Thursday, February 28, 2013

Fort Bowyer On The Gulf Coast

Colonel Nicholls's object, and the British plan of the invasion, were beginning with the capture of that fortress, [Bowyer] thence, and from Mobile and Pensacola, all convenient to Bermuda, Havana, and other bases of arsenals and granaries of the expedition in that region, to possess themselves of a large part, if not the whole of the territories of the United States south and west of the thirteen old States.

Scene From The Panhandle Of Florida

The value of Fort Bowyer for that purpose had been overlooked till Jackson took command of that military district, when, at once perceiving its importance he had it partially prepared for defence. In the campaign which began and ended at Fort Bowyer, General Jackson acted without specific, if indeed any orders, sometimes almost against orders, performing exploits of warfare and civil administration which paved his way to the presidency. [Source]

Fort Bowyer -- the site of the last battle of the War of 1812.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Captain Gray And The River Raisin

Photo By Jim Taken During A Visit To The River Raisin Battlefield

From the Examiner, an article about Kentuckians who fought for Michigan at the Battle of the River Raisin.  An excerpt from the article:

Joye Evetts’ fourth Great-Grandfather was Captain Patrick Gray. He was born in 1764 in Augusta County, Va. and died February 27, 1813, in military service. He commanded one of the two full companies of soldiers raised in Jessamine County, Kentucky, to fight in the War of 1812. Gray’s company was part of Lewis’ Kentucky Volunteers who fought at the Battle of the River Raisin.

See a post about Oliver Anderson who was in Patrick Gray's Co.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Veterans Buried In Alabama

From Alabama Trails, War of 1812:

Pauline Jones Gandrud's
Alabama Soldiers
Manuscript Collection

War of 1812 Veterans Buried in Alabama

An extract:

Greer, Nathaniel Hunt; War of 1812; AL County: Chambers

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lapeer Connection

A NARA record found at


WAR OF 1812.
Claim of Widow for Pension, under the Provisions of Sections 4736 to 4740 inclusive Revised Statutes, and the Act of March 9, 1878.

State of:  Michigan
County of:  Lapeer
18 May 1878
Emeline Bannister, age 66
Residence:  Almont, Michigan
Widow of Private Levi Bannister
N.Y. Mil.
Enlisted at Buffalo or Gainsville, New York

Emeline Bannister in the Census taken in Lapeer County, Michigan:

United States Census, 1900
name: Emeline Banister
Almont township Almont village, Lapeer, Michigan, United States
birth date: Dec 1811
birthplace: Connecticut
father's birthplace: Connecticut
mother's birthplace: Connecticut
marital status: Widowed
  Household Gender Age Birthplace
head Martin Banister M 49 Michigan
wife Jennie Banister F 49 Michigan
daughter Hattie Banister F 23 Michigan
son Harry Banister M 21 Michigan
son Hughie Banister M 12 Michigan
mother Emeline Banister F 89 Connecticut

United States Census, 1850
Almont, Lapeer, Michigan, United States
  Household Gender Age Birthplace
Levie Banister M 44 Vermont
Emaline Banister F 38 Canada
Betsey Banister F 19 New York
Freman L Banister M 17 New York
Hiram Banister M 16 New York
Manervia Banister F 12 Michigan
Lucian Banister M 5 Michigan
Effe Banister F 21 New York

Emeline Banister died in 1907:

name: Emeline Banister
death date: 24 Feb 1907
death place: Almont Township, Lapeer, Michigan
age: 95
birth date: 1812
father: Thomas Weaver
mother: Salley Lee

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Canadian National Spirit

From In The Days Of The Canada Company:

Germans, Highlanders, French, English and Irish soon fused and became Canadian.

Probably the war of 1812-15 is in good part the explanation of this; not merely because gallant resistance to successive waves of invasion had awakened a national spirit, but also because the high prices then paid for produce of every kind had stimulated industry as far into the backwoods as population had extended. Men who knew nothing of the horrors of the war, and who had no dread of its penetrating to their remote hamlets or dealings, rejoiced to get three dollars a bushel for wheat.

