War Of 1812 Bicentennial Network – This Day in Naval History Series

  • War Of 1812 Bicentennialexaminer.com
  • July 16, 2012
  • By: Rod Doty
  • 200 Years ago today!
    July 16, 1812
    War on land and at sea

    Today, news of the war reaches Thunder Bay, Ontario. A force of about 280 troops under the command of Col. Louis Cass (part of Brig. Gen’s William Hull’s army) attack the British command stationed just south of Fort Malden on the Canard River in Ontario. The British force, which consists of the 41st Regiment, Indians, and Canadian militia, have established an outpost at a nearby bridge, which the Americans assault. After a brief stand, the outnumbered British will fall back towards the fort.

    At sea, a British squadron captures the U.S. brig, Nautilus, in the North Atlantic. Elsewhere in the Atlantic aboard Constitution (pictured), at 2 p.m. her lookout sights four unknown sails. In pursuit by 4 p.m. Constitution, sees a ship standing towards it and possibly others near shore. Thinking them possibly Commodore Rogers’ squadron, Constitution stands toward the easternmost sail at 6:15 p.m. At 7:30 p.m. Captain Isaac Hull gives the order for the ship to beat to quarters. After approaching within six or eight miles of the ships and not receiving a response to the private signal, Hull at 11:15 p.m. determines that the strange sails belong to the enemy. However, he decides to avoid action until daylight in order to spare his untrained crew from the confusion of a nighttime engagement, and turns away into the Atlantic.

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