Subject Index: War of 1812

Subject Index: War of 1812

Subject Index: War of 1812

Wars and Treaties


Beaver Dams, battle of, 24 June 1813
Bladensburg, battle of, 24 August 1814
Chateauguay River, battle of, 26 October 1813
Chippawa, battle of, 5 July 1814
Constitution vs Guerrière
Constitution vs Java
Crysler’s Farm, battle of, 11 November 1813
Detroit, battle of, 16 August 1812
Fort George, battle of, 25-27 May 1813
Fort Meigs, siege of, 1-9 May 1813
Frenchman’s Creek/ Red House, skirmishes at, 28 November 1812
Frenchtown, battle of,22 January 1813
Hornet vs Peacock, 24 February 1813
Hornet vs Penguin, 23 March 1815
Lundy's Lane, battle of, 25 July 1814
Mackinac Island, battle of, 17 July 1812
Queenston Heights, battle of, 13 October 1812
Stoney Creek, battle of, 6 June 1813
United States vs Macedonian
Valparaiso, battle of, 28 March 1814
Wasp vs Avon, 1 September 1814
Wasp vs Frolic, 18 October 1812
Wasp vs Reindeer, 28 June 1814
York, battle of, 27 April 1813


Brock, Major General Isaac, 1769-1812
Sheaffe, Sir Roger Hale, 1763-1851

Weapons, Armies & Units


Genealogical Records of the War of 1812

National Archives records created during and after the War of 1812 offer the genealogist a diverse and fertile ground in which to obtain invaluable family information.1 These records were created by a variety of government agencies to include various bureaus and offices of the War, Interior, and State departments in response to specific federal laws. Most War of 1812 - era records in the National Archives having genealogical value were created by the War Department, particularly those generated by the Adjutant General's Office (Record Group 94). The records are now serviced by the General Reference Branch and the Military Reference Branch of the Textual Reference Division. Unlike many records of genealogical value from the Revolutionary War era, similar records for the War of 1812 period have not been microfilmed and are not available through interlibrary loan. The notable exceptions are a number of name indexes for the compiled military service records and pension application files.2

Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files

Perhaps the most genealogically rich records for this period are the pension application files in the records of the Veterans Administration (Record Group 15). There are two primary series of pension application files that relate to War of 1812 veterans. The first series ("Old Wars") consists of pensions to veterans of the army, navy, and Marine Corps based on service resulting in death or disability from the end of the Revolutionary War period up to the Civil War. The files include not only information about the veteran's service but also are likely to contain family information such as children's names and data about the widow's maiden name and marriage. The records are arranged alphabetically by veteran and can be accessed by using the name index that has been microfilmed as Old War Index to Pension Files (T316, 7 rolls). The index also indicates the veteran's name, unit, and state from which the claim was made, and type of claimant, whether widow, child, or other heir. Related records (YI), also arranged alphabetically, pertain to navy and Marine Corps veterans.

Pension application files for most War of 1812 veterans, however, will be found in the second series of pension files, i.e., those based on the acts of 1871 and 1878. These acts, based on length of service alone, relate mostly to militia veterans called to federal service. The 1871 act provided pensions to veterans who had served at least sixty days or to their widows if they had married before 1815. The 1878 act provided pensions to those veterans, or their widows, who only served fourteen days. By the time these acts were passed, most applicants were widows or minors rather than veterans themselves. A typical file usually contains the soldier's or widow's application file, a statement of service usually provided by the Pension Bureau, and other papers prepared by the Third Auditor's Office. Of the two, the widow's or minor's application is potentially the richest in genealogical information. This is because the widow had to provide proof of marriage, including the date or place of marriage, and usually the maiden name. Important data about marriages before 1815 found in some of the files may not be available anywhere else. Interfiled among these pensions in some cases are some bounty land application files. While the pension files are not on microfilm, an informative index showing much data has been microfilmed as Index to War of 1812 Pension Application Files (M313, 102 rolls). Supplementing the index is a remarried widow's card index, which covers the period 1816 - 1860. The alphabetically arranged index cards show the new remarried name of the veteran's widow and the former veteran's name.

