Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pre-War Registration Of British Subjects

An authentick history of the late war between the united states and great britain by Paris M. Davis.

On the 7th July [1812] an order was issued from the Department of State of the United States requiring all British subjects to register their names, ages, places of residence, persons composing their families, &c. at the office of the Marshal of the United States, for the district in which such subjects resided.

British Aliens in the United States During the War of 1812 can be researched online at

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Discordant, Disunited and Unprepared

"When war was declared, the country was discordant, disunited and unprepared."

Quote from The British Invasion of Maryland... . More information from "The British Invasion..." at my Relatively Fiction blog here.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fort Gowris In Sandwich

Major [James] Denny with one hundred thirty convalescents and a corps of artillerists under Lieutenant Anderson was to hold possession of that part of Canada and afford all possible protection the well disposed inhabitants.  A strong house belonging to one Gowris had stockaded and called Fort Gowris In this and in a long stone building yet in Sandwich* which the American soldiers had used as barracks the convalescents were placed and Denny was ordered to defend the post... .

*This building was erected for a school in 1807 or 1808.  It was in a dilapidated state when I sketched it in the autumn of 1860 It occupies an open space in the village of Sandwich. Several poor families occupied it. The place known as Spring Wells is opposite and indicated in our little sketch by the buildings with tall chimneys from which columns of smoke are rising. These compose the copper smelting works at Spring Wells. 

 From The pictorial field-book of the War of 1812; or, Illustrations, by pen and pencil, of the history, biography, scenery, relics, and traditions of the last war for American independence .

From Ohio History:
1812, Aug. 12. Major James Denny evacuates the fortification at Gowles on the Canadian shore; the last American force left in Canada. A boat with a flag of truce is sent from Detroit to Sandwich, the head- quarters of General Isaac Brock. Hull denies that he sent the flag. At this juncture the colonels of the Ohio Volunteers and General J. Taylor of Kentucky counsel together and suspect the abilities and fidelity of General Hull. A letter is sent to Gov. Return J. Meigs by Lewis Cass asking that reinforcements be sent, which letter is endorsed by the colonels and General Taylor.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ohioans' Belief About British Instigation In A Poem

Notes On The Ohio Militia during the War of 1812 by James T. Brenner, included a poem about British instigated attacks:

Lots of details about the status and organization of the Ohio militia, too.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Who Wrote The Journal Of An American Prisoner?

Fort Malden and Quebec
in the
War of 1812

Although the author's name is not attached to the journal it bears unmistakable evidence of having been written by Surgeon's Mate James Reynolds who was deputed by Surgeon General Edwards of Gen. Hull's army to the charge of the sick on the two vessels that were dispatched from Maumee to Detroit, but which were captured at Fort Malden (Amherstburg) by the British. [Preface]

Didn't James Reynolds die on the same day as Hull's surrender?  Is Surgeon's Mate James Reynolds a different person?  The diary continued beyond the surrender date, so how was the diary written by Doctor James Reynolds from Zanesville, Ohio.  Did one of his comrades use his diary after his death?

16th.—Sunday. Pleasant weather but unpleasant news we herd about noon that Hull had given up Detroit and the whole Territory Mitchigan. The Indians began to return about sunset well mounted and some with horses and chais. Who can express the feelings of a person who knows that Hull had men enough to have this place three times and[19] gave up his post. Shame to him, shame to his country, shame to the world. When Hull first came to Detroit the 4th U. S. Regt. would have taken Malden and he with his great generalship has lost about 200 men and his Territory.
Can he be forgiven when he had command of an army of about 2500 men besides the Regulars and Militia of his Territory and given up to about 400 regular troops and Militia and about 700 Indians.
17th.—Monday. Clouday. The news of yesterday was confirmed. The Indians were riding our horses and hollowing and shouting the whole day.
18th.—The Provo Marshal came on board and wanted a list of the Regular Troops, and told us that the Regular Troops were prisoners of war and the militia had liberty to go home. We were taken from the Schooner Thames and put into a little Schooner but every attention paid us that was possible. In the evening we were ordered on[20] board the Elinor. Their was a detachment of prisoners joined us.
19th.—Wensday. Pleasant. I got provisions and medicines on board. The other vessels came from Detroit. Nothing extraordinary through the day.
20th.—Thursday. Rainy. Unpleasant on board. The militia left the river.
21st.—Friday. We drifted out of the river into the Lake. Capt. Brown and Ensign Phillips came on board.
22nd.—Saterday. Clouday but no rain. We sailed to the Three Sisters and lay to for the Sharlott, and about 12 o'clock we came to ancor.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pre-War Treaty Violations In Michigan

At the conclusion of our war for independence, it was stipulated in the treaty that all frontier posts of the northwest then occupied by British garrisons were to be surrendered, but they were not.  The Jay treaty followed and even that did not secure their evacuation until 1796.

