February 8-12, 1815
1 Killed; 18 Wounded
28 Cannon (not including those on ships)
13 Killed; 18 Wounded
A map of the Second Battle of Fort Bowyer and final battle of the War of 1812. The overwhelming force with which the British laid siege to the fort is evident. However, the victory was a hollow one. Within a month of the British trump, notification would arrive that the war had ended on Christmas Eve 1814 with the Treaty of Ghent. As a stipulation of the treaty, all lands and territories gained by either side during the war were to be returned to its previous owner. Fort Bowyer was handed over to the U. S. Army on March 25th, 1815.
Image Courtesy of the Historic New Orleans Collection
The British defeated at Fort Bowyer and at the Battle of New Orleans did not spell the end of the British Campaign of the Gulf Coast. On February 8, 1815, the British returned to Fort Bowyer and began landing overwhelming numbers of men under the command of Major General John Lambert in yet another attempt to seize the fort and Mobile. British commanders relied upon high sand dune ridges to protect their men as they moved closer to the fort. Regardless, heavy artillery fired from
the fort would cost the British 10 lives on the first day. Undaunted, engineers began digging trenches across the peninsula and building artillery batteries.
On the 10th, reinforcements for the British arrived from the main camp on Dauphin Island three miles away. Aggressively, they advanced their trenches continuously day and night until the afternoon of the 10th found the British mortar emplacements within 25 yards of the fort's outer wall.
At 11:00 a.m. on the 11th, General Lambert offered Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence in terms of surrender. Faced with overwhelming odds and a fort filled with not just soldiers but also 20 women, 16 children, and 3 servants, Colonel Lawrence accepted General Lambert's terms.
That afternoon, British soldiers took possession of the fort's sally port until Col. Lawrence and his garrison marched out of the fort the following day.
In a letter to President Madison, General Jackson on March 24th expressed his disappointment and surprise that the fort surrendered. He would also praise Major Uriah Blue 's and his relief force which were able to capture 17 British soldiers at an advanced picket. Major Blue's forces arrived only 24 hours after Lt. Col. Lawrence had surrendered the fort. On March 6. 1815, General Jackson notified General Lambert on Dauphin Island that a treaty had been signed on December 24, 1814, and had
recently been ratified by the U. S. Government. Despite this, General Lambert opts for confirmation from his own government before removing his men from the region. The British removal and transfer of Fort Bowyer back to the U. S. Would not occur until March 25. That same day, Lt. Lawrence would stand trial before a court-martial in New Orleans for surrendering Fort Bowyer. He would later be acquitted of all charges.
The Fort Bowyer Historic Wayside Project was possible through the continued generous support of the Alabama Society and Major Uriah Blue Chapter, N.S.U.S.D. 1812.