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Summary Of The War In 1814

Excerpts from a sign at the Cumberland Island NPS Museum:


As Britain and her allies ended their war against Napoleon, thousands of battle-hardened British regulars boarded ships for America.  In July, they captured 100 miles of coastline in Maine.  In late July they turned back the last American attempt to invade Canada.  In August, British forces marched on Washington, the American capital.

In mid-September, on Lake Champlain, at Plattsburgh Bay, New York, Lieutenant Thomas McDonough's under gunned American squadron defeated a superior British fleet.  The tide of war changed and peace talks began in Ghent, Belgium.

Not knowing the war had ended, the Battle of New Orleans saw troops under General Andrew Jackson first slow then defeat a British advance on January 8th, 1815.

Note: The Battle of the Ice Mound, Battle at Point Peter and the Battle of Bowyer occurred after the Battle of New Orleans.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Mournful Tragedy Of David Hunt

One of the mutineers who was ordered to be executed by General Andrew Jackson was David Hunt.  Hunt was a member of Captain George Mebane's company of the First Regiment of the Tennessee Militia.

From The Life Of Andrew Jackson

This marble cell contains the mouldering remains of the gallant David Hunt: he was the son of a soldier of the Revolution: a volunteer in the Creek War, he faithfully served his country until his tour of duty expired, when he left the camp, and returned to the home of his brave parent, where learning that his tour of duty had possibly not expired, he returned to camp and to his duty, the veteran father saying, "go my son, I am sure no harm can come to you, I too have been a soldier, and under Washington, a soldier returning to duty which he had left in error, always found mercy" : But the son never more saw the face of his venerable father!  He was arrested, tried and shot to death, at four days notice, by order of Gen. Andrew Jackson, on the 21st February, 1815"  [Source]

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

General Nathaniel Taylor


An auction house has General Nathaniel Taylor's portrait online.  More information about the General (including the portrait) at FindAGrave.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Welcome Stamp Act

Beyond The Perf, U.S.A. Philatelic site announced the anticipated release of a commemorative Battle of Lake Erie stamp.  " It depicts Oliver Hazard Perry in the small boat he used to transfer from his ruined flagship, the Lawrence, to the Niagara."

The First Day of Issue for this stamp will be September 2, 2013.

A big thank you and hat tip to Dorene of the Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay blog for sending the stamp information to me and allowing me to use it on this blog!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Perry Assigned To The Lake Erie Fleet

Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry - About 1815

On February 17 of the following year [1813], Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, who had been stationed at Newport, Rhode Island, in command of a flotilla, was assigned to the command of the fleet intended for service on Lake Erie.

A blog post about Perry and Chauncey here.  Another portrait here.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Siege From Darnell's Journal


Darnell's Journal, A journal containing an accurate and interesting ... included the entry below that referred to the Siege of Fort Wayne:

[About 12 September 1812]

Winchester's campaign. seemed to shake the boasted valor of some of our bravest heroes.

This day's march was twenty miles to Fort Wayne... . 

Our arrival at this fort gave great joy to the inhabitants, who were one company of regular troops and a few families. The Indians had closely invested the fort for several days, and burned the United States factory and all the other valuable houses which were not inside of the stockading. Three of our men who were caught out of the fort were killed by the Indians. 

The Indians encamped about the fort two weeks before they made the attack on it, and were admitted in by Captain Rhea, the commanding officer of the garrison, who would have surrendered to the savages, had it not been for his lieutenant, who defended the fort with great bravery. Three Indians were killed and a few wounded. Captain [James] Rhea was arrested and would have been broken had he not resigned.

See a previous post from Darnell's Journal here.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Fort Macon Replaced Fort Hampton

Fort Hampton guarded North Carolina's Beaufort Inlet during the War of 1812.  After Fort Hampton's destruction, Fort Macon replaced it.

Interior Shot Of Fort Macon

From the North Carolina State Park site:

...a small masonry fort named Fort Hampton was built to guard Beaufort Inlet during 1808-09. This fort guarded the inlet during the subsequent War of 1812, but it was abandoned shortly after the end of the war. Shore erosion, combined with a hurricane in 1825, swept this fort into Beaufort Inlet by 1826.

The War of 1812 demonstrated the weakness of existing coastal defenses of the United States and prompted the US government into beginning construction on an improved chain of coastal fortifications for national defense. The present fort, Fort Macon, was a part of this chain.

