Monday, July 30, 2012

Hull's Proclamation - Clements Library Chronicles

An image of General William Hull's Proclamation of July 12th can be seen at the Clements Library Chronicles blog.  His foray into Canada was short-lived; he returned to Detroit, and promptly surrendered.  So instead of conquering Canada, he relinquished Detroit.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The First Volley 1811

The First Volley 1811 website tells a story of the Indiana Territory circa 1811 to 1815.  Fort Knox II, near Vincennes, Indiana, is one of the sites listed.


Jim's Photo From April 2010

Friday, July 27, 2012

William Tom, 1812 Soldier & Texas Patriot

At one point I thought that William Tom's wife, Kesiah Hinds, might have been related; that theory has been dispelled, but the Toms are interesting in their own right.

From Early Settlers and Indian Fighters of Southwest Texas, a biography of William Tom's son, that included a mini-bio of William:



Who served under
General Jackson
in the Creek War, 1813
Soldier in the Army of Texas, 1835
Born in Maury County, Tennessee
January 12, 1792
Died in Guadalupe County, Texas
February 15, 1871

His Wife
Kissiah Hines Tom
Born October 15, 1805
Died July 13, 1862


In 1860 the Tom family was living in Guadalupe Co., Texas. The census stated that Kissiah was born in North Carolina.

United States Census, 1850
Residence:     Guadalupe county, Guadalupe, Texas
Household    Gender    Age
    William Tom     M     58y
      Keziah Tom     F     45y
    Houston Tom     M     21y
    William Tom     M     17y
    Nancy Tom     F     15y
    George Tom     M     10y
    Dudley Tom     M     4y
    Philepa Morehead     F     22y
    Jane Morehead     F     2y
    Sarah Morehead     F     2m


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Secretary Of War Armstrong's 9 Districts

From Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society, Volume 11, an explanation of Secretary of War John Armstrong's 9 military districts:

 Dr. Eustis, the Secretary of War, was forced to resign to appease the popular wrath and was succeeded by John Armstrong, who had been Minister to France under President Jefferson, and was appointed a brigadier general at the beginning of the war.  Armstrong divided the country into nine military districts to each of which a general officer of the United States army was assigned whose duty it was to superintend all the means of defence within his district. This was done to prevent any difficulty arising from the interference of governors of states opposed to the war.

The districts were composed as follows: 1 Massachusetts and New Hampshire. 2 Rhode Island and Connecticut. 3 New York from the sea to the Highlands and the State of New Jersey. 4 Pennsylvania from its eastern limit to the Alleghany Mountains and Delaware. 5 Maryland and Virginia. 6 The two Carolinas. 7 The States of Tennessee Louisiana and the Mississippi Territory. 8 Kentucky Ohio and the Territorial governments of Michigan Indiana Illinois and Missouri. 9 Pennsylvania from the Allegheny Mountains westward New York north of the Highlands and Vermont. [Source]

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Abraham Fuller Hull

General William Hull had one son, Abraham Fuller Hull, and seven daughters.

Captain Abraham Fuller Hull, of the Ninth Infantry, died on July 25, 1814;  killed at Lundy's Lane.

His burial is described in the History of the Ninth U.S. Infantry:


Only one other body of an American has been dug up on the battle-field of Lundy's Lane.  It was that of Captain Abraham F. Hull of the Ninth Infantry, to which regiment of the nine other Yankees, as their buttons showed, belonged.  The bones of Captain Hull, unearthed several years ago, were reburied in an isolated spot at the south end of Drummond Hill Cemetery.  The grave into which the remains of his nine comrades were laid yesterday is close beside it.

From Memoir of Gen. William Hull:

As his father's aide, Captain A.F. Hull signed "Hull's Proclamation" in July of 1812.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tips From The Genealogy Insider

The Genealogy Insider has War of 1812 Bicentennial genealogy resources.  Below is just one item from the article:

War of 1812 Records: Our AncestorNews columnist links to several of her favorite, free War of 1812 online databases. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Major Richardson of the 41st Regiment

From the Richardson book, War of 1812, (Major John Richardson):

Through the influence of his father, and his grandfather Askin, he was appointed fa gentleman volunteer on the strength of the 41st Regiment, a detachment of which was in garrison at Fort Amherstburg.
41st Regiment re-enactors on YouTube.

