• Sometimes referred to as the Second Revolution or the War of Independence Confirmed, for the British it was part of more major hostilities in Europe. At end of Revolution, British agree to withdraw from territory north of Ohio and south of Great Lakes and adopt a policy of non-interference with US shipping but British forts are scattered all thru area and US sailors are taken off ships and forced to serve on British ships. The first major battle for the US was not really a battle of the War of 1812, but was significant in the long term. The Battle of Tippecanoe November 7, 1811 Shawnee Chief Tecumseh is attempting to form a confederation of tribes, The First Nations, in the Northwest Territories,he and his brother Tenskwatawa or The Prophet,build a settlement on the Tippecanoe . Indiana Territory Governor William Henry Harrison leads 1000 troops to "Prophets Town", for treaty talks. Tecumseh is away on a diplomatic mission, and had asked Harrison to wait until his return for the meeting. Neither side trusts the other, despite Tecumseh's advice,Tenskwatawa attacks first . After a furious and quick battle with 200 casualties on each side the Indians withdraw due to lack of ammunition. The US troops burn Prophets Town. Basically a draw no victor, but Tecumseh and First Nations people incensed by Harrison's tactics and join forces with the British. Score at end of pre-season 0-0. The US declares war June 12 1812 The first " battles" are minor skirmishes that occur before one side or other even knows the war has started. President vs. Belvidera June 23rd 1812 HMS Belvidera, unsure that war has been declared encounters USS President and USS Congress at 6:00 a.m.. President opens fire killing or maiming nine. Belvidera returns fire causing 6 casualties. President's main guns explode, 19 own side casualties including Captain. President fires bow guns causing damage to Belvidera's main mast. President falls back. Congress fires and misses,Belvidera reaches Halifax Harbor. No victory no loss. There are to be several of these Naval "engagements" during the war, no real Naval "Battles," US Navy is small and can not afford a major action. In single ship to ship actions US generally wins or at least holds its own, High Seas Naval score for war is basically a tie, but British Navy remains free to quickly transport troops, USS Constitution gains nickname "Old Iron Sides." Michilimackinac Island July 16th 1812 British force of 45 regular soldiers, 180 Canadian Voygeurs, and 400 Indians under Capt Roberts advance on 61 US troops under Lt. Porter Hanks on Mackinac Island. Lieutenant Hanks is amazed "War! what War?" He surrenders but gets favorable terms, his troops are paroled to their homes not to take part in the war until they can be exchanged for British soldiers who have been captured. The island is relatively unimportant. The British actually give sanctuary to American troops fleeing Indian allies of the British. No winner no loser. Raid on Gananoque September 21st, 1812 Captain Benjamin Forsth with one company of the United States Rifle Regiment attacks unsuspecting Gananoque,Ontario on the British supply line between upper and lower Canada. Brushing aside the unprepared local militia, "Guerre ! Quelle guerre ?" Forsth's forces destroy the town's food supplies and haul some munitions back to New York. The British build a blockhouse and escort supply convoys. Another draw. (But try to say Forsth's forces three times fast) End of the first quarter British 0-US 0 Now we begin to see some major battles, not always because they were decisive battles but because of the effects they had on overall strategy. There were several all out battles that could certainly be called major due to their intensity and casualties, but they had little over all effect on the outcome of the war. US strategy was a three pronged invasion of Canada, "merely a matter of marching" according to US military geniuses, the Canadians, grateful for their liberation, would turn on their British oppressors and toss them out, something the US had tried in the Revolution and had been hoping for ever since. The British planned to invade from the North through New York and from the Great Lakes area, merely a matter of marching over inexperienced militia and ill trained regular forces, the two invasions would meet near Philadelphia or New York City cutting the US into three disjointed areas. Here are 8 major battles and a forfeit that caused the war to be fought with no real strategy and one that was certainly major that had absolutely no effect on the war itself but definitely effected the final outcome; ....................................................................................................... Battle of Detroit-(Aug. 8 - 16, 1812) First action in three pronged US invasion of Canada. Western prong, July 8, US Gen William Hull crosses Detroit river with a force of 2200, reaches Windsor, Ontario, Hull, over-impressed by fort does not attack. August 4 a US force of 200 men is attacked and defeated by 24 warriors under Shawnee Chief Tecumseh. 