Thunder on the Bay: A Heritage Tour of the 1813-1814 Chesapeake Campaign
During the War of 1812, Great Britain struggled to defend her Canadian provinces. Desperate to alleviate pressure on the Canadian front, in early 1813 the British Royal Navy blockaded the Chesapeake Bay. The blockade curtailed American shipping from Baltimore and Norfolk. Beyond capturing merchant ships, the British began conducting raids on bay communities, beginning with Elkton and Havre de Grace [STOPS 1 & 2]. In the summer of 1813, the British attacked Norfolk [STOP 3] and Hampton [STOP 4], and even raided the Carolina coast [STOP 5]. By 1814, the British established at permanent base on Tangiers Island [STOP 6] and resumed raiding [STOP 7]. The campaign’s crescendo came in the autumn of 1814, when British forces successfully attacked and sacked Washington, D.C., where they burned the White House [STOPS 8 & 9]. The attempted to capture Baltimore, but were repulsed [STOPS 10, 11, & 12]. In the war’s final months, the British departed the Chesapeake for an ill-fated campaign against New Orleans.