05/04/2016 12:00:00 pm
When: May 4, 2016 Noon
The United States Navy Memorial’s “Authors on Deck” book lecture series proudly welcomes Chipp Reid to discuss his new book Lion in the Bay: The British Invasion of the Chesapeake, 1813-1814 (Naval Institute Press, 2015)
The story of Fort McHenry’s defense during the War of 1812 is well known, but Lion in the Bay takes an intimate and thorough look at the events preceding the battle that inspired our national anthem. As the War of 1812 raged on the high seas and along the Canadian border, the British decided to strike at the relatively undefended area of the Chesapeake Bay. Taking the bay may have been a tactical decision at first, but Adm. George Cockburn’s operation quickly became a campaign of retribution for the burning of York (present day Toronto) by the Americans. As a result, the Chesapeake region, once an economic engine for America, was transformed into a region of terrified citizens and destroyed farms.
In August 1814, Pres. James Madison refused to bolster the defenses on the waterway that led to Washington, and Cockburn again led a naval force into the bay. After defeating Commo. Joshua Barney’s Chesapeake Bay Flotilla, the British sailed up the Patuxent River and landed at Benedict, MD where over 4,000 troops disembarked and advanced on Washington, D.C. After a victory at the Battle of Bladensburg, the British burned Washington to the ground and set sail for Baltimore. Despite a massive bombardment at Fort McHenry, Baltimore’s defenses held, forcing the British to abandon their Chesapeake campaign. Lion in the Bay retells this story of American resilience and triumph in the wake of catastrophe with amazing detail, and great skill.
Following the presentation, the author will be available for a Q&A session and book signing.
Books are available in the Navy Memorial Ship’s Store.
CHIPP REID is an award-winning reporter and editor, a licensed ship captain, historian, and Cold War veteran. He has covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as baseball, international soccer, and international piracy. Reid now works in Washington, D.C. and lives in Annapolis, Maryland, with his two dogs. His book Intrepid Sailors: The Legacy of Preble's Boys and the Tripoli Campaign was named a “Notable Naval Book of 2012” by Proceedings magazine.