retrospect, we can see that the United States fought the War of 1812
for reasons on national pride, maritime rights, and manifest destiny.
However, to the British, the war was very much a sideshow compared with
their worldwide contest with Napoleonic France.
|The Prince Regent
The Prince Regent in addressing Parliament on November 4, 1813 stated:
Great Britain, in conjunction with her allies, is exerting her utmost
strength against the common enemy of independent nations, it must be
matter of deep regret to find an additional enemy in the government of a
country whose real interest in the issue of this great contest must be
the same as our own.1
British meant to chastise the Americans for declaring war at such a
precarious time. "John Bull" would punish "Jonathan" for his
impertinence. The Times demanded that Britain "not only chastise the
savages into present peace, but make a lasting impression on their
fears." President James Madison's peace commissioner in London, Albert
Gallatin, wrote fearfully, "they mean to inflict on America a
chastisement that will teach her that war is not to be declared against
Great Britain with impunity."
On April 15, 1814, The Times
declared, "Now that the tyrant Bonaparte has been consigned to infamy,
there is no public feeling in this country stronger than that of
indignation against the Americans."
In the view of The Times
now that Napoleon Bonaparte had been sent to exile on Elba, the British
should teach the Americans a lesson for their impertinence in becoming
the tool of the "Monster" Napoleon. Shortly, war would be brought to
the very seat of President Madison's government as an expeditionary
force under Major General Robert Ross comprising Peninsula War veterans
sailed for the Chesapeake Bay.
Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane, British commander-in-chief during the
attacks on Washington and Baltimore candidly wrote of the Americans,
"They are a whining, canting race much like the spaniel and require the
same treatment--must be drubbed into good manners."
Admiral Cochrane was the younger son of Thomas, Eighth Earl of
Dundonald. Possibly his hatred of Americans had a personal basis: his
elder brother Major Charles Cochrane had been killed at Yorktown. An
aide to Lord Cornwallis, Major Cochrane had been standing next to
Cornwallis on October 17, 1783, two days before the British surrender,
when his head was shot off by a cannonball.6
|Rear Admiral George Cockburn had a particular disdain for the Yankee militia.
subordinate was Rear Admiral George Cockburn, a Lowland Scot with a
high voice who had been operating in the Chesapeake the previous year
under Cochrane's predecessor, Admiral Sir John Borlase Warren. Cockburn
did not hate Americans as Cochrane did but he had little regard for
them, particularly for the American militia, which had the burden of
trying to defend the Chesapeake while the bulk of the U.S. regulars were
fighting the British on the Canadian border.7
modus operandi was that if a town offered resistance, it would be
considered a fortified post and the male inhabitants soldiers. Then the
town was free to be destroyed, its property confiscated, the cattle and
stock taken. In this era, the accepted law of the sea was that if you
were an enemy, your property could be condemned and taken, and Cockburn
adopted a similar code while on land in the Chesapeake. He wrote to
Admiral Warren, "should resistance be made, I shall consider [what I
take] as a prize of war."8
some of the British in the Chesapeake viewed Admiral Cockburn as a
shining hero of the Royal Navy, others had disliked his methods.
Midshipman Frederick Chamier of H.M.S. Menelaus
, who watched
Cockburn at work in southern Maryland in the summer of 1814, identified
the inequities of how Cockburn determined if an American was a
by any stretch of argument we could establish the owner of a house,
cottage, hut, &c. to be a militia-man, that house we burnt, because
we found arms therein; that is to say, we found a duck gun, or a rifle.
It so happens, that in America every man must belong to the militia;
and, consequently, every man's house was food for a bonfire. . . .9
other words, as Chamier facetiously though accurately puts it, the
Americans were punished for "the unnatural sin of protecting their own
|Militia often wore civilian clothes, as did a number of the English militiamen shown in a contemporary cartoon.
an American was deemed not to be hostile, the admiral would pay for
what he took. In this event, as Cockburn told Warren, "I shall give the
owner bills on the Victualling Office for the fair value of whatsoever
is taken. . . ." The admiral did not mention that such bills would not
be redeemable until after the war was over.
