Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Treaty of Ghent: How It Affected the First Nations

The Treaty of Ghent was a disaster for First Nations (Indians) who had no representation at the bargaining table.

Having abandoned their initial demand for an autonomous territory for First Peoples in the Great Lakes region which would have functioned as a buffer zone between British North America and the United States, both countries agreed instead to restore First Nations privileges and rights to those of the pre-war period and end all remaining hostilities with indigenous groups.

This arrangement left the latter feeling betrayed by their British allies since they were now at the mercy of American policy.  The treaty also failed to guarantee First Nations rights for any specific period and soon the way of life of nations living in the northwest became endangered by American expansion.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Treaty of Ghent: How It Affected British Fur Trade

Fur trader and director of the North West Company, William McGillivray, argued to retain the British occupied post at Mackinac to secure the fur trade in American territory but the Treaty of Ghent restored the pre-war boundary and this all occupied posts.

The loss of Mackinac and American assertion of the trading rights granted to the First Nations (Indians) in the 1794 Jay Treaty effectively ended the trade for Britain in the American Northwest.  Another blow to Montreal-based fur traders attempting to control commerce in Michigan and Wisconsin Territories came with the Convention of 1818 which settled the U.S.-British North American boundary west of the Lake of the Woods ending any chance of British commercial expansion into the southwest of the continent.

In case you're wondering, the Lake of the Woods is a large lake located on the borders of Manitoba, Ontario and Minnesota.  West of it, the boundary between the two countries is straight.


Monday, December 29, 2014

200 Years Ago: British Reconnaissance in Force at New Orleans

DECEMBER 28TH, 1814"  British reconnaissance in force at New Orleans, Louisiana.  Major General Sir Edward Parkenham's troops test Major General Andrew Jackson's defenses and are repulsed with heavy casualties.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Treaty of Ghent-- Part 3: How the Treaty Affected Upper and Lower Canada

At the close of 1814, the British occupied considerable American territory including posts on the Pacific coast, in Wisconsin Territory and the District of Maine and in the Great Lakes region while the U.S. controlled Fort Amherstburg and southwestern Upper Canada.

During peace negotiations, British officials adamantly argued retaining captured territory but, upon the Duke of Wellington's advise, settled for restoring territorial status quo (the prewar situation).

Upper and Lower Canada were also affected by later agreements including boundary commissions resolving disputes over islands in the upper St. Lawrence and Niagara rivers, the 1817 Rush-Bagot Agreement limiting warships on the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain and the Convention of 1818 establishing the 49th parallel as the international boundary to the Rocky Mountains.


Friday, December 26, 2014

200 Years Ago: Launch of HMS Psyche

DECEMBER 25, 1814:  Launch of the HMS Psyche, a 56-gun frigate sent "in frame" from England and assembled at Kingston, Upper Canada.


200 Years Ago: The Treaty of Ghent Ends the War-- Part 2: How It Affected Atlantic Canada

This is from the Canadian Historic Places Site.

The advantage obtained by the occupation of eastern Maine was wasted at Ghent.  The treaty required the return of all captured territory and provided for the appointment of a joint commission to decide ownership of disputed islands in Passamaquoddy Bay and the Bay of Fundy.

Although that commission would rule largely in Brunswick's favor, the treaty also failed to resolve the contentious issues of American fishing privileges in British North American waters, and the location of the interior boundary between New Brunswick and Maine.

Addressed by a separate convention in 1818, the fishery question nonetheless caused diplomatic geadaches for the rest of the century.

The Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842 resolved the border issue and confirmed British control of the winter route to the Canadas.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

200 Years Ago: Treaty of Ghent Signed, Ending the War-- Part 1

DECEMBER 24, 1814:  After months of negotiations, terms of a cessation of the Anglo-American hostilities were finally settled.  The treaty stipulated a return to the status quo ante bellum (pre-war state of affairs) benefiting the Americans who would now recover previously occupied territories at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin Territory, part of the District of Maine, and Forts Astoria, Mackinac and Niagara while the question of determining boundaries would be determined by later commissions.

Surprisingly, the eleven approved treaty articles failed to address the initial causes of the war, namely, sailors' rights and free trade.

despite criticism in both Britain and the United States, the treaty was considered a victory for the Americans who successfully asserted their sovereignty against the British Empire.

