr. carronades
USS SUPERIOR: frigate mounting 30 32-pdr. Columbines, 2 long 24-pdr guns and 26 42-pdr carronades

USS GENERAL PIKE:  corvette mounting 28 24-pdrs.
USS MADISON:  corvette/sloop mounting 14 long 18-pdrs. and 8 32-pdr. carronades


The Mosquito That Saved Canada?-- Part 2: Chauncey's Malaria and Slow Movement

Allen Taylor in his "The Civil War of 1812" said that in July 1814, the newly-built U.S. warships gave Lake Ontario's naval supremacy to Chauncey, who wanted the honor of defeating the British under James Yeo, himself.

As such, he wouldn't let a subordinate take the fleet out until he was well enough to do it himself.

Army officers at Sackets Harbor, the U.S. naval base, denounced Isaac Chauncey saying, "There was a time opportunity of fighting and winning the long wished for battle, but lost because the only man in the fleet who was not ready was its commanding officer."


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Mosquito Who Saved Canada?

From the pastnow site "July 22, 1814: A Mosquito Saves Canada, Sort Of"

On Jukly 22, 1814, American Major general Brown had not received naval support from Commodore Isaac Chauncey which he needed to continue his attack on Upper Canada.

Chauncey, at the time was bed-ridden with a case of malaria, probably caused by a mosquito bite.

Brown was deep in enemy territory and without necessary artillery or supply lines to move froward.

Chauncey's inaction due to the malaria, put Brown in a bad position and doomed his invasion to failure.


Ceremony to Honor War of 1812 Veteran in Illinois

From the July 5, 2014, St. Louis Post Dispatch "Ceremony Honoring War of 1812 Veteran Benjamin Stephenson Planned" by Lola DeGroff.

A memorial marker will be placed on the colonel's grave by the Illinois Society of the War of 1812.

He is buried at Lusk Park, Edwardsville, Illinois with the ceremony to be at 1 p.m. on July 13, 2014.  Lusk Park is at 535 Randle Street.  Lusk Park used to be Lusk Cemetery.

--  Brock-Perry

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

1000th Post!!

This marks the 1000th post on the War of 1812.  I have certainly learned a lot about it.


200 Years Ago: British Force Lands in Maryland and Prepares to Advance on Washington, D.C.

AUGUST 19, 1814:  A British force lands at Benedict, Maryland, en route to Washington D.C..


1814 Battle of Stonington Commemorated-- Part 2

Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malby, U.S. senator Richard Blumenthe and U.S. RepresentativeJoe Courtney will also be in attendance.

The battle itself took over the span of four days in early August 1814.  The Royal Navy ships commanded by Commodore Thomas Masterman Hardy attacked the village of Stonington after it refused to surrender.  Using three cannons, two of which are on display at Cannon Square, residents repelled the attack, but many burrough homes were damaged and some still have cannonballs in their walls.

This was one of Connecticut's biggest military events during the war and came at a time when the U.S. fortunes were going bad.

There will be concerts, walking tours, military encampments at the Old Lighthouse Museum.  There will also be Stonington Harbor cruises aboard the Mystic Whaler and a rare public display of the original flag that flew over the burrough those days 200 years ago.


Monday, August 18, 2014

1814 Battle of Stonington Commemoration-- Part 1

From the August 8, 2014 Connecticut Day "1814 Battle of Sonongton commemoration this weekend" by Joe Wojtas.

A three day bicentennial celebration was held Friday-Sunday, August 9-10th featuring exhibitions and events culminating in a large parade Sunday afternoon.

The Newport Artillery Company will have an 18th century cannon and there will also be a replica of the flag that flew over the burrough (evidently an often-used term in Connecticut) of Stonington during the battle and there will be a representative of the British Navy.

Grand Marshal of the parade is 106-year-old Anna Colt of North Stonington, who attended the centennial celebration as a young girl.  Another parade leader is Rita Babcock Palmer Park, whose grandmother, Rita Babcock Palmer, led the 1914 parade.  She will be wearing an outfit similar to what her grandmother wore back then.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Destruction of the HMS Magnet

From Wikipedia.

The historic places site had this occurring on August 5th, 1814, but Wikipedia had it one August 15th in its list of battles of the War of 1812.  Not sure about the date.

The Wiki timeline has it as the destruction of the British brig Magnet.  Its commander, Lt. George Hawkesworth deliberately ran the Magnet aground near the mouth of the Niagara River rather than allow it to be captured by the Americans of Isaac Chauncey's squadron.

Evidently, someone must have thought Hawkesworth shouldn't have done this as he was court martialed which caused him to desert to the Americans.

I looked up HMS Magnet again in Wikipedia and found the Magnet listed under Governor Simcoe (its former name) and in this article, it listed the capture as August 5th.

An Interesting Story Here.  --Brock-Perry

Friday, August 15, 2014

British Night Attack on Fort Erie Fails

AUGUST 15TH, 1814:  On the night of 15 August, after an ineffective two-day bombardment, a British force commanded by Lt.-Governor Gordon Drummond stormed American-held Fort Erie.

Drummond sent three separate columns forward in the rain.  The attackers failed to surprise the Americans, and were unable to coordinate their attack properly in the dark.  Two of the columns were driven back with heavy losses.

The third column led by Lt.Colonel William Drummind (relative?) captured the fort's northeast bastion but were unable to advance farther, even though they turned a cannon around to fire on the Americans inside.

William Drummond was killed and the massive powder magazine below the bastion blew up.  The hideous explosion slaughtered the attackers and ended the assault.  The British lost over 900 men.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

200 Years Ago: HMS Nancy Destroyed

AUGUST 14TH, 1814:  The HMS Nancy is destroyed during an attack by the U.S. squadron under Captain Arthur Sinclair at the Nottawasaga River, Upper Canada.

One of the objectives of Sinclair's expedition to the upper Great Lakes was the destruction of British ships.  Unable to locate the British base on the Nottawasaga River, due to weather and unfamiliarity of the area, he burned the abandoned Fort St. Joseph and the fur trade post at St. Mary's River (Sault Ste. Marie).

After the failure to retake Fort Mackinac the expedition located the Nottawasaga bases and the schooner Nancy, the only British vessel on the upper Great Lakes.  An American landing party destroyed a blockhouse but the crew of the Nancy, commanded by Lt. Miller Worsley of the Royal Navy torched the vessel before it could be captured.

The Nancy's crew escaped to Fort Mackinac in open boats after the departure of Sinclair's squadron.


USS Somers-- Part 2

On Augyst 4, 1814, Barclay's fleet withdrew and the Americans were able to get all their ships together and this set the stage for the Battle of Lake Erie.  Perry took his fleet to Put-in-Bay, an island in Lake Erie, where he could threaten Brigadier General Proctor's line of supply and communication and keep an eye on Barclay, who was at Fort Malden, Amherstburg, Upper Canada.

This move forced Barclay to come out and the fight was on.  The HMS Detroit had just joined the British fleet and was Barclay's flagship while Perry's flagship was the USS Lawrence.

The British had the advantage of more long-range cannons.  The Somers fought the smaller British warships Queen Charlotte and Hunter in the first part of the battle, but later switched to engaging the Little Belt and Lady Prevost.

In the end, the whole British squadron surrendered and the U.S. had naval supremacy on Lake Erie until the end of the war.

The Somers, however, was captured by the British off Fort Erie some eleven months later, August 12, 1814 and the Somers became the HMS Somers.  I was unable to find anything about her career as a British ship.I found out elsewhere that the Somers was named for Richar Somers, a U.S. Navy hero of the First Barbary War.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

USS Somers-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

This was one of the two American ships captured near Fort Erie by the British on August 12, 1814.  The other was the USS Ohio.

