What Do You Know About 19th Century Battles Involving America?


By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: Amédée Forestier

About This Quiz

At the end of the 18th century, the United States won its independence from Britain in the American Revolution. In the wake of that momentous victory, the U.S. promptly disbanded its standing army, which it felt was at odds with the principles of liberty it fought to obtain. In the 1800s, though, the U.S. military grew in might and engaged in history-changing combat all around the world. In this gunpowder-heavy quiz, do you think you know famous U.S. battles of the 19th century?

After the Revolution, things were understandably, well, uncomfortable between the U.S. and Britain. As America grew in power, so too did Britain’s resentment. The two powers clashed again in the War of 1812. Do you recall the bloody – and ultimately, nearly pointless – battles of this often-forgotten war?

As the U.S. Army and Navy grew, so did its sphere of influence. America found itself fighting in Mexico and the Philippines. Then, of course, the country went to war with itself, and President Lincoln and his generals fought to preserve the Union.

Hoist Old Glory, grab your Henry rifle, and get ready to rock 19th-century style! Jump into the fray of this 19th century battle quiz now!

The Battle of New Orleans was a showdown that took place during which 19th-century war?

In early 1814, as the War of 1812 drew to a close, British ships attempted to capture New Orleans. They had the advantage in guns and men … but the Americans had a guy named Andrew Jackson.


The Treaty of Ghent ended the War of 1812 in 1814 … so why did troops continue fighting at the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815?

The Treaty of Ghent was signed in Europe … and soldiers in New Orleans hadn't yet received word when they commenced fighting. The battle held major implications in the southeast.


Four months after the Battle of _____, President Abraham Lincoln gave his most famous speech. Which battle did he reference?

Months after the Battle of Gettysburg, Lincoln recalled the signing of the Declaration of Independence in his famous Gettysburg Address, which began: "Four score and seven years ago …"


The Second Battle of Tripoli Harbor was part of which wider war?

In July 1804, the U.S. and its allies fought the Second Battle of Tripoli Harbor, part of the First Barbary War. A naval blockage sparked the fighting.


During the Second Battle of Tripoli Harbor, how did the the USS Intrepid attempt to break an impassable naval blockade?

The USS Intrepid loaded up huge amounts of explosives and sailed directly at enemy ships, intending to trigger a suicide bombing. But the ship was destroyed before it reached the enemy.


What happened at the Battle of the Little Bighorn?

In June 1876, U.S. troops clashed with an alliance of Indian warriors in Montana. It is still regarded as one of the most famous Native American victories ever.


Which American commander was made famous in part due to his last stand at the Battle of the Little Bighorn?

George Armstrong Custer was a swashbuckling Army officer who underestimated his Native American foes at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. During a last, desperate stand, he was killed, and his men were wiped out.


Which 19th-century battle became the single bloodiest day in the history of the American military?

On September 17, 1862, Union and Confederate forces met at the Battle of Antietam in Maryland. In just a day, there were more than 22,000 combined casualties -- making Antietam the bloodiest day of fighting U.S. history.


The Burning of Washington was an iconic battle of which war?

On August 24, 1814, as part of the War of 1812, British troops invaded Washington, D.C. and set fire to many public buildings, including the White House. The troops then left the scene, leaving the city in flames.


What odd event transpired during infamous Burning of Washington?

Just as the Burning of Washington got underway, a mighty storm swept the area. Whether it was a hurricane or just an enormous thunderstorm, its heavy rains helped to douse the fires.


The Battle of Manila Bay was part of which wider war?

On May 1, 1898, as part of the Spanish–American War, U.S. sailors engaged the Spanish fleet at the Battle of Manila Bay. It was a decisive victory for the Americans and made Commodore George Dewey an icon.


The Battle of Tippecanoe pitted American troops against _____.

On November 7, 1811, U.S. troops defeated Indian warrior at the Battle of Tippecanoe, which occurred near present-day Indiana. The Native Americans fled the area.


The Siege of Veracruz was part of which war?

In 1847, U.S. troops laid siege to Veracruz for 20 days as part of a campaign during the Mexican-American War. After nearly three weeks, Mexican troops surrendered.


