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The War of 1812: Another American Victory


Part 4: High and Lows

The British luck didn't stay so good. During the Battle of York (April 27, 1813), American forces burned the city of Toronto. A few months later, at Put-in-Bay, Ohio Territory, American ships under Oliver Hazard Perry engaged British ships. The American ships were smaller, but they had more of them. Of the American victory, Perry made his famous statement: "We have met the enemy, and they are ours." It was a stunning American victory and gave the U.S. control of the Lake Erie area, which bordered on several vital British support sites.

On the heels of this victory came another victory, in the Battle of the Thames River. At Moraviantown, in Ontario, Canada, American forces under the command of General William Henry Harrison defeated a combined British-Native American force that was retreating from the Lake Erie area after Oliver Hazard Perry's victory there.

British troops scored victories in Canada and upper New York in 1813, and the two sides then settled down for the winter.

Fighting began anew the next year. Neither side gained much of an advantage until August, when British forces invaded the streets of Washington, D.C., and burned the Capitol, the White House, the War Office, and the Treasury building. Oddly enough, British troops retreated from the city soon after.

September saw two American victories at Lake Champlain (Plattsburg) and at Baltimore. The northern victory sealed off British interference in the north, and the southern victory featured the famous 25-hour shelling of Baltimore's Fort McHenry and also Francis Scott Key's writing of The Star-Spangled Banner.

Next page > The Final Peace and the Final Battle > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Graphics courtesy of ArtToday


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