AN INCOMPLETE CHRONOLOGY OF OVER 40 EVENTS LEADING UP TO ARMED COMBAT AROUND DAUPHIN ISLAND IN 1814 AND 1815
March 14, 1814: After the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, over 800 Redsticks fled to Northwest Florida.
April 1, 1814: Admiral Cochrane assumed command of the British fleet in the West Indies.
April 11, 1814: Napoleon surrendered.
May 4, 1814: Napoleon arrived at Elba.
May 10, 1814: British Captain Hugh Pigot anchored his ship, the HMS Orpheus, near the mouth of the Apalachicola River. He left limited supplies and a small group of Royal Marines under the leadership of Captain George Woodbine. These troops were to begin the military drilling of the Indians and runaway slaves on the Apalachicola. This was the opening of the Gulf Campaign by the British Expeditionary Force.
May 25, 1814: Woodbine began construction of the fort at Prospect Bluff that would soon be called The Negro Fort and later Fort Gadsden after Jackson’s conquest of Spanish Florida during the First Seminole War of 1818.
May 28, 1814: Woodbine convinced the Seminole chiefs to pledge their allegiance to the British cause.
June, 1814: U.S. General Flournoy ordered Colonel John Bowyer to abandon Fort Bowyer on Mobile Point.
June 20, 1814: Andrew Jackson accepted his appointment as Major General with command over the Seventh Military District of Louisiana, Tennessee and Mississippi Territory (the future states of Alabama and Mississippi)
June 25, 1814: General Jackson ignored orders from Secretary of War Armstrong telling him to disband his army and to go back home.
June 27, 1814: General Jackson wrote Secretary of War Armstrong about the necessity of taking Pensacola away from the British who would soon sail into Pensacola Bay, occupy the Spanish forts and control the town.
July 1814: U.S. Navy Commodore Patterson of New Orleans sails to Dauphin Island to assist a stranded cargo ship. The Royal Navy was already beginning their naval blockade of the mouth of the Mississippi and was using Dauphin Island as a camp on their supply line.
July 4, 1814: Edward Nicolls and a detachment of 112 Royal Marines were transferred from the HMS Tonnant to the HMS Hermes.
August 1814: General Andrew Jackson ordered the restoration of Fort Bowyer on Mobile Point.
August 1814: The armed schooner, U.S.S. Carolina, arrived in New Orleans prior to the raid on Lafitte’s Baratarians.
August 1814: British Colonel Nicolls arrived on the Apalachicola with the HMS Hermes under Captain Percy and the HMS Caron under Captain Spencer.
August 9, 1814: General Jackson dictated the terms of the Treaty of Fort Jackson with the Creek Indians which gave the U.S. over 23,000,000 acres in Georgia and present day Alabama.
August 22, 1814: Jackson arrived in Mobile on the same day American Commodore Joshua Barney scuttled his fleet of gunboats in the Patuxent River while being pursued by the British coming from the Chesapeake.
August 24, 1814: The Battle of Bladensburg was an embarrassing American defeat and the burning of Washington, D.C. by the British followed.
August 24, 1814: British Colonel Nicholls sailed from Apalachicola to Pensacola where British troops disembarked and took over the town and began organizing and drilling the Red Sticks who had flocked there after the defeat at Horseshoe Bend and the signing of the Treaty of Fort Jackson .
August 29, 1814: British Colonel Nicholls issued a proclamation in Pensacola seeking recruits.
September 3, 1814: Captain Percy of the HMS Hermes delayed the attack on Ft. Bowyer on Mobile Point so that Captain Lockyer of the HMS Sophie could sail from Pensacola to Barataria Bay to contact Lafitte and attempt to enlist the Baratarians for the British cause. This proved that New Orleans was the ultimate target of the British Expeditionary Force.
September 11, 1814: U.S. Captain MacDonough won a great naval victory over the British on Lake Champlain.
September 14, 1814: Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner while being detained on the HMS Tonnant during the Battle of Baltimore. The HMS Tonnant had disembarked Nicolls’ Royal Marines to the HMS Hermes in July and would be the ship commanding the British Expeditionary force when it arrived at Dauphin Island in January.
September 15, 1814: British Colonel Nicholls, Royal Marines and newly recruited locals failed to win their attack on Fort Bowyer at Mobile Point.
September 16, 1814: Commodore Patterson burned Lafitte’s headquarters on Barataria Bay west of New Orleans and brought 20 naval guns back to New Orleans.
September 17, 1814: The Royal Marines and Indians, returning to Pensacola during their retreat from Mobile Point, raided the Forbes & Co. stores and mills at Bon Secour.
October 14, 1814: The British fleet left the Chesapeake for Jamaica.
November 7, 1814: General Jackson’s army captured Pensacola by storm after the Spanish quickly surrendered and the Royal Navy retreated.
November 22, 1814: General Jackson left Mobile and traveled toward New Orleans. This journey included a reconnaissance of the coast.
November 24, 1814: The British Expeditionary Force rendezvoused at Negril Bay, Jamaica.
December 1, 1814: General Jackson and his staff arrived in New Orleans.
December 5, 1814: British Admiral Cochrane and Major General Keane issued a proclamation to the Indians of the Northern Gulf Coast. This call to battle promised the restoration of all Indian land acquired by the Americans from the Indians.
December 9, 1814: General Jackson returned to New Orleans after performing an inspection tour of the fortifications of the lower Mississippi. Jackson neglected to inspect the right bank of the Mississippi River.
December 14, 1814: Battle of Lake Borgne
January 8, 1815: Battle of New Orleans
January 18, 1815: The British bombardment of Fort St. Philip on the Mississippi River ended after ten days of shelling.
February 11, 1815: The Americans surrendered Ft. Bowyer on Mobile Point to the British just before the beginning of the British artillery barrage.
February 13, 1815: British Admiral Cochrane off Mobile Point sent General Jackson a message that a treaty of peace had ended the war.
February 17, 1815: After receiving confirmation that peace had been declared, the British released their American prisoners held in the ships anchored off Dauphin Island. British used this truce as an opportunity to ship supplies from Dauphin Island to their Indian and Negro allies on the Apalachicola.
April 4, 1815: British embark from Dauphin Island. Many departing British ships sail either to St. Marys/Fernandina or to New Providence Island, Bahamas. From those ports, troops made their way home, generally by way of the Bermuda. The retreat of the British Expeditionary Force from Dauphin Island resulted in thousands of runaway slaves from the area around the Northern Gulf of Mexico being disembarked as freed "Refugee Negroes" on Nova Scotia and Trinidad.