Members of the 41st who were captured and/or deserters and where others (who wanted to go to Canada) settled after the war.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Papers Of David B. Douglass

The David B. Douglass papers housed at the University of Michigan's Clements Library:

"Douglass' distinguished service in the Niagara Campaign of 1814, at the Battle of Lundy's Lane, and at the siege of Fort Erie earned him a promotion to first lieutenant and a brevet captaincy in September, 1814. Douglass' personal courage while in command of an artillery battery at Fort Erie was singled out for commendation, and credited with helping to ensure victory for the American forces during the British assault in August 1814. After demobilization, the army was reluctant to lose such a promising young officer to civilian life, and as a result, on January 1, 1815, Douglass was offered the opportunity to become assistant professor of natural philosophy at the Military Academy, the only school at the time to offer formal training in engineering and therefore an outstanding opportunity for an aspiring young scientist."


The Historical magazine: and notes and queries concerning the antiquities ... has "Reminiscences of the Campaign of 1814", from the papers of the late David B. Douglass.


Mr. Douglass married Anna, daughter of surveyor Andrew Ellicott.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Laura Secord

 Flintlock And Tomahawk's June 24th post about the Battle Of Beaver Dams (also known as the Battle of the Beechwoods) was a reminder that Laura Secord was Canada's heroine because of that battle.

YouTube has a scene portraying Laura Secord's actions.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Clements Library Blog And The Capture Of Fort Mackinac

The capture of Fort Mackinac was featured on the University of Michigan Clements Library blog.  Embedded in the blog post are two interesting drawings.

It was also noted that "the War of 1812 is a great strength of the library."

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The First Stroke Of The War - Capture of Mackinac July 17, 1812

The capture of Mackinac, the first stroke of the war, was of the highest importance to the British interests.


Early Mackinac: a sketch, historical and descriptive  By Meade C. Williams:



  • It exposed Detroit and all lower Michigan It greatly terrified General Hull who commanded the department of Michigan.


  •  It arrested his (Hull's) operations in Canada. 


  • His (Hull's) surrender just one month later was in part due to the panic it caused one historian of that day, saying, "Hull was conquered at Mackinac."



Lieutenant Porter Hanks, while awaiting court martial for the surrender of Mackinac, was killed by a cannon ball in Detroit.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Petition For Sabra Backus, Widow of Electus

From the United States Congressional serial set, Issue 112:



Mr. Foote, of New York, presented a petition of Sebra Backus, widow of Electus Backus, who died of wounds received in battle, while commanding a regiment in the army, in the late war with Great Britain, praying for a continuance of the pension heretofore granted to herself and the children of the said Electus Backus.

Another petition from Mrs. Backus here.

Major Backus was wounded during his defense of Sackett's Harbor and died June 7, 1813:


Electus Backus and I are both descendants of William Backus, the original immigrant.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Conflict Still Most Forgotten?

An interesting Slate Magazine article entitled Happy 200th Birthday, War of 1812 (A primer on America’s most bumbling, most confusing, and most forgotten conflict), included the following excerpts:


"The war plays out as a disappointing second act to the Revolution, with the nation suddenly at the whim of Europeans and Indians and riven by internal dissent, and the heroes and heirs of 1776 acting without the pluck and ingenuity that we expect of them. How are we to commemorate that?"

[In a comparison to the Civil War] "It's hard to imagine a flurry of 1812 books flying off the shelves, or the New York Times commissioning a blog series* about the conflict. "

*Perhaps the New York Times won't have a blog about the War of 1812, but I do!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Secretary Of War William Eustis

A biography of William Eustis, Secretary of War, from A history of the War Department of the United States: With biographical sketches of the secretaries .

