Casebook: The War of 1812
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Timeline
War of 1812 Timeline

--- 1812 ---

- May -

11 May 1812

British Prime Minister Assassinated
British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval, on entering Parliament in London, was shot in the chest by an angry petitioner. The hard line Perceval government was replaced by a more moderate ministry under Lord Liverpool, but the United States, which did not hear of the government change for weeks, was moving toward war.

- June -

16 June 1812

British Orders in Council Repealed
One of the prime causes of war fervor in the United States, the British Orders in Council, were repealed following a campaign by British politician Henry Brougham. News would not reach the United States for weeks--too late!

18 June 1812

President Madison Declares War
In Washington, D.C., President James Madison signed the declaration of war that began the War of 1812. "Mr. Madison's War" had begun and would not end for another two and a half years.

- July -

12 July 1812

Hull Enters Canada

17 July 1812

Fort Michilimackinac Surrenders to the British

- August -

5 August 1812

Battle of Brownstown
Major Thomas Van Horne led around 200 Ohio militiamen in an attempt to open up supply lines south of Detroit to help General Hull's stalled incursion into Canada. Attacked on the American side of the Detroit River at Brownstown by Indians led by Tecumseh, Van Horne lost seventeen men as well as vital military mail, and he escaped back to Detroit.

9 August 1812

Battle of Magagua
U.S. forces under Colonel James Miller made a further attempt to escort supplies to British-besieged Detroit on Lake St. Clair. The attempt failed when, on the American side of the Detroit River at Magagua, Miller and his men were driven off by a British-Indian force under Captain Adam Muir.

15 August 1812

Fort Dearborn Massacre
General William Hull, blockaded by the British in Detroit, unwisely ordered Captain Nathan Heald to evacuate Fort Dearborn (modern-day Chicago). After Heald abandoned the fort, the militia garrison and civilians were attacked by Potawatomi Indians with many Americans being massacred or taken prisoner.

16 August 1812

American Surrender of Detroit
In one of the worst moments of the war for the United States, Brigadier General William Hull surrendered the fort at Detroit without firing a shot. He had recently failed in his foray into Canada and found himself surrounded by British regulars and militia under Major General Isaac Brock and Indians under Tecumseh. The British would retain control of the fort for thirteen months, abandoning it after their defeat in the Battle of Lake Erie in September 1813.

19 August 1812

The 'Constitution' Defeats the 'Guerriere'

- October -

13 October 1812

Brock Killed at the Battle of Queenston Heights

18 October 1812

The 'Wasp' (U.S.) Defeats the 'Frolic' (British)

The 'Wasp' Captured by the 'Poictiers'

25 October 1812

The 'United States' Defeats 'Macedonian'

- December -

3 December 1812

William Eustis Resigns as Secretary of War

29 December 1812

The 'Constitution' Defeats the 'Java'

Paul Hamilton Resigns as Secretary of the Navy

--- 1813 ---

- January -

12 January 1813

William Jones Sworn in as Secretary of the Navy

23 January 1813

The River Raisin Massacre

- February -

5 February 1813

John Armstrong Sworn in as Secretary of War

24 February 1813

The Hornet Defeats the Peacock

- March -

27 March 1813

Oliver Hazard Perry Begins Construction of Lake Erie Fleet

30 March 1813

British Blockade Extended Across Eastern Seaboard

- April -

15 April 1813

Wilkinson Captures Mobile, Alabama

27 April 1813

Americans Capture York (Toronto)

- May -

1 May 1813

Seige of Fort Meigs

27 May 1813

Americans Capture Fort George

29 May 1813

British Forces Defeated at Sackett's Harbor

- June -

1 June 1813

The Shannon Defeats the Chesapeake

6 June 1813

American Detachment Defeated at Stoney Creek

- August -

1 August 1813

Fort Stephenson Prevails over British Attack

4 August 1813

Perry's Fleet Enters Lake Erie

5 August 1813

Decatur vs. Dominica
The U.S.-French privateer-schooner Decatur, Captain Dominique Diron, engaged the British schooner Dominica, Lieutenant George Barretté, off the southern U.S. coast. In a bloody encounter, the twice wounded British commander, refusing to surrender, was killed, and his crew had to haul down the colors.

14 August 1813

Capture of the USS Brig Argus by HMS Brig Pelican
In an engagement off St David's Head, South Wales, Pelican under Lt. John Fordyce Maples captured the American brig which had been raiding round the British coast in John Paul Jones-like audacity. In a bloody battle, the commander of Argus, Lieutenant William Henry, lost a leg and died the following day.

30 August 1813

Fort Mims Massacre

- September -

10 September 1813

Battle of Lake Erie

27 September 1813

Harrison Lands in Canada

- October -

5 October 1813

Battle of the Thames

26 October 1813

Battle of Chateaugay
Invading Canada from Lake Champlain, American General Wayne Hampton advanced down the Chateaugay River against defenses established by General Sir George Prevost. An American detachment under Colonel Robert Purdy was repulsed by Canadian militia led by Colonel Charles-Michel Salaberry, forcing Hampton to withdraw and later resign his commission.

- November -

29 November 1813

Battle of Autosse
Gen. John Floyd with 950 Georgia militia and 400 Friendly Creek warriors raids the hostile Creek village of Autosse killing 200 Indians and destroying 400 dwellings

--- 1814 ---

- August -

24 August 1814

Battle of Bladensburg
British Major General Robert Ross commanding around 4,000 troops routed the American troops numbering 6,000, (mainly raw militia) under Brigadier General William H. Winder, U.S. Army, and went on to occupy Washington, D.C.

British occupation of Washington, D.C.
Having routed the Americans at Bladensburg, British Major General Robert Ross occupied the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. for two days. During this time, the public buildings, including the Capitol and White House were burned, before the British retreated to their ships on the Patuxent, leaving in the early hours of August 26.

- September -

12 September 1814

Battle of North Point
On September 12, Major General Robert Ross was killed after disembarking at North Point, east of Baltimore. In the battle that followed Ross's mortal wounding, the British under Colonel Arthur Brooke won against Brigadier General John Stricker's militia but at a heavy loss, and they advanced on Baltimore the following morning.

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Copyright © Christopher T. George, 2006