Although the process is somewhat involved, it is sometimes possible for a researcher to determine when a pension payment was last paid to a veteran or his heir. Among Veterans Administration records are the field record books (1805 - 1912), which can be used to determine when pension payments were made and when they stopped. To extract such information, one must know under which act a veteran was entitled to receive a pension and the city where the agency was located paying the pensioner. The search can be time-consuming, but information indicating the pensioner's date and place of death could be the reward.

War of 1812 veterans, and later their widows and heirs, could also apply for bounty land under the act of May 6, 1812, and a variety of subsequent federal laws. Most veterans were entitled to 160 acres, but in a few cases some received 320 acres, called double-bounties. Until 1842, the land lay within the states of Illinois, Arkansas, and Missouri, and until 1852 the land was not transferable. A typical bounty land application warrant file contains the veteran's name, age, unit, residence, period of service, and if applicable, the widow's (or heir's) name, age, and place of residence. Applications for bounty land claimed under different legislative acts will be filed under a single veteran's name. In many cases, bounty application files from regular army, navy, and Marine Corps veterans consist only of a discharge certificate. These files are arranged alphabetically by name of veteran, but they are unindexed. Researchers of these files should search the pension files in addition to searching the more numerous bounty land files. Less informative are the actual bounty land warrants, which were not issued to the veteran or his heirs. They do show, however, where the land to which the veteran was entitled was located and the date and name of the person to whom the land was given. Since many veterans sold their rights to bounty land to other persons, their names do not appear on many of the warrants. The warrants have been filmed on War of 1812 Military Bounty Land Warrants, 1815 - 1858 (M848, 14 rolls).3

Military Service Records

The National Archives has some kind of military service record for most soldiers who served during the War of 1812. Genealogical information found in these records varies greatly depending on the type of service rendered. Naval service for enlisted men is more difficult to establish, especially when the soldier was an enlisted man. Establishing service for a Marine Corps soldier is somewhat easier.

Compiled Military Service Records. The great majority of soldiers who served during the War of 1812 were volunteers, or members of state militia who were federalized for portions of the war period. There were also volunteer units directly raised by the federal government. The service records of these soldiers consist of compiled military service records or those records of service that were compiled from the original muster and pay rolls by the clerks in the Adjutant General's Office after the war (Records of the Adjutant General's Office, Record Group 94). The records are arranged by state or federal volunteer unit and thereunder alphabetically by name of soldier. A microfilmed index to these records is available on Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers who Served During the War of 1812 (M602, 234 rolls). The actual service records have not been filmed. The service records show the soldier's name, rank, regimental unit (usually showing the last name of the regimental commander), the company commander's name, dates of service and pay, whether the soldier was a substitute, date of discharge, and sometimes, distance to the soldier's home from place of discharge. Other information such as date of death, if applicable, and periods of sickness, if recorded on the muster rolls, is noted. The service record reflects the information found on the original muster and payrolls all information from these original rolls has been transferred to the compiled service record, so there is no need to examine the original rolls to obtain additional information. Because so many volunteers served only a few days or weeks, the information available is frequently meager. These records will not ordinarily show place of birth, age, or parents' names. They may show, however, disciplinary action resulting in dismissal or court-martial, if such information was noted on the muster roll. Compiled service records for officers show much the same information but usually include original vouchers and receipts for supply, pay, and transportation. Some of these papers may enable a researcher to determine where a unit served during the war.4

