The War of 1812 (3)
of Major Northern Campaigns
safety at Fort Erie, the Americans were besieged by the
British for several months before they finally fought through
the lines and escaped.
was now time for the Americans to be on the back foot and,
in 1814, two British expeditions now moved against the United
first was a combined land-amphibious attack on Plattsburg,
where some 14,000 veteran British troops pushed back fewer
than 5000 American troops and militia.
Sir John Prevost won the land encounter, but Britain's seaborne
assault force was halted by the Americans and then forced
to surrender. In danger of being cut off, Prevost withdrew.
second was more successful and ended with the burning of
the White House by British troops under General Robert Ross,
who had landed at Chesapeake Bay with 5000 men.
by a larger force of militia at Bladensberg,
the British veterans brushed past the Americans and headed
August 24, the symbol of American independence - the White
House - along with other public buildings, was ablaze. American
politicians weren't there to witness the scenes, having
didn't enjoy the success for long, however, as during his
follow-up invasion of Maryland, he was mortally wounded
in a clash near Baltimore.
successful American defence of Fort McHenry in 1814 inspired
the lyrics of what would become the US national anthem The
final encounter of the sideshow war was at New
Orleans, where an army of British veterans from the
Peninsular War was spectacularly defeated by heavily entrenched
American troops and militia under General
British commander, Sir Edward
Pakenham, launched a frontal assault that was shattered
by the accurate fire from Jackson's men.
was mortally wounded and 2000 others killed or injured.
The Americans are reported to have suffered only 13 casualties.
War of 1812 achieved little, but did save Canada's independence.
It was also a bloody turning point in Western affairs that
eventually led to a strong bond between Britain and the