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War of 1812 Timeline: July 1814 - December 1814

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July 1814 - December 1814

July 1814               

British complete Fort George on the high ground overlooking Fort Mackinac further strengthening their positions on the Island of Michilimackinac, Michigan Territory.

2 July 1814

The British raid St. Leonard's, Maryland, destroying naval supplies and residences.

3 July 1814

The 1814 American campaign on the Niagara Peninsula begins. 

Before daylight on 3 July, American Major General Jacob Brown's army crossed the river at Frenchman's Creek, just north of Fort Erie, Upper Canada.  Surprisingly the commander of the fort surrendered without opposition.   The British commander on the Niagara, Major-General Phineas Riall, had hoped to attack the Americans when they were engaged in an assault on Fort Erie.  He sent a small force under Major Thomas Pearson to the scene which encountered Brigadier General Winfield Scott's brigade at Frenchman's Creek on 4 July.  Pearson, supported by First Nations led by John Norton, conducted a brilliant fighting withdrawal to the main British force north of Chippawa Creek.  By the end of the day, the Americans had covered only 19 km and camped south of Street's Creek.  

5 July 1814

Battle of Chippawa, Upper Canada.

An invading U.S. Army led by Major General Jacob Brown clashed with British forces under Major-General Phineas Riall.  Each side had roughly 2,000 men engaged in the battle in which American regulars, militia, and U.S. allied First Nations were victorious.  The main battle was a European-style conflict, fought in the open, where the British were thought to be nearly invincible.  This inspiring American victory is still commemorated by the gray uniforms worn by cadets at the West Point Military Academy.  The battle caused the greatest loss of life in the War of 1812 up to that time, with about 800 casualties. More Canadian militia were killed and wounded here than in any other battle. First Nations losses on both sides were very heavy.   

 

A joint army-navy force departs Halifax, Nova Scotia for the invasion of the Passamaquoddy Bay Islands, District of Maine.

7 July 1814            

Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy) Council meeting at Burlington, Upper Canada.

Shortly after the Battle of Chippawa, representatives of New York Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy) allied with the United States met with Grand River First Nations allied to the British in an important council.  During the battle, First Nations from the Grand River and the Western tribes confronted Haudenosaunee from the Onondowahgah (Tuscarora) and Skaruhreh (Seneca) communities. In the bloody, fratricidal battle that erupted, American allies lost about 26 men and the allies of the British had 90 casualties.  Both sides were dismayed by these catastrophic losses, and by the fact that they had been fighting friends and relatives.  Following the council, the majority of Haudenosaunee decided to pursue a course of neutrality for the rest of the War of 1812.

 

United States troops occupy Queenston Heights, Upper Canada.  Damaged during the October 1812 battle, the village again suffers during the occupation.

11 July 1814:

Surrender of the American garrison at Fort Sullivan, Eastport (Moose Island), District of Maine.

12 July 1814

HMS Medway captures USS Siren off of South Africa.

18-19 July 1814

British raid on Champlain Village, New York.

19 July 1814

American troops burn St Davids, Upper Canada, following a fierce fight with local militia. 

After the Battle of Chippawa, the U.S. army advanced to Queenston, Upper Canada.  Foraging parties were sent out to requisition supplies, and their unrestrained looting infuriated the local inhabitants.   On 18 July, a force of New York militia led by Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Stone was attacked near St. Davids.  Although opposition had been expected, the Americans barely escaped with their lives.  They returned the next day and completely destroyed the village.  Stone was dismissed from the army as a result of his actions.  This incident marked a change in the attitude of many inhabitants towards the Americans and their increasing brutality.  Local militia, once eager to evade military service or even surrender to the Americans, now took up arms in their own defence.  

 

British and First Nations allies capture Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin Territory. 

Prairie du Chien, a small fur trading post at the confluence of the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers, was occupied by French-Canadians and managed by British merchants.  On 2 June 1814, the Governor of Missouri Territory, William Clark, afraid that the British would use it to launch an expedition down the Mississippi River, seized control of the post without incident and built Fort Shelby.  Under prominent fur trader William McKay, a force of about 120 voyageurs, Michigan Fencibles, and officers of the British Indian Department, and over 500 fighters from nations including the Ho-chunk (Winnebago), Menominee and Anishnabe (Ojibwe) set out to retake the post.  With little ammunition and only 60 regulars to defend the post, the Americans surrendered after a short siege and returned home on parole.

