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The BATTLE OF CRANEY ISLAND was a victory for the United States during the War of 1812
War of 1812
. The battle saved the city of Norfolk, Virginia
Virginia
, from British invasion.

CONTENTS

* 1 Background * 2 Battle * 3 Results * 4 References and further reading

BACKGROUND

Admiral Sir George Cockburn commanded a British fleet blockading Chesapeake Bay
Chesapeake Bay
. In early 1813, Cockburn and Admiral Sir John B. Warren planned to attack the Gosport Shipyard in Portsmouth and capture the frigate U.S.S. Constellation . Brigadier General
Brigadier General
Robert B. Taylor commanded the Virginia
Virginia
Militia
Militia
in the Norfolk area. Taylor hastily built defenses around Norfolk and Portsmouth , but he had no intentions of letting the British penetrate as far as those two cities. Instead Taylor commandeered several ships and created a barrier across the Elizabeth River . He next built fortifications on Craney Island at the mouth of the Elizabeth River near Hampton Roads
Hampton Roads
. Since the Constellation was already penned up in the Chesapeake because of the British blockade, the ship's crew was used to man some of the redoubts on the island. In all, 750 Americans were defending the fortifications on Craney Island.

BATTLE

On the morning of June 22, 1813, a British landing party of 700 Royal Marines and soldiers of the 102nd Regiment along with a company of Independent Foreigners came ashore at Hoffler's Creek near the mouth of the Nansemond River to the west of Craney Island. When the British landed, the defenders realized they were not flying a flag and quickly raised an American flag over the breastworks. The defenders fired, and the attackers began to fall back, realizing that they could not ford the water between the mainland and the island (the Thoroughfare) under such fire. British barges manned by sailors, Royal Marines, and the other company of Independent Foreigners then attempted to attack the eastern side of the island. Defending this portion was a company of light artillery under the command of Captain Arthur Emmerson. Emmerson ordered his gunners to hold their fire until the British were in range. Once they opened fire, the British attackers were driven off, with some barges destroyed, and they retreated back to the ships.

RESULTS

The Americans had scored a defensive victory in the face of a much larger force. Norfolk and the Gosport Navy Yard were spared from attack. Having failed in their attempt to attack Norfolk, Admirals Warren and Cockburn moved north for actions in the Chesapeake Bay, including an attempt to attack St. Michaels, Maryland , in August.

Two days later, the British crossed the Hampton Roads
Hampton Roads
from Craney Island to take revenge on Hampton, Va. – the town was burned and left in ruins. Most of the atrocities were committed by men of the Independent Companies of Foreigners, former French prisoners of war recruited from British prison hulks. While they were renowned for indiscipline, their actions at Hampton were not entirely unprovoked. During the landing, a boat containing 17 men of the Independent Companies became stranded on a shoal off shore, and the men were massacred by the American defenders despite their attempts to surrender. Enraged by the merciless treatment of their comrades by the Americans, the remainder of the Independent Companies ran amok when they landed. A British officer recorded the result in his diary: "Every horror was perpetrated with impunity – rape, murder, pillage – and not a single man was punished."

Three active battalions of the Regular Army (1–4 Inf, 2–4 Inf and 3–4 Inf) perpetuate the lineages of the old 20th Infantry Regiment, which had elements that participated in the Battle of Craney Island.

REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING

* ^ Lossing, Benson (1868). The Pictorial Field-Book of the War of 1812. Harper & Brothers, Publishers. p. 679. * ^ Flanders, Alan (October 1, 1995). "Craney Island Battle Led to Burning of Hampton". The Virginian-Pilot . Archived from the original on April 15, 2008. Retrieved February 19, 2008.

* Forester, C. S. , The Age of Fighting Sail, New English Library * Chartrand, R., British Forces in North America, 1793–1815, London: Osprey Publishing, 1998, ISBN 1-85532-741-4 * George, Christopher T., Terror on the Chesapeake: The War of 1812 on the Bay, Shippensburg, Pa., White Mane, 2001, ISBN 1-57249-276-7 * Latimer, Jon, 1812: War with America, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007, ISBN 0-674-02584-9 * Pitch, Anthony S.The Burning of Washington, Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2000. ISBN 1-55750-425-3 * Roosevelt, Theodore , The Naval War of 1812, Random House, New York, ISBN 0-375-75419-9 * Whitehorne, Joseph A., The Battle for Baltimore 1814, Baltimore: Nautical & Aviation Publishing, 1997, ISBN 1-877853-23-2 * "War of 1812–1814: Battles of the War". Retrieved February 19, 2008.