Chamier revealed the truth of the "deals" the admiral offered the people of the Bay:
bullock was estimated at five dollars, although it was worth twenty; and
sheep had the high price of a dollar attached to them, they being in
reality worth six at least. . . . But supposing, and I have seen it one
hundred times, that the farmer refused the money for his stock; why
then we drove sheep, bullocks, and geese away, and left the money for
the good man to take afterwards.
Colonel Charles Napier, a Peninsula War veteran who worked with
Cockburn in the summer of 1813 during the attack on Norfolk, as well as
in other operations in the Chesapeake and on the North Carolina coast,
felt similar qualms about the type of warfare being conducted by
Cockburn and his sailors:
is my dislike to what is perhaps a necessary part of our job, viz.
plundering and ruining the peasantry. We drive all their cattle and of
course ruin them; my hands are clean, but it is hateful to see the poor
Yankees robbed, and to be the robber. If we should take fairly it would
not be so bad, but the rich escape; for the loss of a few cows and oxen
is nothing to a rich man, while you ruin a poor peasant if you take his
sailors became experts at the art of burning Yankee property.
Midshipman Chamier says "we most valiantly set fire to unprotected
property." He admits that the sailors, "from constant practice, were
most consummately skilled in the art of house-burning" even to the point
of dancing round the burning houses "like a parcel of savages":
is quite a mistake to set fire to a house to windward; it should always
be fired to the leeward side: the air becoming rarified by the heat, the
wind blows the flames round the angles, one half their force is lost,
and consequently time is consumed as well as the house. My readers may
rely upon this interesting information being correct, for we tried the
effect on two houses at the same time; and it was admitted, even by the
owners, who had been guilty of the gross inconsistency and folly of
defending their native land, that "the firing to leeward" was equally as
efficacious, and doubly expeditious.
fact, some British servicemen who fought in the Chesapeake expressed
ambivalence about fighting Americans at all because they realized the
close kinship between the British and Americans. Lieutenant Colonel
Napier wrote, "There are numbers of officers, of the navy in particular,
whose families are American, and their fathers in one or two instances
are absolutely living in the very towns we are trying to burn."15
partial notebook found on the battlefield after the Battle of North
Point, a British Redcoat bemoans that fact that he and his comrades had
"to fight our own Reletions [sic] in the north of America."16
one thing to fight the French, who, because they spoke a different
language, could seem alien and therefore a faceless enemy. Americans
seemed too much like one's own flesh and blood. Napier tells of being
disturbed by the affinity of language: "It is quite shocking to have men
speak our own language brought in wounded: one feels as is they were
English peasants and that we are killing our own people."
Although Napier thought that the Yankees were beatable, he found the way the Americans fought to be unfair:
opinion is, that if we tuck up our sleeves and lay our ears back, we
might thrash them: that is if we caught them out of their trees, so as
to slap at them with the bayonet. They will not stand that. But they
fight unfairly, firing jagged pieces of iron and every sort of
devilment, nails, broken pokers, old locks of guns, gun-barrels,
everything that will do mischief. On board a 20-gun ship that we took, I
found this sort of ammunition regularly prepared. This is wrong. Man
delights to be killed according to the law of nations. . . . A 24 lb.
shot in the stomach is fine, we die heroically: but a brass candlestick
for stuffing, with a garnish of rusty twopenny nails makes us die
ungenteelly, and with the cholic.
was a critic of Cockburn's impetuosity and trust in luck, noting,
"Cockburn's confidence in his luck is the very thing most to be feared;
it is worse than 1,000 Yankees."
He thought that the admiral's ill-prepared attacks on American positions could one day result in disaster:
was done with method, all was hurry, confusion, and long orders. If
the Yankees are worth their salt they will give us a thrashing yet in
one of our landings, going as we do like a flock of sheep instead of
rowing ashore in lines. . . . had Jonathan come down to the water's edge
or to his waist in it, he would have destroyed half our men.
lack of preparation, abetted by Cockburn's arrogance and lack of regard
for the American militia, would lead to several British disasters
around the Chesapeake. Cockburn's easy "victories" in capturing and
burning small towns and chasing away the local militia lulled the
British into a false sense of confidence. On a number of occasions, the
militia performed their job when well led or when backed by veteran
Navy gunners. Such an instance happened at Craney Island, Virginia, on
June 22, 1813, where the British force of around 2,500 men attempted a
joint land and sea assault on the island in order to force a way toward
Norfolk, to capture the Gosport Navy Yard and destroy the frigate
Constellation. Troops led by army commander Colonel Sir Sidney Beckwith
tried to ford across to the island but found the tide was in.
