Posts tagged ‘War of 1812 in New York’

THIS WEEK in the War of 1812 (September 7-September 13, 1814) PART I

War on Three Fronts.

Brigadier General Alexander Macomb deploys his small force at the Battle of Pattsburgh, N.Y.

Brigadier General Alexander Macomb deploys his small force at the Battle of Pattsburgh, N.Y.

September 7, 1814

Sir George Prevost, the governor general of Canada has reached the Saranac River in New York State opposite Plattsburgh, N.Y. Prevost is waiting to coordinate with a Royal Navy force that is sailing down Lake Champlain for a combined operation to drive down the long narrow lake between New York and Vermont and then proceed down the Hudson River Valley all the way to New York City.

The idea is to split off the anti-war states of New England from the rest of the United States while another British force sails up from the Caribbean to attack the U.S. Gulf Coast — particularly New Orleans. Two of the three brigades in Prevost’s command are battle-tested troops from the Duke of Wellington’s campaigns against Napoleon in Spain and Portugal.

While he waits for the navy, Prevost’s 10,000 troops have swept aside small American units aiming to delay his southern march at places like  Chazy and Beekmantown. The Americans have been felling trees across roads, burning bridges and changing the direction of signposts as part of their delaying tactics. Once at the Saranac, Prevost deploys his men and builds artillery emplacements to attack the town while awaiting Captain George Downie and his fleet of four ships and 12 gunboats. Some tentative attacks across the Saranac are repulsed by U.S. Army regulars under Major John Wool.

Earlier in the summer, then-Secretary of War John Armstrong (the same guy who said the British wouldn’t bother attacking Washington) orders 4,000 regulars at Plattsburgh to march to Sacketts Harbor on Lake Ontario to protect  a vital navy yard and supply center. That leaves Brigadier General Alexander Macomb with about 1,500 troops to defend Plattsburgh. Although they are regulars, many of them are green recruits or recovering from wounds or illness. Macomb calls for militiamen from New York and Vermont to reinforce him. About 2,000 come but many of them are equally untrained and nearly useless. Macomb assigns them to dig trenches and fortifications.

U.S. and British fort and batteries at Plattsburgh, N.Y. 1814

U.S. and British forts and batteries at Plattsburgh, N.Y. 1814

*** *** ***

In early September, Major Zachary Taylor (future Mexican War commander and U.S. President) leads an expedition of 350 U.S. Army regulars and Illinois Territory militia up the Mississippi River to recapture Fort Shelby just outside the village of Prairie du Chien (in what is now Wisconsin) which had fallen to a combined force of 650 Native American warriors and a few British and Canadian troops.

On September 4, Taylor’s force is camped on Credit Island in the Mississippi near present day Davenport, Iowa. Indians under the Sauk leader Black Hawk attack, killing two guards.  In addition to the Sauk, the Native American force includes warriors from the Fox, Kickapoo, Winnebago and Sioux tribes. The following morning during a series of skirmishes between Taylor’s troops and the Indians, British canon open fire on  the U.S. forces, wounding 11 soldiers and forcing Taylor to withdraw downstream to Fort Cap au Gris near St. Louis, Missouri.

The Upper Mississippi River during the War of 1812. 1: Fort Bellefontaine U.S. headquarters; 2: Fort Osage, abandoned 1813; 3: Fort Madison, defeated 1813; 4: Fort Shelby, defeated 1814; 5: Battle of Rock Island Rapids, July 1814 and the Battle of Credit Island, Sept. 1814; 6: Fort Johnson, abandoned 1814; 7: Fort Cap au Gris and the Battle of the Sink Hole, May 1815. Map of the upper Mississippi River during the War of 1812 Key: 1: Fort Bellefontaine U.S. headquarters 2: Fort Osage, abandoned 1813 3: Fort Madison, defeated 1813 4: Fort Shelby, defeated 1814 5: Battle of Rock Island Rapids, July 1814 and the Battle of Credit Island, Sept. 1814 6: Fort Johnson, abandoned 1814 7: Fort Cap au Gris and the Battle of the Sink Hole, May 1815. (Map by Bill Whittaker via Wikipedia)