 

Facing no resistance, British marines take possession of Leonard's Town (Leonardtown), Maryland taking provisions and destroying military stores.

20 July 1814

American raid on Port Talbot, Upper Canada. 

 

Burning of Fort St. Joseph, Upper Canada. The American expedition to the Upper Great Lakes under Captain Arthur Sinclair arrives off St. Joseph Island in mid-July. A shore party burns the abandoned British fort and the fur traders' storehouses.

20-21 July 1814

 

American forces test the British defences of Fort George and Fort Mississauga, Niagara, Upper Canada.

After the Battle of Chippawa, the Americans under Major General Jacob Brown marched to Queenston, Upper Canada.  On 20 July they sent forces against Forts Mississauga and George .  The column approaching Fort Mississauga came under heavy fire and withdrew.  This was the only time the fort's cannons fired on an enemy. A second force approached Fort George and began to dig siege batteries.  The British shelled the Americans.  The U.S. naval commander on Lake Ontario, Commodore Isaac Chauncey, failed to transport the heavy guns needed to capture the British forts from his base at Sackets Harbor.  On 22 July, without the necessary artillery, Major General Brown withdrew to Queenston.  This was the limit of the American advance on the Niagara frontier in the 1814 campaign.

21 July 1814

Battle at Rock Island Rapids, Illinois Territory.  An American force attempting to relieve Fort Shelby at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin Territory, is defeated by Sac (Sauk), Fox and Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo) First Nations.

 

While on Lake Huron, Captain Arthur Sinclair's flotilla captures the merchantman Mink laden with provisions for St. Mary's River, Upper Canada.

22 July 1814         

Second Treaty of Greenville, Ohio, re-establishes peace between the United States and the Wyandot, Lenape (Delaware), Shawnee, Seneca and Miami Nations.

23-26 July 1814

 

Captain Arthur Sinclair's raid up the St. Mary's River.

The raid on St. Mary's River (Sault Ste. Marie), Upper Canada was a part of the American expedition for mastery of the upper Great Lakes. After burning the abandoned Fort St. Joseph, Captain Arthur Sinclair sent a flotilla of boats loaded with sailors and infantry up the St. Mary's River where they torched the North West Company trading post and storehouses, vital assets in the British fur trade infrastructure. The Americans also destroyed the locks of the first Sault Ste. Marie Canal built in 1798 by the company to allow freight canoes to bypass the falls.  Sinclair's men also captured and burned the company's schooner Perseverance, one of the few British vessels on the upper lakes.

25 July 1814

Battle of Lundy's Lane, Upper Canada. 

At dusk on 25 July 1814, the British and American armies clashed near the crossroads of Portage Road and Lundy's Lane.  The British, Canadians and First Nations held a commanding position on a ridge until nightfall, when American troops were able to capture the main British artillery battery posted in a churchyard.  The battle degenerated into a savage contest for the cannons.  The roar of battle was heard in Buffalo, New York.  After the failure of the final British attack, the Americans held the field but withdrew.  The British reoccupied the battlefield at dawn.  Both sides claimed victory.  Each side lost nearly 900 men. The heavy losses shattered U.S. Major General Jacob Brown's army and ended any chance of a continued advance into Upper Canada. 

25 July - 24 August 1814

Arrival of British reinforcements at Quebec City, Lower Canada freed by the cessation of the Napoleonic Wars in Europe: Contingents of Major-General Manley Power's brigade (3rd, 5th,  1st Battalion 27th Regiment, 58th Regiment, and Royal Artillery); Major-General James Kempt's brigade (1st Battalion 9th Regiment, 1st Battalion 37th Regiment, 1st Battalion 57th Regiment, 1st Battalion 81st Regiment, Royal Artillery); Major-General Fredrick P. Robinson's brigade (1st Battalion 39th Regiment, 76th Regiment, 1st Battalion 88th Regiment, 3rd Battalion 27th Regiment and Royal Artillery).

31 July 1814          

Commodore Isaac Chauncey's powerful squadron of nine vessels sails from Sackets Harbor, New York and immediately assumes naval superiority on Lake Ontario.

3 August 1814  

British commence the siege of the American occupied Fort Erie, Upper Canada.

After the Battle of Lundy's Lane, the Americans retreated to Fort Erie.  Brigadier General Edmund Gaines took command of the post on 5 August, replacing badly wounded Major General Jacob Brown. The British Army under Lieutenant-Governor Gordon Drummond took time to reorganize after the bloody battle, and this gave the Americans time to strengthen their defences.  Drummond arrived at Fort Erie on 3 August, and began to build siege lines.  On the night of 12 August, British sailors and marines captured the USS Somers and the USS Ohio, supporting Fort Erie from the Niagara River.  On 13 August the British batteries opened fire.  Unfortunately they had been built too far from the American lines to be effective.    

 

A British force attempting to destroy supply depots at Black Rock and Buffalo, New York is defeated at the Battle of Conjocta Creek, New York.  The depots contain stores used to support Fort Erie where American Major General Jacob Brown and his troops have retreated after the Battle of Lundy's Lane.

4-5 August 1814

American assault on Fort Mackinac, Michigan Territory.

Fort Mackinac was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Robert McDouall who had arrived that spring with reinforcements.  As part of Captain Arthur Sinclair's expedition that sailed from Detroit to recapture that post, Lieutenant Colonel George Croghan commanded a force of 700 regulars and Ohio militia, almost twice the strength of the British force at Mackinac.  Once at the post the Americans could not bring their vessels' guns to bear upon the fortification located on a height of land and therefore landed their troops at the far side of the island to lure McDouall into open combat.  Unable to breach the strong British defensive position established by McDouall on the edge of a clearing, Croghan's botched attack suffered heavy casualties.  The Americans withdrew to Detroit.

5 August 1814

United States Brigadier General Edmund P. Gaines takes command from the wounded Major General Jacob Brown at Fort Erie, Upper Canada.

 

On Lake Ontario Lieutenant George Hawksworth drives HMS Magnet ashore and blows it up to avoid capture by Commodore Isaac Chauncey's American squadron.

8 August 1814

Peace negotiations between the Americans and British begin in Ghent, Belgium.

Early in 1813, Russian emperor Alexander I offered to mediate peace negotiations between Britain and the United States.  Refusing any third party involvement, England proposed instead direct discussions with the American government at a neutral European location.  Finally meeting in Ghent in August 1814, American commissioners sought to negotiate matters like sailors' rights and blockades as well as acquisition of the Canadian provinces.  British delegates proposed terms for retaining occupied American territory, creation of a First Nations state in the Great Lakes region to act as a buffer between British and American territories, and naval disarmament of the Great Lakes.  Although both parties' initial terms were mutually rejected at this opening session, a consensus was reached in December 1814 with the Treaty of Ghent.

9 August 1814

Treaty of Fort Jackson imposes harsh terms on the Muscogee (Creek) Nation for waging war against the United States in 1813-1814.

9-12 August 1814

Raid on Stonington, Connecticut. A British squadron under Captain Sir Thomas Hardy bombard and then attack the town.

10 August 1814

Commodore Isaac Chauncey's squadron arrives off of Kingston, Upper Canada in hopes of provoking a battle with Commodore Sir James Lucas Yeo's British squadron. Chauncey loosely blockades Kingston for the remainder of the month, but Yeo will not offer battle until the completion of HMS St. Lawrence.

11 August 1814

USS Surprise, renamed Eagle (20 guns) is launched on Lake Champlain at Vergennes, Vermont.

12 August 1814

The USS Somers and USS Ohio are captured by the British on Lake Erie, near Fort Erie, Upper Canada.

During the British siege on the American occupied Fort Erie, Royal Navy Captain Alexander Dobbs commanding 70 seamen and marines rowed out to three U.S. armed schooners anchored near the post which were supporting Major General Jacob Brown's Niagara frontier campaign.  Masquerading as American supply boats, the British surprised, boarded and seized USS Somers and USS Ohio while USS Porcupine escaped.  Not only were the vessels, renamed Huron and Sauk, a welcomed addition to Britain's Lake Erie squadron but the capture also impacted American morale since the defences of Fort Erie were now reduced.  Dobbs' victory was the last naval engagement on Lake Erie during the war.

13 August 1814    

Sergeant Joseph McKitrick of Prince Edward Island is killed in action with the Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles at Fort Erie, Upper Canada. He is believed to be the only Islander killed in the war.

14 August 1814

HMS Nancy is destroyed during an attack by the United States squadron under Captain Arthur Sinclair at the Nottawasaga River, Upper Canada.

 One of the objectives of Sinclair's expedition to the upper Great Lakes was the destruction of British ships.  Unable to locate the British base on the Nottawasaga River, due to weather and unfamiliarity with the area, he burned the abandoned Fort St. Joseph and the fur trade post at St. Mary's River (Sault Ste. Marie). After the failure to retake Fort Mackinac the expedition finally located the Nottawasaga base and the Schooner Nancy, the only British vessel on the upper lakes. An American landing party destroyed a blockhouse but the crew of Nancy, commanded by Lieutenant Miller Worsley of the Royal Navy, torched the vessel before it could be captured. Nancy's crew escaped to Fort Mackinac in open boats after the departure of Sinclair's squadron.

15 August 1814

A British night assault on Fort Erie, Upper Canada fails. 

On the night of 15 August, after an ineffective two day bombardment, a British force commanded by Lieutenant-Governor Gordon Drummond stormed American held Fort Erie.  Drummond sent three separate columns forward in the rain.  The attackers failed to surprise the Americans, and were unable to coordinate their attack properly in the dark.  Two of the columns were driven back with heavy losses.  The third column led by Lieutenant-Colonel William Drummond captured the fort's north-east bastion but were unable to advance further, even though they turned a cannon around to fire at the Americans inside.  William Drummond was killed, and the massive gunpowder magazine below the bastion blew up.  The hideous explosion slaughtered the attackers, and ended the assault.  The British lost over 900 men.

19 August 1814    

A British force lands at Benedict, Maryland, en route to Washington, District of Columbia.

22 August 1814

American Commodore Joshua Barney deliberately destroys his flotilla near the town of Pig Point, Maryland preventing its seizure by a British force under Rear-Admiral George Cockburn.  Deprived of these prizes, the British nevertheless succeed in capturing several merchant vessels as well as the town and a large quantity of tobacco.

24-25 August 1814

Battle of Bladensburg, Maryland and the British occupation of Washington, District of Columbia.    

The British campaign in Chesapeake Bay began in earnest on 24 August, when the British entered Bladensburg, just outside the capital city of Washington. With the Americans waiting on the other side of the Potomac River, the British crossed the bridge and attacked. When commanding officer Major-General Robert Ross ordered the launching of Congreve rockets, the terrible and unfamiliar noise caused the enemy to run. It was a humiliating episode in the war for the Americans. Ross and his men marched on and later that evening scored a major victory by taking Washington and setting ablaze most public buildings, including the recently-vacated presidential mansion. One of the few to be spared was the Marine Corps Commandant's house, now the oldest public building in Washington.

25 August 1814 

 HMS Confiance is launched at the naval yard of Ile aux Noix, Lower Canada.

Because of their ambitious 1813-1814 ship-building campaign, the Americans regained command of Lake Champlain.  In a bid to wrest back control of this waterway, the British began laying down a large frigate at Ile aux Noix, Lower Canada.  Construction was delayed due to a shortage of supplies and the vessel was scarcely equipped in time for action at the Battle of Plattsburg Bay.  Armed with 37 guns, HMS Confiance would become Captain George Downie's flagship and, together with a number of smaller vessels also constructed at the naval yard, including gunboats and the brig Linnet, made up the fleet engaged at Plattsburg in which Downie perished and his ship captured.  Confiance was the largest warship to sail on Lake Champlain during the war. 

26 August 1814

A British gunboat flotilla captures two American vessels on the St. Lawrence River near Kingston, Upper Canada.

