The War of 1812
Impressment of Americans into British service and the violation of American ships were among the causes of America War of 1812 with the British, which lasted until 1815. Beginning in 1813, Virginians suffered from a British naval blockade of the Chesapeake Bay and from British troops? plundering the countryside by the Bay and along the James, Rappahannock, and Potomac rivers. The Virginia militia deflected a British attempt to take Norfolk in 1813, and engaged British forces throughout the war. By the end of the war, more than 2,000 enslaved African Americans in Virginia had gained their freedom aboard British ships.
Winfield Scott, one of America early military heroes, was born nearby. He attended the College of William and Mary and in 1807 received a U.S. Army commission. During the War of 1812, wounded twice, he was promoted to brigadier general. He became Army general in chief in 1841. He commanded the amphibious force that captured Mexico City in 1848, ending the Mexican-American War. Scott remained loyal during the Civil War, and his Anaconda Plan—blockading the Southern coast and severing the Confederacy in the West—presaged eventual Union victory. Scott retired in Nov. 1861 and died at West Point, N.Y.