THIS WEEK in the War of 1812 (May 25-May 31, 1814)
May 28 — With the resignation of William Henry Harrison, the U.S. Army has room for another major general in its ranks and Brigadier Andrew Jackson is promoted to the two-star rank. Jackson has become nationally famous after crushing the pro-Tecumseh/pro-British Red Sticks faction of the Creek (Muskogee) Indian nation at Horseshoe Bend in March 1814.
Jackson is put in command of the 7th Military District, which includes Tennessee, Louisiana and the Territory of Mississippi (which becomes the states of Alabama and Mississippi after the war).
Jackson will soon lead an army to Mobile on the Gulf Coast to resist the British massing in Florida (then owned by Spain, a British ally in the recently completed war with Napoleon).
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War Comes to the Chesapeake
With Napoleon vanquished, the British government decides to take the gloves off in its dealings with the Americans, a British fleet steps up its activities in Chesapeake Bay in April under Rear Admiral George Cockburn and begins a series of raids and skirmishes up and down the bay from Virginia to Baltimore.
Cockburn’s superior, Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane issues a proclamation inviting American slaves to flee their masters and join the British Army or otherwise assist British military actions against the Americans. Cochrane is hated by the locals because of the proclamation and the destruction of private as well as government property by his troops.
May 30 – The British launch a successful amphibious attack on U.S. artillery battery dug in on a bluff overlooking Pongoteague Creek in Virginia by militia.
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Skirmish at Sandy Creek, New York
May 30 – The war in the North is not over yet.
U.S. forces ambush several British ships loaded with 153 sailors and marines patrolling the south shore of Lake Ontario between Oswego and Sackets Harbor, N.Y. The British are pursuing an American supply convoy bound for Sackets Harbor. The U.S. boats move inland on Sandy Creek to avoid detection. The pursuing British are surprised by gunfire from the creek bank coming from about 250 U.S. regulars and militia plus more than 100 Oneida Indians allied with the Americans.
After 10 minutes of gunfire, 13 British are dead and the remaining 140 surrender. Two Americans (one of them an Oneida) are wounded.
Entry filed under: National Security and Defense, Naval Warfare, Traditions, Unconventional Warfare, Weaponry and Equipment. Tags: Andrew Jackson, Chesapeake Campaign 1814, Oneida Indian Nation, Rear Adm. George Cockburn, War of 1812 Bicentennial, War of 1812 in New York, War of 1812 in Virginia, War of 1812 on Great Lakes.