Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

195 Years Ago Today: Alexandria Surrenders

Expand Messages
  • Todd Post
    On August 6, 1814, a British fleet consisting of nearly fifty vessels sailed into the Chesapeake. Commanded by Rear Admiral George Cockburn, the Brits planned
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 29, 2009
      On August 6, 1814, a British fleet consisting of nearly fifty vessels
      sailed into the Chesapeake. Commanded by Rear Admiral George Cockburn,
      the Brits planned a two pronged attack; troops would land at Benedict,
      Maryland on the Patuxent River, while the naval force, including 1,000
      men under the command of Captain James Gordon, would continue up the
      Potomac to Washington.

      The British succeeded admirably, routing American troops at the Battle
      of Bladensburg on August 24, 1814, and burning nearly all of
      Washington's public buildings-including the Capitol and the Executive
      Mansion-on the 25th and 26th.

      In Virginia, Alexandrians recognized the increasing peril as the
      British juggernaut inched its way northward up the Potomac. With the
      exception of two institutions, the commercial banks of Georgetown,
      Washington and Alexandria agreed to loan the Government $200,000 for
      the purpose of providing a defense for the district.

      The Alexandria town and county militia were called out en masse in
      late August of 1814 and were ordered to cross the Potomac to take up a
      post between Piscataway and Fort Washington. They took with them
      nearly all the arms and artillery belonging to the town, leaving
      Alexandria defenseless. Thus, when the militia retreated to the
      Virginia countryside and Captain Dyson, commander of Ft. Washington,
      blew up the fortress, Alexandria's fate was sealed.

      On the morning of August 28, 1814, a committee led by Alexandria Mayor
      Charles Simms rowed south to meet the British Captain Gordon and
      request terms of surrender. Refusing to give conditions, Gordon and
      his fleet arrived in front of Alexandria in the evening. The next
      morning, the British lined up their gun boats (two frigates, the 38-
      gun Sea Horse and the 36-gun Euryalus; a "rocket ship"; three bomb
      vessels of eight guns each; and a two-gun schooner). They were "so
      situated that they might have laid [the town] in ashes in a few
      minutes."

      Captain Gordon offered terms which called for the removal of naval
      supplies, ships and agricultural commodities from the port. At the
      mercy of the British squadron, the town council acceded to the enemy's
      demands, and for the next five days the British looted stores and
      warehouses of 16,000 barrels of flour, 1,000 hogsheads of tobacco, 150
      bales of cotton and some $5,000 worth of wine, sugar and other items.

      Cheers,
      Todd Post
      12th US Infantry

      http://www.12thinfantry.org
      http://twitter.com/12thinfantry
      http://www.facebook.com/pages/12th-United-States-Infantry-Regiment-1812-1814/104779349740
    • BritcomHMP@aol.com
      Today Danny Forbis obituary appeared in the Times-Picayune. Here is a link if you would like to read it:
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 30, 2009
        Today Danny Forbis' obituary appeared in the Times-Picayune.

        Here is a link if you would like to read it:


        http://obits.nola.com/obituaries/nola/obituary.aspx?n=daniel-wayne-forbis&pid=132070415

        All the best,

        Tim















        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Kevin Windsor
        So how was the event Todd? Kevin 89th [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 30, 2009
          So how was the event Todd?



          Kevin

          89th











          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Todd Post
          This weekend Virginia s War of 1812 history was interpreted with two events, Alexandria Surrenders at the Carlyle House in Alexandria VA, and Free Trade and
          Message 4 of 6 , Aug 30, 2009
            This weekend Virginia's War of 1812 history was interpreted with two
            events, "Alexandria Surrenders" at the Carlyle House in Alexandria VA,
            and "Free Trade and Sailor's Rights" at Pohick Bay Regional Park in
            Lorton VA. I'd like to thank Ed Seufert of the Royal Marines, 1st
            Company, 2nd Battalion for his help with the Alexandria portion of the
            event and the members of the 12th and 20th United States Infantry
            Regiments for supporting the White House Battery portion. We had good
            visitation and weather both days with lots of visitors commenting on
            how they never knew the War of 1812 ever touched Virginian
            soil...which was the whole point of these events. Thanks also to Jim
            Bartlinski and Todd Benson of the Northern Virginia Regional Park
            Authority for their support and use of their sites.

