When the war of 1812 began, the Americans felt confidence in their potential success. However, it soon became clear that they were unprepared. Jeffersons's spending cuts had weakened the American military. The navy had only 16 warships ready to go and the army itself consisted of only a few 7,000 men. Many of its officers were poorly trained or too old for combat.
Battle of Washington
In the early days of the war, the British set up a blockade of the American coast. This was for the purpose oftrapping the American navy on land and preventing them from leaving the area. By 1814, the British navy had 135 warships blockading American ports.
Battle of Baltimore
Even before war began, war hawks were demanding an invasion of Canada. In July 1812, American troops under General William Hull invaded Canada froom Detroit. Feeling unsure , the troops retreated. The British took advantage of the confusion and captured 2,000 American men. Their Native American warriors were forced to do so.
Battle of New Orleans
Later on in war, tthe British had a new strategy. Attack the nation's capital. In August 1814, a British force did just that . They marched into Washington D.C. The presidents wife gathered up important papers and fled the White House. The British set the White House and several other goverment buildings ablaze.
From Washington D.C. the British troops moved on to Baltimore. First, they would destroy Fort McHenry which protected the city's harbor. Miraculously, the Americans defended and the flag was still standing!
The Battle of New Orleans was fought on January 8, 1815, between the British Army under Major General Sir Edward Pakenham, and the United States Army under Brevet Major General Andrew Jackson. It took place approximately 5 miles east-southeast of the city of New Orleans, and was a U.S. victory. The battle took place directly after the signing of the Treaty of Ghent on December 24, 1814.