It's OVER!! --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

200 Years Ago: Battle of Villere's Plantation

DECEMBER 23RD, 1814:  Battle of Villere's Plantation, Louisiana.  The British take the plantation and set up an encampment for the army that will attack New Orleans.  They repel a heavy American counterattack that lasts well into the night.

This is the opening engagement of the New Orleans Campaign.  Americans launched a surprise attack on an advanced British force camped at Major General Jacque Villere's plantation on the east bank of the Mississippi River, about seven miles below New Orleans.

Real big news tomorrow, 200 years ago!!!

--Brock Perry

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Gulf Coast USS Alligator (1813)

From Wikipedia.

This is the one at Bay St. Louis.

The Navy purchased the ship in 1813 at New Orleans and commissioned as a tender to the other warships there.  It mounted one 4-pdr. gun.

After the capture of Pensacola, Florida, Andrew Jackson arrived in New Orleans to take over its defense and sent a flotilla to Lake Borgne to guard that strategic spot.  This is when the USS Sea Horse and Alligator were sent to Bay St. Louis.

There is some confusion about whether the Alligator was sunk at Bay St. Louis or captured at the Battle of Lake Borgne.


The East Coast USS Alligator (1809)

From Wikipedia.

60 feet long with 40 man crew, 4 guns.

Built as part of the Jefferson Gunboat Navy as launched as Gunboat 166.  Served off the coast of the Carolinas.  In 1812, it was renamed the USS Alligator.

On an. 1814, it was at the mouth of the Stono River, S.C., when it was spotted by a British frigate and brig and knew it would be cut out.  Eleven British longboats appeared and the Alligator opened fire, cut its cable and made a run for it but ran aground.  Fortunately, the enemy did not press its attack.

It was refloated and back in service.  During July 1814, it sank in Port Royal, South Carolina, during a bad storm with 21 of its crew drowning.

It was refloated and served the rest of the war and was sold 12 June 1815.


The U.S. Had Two USS Alligators During the War

I have been mentioning the Battle of Lake Borgne and the lead up to it, the action in Bay St. Louis over the past week.  One of the ships involved in it was the USS Alligator.  Further research on Wikipedia revealed there were two ships by that name in the U.S. Navy during the war, one that operated on he east coast.  The other was the one I was writing about on the Gulf of Mexico.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Cannons Boomed in Bay St. Louis a Week Ago

From the December 13, 2014, Sun-Herald (Biloxi-Gulfport and Mississippi Gulf Coast "200th anniversary of the Battle of Bay St. Louis goes off with a bang" by James Skrmetto.

Cannons boomed in the harbor at 3 p.m. to pay homage to the bicentennial of this War or 1812 engagement in which 6 Americans and 17 British died.

Two Biloxi, Ms., schooners, the Mike Sekul and Glenn L. Swetman, played the parts of American ships at the battle USS Sea Horse and USS Alligator.

The battle has been commemorated before, but this was the first year with a cannon.

Just three years after the battle, Mississippi became a state.


Friday, December 19, 2014

New Krewe Honors the USS Sea Horse

From the WLBT-WDBD MS News, March 3, 2014 "New Krewe rolls in downtown Bay St. Louis" by Jonathan Brannon.

A new Mardi Gras krewe, the Mystic Krewe of the Seahorse had its first Mardi Gras parade on Monday in Bay St. Louis and there were many more people on the streets in town than usual.  The group has only been in existence for a few months and was formed to honor the handful of Americans on the USS Sea Horse and shore who fought off an overwhelming British attack in 1814.

this could best be described as a "David vs. Goliath" fight.

However, even in victory, the USS Sea Horse, it became necessary to scuttle and burn the American ship at the foot of the street just down from where the parade started.  The parade back in March was considered the first event in a year-long bicentennial preparation to mark the battle, concluding in December.

The parade was described as a much more intimate (fewer people) than other ones in the area.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

USS Sea Horse (1812)

From Wikipedia.

As I mentioned earlier this week, this ship was destroyed by its crew in the bay St. Louis, Mississippi, right before the Battle of Lake Borgne.

It was a one-gun schooner purchased by the Navy in 1812 for service on Lake Borgne.

In 13 December 1814 it repelled two British attacks in long boats at Bay St. Louis and was beached and burned to prevent capture.


HMS Seahorse (1794)

From Wikipedia.

Was a 38-gun, fifth rate frigate launched in 1794 and broken up in 1819.  Fought in Europe against Napoleon and France.

