Saving the Battlefields Where America Was Forged

A Project of the Civil War Trust |  civilwar.org

Timeline: War of 1812


February 1 - France declares war on Great Britain

Fallen Timbers

The Battle of Fallen Timbers (Harpers Magazine)


August 20 - General Anthony Wayne defeats a Native American confederation at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, paving the way for the settlement of present-day Ohio


April 30 - The Louisiana Purchase is finalized, adding more than 800,000 square miles to the western frontier of the United States

December 4 - Napoleon is crowned Emperor of France following a coup d'etat


Napoleon's thirst for power prompted a bloody world war. (Google Art Project)

April 18 - Non-Importation Act passed

November 21 - Napoleon issues the Berlin Decrees


November 11 - Great Britain passes the 1807 Orders in Council, restricting international trade with France

June 22 - HMS Leopard fires on the USS Chesapeake

December 22 - Embargo Act Passed


March 4 – James Madison is sworn in as the 4th President of the United States.


May 16 – The American frigate USS President fires on the British sloop HMS Little Belt

October 9 – Major General Isaac Brock is appointed Administrator of Upper Canada

November 11 - Battle of Tippecanoe


The Battle of Tippecanoe (Library of Congress)


June 18 - The United States declares war on Great Britain

June 22 - A mob in Baltimore destroys the printing offices of an anti-war newspaper

July 12 - General William Hull invades Canada from Detroit

July 17 - Fort Michilimackinac surrenders to British-Canadian forces

August 5 - Skirmish near Brownstown, Michigan

August 8 - General Hull returns to Detroit

August 15 - British forces bombard Detroit

August 16 - General Hull surrenders Detroit

August 19 - The USS Constitution defeats the HMS Guerriere

The war at sea

Naval combat was a major component of the War of 1812. (Library of Congress)

October 13 - British-Canadians win the Battle of Queenston Heights, Ontario

November 27 - Skirmish at Fort Erie

December 29 - USS Constitution defeats the HMS Java


January 9 – Great Britain declares war on the United States

January 13 – John Armstrong replaces William Eustis as Secretary of War

January 18 – American forces seize Frenchtown, Michigan

January 22 – The Battle of Frenchtown

January 23 – Between 30 and 60 American soldiers are killed in “The River Raisin Massacre”

Native American survivors

These men fought with the Native American "Six Nations" faction in the War of 1812. (Wikimedia Commons)

February 20 – Battle of Ogdensburg

April 27 – Attack on York [modern today Toronto]; General Zebulon Pike is killed

April 29 – Raid on Frenchtown, Maryland by a British flotilla under the command of Admiral George Cockburn

March 4 – James Madison inaugurated for second term as President

May 1 – American forces evacuate York; Siege of Fort Meigs near modern day Toledo Ohio begins

May 3 – Royal Marines land and burn Havre de Grace, Maryland

May 27 – Engagement at Fort George

May 29 – Battle at Sackets Harbor

June 1 – U.S.S. Chesapeake captured by the British frigate H.M.S. Shannon

June 6 – Engagement at Stoney Creek

June 24 – Engagement at Beaver Dams

August 30 – Attack on Fort Mims, Alabama

September 10 – Battle of Lake Erie

October 5 – Battle of the Thames; Tecumseh is killed


Tecumseh, leader of Tecumseh's Confederacy (Toronto Public Library)

October 7 – Andrew Jackson establishes camp at Fayetteville, TN to recruit American forces to combat the Creeks in Alabama

October 26 – Engagement at Chateauguay

November 11 – Battle of Crysler’s Farm


March 19 – Winfield Scott is promoted to Brigadier General at the age of 26

March 27 – Engagement at Horseshoe Bend

April 4 – Napoleon abdicates and is exiled to Elba off the coast of Tuscany; Great Britain now turns its focus to the war in America

July 3 – American troops under Major General Jacob Brown cross the Niagara River and capture Fort Erie

July 5 – Battle of Chippawa

July 22 – Treaty of Greenville

July 25 – Battle of Lundy’s Lane, one of the fiercest battles of the war

August 8 – Peace negotiations begin

August 9 - Treaty of Fort Jackson

August 9 – Stonington, CT raid begins

August 12 – Stonington Raid Ends

August 14 – General Robert Ross in command of a reinforcement consisting of 4,500 veteran
British troops arrive at Chesapeake Bay

August 19 – British troops land at Benedict, Maryland

August 24 – Battle of Bladensburg

Burning of Washington

For many, the British burning of Washington, D.C. is the most notable event of the war, but the burning lacked major strategic significance. (Library of Congress)

August 24 – Burning of Washington, D.C.

August 27 – Abandonment of Fort Warburton

August 28 – Alexandria Raid

September 11 – Battle of Lake Champlain

September 12 – Battle of North Point; General Ross is killed

September 13 – Bombardment of Fort McHenry

September 14 – Francis Scott Key writes the first lines of the poem which would become “The Star Spangled Banner”

December 1 – Peace delegates reconvene at Ghent

December 14 – Delegates to the Hartford Convention meet in Hartford, Connecticut

December 24 – The Treaty of Ghent is signed

The Treaty of Ghent

The peace treaty was negotiated in Belgium, which was considered neutral territory. (Library of Congress)

December 28 – The Treaty of Ghent is ratified by the British


January 5 – The Hartford Convention concludes

January 9 – The Battle of New Orleans

February 16 – The United States Senate ratifies the Treaty of Ghent

February 18 – The Treaty of Ghent is declared; the War of 1812 is over

February 20 – USS Constitution engages the HMS Cyane and HMS Levant, not knowing the war was over

April 6 – Seven American prisoners are killed and 32 wounded in the “Dartmoor Massacre” at Dartmoor Prison in Devon, England

Timeline: Revolutionary War