Had the British remained tranquil, the occupation of those posts, though unlawful, had not materially injured the officers of the United States in arranging their Indian policy; but neither British officers nor traders remained tranquil. 

See the excerpted selection below for more information:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Joseph Paxton's Early 1812 Experiences

The first part of Joseph Paxton's petition to Congress as written in the Congressional edition (Google eBook) (1841):

Joseph Paxton of Campbell County, Kentucky, volunteered his services as trumpeter in Captain F. Keiger's* rifle company of Louisville, Kentucky, and was at the battle of Tippecanoe in the year 1811.  He fired the second gun and was the only musician who sounded a trumpet during that memorable engagement.
*Frederick Geiger

He again volunteered his services as trumpeter in Captain Johnson's troop of light dragoons which belonged to Colonel Simrall's regiment and was in the battle of the Mississinewa, under Colonel Campbell, in the year 1812 [and] again sounded the charge on the morning of the battle.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Buried At Fort Mackinac Or Not

From Historic Mackinac:...:

We have no definite record of the first interments in this cemetery but know that the men who fell with Major Holmes in his disastrous attempt to recapture the Fort from the British in 1814 were buried in it.

Of the unknown it is unwritten history handed down from one generation to another that fourteen men who fell in the battle of 1814 are buried in Sections E and G. There are also buried in the same sections two officers and four privates of the British Army who died during the period the Fort was occupied by the British 1812 to 1815.

Major Holmes was buried in Detroit, although there is no cemetery near Gratiot, Beaubien and Antoine Streets now where his body was buried.  This article stated that all bodies were removed from that area to either Mt. Elliott Cemetery, Elmwood Cemetery or Woodmere Cemetery.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Early Years Of General Winfield Scott

Before he was a part of The Mexican War And Its Heroes., General Scott was in the War of 1812.

Major General Winfield Scott is a native of Virginia born near Petersburg June 13th 1786.  His military career began in 1807 on the reception of news concerning the Chesapeake when he became a volunteer member of the Petersburg troop of horse.

On the 3d of May 1808 he was commissioned as captain of light artillery and has remained in the army ever since.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lieutenant John Clitz

Early days in Detroit By Friend Palmer, included information about General Brady's aide, John Clitz.

John Clitz was a lieutenant in the Second US infantry in 1819, and stationed at Plattsburg, N.Y., when he married Mary Gale Sackett's Harbor.

Lieutenant Clitz had been a soldier in the war of 1812, being wounded at the battle of Plattsburg.  He was for many years aide to the late General Hugh Brady. Mrs. Clitz followed her husband to the various frontier posts, at which he was stationed, enduring the many privations which the families of United States soldiers at remote points were called upon to encounter in those days.

Fort Mackinac

The lieutenant had attained the rank of captain and was in command at Fort Mackinac where he died in 1836, leaving his widow with eight children. The four sons were John, Henry, William, and Edward.  A daughter, Harriet Clitz, married Henry Beaufort Sears.

Were John Clitz's remains removed from Mackinac Island to Detroit?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

National Anthem By Whitney Houston

Star-Spangled Banner by Whitney Houston on YouTube.

Pre-War Camp Traders

Horseback riding was universal, and nothing was thought of a ten or fifteen- mile trip through the woods.
Catherine P. Brown writes:

"I remember in 1809 or 1810 riding in a party to a large Indian camp on the Military road along Stillwater somewhere near Ludlow Falls. Mr. Henry Brown [afterwards her husband] carried dress goods, blankets, bridles, saddles, axes, kettles and other government annuities on a hundred pack horses for distribution among the Wabash Indians. Camps of traders were there from Detroit, Cincinnati and Pittsburg for barter with the tribes that were coming and going, several weeks disposing of bales of skins and furs. The Indians in these camps were always engaged in some sport, target shooting with rifle or bow and arrow, ball games, foot races and horse races.  [Source]

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Land Warrant Of Fifer William Hines

One reason I started the "War Of 1812 Chronicles" was to focus on my presumed War of 1812 ancestor, William Hines/Hinds.

Following up on ideas found in an NARA article about researching War of 1812 ancestors I searched and produced the following documents on William Hines (and an index where Document #632 was found).  Was he my William? No.

Hines was identified as...a musician in Captain Phillips' Company in the Corps of Artillery on Document #632  issued by Secretary of  War J.C. Calhoun on March 2, 1818.  My William was a soldier in the Artillery..... .  The authorization for this land grant was the Second Section of an Act of Congress dated May 6, 1812 to issue land warrants.... . U.S. War Bounty Land Warrants, 1789-1858 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA

My William Hinds died 25 June 1813.  He was #6170 in U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments (Image 615 at Ancestry), and different from #6172 William Hinds, fifer, U.S. Art. Corps., with Capt. Philips', who enlisted 20 Dec 1814 at Fort Clark and discharged at Fort Clark August 21, 1815, found in the same list (Image 616).