Meanwhile, the Royal Navy barges grounded in shallow water and were easy
targets for the U.S. Navy gunners and militia artillerymen on the
island. Napier wrote, "a large creek stopped our progress by land, and
shoal water stopped the boats by sea. A sharp cannonade from the works
on the island cost us seventy-one men, without returning a shot! . . .
We despise the Yankee too much."
report to London, Admiral Warren only reported one man from the naval
attack force seriously wounded--Captain J. M. Hanchett, an illegitimate
son of George III. Hanchett had been seated in the stern of one of the
boats holding an umbrella over his head as a mark of disdain for the
Yankees. Colonel Beckwith submitted a casualty report that showed three
killed, eight wounded, and 52 missing.
of the 52 missing listed on Beckwith's report were "Canadian
Chasseurs," a controversial corps of some 400 men who were not Canadian
at all but French prisoners of war who preferred serving in British
uniform to rotting in British prisons. Beckwith claimed that around 30
of the men from this corps were massacred in one of the barges, a claim
hotly denied by Brigadier General Robert B. Taylor, the U.S. commander
at Norfolk. On June 25, three days after the repulse at Craney Island,
supposedly in revenge for the alleged massacre of their comrades, the
remaining Frenchmen went on a rampage of killing, looting, and raping
after the British capture of Hampton, Virginia. At first Beckwith
sought to deny the atrocities (he praised the Frenchmen in his initial
report on the fighting at Hampton). The colonel later promised Captain
John Myers, an aide to General Taylor, that he would not again employ
the men on the coast of the United States.
later, looking back on his involvement in the depredations in the
Chesapeake in 1813, Napier, who would become a noted general in India,
noted the futility and absurdity of the operations: "We were five months
cruising along that hostile coast, acting with so much absurdity, and
so like buccaneers, that I [am] ashamed to refer to it. . . ."
|Maj. Gen. Robert Ross (1766-1814). The aggressive general was killed leading his troops toward Baltimore.
1813, the weak force under Warren and Beckwith shied away from
attacking Washington and Baltimore. However, in 1814, Major General
Ross, with his stronger force of around 4,000 men, attempted both
targets. Cockburn devised a plan to attack the capital by way of
Benedict on the Patuxent. He assured the general that he would find the
capital unprotected. As it turned out, he was proved correct. A weak,
arrogant, and unprepared Secretary of War, John Armstrong, kept denying
that Washington could be a target. The man selected to command the
force of mainly Maryland and District Columbia militia named in early
July to defend the capital was equally incompetent--Brigadier General
William H. Winder, nephew of the governor of Maryland. The general had
been captured at Stoney Creek in Canada in July 1813 in virtually his
first real taste of battle.24
British found it hard to conceive that they were able to so easily
invade the country without encountering opposition. Captain of the
Fleet Admiral Edward Codrington thought it remarkable that they were
able to sail unharassed so many miles up the Patuxent:
think it may. . . be considered a comparatively extraordinary
circumstance that we have not found an enemy to assail us in the course
of sixty miles that we have explored, although the cliffs which
occasionally arise on either bank offer facilities apparently
irresistible to a people so disposed to hatred and so especially hostile
to the navy of England.25
days later, after the resignation of Secretary of War John Armstrong,
the invaders faced quite a different situation when Secretary of State
James Monroe took over the War Department, and Commodores Perry, Porter,
and Rodgers harassed the British squadron on the Potomac that had
forced Alexandria to surrender and lay itself open to ransom.26
proved unable to marshal his forces to intercede the British on their
50-mile march to the capital. He was forced into battle at Bladensburg,
at the gates of Washington, where he failed to deploy his numerically
superior forces of 6,000 militia and around 300 newly trained regulars
in a fashion to repel the invaders. Hours before, General Ross had been
reluctant to go against orders from the high command for him to stay
near the shipping. But under pressure from the ever aggressive Admiral
Cockburn, and in view of the tentativeness of the Americans opposing
him, the Dublin-born British general caved in and attempted an attack on
battle began shortly after noon on a boiling hot August 24. The British
sustained losses of around 300 men, many of them killed in storming a
battery of naval guns manned by sailors and marines under the command of
Commodore Joshua Barney in the closing stages of the battle. However,
Barney's battery, deployed in a hasty fashion far behind Winder's front
line, failed to halt the Redcoats. Most of the militia had already fled
down the Georgetown Road in an affair that wags dubbed "The Bladensburg
Races." The commodore, seriously wounded with a musket-ball in his
thigh, was captured, paroled, and taken to a tavern in Bladensburg,
where he was cared for by British and American medical staff along with
the wounded British officers. That evening, Ross and his troops marched
into Washington. They began to torch the public buildings, allegedly
in retaliation for the American burning of York in Upper Canada (now
Toronto) in April 1813. An additional reason for the destruction could
have been that snipers shot at the lead party as they entered the city,
killing Ross's horse and several enlisted men.28
|British Soldiers Burning Washington, D.C.
