Wars, Battles & Revolutions in History



War of 1812: Glossary A-Z

:: Canada
Canada, as mentioned in the context of the War of 1812, refers to the British dominions in North America at the time.

In 1867, Canada (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Canada) became a united dominion by means of the British North America Act, also called the Constitution Act, of 1867.

See this handy map:

Canada and Newfoundland. Inset: The Arbitration Boundary between Canada and Alaska.
Canada and Newfoundland 1623-1905


:: Hartford Convention
The Hartford Convention was an assembly of
 Federalists who met from December 15, 1814, to January 5, 1815, at Hartford, Connecticut, to discuss pressing issues such as defense and its funding.

The fact that its proceedings took place in closed sessions, and its unfortunate timing (the Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24, 1814) earned the Federalist Party the reputation of being unpatriotic, and largely contributed to its downfall.

Also in the attendance of this convention were some hardliners who talked about a possible secession of New England from the Union, which, to the rest of the Nation, just seemed to confirm the aforementioned reputation.

:: Impressment
Impressment is the act or practice of forcibly enlisting, or to "press," someone into public service.

The British Royal Navy, at the time at war with France, suffered a severe shortage of seamen who cheerfully switched to become crew members on American merchant ships because pay and conditions were much better there.

To reclaim their British deserters, the Royal Navy simply boarded American vessels, and seized these men by authority.

In the process, many Americans were taken as well.

These American citizens could hope to be eventually released by the British government, but it could take years to verify their citizenship. In the meantime, they had to work, and fight, for the British.

In 1812 it was estimated that over 6000 Americans were serving in British ships, of whom 2500 were imprisoned for refusing to take up arms against their own country.

War and Peace in an Age of Upheaval,
The New Cambridge Modern History

Impressment was mentioned in the American declaration of war. However, the United States didn't insist on addressing the issue in the Treaty of Ghent, because by then Napoleon had been taken care of, and British impressment had ceased to be a concern.

Here is more about impressment.

:: Political Parties
In the U.S. of 1812, the two major political parties were the Democratic-Republican Party and the Federalist Party.

Democratic-Republican Party

Presidents Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe (combined in office from 1801-1825) were members of the Democratic-Republican Party.

The Democratic-Republican Party started out in 1792 as the Republican Party. Opponents called them Democratic-Republicans, and in 1798, this became their accepted name.

In 1844, the Democratic-Republican Party became the Democratic Party as we know it today.

Federalist Party

The Federalist Party was created in 1791. This party had the upper hand in American politics until the end of
John Adams' presidency in 1801.

The War of 1812 broke its back. How so?

In 1812, the House voted 79 to 49, and the Senate voted 19 to 13 in favor of the war bill.

Split by political party, in both houses of Congress, the Republicans voted 98 to 23 for the war, while all Federalists voted against the war with 39 to 0.

While the War of 1812 lingered on, Federalists enjoyed popularity in their opposition. But once the war was over, a combination of smart moves by the Republican Party and a general wave of patriotism erased all credit points so far accumulated by the Federalists.

The final nail into the Federalists' coffin was the Hartford Convention.

However, it seems that neither the Hartford Convention nor the Federalists themselves justifiably deserved the bad rep that they received.

Their criticism of the war was legit, the Hartford Convention was, although ill-timed, a moderate attempt to solve real problems, and, in the end, the Republican Party adapted many of the Federalists' views and goals.

Republican Party (Grand Old Party)

The Republican Party, as we know it today, was established in 1856.

Let this map help you:

United States - Presidential Elections and Political Parties 1796 - 1968
U.S. Presidential Elections
and Political Parties 1796 - 1968


:: Re-Export Trade
The re-export trade of American merchants became a big bone of contention between the United States and Britain, as well as a major cause of the War of 1812.

How so?

The British Rule of 1756 decreed that business with certain colonies which had been prohibited in times of peace was not allowed in times of war.

So far, so good.

In the early 1800s, American merchants saw an opportunity to make a good buck. Because of the tensions between France and Britain, the French weren't able to move as freely with their commercial vessels as they would have liked to.