 

A joint army-navy expedition departs Halifax, Nova Scotia for the invasion of the eastern portion of the District of Maine.

27 August 1814

USS Wasp captures HMS Avon in the waters south of Ireland. 

28 August 1814

A British naval expedition led by Captain James Alexander Gordon sails up the Potomac River to capture Alexandria, Virginia, together with 21 prize ships, and massive quantities of flour, cotton, tobacco, sugar, wine and other commodities.

30 August -

12 September 1814 

Lake Champlain campaign lead by Governor General Sir George Prevost.

30 August 1814

Captain Sir Peter Parker is killed leading a British naval landing party near Chestertown, Maryland.  They are repulsed and the event will become known as "The Battle of Caulk's Field."

1 September 1814 

British capture of Castine, District of Maine.

 

The British army, with a force of over 10,000 men and lead by Governor General Sir George Prevost, begin crossing the border on their way to Plattsburg, New York.

3 September 1814 

Captain George Downie of the Royal Navy assumes command of the Lake Champlain squadron.

 

The Battle of Hampden. The British capture Bangor and Hampden, District of Maine. The Americans burn the sloop USS Adams to prevent its capture.

4 September 1814

Upper Canadian turncoat leader Joseph Willcocks is killed leading the treasonous Canadian Volunteers in a skirmish outside American occupied Fort Erie, Upper Canada.

3 & 6 September 1814

Capture of USS Tigress and USS Scorpion on Lake Huron.

After the destruction of the British post on the Nottawasaga River and the schooner Nancy, Royal Navy Lieutenant Miller Worsley and his seamen escaped to Fort Mackinac while the Americans blockaded this post with USS Tigress and USS Scorpion.  Worsley devised and executed a plan to capture these two armed vessels. On 3 September, under the cover of darkness, he successfully boarded the Tigress with a contingent of seamen, soldiers, and First Nations fighters then used the ship to seize the Scorpion on 6 September.  With no vessels of their own following Nancy's destruction, the victory gave the British a small fleet upon Lake Huron and reconnected Fort Mackinac with the upper Great Lakes supply route. 

5 September 1814

The British withdraw from Bangor and Hampden, District of Maine.

 

At Rock Island, Illinois Territory, an American force under Major Zachary Taylor is defeated by an alliance of Sac (Sauk), Fox, Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo), Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) and Sioux led by Chief Black Hawk (Makataimeshekiakiak). They were assisted by British Indian Department officers. 

6 September 1814

British forces enter Plattsburg, New York.

 

A gale on Lake Erie drives the American vessel Caledonia ashore after which a fire causes significant damage before being extinguished.

9 September 1814 

A British flotilla gathers near Chazy, New York on Lake Champlain.

10 September 1814

Launch of HMS St. Lawrence, the largest warship on the Great Lakes in the age of sail, at Kingston, Upper Canada.

The contest for supremacy on the Great Lakes continued to intensify as the British and American navies raced to construct more powerful fleets.  Commodore Sir James Lucas Yeo gained undisputed control of Lake Ontario in October when he sailed out with his new flagship HMS St. Lawrence, launched the previous month.  It was a three-decked warship pierced for 102 guns, to counter the construction of three U.S. ships at Sackets Harbor.  This vessel epitomized the 'shipbuilder's war' and the extraordinary logistical and financial investments by the British since almost all materials and ordnance used to build warships at Kingston came across the Atlantic Ocean from England to Quebec City and Montreal, Lower Canada.  From there supplies were transported by bateaux up the St. Lawrence River.

11 September 1814

Battle of the Bay of Plattsburg, New York. 

Governor General Sir George Prevost's Lake Champlain campaign, begun in late August 1814, culminated in a joint land and naval assault on Plattsburg.  Complying with Prevost's orders, Captain George Downie sailed his squadron into Lake Champlain to engage Captain Thomas Macdonough's fleet anchored in Plattsburg Bay.  Adverse winds prevented Downie's ships from manoeuvring into position and put them in close range of damaging U.S. broadsides.  Downie was killed and after fierce fighting, the British fleet surrendered.  Meanwhile, Prevost, commanding 10,351 of the Duke of Wellington's veterans, made a brief attack on Brigadier General Alexander Macomb's force of roughly 3,000 men but quickly withdrew his troops to Lower Canada.  The humiliating and costly defeat for the British resulted in Prevost being recalled to England to explain his actions.