The Upper Mississippi River during the War of 1812. 1: Fort Bellefontaine U.S. headquarters; 2: Fort Osage, abandoned 1813; 3: Fort Madison, defeated 1813; 4: Fort Shelby, defeated 1814; 5: Battle of Rock Island Rapids, July 1814 and the Battle of Credit Island, Sept. 1814; 6: Fort Johnson, abandoned 1814; 7: Fort Cap au Gris and the Battle of the Sink Hole, May 1815.
Map of the upper Mississippi River during the War of 1812 Key: 1: Fort Bellefontaine U.S. headquarters 2: Fort Osage, abandoned 1813 3: Fort Madison, defeated 1813 4: Fort Shelby, defeated 1814 5: Battle of Rock Island Rapids, July 1814 and the Battle of Credit Island, Sept. 1814 6: Fort Johnson, abandoned 1814 7: Fort Cap au Gris and the Battle of the Sink Hole, May 1815.
(Map by Bill Whittaker via Wikipedia)

On Sept. 7, Taylor sends militia Captain James Callaway, a grandson of Daniel Boone, with a party of troops to build a fort on a bluff overlooking the east side of the Mississippi near present day Warsaw, Illinois. The outpost is named Fort Johnson. Black Hawk makes plans to harass the Americans again.

Credit Island is the fourth time Black Hawk has thwarted American plans to establish a military presence in the Mississippi Valley. The Americans’ plan is to challenge British control of the fur trade with the Indians. Black Hawk’s previous battles with U.S. forces along the Mississippi were at Fort Madison, Fort Shelby and Rock Island Rapids (see map below).

Taylor and Black Hawk will meet again in battle nearly 20 years later in the Black Hawk War of 1832.

Editor’s Note: The U.S. Army’s UH-60 helicopter is named for Black Hawk

*** *** ***

September 9

Captain George Downie, Royal Navy, heads south on Lake Champlain with his fleet of four ships: the 37-gun frigate HMS Confiance, the 16-gun brig Linnet, and two 11-gun sloops, the Chubb and Finch. Downie has also assembled 12 gunboats with a total of 17 guns among them.

Waiting for Downie near Plattsburgh is an American squadron of four ships: the 26-gun corvette (light frigate) Saratoga; the 20-gun brig, Eagle;  the 17-gun schooner Ticonderoga and the 7-gun sloop Preble. Master Commandant Thomas Macdonough has also assembled 10 gun boats, some of them rowing galleys, with a combined total of 16 guns.

Both the British at their shipyard at Ile aux Noix, Canada and the Americans at Otter Creek on the Vermont shore, have engaged in an arms race all summer trying to build boats as fast as possible to get naval superiority on the lake. The Americans’ Eagle  was completed only a few days before the battle. The British were still doing carpentry and rigging work on the just completed Confiance as it sailed into battle with a shortage of sailors. To make up the shortfall, Downie is using British soldiers who are new to navy ways.

On the night of September 9, a raid across the Saranac River by 50 Americans destroys a British Congreve rocket battery just 500 yards from Fort Brown, one of the three main American fortifications (see map above).

A congreve rocket vintage 1806 (Courtesy British Science Museum/http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/)

A Congreve rocket vintage 1806
(Courtesy British Science Museum/http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/)

Unfavorable winds keep Downie from attacking the American squadron on September 10. McDonough, the American commander, uses the extra time to drill his crews. While the British have a slight edge in the number of guns and boats they possess. Nearly all the U.S. vessels are equipped with carronades, short range canon that fire heavier projectiles while Downie’s ships have mostly long guns that have a longer range but fire a slightly lighter and less damaging shot.

*** *** ***

September 11

The Royal Navy with a huge fleet of bomb ships, rocket battery ships and troop ships sails into the Patapsco River in Maryland, about 8 miles from Baltimore. Vice Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane’s plan is to land the 4,000 soldiers that took Washington at North Point and have them attack Baltimore from the land. At about the same time, the British fleet will bombard Fort McHenry, the guardian of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, into surrender and then attack the city from the sea.

What the British don’t know is that the American commander, Brigadier General Samuel Smith, is a very different man from Major General William Winder, the hapless U.S. commander at Bladensburg. They also are unaware that the citizens of Baltimore — military and civilian, black and white, male and female — are not about to roll over and be put to the torch like Washington.

Troops have been pouring into Baltimore and a massive military engineering project is well underway: digging trenches, gun emplacements and just generally beefing up the city’s fortifications.

