Two miles east on 3 Aug. 1814, 500 British marines
and seamen under Adm. Sir George Cockburn
landed at Mundy's Point and Kinsale. Opposing
the enemy at the Point were Capt. William
Henderson and thirty Northumberland county
militiamen. Henderson's company was forced to
retreat to the county courthouse. Later that
day, British forces took Kinsale, burned the
town, and seized tobacco. Three days later,
they began raids along the Coan River. Among
the British troops were about fifty formerly
enslaved African Americans
who were among
the thousands who gained freedom by or working for the British.
The War of 1812. Impressment of Americans into British service and the violation of American ships were among the causes of America's 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.