THIS WEEK in the War of 1812 (June 8-June 14, 1814)

June 8, 2014 at 8:05 pm Leave a comment

Skirmishes at St. Leonard’s Creek

Commodore Joshua Barney (Maryland Historical Society)

Commodore Joshua Barney
(Maryland Historical Society)

A Royal Navy fleet under the command of Rear Admiral Sir George Cockburn continues to harry and raid the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay.  Beginning June 8, 1814, Cockburn’s ships drive a flotilla of American gunboats to retreat seven miles up the Patuxent River in Maryland into St. Leonard’s Creek.

The flotilla of gunboats – actually 18 barges each armed with a single large cannon – is the idea of Captain Joshua Barney, a veteran of the Continental Navy during the Revolution. After seeing action at sea numerous times, Barney leaves the U.S. Navy in 1794. He joins the French navy and is made a captain.

In 1800 he resigns his French commission and returns to America. Now that the United States is at war with Britain again, Barney rejoins the Navy after a successful stint as a privateer, capturing 17 British vessels early in the war.

The Navy Department accepts Barney’s Chesapeake Defense idea – a flotilla of barges assembled and outfitted to serve as a delaying tactic against the expected British attack on Washington. Barney is promoted to commodore in the U.S. Navy.

Commodore Barney's sketch of what the barges would look like. (Courtesy of Calvert  County Marine Museum)

Commodore Barney’s sketch of what the barges would look like.
(Courtesy of Calvert County Marine Museum)

The larger, more heavily armed Royal Navy ships  drive Barney to shelter his tiny fleet upstream where the bigger vessels can’t follow.

While the American flotilla is bottled up in the creek, the British conduct raids along the Patuxent. The American ships finally fight their way out of the British blockade on June 26.

Advertisements

Entry filed under: National Security and Defense, Naval Warfare, THIS WEEK in the War of 1812, Traditions. Tags: , , , , , .

FRIDAY FOTO (June 6, 2014) SPECIAL OPERATIONS: What U.S. Commandos Need Around the World

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Posts

June 2014
M T W T F S S
« May   Jul »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

Categories


%d bloggers like this: