Sack of Hampton
As British Gen. Sidney Beckwith dispersed the local militia on 25 June 1813, Adm. Sir George Cockburn feigned an attack with barges at the mouth of the Hampton River. Hampton water battery was abandoned and the British occupied the town. Their initial march in the town became known as the Sack of Hampton. There were reports that "at little Hampton, every horror was committed with impunity—rape, murder, pillage." These outrages became a rallying cry for the defense of the Chesapeake. By the end of June, the British left to raid elsewhere.
The War of 1812
Impressment of Americans into British service and the violation of American ships were among the causes of America 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 2000 enslaved African Americans in Virginia had gained their freedom aboard British ships.