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Home > History > Battle of Bladensburg

Battle of Bladensburg

This articles describes the Battle of Bladensburg in the War of 1812.
Battle of Bladensburg

An Attack on the American Capital

As part of Great Britain's plan to wipe out America's Chesapeake Bay forts, and to gain revenge on the Americans for torching the city of York in Canada, British generals Robert Ross and George Cockburn split their forces, who separately traveled up the Patuxent and Potomac Rivers in an attempt to attack different parts of Washington. American forces under William Winder concentrated his forces in Bladensburg where they planned to meet the British head on.

The Greatest Disgrace Ever Dealt to American Arms

Despite outnumbering British forces, the Americans were doomed by a lack of leadership and logistics support, miscommunications, and last-second changes to positions and formations. Winder was completely ineffective in commanding the troops and was provided virtually no support or staff from the Secretary of War John Armstrong. As a result, British forces overwhelmed the confused Americans, prompting a disorganized retreat. Many American soldiers, unsure of what direction to flee, escaped through the streets Washington, while others just ran with no destination in mind. The loss of Bladensburg left the path to Washington wide open. The government quickly evacuated the capital city and escaped to Brookeville, Maryland. The American defeat at Bladensburg is often called "the greatest disgrace ever dealt to American arms."

War of 1812 Battles

November 7th, 1811 - Battle of Tippecanoe
July 17, 1812 - Battle of Fort Mackinac
August 15, 1812 - Massacre at Fort Dearborn
October 13, 1812 - Battle of Queenston's Heights
January 22, 1813 - Battle of Frenchtown
March 30, 1813 - Battle of Lacolle Mills
April 27, 1813 - Battle of York
May 1-9, 1813 - Siege at Fort Meigs
August 15-16, 1813 - Surrender of Fort Detroit
September 10, 1813 - Battle of Lake Erie
October 5, 1813 - Battle of Thames
1813-1814 - Creek War
July 5- 1814 - Battle of Chippawa
July 25, 1814 - Battle of Lundy's Lane
August 24, 1814 - Battle of Bladensburg
August 25, 1814 - The Razing of Washington
September 6-11, 1814 - Battle of Plattsburgh
September 12-14, 1814 - Siege of Baltimore
November 11, 1814 - Battle of Crysler's Farm
January 8, 1815 - Battle of New Orleans


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