Afterwards transferred to the North America Station in 1814 and operated along the Atlantic coast  At the Battle of the Potomac on August 17, 1814. It is estimated that the Sea Horse took over 100,000 pounds in prizes.  In September, it was at the attack on Baltimore made famous in the "Star-Spangled Banner."

Transferred to the Gulf of Mexico and was at the Battle of Lake Borgne in December.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Tale of the Two Sea Horses

There were two Seahorses involved with the Battle of Lake Borgne.  One was a British warship, the HMS Seahorse.  The other was the USS Sea Horse.


Battle of Lake Borgne, Louisiana-- Part 5: Aftermath

The overall battle lasted for two hours, but the hand-to-hand fighting just five minutes.

The British gained control of the lake, but the battle gave Andrew Jackson time to strengthen his defenses at New Orleans.

The five American warships captured were taken into British service and given new names.

Lake Borgne became the landing site for the British troops.  When news of the American defeat arrived in New Orleans, the city went into a panic and Jackson ordered martial law.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Battle of Borgne-- Part 4: The Battle

The British then rowed for 36 hours and found the American fleet and quickly captured the USS Alligator.

They then divided into three divisions and the battle began at 10:30 a.m.  The American ships opened fire and it caused casualties on the British longboats, but they were able to close quarters and board.  British commander Lockyer's boat boarded Jones' Gunboat No. 156 and, during hand-to-hand combat, both men were severely wounded.

They captured the 156 and turned its guns on the rest of the American fleet.  The other craft were captured.  The USS Tickler was not involved in the fight, but scuttled and burned to prevent capture.


Battle of Lake Borgne, Louisiana-- Part 3: Destruction of USS Sea Horse at Bay St. Louis

British Vice Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane ordered the frigate HMS Seahorse, Armide and Sophie to proceed from Pensacola to Lake Borgne and en route, they were attacked by two American gunboats and mast lookouts reported seeing the masts from three more enemy ships.  This alerted the British to the American presence.

The British ships collected their ships' boats and sent out 42 longboats and barges mounting one 12, one 18 and one 24-pdr carronades.  There were also 3 gigs mounting long brass 12-pdr cannons.  Also included were 1200 sailors and Royal Marines.

They set off on the night of December 12 and encountered the one gun schooner USS Sea Horse on a mission to destroy a powder magazine at Bay St. Louis.  The schooner and a shore battery fought off two British attacks by the longboats, but was burnt later to prevent capture.


Monday, December 15, 2014

The Hartford Convention Begins

DECEMBER 15, 1814-JANUARY 5, 1815:

The Hartford Convention, meeting secretly in Hartford, Connecticut, began today, 200 years ago.  Twenty-six New England delegates gathered to address grievances of the Federal government's management of the war and especially its control of militia, conscription and the financial burden of defense.

They even went so far as to consider secession.

I always find this odd, because in the years leading up to the Civil War, these very same states were so much against Southern secession.


Battle of Lake Borgne, Louisiana-- Part 2

The British were defeated in September 1814 at Fort Bowyer and thusly denied the capture of Mobile, Alabama. As a result, the British determined to attack New Orleans.  American Commodore Daniel Patterson commanded the New Orleans Squadron and went on immediate alert.

The British fleet, under the command of Vice Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane arrived on December 9, 1814, and Patterson dispatched Lt. Thomas ap Catesny Jones and a small flotilla to Lake Borgne to defend it and its back door entrance to New Orleans.  Jones had with him five Jeffersonian gunboats: Nos. 156, 163, 162, 5 and 23.  Also the schooner USS Sea Horse and two sloops of war, the USS Alligator and Tickler.

Gunboat No. 156 was the flagship of the squadron and mounted one long 24-pdr., four 12-pdr. carronades and four swivel guns with a crew of 41 men.  The whole squadron had 245 men and mounted 16 long guns, 14 carronades, 2 howitzers and 12 swivel guns.


Battle of Lake Borgne, Louisiana-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

I had never heard of this battle before Saturday, but was aware of the bigger campaign it was a part of, New Orleans.

The battle took place December 14, 1814 and was a part of the British advance on New Orleans.

The British force was commanded by Nicholas Lockyer and consisted of 42 armed boats.  Their loss was two boats sunk, and several severely damaged.  Also, 17 killed and 77 wounded.

