Shopping Cart Link

Wesleyan University Press

Sign up for our newsletter

Bookmark and Share
Cart link
Hardcover add to cart

For Educators

Add exam ebook
Cover image Click for larger image

The British Raid on Essex
The Forgotten Battle of the War of 1812
Jerry Roberts

The Driftless Connecticut Series
Garnet Books
2014 • 220 pp. 63 illus. (36 color plates) 6 x 9"
American History / Military History

$27.95 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-7476-3

$21.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7477-0

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

“A short article about the Bicentennial of the 1814 raid mentions our book and quotes the author, Jerry Roberts.”
Erick Hesselberg, The Hartford Courant

The untold story of the burning of American privateers in Connecticut

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.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“Jerry Roberts’s account, The British Raid on Essex, built on new research on both sides of the Atlantic, reads like a fast-paced action chronicle, which sheds light on a significant but forgotten attack on Connecticut soil during the War of 1812.”Dan McFadden, Mystic Seaport Magazine

“Jerry Roberts took a little-known, scarcely remembered raid from the end of the War of 1812 and painstakingly researched and unearthed a wonderful maritime Connecticut narrative.”Steven H. Park, Connecticut History Review

“In this dynamic account of the British attack on American privateers in the Connecticut River, Roberts combines new research on both sides of the Atlantic to at last restore this untold story to its rightful place in history ensuring that the forgotten battle of the War of 1812 will long be remembered.”—Roy Manstan, author of Turtle: David Bushnell’s Revolutionary Vessel

“The ‘forgotten battle of the forgotten war’ is no longer forgotten thanks to this action-packed, thoroughly researched who-dun-it of a book. Combining the sciences of history and field archaeology, Jerry Roberts has resurrected one of the most improbable and significant battles ever fought on Connecticut soil. Once you start reading, it is impossible to put down!”—Nicholas F. Bellantoni, Connecticut State Archaeologist

“Riveting, fast-paced action marks Jerry Roberts’s splendid account of Britain’s raid on Essex, Connecticut, during April 8, 1814, and his equally exciting struggle for recognition of its significance.”

George C. Daughan, author of 1812: The Navy’s War and The Shining Sea

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.

Click here for author's website.

A Driftless Connecticut Series Book
This book is a selection in The Driftless Connecticut Series,
for an outstanding book in any field on a Connecticut topic
or written by a Connecticut author.
The Driftless Connecticut Series is funded by the
Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund
at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
For more information and a complete list of books in The Driftless Connecticut Series,
please visit us online at

Thu, 6 Sep 2018 11:21:50 -0500