110 survivors retreat to Fort Detroit, the minor skirmish convinces Hull that he is badly out numbered by British. Aug 8, Hull retreats entire force back to Detroit. Aug15 US Garrison at Chicago wiped out evacuating post on Hull's garbled panicked orders. Aug16 British force of less than 2000 appears at Detroit, Hull surrenders. ( Some "battle, huh?) Hull later court-martialed, convicted of cowardice, neglect of duty. British gain control of western Lake Erie and the Michigan country. Battle of Queenston Heights (Oct. 13, 1812) Middle prong Gen. Stephen Van Rensselaer crosses Niagra River from New York State, Though outnumbered the US capture Queenston Heights, Ontario and kill British commander. 1,000 British rally and counterattack the 600 Americans. New York militia refuses to leave the state as reinforcements. Van Rensselaer falls back across the border and is retired from command. Eastern and largest prong of attack on Canada stalls north of Lake Champlain without a battle when Militia refuse to cross border. ( Problems with militia are to continue for some time. Militia claim they enrolled to *defend* their own state, some will not even cross into other states, certainly not *attack* another country.) The score at halftime - Britain 3- US 0 ( with the one forfeit) US on defensive behind their own Maumee River Line in Ohio. Lake Erie ((Sep. 10, 1813) 28 year old Capt. Oliver Hazard Perry marches small force of mostly inexperienced frontier "landsmen" to the mouth of the Sandusky River on Lake Eerie, cobbles together a "fleet" of 10 "vessels" mounting 55 small guns, attacked by 6 real British vessels, with a total of 65 guns. manned by experienced British Navy. First shots sink Perry's "flagship", Perry moves flag, three hours later destroys or captures entire British force. When ordered to deliver detailed report of battle ,Perry replies," We have met the enemy and they are ours." British abandon Detroit; Windsor, Ontario; and Lake Erie. Thames River (Oct. 5, 1813) Gen William Henry " Tippecanoe" Harrison crosses Lake Erie with force of 4500. Meets and defeats force of 1000 British and 1000 Shawnee allies on Thames River, Ontario. US losses, 7 KIA, 22 wounded; British 12 KIA,22 wounded,477 mixed force POW, Indians 35 KIA including Chief Tecumseh. Tecumseh's death effectively ends British-Shawnee alliance, only fitting since Harrison's victory at Tippecanoe in 1811 led to alliance in first place. British abandon entire Old Northwest. ( Harrison, using slogan, "Tippecanoe and Tyler too" seeks and wins US presidency 1841, serves only one month after delivery longest inauguration speech ever in snow storm, contracting pneumonia and dying .) The score after 3rd quarter British 3 ( but with loss of half the team)- US 2 ( but regained lost yardage and encroaching into British territory with renewed spirit.) Chippewa River (July 5, 1814) 3500 US troops cross Niagra and seize Fort Erie, British fall back to Chippewa River and deploy 1500 veterans of Napoleonic Wars, 1300 US regulars under Winfield Scott take one half hour to break British lines. Victory in battle of regular troops on even terms establish prestige of US Army in eyes of US fans. US regulars did not receive new blue uniforms in time for battle, wore gray issued to militia, confusing enemy , British General observes discipline under fire and exclaims " These are regulars by God!" West Point adopts gray uniform in commendation of battle. Scott becomes Commander in Chief US Army 1841, and longest serving, oldest, and fattest US General ever, devises plan that led to victory by US in the Big Game against Confederacy before retiring in 1861. Blandensburg (August 24, 1814) British launch an attack Aug 19 up Chesapeake Bay into Maryland as a diversion . British plan is to tie up US troops long enough for the real attack south from Canada towards New York to gain ground then march north taking Baltimore and reinforce invading forces at New York. But US Naval commander scuttles own fleet to prevent capture rather than resist. British land 