American ships sailed to the French West Indian colonies, took cargo, and, bearing in mind the Rule of 1756, made a pit stop at an American port, and then went on to Europe.

Naturally, this re-export didn't sit right with the British.

Surprisingly, however, in 1802, a British Admiralty Court ruled in favor of the Americans. This was the case of the Polly. The Polly took cargo from the Spanish West Indies, interrupted its voyage at Marblehead, Massachusetts, where it unloaded the cargo, paid customs, reloaded the cargo, and was then seized en route to Spain by the British navy.

In May 1805, the British High Court of Admiralty issued the Essex Decision, unmasking a simple stopover in the United States as such.

The Essex, by the way, was a U.S. merchant ship seized en route from Salem to Havana by the British in 1804. The voyage had begun in Barcelona. The Essex Decision declared this capture legal, thus restricting neutral shipping.

James Madison called the Essex Decision a "new and shameful depredation."

Encouraged by the Essex Decision, the British Navy seized between 300 an 400 American ships that were engaged in the reexport trade.

In December 1806, Britain and the U.S. signed the Monroe-Pinkney Treaty, a treaty of compromise regarding the re-export trade. But this treaty was never ratified.

Instead, the relationship between the two countries worsened. Each country responded to the apparent injustice of the other with a counter law. See also  The War of 1812 Builds.


:: Old Northwest
The Old Northwest, or just Northwest, refers to the land north of the Ohio River, east of the Mississippi River, and south of the Great Lakes.

Today, it is the states Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and a smidgen of Minnesota. Here is the map:

Map of the Northwest Territory
In 1787, the Old Northwest became
the Northwest Territory.

Ohio achieved statehood in 1803, Indiana in 1816, Illinois in 1818, Michigan in 1837, Wisconsin in 1848, and Minnesota 1858.

Back to the Old Northwest.

After the 1783 Treaty of Paris, at the end of the American Revolution, the Old Northwest switched owners from the British to the Americans, who were celebrating their independence.

Completely ignored by this treaty, however, was the fact that this was not vacant territory, nor did the actual owners have a For Sale sign in their yard.

Therefore, it became the main objective to find means and justifications to have the Native Americans surrender or simply abandon their homes. Whatever made them go away.

Welcome to the American Indian Policy 1783-1812.





Tit for Tat — The Americans Burn York (Toronto), the British Burn Washington D.C.
Tit for Tat — The Americans Burn York (Toronto), the British Burn Washington D.C.
How Did It Get This Ugly?


The War of 1812

The War of 1812 is also called the Anglo-American War, or America's Second War of Independence, because it was the second and last time the United States went to war with Great Britain.

Some opponents of U.S. President  James Madison (fourth U.S. president, 1809-1817) referred to it as Mr. Madison's War.

The War of 1812 was the last war in American history in which Indian tribes were powerful enough to defend their collective interests, and therefore influential enough to play a role in international politics.

Who Fought the War of 1812?

The United States fought against Great Britain. Indian tribes fought on both sides.

Two Indian wars, Tecumseh's Revolt and the  Creek War, are intertwined with the War of 1812.

Images Above

Picture upper left:
Death of Pike, 1813.
Engraving from Charles J. Peterson's The Military Heroes of the War of 1812 and the War with Mexico, 1848.

"American General Zebulon Pike commanded the first attack on York on 27 April 1813. He was killed by falling debris when the Grand Magazine was blown up by the British defenders of Fort York as the Americans attacked."
Library & Archives Canada

Picture lower right:
The British Burn the Capitol, 1814.
Oil on Canvas by Allyn Cox in 1973-1974
Photograph taken on October 12, 2011, in the Cox Corridors, Capitol. United States Government Work
Architect of the Capitol

Who Won the War of 1812? Who Lost?

The War of 1812 ended in a draw. Nobody won, least of all the Native American tribes.

