“Rev War Revelry” Battle of North Point

On September 12, 1814, approximately 4,700 soldiers, a mix of British infantry and marines, were landed on the North Point peninsula, a jut of land between the Back and Patapsco River and on a direct line of march toward Baltimore. While the infantry and marines advanced toward the city, the British Navy’s task was to subdue the American fortifications in Baltimore harbor. The latter was foiled by the stout defense of Fort McHenry which served as the backdrop for the future national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner.

Less is known about the accompanying land engagement, fought at North Point between the British and American militia. That battle, which cost the life of Major General Robert Ross, the British commander, saw the American militia retreat, but in order, and stymied the initial approach of the British toward Baltimore. Furthermore, the battle gave the Americans more time to add to their defenses.

To shed light on this aspect of the Battle of Baltimore, Emerging Revolutionary War will be joined by two historians, both of who have worked on volunteered at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine.

Jim Bailey is now the Chief of Visitor Services and Education at Manassas National Battlefield Park but is a former park ranger at Fort McHenry. The other guest historian is Chris Boyle who has been a National Park Service volunteer at Fort McHenry National Monument & Historical Shrine since 2005 in both the Fort McHenry Guard living history program and as an historical interpreter focusing on the Fort’s history from the War of 1812 through the Civil War. While not a native Baltimorean, he has called the city home for the last 20 years.

We hope you can join us on Sunday at 7 p.m EDT on our Facebook page for this historian happy hour.

“Rev War Revelry” The Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812

Emerging Revolutionary War’s next revelry will turn to the War of 1812, specifically its end. Turning their attention south, the British army focused on capturing the city of New Orleans from American forces led by Andrew Jackson. The long and large campaign culminated with the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815. The battle was a great American success and made Jackson a national hero.

Historians Kevin Pawlak, Sean Michael Chick, and George Best will examine the campaign that brought American and British armies to the Crescent City. We look forward to you joining us, at 7 p.m. EDT on our Facebook page for the next historian happy hour.

The Battle Of New Orleans, January 8, 1815. Final Battle Of The War Of 1812, Resulting In Victory For The American Forces Against The British. After A 19Th Century Work. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)

“Rev War Revelry” War on the Chesapeake!

The Star-Spangled Banner and the burning of Washington City are the enduring legacies of the 1814 Chesapeake Campaign. These two events provide contrasting impressions of the American experience in the War of 1812. One conjures up an image of an American flag resiliently flying above Fort McHenry’s ramparts, denying the British entry into Baltimore. The other marks a low point in the American war effort, when politicians fled the nation’s capital followed by British soldiers, who burned many government buildings in the new nation’s capital city.

War along the Chesapeake Bay was not a limited episode in the War of 1812. There, Americans and British soldiers waged a hard and destructive war against one another. They fought pitched battles at Bladensburg and North Point. This campaign, remembered in popular memory for the creation of a national anthem and the burning of a nation’s capital, is more complex than just these two events.

Join Emerging Revolutionary War historians and guest historians John Nathan McDonald and George Best as we discuss the causes, movements, and impact of the 1814 Chesapeake Campaign. So, with your favorite beverage log onto our ERW Facebook page for the next historian happy hour as we discuss the obscure War of 1812 this Sunday, May 30, at 7 pm.

Review: Tecumseh and the Prophet: The Shawnee Brothers Who Defied a Nation by Peter Cozzens

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness made their way into the American revolutionary project most explicitly in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence.  So, I hope you’ll forgive my taking of liberties in reviewing a book that starts in the Revolutionary War Era and peaks during the Madison administration.  Peter Cozzens’ new book, Tecumseh and the Prophet (Alfred A. Knopf, 2020), is a dual biography of the legendary Shawnee leader and his younger brother, Tenskwatawa, aka “the Prophet,” whose mid-life inspiration reawakened nativist aspirations among the Native American nations living in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan.   Together, the two sought to build a pan-Indian movement to resist the growth of the young American nation into the Midwest in the country’s first decades.

Continue reading “Review: Tecumseh and the Prophet: The Shawnee Brothers Who Defied a Nation by Peter Cozzens”

“Rev War Roundtable with ERW” War of 1812

The War of 1812 is considered by some historians as the end of the American Revolutionary Era. From the conflict, the United States will find a war hero and future president, Andrew Jackson and a poem by lawyer Francis Scott Key that turns into our national anthem.

But, the origins of the war, the military actions that spread around the United States, from Louisiana to the nation’s capital, to the invasion of Canada, and on the high seas are largely overlooked. There are numerous reasons for this.

That, in part, is why, this Sunday, at 7pm EST, on ERW’s Facebook page, the next historian happy hour “Rev War Revelry” will be focused on this important conflict. Join ERW historian Phillip S. Greenwalt along with the following guest historians for an hour-ish discussion of the three-year war.

Joining Phill will be;

Dan Davis, of the American Battlefield Trust, who has lectured on Andrew Jackson and the Battle of New Orleans. He is also a full-time historian with Emerging Civil War.

Also, formerly of Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, and now working for the National Park Service in the Washington D.C. area, guest historian Jim Bailey will be the second of three guest historians.

Leaving the best for last, okay pun intended, as all three guest historians are great. But in all seriousness, the third guest historian joining for this revelry will be George Best. He is a park ranger for the National Park Service at Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park and volunteers as the Communications Coordinator for the Friends of Maryland’s War of 1812.

We look forward to you joining with your thoughts, comments, and questions this Sunday on our Facebook page (there will be an event post for you to use as a reminder) as we discuss this three-year conflict that had reverberations for many years afterwards.

ERW Weekender: Remember Paoli!

