Saturday, June 18, 2016


18 June 2016: On this date, in 1812, James Madison, after receiving approval from Congress, declared war on Great Britain. It began quickly ashore with a dismally failed 3 prong attack into Canada. At sea, the navy had better success, with USS Constitution meeting and besting HMS Guerriere in August. It was here that Constitution won her long standing nickname, Old Ironsides, when her sailors realized that the British iron shot was bouncing off her sides.

Constitution and Guerriere

The war would continue until the two nations agreed to a peace, 24 December 1814 in what is now Ghent Belgium,  but the final battle (land) was fought in New Orleans in early January, 1815.
Andrew Jackson at New Orleans

Word of the peace had yet to reach the United States.

The war really proved little, but it did bring world-wide respect to the fledgling United States when they took on the mightiest nation in the world and fought them to essentially a draw. Our ships were now able to trade throughout the world in safety.

Wellington at Waterloo

And speaking of Belgium, June 18th, but in 1815, also marks another important world anniversary, the Battle of Waterloo. You remember that, right? It was when the Iron Duke, the Duke of Wellington, combined with Prussian General Gebhard von Blucher to finally wind up Napoleon Bonaparte's 100 days of "resurgence" when he escaped from exile and tried to complete the mission he had begun in the late 1799. He was returned to exile, this time in the remote St. Helena, where he died.

Until next time,

                                       Fair Winds,
                                             Old Salt

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