Canada almost certainly gained the most from this war. This was the second and last time that the U.S. tried to conquer Canada. In his book The War of 1812, Donald R. Hickey called it "the closest thing that Canada has had to a war of independence or a civil war."

The Canadian Government describes the War of 1812 as "a defining moment in our country's history, paving the way for Confederation."

When Did the War of 1812 Begin? When Did It End?

The War of 1812 was fought from 1812 to 1815.

The War begun on June 18, 1812, when U.S. President James Madison signed the declaration of war against Great Britain.

Check this event in the Timeline of the War of 1812

At the beginning of the War of 1812, the map of the United States looked like this:

Map of the Expansion of the United States 1812-1822
In Light Orange: The United States in 1812
Encyclopædia Britannica Online
Click map to view more U.S. expansion maps.



The War of 1812 ended on February 17, 1815.

The Treaty of Ghent concluded the war. It was signed on December 24, 1814. But news of the peace agreement traveled slow, and the British attacked New Orleans on January 8, 1815.

On February 17, 1815, ratifications of the Treaty of Ghent were exchanged and President Madison declared the war at an end.

Check this event in the Timeline of the War of 1812


Where Was the War of 1812 Fought?

The War of 1812 was fought in several locations:

in Eastern North America (the Old Northwest) / Upper Canada,
in the U.S. Southwest / Mexican Gulf Coast,
in Chesapeake Bay and up along the Atlantic Coast,
and in the North Atlantic Ocean.

One naval battle was fought off the coast of Brazil (South Atlantic Ocean), and another one off the coast of Chile (Pacific Ocean).

And here are the maps:

Campaigns of the War of 1812. The Southwest. Vicinity of Washington in 1814.
Three Maps of the Campaigns of the War of 1812
- Hull's route 1812
- Harrison's route 1813
- Dearborn's route 1812-1813
- Wilkinson's route 1813
- Jackson's route 1813-1814
- British route

Click map to enlarge


Eastern North America 1812
Eastern North America in 1812
Click map to enlarge



The Creek War

The Creek War was fought from July 27, 1813, to March 27, 1814.

Originally not part of the War of 1812, the Creek War was a civil war between Native Americans and white Americans.

Later, some of the Creek Indians allied with the British in the War of 1812, while some others fought against them.

Davy Crockett was one of the men who fought against the Creek in the South under General Andrew Jackson.

Go here for more on the Creek War.


Why Was the War of 1812 Fought?

Historians can't agree on one main cause of the War of 1812. The key dynamics were the following:

:: Maritime Rights and Law
Disagreement over maritime rights between the United States and Great Britain, namely the
re-export trade and the practice of impressment by the British Royal Navy.

:: Expansionism / Native American Interests
As a result of ruthless land grabbing by white Americans, Native Americans rallied around the Shawnee chief
Tecumseh to fight back. Although the British did not initiate this uprising, they welcomed it.

:: The War Hawks
A group of U.S. congressmen, aka the War Hawks, argued that American commerce and American honor was under attack by the British. Their recommended solution was to invade
Canada in order to restore both.


Background of the War of 1812: Recent or Ongoing Wars

:: United States
The Americans were involved in the
Quasi-War against France from July 7, 1798, until September 30, 1800, and the Tripolitan War against Tripoli (then part of the Ottoman Empire, today's Libya) from May 14, 1801 until June 4, 1805. The Patriot War (also called Patriot's War) of 1812 was an unsuccessful attempt to annex Spanish East Florida.

:: Britain
On May 16, 1803, Britain declared war on France and the
Napoleonic Wars begun. The Napoleonic Wars ended on November 20, 1815.


The War of 1812 Builds: A Brief Timeline
Included are some events that might be helpful to put the War of 1812 into its historical context.

Treaty of Paris. Great Britain recognizes the independent United States.

Jay Treaty. With the Jay Treaty, Great Britain and the U.S. try to achieve what the Treaty of Paris should have accomplished. Maritime claims from both sides are addressed and successfully handled. U.S.-U.K. relations calm down. Impressment, however, is an important issue that was not addressed by the Jay treaty.