He became Secretary of War in March 1809 and resigned because of Hull's Surrender of Detroit.

William Eustis was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on July 10, 1753, and graduated from Harvard in 1777. He served in the Revolutionary War as a surgeon.  In 1800 he was elected as a member of Congress.  In 1814 he was appointed as Minister to the Netherlands.  He was again elected to Congress and Governor of Massachusetts after that.  He died February 6, 1825.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Not The Last Battle In The War of 1812

Apparently the British invasion at Point Peter was not the last battle of the War of 1812.  However, it occurred after the Battle of New Orleans. The last battle was fought on February 8, 1815, at Fort Bowyer in Mobile, Alabama.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A New Article About Old Ironsides

An article about Old Ironsides on the Boston NPR site was mentioned in the The Weekly Genealogist.
"Bonner says most people know about the ship’s involvement in the War of 1812 — often called the second war of independence — but, he says, few people know about the ship’s history in Vietnam more than 100 years before the U.S. entered a war there."

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Dr. Reynolds' Letter

Part of a letter written by Dr. James Reynolds of Zanesville, surgeon's mate in the army of Ohio, dated Detroit, July 7, 1812, was published in Niles' weekly register:


A transcription can be found here.  Included in the above:
"On the 5th inst. the artillery opened on the British dogs in Sandwich, and we continued firing 24 pounders on them till 10 o'clock, while they were forcing their way with boats, loaded with produce out of their warehouse.  We have reason to believe that a number of them were killed."

Dr. Reynolds was killed at Detroit shortly before General Hull's surrender.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Coin Of The Realm - Star-Spangled Banner Edition

From the U.S. Mint's website:
Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coin Act
The Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coin Act...requires the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue up to 100,000 gold $5 coins and 500,000 silver $1 coins in commemoration of the bicentennial of the writing of our national anthem.  According to the law, the designs shall be emblematic of the War of 1812, particularly the Battle of Baltimore that formed the basis for the lyrics of "The Star—Spangled Banner."

Thursday, July 5, 2012

At The National Portrait Gallery

From Reuters, an article entitled, Washington museum* shows War of 1812 not just "Star-Spangled Banner," was this description:
"The show features portraits of the soldiers, sailors, warriors and statesmen in the two-and-a-half years of four-sided fighting among Americans, Canadians, Native Americans and Britons."

*National Portrait Gallery show that ends on January 27, 2013

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Untold Story Of The Star-Spangled Banner

 According to a Fox News article, there are 5 facts that might surprise you. 

1. It was written with its current melody in mind.
 Another interesting fact: Key's original title was called the "Defence of Fort McHenry."

See the article for the rest of the story!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Heroics In Ohio

 "When the Fort is taken there will be none left alive to massacre."*

Obedience to his superior in all matters of duty is no degradation, but rather an honor, to the true soldier but history furnishes a few examples of a patriotism that rises above all other considerations. Such was Croghan's action at Fort Sandusky during the war of 1812.

General Harrison had ordered Croghan to destroy the supplies, then abandon and destroy Fort Sandusky. The soldiers were to then join General Harrison. Croghan disobeyed Harrison's orders, replying (see below):


*Ensign Edmund Shipp on behalf of Croghan to a landing party of British soldiers threatening a massacre of the American troops at Fort Sandusky if it was not surrendered to the British force

The British were not leaving without a battle, and marched forward towards the fort with an order to give no quarter to the besieged within the fort.  The approaching British were mowed down by the one strategically placed artillery piece in the fort.  The British under General Proctor and their Indian allies, under Tecumseh,  scattered and retreated.

Even though no quarter was expected by the Americans from the British, the defenders of the fort risked their own lives to aid wounded British soldiers who were left behind.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Capture Of The Cuyahoga Packet

General Hull's papers were aboard the Cuyahoga when it was captured.  Papers included correspondence with Secretary of War Eustis.  Not good for the Americans.



Captain (Charles) Frederick Rolette (1783-1831) played an important part of the capture.

The capture in song.