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Forthcoming-British Raid on Essex (CT)

The British Raid on Essex: The Forgotten Battle of the War of 1812
Jerry Roberts
Series: The Driftless Connecticut Series & Garnet Books
Hardcover: 220 pages
Publisher: Wesleyan (April 14, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-0819574763

This is the dynamic account of one of the most destructive maritime actions to take place in Connecticut history: the 1814 British attack on the privateers of Pettipaug, known today as the British Raid on Essex. During the height of the War of 1812, 136 Royal marines and sailors made their way up the Connecticut River from warships anchored in Long Island Sound. Guided by a well-paid American traitor the British navigated the Saybrook shoals and advanced up the river under cover of darkness. By the time it was over, the British had burned twenty-seven American vessels, including six newly built privateers. It was the largest single maritime loss of the war. Yet this story has been virtually left out of the history books—the forgotten battle of the forgotten war. This new account from author and historian Jerry Roberts is the definitive overview of this event and includes a wealth of new information drawn from recent research and archaeological finds. Lavish illustrations and detailed maps bring the battle to life.

JERRY ROBERTS is the battlefield historian for a National Parks Service grant project charged with researching the British raid on Essex shipping in 1814. From 2006 to 2013, he was executive director of the Connecticut River Museum. He lives in Essex, Connecticut.