Hull thought that he could move east from Detroit and occupy the lower portion of what is now Ontario. He was unprepared for the resistance he met, from both British regulars and local militias. His retreat from Canada continued past Detroit and to Pennsylvania. He left the settlers of the Midwest unprotected and open to raids by the British and their Indian allies. This would not be the last time in the War of 1812 that a general’s ego played a key role in a loss on either side.
An Act Declaring War Between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Dependencies Thereof and the United States of America and Their Territories.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That war be and the same is hereby declared to exist between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the dependencies thereof, and the United States of America and their territories; and that the President of the United States is hereby authorized to use the whole land and naval force of the United States to carry the same into effect, and to issue to private armed vessels of the United States commissions or letters of marque and general reprisal, in such form as he shall think proper, and under the seal of the United States, against the vessels, goods, and effects of the government of the said United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the subjects thereof.
From 1812 to 1815, the United States fought Great Britain, its colonists in Canada and its Native American allies. New York State was at the center of the struggle, with both land and sea borders with Canada and seacoast on the Atlantic Ocean. The bicentennial begins in 2012 and will include events in and around the state.
June 18, 1812 – Congress declares war on Great Britain.
July 19, 1812 – USS Oneida drives off several British vessels attempting to attack Sackets Harbort, NY.
October 18, 1812 – Maj. Gen. Stephen van Rensselaer fords the Niagara River near Lewiston, NY, with nearly 1,300 troops. An attempt to take the Canadian town of Queenston fails. 300 Americans are killed and 1,000 taken captive.
July 1814 – American troops cross the Niagara again. They recapture Fort Erie. In a battle with British regulars at Chippewa Creek, the American force their retreat.
July 24, 1814 – the invading Americans meet British and Canadian forces at Lundy’s Lane. One of the largest battles of the war, both sides claimed victory. The cost was steep, some 1,600 casualties on both sides, and the Americans retreated to Fort Erie.
September 6-11, 1814 – British troops advance to the village of Plattsburgh, N.Y. The two sides fought a naval battle on Lake Champlain which the British lost. The British troops retired to Canada without further combat.
February 18, 1815 – President James Madison signs the Treaty of Ghent, ending the war of 1812.
On the morning of September 12, 1814, a British force of 9,000 men landed at North Point, Maryland, with the intention of marching inland and capturing Baltimore. Brig. Gen. John Stricker, commander of the 3d Brigade of the Maryland militia, was ordered to delay the British advance so that the defensive entrenchments around the city could be completed. The 5th Regiment was assigned the task of holding the American right flank. Despite two hours of artillery and rocket fire, the 5th Maryland stood their ground. After inflicting some 300 casualties, the 5th was ordered to fall back to a new position in front of the Baltimore trenches. The British army, exhausted by the fighting and surprised by the stubborn defense of the Maryland militia, withdrew, while the British navy failed to silence the guns of Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor. Thwarted on land and sea the British force sailed away
On land and at sea, the United States and Great Britain struggled for three years in a war that many historians see as the final chapter of the American Revolution. From 1812 to 1815, the U.S. Navy was on the front lines worldwide as it fought the Royal Navy. At home, Canada and the U.S. were both battlegrounds as capitals burned and the tides of war flowed back and forth. The War of 1812 settled the issue, once and for all, of America’s relationship with Great Britain and established the new nation as quite thoroughly independent.
The approaching bicentennial of the War of 1812 is being commemorated by the United States and Canada in a series of events to be held all along the East Coast, through the Great Lakes and down in New Orleans. The U.S. Navy sees these events as a way to highlight the events of the time and to also feature the modern Navy with its current missions and capabilities.
The first event on the 1812 calendar is a visit to the last battlefield of the war, New Orleans. From January 6-8, 2012, the National Parks Service will remember the 197th anniversary of the battle immortalized by singer Johnny Horton.