THIS WEEK in the War of 1812 (October 19-October 25,1814)
Raids and Skirmishes (Food Fights)
Cook’s Mills, Upper Canada.
While the British are building up an army in the Caribbean to invade Louisiana and seize New Orleans, skirmishing and raids continue along the U.S. Canadian border and in and around the Chesapeake Bay.
On October 18, Brigadier General Daniel Bissell leads an American force of 1,200 Army regulars out of Fort Erie toward the British line along Chippawa Creek in Canada. British Lieutenant General Gordon Drummond orders Colonel Christopher Myers to conduct a reconnaissance towards Cook’s Mills to learn where the Americans are vulnerable.
On October 19, 750 British and Canadian troops, heavily entrenched and supported by a cannon and Congreve rockets, attack a brigade of roughly 900 U.S. soldiers. The Americans outflank the British, forge across Lyons Creek at Cooks Mills, seizing the town and its important millworks. The British-Canadian force withdrew, but the following day — October 19 — 700 British troops march west to engage the Americans and retake the town. Then on October 20, it’s the Americans’ turn to withdraw and on the 21st they joined General George Izard‘s general retreat to Fort Erie, and back to Buffalo, effectively ending combat on the Niagara frontier.
The British lose 19 men killed or wounded and the American losses total 67 men. The skirmish had little consequence, apart from the American destruction of 200 bushes of wheat and flour
Castle Haven, Maryland
Meanwhile, far to the south, a British raiding party comprising of eighteen barges and a schooner entered the Choptank River on Maryland’s Easter Shore on October 19. Landing at Castle Haven they seize poultry and cattle from a tenant farmer.
At the peace treaty talks in Ghent, Belgium, they haven’t heard about the British failures in September to take Baltimore and Plattsburgh, New York. The British delegation are still ecstatic over the Americans’ rout at Bladensburg, Maryland and the burning of the White House, Capitol and other public buildings in Washington, so they’re pretty smug in their negotiations. They offer to end the fighting and send a treaty of uti possidetis: where both sides get to keep whatever territory they occupy. For the British, this would mean ownership of eastern Maine and parts of the Upper Mississippi Valley near present day Wisconsin and Mackinac Island where Lake Michigan and Lake Superior meet.
The Americans hold only a small bit of land in Canada surrounding Fort Erie across the Niagara River from Buffalo, New York.
Entry filed under: National Security and Defense, THIS WEEK in the War of 1812, Unconventional Warfare. Tags: amphibious warfare, Canada, New York in War of 1812, Siege of Fort Erie 1814, Treaty of Ghent, War of 1812 in Maryland.