The Americans were commanded by Thomas ap Catesby Jones and consisted of 5 gunboats and 2 sloops of war.  Losses were one sloop scuttled and the rest captured.  Six men were killed, 35 wounded and 86 captured.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

200 Years Ago: The Battle of Lake Borgne, Louisiana

DECEMBER 14, 1814:

The Battle of Lake Borgne, Louisiana.  Royal Navy sailors and Royal Marines in open boats capture, after heavy fighting, a flotilla of American gunboats.

The battle took place east of New Orleans.  Flotillas of American and British ships from Vice Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane's fleet met in this battle.

The British eventually won this hard-fought battle, thereby enabling a landing near New Orleans.


Friday, December 12, 2014

The Forgotten War of 1812 in Newark, Upper Canada

From the Dec. 17, 2013, "The Mercury Columns" by David Shriban: The Forgotten War of 1812.

Two hundred years ago, American troops had occupied Newark, Upper Canada (now Niagara-On-the-Lake, Ontario) for seven months.  Most of its inhabitants were women and children since the men had left to serve in the Canadian militia.  Then, the Americans, as they left,  burned the town down, right as winter approached.

On December 10, 1813, residents of the Loyalist village were forced into the snow while their homes and buildings were burned.  A year later, in retribution, British forces had no restraint when they pillaged and burned Buffalo and other western New York towns.

Captain William Hamilton Merritt, who arrived in Newark a day later reported seeing "[n]othing but heaps of coals and the streets full of furniture that the inhabitants were fortunate enough to get out of their houses.  Only one or two houses were undamaged.


Oswego Bicentennial Commemoration Salutes the USS Oneida

From the Dec. 18, 2013, Oswego (NY) County Today "War of 1812 Bicentennial Commemoration Continues in the Port City."

An interpretive panel for the brig USS Oneida, part of the history-themed Great Lakes Seaway Trail Outdoor Storyteller sign series was unveiled recently at the north end of the Riverwalk West in West Linear Parl.

The Oneida saw more action during the war than any other warship.  It was built on the east bank of Oswego Harbor between 1808 and 1809 and was later moored on the west side where it was equipped and armed for battle.

It was in the 1st Battle of Sackets Harbor and captured the British schooner Lord Nelson in June 1812.  It was also involved with the capture of York, Upper Canada, (now Toronto) in April 1813.  The next month it was at Fort George and participated in the Niagara River blockade in 1814.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

200 Years Ago: British Land Near New Orleans

DECEMBER 10, 1814:  British naval and military expedition under Vice-Admiral  Alexander Cochrane and Major General Sir Edward Pakenham land near New Orleans, Louisiana.

Setting the Stage for You Know What.  --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tuscarora Monument Unveiled in New Yorl

From the Dec. 19, 2013, WKBW 7 Eyewitness News "Tuscarora Heroes Monument to Be Unveiled."

Lewiston, NY  December 19th marks the the 200th anniversary of the British capture of Fort Niagara and burning of Youngstown and Lewiston.  What was happening in Lewiston was turning into a massacre until Tuscarora Nation warriors created a diversion and helped rescue some of the residents.

A three piece, larger-than-life bronze monument depicting 2 Tuscarora men saving a woman and child is to be dedicated, the result of years of planning by the Historical Association of Lewiston and local sculptor Susan Geissler.


Colonial Marines-- Part 2

Colonial Marines were offered their freedom for service.  Of course, former slaves being armed and opposed to the United States posed a huge threat to the slave-holding areas of the country.

After the War of 1812, the Florida post of Colonial Marines was paid off and disbanded.  Some moved to Bermuda but others continued to live around the former post leading to the Battle of Negro Fort in July 1816.  Negro Fort was on Prospect Bluff on the Spanish side of the Apalachicola River.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Colonial Marines-- Part 1

From Wikipedia

Two units were raised consisting of former American slaves.  This was started by Admiral Alexander Cochrane.  They were actually formed on two different occasions, but disbanded the first time after Loyalist militia threatened to leave service.

1ST CORPS--  smaller group.  Served in the Caribbean from 1808-1810.

2ND CORPS--  larger group served from 18 May 1814 to 20 August 1816.  Stationed mostly along the Atlantic Coast but one company served at a Gulf Coast fort in Florida.

They did not regard themselves as "slave soldiers."


Gordon Drummond-- Part 2

Gordon Drummond, unlike Isaac Brock, ruled through intimidation with executions imprisonment of anyone suspected of having American ties, but other than that was respectful of citizens' rights other than that.