            I've posted some photos on our web page at http://bit.ly/hQ5jE

            Cheers,
            Todd Post
            12th US Infantry Regiment

            http://www.12thinfantry.org
            http://twitter.com/12thinfantry
            http://www.flickr.com/photos/12thinfantry/
          • Todd Post
            While British naval forces commanded by Captain James A. Gordon continued to confiscate goods and load them aboard the prize merchant vessels at Alexandria,
            Message 5 of 6 , Sep 1, 2009
              While British naval forces commanded by Captain James A. Gordon
              continued to confiscate goods and load them aboard the prize merchant
              vessels at Alexandria, Virginia Militia under Brigadier General John
              P. Hungerford and sailors and marines of Captain David Porter’s
              command were preparing a battery position on the bluff at White House
              Plantation (modern day Fort Belvoir).

              The Americans intended to fire on Gordon’s squadron, whose ships’ deck
              guns would be unable to elevate sufficiently to return fire, as it
              worked its way back down the river. On August 31 the brig HMS Fairy,
              carrying a message telling Gordon to rejoin the fleet, came into
              view. Hungerford rushed two militia field guns to the unfinished
              position and opened fire. The shots caused some damage, and prompted
              Captain Gordon to hasten his departure.

              On September 1, Gordon sent the brig and bomb vessel Meteor to fire on
              the battery to impede its completion, but by evening the Americans had
              five naval long guns and eight artillery field pieces in place. The
              British spent most of the next day getting their ships and prizes in
              position to run the gantlet while working to free the bomb ship
              Devastation, which had run aground, and waiting favorable winds.

              History of the White House Battery:
              http://www.alexandria1814.org/Alexandria_1814/History.html

              Photographs from the recent 195th commemoration:
              http://www.12thinfantry.org/12th_United_States_Infantry_Regiment/Media/Pages/Free_Trade_and_Sailors_Rights.html

              Cheers,
              Todd Post
              12th US Infantry

              http://www.12thinfantry.org
              http://twitter.com/12thinfantry
              http://www.facebook.com/pages/12th-United-States-Infantry-Regiment-1812-1814/104779349740
              http://www.flickr.com/photos/12thinfantry/
            • Todd Post
              On September 6, after shifting their ballast to the port side to enable 63 starboard guns to elevate sufficiently to engage the batteries, the frigates HMS
              Message 6 of 6 , Sep 6, 2009
                On September 6, after shifting their ballast to the port side to
                enable 63 starboard guns to elevate sufficiently to engage the
                batteries, the frigates HMS Seahorse and HMS Euryalus, and the brig
                HMS Fairy opened on the White House Battery, manned by the Virginia
                militia and a detachment of sailors and marines from the USS Essex.
                After 45 minutes, the broadside guns silenced the 13 American cannons,
                and the British moved downstream.

                All eight British warships and 21 merchant vessel prizes moved back to
                the main fleet.

                History of the White House Battery:
                http://www.alexandria1814.org/Alexandria_1814/History.html

                Photographs from the recent 195th commemoration:
                http://www.12thinfantry.org/12th_United_States_Infantry_Regiment/Media/Pages/Free_Trade_and_Sailors_Rights.html

                Cheers,
                Todd Post
                12th US Infantry

                http://www.12thinfantry.org
                http://twitter.com/12thinfantry
                http://www.facebook.com/pages/12th-United-States-Infantry-Regiment-1812-1814/104779349740
                http://www.flickr.com/photos/12thinfantry/
              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.