The War of 1812 Chronology

The chronology of the War of 1812 and the events leading to it and some of its consequences.

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Aug 01Francis Scott Key, author of the words that became "The Star-Spangled Banner" is born in Carroll County, MD.Ref: 68
Oct 01James Lawrence naval hero (War of 1812-"Don't give up the ship!"), is born.Ref: 5
Aug 20Admiral Oliver Hazard Perry is born. (American naval officer: Battle of Lake Erie: "We have met the enemy, and they are ours.") Ref 
Nov 16British seamen board the U.S. frigate Baltimore and impress a number of crewmen as alleged deserters, a practice that contributed to the War of 1812.Ref: 2
Jun 22The crew of the British man-of-war Leopold fired upon and boarded the US frigate Chesapeake. James Barron, the commander of the Chesapeake was convicted following a court-martial. The reason for the court-martial: Barron was not prepared for action. This incident, along with a few others, led to the War of 1812. A little side fact: Stephen Decatur, a judge in the court-martial, was killed in a duel some eight years after the war. The winner of the duel was James Barron.Ref: 4
Feb 11President Madison prohibits trade with Britain for 3rd time in 4 years.Ref: 5
Mar 14War Bonds were authorized by the United States government for the first time. We presume they were in support of the War of 1812.Ref: 4
Apr 05British storm Badajoz fortress, held by French & Spanish.Ref: 5
Jun 04The House votes 79-49 in favor of war against Great Britain. (USA Today, p 5A, 10/08/2002)Ref: 13
Jun 17The Senate votes 19-13 in favor of war against Great Britain. (USA Today, p 5A, 10/08/2002)Ref: 13
Jun 18The United States issued a declaration of war on Great Britain. And so began the War of 1812, prompted by Britain’s violations of America’s rights on the high seas and the involvement of the British in Indian uprisings on the frontiers.Ref: 4
Jul 06General William Hull arrives in Detroit with an army comprised of regulars and Ohio militiamen.Ref: 60
Jul 11US invades Canada (Detroit frontier).Ref: 5
Jul 12United States forces led by General William Hull entered Canada during the War of 1812 against Britain. (However, Hull retreated shortly thereafter to Detroit.)Ref: 5
Aug 05General William Hull sends a detachment downriver for supplies. They are ambushed by Tecumseh at the Battle of Brownsburg.Ref: 60
Aug 08The War of 1812 begins when the United States declares war against Great Britain.Ref: 2
Aug 09A second detachment from General William Hull fails to bring needed supplies in the Battle of Monguaga.Ref: 60
Aug 10General William Hull is fooled into surrendering Detroit to an inferior British force. Simon Kenton Jr is among those surrendering.Ref: 60
Aug 16American General William Hull surrenders Detroit without resistance to a smaller British force under General Issac Brock.Ref: 2
Aug 19The USS Constitution engages the HMS Guerriere about 750 miles out of Boston. In a 55-minute battle that left 101 dead, the Guerriere struck his colors and surrendered. In contrast, the Constitution suffered little damage and only 14 casualties. The fight's outcome shocked the British Admiralty while it heartened America through the dark days of the War of 1812. (Ref: Encyclopedia of the War of 1812, ISBN 0-87436-968-1) 
Oct 13During the War of 1812, British and Indian forces under Sir Isaac Brock defeat Americans under General Stephen Van Rensselaer at the Battle of Queenstown Heights, on the Niagara frontier in Ontario, Canada.Ref: 2
Oct 25The U.S. frigate United States captured the British vessel Macedonian during the War of 1812.Ref: 70
Jan 19General Winchester, against orders, attacks and is defeated by Colonel Henry Proctor's Canadian militia at Raisin River in Ohio.Ref: 60
Jan 22During the War of 1812, British forces under Henry Proctor defeat a U.S. contingent planning an attack on Fort Detroit.Ref: 2
Jan 22Americans capture Frenchtown, Canada.Ref: 5
Feb 24Off Guiana, the American sloop Hornet sinks the British sloop Peacock.Ref: 2
Mar 25The frigate USS Essex flies the first U.S. flag in battle in the Pacific.Ref: 2
Apr 15U.S. troops under James Wilkinson siege the Spanish-held city of Mobile in future state of Alabama.Ref: 2
Apr 27American forces under General Zebulon Pike capture York (present-day Toronto), the seat of government in Ontario; Pike is killed.Ref: 2
May 09US troops under William Henry Harrison take Fort Meigs from British and Canadian troops.Ref: 2
May 27Americans capture Fort George, Canada.Ref: 5
Jun 01The Navy gained its motto as the mortally wounded commander of the frigate Chesapeake, Capt. James Lawrence, said, "Don't give up the ship" during a losing battle with a British frigate.Ref: 70
Jun 06The United States invasion of Canada is halted at Stony Creek, Ontario.Ref: 2
Jun 24Battle of Beaver Dam-British & Indian forces defeat US forces.Ref: 5
Jul 30British invade Plattsburgh, NY.Ref: 5
Jul 31British invade Plattsburgh, NYRef: 5
Aug 14British warship Pelican attacks & captures US war brigantine Argus.Ref: 5