Codrington wrote with relish of the burning of Washington, "the great
Federal city, the capital and pride of the Virginians and all other
supporters of the Jefferson and Maddison [sic] party, and haters of
everything English. . . ." He extolled the fact that "like his friend
Buonaparte [sic]" Madison had received his rightful punishment at the
hands of the British.29
Ross, writing to his wife Elizabeth a few days later, assessed the mood
of the Americans following the fall of their capital:
trust all our differences with the Yankees will shortly be settled.
That wish is, I believe, very prevalent with them. They feel strongly
the disgrace of having had their capital taken by a handful of men and
blame very generally a government which went to war without the means or
abilities to carry it on. . . . The injury sustained by the city of
Washington in the destruction of its public buildings has been immense
and must disgust the county with a government that has left the capital
British were careful not to stay long in the capital. They decamped on
the second night, leaving their camp fires burning. They feared an
imminent American attack, however (though they did not know it), the
Americans were too scattered and demoralized to mount such an attack.
Colonel Arthur Brooke, leader of Ross's second brigade, noted in his
diary, "we could scarce believe the Americans (from their immense
population and a well trained artillery) would tamely allow a handful of
British soldiers, to advance thro' the heart of their country and burn
and destroy the capital of the United States."31
way back to the ships, the troops retraced their steps through
Bladensburg, Upper Marlboro, and Nottingham. At Nottingham, the general
ordered his "Cossacks," as the British jokingly called their soldiers
mounted on captured American horses, to ride back to Upper Marlboro to
arrest Dr. William Beanes, whom the general had been shocked to learn
had cut off and arrested some British stragglers. The general's shock
sprang from the fact that the same Dr. Beanes had allowed his house in
Upper Marlboro to be used by Ross as his headquarters prior to the
attack on Washington. The Irish-born general apparently felt personally
insulted at the doctor's double-dealing.32
retrospect, Beanes's duplicity may have struck the British as typical of
American behavior. Lieutenant George Robert Gleig of the 85th
Regiment, an 18-year-old subaltern who wrote a diary and two books on
the British campaigns in the Chesapeake and at New Orleans, met Beanes
and later formed an opinion of the man's cunning ways. He wrote that
the doctor seemed all too accommodating to the invaders. The lieutenant
wrote, "There was nothing about his house or farm to which he made us
not heartily welcome; and the wily emigrant was no loser by his
civility." In other words, as was their custom, the British
compensated Beanes for the goods they took.
Gleig had decided views about Americans, possibly gleaned from fellow
officers or English travel books. He wrote, "The low cunning which
forms a leading trait in the American character, has long been
proverbial." During the march from Benedict, he and a party of soldiers
found two Americans "with bright firelocks, and bayonets, sitting under
a tree." The men tried to persuade Gleig "that they were quiet country
people, come out for no other purpose than to shoot squirrels." When
Gleig asked them why they needed bayonets for squirrel hunting, the men
were at a loss for reply, and were taken prisoner.33
Beanes paid dearly for his duplicity. The British threatened to send
him in chains to Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was kept incommunicado in the
hold of Admiral Cochrane's flagship, H.M.S. Tonnant
Georgetown lawyer Francis Scott Key and U.S. Agent for Exchange Colonel
John S. Skinner successfully negotiated Beanes's release on the evening
of September 7, they were forced to stay with the British fleet for the
attack on Baltimore--leading to the writing of "The Star-Spangled
Banner" by the poetically inclined Key when he realized that despite a
25-hour bombardment by the British, the U.S. flag still flew above Fort
British decision to attack Baltimore had been made hastily. General
Ross told his aide Captain Harry Smith, who took his despatches on the
attack on Washington to London, that he had no intention to attack the
He let himself be persuaded by Cockburn to attempt the attack. He may
have also been swayed by his victory at Bladensburg, feeling that the
admiral was right and the militia could not stand up to his regulars.