Regular Army Enlistment Registers and Papers. If a soldier's name does not appear in the index for volunteer soldiers, he might have served in the regular army. If the soldier served as an officer in the U.S. Army during this period, his name should be in Francis B. Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary of the U.S. Army (1903). There are no consolidated "service records" for officers before 1863. Aside from entries in Heitman, one can examine the correspondence of the Adjutant General's Office for pertinent documentation relating to these officers. Most of the names of regular army soldiers who served during the War of 1812 appear in the fifteen volumes of enlistment registers that show the names of soldiers enlisting for the period 1798 - 1815. Despite the dates indicated, most of the names in these registers are for those who enlisted during the War of 1812 period. The names are arranged alphabetically by the initial letter of surname, and thereunder alphabetically by given name, e.g., the name of Aaron Atkins would come before George Abbott, regardless of when each enlisted. The registers are somewhat more useful to the genealogist than the information provided on the compiled service record because they can show the age, place of birth (either city, county, or state), physical description (to include height), occupation, place and date of enlistment. The registers also indicate when, where, and under what circumstances the soldier was discharged. These registers were compiled in the late nineteenth century by the Adjutant General and are based on a variety of original records such as muster and payrolls, inspection and descriptive rolls, and other miscellaneous records in the Adjutant General's Office. As with the compiled service records, the information on these original records was transferred to the register, so no additional information is available from exarraning the original records. Fortunately for the researcher, these registers have been microfilmed on Registers of Enlistments in the U.S. Army, 1798 - 1914 (M233, 81 rolls). Another series of records, the enlistment papers, may also be useful. Unfortunately, the original enlistment papers for the War of 1812 period are fragmentary and incomplete. The papers are arranged alphabetically for the period 1798 - 1894. Much of the same information, however, can be found in the registers of enlistments.

Other Military Records. The Adjutant General's Office also includes several useful, but lesser known, series of records that may prove useful to the genealogist. The certificates of disability for the War of 1812 are documents signed by a surgeon attesting to the disability and discharge of regular army soldiers. Arranged by regiment and then by name, the certificates include information such as name, age, rank, unit, enlistment date, place of birth, and personal description. If no enlistment register entry exists for an individual, then this series might help. In addition to the large series of enlistment papers already discussed, a small series of enlistment papers and discharges also exists for the War of 1812 period. If no information is found in the larger series, then these papers should be examined. Often overlooked, but potentially useful, are Miscellaneous Manuscripts of the War of 1812 and its accompanying name index. The manuscripts contain a great variety of information about regulars, volunteers, and civilians. The records are arranged numerically and appear to be grouped by state and federal units. Among the records are vouchers, returns, receipts for supplies signed by officers in the field, and impressment of articles and services from civilians such as ferrymen, landlords, farmers, and seamstresses. The records appear to document mostly the activities of volunteer units and should be searched whenever the subject is a volunteer soldier, especially an officer. Records of the Adjutant General's Office also contain several small series of records relating to American POWs originally compiled by the Navy and Treasury departments. These are indexed and can be useful in determining if an American soldier was a POW in Canada. Records of the Judge Advocate General (Army) (Record Group 153) contain the proceedings of general courts-martial from the War of 1812 period for both volunteers and regulars. A card name index and a computerized name index give access to these records. The proceedings can provide an interesting and fascinating glimpse into army life.

Naval and Marine Corps Records

Records of naval officers' service are more numerous than those for enlisted personnel. The names of naval officers are printed in a useful work by R. W. Callahan, List of Officers of the Navy of the U.S. and the Marine Corps From 1775 to 1900 (1901). The basic National Archives record showing naval and Marine Corps officer service in the War of 1812 can be found in Abstracts Of Service Records of Naval Officers ("Records of Officers"), 1798 - 1893 (M330, 19 rolls, Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Record Group 24). Of the fifteen volumes filrned in this series, volumes D and E show officers' records of service for the War of 1812. The entries are arranged chronologically and indicate the dates of acceptance, resignation, appointment, assignment, transfer, promotion, and ships on which the officer served. Other records containing additional information about navy and Marine Corps officers can be found in Records of the Naval Records Collection of the Office of Naval Records and Library (Record Group 45). There are several series of records for the War of 1812 period that show letters of resignation (three volumes), letters indicating receipt of commissions and enclosing oaths of allegiance "acceptances" (five volumes), and letters from midshipmen accepting commissions and enclosing oaths of allegiance (one volume). There are no such compiled summaries to show service for naval enlisted men for this period. If the ship on which a seaman served is known, the muster and payrolls for that vessel can be examined to determine the dates of enlistment and service. If the ship is not known, then the research becomes laborious because the muster and payrolls of all ships operating at that time must be searched, and the names on the rolls are not necessarily arranged alphabetically. The best sources, however, for ascertaining naval service are the pension and bounty land application files. If a seaman applied for one of these benefits, the ship's name and dates of service will be indicated on the application, making the search for pertinent muster rolls less time-consuming.