April 30, 1798
U.S. Congress establishes the Department of the Navy (naval matters were formerly taken care of by the War Department.) By 1812, the U.S. Navy will be 4,000 voluntary recruits and 500 officers strong.

The national capital of the United States is moved from Philadelphia to Washington D.C., thanks to the Residence Act of July 16, 1790.

March 4, 1801
Thomas Jefferson's inauguration. He will be U.S. President until 1809.

April 30, 1803
Louisiana Purchase

May 1805
Essex Decision - A British maritime law against

November 21, 1806
Berlin Decree - Napoleon's economic warfare against Britain. With his Berlin Decree, Napoleon declares a blockade of the British Isles. He prohibits all trade with British ports, including her colonies.

December 31, 1806
Monroe-Pinkney Treaty - U.S. minister James Monroe and U.S. special envoy William Pinkney are able to negotiate a treaty with the British, a treaty that addressed all major disagreements with regards to maritime law, except impressment. Signed on this day by all parties, this treaty won't make a difference. Why on earth not? U.S. President Jefferson will decide not to forward it to the Senate because the issue of impressment was left out.

January 7, 1807
Order in Council - British answer to Napoleon's Berlin Decree. Britain prohibits trade with all French ports, including her colonies.

May 1, 1807
Slave Trade Outlawed - Britain declares the slave trade illegal.

Summer of 1807
Napoleon begins to seize American ships, while referring to his Berlin Decree.

June 22, 1807
Chesapeake-Leopard Affair is an incident between the American frigate USS Chesapeake and the British HMS Leopard. Nine miles off Hampton Roads, Virginia, the British demand to search the American ship for British deserters, but their request is denied. British Captain Salusbury Humphreys then orders to open fire. Immediately, the Chesapeake strikes its colors. Humphrey takes four alleged deserters with him and sails into the sunset, leaving behind 3 Americans dead, 18 wounded, one of them mortally, and enough American outrage to last longer than the War of 1812 itself.

November 11, 1807
Order in Council - The British further elaborate on their response to Napoleon's Berlin Decree. From now on, all neutral ships have to call at British ports or be subjected to a search by British authorities.

December 17, 1807
Milan Decree - Napoleon's answer to the British Orders in Council. The French will treat a ship with British papers, or a ship that has previously called at a British port, as British, no matter its actual flag, and therefore, is will be seized by France.

December 22, 1807
Embargo Act - The U.S. reacts to British impressment and the laws issued by Britain and France, which are severely crippling neutral commerce. In fact, it has become impossible to remain neutral. This U.S. Embargo Act prohibits American trade with any other nation. It is a desperate shot in the own foot and will be repealed on March 1, 1809.

January 1, 1808
Slave Trade Outlawed - The U.S. declares the slave trade illegal.

March 1, 1809
Non-Intercourse Act - The American Non-Intercourse Act replaces the Embargo Act from December 22, 1807. It is allowed to export goods again, but trade with Britain and France and their respective colonies is still prohibited. However, the Non-Intercourse Act allows the president to repeal these trade restrictions in favor of whoever, Britain or France, would revoke their trade restrictions against the U.S. first. Here is an excerpt:

Be it enacted that the President of the United States be, and he hereby is authorized, in case either France or Great Britain shall so revoke or modify her edicts, as that they shall cease to violate the neutral commerce of the United States, to declare the same by proclamation: after which the trade of the United States, suspended by this act, and by the [Embargo Act]  and the several acts supplementary thereto, may be renewed with the nation so doing.

March 4, 1809

Madison's Inauguration - Thomas Jefferson leaves office and
James Madison becomes the fourth president of the United States. He will remain in office until 1817.