Sep 10American Captain Oliver Hazard Perry led his home-built 10-vessel fleet to victory against a six-vessel British squadron commanded by Captain Robert H. Barclay in the Battle of Lake Erie.Ref: 2
Oct 05U.S. victory at the Battle of the Thames, in Ontario, broke Britain's Indian allies with the death of Shawnee Chief Tecumseh, and made the Detroit frontier safe. An outmatched British flotilla faced the prospect of a remarkable victory. (Heidler, Encyclopedia of the War of 1812, 1997, ISBN 0-97436-968-1, p 505) 
Nov 16The British announce a blockade of Long Island Sound, leaving only the New England coast open to shipping.Ref: 2
Dec 18The British take Fort Niagara in the War of 1812.Ref: 5
Dec 29The British burn Buffalo, NY, during the War of 1812.Ref: 5
Apr 24British burn Washington D.C.; Yanks destroy Navy Yard to avoid falling into British hands. War 1812.Ref: 10
May 05British attack the American forces at Ft. Ontario, Oswego, NY.Ref: 2
May 11Americans defeat British at Battle of Plattsburgh.Ref: 5
Jul 03Americans capture Fort Erie, Canada.Ref: 5
Jul 05US troops under Jacob Brown defeat a superior British force at Chippewa, Canada.Ref: 2
Jul 18British capture Prairie du Chien (Wisc).Ref: 5
Jul 25British and American forces fight each other to a standoff at Lundy's Lane, Canada.Ref: 2
Aug 14During the American Revolution, American patriot Francis Scott Key (1779-1843) was held overnight as a British prisoner during their shelling of Fort McHenry in Baltimore. In the morning, Key penned what later became our national anthem "The Star-Spangled Banner".Ref: 5
Aug 245,000 British troops under the command of General Robert Ross march into Washington, D.C., after defeating an American force at Bladensburg, Maryland. Meeting no resistance from the disorganized American forces, the British burned the White House, the Capitol and almost every public building in the city before a downpour extinguished the fires. President James Madison and his wife fled from the advancing enemy, but not before Dolley Madison saved the famous Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington.Ref: 52
Aug 25British forces destroyed the U.S. Library of Congress -- and the 3,000 books contained therein.Ref: 4
Sep 11An American fleet scored a decisive victory over the British in the Battle of Lake Champlain in the War of 1812.Ref: 70
Sep 12A British fleet under Sir Alexander Cochrane began the bombardment of Fort McHenry, the last American defense before Baltimore. Lawyer Francis Scott Key had approached the British attackers seeking the release of a friend who was being held for unfriendly acts toward the British. Key himself was detained overnight on September 13 and witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry from a British ship. As the sun rose, Key was amazed to see the American flag still flying over the battered fort. This experience inspired Key to write the lyrics to "The Star-Spangled Banner" and adapt them to the tune of a well-known British drinking song. "The Star-Spangled Banner" was officially recognized as the national anthem in 1931.Ref: 2
Sep 13(and 14ht) British ships bombard Fort McHenry, Baltimore MD in War of 1812. (TWA, 1958)Ref: 95
Sep 14Francis Scott Key pens the words that became 'The Star Spangled Banner' during the bombardment of Fort McHenry. It was first printed under the title 'Defence of Fort McHenry'. (TWA, 1958) AlsoRef: 95
Sep 21Francis Scott Key's patriotic verses, entitled "The Star Spangled Banner," were first published in "The Baltimore American." (The poem became the American National Anthem in 1931.).Ref: 5
Nov 05Having decided to abandon the Niagara frontier, the American army blows up Fort Erie.Ref: 2
Nov 07Andrew Jackson attacks and captures Pensacola, Florida, defeating the Spanish and driving out a British force.Ref: 2
Dec 13General Andrew Jackson announces martial law in New Orleans, Louisiana, as British troops disembark at Lake Borne, 40 miles east of the city.Ref: 2
Dec 24A treaty of peace between the United States and Great Britain, terminating the War of 1812, is signed at Ghent, Belgium. The news does not reach the United States until two weeks later (after the decisive American victory at New Orleans).The Battle of New Orleans.Ref: 2
Jan 05Federalists from all over New England, angered over the War of 1812, draw up the Hartford Convention, demanding several important changes in the U.S. Constitution.Ref: 2
Jan 08U.S. forces led by Gen. Andrew Jackson defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans the closing engagement of the War of 1812.Ref: 70
Jan 08Edward Pakenham, English General (Battle of New Orleans), dies in battle.Ref: 5
Feb 11News of the Treaty of Ghent, ending the War of 1812, finally reaches the United States.Ref: 2
Feb 16The U.S. Senate, then President Madison approve the Treaty of Ghent. 
Feb 17The U.S. and Great Britain exchange Treaty of Ghent ratifications, ending the War of 1812. 
Feb 18Treaty of peace with Great Britain proclaimed.Ref: 5
Feb 20USS Constitution defeats two British ships (Cyane and Levant) off the African coast.Ref: 17
Jul 27Fort Blount on Apalachicola Bay Fla, attacked by US Troops.Ref: 5
Last Update: October 27th, 2005
© 2000-2005   Kenneth Fussichen