Flotilla Service Act of 1814

Flotilla Service Act was a United States federal statute passed on April 16, 1814 preceding the British Royal Navy blockade of the New England Colonies commencing on April 25, 1814.[1] The public law established a temporary Mid-Atlantic naval auxiliary service for amphibious operations orchestrated by the Chesapeake Colonies during the War of 1812. The Chesapeake Bay Flotilla conducted amphibious maneuvers in low-level tidal creeks seeking to deter the territorial headway of the British Royal Navy offensive into the Chesapeake Bay tributaries. The Act of Congress authorized appropriations for the federal law in response to the foreseeable onslaught by the British Army redcoats arson offensive on August 24, 1814 at Washington City better known as the Burning of Washington.[2]

Flotilla Service Act of 1814
Great Seal of the United States
Long titleAn Act authorizing the appointment of certain officers for the flotilla service.
Enacted bythe 13th United States Congress
EffectiveApril 16, 1814
Public lawPub.L. 13–59
Statutes at LargeStat. 125, Chap. 59
Acts repealedP.L. 13-62, 3 Stat. 217, Chap.62
Legislative history

Provisions of the ActEdit

British Royal Navy in pursuit of USS Constitution July 1812

The Thirteenth United States Congress drafted public law 13-59 as three sections providing a manpower formulation which coincided with the military objectives discharged by the Colonial American counter-offensive naval flotilla forces.

Chapter LIX § 1: Appointment of Flotilla Officers

  • Four captains
  • Twelve lieutenants
  • Officers employed in the flotilla service of the United States, without rank in the Navy, but with the same relative rank and authority in the flotilla service as officers of the same grade are entitled to in the Navy of the United States.

Chapter LIX § 2: Pay and Emoluments

  • Captains shall receive the pay and subsistence of a captain in the Navy commanding a ship of twenty and under thirty-two guns.
  • Lieutenants shall receive the same pay as officers of the same rank are entitled to in the Navy of the United States, and shall be governed by the rules and regulations provided for the government of the Navy.

Chapter LIX § 3: Authorization of Presidential Appointments

  • It shall be lawful for the President of the United States to appoint, in the recess of the Senate, any of the officers authorized by this act, which appointments shall be submitted to the Senate at their next session.

Abolishment of the Flotilla Service ActEdit

On the tenth day after the ratification of the Treaty of Ghent, Flotilla Service Act of 1814 was repealed by the United States 13th Congressional session occurring on February 27, 1815.[3]

See alsoEdit

Battle of Baltimore Origins of the War of 1812
Joshua Barney Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail
Loyalist of the American Revolution USS Scorpion (1812)

British Royal Military Commanders During the 1814 Washington Offensive

Alexander Cochrane Robert Ross
George Cockburn James Scott
George de Lacy Evans Harry Smith
James Gordon John Wainwright

Chesapeake Bay River Tributaries

Anacostia River Patuxent River
Patapsco River Potomac River


  1. ^ "Northeast Theater". The War of 1812. Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).
  2. ^ "Days of Destruction: August 24-25, 1814" [United States Capitol, President's House, The Navy Yard, Treasury Department & Other Buildings, Saving the Washington Portrait]. WhitehouseHistory.org. White House Historical Association.
  3. ^ "Repeal of Flotilla Service Act ~ P.L. 13-62" (PDF). 3 Stat. 217 ~ Chapter LXII. USLaw.Link. February 27, 1815.

Reading BibliographyEdit

External linksEdit