 

British take Fort O'Brien and Machias, District of Maine.

12-15 September 1814

The death of Major-General Robert Ross at the Battle of North Point and the bombardment of Baltimore, Maryland.

After sacking Washington, District of Columbia, British commanding officer Robert Ross led a force of roughly 4,000 men north to Baltimore. On 12 September, during the Battle of North Point, Ross was mortally wounded; Colonel Arthur Brooke then assumed command and defeated Brigadier General John Stricker and his 3,200 troops. The British advanced until they came upon the recently prepared fortifications of Baltimore.  Judging the defences too strong to be attacked, the British withdrew.  Meanwhile, Vice-Admiral Alexander Cochrane led an unsuccessful naval assault on Fort McHenry. The spectacle inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words to "The Star-Spangled Banner."  As for Ross, his comrades preserved his body in rum and sent it to Halifax, Nova Scotia for burial, where his remains received a hero's welcome.

15 September 1814

Unsuccessful British attack on Fort Bowyer, Mississippi Territory.

17-21 September 1814

American attack on the British artillery batteries besieging Fort Erie, Upper Canada and British abandonment of the siege.

Heavy autumn rains made life miserable for the poorly sheltered British and Canadians, besieging Fort Erie.  Sickness decimated their ranks.  Joseph Willcocks, commander of the treasonous Canadian Volunteers, was killed on 4 September. On 16 September, Lieutenant-Governor Gordon Drummond decided to end the siege, but the next day, the Americans attacked the British batteries.  After a fierce two hour battle, the Americans fell back to the fort.  Each side lost roughly 500 men.   The British abandoned the siege on 21 September. The Americans had successfully defended Fort Erie, but they were unable to advance further.  On 5 November U.S. Major General George Izard blew up the fort, and withdrew to the United States, ending the bloody and ultimately futile 1814 invasion of the Niagara frontier.

18 September 1814

Half of the British invasion force departs the District of Maine for Halifax, Nova Scotia.

21 September 1814

The British establish a customs office at Castine, District of Maine, which is designated as a commercial headquarters of the occupied territory.

The announcement that trade with the enemy was legal through Castine was music to the ears of the mercantile communities of Saint John, New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia. And since imports and exports through the Maine port were taxed, customs officials amassed a tidy £10,000 in the eight short months that they were there. After the war, the British government directed that this "Castine Fund" must be used for public improvements in Nova Scotia, and it eventually covered the costs of a new library for the British garrison, and of Dalhousie College (now Dalhousie University). New Brunswickers were consoled in November 1817 when a boundary commission appointed in the Treaty of Ghent awarded them most of the disputed Passamaquoddy Islands and Grand Manan Island.

Autumn 1814

The British construct a blockhouse and battery at Turkey Point, Upper Canada which becomes known as Fort Norfolk.  The site was also intended to become a navy yard for Lake Erie but the war concludes before any work can commence.

9 October 1814

USS Wasp is lost at sea. 

15 October 1814

Skirmish at Chippawa Creek, Upper Canada.

19 October 1814  

Battle of Cook's Mills, Upper Canada.

After ending the unsuccessful siege of Fort Erie, British Lieutenant-General and Lieutenant Governor Gordon Drummond withdrew his forces to a position protected by Chippawa Creek. U.S. Major General George Izard followed Drummond, but did not attack the British defences.  Learning of a supply of wheat at Cook's Mills, Izard sent a force under Brigadier General Daniel Bissell to Lyon's Creek.  Bissell clashed with a smaller British detachment commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Christopher Myers.  The larger American force drove the British back and burned the mills.  Outnumbered, General Drummond refused to be drawn into a major battle.  This was the final confrontation on the Niagara River frontier during the War of 1812.

22 October 1814

American Brigadier General Duncan McArthur's raid into south west Upper Canada.