On the night of September 20, 1777, while encamped in Chester County, PA just outside Philadelphia, a division of American soldiers was defeated in a swift surprise attack by a slightly smaller British force. American propagandists, in an effort to galvanize Patriot support, would make the most of this encounter to show the British Army as overly brutal and bloodthirsty. On the foggy morning of December 9, 2019, members of the ERW paid a call on this battle site; Paoli Battlefield Historical Park.

American Camp
Paoli Battlefield Historical Park

Continue reading “ERW Weekender: Remember Paoli!”

Captain John Asbhy

Part Two

Captain John Ashby and his fellow Virginians would face their greatest test of the war on the afternoon of September 11th, 1777 at the Battle of Brandywine. Following a wide flank march the bulk of the Crown forces emerged on Washington’s right flank, ready to trap and smash the Continental Army. Washington reorganized his line, drawing men north in a desperate attempt to meet the new threat. The Third Virginia was ordered into position far in advance of the American lines – their objective was to hold a wooded hill near the Birmingham Friends Meeting House in order to buy time for the rest of the American troops to take up position. Ashby and his fellow officers arranged their men among the buildings and woodlot of the Samuel Jones farm and awaited the attack that was certain to come.

The Battle of Brandywine, September 11, 1777 (American Battlefield Trust)
The Battle of Brandywine, September 11, 1777 (American Battlefield Trust)

Continue reading “Captain John Asbhy”

Reporting Success on a Monday!

With the start of the work week, some folks loath logging onto the computer to check work email, news, and updates. If you are one of those folks, keep reading, as the news we are about to share is positive and exciting.

campaign-1776-logo-220This past Thursday, July 27, 2017, Campaign 1776, the initiative of the Civil War Trust, announced the preservation of 184 acres at two sites in New York state. One tract of land was pivotal to the United States success in the Saratoga Campaign in 1777 and where a U.S. fleet was saved during the War of 1812.

The Battle of Fort Ann, fought on July 8, 1777 was a four-hour affair and was influential in the course of the larger Saratoga Campaign as it affected the British’s attempt to secure the strategically important Hudson River Valley. The delay around Fort Ann and every delay on the route of General John Burgoyne’s push south aided the Patriot cause tremendously.

Fast-forward to the War of 1812 and Sackets Harbor, New York provided as safe-haven for the United States fleet operating on the Great Lakes. Horse Island and the harbor that gained prominence during the May 29, 1813 offensive by the British, is where 24 acres were saved by Campaign 1776. The battlefield, which was one of 19 sites that benefited from $7.2 million in grants announced earlier in July and the first War of 1812 site anywhere in the country to be awarded money since the National Park Service expanded the grant opportunities in 2014.

Not just one success, but two for this Monday morning! For the full report, courtesy of our friends at Civil War Trust, click here.

 

Memorial Day

Memorial Day, the last Monday of May, commemorates the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice in defense of this country. I wanted to take the moment to remember all those who gave their life in service to this country. Thank you!

The picture below is of Chalmette National Cemetery, which is now preserved by the National Park Service, as part of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. In total, over 15,300 United States veterans are interred there, serving in armed conflicts from the War of 1812 through the Vietnam War.

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Chalmette National Cemetery (author collection)

In the theme of the Revolutionary War Era, in which this blog is dedicated, one of the most famous quotes to come out of any soldiers’ mouths about giving their life for the cause of American independence was from Nathan Hale.

Hale, about to be executed for espionage, uttered the now famous words;“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”

Or can you think of another one?

 

Union Jack o’er the Capitol: A Burning of Washington Walking Tour

Emerging Revolutionary War is honored to welcome guest historian Zach Whitlow. Zach’s biography is at the bottom of this post. 

August marks the 202nd anniversary of the Burning of Washington. On the heels of their astounding victory at Bladensburg, a British incursionary force under Major General Robert Ross and Rear Admiral George Cockburn occupied the American capital for about 24 hours on August 24th & 25th, 1814. Besides a small ambush at the Sewall House on Capitol Hill, in which two corporals and General Ross’ horse was killed, the British encountered no resistance in the city whatsoever. The Union Jack was triumphantly raised: Washington had fallen. Soon it would burn.

The burned out shell of the White House following the British occupation of Washington. (The President's House, by George Munger, 1814-1815)
The burned out shell of the White House following the British occupation of Washington. (The President’s House, by George Munger, 1814-1815)

What followed were events that literally burned themselves into the American psyche. To remember this bleak moment in history, rangers from the National Mall & Memorial Parks are leading a series of walking tours in the month of August. Beginning at the newly designated Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument (the site of the ambush), visitors walk a total of 2.5 miles and retrace the British advance down Pennsylvania Avenue. Through the program, the rangers will sift through the modern paved environment and tell the stories of long gone places, such as the newspaper offices of the National Intelligencer and Barbara Suter’s tavern.  The tour will also feature some of the surviving remnants of that time, such as the Octagon Museum.

The walking tour begins at Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument (144 Constitution Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002) every Saturday in August at 3:00 pm. There will also be programs on Wednesday, August 24th and Thursday, August 25th at 3:00 pm. Please bring comfortable shoes and plenty of drinking water.

 

*Zach Whitlow has an M.A. in Museum Studies from the George Washington University, a B.A. in History from California State University, Long Beach, and three A.A. degrees from Fullerton College. A lifelong historian, he currently works for the National Park Service at the National Mall & Memorial Parks in Washington, DC and the Office of Historic Alexandria in Alexandria, VA. Prior to this, Zach worked at the National Archives, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. He currently lives in Alexandria, VA with his girlfriend Teresa and their two cats, Max and Lizzie.