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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND

War of 1812

Interference with United States' commerce and her rights to sail the seas without hindrance led to war with Great Britain. The U.S. Navy won several courageous victories in ship-to-ship actions; the most memorable of which was that by Captain Isaac Hull in USS Constitution ("Old Ironsides") over HMS Guerriere. Despite the powerful Royal Navy's close blockade of the American coast, a number of U.S. warships were able to slip through the blockaders to take their toll of enemy naval and merchant ships.


Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's brilliant success in the Battle of Lake Erie placed the Northwest Territory firmly under American control and sent the Nation's morale soaring. Another fleet victory by Commodore Thomas Macdonough on Lake Champlain turned back a British invasion from Canada.


Commodore Joshua Barney and his sailors and Marines made a heroic stand in the land fighting at the Battle of Bladensburg outside Washington. In the final contest of the war Commodore Daniel Patterson correctly predicted that the enemy blow would come at New Orleans rather than Mobile. Patterson's small naval squadron so delayed and harassed the advancing British with ship gunfire that General Andrew Jackson was enabled to prepare his defenses and gain the historic New Orleans victory.


2 silver stars, 4 bronze stars


1. Constitution-Guerriere (19 August 1812)
2. United States-Macedonian (28 October IS12)
3. Constitution-Java (29 December 1812)
4. Chesapeake-Shannon (1 June 1813)
5. Essex-Phoebe and Cherub (28 March 1814)
6. Constitution-Cyane and Levant (20 February 1815)
7. Sloop-of-war and brig single ship actions
8. Commerce raiding in the Atlantic
9. Operations against whaling fleets in the Pacific
10. Battle of Lake Erie (10 September 1813)
11. Battle of Lake Champlain (11 September 1814)
12. Defense of Washington (July-August 1814)
13. Defense of Baltimore (September 1814)
14. Battle of New Orleans (December 1814-January 1815)