The land warrant was not issued to the heirs of my William Hinds.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Fort Harrison

Zachary Taylor remembered the author of Facts and suggestions, biographical, historical, financial and political: addressed to the people of the United States (Google eBook), Duff Green, at Fort Harrison.

When after his election as President, I called with a friend, who introduced me to General Taylor, he said:  "Oh sir I knew General Green long before you did."  I replied,  "I did not suppose that you would recollect me."  He said, "I will never forget that you volunteered your regiment to remain at Fort Harrison."

Another post about the book's author, Duff Green.

See the Battle of Fort Harrison here.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Post War Land - Who Got What

Land issued by rank:

At the close of the war with Great Britain a bill was reported to the House fixing the military peace establishment of the United States and for disbanding a portion of that gallant army which has so successfully carried the country through that war.

....the following donations in land viz to a major general 2,560 acres to a brigadier general 1,920 acres to each colonel and lieutenant colonel 1,280 acres to each major 960 acres to each captain 640 acres to each subaltern 480... .

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Case of the heirs of Doctor James Reynolds

Three pages encompass the Case of the heirs of Doctor James Reynolds [a claim for the amount of a horse which fell into the hands of the enemy at Detroit, during the War of 1812].

The committee was ruling on a technicality.  Was the horse surrendered with Hull at Detroit or was the horse lost as a consequence of the death of Doctor Reynolds?

 United States.  Congres. House. Committee on Claims.  Published in Washington, D.C., D. Green, 1833.  Series: [U.S.] 22nd Cong. 2d Sess., 1832-33.  House Rept., no. 44.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Audit of Warrants of War of 1812 Participants

From the Congressional Edition: will be necessary to take the name of each soldier separately...until the examination of the whole thirty nine thousand eight hundred and twenty five shall have been completed. This will be the only mode of ascertaining how many were entitled to land under their enlistment how many were honorably discharged how many otherwise and how many died in the service.

Hundreds of desertions took place during the war and notwithstanding a forfeiture of the land was the consequence those would require to be included in the examination to ascertain the fact.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Richardson Letter From Amherstburg Of 4 February 1813

From the Richardson War of 1812 book (see transcript below):

Letter from John Richardson to his Uncle, Captain Charles Askin.

Amherstburg, 4th February, 1813. My Dear Uncle,—

You have doubtless heard ere this of the engagement at the River Raisin on Friday, the 22nd inst. (ult.)f however, you may probably not have heard the particulars of the business, which are simply these: On Monday, the 18th, we received information that the Americans, under the command of General Winchester, after an obstinate resistance, had driven from the River Raisin a detachment of Militia under Major Reynolds (also a party of Indians) which had been stationed there some time. That they had sustained great loss from the fire of our Indians, and from a 3-pounder, which was most ably served by Bombardier Kitson (since dead), of the R.A.

On Tuesday part of our men moved over the river to Brownstown, consisting of a Detachment of R. Artillery, with 3 3-pounders and 3 small howitzers, Capt. Tallon's Company (41st Regt.), a few Militia, and the sailors attached to the Guns. An alarm was given that the enemy were at hand. The Guns were unlimbered and everything prepared for action, when the alarm was found to be false.