NEXT: Battle on Lake Champlain, North Point and Fort McHenry

 

 

 

 

 

September 8, 2014 at 1:18 am Leave a comment

THIS WEEK in the War of 1812 (August 31-September 6, 1814)

A Crucial Week.

White House after the 1814 fire by George Munger (White House Historical Association)

White House after the 1814 fire by George Munger
(White House Historical Association)

Official Washington is in ruins. The White House and the Capitol have been torched as have the headquarters of the State, Navy and War departments. The armory at Greenleaf Point has been destroyed. Under orders from Navy Secretary William Jones, sailors and Marines have blown up and torched the Washington Navy Yard to keep its supplies, munition stockpiles and two almost completed new ships out of British hands. The Royal Navy has captured Alexandria, Virginia — just a few miles south of Washington — emptying its storehouse of food, tobacco, cotton, and flour. The U.S. Army and local militia have been humiliated on the battlefield of Bladensburg, Maryland. President Madison and his cabinet are wandering the roads around Washington, trying to reorganize the government and the war effort. It is the most desperate time in the young life of the United States of America — perhaps the most desperate ever.

And yet, the United States fights on this week from the Mississippi River to the English Channel, from the New York Canadian border to the Chesapeake Bay.

August 31

Sir John Sherbrooke with a force of 2,000 sails down from Halifax and attacks the coast of Maine, which is still a part of Massachusetts. By September 3 he has captured Castine, Hampden and Bangor.

September 1

The USS Wasp, a 22-gun sloop-of-war, cruising the western approaches to the English Channel, sinks the 18-gun brig HMS Avon.

The same day, just south of Montreal, Sir George Prevost, the governor general of Canada, starts marching an army of 12,000 to cross the border and attack Plattsburgh, New York. Plattsburgh  on crucial Lake Champlain. Only about 3,000 troops, mostly green militia, defend Plattsburgh under Brigadier Alexander McComb. It is to be a combined arms operation with the Royal Navy taking out American vessels defending Plattsburgh.

USS Wasp in 1814 (via Wikipedia)

USS Wasp in 1814
(via Wikipedia)

On the Potomac

The eight-ship Royal Navy squadron of Captain James Gordon departs Alexandria September 2 with 21 prize vessels, all stuffed with loot. Navy Secretary Jones, furious with the U.S. military’s poor showing against the British, decides to make Gordon’s journey a memorable one — ordering the Navy, assisted by Army regulars and Virginia and Maryland militia, set up cannon batteries on either side of the Potomac on bluffs overlooking the river.

The first, near Belvoir plantation in Virginia, is commanded by Captain Oliver Hazzard Perry, the hero of the Battle of Lake Erie the previous year. The other, by Captain David Porter, another naval hero who harassed the British whaling fleet in the Pacific Ocean before his ship, the USS Essex was defeated off the coast of Chile in late 1813. Neither battery has enough fire power to effectively battle Gordon ‘s little fleet which includes bomb ships and rocket ships as well as the frigate HMS Seahorse. After duking it out with Gordon’s ships for nearly three days, Perry is forced to withdraw when heavy shellfire strikes several of his cannon and wounds his men.  Porter has few cannon (his on big gun arrives just 30 minutes befre the British) and even less ammunition. When his ammunition runs out September 5, Porter breaks off fighting and withdraws. It takes x days, but Gordon sails on and rejoins the main British fleet in Chesapeake Bay on September x.

On to Baltimore

The combined British Army-Navy-Marines force that burned Washington marches out of the city August 25, fearing a counter attack by U.S. troops. At first it looks like thy are headed for Baltimore but its only a feint to confuse the Americans. The plan works and Army Brigadier William Winder musters his scattered troops and heads for Baltimore. The British eventually turn south and return to Benedict on Maryland’s western shore whre the 4,500-man raid-in-force disembarked August 19. The British re-board their transport ships September x, ostensibly to head for Rhode Island where the overall commander, Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane, wants to wait out the “fever season” of the hot, humid, mosquito-ridden conditions of the Chesapeake in late summer. Cochrane plans to attack Baltimore after that.

