Major Battles in 1812
All Engagements
May 16 - Attack on Ft Moosa (Mose)
Jun 23 - USS President vs. HMS Belvidera
Jul 02 - Capture of Cuyahoga Packet
Jul 04 - Lachine Riots
Jul 17 - Occupation of Sandwich
Aug 16 - Siege of Ft Mackinac
Aug 16 - Siege of Ft Detroit
Aug 19 - USS Constitution vs. HMS Guerriere
Sep 04 - Siege of Ft Harrison
Sep 05 - Siege of Ft Wayne
Sep 21 - Raid on Gananoque
Sep 27 - Raid on Alachua Seminole
Oct 13 - Battle of Queenstown Heights
Oct 18 - USS Wasp vs. HMS Frolic
Oct 25 - USS United States vs. HMS Macedonia
Nov 09 - Attack on Kingston Harbor
Nov 20 - Battle of Lacolle Mills
Dec 17 - Battle of the Mississinewa
Dec 29 - USS Constitution vs. HMS Java
Dec 30 - Battle of Black Rock

Battle of Kingston

November 9, 1812 in Kingston, Upper Canada

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Battle of Kingston
American Forces Commanded by
Commodore Issac Chauncey
Strength Killed Wounded Missing/Captured
? 2 7 ??
British Forces Commanded by
Strength Killed Wounded Missing/Captured
700 1 8 ??
Conclusion: British Victory

Commodore Issac Chauncey behaved at his boldest during the late fall of 1812. With his flagship, the USS Oneida and one other ship, he hovered off Kingston to intercept british vessels.

At dawn, on November ??, he discovered that the HMS Royal George and 2 British schooners were anchored 5 miles away. This was too big of a force for him, and he sailed south hoping but scarcely expecting to escape an attack on him.

Although the British lookouts could hardly have failed to see Chauncey, they did not make a move on them. Such conduct convinced him that the british were not eager to fight. He kept his eyes open for an opportunity.

When word reached Chauncey that the 3 principal British warships had gone westward to reinforce Fort George, he gathered a large detachment and laid in wait off Kingston for the ships to return. Although outgunned and outnumbered, he relied on the dispersion of his guns among several ships and on their longer gun range to win a battle.

On November 8, the Americans sighted the Royal George alone and chased her into Kingston. On November 9, they followed her in at 3:00 P.M. and the USS Conquest, USS Julia, USS Pert, and USS Growler opened fire on the Royal George with their guns, while the Oneida held her fire for 40 minutes. The American ships forced Royal George to cut her cables and tie up to the wharf, where ground troops could assist her.
Chauncey ordered his gunners to direct their fire so as not to destroy Kingston. Whether he was being chivalrous or canny, to avoid later retaliation upon Sackett’s harbor, is not known. The wind continued to blow inshore, and as dusk fell, he began to beat out into the lake. He anchored outside the harbor and prepared to renew the attack the next day on what he believed was a badly crippled ship.

On November 10, during the morning the onshore wind was unmanageable, and he beat back toward Sackett’s Harbor. The Royal George, in fact, had only suffered injuries to her rigging and the loss of 1 man killed and 8 men wounded. The Americans had 1 man killed and 3 wounded. A cannon had bursted on the Pert, wounding 4 more men. The sailing master was wounded by this explosion and in the heavy weather, he was washed overboard and drowned.

This battle was the only instance during the war that the American navy entered the harbor at Kingston. The penetration of the harbor demonstrated that the United States had control of Lake Ontario.