However, the general had made his decision to attack Baltimore based on
scant intelligence of the situation in the city. Major General Samuel
Smith, a Revolutionary War veteran, a wealthy merchant and U.S. senator
with much to lose if the British sacked Baltimore, had energized the
city, and extensive fortifications had been built to prevent Baltimore
from suffering the same fate as Washington.37
morning of September 12, the British began to row ashore at North
Point. Admiral Codrington wrote gleefully about the coming attack on
work of destruction is now about to begin, and there will probably be
many broken heads tonight. . . . I do not like to contemplate scenes of
blood and destruction; but my heart is deeply interested in the
coercion of these Baltimore heroes, who are perhaps the most inveterate
against us of all the Yankees.38
and Cockburn breakfasted at the Gorsuch house just north of Humphrey's
Creek and an unfinished trench the Americans had begun across the
peninsula. Here, the British took three American militia dragoons
prisoner. Mr. Gorsuch's obsequiousness, reminiscent of the overly
accommodating manner of Dr. Beanes, perhaps prompted the famous reply
the general made to Gorsuch on whether he would be returning for supper:
"I will sup in Baltimore tonight, or in hell!" Similarly, the
relatively easy victory the British had obtained over the U.S. militia
at Bladensburg may have led to him declaring to the three captured
dragoons, "I don't care if it rains militia."
|The British paid for their disdain for the
American militia when General Ross was killed in a skirmish preceding
the Battle of North Point on September 12, 1814
remark about the supposedly inept American militia would cost him
dearly. Just after noon, he would be struck down by a bullet in a
skirmish near the present-day Aquila Randall monument on Old North Point
Road. The British had not counted on the fact that, unlike at
Washington, the militia would come out to seek them out. General Smith
had ordered Brigadier General John Stricker to march down to North Point
with 3,200 militiamen the previous day. The Dublin-born general was
struck down in a skirmish between his advance troops and men of the
Fifth Regiment Maryland Militia.39
Brooke, who took over from the mortally wounded Ross, indicated by a
later remark that he thought the shot that killed Ross was a lucky one.
Listening to a Yankee boast that "our riflemen can shoot a duck through
the head with a single ball at two hundred yards," he replied, "Very
probably they are good shots, but you forget one thing--the poor duck
was not a soldier with a red coat on his back, and a musket, with a
bayonet at the end of it, in his hand, ready to fire and use the steel.
That makes a deal of difference with regard to steady shooting."40
found Stricker's main troops drawn up in line facing him behind a fence
and partly hidden by trees where the Patapsco Neck peninsula narrows
between Bear Creek and Back River. Stricker had chosen his position
well. The British had to advance over an open field to attack them. In
the attack, Brooke's troops suffered losses of around 200, compared
with 24 American dead and 139 wounded. Brooke sent the Fourth "King's
Own" Regiment round to turn the American left flank, and although the
Fourth got mired in the glutinous black mud by Back River the movement
was enough to cause some collapse in the American line, with elements of
the 39th and 54th Regiments beginning a retreat. However, encouraged
by Stricker's aide, Major George Pitt Stevenson, the rest of Stricker's
troops held, trading volleys with Brooke's seasoned Redcoats for some
precious minutes. The Baltimorean citizen-soldiers had done their job,
they had met the British Peninsula War veterans and caused them losses
in a delaying action that the British had little expected. Stricker's
brigade withdrew toward Baltimore in good order.41
next day, in heavy rain, the British advanced toward Baltimore. Brooke
viewed the extensive American entrenchments circling the eastern side of
Baltimore. The sight startled him. He noted in his diary, "[I] found
the enemy strongly posted, on a high hill, [with] a regular ditch, and
strong redoubts, in short [I] saw it was impossible to attack them."42
inadequacy of British intelligence concerning the defenses at Baltimore