Records of the U.S. Marine Corps (Record Group 127) include comprehensive card indexes listing all officers and enlisted men who served before 1900. The information is slim, but they do show the dates of appointment and enlistment. There are, however, service records for enlisted Marine Corps personnel for the period 1798 - 1895. These papers are arranged by year of enlistment, thereunder by initial letter of surname, and consist of enlistment and other papers that might establish date of service, age, place of birth, and occupation. The size rolls (similar to muster rolls) for the period 1798 - 1906 supply much the same information as the army enlistment registers, but one must know the approximate date of service to use them. The record group also contains card indexes showing names of Marine Corps casualties for the War of 1812 period.

Other Naval Records. Record Group 45 also contains a large series of records relating to naval and other American prisoners of war captured and incarcerated by the British in England, Nova Scotia, or on cartel POW ships. The lists show the names, dates of capture, ship from which taken, and the location of the prisoner (Subject File, 1775 - 1910, series RA). Additional records relating to POWs are the registers of U.S. prisoners in Halifax, Barbados, and Jamaica, which consist of three volumes listing name, date, and place of capture and a register of U.S. prisoners of war at Quebec that shows name, ship from which taken, place of birth, and date of discharge. An interesting series of records (Subject File, RN) shows the names of British aliens or other noncitizens reporting to U.S. marshals under federal law. These are apparently copies that were sent to the State Department and include such information as name of alien, residence, names of wife and children, place of birth, age, and occupation. Two other series of records in Record Group 45, a register of aliens in New York (1813) and a register of suspected aliens along the Atlantic Coast (1813), supplement the larger series.5 Records of the Judge Advocate General (Navy) (Record Group 125) may provide sources of information concerning naval or Marine Corps personnel summoned before courts of inquiry or other disciplinary courts-martial for this period. Name indexes as well as the proceedings of such courts can be found on Records of General Courts-Martial and Courts of Inquiry of the Navy Department, 1799 - 1867 (M273, 198 rolls).

Stuart L. Butler is a former assistant chief of the Old Military and Civil Branch of the National Archives and Records Admminstration. He received his M.A. from Florida Atlantic University.

1. There are several National Archives publications that researchers should examine before using some of the records described herein. These are: Using Records in the National Archives for Genealogical Research (General Information Leaflet [GIL] No. 5, 1990) Military Service Records in the National Archives of the United States (GIL No. 7, 1985) Information About the National Archives for Prospective Researchers (GIL No. 30, 1990) and Genealogical Records in the National Archives (rev. 1985). Many of the microfilm publications are available in the Regional Archives System throughout the United States. To identify the facility nearest you, see the list in the back of Prologue or refer to The Regional Archives System of the National Archives (GIL No. 22, 1991). Titles of microfilm publications containing relevant War of 1812 - era indexes and records can be found in National Archives Microfilm Resources for Research: A Comprehensive Catalog (1990) and, more specifically, Genealogical and Biographical Research: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications (1983) and Military Service Records: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications (1985).

2. A good genealogical overview of the period is George K. Schweitzer, War of 1812 Genealogy (1988). Recent historical works relating to the war in general are John K. Mahon, The War of 1812 (1972) J.C.A. Stagg, Mr. Madison's War: Politics, Diplomacy, and Warfare in the Early Republic, 1783 - 1830 (1983) and Donald R. Hickey, The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict (1989). In addition, many states have published rosters of their troops called to duty during the War of 1812. Many of these volumes are out of print, but they can be consulted in the appropriate state archives. The National Archives has some of these publications, but the best source is probably the Local History and Genealogy Room of the Library of Congress.