April 19, 1809
Erskine Agreement - The British secretary of state for foreign affairs, George Canning, instructed the British minister to Washington, David Montagu Erskine, to negotiate with the U.S. government a treaty with the aim to reestablish trade between the two countries. Erskine did just that. President Madison is pleased with the agreement and announces on April 19, 1809, that trade with Great Britain will be restored effective June 10, 1809. Canning will receive Erskine's update on May 22, 1809, and will immediately declare the treaty nil and void because it failed to mention that the U.S. was willing to let the Royal Navy seize American ships that were caught trading with France. Erskine will lose his job and will be replaced by a lesser light, Francis James Jackson.

March 23, 1810
Rambouillet Decree - For Napoleon, Great Britain and the U.S. are getting way too comfortable with each other. Thus, he issues his Rambouillet Decree, which orders to seize all American ships that are in French ports.

May 1, 1810
Macon's Bill No. 2 - The U.S. Non-Intercourse Act of March 1, 1809, is replaced by the Macon's Bill No. 2. American trade is now legal with both, Britain and France, until either one of them will repeal their trade restrictions with the U.S. Other than that, British and French ships are prohibited from entering U.S. waters.

August 5, 1810
Cadore Letter - From Napoleon's drawer of diplomatic con moves, the Cadore Letter was written by the French foreign secretary, Duc de Cadore, and sent to the U.S. minister to France, John Armstrong. Cadore promises in vague terms that the French Berlin and Milan Decrees would cease to be enforced after November 1810. Judging by the Trianon Decree, which is issued on this same day, the Cadore Letter is a move to deceive the U.S. government and to turn the U.S. against Britain. And the Americans will fall for it.

Also August 5, 1810
Trianon Decree - Napoleon's secret order to his French subjects to condemn all American vessels (acquired legally or illegally) that are already in French custody.

September 26, 1810
White settlers in
Spanish West Florida rise up and declare that the territory between Mississippi and Pearl River shall henceforth be known as the independent Republic of West Florida. This is the West Florida Revolt.

November 2, 1810
Madison hoodwinked by Napoleon - In spite of intelligence suggesting otherwise, U.S. President Madison takes the Cadore Letter as a sincere French commitment and announces that trade with Britain will be prohibited effective February 2, 1811.

May 16, 1811
USS President v. HMS Little Belt - The President is sailing off Cape Henry (Virginia Beach) on patrol to discourage British
impressment. After chasing the British Little Belt for more than seven hours, they finally catch up and, after an unsuccessful attempt to communicate, the Little Belt opens fire, which the President returns. Even though 32 crew members on the Little Belt are killed or wounded, the ship refuses assistance.

July 24, 1811
U.S. Congress called into session - To assemble on November 4, 1811.

November 4, 1811
First session of the 12th U.S. Congress

November 7, 1811
Battle of Tippecanoe - Approx. 1,000 U.S. troops, led by the governor of Indiana Territory, William Henry Harrison, are surprised at their early morning campfire by approx. 500 Native Americans who are able to launch an initially successful attack. But Harrison and his men eventually get the upper hand. The natives have to flee not only the camp but also their nearby village, Prophetstown or Prophet's Town (near today's Lafayette, Indiana, named after Tecumseh's brother, aka the Prophet) which is subsequently burned by the Americans.

And here is Prophet's Town on a map:

American casualties are approx. 200 dead and wounded. Indian casualties are approx. 100 dead and wounded. Although Harrison can claim a narrow victory today, this battle will strengthen the tribes even more in their resolve to fight side by side against the Americans in the future.

This battle marks the beginning of yet another Indian War, also called Tecumseh's Revolt, which will merge with the War of 1812.

Tecumseh himself did not fight in this battle. He was away on recruiting mission, which was one of the reasons why Harrison chose his timing the way he did. In fact, hadn't the Indians attacked first, Harrison would have approached Prophetstown shortly and a hostile exchange would have been very probable.

By the way, thanks to this battle, Harrison earned his nickname Old Tippecanoe. In 1841, Harrison became the ninth president of the United States. He was in office for 32 days, courtesy of pneumonia.

For subsequent events see the
Timeline of the War of 1812: Year 1812


What Were the Casualties of the War of 1812?