From North Carolina War of 1812 Bicentennial's website's History of Fort Hampton:
"The citizens of Beaufort felt proud and secure with their new fort when the country at last went to war with Great Britain in the War of 1812. During the war, the presence of the fort forced British warships to keep their distance. Apparently the British believed the fort was quite formidable, because they never attacked it."

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Overview Of The Pre-War Years

From an exhibit at the Cumberland Island National Park Service Museum:

See an online War of 1812 Timeline.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Witherow Journal At Penn State

From the Penn State University Libraries' Digital Collection's Military Finding Aid:

1814 - 32 pages [Google Description]
A photocopied military duty journal kept by John Witherow during his tour in the War of 1812. The April 1814 entries note that volunteers joined the fleet headed for Put-in-Bay to bring down the British ships Queen Charlotte and Detroit. Other entries describe Witherow's activities in Buffalo and crossing into Canada. The journal is signed "John Withrow Junr." Included with the journal is a typescript transcription made by Joseph E. Walker.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Crippling The Enemy's Horses

From the Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2012 Archive, the story of a Canadian who wouldn't give aid and comfort to the enemy (in this case the Americans).

"Many people still mistakenly think that nothing much happened in Grimsby (which was then called The Forty) during the War of 1812."

"When the Americans passed through The Forty...they stopped...and forced [George] Pettit to shoe their horses. Pettit...was hostile toward the enemy troops, so he trimmed the American horses' hoofs badly so that they were lamed.  The angry Americans took Petitt prisoner.... ."

Note: My Howard ancestors were living in Grimsby before 1820; it is unknown whether any of them were living there during the War of 1812.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Captain Rhea's Letter


Who was Captain Rhea?

In the midst of the agitation Captain Nathan Heald was transferred from the command at Fort Wayne to the post at Fort Dearborn [Chicago]. In his stead came Captain James Rhea, who arrived in the spring of 1810. The weakness of character of the new commandant under the trying conditions which were soon to surround the little garrison of the fort in the wilderness, might have proved of frightful consequence but for the bravery and intelligence of the subordinate military and civil authorities within the stockade.

Rhea was a native of New Jersey, and a lieutenant and adjutant of "Rhea's Levies" in 1791. He was ensign and second lieutenant of infantry in 1799, and was promoted to first lieutenant in 1800.  He was commissioned a captain in 1807.

Rhea, after serving under Wayne, had been in command of a post established by Wayne below Swan creek, which empties into the Maumee, in Ohio.

From The Pictorial History of Fort Wayne, Indiana:...,

Friday, February 8, 2013

Fort Norfolk In Ontario

In 1812 Fort Norfolk was built at Charlotteville, of which nothing but the trenches remain.  This was a stake fort, the walls consisting of a double row of pointed stakes, the two rows being several feet apart, and the space between filled in with earth.  At the close of the war the fort was abandoned, and nothing more than the irregular trench marks its location.  From Ontario History

The District Capital for all of south-central Ontario, known as the London District, was placed near Vittoria in 1800 and then the no-longer existing town of Charlotteville nearby in Norfolk and finally returned to Vittoria in 1815. During the War of 1812, Fort Norfolk on the bluffs guarded the hinterland behind. [Source]

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Battle Of The Ice Mound

We had, in the winter of 1813-14*, a little affair on the Eastern Shore which went by the name of " The Battle of the Ice Mound." *February 7, 1815, was the date of the Battle Of The Ice Mound found on the historical marker. It is known as one of the last battles of the War of 1812.

A small schooner of ours taken by the British and manned by a few men under the command of a lieutenant and a midshipman, got frozen up in the ice near Kent Island. A number of the country militia [Colonel Jones] got out to this mound, and using it as a point of attack, protected from the enemy's fire, made a brisk assault from it upon the schooner, which was soon obliged to strike her colors.