was now painfully obvious to the new British commander. Nevertheless,
Brooke made plans for a night attack--until a note from Admiral Cochrane
informed him that the Royal Navy had found it impossible to force a way
past Fort McHenry. The admiral indicated it would be up to Brooke to
decide whether to attack given the overwhelming force manning the
Baltimore defenses--which the captured dragoons after the landing had
told Ross amounted to 20,000 men, although the number was probably
nearer 15,000. Cochrane also implied that such an attack might
jeopardize other operations--possible attacks on New Orleans or Rhode
Island. Not surprisingly, the colonel decided to withdraw. Brooke
noted in his diary, "It would have been presumptuous in one, to say, I
could take such a force without great loss, more especially, having only
about four thousand men. . . . If I took the place, I should have been
the greatest man in England. If I lost, my military character was gone
knowing that Brooke had decided to withdraw, Admiral Cochrane ordered a
diversion--an attack at one o'clock on the morning of September 14 by
barges under Captain Charles Napier. Fort McHenry commander Major
George Armistead later claimed that the barges carried ladders to scale
the walls of the fort. In any event, as at Craney Island, the barge
attack failed miserably. Sailing Master John A. Webster, in command of
Battery Babcock, an earthen fort armed with six 18-pound cannons to the
west of Fort McHenry, detected the sound of the barges in the rainy,
dark night, and he ordered his gunners to open up on the British barges.
Webster's fusillade was follow by salvoes from nearby batteries and
from Fort McHenry itself. The British suffered at least three dead and
the loss of two barges, and they had to beat a retreat back to their
ships. The British attack on Baltimore had failed by both land and sea.44
later, the commander of that ill-fated barge attack, now Admiral Sir
Charles Napier, would reflect on the achievements of the United States
in the War of 1812:
Americans owed their success in a great degree to our Government and
naval officers holding them too cheap. . . . We unfortunately
considered them far below the French in naval knowledge and gunnery,
when they were actually superior to ourselves, having devoted much
attention to that science, which we had shamefully neglected. . . . The
Americans behaved with great bravery (and why should they not? they are
Cochrane wrote to London that the attack on Baltimore had only been a
"demonstration." Others knew better. The naval lieutenant who escorted
the flag-draped body of General Ross down to North Point to be shipped
out to H.M.S. Tonnant
and eventual burial at Halifax, Nova Scotia, wrote, "These Americans are not to be trifled with--"46
1. "The Prince Regent's Speech to Parliament," quoted in The Gentleman's Magazine, November 1813, 488.
2. Quoted in Walter Lord, The Dawn's Early Light. New York: W. W. Norton, 1972, 35.
3. Quoted in Lord, 33.
4. Lord, 37.
5. Quoted in Lord, 44.
6. Benjamin Franklin Stevens, Clinton-Cornwallis Controversy. London: n.p., 1888, 2:420.
7. Lord, 52-3.
8. Rear Admiral George Cockburn to Admiral Sir John Borlase Warren, April 29, 1813, Cockburn Papers, Library of Congress.
9. [Frederick Chamier, R.N.], The Life of a Sailor by a Captain in the Navy. New York: J. & J. Harper, 1833, 1:201.
10. [Chamier], 1:200.
11. Cockburn to Warren, April 29, 1813, op cit.
12. [Chamier], 1:201.
13. Lt. Gen. William Napier, The Life and Opinions of General Sir Charles Napier, G.C.B. 4 vols. London: John Murray, London, 1857, 1:225. Hereinafter, "Napier, Life and Opinions."
14. [Chamier], 1:205.
15. Napier, Life and Opinions, 1:225.
John O'Neill notebook or diary, Manuscripts Division, Maryland
Historical Society Library, Baltimore, MS 1846. Based on internal
evidence in the document, John O'Neill was a sergeant in the 21st
Regiment from Fortney near Dublin. He seems also to have been a
combatant in the American Revolution. Several notations in the
manuscript refer to him landing at daybreak "on the fifteenth of
November. . . at KingsBridge"--evidently a reference to the British
landing at King's Bridge at the north end of Manhattan prior to the
British capture of Fort Washington on November 15, 1776. In 1814, Sgt.