Here are the U.S. casualties as reported by the Commissioner of Pensions in the annual report for the fiscal year 1903. These numbers are an excerpt from the CRS Report for Congress on American War and Military Operations Casualties:

U.S. Casualties War of 1812 - Serving / Deaths / Wounded


The following numbers are from Spencer C. Tucker's The Encyclopedia Of the War Of 1812:

Tucker: Estimated Casualties - War of 1812

Tucker further notes that,

the total number of those killed or wounded on both sides of the War of 1812 is not known with certainty.

However, it may have approached 105,000, a figure that includes estimates of casualties of American soldiers and civilians, British and Canadian combatants and civilians, those Indian tribes fighting for one or the other side, and the 1813-1814 Creek War, which was a subset of the larger conflict.

With regards to the war at sea, "American warships took 165 prizes, and American privateers made 1344 captures" compared to "200 prizes being brought in by privateers ... 490 by cruisers" at Nova Scotia, according to War and Peace in an Age of Upheaval, Cambridge.


Campaigns, Developments, Battles, and Key Events of the War of 1812



The U.S. opened the war by an attempt to take possession of nearby British territory, they invaded Canada. In the U.S., this move was highly controversial as it didn't seem to have much to do with protecting maritime rights, which was the main grievance against the UK and the main reason for having declared war.

The first invasion attempt not only failed, but backfired. The U.S. lost Detroit. A second invasion attempt in October 1812, and a third in November 1812 were equally ineffective.

However, the U.S. managed to win some notable battles at sea, which surprised the British who considered themselves far superior in that discipline. ( Quincy must have been pleased.)


June 18, 1812

The U.S. declares war against Great Britain.

June 22, 1812

Baltimore Riots begin and will last until August.

July 12, 1812

First U.S. invasion of Canada

July 17, 1812

U.S. surrender of Fort Mackinac (Michilimackinac)

August 5, 1812

Battle of Brownstown. British victory.

August 9, 1812

Battle of Monguagon (Maguaga). U.S. victory.

August 10, 1812

Dearborn-Prevost Armistice

August 15, 1812

Fort Dearborn Massacre

August 16, 1812

U.S. Surrender of Detroit

August 19, 1812

USS Constitution vs. HMS Guerrière. U.S. victory.

October 13, 1812

Second U.S. invasion of Canada. Battle of Queenston (Queenstown) Heights. British victory.

October 18, 1812

USS Wasp vs. HMS Frolic. U.S. victory.

October 25, 1812

USS United States vs. HMS Macedonian. U.S. victory.

November 20, 1812

Third U.S. invasion of Canada. First Battle of Lacolle (La Colle) Mill. Draw.

December 29, 1812

USS Constitution vs. HMS Java. U.S. victory.

In the spring of 1813 the Americans captured Fort George, which led to U.S. control of that entire frontier. Still, they were unable to gain actual territory from the British. Each time they probed forward they were beaten.

Good news for the Americans from the west. By defeating the British at the Battle of Lake Erie in September 1813, Detroit could be recaptured. The British were pursued into Canada and again beaten at the Battle of the Thames, in which Tecumseh was killed. Indian resistance and British-Indian relations weakened.

In late 1813, an unsuccessful U.S. campaign was launched to enclose Montreal.

At sea, the British developed a new strategy. They pinned down American ships in their ports by means of a blockade, which freed their other vessels to raid American towns up and down the coastline unpunished.


January 22, 1813

Battle of Frenchtown, also called Battle of the River Raisin. British victory.

January 23, 1813

Frenchtown Massacre

February 22, 1813

British raid on Ogdensburg, New York

February 24, 1813

USS Hornet vs. HMS Peacock. U.S. victory.

April 13, 1813

Spanish surrender of Mobile

April 27, 1813

Battle of York (today's Toronto). U.S. victory.

May 1-9, 1813

First Siege of Fort Meigs. Successful U.S. defense.

May 3, 1813

The British sack Havre de Grace, Maryland

May 27, 1813

Battle of Fort George. U.S. victory.

