War of 1812 …

In honor of its anniversary, here are some useless facts:

  • James Madison was the only president to face enemy gunfire while in office.
    When the British invaded and burned Washington, D.C. in the War of 1812, Madison
    took command of a battery of artillery, exercising his authority as commander-in-chief.
  • Even when the British attacking forces were nearing the White House, Dolly Madison refused to leave until she could take with her a portrait of George Washington.
  • The Battle of the Brass: The battle of Bladensburg in August 1814 was the only battle in American history where the President, the Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of State were all present. The Americans lost.
  • The British army in Canada lived largely on American beef smuggled openly across the borders of New York and Vermont.

Do you have any to add?

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6 Responses to War of 1812 …

  1. matt mckeon says:

    The war of 1812 marked the second in four 19th century American attempts to invade Canada. Like the others, it was unsuccessful, with a motley force of redcoats, Iroquois Indians, and Canadian militia(including a company of black militiamen) routing the invading force, capturing its senior surviving commander, Winfield Scott.

  2. matt mckeon says:

    I’m sorry about the post above, one of the invasions was in 1776, making it three 19th century attempts.

  3. matt mckeon says:

    A couple of years ago I was a tourist in Canada. A couple of times, the Canada parks people got feedback from American visitors when they spoke about Canada winning the war.

    My kid, small at the time, tugged my sleeve and stage whispered that I should explain the situation, since I was a “know it all.” “I’m on vacation.” I whispered back.

    The Canada national parks system and staff was pretty awesome, at least a few years ago.

  4. matt mckeon says:

    When teaching the War of 1812, I always do the irony of the Orders in Council being withdrawn before the declaration of war, and the the peace treaty being signed before the Battle of New Orleans. It usually gets a spark from the kids. “That sucks!” said one scholar this year. Points for sincerity!

    I read recently, that although 1812 seems even more pointless than other wars(see irony above) and the Napoleonic Wars concluding, ending the conditions that created impressment, blah, blah, blah, the war had some serious consequences.

    It was the last hurrah of the Eastern Indians, no longer able to play off British and Americans.

    It marked the end of British attempts to control American expansion into the west.

    I can’t quite remember how this goes, and probably I’m getting this wrong.

  5. Chris says:

    Matt thanks for the posts good stuff!

  6. cleantalkingchimp says:

    James Madison was the only president to face enemy gunfire while in office.

    You forgot that Abraham Lincoln also came under enemy fire at Ft Stevens during Jubal Early’s raid on Washington.

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