On Wednesday the remainder of the army joined us at Brownstown, where (including Regulars, Militia, Artillery, Sailors and Indians) we mustered near 1,000 men. We lay, this night, at Brownstown. Next day the army commenced its march towards the River Raisin and encamped, this night, at Rocky River, which (you know) is about 12 miles beyond Brownstown and 6 on this side the River Raisin. About two hours before day we resumed our march. On Friday at daybreak we perceived the enemy's fires very distinctly—all silent in their camp. The army drew up and formed the line of battle in 2 adjoining fields, and moved down towards the enemy, the Guns advanced 20 or 30 paces in front and the Indians on our flanks. We had got tolerably near their Camp when we heard their Reveille drum beat (so completely lulled into security were they that they had not the most distant idea of an enemy being near), and soon after we heard a shot or two from the Centinels, who had by this time discovered us. Their Camp was immediately in motion. The Guns began to play away upon them at a fine rate, keeping up a constant fire. The Americans drew up and formed behind a thick picketing, from whence they kept up a most galling fire upon our men, who, from the darkness of the morning, supposed the pickets to be the Americans; however, as it grew lighter, they discovered their mistake, and advanced within 70 or 80 paces of the pickets, but finding that scarce one of their shots took effect, as they almost all lodged in the fence. Being thus protected from the fire of our men they took a cool and deliberate aim at our Troops, who fell very fast, and the most of the men at the Guns being either killed or wounded, it was thought expedient to retire towards the enemy's left under cover of some houses. I was a witness of a most barbarous act of inhumanity on the part of the Americans, who fired upon our poor wounded, helpless soldiers, who were endeavouring to crawl away on their hands and feet from the scene of action, and were thus tumbled over like so many hogs. However, the deaths of those brave men were avenged by the slaughter of 300 of the flower of Winchester's army, which had been ordered to turn our flanks, but wh.o, having divided into two parties, were met, driven back, pursued, tomakawked and scalped by our Indians, (very few escaping) to carry the news of their defeat. The General himself was taken prisoner by the Indians, with his son, aide, and several other officers. He immediately dispatched a messenger to Colonel Procter, desiring him to acquaint him with the circumstance of his being a prisoner, and to intimate that if the Colonel would send an officer to his Camp to summons the remainder of his army to surrender, he would send an order by him to his officer then commanding to surrender the Troops. Colonel Procter objected to sending one of his own officers, but permitted the General to send his aide (with a flag). The firing instantly ceased on both sides, and about 2 hours afterwards the enemy (460 in number) laid down their arms and surrendered themselves prisoners of war. A good many of our officers were wounded in the engagement, but none of them killed. The following is a list of them: R.A., Lt. Troughton (slightly); Seamen attached to the Guns, Capt. Rolette, Lt. Irvine, Midshipman Richardson (severely); 41st Regt., Capt. Tallon, Lieut. Clemow (severely); Militia, Inspecting F. Officer Lt.-Col. St George, Capt. Mills, Lt. McCormick, Paymaster Gordon (severely), Ensign Gouin (slightly), R. N. F. Regt, Ensign Kerr (dangerously); Indian Depart., Capt. Caldwell, Mr. Wilson (severely). This is as accurate an account as I can give you of the Engagement. I will now give you an account of my feelings on the occasion. When we first drew up in the field I was ready to fall down with fatigue from marching and carrying a heavy musquet. Even when the balls were flying about my
ears as thick as hail I felt quite drowsy and sleepy, and, indeed, I was altogether in a very disagreeable dilemma. The night before at Rocky River, some one or other of the men took my firelock and left his own in the place. It being quite dark when we set out from that place, I could not distinguish one from another. Enquiry was vain, so I was obliged to take the other (without thinking that anything was the matter with it). When we came to the firing part of the business I could not get my gun off. It flashed in the pan, and I procured a wire and worked away at it with that. I tried it again, and again it flashed. I never was so vexed—to think that I was exposed to the torrent of fire from the enemy without having the power to return a single shot quite disconcerted the economy of my pericranium; though if I had fired fifty rounds not one of them would have had any effect, except upon the pickets, which I was not at all ambitious of assailing like another Don Quixote. Our men had fired 4 or 5 rounds when I was called to assist my brother Robert, who was wounded, and who fell immediately, and which led me to suppose that he was mortally wounded. However, when he was carried to the doctors I found the poor fellow had escaped with a broken leg, which torments him very much, and it will be some time before he gets over it. I think it is highly probable we shall have a brush with the valiant Harrison, who is said to be at the Rapids of the Miami River, or near them. If so, I think we shall have tight work, as we have lost in killed and wounded in the action of the 22nd 180 men (exclusive of Indians). Pray remember me to my cousins, and, Believe me,
My Dear Uncle,
Yours affectionately,
John Richardson. Mr. Chas. Askin, ) Queenston.

The transcribed letter can also be seen here.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

General Winfield Scott

The Mexican War And Its Heroes...

When the war of 1812 commenced he [General Winfield Scott] had already advanced to the rank of lieutenant colonel. At the battle of Queenstown Heights Scott gave assurance of his future military usefulness.

After behaving in the most gallant manner his command of three hundred men became separated from the main body and were attacked by thirteen hundred British and Indians. He defended himself for a long while but was at length taken prisoner and carried with his troops to Quebec. While here he challenged the respect of the British officers by his independent and soldier like bearing. His rescue of the Irish prisoners is well known and many other anecdotes are related of him during this confinement. In a little while he was exchanged and sent to Boston.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fort Gratiot Was Built In 1814

Wilderness Outpost
Fort Gratiot was built by the U.S. Army in 1814 to guard the strategic junction of Lake Huron and the St. Clair River.  Troops stood ready to defend Michigan and the U.S. against British forces in Canada.

As settlement moved westward, the fort was a stopping point for soldiers and supplies headed for the frontier.  During the Civil War, area soldiers prepared for battle here, but Fort Gratiot never suffered a hostile attack.  In 1879 the American flag was lowered, and the fort was abandoned.