History of War

“It had been only a few years since the Upper Bay had become a junction through which every man of import in America’s founding had passed, paused for supper, slept the night away, and found brief respite from the travail of establishing a more perfect union in these surrounding United States.  They were men who started a revolution that became America’s War of Independence. Back then 265 British ships had transgressed the upper bay.  Now thirty five years later, there was well-founded rumor that they may be returning, as uninvited and unwelcome as they were the first time.

The battle for liberty had been fought and won; the Americans were the victors, the British the losers.  The century of America’s Revolution was finished, and now it was the second decade of a new one.  One of those founding fathers who had passed through the Upper Bay – James Madison – was now the fourth president of the United States, and on June 18, 1812, he led congress to a second declaration of war against Great Britain. 

For nearly an entire year, the hostilities between two countries didn’t touch the residents of the Chesapeake region, but many, if not most of the people living in the upper reaches of the Bay lived to at least some extent, in fear.  In February of that year, British Admiral John Borlase Warren issued the following proclamation: “I hereby certify that the Bay, and Harbors in the Chesapeake, were yesterday put under a strict and rigorous blockade”.  The Admiral of the Blue, as he called himself, had built a similar naval fence around Delaware Bay. 

A year after Madison’s declaration of war, the summer of 1813 would be a hot sweltering one in which there seemed to be no relief from the sun’s intensity. In April of 1813 however, the heat had not yet begun, but the British invasion of the Upper Chesapeake Bay was about to.”         

An excerpt from:
"1812 – The Northern Chesapeake Campaign",
by R. Edward Turner