September 4

Up on the Niagara border between New York State and Canada, the British are still besieging Fort Erie on the Canadian side. Major General Jacob Brown, although not fully recovered from his wounds at Lundy’s Lane, has resumed command of the fort after his successor, Brigadier General Edmund Gaines is wounded.

The Americans launch a raid outside the fort on a British artillery battery. The battle– often hand-to-hand combat — lasts nearly six hours before a severe thunderstorm rakes the battlefield.

Secretary of War John Armstrong by Rembrandt Peale

Secretary of War John Armstrong by Rembrandt Peale

Also on September 4, Secretary of  War John Armstrong resigns. Armstrong refused to call out the militia or build defenses until the last minute when Washington was threatened with invasion. It didn’t take Armstrong long to realize he has lost the confidence of President Madison and annoyed nearly everyone in the cabinet. Secretary of State James Monroe, who screwed up the troop displacement at Bladensburg, is named Secretary of War.

September 5

Two setbacks in the far west. In Michigan, a resourceful Lieutenant Miller Worsley and 77 men in canoes, trick and capture two American warships on Lake Huron: he USS Tigress and the USS Scorpion. In what is known as the Illinois Territory, Major Zachary Taylor heads a small force  of 350 regulars and militia attempting to recapture a fort near what is now Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. The soldiers are defeated and turned back by an alliance of tribes including Sauk, Fox, Kickapoo, Winnebago and Sioux .

September 6

The British army heading down from Montreal stops before reaching Plattsburgh, to await word on the progress made by the Royal Navy on Lake Champlain.

September 5, 2014 at 12:56 am Leave a comment

THIS WEEK in the War of 1812 (August 17–23, 1814)

August Build-up .

Niagara Frontier 1813-1814 (Map courtesy Parks Canada and the Royal Canadian Geographic Association)

Niagara Frontier 1813-1814
(Map courtesy Parks Canada and the Royal Canadian Geographic Association)

While the guns are largely silent this week, armies are in motion in northern New York and  Lower Canada, along the upper Mississippi River and in and around the Chesapeake Bay all in preparations  for major battles  on Lake Champlain,  outside Washington and Baltimore and  on the Niagara Frontier and Illinois  Territory.

FORT ERIE

The British siege of the U.S. held fort continues in Canada just across the Niagara River from Buffalo, New York. After their failed  three-column assault on the fort August 15, the British forces settle in for a long siege,  firing cannon balls into the stronghold.

The British have no tents and the soldiers suffer in the heavy Autumn rains  under crude shelters made from bark and branches. Reinforcements from the 6th and 8th regiments of foot, veterans of the Napoleonic Wars in Europe, arrive to replace the nearly 900 troops killed, wounded or captured in the  Aug. 15  attack.

*** *** ***

FORT SHELBY

Major Zachary Taylor with more than 350 U.S. regulars and militiamen is preparing to sail and row up the Mississippi River  to recapture Fort Shelby, near present day Prairie du Chien,  in the Illinois Territory.

A small number of British and Canadian troops are awaiting the attack, along with many Indian allies, mostly Sauk warriors under Black Hawk.

The fort, where the Wisconsin River joins the Mississippi, is a vital outpost for controlling the fur trade with the Indians in the region.

*** *** ***

LAKE CHAMPLAIN

In Montreal, preparations are underway for a British attack on Northern New York. Sir George Prevost, Governor General of Canada, is assembling an army of 10,000 to march  on Plattsburgh, New York, accompanied by a hastily constructed British fleet  to seize control of Lake Champlain, opening the way for the British to march down to New York City

A force of  3,400 mostly green troops under General Alexander Macomb await them in Plattsburgh, Four small ships and 10 gunboats are poised for action under Master Commandant  Thomas Macdonough in the waters off Plattsburgh.

*** *** ***

CHESAPEAKE BAY

Commodore Joshua Barney (Maryland Historical Society)

Commodore Joshua Barney
(Maryland Historical Society)

After  almost two years of raiding both sides of the Chesapeake Bay, the British are ready to strike at Washington and Baltimore. Major General Robert Ross begins landing a force of  4,000 soldiers and sailors August 19 at Benedict , Maryland on the Western shore of the Chesapeake. Ross’ troops veterans of the wars in Europe, march toward  Bladensburg, Maryland where they would have to cross a bridge over  the Eastern Branch of the Potomac River to reach Washington.

