War of 1812

In a skirmish on Maryland's Eastern Shore, local militia stood up to the British army and delayed the attack on Baltimore. 

The oft forgotten Battle of Caulk’s Field took place in the night of August 30, lasting into the early morning hours of Aug. 31, 1814, sandwiched in the week between the burning of Washington and the attack on Fort McHenry. Read more >>

Tall ships and U.S. Navy vessels sailed into Baltimore Harbor past Fort McHenry to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812

Square-riggers, schooners, and sleek gray warships from around the world converged on Baltimore the second week of June for the “Star Spangled Sailabration” commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812’s start. Read more >>

From her chaplain’s diary comes this graphic story of the final sea battle of America’s famous frigate

Several years ago the Indiana University family voted to collect fines from professors who parked overtime on the campus. The money raised was turned over to the University library to buy additions to its special collections. Among the first purchases made, for the University’s War of 1812 Collection, was the manuscript journal which served as the basis for the story which is printed here. Read more >>

Two hundred and fifty years ago, Major Robert Rogers and his rangers launched a daring wilderness raid against an enemy village, but paid a steep price

A dozen miles north of the British fort of Crown Point on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, amid the buttonbush, bulrush, and cattail wetlands that crowded Otter Creek’s delta, Maj. Robert Rogers glassed down the lake for the lateen sails of a patrolling enemy French sloop or schooner. Pulled into hiding within the marsh lay 17 whaleboats, each bearing eight oars and provisions for a month. It was Saturday, September 15, 1759, in the midst of the French and Indian War, the titanic struggle between the French and British empires for dominion over North America. Read more >>

We’ve kept Fallujah, but have we lost our souls?

A scholar searches across two centuries to discover the main engine of our government’s growth—and reaches a controversial conclusion

Alexis de Tocqueville observed in 1835 that America had no neighbors and hence no enemies. Read more >>

After every war in the nation’s history, the military has faced not only calls for demobilization but new challenges and new opportunities. It is happening again.

Not many people appreciate a military base closing. Like the shutting of a factory, it can devastate nearby towns, throwing thousands of people out of work. Merchants face losses and even bankruptcy as sales fall off. Read more >>

The fascinating contents of a newly discovered document of the War of 1812

THE AMERICAN frigate Constitution is preserved in Boston, where she was built and where she was launched in October 1797. Read more >>

"With half the western world at stake, See Perry on the middle lake.” —Nineteenth-century ballad

In the late summer of 1812 a Great Lakes merchant captain named Daniel Dobbins arrived in Washington. Read more >>

While some American captives languished, others conducted a flourishing market—and a huge black sailor organized everything

Stark, mist-enshrouded Dartmoor prison has long held a fascination for those interested in British crime. Read more >>
The Kentucky rifle, which because of its astonishing accuracy earned. A substantial credit for American victories in both the Revolution and the War of 1812, was unknown by that name until after the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. Read more >>

The year was 1814, and within three weeks our “young and not always wise” nation suffered acute shame and astonishing victory

At Ghent five Americans—divided and far from home—held firm for a treaty that won their nation new respect, and began a lasting alliance

I t was St. John’s Day, a gentle introduction to summer, and the road, Lowered by leafing elms and poplars and oaks, carved through lush grain fields and meticulous flower gardens. Read more >>

Did the Battle of Fayal really have an impact on the Battle of New Orleans 3,000 miles away?

Historians disagree about how crucial the battle of Fayal was to Jackson’s victory at New Orleans. Those of the nineteenth century, among them Benson Lossing, generally agreed with Jackson’s sentiments, quoted at the beginning of Mr. Baker’s article. Read more >>

A lonely, gallant battle fought by the designer of our flag set the stage for Andrew Jackson's victory at New Orleans.

American sea captain George Coggeshall tells of his experiences evading the British navy during the War of 1812 and spending over half a century at sea.

George Coggeshall of Milford, Connecticut, was a sea captain in the great Yankee tradition. His father had been a successful shipmaster but was ruined by repeated confiscations of his cargoes by British and French vessels in the years after the Revolution. Read more >>

Andrew Jackson won a stunning victory over a veteran British army that would eventually propel him to the White House

On August 24 and 25, 1814, British forces were in full possession of Washington; from August 29 to 31 other forces held Alexandria. From September 11 to 14 they were feeling out the defenses of Baltimore. Then the greater part of them vanished out of sight; once the British ships were over the horizon there was almost no means of knowing where they were and far smaller means of knowing what they intended, for by this time the blockade of the Atlantic Coast was highly effective, and there were few ships to bring in news even of the outside world, certainly not of the movements of the British lleet. No one could even be sure that any further offensive movement was meditated, but it was the duty of the American government to act on the hypothesis that the enemy would attempt to do all the harm possible —and that implied that British movements must be foreseen and guarded against. Read more >>

Only a lucky rainfall put an end to our humiliation