War of 1812

Shaky Stand at Bladensburg

By Blaine Taylor

The British Army of soldiers, Royal Marines and naval infantry—actually sailors from His Majesty’s Navy fighting on dry land with musket, pike and cutlass—were marching full-tilt for the capital of the United States this hot, sweltering August 24, 1814. Read more

American soldiers man an artillery post on the south end of San Juan Island. A dispute over the boundary between Washington Territory and British Columbia almost led to an armed conflict between the United States and Great Britain in 1859.

War of 1812

James Douglas’ Audacious Plans after the Trent Affair

By William Silvester

On November 8, 1861, two distinguished diplomats from the newly established Confederate States of America were arrested and removed from the British mail steamer Trent by the American ship San Jacinto in the Bahama Channel near Havana, Cuba. Read more

“Push on, brave York volunteers,” urges the dying Major General Isaac Brock, in this 1896 painting by John David Kelly.

War of 1812

Disaster at Queenston Heights

By Chuck Lyons

In June 1812, the United States, provoked by arrogant British actions on the high seas and its support of hostile Indians in the Northwest Territories, declared war on Great Britain and immediately began planning an invasion of British-held Canada. Read more

War of 1812

Reckoning at Horseshoe Bend

By Christopher G. Marquis

In the late summer of 1813, some 550 men, women, and children took refuge within a small wilderness outpost and waited for the worst. Read more

Captain James Lawrence was mortally wounded in the clash between frigates USS Chesapeake and HMS Shannon off Boston in June 1813. The American defeat left New Englanders, many of whom opposed the war, shocked and stunned.

War of 1812

Deadly Frigate Victory

By William E. Welsh

The late summer day began like many others on the Maine coast. Seagulls wheeled overhead, seals sunned on seaweed-covered ledges, and the ocean pounded rocky headlands. Read more

War of 1812

The Congreve Rocket: Britannia’s Red Glare

By Blaine Taylor

During the October 1813 Battle of Nations at Leipzig between the French, under Emperor Napoleon I, and the German-Swedish-Russian-English coalition, French troops were astonished to see whooshing smoking rockets flying at them from enemy lines. Read more

War of 1812

Battle of the Thames

By Christopher Miskimon

A British squadron lay wrecked on the waters of Lake Erie. Six vessels of war floated in ruins and 135 English sailors lay dead or wounded. Read more

War of 1812

British Raid up the Potomac

By Gustav Person

In the summer of 1814, the residents of the District of Columbia and surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia had considerable cause for concern. Read more

The men who served under Edward Preble, veteran of the 1st Barbary War, the War of 1812 and the fight at Tripoli helped form the Navy's long-standing traditions.

War of 1812

Edward Preble & “Preble’s Boys”

by Steven Ossad

Known as “Preble’s Boys,” the generation of young American naval leaders who served under Commodore Edward Preble (1761-1807) established the foundation and traditions that shaped and continue to inspire the U.S. Read more