A schooner, formerly the Catherine, purchased by the U.S. Navy in 1812 for $5,500 from Jacob Townsend, a pioneer and one of the first settlers of Lewiston, New York.

When it was purchased, it found itself penned up in the Niagara River by British guns at Fort Erie on the Canadian bank in the spring of 1813 until a joint Army-Navy force captured Fort George and Oliver Hazard Perry was able to get the Somers, Ohio, brig Caledonia and two other schooners out to the open Lake Erie waters.

The American vessels, however, drew too much water to get over the bar into the base at Presque Isle, Erie, Pennsylvania and the place was also blockaded by the British fleet under Commodore Robert Barclay.

More to Come.  --Brock-Perry

Sgt. McKitrick Killed in Action

AUGUST 13TH, 1814:  Sergeabt Joseph McKitrick of Prince Edward Island is killed in action with the Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles at Fort Erie, Upper Canada.

He is believed to be the only islander killed during the war.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

USS Ohio (1812) Schooner

From Wikipedia.

The USS Ohio was a merchant schooner acquired by the U.S. Navy and converted into a warship in 1812 and commissioned in 1813.  It served in the Lake Erie squadron commanded by Captain Oliver Hazard Perry.  (82 tons, 35 men, one 24-pdr. cannon)

Once commissioned, it and four other purchased ships were  delayed from entering lake Erie by a British blockade at Black Rock which was finally broken by a joint Army-Navy operation.  They joined the other American ships being built at Presque Isle Bay at Erie, Pennsylvania.on July 8, 1813,

It was off collecting food and did not participate at the famous American victory at the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813.

In 1814, it was patrolling between Long point and Erie and in May assisted in fitting out captured prizes Detroit and Queen Charlotte at Put-in-Bay before convoying them to Erie.

On August 12, 2014, 200 years ago today, it was captured along with the USS Somers within pistol-shot of American-held Fort Erie.  It became the Huron in British service.


USS Ohio and USS Somers Captured by British

AUGUST 12TH, 1814: 200 years ago.  The USS Ohio and Somers were captured by the British on Lake Erie, near Fort Erie, Upper Canada.

During the British siege of the American-occupied Fort Erie, Royal Navy Captain Alexander Dobbs, commanding seventy sailors and marines, rowed out to three U.S. armed schooners anchored near the fort.

Masquerading as supply boats, the British surprised, boarded and seized the USS Somers and Ohio, but the USS Porcupine escaped.

The vessels were renamed the Huron and Sauk when taken into British service.  Their captures were a welcome addition to the British Lake Erie fleet and it impacted American morale at Fort Erie.
This action was the last one on lake Erie for the war.


Monday, August 11, 2014

200 Years Ago: Chauncey Finally Arrives, USS Eagle Launched

AUGUST 10TH, 1814:  Commodore Isaac Chauncey's squadron arrives off British naval base at Kingston, Upper Canada, on Lake Ontario, and hopes to provoke Commodore Sir James Yeo into battle.  The Americans hold the superiority.  Chauncey loosely blockades Kingston for the remainder of the month, but Yeo will not offer battle until the completion of the HMS St. Lawrence.

AUGUST 11TH, 1814:  The USS Surprise, renamed the USS Eagle (20 guns) is launched on Lake Champlain at Vergennes, Vermont.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

General Winfield Scott and the Battle of Lundy's Lane

General Scott was seriously wounded with a shot that shattered his shoulder at the July 25, 1814, Battle of Lundy's Lane, as were American commander Major General Jacob Brown and British commander Lt. general Gordon Drummond.

For his valor at the battle, Winfield Scott received a brevet promotion to major-general to date from July 25, 1814.  However, the severity of the wound prevented him from returning to duty for the remainder of the war.

General Briown was struck twice, almost instantaneously, and carried to the rear where he turned over American command to General Eleazer Wheelock Ripley.

British losses at the battle of Lundy's Lane:  84 killed, 571 wounded, 193 missing and 42 captured.