* v * t * e

Conflicts of the War of 1812
War of 1812

Battles of the War of 1812
War of 1812

UNITED STATES

WASHINGTON, D.C.

* Burning of Washington

GEORGIA

* Battle of Fort Peter

LOUISIANA

* Battle of New Orleans
Battle of New Orleans
* Siege of Fort St. Philip

MARYLAND

* Battle of Baltimore * Battle of Bladensburg
Battle of Bladensburg
* Battle of Caulk\'s Field * Battle of North Point * Battle of St. Michaels * Raid on Havre de Grace
Raid on Havre de Grace

MASSACHUSETTS

* Battle of Hampden

NEW YORK

* Battle of Big Sandy Creek
Battle of Big Sandy Creek
* Battle of Buffalo * Battle of Ogdensburg * Battle of Plattsburgh
Battle of Plattsburgh
* Capture of Fort Niagara * Raid on Black Rock * Second Battle of Sacket\'s Harbor

OHIO

* Battle of Fort Stephenson * Copus massacre * Siege of Fort Meigs

VIRGINIA

* Battle of Craney Island * Raid on Alexandria * Skirmish at Farnham Church
Skirmish at Farnham Church
* Battle of Rappahannock River

U.S. TERRITORIES

ALABAMA

* Battles of Fort Bowyer
Fort Bowyer

ILLINOIS

* Battle of Fort Dearborn * Battle of Rock Island Rapids * Siege of Prairie du Chien
Siege of Prairie du Chien

INDIANA

* Battle of the Mississinewa * Battle of Tippecanoe * Battle of Wild Cat Creek * Siege of Fort Harrison * Siege of Fort Wayne

MICHIGAN

* Battle of Brownstown * Battle of Frenchtown
Battle of Frenchtown
* Battle of Mackinac Island * Battle of Maguaga * Siege of Detroit * Siege of Fort Mackinac

MISSISSIPPI

* Battle of Burnt Corn
Battle of Burnt Corn
* Battle of Callabee Creek * Canoe Fight * Battle of Holy Ground
Battle of Holy Ground
* Battle of Horseshoe Bend * Battle of Talladega * Battle of Tallushatchee * Battles of Emuckfaw and Enotachopo Creek * Fort Mims massacre
Fort Mims massacre
* Kimbell–James Massacre

MISSOURI

* Battle of Credit Island
Credit Island
* Battle of the Sink Hole

BRITISH NORTH AMERICA

LOWER CANADA

* Battle of the Chateauguay
Battle of the Chateauguay
* First Battle of Lacolle Mills * Second Battle of Lacolle Mills

UPPER CANADA

* Battle of Beaver Dams * Battle of Chippawa
Battle of Chippawa
* Battle of Cook\'s Mills * Battle of Crysler\'s Farm * Battle of Fort George * Battle of Frenchman\'s Creek * Battle of Longwoods * Battle of Lundy\'s Lane * Battle of Malcolm\'s Mills * Battle of Queenston Heights
Battle of Queenston Heights
* Battle of Stoney Creek
Battle of Stoney Creek
* Battle of the Thames
Battle of the Thames
* Battle of York
Battle of York
* Capture of Fort Erie * Raid on Elizabethtown * Raid on Port Dover * Raid on Gananoque * Siege of Fort Erie

SPANISH EMPIRE

SPANISH FLORIDA

* Battle of Pensacola

NAVAL BATTLES

ATLANTIC OCEAN

* Capture of HMS Boxer
Capture of HMS Boxer
* Capture of HMS Cyane * Capture of HMS Epervier * Capture of HMS Frolic
Capture of HMS Frolic
* Capture of HMS Penguin * Capture of HMS Dominica * Capture of USS Argus * Capture of USS Chesapeake * Capture of USS President * Chesapeake Bay Flotilla * USS Constitution vs HMS Java * Sinking of HMS Avon * Battle of Fayal * Sinking of HMS Peacock * Sinking of HMS Reindeer * USS Constitution vs HMS Guerriere * USS United States
United States
vs HMS Macedonian

CARIBBEAN SEA

* Battle of La Guaira

GREAT LAKES

* Battle of Lake Erie * Battle of Fort Oswego * Engagements on Lake Huron * Engagements on Lake Ontario * First Battle of Sacket\'s Harbor

GULF COAST

* Action of 13 December 1814 * Battle of Lake Borgne
Battle of Lake Borgne

PACIFIC OCEAN

* Action off James Island * Action off Charles Island * Nuku Hiva Campaign
Nuku Hiva Campaign
* Battle of Valparaiso (Capture of USS Essex)

See also: American Indian Wars
American Indian Wars
, Creek War , Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
, and Tecumseh\'s War

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