The lieutenant and midshipman, with their party, were made prisoners, and were sent to Baltimore, where the two officers spent the winter,—quite distinguished objects in society,—and, I doubt not, much gratified at the exchange of their wintry guard on the bay for the comforts of a pleasant captivity. [All of the above from The Life of John Pendleton Kennedy]

From the Wednesday, February 22, 1815, edition of the American and Commercial Daily Advertiser (

This blog mentioned that Fort Bowyer was the last incident of the War of 1812.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


200 Years Later, Remains Of Kentucky Soldiers Killed In War Of 1812 May Be Coming Home was an online article at "Lex 18" news (Lexington, Kentucky).
"Imagine waiting 200 years to be buried in your homeland. A discovery in an Ontario, Canada park means two Kentucky soldiers who fought in the War of 1812 could finally be coming home...".

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Surrendered Sword

After the Battle of Queenston Heights, 73 U.S. Officers Surrendered Their Swords (including the one pictured, which is in the possession of the Merritt family of St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada).

Monday, February 4, 2013

Archaeology In Caulk's Field

From Yahoo News, Battlefield from War of 1812 Uncovered Intact Beneath Maryland Cornfield:

History is still very much with us today as evidenced by a new and fascinating find - a battlefield from the War of 1812 when American were still very much engaged with fighting the British. And this battlefield is virtually unscathed.

Yahoo News was linked to the L.A. Times that provided this:

""This is easily the best-preserved 1812 battlefield in the Mid-Atlantic, thanks to the excellent stewardship of the owners, the Tulip Forest Farming Corp., who understood its importance and protected it," said Bill Pencek, the commission's executive director.""

Here's one of my blog posts about Caulk's Field and here's another.  More about one of the participants, Peter Parker, here.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Canadian Company Of Blacks

Captain Runchey's Company of the First Lincoln Regiment:

Engagements:  Queenston, 13th, Oct., 12. and Fort George, 27th May, 13.

Captain Robert Runchey, Sr.
             James Robertson
Lieutenant George Runchey

From Wikipedia:  On 3 March 1813, the unit was converted into the Corps of Provincial Artificers under the command of Lt. James Robertson, a black settler formerly of Detroit who had been a member of Butlers Rangers in the Revolutionary War as well as the Corps of Provincial Artificers before joining the Coloured Corps sometime before the Battle of Queenston Heights. While this might have appeared to be a backward step, the scarcity of the sundry skills required of Artificers meant that they were paid two to four times as much as they would have been as private soldiers.

Working under the direction of a white officer, Captain Robert Runchey Sr., thousands of volunteers fought for the British during the War of 1812. Niagara Blacks in Runchey’s unit included Pierpoint, brothers James and Humphrey Waters, John Delay, John Jackson, Robert Jupiter, John Saunders, and George Martin.

The blog, North End Journal, has a post about Runchey's men.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

From Captain Rhea At Fort Wayne

This letter was written pre-war; however Captain Rhea was the commandant at Fort Wayne during the early war years.

Dated Fort Wayne, February 2, 1811, to Major Abymael Nicholl, Inspector of the U.S. Army:

I received yours of the 11th, 15th & 29...enclosing the contract and an order from the War Dept of Dec monthly and Inspection return for the month of January 1811 which I believe is correct...I received from Newport, Kentucky*, from Major Martin Eighty Stands of Rifles without any powder ___ or bullet bags...without any Instructions.

I will thank you to inform me whether they are intended for this post or other wise.

1st Reg Inf
Comm of---

In 1803, General James Taylor, as agent for his father and other owners, sold to the government the ground upon which the barracks are situated.

In 1811 and '12, Newport barracks was the chief depot for military stores. From here were sent supplies of ammunition, arms and provisions, to General Harrison at Vincennes.

Friday, February 1, 2013

John Armstrong, Secretary Of War

Source Of Portrait And Text:  The Military Heroes Of The War of 1812

Armstrong was not present in any battle during the war of 1812 [he was Secretary of War and "projector of the campaign of 1813"]... .  It can scarcely be said that he was a very able or a very fortunate leader.  None of his projects were crowned with success. Though he removed his department from Washington to the northern frontier in order to be nearer the scene of operations, he gained nothing from the step but the envy of his Generals.

Yet it would be improper to speak of Armstrong in a tone of unqualified censure.  He experienced many things to exasperate him... . The failure of the campaign of 1813 was far from being entirely his fault. In fact the very errors which led to that failure, he had early warned the commanding Generals against and the removal of the department to the northern frontier was projected in hopes to prevent by his presence unnecessary delays.