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Category Archives: Research Tidbits

Interesting things I’ve discovered

Researching the Battle of Bladensburg – 24 August 1814

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We lost the Battle of Bladensburg to a small British force of just over four thousand. A few hours later those British marched unopposed into Washington and began to burn the government buildings. Flames from the burning Capitol and Presidential Mansion lit the night sky and were visible from Baltimore, 35 miles away. I wanted […]

Wargaming a Battle – 24 August 1814 – Updated

On 24 August 1814 the British marched into Washington City after defeating the Americans at Bladensburg. When Admiral Cockburn couldn’t find a government official from which to extort money (it was a common British practice to spare a city IF they coughed up enough cash!), he ordered his men to burn the government buildings. Many […]

The American Way of War

  With the piquets [sentries], again, it fared even worse. For the outposts of an army to sleep is at all times considered as a thing impossible; but in modern and civilized warfare they are nevertheless looked upon as in some degree sacred. Thus, whilst two European armies remain inactively facing each other, the outposts […]

How to Defeat America – A British view

In researching “Forgotten Adventures of Dolley Madison” I noticed that every book covering the burning of Washington City  and the invasion of New Orleans had many references to a book written by the Chaplain General of the British Army (Rev. G. R. Gleig) about his adventures as a Lieutenant with the British Infantry.   The very […]

August 1814 – British invade Washington

On 11 April 1814 Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated as the ruler of France.  The war against Napoleon had been Great Britain’s main effort.  With Napoleon gone, Britain focused their effort on America, and considered two targets, located forty miles apart, on opposite sides of the Patuxent river:  Baltimore, Maryland  and Washington City. Baltimore was a rich […]

The War of 1812

Great Britain had been at war with Napoleon Bonaparte’s France since 1803.  To counter the French threat, Britain expanded the Royal Navy and required additional sailors to man their ships.  Most sailors were forced into serving, resulting in a high desertion rate.  When the Impress Service failed to find enough sailors in the taverns of […]

Battles of New Orleans

17 Dec 1814 – Fifty British skiffs, each armed with a small cannon, attacked and captured five American gunboats becalmed in Lake Borgne, east of New Orleans.  This allowed the British to begin transporting soldiers across the lake. 23 Dec 1814 – Jackson was notified at about noon on 23 Dec that 1,800 British soldiers […]

Dolley Payne Todd Madison

Dolley Madison is my favorite character in American History, and the reason is this woman is not only courageous and heroic, risking her life to save things for posterity, this is a woman who is beloved, the most beloved woman to ever occupy the White House, admired and respected by the rich, absolutely beloved by […]