Americab losses: 173 killed, 571 wounded, 38 missing and 79 captured.


200 Years Ago: Treaty of Fort Jackson and Raid on Stonington

AUGUST 9TH, 1814:  Treaty of Fort Jackson imposes harsh terms on the Muscogee (Creek) Nation for waging war against the United States in 1813-1814.

AUGUST 9TH-12TH, 1814:  Raid on Stonington, Connecticut.  A British squadron under Captain Sir Thomas Hardy bombarded and then attacked the town.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Peace Negotiations Begin in Ghent, Belgium

Most of these timeline entries come from the timeline site.


Early in 1813, Russian emperor Alexander I offered to mediate peace negotiations between Britain and the United States.  Refusing any third party involvement, England proposed instead direct discussions with the American government at a neutral European location.

Finally meeting at Ghent in August 1814, American commissioners sought to negotiate matters like sailors' rights and blockades as well as acquisition of the Canadian provinces.

British delegates proposed terms for retaining occupied American territory, creation of a First Nations state in the Great Lakes region to act as a buffer between British and American territories, and naval disarmament of the Great Lakes.

Although both parties' initial terms were mutually rejected at this opening session, a consensus was reached in December 1814 with the Treaty of Ghent.

At Last, An End in Sight.  --Brock-Perry

HMS Magnet

The HMS Magnet, destroyed to prevent capture August 5th,  200 years ago. was a ten-gun schooner, later altered to a brig of the Royal navy in 1814.  It saw service on Lake Ontario during the War of 1812 and was previously named Simcoe or Governor Simcoe for John Graves Simcoe, the first lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada.

While under this name, it was chased by a U.S. ship.  It was never commissioned so wouldn't have been an HMS ship.

It was purchased by the British Navy in 1814 and renamed the HMS Magnet after British naval officer Sidney Smith.  (Probably a story of why he was called Magnet.)


Reporting the Battle of Lundy's Lane-- Part 2

"General (Winfield, of Mexican and Civil War fame) Scott dangerously wounded.  General Brown (U.S. Army commander) has had two balls extracted, and was doing well.

"Lieutenants Spencer and Wirt mortally wounded.

P.S. General Brown received his wounds at the same instant during a late part of the action, but still continued keep his horse until exhausted by loss of blood.  This probably has rendered his wounds more painful than they otherwise would have been."


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Reporting the Battle of Lundy's Lane-- Part 1

From the August 4, 2014, Blog of 1812.  Article published in the Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette.

AUGUST 4, 1814, by steamboat Richmond, News from Lundy's Lane.  General Brown reported the British force to have been about 5,000 and ours about 4,000.  The enemy lost about 1,300 killed and wounded and with 220 prisoners.  Our loss was about 800 killed and wounded.

"We took their artillery, but whether it had been retained or not was unknown.  Another battle, it was expected, would ensue, as the British  were reinforcing.."

More to Come.  --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Gaines Takes Command at Fort Erie, HMS Magnet Blown Up to Prevent Capture

AUGUST 5, 1814:  U.S. Brigadier General Edmund P. Gaines takes command from the wounded Major General Jacob Brown at Fort Erie, Upper Canada, then under British siege after the Battle of Lundy's Lane..

On Lake Ontario, Lt. George Hawksworth drives the HMS Magnet ashore and blows it up to avoid captured by Commodore Isaac Chauncey's American squadron.  The U.S. had superiority on the lake at the time.


American Assault on Fort Mackinac

AUGUST 4-5, 1814:  Fort Mackinac was commanded by Lt.-Col. Robert McDouall who had arrived that spring with reinforcements.  As part of American Arthur Sinclair's expedition that sailed from Detroit to recapture that post, Lt-Col. George Croghan commanded a force of 700 regulars and Ohio militia, almost twice the strength of the British force at Mackinac.

Once at the post the Americans could not bring their vessels' guns to bear on the fortification, located on a height of land and therefore landed their troops at the far side of the island to lure McDouall into open combat.

