This Week

Posted by lex, on February 27th, 2012

In our history, courtesy of Navy and USNI:

On March 3, 1814, Rear Admiral Sir George Cockburn of the Royal Navy arrived in the Chesapeake Bay aboard HMS Marlborough. Cockburn gained notoriety for his aggressive inland operations as his forces burned private homes, businesses, and mercantile establishments during Admiral Sir John Warren’s Chesapeake Bay campaign between March and September of 1814. His attack on Hampton, Va., was particularly controversial as British forces committed rape and murder while looting and destroying private property. Admiral Warren later blamed the incident on a Canadian infantry unit to avoid prosecution.

The atrocities were not entirely unprovoked: Having been repulsed at Craney Island in their attempts to take or burn USS Constellation and the Gosport shipyard at Portsmouth, VA, a boat carrying 17 members of the “Independent Companies of Foreigners” stranded on shoal water outside Hampton. The helpless soldiers were butchered without quarter.

To their credit, the Canadians have been unfailingly polite ever since.

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, History, Lex, Naval History, Neptunus Lex

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