At the Siege of Veracruz, the United States military conducted which action for the very first time?

During the Siege of Veracruz, for the first time ever, U.S. troops used a large amphibious assault to land near enemy lines. The Mexican were greatly outnumbered and gave up -- but not before hundreds of civilians had been killed.


The Battle of Lake Erie was a major _____ battle of the War of 1812.

It was one of the biggest naval fights of the War of 1812. In September 1813, nine American ships confronted the Royal Navy … and won, helping the U.S. regain control of Detroit.


Which future U.S. president became famous at the 1898 Battle of San Juan Hill?

Leading a unit nicknamed the Rough Riders, Theodore Roosevelt and his men charged up Kettle Hill at the Battle of San Juan Hill. In 2001, Roosevelt was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his valor there.


U.S. General Winfield Scott was a major figure at which battle?

In September 1847, General Winfield Scott invaded Mexico City in hopes of ending the Mexican-American War. After a week of heavy fighting, Scott and his men won the battle … and the war.


Which battle inspired the creation of America's national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner"?

In the fall of 1814, British ships attacked the Americans at the Battle of Baltimore. Francis Scott Key was a witness to the fighting, and penned the words eventually became the nearly-impossible-to-sing national anthem.


Where did the 1877 Battle of Bear Paw occur?

The Battle of Bear Paw was the end of the line for the Indians fleeing American troops as part of the Nez Perce War. The Native Americans were attempting to escape to Canada, but most of them were caught at this battle in Montana.


Which man became a major war hero after his exploits at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend?

The Battle of Horseshoe Bend featured General Andrew Jackson and his men fighting Indians doing to their best to stop American expansion into their territories. General Jackson forced the Native Americans to surrender and give up milions of acres of their land.


Which side won the Battle of San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War?

At the Battle of San Juan Hill, the U.S. emerged triumphant. But the victory came at a steep cost, with three times as many casualties as the Spanish.


The Battle of the Little Bighorn was part of which war?

The Battle of the Little Bighorn was the most critical battle of the Great Sioux War of 1876. Custer's Last Stand probably only lasted about an hour, but it's become an iconic moment in U.S. military history.


At the 1814 Battle of New Orleans, the British had about 10,000 troops. How many men did the Americans have?

New Orleans locals tried to convince Andrew Jackson to surrender -- he had just 4,500 men against 10,000 redcoats. But Jackson insisted on standing firm against the invaders.


Who did the United States defeat at the Battle of Palo Duro Canyon?

During the Red River War of the Old West, U.S. forces defeated Native American warriors at the Battle of Palo Duro Canyon. The Americans confiscated or killed thousands of horses that the Indians relied on.


Which side won the incredibly blood Battle of Antietam?

It was the bloodiest day in American military history. But neither side really won the Battle of Antietam, although its outcome did benefit benefit the Union in the long run.


At the Battle of New Orleans, outmanned American troops inflicted more than 2,000 casualties on the British. How many casualties did the Americans absorb?

Thousands of British men fell to American guns at New Orleans. Just 70 U.S. troops became casualties … and the victory sent New Orleans citizens to dancing in the streets.


Tecumseh's War was a conflict that raged in which area?

From 1810 to 1813, the U.S. fought against a Native American alliance in Tecumseh's War. Much of the fighting took place in the Indiana Territory.


The Battle of Manila Bay is called one of the most decisive naval battles ever. How many men did the Americans lose?

It was a rout for the ages. U.S. commander George Dewey lost just one man -- to cardiac arrest -- in the Battle of Manila Bay. The Spanish, however, suffered hundreds of casualties.


How did the Americans manage to win the Battle of Manila Bay without any combat fatalities?

The American ships approached from an unexpected location and achieved complete tactical surprise. The victory was shocking to Europeans, who perceived the Spanish navy as a juggernaut.


Where did the Battle of Chapultepec take place?

In September 1847, the Battle of Chapultepec was an important fight in the larger Battle for Mexico City. U.S. troops stormed a nearly impregnable hill and won the day -- and the following day, Mexico City fell.


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