American Brigadier General Duncan McArthur set out from Detroit, Michigan Territory with a force of Ohio and Kentucky militiamen and First Nations allies to raid communities in south-western Upper Canada, a no man's land following British defeats at the Battles of Lake Erie and the Thames in the fall of 1813. Rumoured to be planning an attack on Burlington Heights, a major British base on Lake Ontario, the marauders destroyed private property such as mills during their march. Hampered by rainy weather and swollen rivers, McArthur's force assaulted the settlement of Malcolm's Mills. The town's defenders, Oxford and Norfolk County militia, were scattered by McArthur's troops who returned to Detroit following the incident. This was the last battle fought on Canadian soil during the war.

5 November 1814

American forces blow up Fort Erie, Upper Canada and withdraw to Buffalo, New York.     

6 November 1814

Skirmish at Malcolm's Mills, Upper Canada. 

 

American schooner Franklin is captured off Hampton, Virginia, by a British flotilla of 13 barges.

7 November 1814

Troops under Major General Andrew Jackson take Pensacola, Spanish Florida from a garrison of British and Spanish troops. The Americans occupy the town for the remainder of the war.

10 November 1814

United States Lieutenant Charles Budd receives orders to replace Captain Thomas Macdonough as commander of the Lake Champlain squadron.

14 November 1814

The British schooner HMS Julia is launched at the navy yard in Kingston, Upper Canada.

17 November 1814

While on a secret mission to destroy HMS St. Lawrence, Midshipman James McGowan discovers and captures two British gunboats on the upper St. Lawrence River and returns to Sackets Harbor, New York with the prisoners.

24 November 1814

Shipwreck of HMS Fantome near Prospect, Nova Scotia, while escorting a convoy from Castine, District of Maine to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

December 1814

British complete construction of Fort Wellington, Prescott, Upper Canada.

One of the few British fortifications in Upper Canada commenced during the War of 1812, Fort Wellington was authorized in early 1813, but construction delays meant that it was not completed until late 1814.  The fort consisted of a single storey wooden blockhouse 30.48 m (100 feet) square that could accommodate 144 soldiers.  The blockhouse was surrounded by massive earthworks that contained bombproof storerooms while the post's artillery commanded the surrounding countryside.  The fortification was a redoubt of substantial strength designed to assert British control over the St. Lawrence River at Prescott, a vital port in the line of communications from Montreal to Kingston.  Although never attacked, Fort Wellington's guns were used to fire on Major General James Wilkinson's flotilla in autumn 1813. 

1 December 1814

Major General Andrew Jackson arrives in New Orleans, Louisiana and commences preparations for defence of the city.

10 December 1814

British naval and military expedition under Vice-Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane and Major-General Sir Edward Pakenham lands near New Orleans, Louisiana.

14 December 1814

Battle of Lake Borgne, Louisiana. Royal Navy sailors and Royal Marines in open boats capture, after heavy fighting, a flotilla of American gunboats.

15 December 1814 - 5 January 1815

The Hartford Convention.  Meeting secretly in Hartford, Connecticut, 26 New England delegates address grievances of the federal government's management of the war, namely control of the militia, conscription, and the financial burden of defence.

23 December 1814

Battle of Villere's Plantation, Louisiana. The British take the plantation and set up an encampment for the army that will attack New Orleans. They repel a heavy American counterattack that lasts well into the night.

24 December 1814

 

The Treaty of Ghent is signed in Belgium ending the War of 1812.

After months of negotiations, terms for a cessation of Anglo-American hostilities were finally settled.  The treaty stipulated a return to the status quo ante bellum (pre-war state of affairs) benefiting the Americans who would now recover previously occupied territory at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin Territory, part of the District of Maine, and Forts Astoria, Mackinac, and Niagara while the question of determining boundary claims would be addressed by later commissions.  Surprisingly, the 11 approved treaty articles failed to address the initial causes of war, namely sailors' rights and free trade.  Despite criticism in both Britain and the United States, the treaty was considered a victory by the Americans who successfully asserted their sovereignty against the British Empire.