Drummond was always pressing Governor General Sir George Prevost for reinforcements.  Prevost liked to keep many troops at Quebec City despite it rarely being threatened.

By the end of te winter 1813-1814, Drummond's campaigning had driven the Americans from the Niagara Frontier

In July 1814, Drummond led his troops from York to Fort George which campaign resulted in the inconclusive Battle of Lundy's Lane., but the British retained control of the road.  Drummond was seriously wounded in the neck at this battle.

On 14 August he had the failed attack on Fort Erie with big losses and in September was forced to withdraw.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Gordon Drummond-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

Born 27 September 1772.  Died 10 October 1854.  First Canadian-born officer in command of its militia and civilian governor of the country.

He distinguished himself on the Niagara Front and later became Governor General and Administrator of Canada.

Born in Quebec City and entered the British Army in 1789.  saw service in the Mediterranean, then Ulster before being sent to Upper Canada as lieutenant governor in late 1813..  Drummond proved to be as aggressive a hero as Isaac Brock.  In December, he launched a surprise attack on Fort Niagara and captured it.


Troop Support Provides Copper for "Old Ironsides" Hull

From the November 15, 2013, DVIDS "News: DLA Troop Support provides copper to 'Old Ironsides'" by Michael Tuttle.

The USS Constitutions underwater hull needs to be recovered and the Defense Logistics Agency troop Support will be providing that cooper for the ship.  They are making 800 custom pieces of copper for the world's oldest commissioned warship.  It was launched way back in 1797 in response to threats and actions of the Barbary Pirates in North Africa.

Each piece has to be run through a machine a machine that punches more than 30 holes for bolts arranged in the same original pattern.

The DLA's Construction & Engineering (C&E) also is providing custom wood items for the ship over the last ten years.

The ship features 25-inch oak sides..  In battle, a sailor saw British cannonballs bouncing off the Constitution's sides and cried out: "Huzza! Her sides are made of iron!"  This gave the ship her famous nickname.

During the Civil War, there was a Union Navy ship launched named the USS New Ironsides which actually was made of iron.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

On Board the USS St. Louis at Pearl Harbor: John Tait

Continued from today's Cooter's History Thing blog.

John Tait, of Concord, California, was below deck on the cruiser USS St. Louis when the skipper decided to leave Pearl Harbor and head to deeper water to maneuver.  "There was a two man submarine waiting for a ship and fired two torpedoes at us, but there was a coral reef between us and the coral reef took the hit," Tait said.

They were at sea for three days after that, chasing down any and all reported Japanese sightings.  When they returned to Pearl, it was a scene of carnage.

Said Tait, "We just didn't think the Japanese would be that bold to come all that way.  We thought we were impregnable."

After the war, Tait and his family were stationed in Japan and got along very well with the people.  "They're a wonderful people and it's their warlords and our warlords I don't like."

Saturday, December 6, 2014

200 Years Ago:Action in Virginia

DECEMBER 6TH, 1814:  Virginia militiamen drive back the last British raid in the state during a skirmish at Farnham Church, Virginia.

The church still stands and bullet holes are visible in it.


Captain William Henry Allen, Rhode Island Naval Hero-- Part 3

Next, William Allen was given command of the brig USS Argus, a two-masted, 95 1/2 foot ship mounting eighteen 24-pounders and two 12-pdr. guns.

Naval historian Ira Dye, in his book, "The Fatal Cruise of the Argus: Two Captains in the War of 1812," wrote that Allen sailed his ship to the British Isles and in the summer of 1813, attacked 20 vessels, burning, sinking and destroying all but two.  This was more victims than any other U.S. ship of its size during the War of 1812.

On August 14, 1813, the Argus fought the much larges HMS Pelican under the command of Captain John Maples.  The Argus was beaten and 97 prisoners captured.  Twelve Americans were killed and Allen was badly wounded, but didn't die until four days later.

He was given a huge military funeral in Plymouth, England, and buried at St. Andrew's Churchyard.

Allen's family wanted the body brought back to Rhode Island like Perry's body was brought back from Trinidad in 1826.


Captain William Henry Allen, Rhode Island Naval Hero-- Part 2

On William Allen's first cruise, he went from Philadelphia to North Africa on the USS George Washington to carry tribute to the Dey of Algiers to keep him from attacking American shipping.

In June 1807, in the Chesapeake Bay, he allegedly fired the only shot at the HMS Leopard when it was impressing American seamen from the USS George Washington.  This even caused President Jefferson to enact his December 1807 Embargo against Britain.