4000 veteran troops and advance on Washington D.C. US force of 6000, mostly militia, retreats at first shots, except for 400 sailors and a Marine unit who take heavy casualties in rear guard action. President James Madison and entire coaching staff flee to Virginia. British burn US Capital and "Executive Mansion." Severe blow to US. Dolly Madison hides federal silverware in well, saves now famous portrait of George Washington. British withdraw toward Baltimore. Executive Mansion later painted white to cover scorch marks and gains new name. Lake Champlain (Sep 11,1814 ) British force of 11,000 advances down west bank of Lake Champlain from Canada toward New York. US force retreats south of lake. British naval force of 4 ships 11 gun boats sails south down lake to rendezvous with land force. US flotilla of 10 gun boats drops anchor in narrow channel in front of 4 US ships. 2 hour gun battle results in little damage. Capt. Macdonough in the Saratoga moves out to attack the British flagship.30 minutes later the battle is over, with all four British ships seized or destroyed.One of the few times in history that ships at anchor won a naval battle. British land forces return to Canada Fort McHenry (Sep. 12 - 13, 1814) Meanwhile down south, British Fleet of 10 ships lands 4000 troops at Baltimore,US militia resist for one day then fall back on Ft. McHenry, guarding approaches to city. . British fleet and artillery, including new Congreve's rockets, bombards fort. Baltimore lawyer, Francis Scott Key, spends night on British ship watching perilous fight through rocket's red glare, at dawn's early light writes song to open baseball games.Ft. McHenry fails to yield, British withdraw to Jamaica for some R&R, mon. Score in 4th quarter is Brits 1-US 3 making score US 5- Britain 4 Final gun sounds. Treaty of Ghent negotiated in Belgium on December 24, 1814. Having major problems in Europe and other parts of world, British say war is over and agree to re-agree to leave Northwest Territories, and stop interfering with US shipping., yeah right, we heard that before. War is basically a draw, US is still US but Canada still British, and Brits liable to start it all over again when they get other problems solved. New Orleans (Jan. 8, 1815) Unofficial overtime. British fleet of 50 ships sails up Mississippi from the Gulf of Mexico and disembark 7500 troops under Gen. Pakenham at New Orleans. Andrew "Old Hickory" Jackson with 4000 troops including Tennessee and Kentucky riflemen assisted by Jean LaFitte and his men, wanted for execution for piracy by the British, Spain,France, and the US, throw up barriers of logs and cotton bales. the British advance,within 30 minutes losing 700 men killed and 1,400 wounded,Pakenham and two other generals are killed. British re-embark and sail into the Gulf and learn the war has been over for two weeks. It's the most crushing British defeat suffered since Bannockburn (1314.) This time the British decide to abide by their re-agreements . LaFitte earns pardon, moves as peaceful settler to Galveston Island , takes up piracy again, thousands of holes to be dug along Texas coast seeking his "Treasure." Johnny Horton writes bad song in early 1960's , referring to powdering 'gators behinds and using them as cannon that somehow makes top ten . Maybe it was fitting that a war that began with battles between people that didn't even know it had started ended with a battle between people that didn't even know it was over. in response to Grandma,(11/27/05) biased? what bias? just because I didn't like Johnny Hortons " Battle of New Orleans?" Incomplete? Well yeah, depending on the definition, I could have listed hundreds of "battles." But as I said during the break after the first quarter I was just gonna list the battles that had some real impact on strategy or the outcome of the war, in other words, the major battles. What did I leave out?
  • The British won due to the fact that they completed their objectives; defend Canada by killing the Americans who tried to invade. American Deaths: 2,260 killed in action. 4,505 wounded. Approx. 17,000 died from disease (estimated). British Deaths: 1,600 killed in action. 3,679 wounded. 3,321 died from disease. I would also like to add that Britain won the last battle between the two countries - "Battle of Fort Bowyer" and that during the time of this war Britain was also involved in the napoleon war. The Americans having failed all their objectives lately forfeited and wanted to sign a peace treaty.

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