Commodore Joshua Barney, who has  harried the British in the Chesapeake with a tiny fleet of  gunboats, rowed like galleys,  during June and July is pursued up the increasingly shallow Patuxent River  by the British. Under orders from Washington, he scuttles his flotilla August 22 and has his sailors and Marines drag the vessels’ cannons  overland to Bladensburg where Brigadier General William Winder is trying to set up a defense.

But Winder, a political appointee, has no realistic plans and by August 23 he has gathered only about 6,000 Maryland and Virginia militia to defend the bridge at Bladensburg.

August 19, 2014 at 2:29 am Leave a comment

THIS WEEK in the War of 1812 (Jun 15-June 21, 1814)

Men in Motion

"Wellington at Waterloo" by Robert Alexander Hillingford via Wikipedia

“Wellington at Waterloo” by Robert Alexander Hillingford via Wikipedia

There was little if any gunfire this week in 1814 but leaders in Canada, London,Washington and Upstate New York were setting things in motion that would lead to the bloodiest battle of the war in Canada and British attacks on Baltimore, Washington and New Orleans later in the year.

In June, 10,000 British troops – veterans of the Duke of Wellingtons campaign against the French in Spain – are sent to the Americas, first to Bermuda and then on to Quebec.

British Major General Robert Ross – one of Wellington’s best generals – is set to command troops raiding the eastern seaboard. Ross and his troops depart Bordeaux, France June 2, reaching Bermuda on July 25.

With Napoleon removed from the scene, the British prime minister Lord Liverpool, means to teach the upstart Americans a lesson – particularly after U.S. Troops burn York (later to become Toronto, Canada) in 1813.

For the past year, British troops based at Virginia’s Tangier Island in Chesapeake Bay have conducted a series of raids: burning towns and plantations, seizing food and other supplies as well as southerners’ slaves. Many of the now free slaves join the British Corps of Colonial Marines.

The British raid Havre de Grace, Maryland in May 1813, Hampton, Virginia in June. Frenchtown, Fredericktown and Georgetown all on Maryland’s Eastern Shore are also raided in 1813. Raids against military targets in 1814 include: Pongoteague Creek on May 30; a skirmish between British and American naval forces at Cedar Point, Maryland on June 1 and additional skirmishes between the British fleet and a U.S. Navy flotilla of barges turned into gunboats at St. Leonard’s Creek, Maryland between June 8 and June 26.

President James Madison

President James Madison

On June 20, near Benedict, Maryland on the Patuxent River, an advance party of U.S. cavalry clashed with a British raiding party, killing one and capturing five.

Meanwhile, U.S. President James Madison and his cabinet still have their eyes on Canada. Madison thinks if U.S. generals can take parts of Lower Canada before Wellingtons veterans reach North America, the United States will have a bargaining chip at the peace negotiations. Washington dispatches troops from Ohio on June 19 to begin a campaign to control Lake Huron and recapture  Mackinac Island. More troops are moved along the Niagara frontier between New York and Canada, although little is done to reinforce Baltimore, Washington or New Orleans.

 

June 16, 2014 at 11:38 pm Leave a comment

THIS WEEK in the War of 1812 (May 25-May 31, 1814)

Jackson promoted.

Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson

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).

– – –

War Comes to the Chesapeake

rear Adm. George Cockburn (Royal Museums Greenwich)

Rear Adm. George Cockburn
(Royal Museums Greenwich)

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.

– – –

Skirmish at Sandy Creek, New York

May 30 – The war in the North is not over yet.

Oneida warrior

Oneida warrior

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.

 

 

May 29, 2014 at 12:03 am Leave a comment

THIS WEEK in the War of 1812 (February 16- 22)

No Man’s Land

Since the American defeat at Crysler’s Farm in November 1813, the Northern Front along the St. Lawrence River has been quiet. But British raids continue across the river into New York State. From February 14 to February 24 the British and Canadians hit depots and supply centers left unprotected following the evacuation of French Mills by U.S. Major General James Wilkinson’s army in early February.

(Map courtesy U.S. Army xxxxxxxxx Center)

(Map courtesy U.S. Army Office of the Chief of Military History)

In the Fall of 1813, Wilkinson planned to combine with Major General Wade Hampton in a two-pronged campaign to invade Canada and take Montreal. But the plan fell apart when Hampton’s force is battered at the Battle of Chateauguay on October 26, 1813 and withdrew to Plattsburgh, rather than continue advancing.