In early 1812, Allen was 1st Lieutenant on Captain Stephen Decatur's frigate USS United States in its victory over the HMS Macedonian and then he took command of that ship and sailed it into Newport, Rhode Island, as a prize on Dec. 6, 1812.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Captain William Henry Allen, Rhode Island Naval Hero-- Part 1

From the  January 115, 2013, Providence (RI) Journal by Patrick T. Conley.

Sunday is the 200th anniversary of William Henry Allen's death in battle and that day he will be inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.

Allen sailed out of Providence and is far less known than Rhode Island's Oliver Hazard Perry.

William was born in Providence on Oct. 21, 1784, the son of Sarah Jones, sister of the state's pacifist and anti-war governor, and William Jones. His grandfather,  Major William Allen of Providence, had been a Revolutionary War soldier and later brigadier general of the state militia and sheriff of Providence County.

Young William wanted a naval career, so his influential family got him an appointment by U.S. senator Ray Greene as a midshipman.  At age 15, he was on his first cruise.


Slavery and the War in Virginia

From the Nov. 1, 2013, Washington Post "The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832" by James Oakes.

Francis Scott Key wrote the famed "Star-Spangled Banner."  We only sing the first verse, so that is what most Americans know.  But, in the third verse, he takes a swipe at the British for their emancipation of slaves in 1812.  It occurs when he says, "No refuge could save the hireling and slave/ From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave."

When the poem was written, the British were in the midst of terrorizing the Chesapeake Bay region by attacking farms and plantations, sacking towns and freeing slaves.

Thousands of newly freed slaves were wandering the countryside.  Some enlisted in the British Navy (always looking for seamen).  Others provided valuable information as to the countryside and American defenses.  Some joined the Colonial Marines.  Others were "carried off" to freedom in Bermuda, Nova Scotia and Trinidad.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Receives the Morrison Award in 2013

From the November 2, 2013, Columbus (Indiana) Republic.

Don Hickey, a Wayne State College history professor has researched and written about the War of 1812.

On October 17th, he received the Samuel Elliott Morrison Award in Boston at the USS Constitution Museum for promoting nautical naval history.

A past winners have been Walter Cronkite.

Hickey isd a native of the Chicago suburbs and became interested in teh War of 1812 while an undergraduate at the University of Illinois.  In 1989, he wrote "The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict.  He said the only three things most Americans know about the war are the Battle of Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key writing "The Star-Spangled Banner" and the burning of the White House.

Famous sayings, "We have met the enemy and they are ours" and "Don't Give Up the Ship" came from this conflict.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

200 Years Ago: Jackson Arrives, Tappahannock Seized

DECEMBER 1, 1814:  Major General Jackson arrives in New Orleans, Louisiana, and commences preparations for the defense of that city.

DECEMBER 2ND, 1814  British Naval forces under Captain Robert Barrie shell and seize the town of Tappahannock, Virginia, on the Rappahannock River.  He was assisted by three companies of Colonial Marines, all former slaves.  He left two days later after ransacking homes and torching two jails and the court house.


Brookerville Steps Back in Time

From the October 29, 2013, Maryland Gazette Net by Terru Hogan.

In 1814, James Madison fled from Washington, D.C., when the British Were Coming and went to Brookerville and was accompanied by remnants of the American Army.  He was shown hospitality by the village which in fact became the temporary White House.

On October 27th, 2014, the Madison Supper was hosted at the Inn at Brookerville Farm.  Some 300 attended to raise funds for the planned War of 1812 bicentennial activities to be held in 2014.


200 Years Ago: British Complete Construction on Fort Wellington

DECEMBER 1814:  British complete construction of Fort Wellington, Prescott, Upper Canada.  One of the few British fortifications in Upper Canada commenced during the War of 1812, Fort Wellington was authorized in early 1813, but construction delays meant that it wasn't completed until late 1814.

The fort consisted of a single story wooden blockhouse 100 feet square which could accommodate 144 soldiers.  The blockhouse was surrounded by massive earthworks that contained bombproof storerooms while the post's artillery commanded the surrounding countryside.

The fortification was a redoubt of substantial strength designed to assert British control over the St. Lawrence River at Prescott, a vital port in the line of communications from Montreal to Kingston.

Although never attacked, Fort Wellington's guns were used to fire on Major General James Wilkinson's flotilla in autumn 1813.