John O'Neill must have been a man at the least in his fifties.
17. Napier, Life and Opinions, 1:224.
18. Ibid., 222.
19. Ibid., 219.
20. Ibid., 217.
Col. Sir Sidney Beckwith, "General Return of Killed, Wounded, and
Missing of the Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, Drummers, & Rank
and File in the Affair with the Enemy near Crany Island [sic], June 22,
1813," Admiralty Papers, Public Record Office, London. The mid-19th
century U.S. historian Charles J. Ingersoll put the British loss at
Craney Island at "about two hundred in killed, wounded and deserted. . .
." He speaks of the totality of the defeat but characterizes the
attack as a "feeble" performance: "They were totally defeated with
considerable loss; loss not only in lives, but of credit, for their
attack was neither vigorous nor well sustained." Charles J. Ingersoll, Historical Sketch of the Second War between the United States and Great Britain. . . . 2 vols. Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard, 1845, 1:200.
22. See J. Mackay Hitsman and Alice Sorby, "Independent Foreigners or Canadian Chasseurs," Military Affairs
1961;25(Spring):11-17. Also Col. Sir Thomas Sidney Beckwith to Admiral
Warren, June 28, 1813, published in William S. Dudley, ed., The Naval War of 1812: A Documentary History.
3 vols. Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, 1988, 2:362-63,
and Capt. John Myers to Brig. Gen. Robert B. Taylor, July 2, 1813 in T.
H. Palmer, ed., The Historical Register of the United States. Part II. From the Declaration of War in 1812, to January 1, 1814. 4 vols. Washington, D.C.: T. H. Palmer, 2:267-69.
23. Napier, Life and Opinions, 4:393.
24. Lord, 21-25.
25. Lady Bourchier, ed., Memoir of the Life of Admiral Sir Edward Codrington. 2 vols. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1:315.
26. Lord, 197-209.
27. Ibid., 59-130.
28. Ibid., 130-83.
29. Bourchier, ed., 1:316.
Maj. Gen. Robert Ross to Elizabeth Ross, September 1, 1814, Public
Record Office of Northern Ireland, Belfast (hereinafter PRONI)
D.2004/1A/3/8, quoted in Christopher T. George, "The Family Papers of
Maj. Gen. Robert Ross, the Diary of Col. Brooke, and the British Attacks
on Washington and Baltimore of 1814," Maryland Historical Magazine
31. Brooke Diary, PRONI D.3004/D/2, quoted in George, op cit.
32. Lord, 185-6.
33. [G. R. Gleig], A Subaltern in America.
Philadelphia: E. L. Carey & A. Hart, 1833, 45. Gleig understood
Beanes to be a Scotsman, although Beanes was actually a fourth
generation American of Scottish descent. See Caleb Clarke Magruder,
Jr., "Dr. William Beanes, the Incidental Cause of the Authorship of the
Star-Spangled Banner," Records of the Columbia Historical Society 1915;22:207-24.
34. [G. R. Gleig], A Narrative of the Campaigns of the British Army at Washington, Baltimore, and New Orleans. Philadelphia: M. Carey and Sons, 1821, 105-6.
35. Lord, 240-45, 292-93.
36. G. C. Moore Smith, ed., The Autobiography of Lieutenant-General Sir Harry Smith Baronet of Aliwal on the Sutlej G.C.B. 2 vols. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1902, 1:207.
37. Lord, 227-39.
38. Bourchier, ed., 1:319-20.
39. Lord, 252-63.
40. Vice-Admiral William Stanhope Lovell, R.N., K.H., Personal Narrative of Events, from 1799 to 1815. 2nd. ed. London: Wm. Allen & Co., London, 1879, 164.
41. Lord, 264-69.
42. Brooke diary, quoted in George, op cit.
44. Lord, 286-91.
45. Maj. General Elers Napier, The Life and Correspondence of Admiral Sir Charles Napier, from Personal Recollections, Letters, and Official Documents.
2 vols. London: Hurst and Blackett, 1862, 1:74-5. Napier was the
Scottish-born cousin of Irish-born Colonel Napier discussed earlier.
46. Cochrane quote in Lord, 299. Lt. Gordon Gollie MacDonald, manuscript autobiography, New York Public Library.
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