3. See Laws of the United States Governing the Granting of Army and Navy Pensions (1923).

4. Copies of compiled military service records can be obtained through the mail by completing NATF Form 86. Copies of pensions and bounty land warrant application files can be obtained using NATF Form 85. Each record must be requested on a separate form. Forms and information about other records can be obtained by contacting Old Military and Civil Records (NWCTB), National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC 20408.

5. Related State Department records are on "War of 1812 Papers" in the Department of State, 1789 - 1815 (M588, 7 rolls).

War of 1812

The War of 1812 took place from June 18, 1812 to February 16, 1815. During this conflict between the United States and Great Britain, many military events occurred on Canadian soil.

Boarding and taking the American Ship Chesapeake by the Officers and Crew of H.M. Ship Shannon commanded by Capt. Broke, June 1813.

Credit: Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1937-31-1
Copyright: Expired

There were three causes of the war:

Britain and France had been at war since 1793. British naval supremacy was unchallenged. American ships thought they could remain neutral and thus traded freely, but neither France nor Britain could accept this. They forbad trade with either country. President Madison had offered to resume trade with Great Britain but they refused. Madison turned to Congress for help and in May 1810 they passed Macon’s Bill Number 2. Macon’s Bill Number 2 restored free trade with Europe but in March 1811 Madison renewed the embargo against Britain. Feelings ran high.

British ships could stop and search Merchant ships on the high seas in their hunt for runaway sailors. Many sailors deserted but American merchant captains were angry when British captains took their sailors, claiming they were British runaways.


Activities in the northwest raised American fears. Native tribes banded together under Tecumseh and his brother, The Prophet, to defend their lands against settlers. The US government believed that the British were encouraging the natives to attack.

Madison Addresses Congress

In June 1812, Madison brought his war message to Congress.

“The conduct of her (Great Britain’s) government presents a series of acts hostile to the United States as an independent and neutral nation. British cruisers have been in the continued pratice of violating the American flag on the great highway of nations, and of seizing and carrying off persons sailing under it…Not content with these occasional expedients for laying waste our neutral trade, the cabinet of Britain resorted at length to the sweeping system of blockades under the name of orders in council…

We behold our seafaring citizens still the daily vicitims of lawless violence…

We behold our vessels…wrested from their final destinations…

We behold, in fine, on the side of Great Britain a state of war against the United States, and on the side of the United States a state of peace towards Great Britain.”

Thomas Jefferson himself said “the acquisition of Canada….would be a mere matter of marching.”

War Is Declared

On June 18th the USA was officially at war with Great Britain. The vote was close – 19 for and 13 against. Although this war was supposed to be about rights at sea, the principal target was Upper Canada (present day Ontario). The Maritime Colonies were not targeted because they were strongly Loyalist and easily defended by the British Navy. Lower Canada (present day Quebec) was strongly anti-American, and had a well organized militia. That left Upper Canada, whose population, while stemming from a large Loyalist population originally, was now populated with settlers, many of whom who had migrated from the USA. Upper Canada was thinly populated and weakly defended. American politicians believed that the inhabitants would accept American troops, not as invaders, but as liberators from British rule.

Madison Delivers a Proclamation to Upper Canada

When war began, Hull delivered Madison’s proclamation to Upper Canada:

“Inhabitants of Canada! After thirty years of peace and prosperity, the United States have been driven to arms. The injuries and aggressions, the insults and indignities of Great Britain, have once more left them no alternative but manly resistance or unconditional submission.

The army under my command has invaded your country….To the peaceable, unoffending inhabitant it brings neither danger nor difficulty. I come to find enemies not to make them. I come to protect, not to injure you.

Separated by an immense ocean and an extensive wilderness from Great Britain, you have no participation in her councils, no interest in her conduct. You have felt her tyranny, you have seen her injustice…

I promise protection to your persons, property and rights…Many of your fathers fought for that freedom and independence which we now enjoy.”