Unable to breech the strong British defensive position established by McDouall on the edge of a clearing, Croghan's botched attack suffered heavy casualties.

The Americans withdrew to Detroit, ending Sinclair's upper Great Lakes Expedition.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Battle at Conjocta Creek, NY

AUGUST 3, 1814:  A British force attempting to destroy American supply depots at Black Rock and Buffalo, New York, is defeated at Conjocta Creek (Wikipedia refers to it as a skirmish, Historic Places calls it a battle).

The depots contain stores used to support Fort Erie where American Major General Jacob Brown and his troops have retreated after the Battle of Lindy's Lane.


Monday, August 4, 2014

British Begin Siege of Fort Erie

AUGUST 3RD, 1814:  After the Battle of Lundy's Lane, the Americans retreated to Fort Erie, Upper Canada.

Brigadier General Edmund Gaines took over command of the fort from General Jacob Brown who was badly wounded at the Battle of Lundy's Lane.  The British army, under Lieutenant-Governor Gordon Drummond took time to reorganize after the bloody battle and gave the Americans time to strengthen their defenses.

Drummond arrived at Fort Erie on 3 August, and began to build siege lines.  On the night of Agust 12th, British sailors and marines captured the USS Somers and USS Ohio, who weer supporting the fort from the Niagara River.

British forces opened fire on Fort Erie on August 13th, but it was found that their lines were too far away to be very effective.


U.S. Has Naval Superiority on Lake Ontario

Commodore Isaac Chauncey's powerful squadron of nine vessels sails from Sackets Harbor, New York, and immediately assumes naval superiority on Lake Ontario.


200 Years Ago: Arrival of British Reinforcements in Quebec City

JULY 25TH TO AUGUST 24TH, 1814:  More bad news for the United States with the arrival of these reinforcements in Quebec City, Lower Canada.  They were no longer needed in the Napoleonic Wars which were over.

Contingents of Major General Manley power's brigade (3rd, 5th, 1st Battalion 27th Rehiment, 58th regiment and Royal SArtillery); Major General James Kempt's brigade (1st Battalion 9th Regiment, 1st Battalion 37th Regiment, 1st Battalion 57th regiment, 1st Battalion 81st Regiment, Royal Artillery); Major General Frederick Robinson's brigade (1st Battalion 39th Regt., 76th Regt., 1st Battalion 88th Regt., 3rd Battalion 27th Regt. and Royal Artillery).


Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Battle of Lundy's Lane Fought July 25, 1814: Considered Largest battle of the War

Fought 200 years ago.


At dusk on 25 July 1814, the British and American armies clashed near the crossroads of Portage Road and Lundy's Lane.  The British, Canadians and First Nations held a commanding position on a ridge until nightfall, when American troops were able to capture the main British artillery battery posted in a churchyard.

The battle degenerated into a savage contest for the cannons.  The roar of battle could be heard at Buffalo, New York.  After failure of the final British attack, the Americans held the field, but withdrew.  The British reoccupied the battlefield at dawn.

  Both sides claimed victory and lost nearly 900 men.  The heavy losses shattered U.S. Major General Jacob Brown's army and ended any chance of a continued advance into Upper Canada.

A Decisive Battle (of Sorts).  --Brock-Perry

200 Years Ago: Sinclair's Expedition


The raid on St. Mary's River (Sault St. Marie), Upper Canada, was a part of the American expedition for mastery of the upper Great Lakes.

After burning the abandoned Fort St. Joseph, Captain Sinclair sent a flotilla of boats of boats loaded with sailors and infantry up the St. Mary's River where they torched the North West Company trading post and storehouses, vital assets in the British fur trading infrastructure.

They also destroyed the locks of the Sault Ste. Marie Canal built in 1798 by the company to allow freight canoes to bypass the falls.  Sinclair's men also captured and burned the company's schooner Perseverance, one of the few British vessels on the upper Great Lakes.