Then Wilkinson’s army is defeated at Crysler’s Farm on November 11, 1813 and he ends the campaign and heads for French Mills on the Salmon River. But life is difficult in the winter camp in New York’s rugged North Country. More than 200 soldiers die during the winter and by mid February, Wilkinson’s troops burn their boats and march South to Sacket’s Harbor on Lake Ontario and east to Plattsburgh on Lake Champlain.

In their raids on the abandoned supply centers, the British capture large amounts of provisions and equipment at French Mills, Malone, Fort Corners, Madrid and Hopkinton – all in New York.

Meanwhile, farther west along the Great Lakes, there are occasional skirmishes between American raiding or scouting parties and the Canadian militia, in what is now the Province of Ontario across the Detroit River from Michigan Territory. The Americans occupy the abandoned Fort Malden in Amherstburg on the Canadian side of the river. The Canadians occupy Burlington and a small outpost at Delaware between Amherstburg and Burlington.

Candian Voltiguers skirmishing (Photo courtesy of Parks Canada)

Candian Voltiguers skirmishing (Photo courtesy of Parks Canada)

On February 21, 1814 the American commander of Amherstburg sends Captain Andrew Holmes to capture either Delaware or another small British-Canadian outpost at Port Talbot on Lake Erie.

Chatham. Homles has mounted detachments of the 24th, 26th, 27th and 28th U.S. Infantry regiments and two small cannon. He is joined by rangers and militiamen from Michigan in a march along Lake Erie to Port Talbot.

The American raid will result in the Battle of Longwoods in March.

February 17, 2014 at 12:10 am 1 comment

THIS WEEK in the War of 1812 (Jan. 26-Feb. 1, 1814)

January 27 – Calabee Creek

The pro-British Red Stick faction of the Creek Indian Nation are emboldened by the withdrawal a week earlier of Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson’s failed retaliatory expedition against their stronghold at the Horseshoe Bend of the Tallapoosa River in what is now Alabama. (Then part of the Mississippi Territory).

Creek War 1813-14 (PCL Map Collection at the University of Texas at Austin)

Creek War 1813-14
(PCL Map Collection at the University of Texas at Austin)

On Jan. 27, the Red Sticks launch a night attack on a force of Georgia volunteers and friendly Yuchi Indians under the command of Gen. John Floyd at Calebee Creek about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of Fort Mitchell on the Alabama-Georgia border.

Floyd’s force of 1,200 infantry, a company of cavalry and 400 Yuchi repulsed the attacking Creeks. But afterward Floyd immediately withdrew to the Chattahoochee River in Georgia.

January 29-30 New Brunswick, Canada

Meanwhile, far to the north, officials in Canada are nervous about the disposition of their army and naval forces scattered along the frontier with the United States. While the Creeks battle U.S. forces in the South, and Army posts along the upper Mississippi River are threatened by the Sac, Fox and other Midwestern tribes, Canada’s Native American allies in the Great Lakes region have been crushed at the Battle of the Thames, which saw the death of charismatic Shawnee leader, Tecumseh.

Death of Tecumseh at the Battle of the Thames (Photo courtesy Canadian government War of 1812 Website)

Death of Tecumseh at the Battle of the Thames
(Photo courtesy Canadian government War of 1812 Website)

The British build defenses on Bridge Island in what was then called Upper Canada to shelter supply boats traveling the St. Lawrence River. A 90-man cavalry barracks is constructed on a key road midway between St. Jean on the Richelieu River and the outskirts of Montreal in Lower Canada.

On January 10 an American patrol is captured by militia in Lower Canada near Missisiquoi Bay. A few days later British troops raid Franklin County in New York State.

Also in January, 217 men dispatched to crew two ships being built at Kingston, Upper Canada (in what is now the Province of Ontario) arrive at Saint John, New Brunswick by ship from Halifax, Nova Scotia. The citizens of Saint John respond overwhelmingly to a request for sleighs and sleds to convey the sailors to Fredericton on their way to their ships farther up the St. Lawrence. The Royal Navy men depart by land on January 29 and 30.

January 26, 2014 at 11:27 pm 1 comment


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