May 29, 1813

Battle of Sacket's (Sackets) Harbor. British victory.

June 1, 1813

USS Chesapeake vs. HMS Shannon. British victory.

June 6, 1813

Battle of Stoney Creek. British victory.

June 22, 1813

Battle of Craney Island, Virginia. American victory.

June 24, 1813

Battle of Beaver Dams. British victory.

June 25, 1813

Battle Hampton. British victory.

July 11, 1813

British raid on Black Rock, New York

July 21, 1813

Second Siege of Fort Meigs. Successful U.S. defense.

July 27, 1813

Battle of Burnt Corn. Red Sticks victory.

This battle marks the beginning of the
Creek War.


August 2, 1813

Battle of Fort Stephenson. U.S. victory.

August 10, 1813

Battle of St. Michaels (Michael's). U.S. victory.

August 14, 1813

USS Argus vs. HMS Pelican. British victory.

August 30, 1813

Fort Mims Massacre

September 5, 1813

USS Enterprise vs. HMS Boxer. U.S. victory.

September 10, 1813

Battle of Lake Erie. U.S. victory.

October 5, 1813

Battle of the Thames, also called Battle of Moraviantown. U.S. victory.

October 26, 1813

Battle of Châteauguay. British victory.

November 1-2, 1813

Battle of French Creek. U.S. victory.

November 3, 1813

Battle of Tallushatchee. U.S. victory.

November 9, 1813

Battle of Talladega. U.S. victory.

November 11, 1813

Battle of Crysler's Farm. British victory.

November 18, 1813

Hillabee Massacre

November 29, 1813

Battle of Autossee. U.S. victory.

December 10, 1813

U.S. burning of Newark, Upper Canada

December 19, 1813

British capture of Fort Niagara, burning of Lewiston

December 23, 1813

Battle of Econochaca. U.S. victory.

December 30, 1813

British burning of Black Rock and Buffalo

Early in 1814, the U.S. defeated the Red Stick Creeks, ending the Creek War.

Yet another U.S. invasion campaign was launched into Canada. Fort Erie was taken and the Americans moved into Upper Canada. The British succeeded by pushing the Americans back to Fort Erie and campaigned into New York and Chesapeake Bay. Washington D.C. was looted. New Orleans was earmarked as a target. But Baltimore, Lake Champlain, and Plattsburgh was well defended and the British drew back into Canada.

The Hartford Convention mirrored the American discontent with a war that didn't really show much for their invested efforts.

The British were exhausted from fighting Napoleon and weary of war. With that the U.S. could agree. The Treaty of Ghent was signed. It solved none of the issues that had led to the war in the first place, it simply stopped the war.


January 22, 1814

Battle of Emuckfau Creek. Draw.

January 24, 1814

Battle of Enitochopco. Draw.

January 27, 1814

Battle of Calabee Creek.  U.S. victory.

March 27, 1814

Battle of Horseshoe Bend. U.S. victory.


This battle marks the end of the
Creek War.


March 28, 1814

USS Essex vs. HMS Phoebe and HMS Cherub. British victory.

March 30, 1814

Second Battle of Lacolle (La Colle) Mill. Draw.

April 29, 1814

USS Peacock vs. HMS Epervier. U.S. victory.

May 5-6, 1814

Battle of Oswego. British victory.

May 15, 1814

U.S. burning of Port Dover

May 30, 1814

Battle of Sandy Creek. U.S. victory.

June 28, 1814

USS Wasp vs. HMS Reindeer. U.S. victory.

July 3, 1814

First Battle of Fort Erie. U.S. victory.

July 5, 1814

Battle of Chippewa. U.S. victory.

July 18, 1814

U.S. surrender of Prairie du Chien

July 25, 1814

Battle of Lundy's Lane. Draw.

August 3, 1814

Battle of Conjocta Creek. U.S. victory.
British capture of Hampden.

August 8, 1814

Negotiations at Ghent begin.

August 9, 1814

Treaty of Fort Jackson

August 9-12, 1814

Battle of Stonington. U.S. victory.

