An official communiqué announcing the American declaration of war against Britain reached Commodore John Rodgers of the U.S. Navy on 21 June 1812. From Secretary of the Navy Paul Hamilton, the message ordered Rodgers to keep his squadron in readiness and at most consider a short cruise from New York to eliminate nearby British warships that were unaware of hostilities. President James Madison may have asked Congress for war, but his administration had yet to determine an appropriate use for the Navy.
Contesting the Four Oceans
On the high seas during the War of 1812, the outgunned U.S. Navy gained an early upper hand only to be gradually worn down by the might of the Royal Navy.
By Kevin D. McCranie<p>