 

  How the treaty affected Atlantic Canada

The advantage obtained by the occupation of eastern Maine was wasted at Ghent. The treaty required the return of all captured territory and provided for the appointment of a joint commission to decide ownership of disputed islands in Passamaquoddy Bay and the Bay of Fundy. Although that commission would rule largely in New Brunswick's favour, the treaty also failed to resolve the contentious issues of American fishing privileges in British North American waters, and the location of the interior boundary between New Brunswick and Maine. Addressed by a separate convention in 1818, the fishery question nonetheless caused diplomatic headaches for the rest of the century. The Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842 resolved the border issue and confirmed British control of the winter route to the Canadas.

How the treaty affected Upper and Lower Canada

At the close of 1814, the British occupied considerable American territory including posts on the Pacific coast, in Wisconsin Territory and the District of Maine, and in the Great Lakes region while the U.S. controlled Fort Amherstburg and south-western Upper Canada.  During peace negotiations, British officials adamantly argued for retaining conquered territory but, upon the Duke of Wellington's advice, settled for restoring territorial status quo (the pre-war situation).  Upper and Lower Canada were also affected by later agreements including boundary commissions resolving disputes over islands in the upper St. Lawrence and Niagara Rivers, the 1817 Rush-Bagot Agreement limiting warships on the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain and the Convention of 1818 establishing the 49th parallel as the international boundary to the Rocky Mountains.

 

How the treaty affected the British Fur Trade

Fur trader and director of the North West Company, William McGillivray, argued to retain the British occupied post at Mackinac to secure the fur trade in American territory but the Treaty of Ghent restored the pre-war boundary and thus all occupied posts.  The loss of Mackinac and American assertion of the trading rights granted to First Nations in the 1794 Jay Treaty effectively ended the fur trade for Britain in the American northwest.  Another blow to Montreal-based fur traders attempting to control commerce in Michigan and Wisconsin Territories came with the Convention of 1818 which settled the U.S.-British North American boundary west of the Lake of the Woods ending any chance of British commercial expansion into the southwest of the continent.

 

How the treaty affected First Nations

The Treaty of Ghent was a disaster for First Nations who had no representation at the bargaining table.  Having abandoned their initial demand for an autonomous territory for First Peoples in the Great Lakes region which would have acted as a buffer zone between British North America and the United States, both countries agreed instead to restore First Nations privileges and rights to those of the pre-war period and end all remaining hostilities with Indigenous groups.  This arrangement left the latter feeling betrayed by their British allies since they were now at the mercy of American policy.  The treaty also failed to guarantee First Nations rights for any specified period and soon the way of life of nations living in the northwest became endangered by American expansion. 

25 December 1814

Launch of HMS Psyche, a 56-gun frigate sent 'in frame' from England and

assembled in Kingston, Upper Canada.

In the summer of 1813, British Commodore Sir James Lucas Yeo struggled to vanquish the growing American fleet on Lake Ontario.  As a result, the crown adopted an innovative approach to shipbuilding: sending over prefabricated pieces to expedite the construction of warships.  Transports left Chatham Dockyard, England early in 1814 with four vessels 'in frame.'  Three of the ships never made it past Montreal but sections of "Frigate B" - Psyche - were laboriously transported in a four month endeavour up the St. Lawrence River to Kingston, where shipwrights assembled the parts.  Like the construction of HMS St. Lawrence, this undertaking demonstrated the logistical challenges of constructing heavily-gunned warships on the lakes and the importance of naval supremacy during the war.

28 December 1814

British reconnaissance in force at New Orleans, Louisiana.  Major-General Sir Edward Pakenham's troops test Major General Andrew Jackson's defences and are repulsed with heavy casualties.

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War of 1812 Timeline


Section 1: 1775 - November 1811
Section 2: January 1812 - June 1812
Section 3: July 1812 - September 1812
Section 4: October 1812 - December 1812
Section 5: January 1813 - March 1813
Section 6: April 1813 - June 1813
Section 7: July 1813 - September 1813
Section 8: October 1813 - December 1813
Section 9: January 1814 - March 1814
Section 10: April 1814 - June 1814
Section 11: July 1814 - December 1814
Section 12: January 1815 - 1871

Government of Canada official War of 1812 Bicentennial Website

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