August 13-
September 16, 1814

British Siege of Fort Erie.

August 15, 1814

Second Battle of Fort Erie. U.S. victory. But the siege continues.

August 24, 1814

Battle of Bladensburg. British victory.
The British occupy Washington D.C.

August 30, 1814

Battle of Caulk's Field. Draw.

September 1, 1814

USS Wasp vs. HMS Avon. U.S. victory.

September 6, 1814

Battle of Beekmantown. British victory.

September 11, 1814

Battle of Lake Champlain. U.S. victory.
Battle of Plattsburgh (Plattsburg). U.S. victory.

September 12, 1814

Battle of North Point. British victory.

September 13-14, 1814

Battle of Baltimore. Draw.
The British bombardment of Fort McHenry inspires
 Francis Scott Key to write the words to The Star-Spangled Banner.

September 14-15, 1814

First Battle of Fort Bowyer. U.S. victory.

September 17, 1814

U.S. Sortie from Fort Erie. U.S. victory.

October 19, 1814

Battle of Cook's Mills. Draw.

November 7, 1814

Spanish surrender of Pensacola to the U.S.

December 14, 1814

Battle of Lake Borgne. British victory.

December 15, 1814 -
January 5, 1815

Hartford Convention

December 23, 1814

Battle at Villeré Plantation. Draw.

December 24, 1814

The Treaty of Ghent is signed at Ghent, Belgium.

In the U.S., news of the victory at New Orleans arrived together with the news of the signing of the peace treaty, which, to American ears, sounded like the U.S. had won the war.

A patriotic wave rolled through the U.S. The American Federalist party, having aired criticism of the war by way of the Hartford Convention, was painted as a traitor and essentially done for.

News of the peace treaty traveled extremely slow in some instances. The last victims of the War of 1812 died in June 1815 in the Sunda Strait off Indonesia.


January 8, 1815

Battle of New Orleans. U.S. victory.

January 13, 1815

Battle of Point Peter. British victory.

January 15, 1815

USS President vs. HMS Endymion, Tenedos, Pomone. British victory.

February 8, 1815

News of the peace treaty at Ghent arrives in North America.

February 11, 1815

Second Battle of Fort Bowyer. British victory.

February 17, 1815

Ratifications of the Treaty of Ghent were exchanged. The War of 1812 is officially over.

The War of 1812 is officially over.


February 20, 1815

USS Constitution vs. HMS Cyane and Levant. U.S. victory.

March 23, 1815

USS Hornet vs. HMS Penguin. U.S. victory.

April 15, 1815

Dartmoor Prison Massacre

June 30, 1815

USS Peacock vs. Nautilus. U.S. victory.


Detailed Timelines of the War of 1812

Timeline of the War of 1812: Year 1812

Timeline of the War of 1812: Year 1813

Timeline of the War of 1812: Year 1814

Timeline of the War of 1812: Year 1815


More Maps

In 1815, at the end of the War of 1812, the world looked like this on a map with regards to European Colonies and Dependencies:

Eastern World 1815
1815 Eastern World

Western World 1815
1815 Western World

These two maps illustrate settled areas in the U.S. by 1800 and 1820 respectively:


Here's a huge map of all US Battle Sites from 1689 - 1945:

United States - Battle Sites 1689 - 1945
United States 1689 - 1945 Battle Sites
Click Map to enlarge



Black Soldiers in the War of 1812

Go here for Emancipation: Black Soldiers in the War of 1812


How Expensive Was the War of 1812?

Here is the total military cost of the War of 1812 in comparison with other major wars. The numbers are from the CRS Report for Congress on Costs of Major U.S. Wars - July 24, 2008.

Total military cost of the War of 1812 in comparison with other major wars



More Timelines

Here are the timelines of the Napoleonic Wars for the years 1812-1815:

Napoleonic Wars: Year 1812

Napoleonic Wars: Year 1813

Napoleonic Wars: Year 1814

Napoleonic Wars: Year 1815

And then maybe the
American Timeline



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