Brock Responds

Ten days later, Sir Isaac Brock, military and civilian leader of Upper Canada, responded:

“Where is the Canadian subject who can truly affirm to himself that he has been injured by the Government in his person, his property, or his liberty?

Settled not thirty years ago by a band of veterans exiled from their former possessions on account of their loyalty, not a descendant of these brave people is to be found who…has not acquired a property and means of employment superior to what were possessed by their ancestors..

Are you prepared, inhabitants of Canada, to become the willing subjects – or rather slaves – to the despot (Napoleon) who rules the nations of continental Europe with a rod of iron? If not, arise in a body, exert your energies, co-operate cordially with the King’s regular forces to repel the invader, and do not give cause to your children, when groaning under the oppression of a foreign master, to reproach you with having so easily parted with the richest inheritance of this earth – a participation in the name, character and freedom of Britons.”

Statistically the USA had ten times the population of Upper Canada the American army numbered 7000 soldiers with additional militia strength of close to 7000. The British had less than 5000 soldiers in North America.

Not all of the United States was in favour of war

and critics of Madison did not believe his reasons for declaring it. John Randolph of Roanoake, Virginia loudly proclaimed:

“Agrarian cupidity not maritime rights urges this war. Ever since the report of the Committee on Foreign Relations came into the House, we have heard but one word like the whip-poor-will, but one eternal monotonous tone – Canada! Canada! Canada! Not a syllable about Halifax which unquestionably should be our great object in a war for maritime security. “

The Battles

In Canada the war was fought on five fronts:

1.Michilimackinac on Mackinac Island at the mouth of Lake Michigan
2.The western shores of Lake Erie
3.Niagara Frontier
4.The St. Lawrence River between Kingston and Cornwall
5.South of Montreal

The War ended on Christmas Eve, 1814, when The Treaty of Ghent was
signed. There was no clear cut winner of the War of 1812, and history
books disagree on a victor. However, both the United States and Canada emerged from the war with an increased sense of national purpose and awareness.

Encarta Encyclopedia 1996

Canada: Years of Challenge to 1814. Elspeth Deir. Paul Deir. Keith Hubbard

The American Challenge. James R. Christopher. Bryan C. Vickers. 1987

The searchable database provides access to over 45,000 references to names of people appearing in War of 1812 records held at Library and Archives Canada (LAC).

Subject Index: War of 1812 - History

Despite recent confusion, it wasn't Canadian forces who burned down the White House during the War of 1812. In fact, Canada wasn't yet a country.

Learn the truth behind six common myths about the last major engagement of the War of 1812.

On the bicentennial of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” learn surprising facts about the national anthem and the man who wrote its lyrics.

As the War of 1812 neared its conclusion, British forces torched the White House, the Capitol and nearly every other public building in Washington.

National anthems are often only dusted off for patriotic holidays and sporting events, but these stately hymns and marches can also serve as a window into their country’s cultural and political history.

Months before torching Washington, D.C., in the War of 1812, British forces burned Buffalo, New York, to the ground 200 years ago.

On the anniversary of Tecumseh’s death, get the facts on the legendary Shawnee war chief.

“We have met the enemy and they are ours,” proclaimed Oliver Perry after defeating a British fleet on Lake Erie 200 years ago.

Get the facts on seven famous historical events that fell on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

WATCH: Disabled missiles at Malmstrom AFB?

Posted On February 24, 2021 08:04:00

The year is 1967. The location is Montana’s Malmstrom Air Force Base. There, Captain Robert Salas was on duty with his Commander 60 feet underground in the missile launch bunker. They were in charge of 10 missiles. Each of these missiles contained an eight-ton nuclear weapon. Salas was in charge of launching the missiles if given the order, so it’s not like he was just clowning around. This was serious, and Cpt. Salas knew it.

