The Chesapeake Campaign
THE CHESAPEAKE CAMPAIGN OF 1812
The Chesapeake Campaign represents the only time in American history when the nation's capital was invaded by a foreign power. The campaign was made up of two military initiatives led by British Rear Admiral George Cockburn during the summer of 1814: first, the assault on Washington including the Battle of Bladensburg, the burning of the White House, the Capitol, the Navy Yard, and other public buildings in Washington, DC, and diversionary feints along the region’s waterways; and second, the Battle for Baltimore. With most of the regular U.S. Army on the Canadian border, the defense of the Chesapeake and the nation's capital fell largely to poorly trained and inexperienced militia.
The map shows the events of the Chesapeake Campaign of 1812 and timeline.
Did You Know?
The low point in the War of 1812 for the United States was undoubtedly the British occupation of Washington in August of 1814. Neither Secretary of War John Armstrong nor any other high official in the government thought the capital was in jeopardy because it had no real strategic value.