History & Culture

The War of 1812 was a conflict between the United States and the British Empire that—contrary to its name—lasted nearly three years, from June 18, 1812, until a treaty was ratified February 16, 1815. Military events in the Chesapeake region during the War of 1812 had far-reaching effects on American society, and our country’s cultural identity. America emerged with a greatly enhanced international reputation on the world stage. The new nation, just 30 years after the Revolutionary War, had successfully defended itself against the British Empire, the world’s most powerful navy.

The War of 1812 was a crucial test for the U.S. Constitution and the newly established democratic government. Though the nation was divided on the decision to declare war on Great Britain and was ill-prepared to do so, ultimately, the new multi-party democracy survived the challenge of foreign invasion. The war established clear boundaries between eastern Canada and the United States, set conditions for control of the Oregon Territory, and freed international trade from the harsh restrictions that ignited the war.

War in the Chesapeake

In 1812, the Chesapeake Bay region was a significant hub for trade, commerce, and government, which also made it a strategic target for the British military. The British entered the Chesapeake Bay in early 1813 and sustained a military presence until 1815. The most concerted military effort in the region was the four-month campaign by the British in 1814. This period of intense military action, known as the Chesapeake Campaign of 1814, included many feints (maneuvers designed to distract or mislead) and skirmishes. During 1814, the British also invaded and occupied the Nation’s Capital and attempted to capture the city of Baltimore.

Impact on the Region

Although many War of 1812 battles were fought along the US-Canada border, the Chesapeake region experienced more enemy raids than any other part of the country. The British Royal Navy needed food and supplies, and the Chesapeake region’s thriving farms were ripe for picking. The British also had their eye on nearby Washington, DC, and on the port of Baltimore, home to many of the American privateers who preyed on British merchant ships.

For two years—from February 1813 to 1815—the British blockaded the Bay, disrupting trade and devastating the region’s economy. The Royal Navy tormented the entire length of the Bay—from Norfolk, Virginia, to the mouth of the Susquehanna River near Pennsylvania—and used Tangier Island, Virginia, as their principal base of operations. On land, British troops raided coastal towns, often leaving them burnt and looted.

Americans fought to protect their communities, and in some cases succeeded at holding off British attacks. But the loss of life and property shaped the Chesapeake Bay region for decades to come.

Forces Involved In the War

The United States Navy was made of 7,250 sailors. The force was well trained and professional because it had had experience in previous wars. The only problem the force experienced was inadequate funding. America was also not well equipped with warships. The opponent, the Royal Navy, was well trained and well-equipped and was the greatest naval power in the world. At this time, the British did not concentrate fully on the war because part of its army was involved in the Napoleonic War which was also being fought at the same time.


Our Fake History is an award-winning podcast about myths people think are history and history that might be hidden in myths. Have you ever heard that old story about how Napoleon shot the nose off the sphinx, or that Shakespeare was an illiterate fraud, or that Queen Elizabeth was actually a man? This show explores those tall-tales and tries to figure out what’s fact, what’s fiction, and what is such a good story it simply must be told. The podcast combines storytelling, humour, and historical detective work to create a show that is good for both history buffs and anyone who loves a good story.

The podcast is produced in Toronto, by Sebastian Major with help from his wife Beth Lorimer. Sebastian is a teacher, musician, and storyteller who is passionate about all things weird and wonderful from the past. All the transition music used on the podcast is written and recorded in-house by Sebastian.

The Encyclopedia Of the War Of 1812: A Political, Social, and Military History [3 volumes] : A Political, Social, and Military History

The Encyclopedia of the War of 1812: A Political, Social, and Military History dedicates 872 entries—totaling some 600,000 words—to this important American war. It is the most comprehensive and significant reference work available on the subject. Its entries spotlight the key battles, standout individuals, essential weapons, and social, political, and economic developments, and examine the wider, concurrent European developments which directly affected this conflict in North America. A volume of primary documents provides more avenues for research.

This three-volume work offers comprehensive, in-depth information in a format that lends itself to quick and easy use, making it ideal for high school, college, and university-level learners as well as general learning annexes and military libraries. Scholars of the period and students of American military history will find it essential reading.

Watch the video: . History. War of 1812