Friday, March 29, 2013

Eleazer Ripley

Portrait originally posted on another blog post.

File of Brig. Gen'l E. W. Ripley at Fold3:  Publication Title: Letters Received By The Office Of The Adjutant General, 1805-1821:

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Engagement Near Boothbay, Maine

"An event took place in 1814 which is the only known instance resulting in loss of life within the town limits during the war."  A story from the History of Boothbay, Southport and Boothbay Harbor, Maine. 1623-1905:

A British war vessel came into the harbor and exchanged several shots with the defenses on McFarland's Point.


"The soldiers ashore had but one field piece."

They were ordered around the head of the harbor at double quick... .  As the vessel came in toward the shore in the bay, a son of Grover who was standing front of the house, discharged his musket at it; they replied, the shot striking him in the head. The harbor troops had almost reached the spot when the shot was fired, and, arriving a moment after, found the boy lying dead... ."

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fort Holmes

This Fort was built while the British held possession of the Island in 1812 and 1814.  It was called by the British Fort George; in honor of the British king, afterward rechristened by the Americans in honor of Maj. Andrew Hunter Holmes, who was killed August 4, 1814, during an unsuccessful attempt by the Americans to regain possession of Fort Mackinac.  [Annals of Fort Mackinac]

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Guide From The Library Of Congress

The Library of Congress presented A Guide to the War of 1812:

"The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a wide variety of material associated with the War of 1812, including manuscripts, broadsides, pictures, and government documents." 

One example listed:

A copy of a letter by Oliver Hazard Perry announcing the U.S. naval victory at the Battle of Lake Erie.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Secretary Of War Armstrong's Bio

A history of the War Department of the United States: With biographical sketches of the secretaries provided a brief sketch of General Armstrong's service in the Revolutionary War:

"...appointed Secretary of War in January 1813 Mr Eustis having resigned. This office General Armstrong conducted with exceptional energy and good sense, effecting not a few salutary changes in the organization of the army. The sack of Washington, however, and ill fortune in the Canada campaign, produced a popular clamor against him and like Eustis he escaped to the wilderness of private life, carrying the sins of others on his shoulders." [ibid]

From earlier blog posts:

Was Armstrong a disastrous choice?  One of Secretary of War Armstrong's actions was to create nine districts.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Captain Spier Spencer

From a Pre-War letter from Vincennes, dated 22 Sept. 1811:
"Captain Spencer's Company of Volunteers will act as a detached Corps and he will receive his orders from the Commander in Chief.  They are received as a Company of Volunteers."
 Capt. Spier Spencer was killed in action Nov. 7th, 1811.  He commanded a company of mounted riflemen of Indiana militia in the battle.  They were called "Spencer's Yellow Jackets" because of their uniforms.

He had a brother who was killed in the same battle.

Capt. Spencer's small son went on the expedition with him and was Harrison's special care after his father's death.

Battle Of Tippecanoe From Sign At Fort Knox (II) (in the Vincennes, Indiana, area)

When she (Spencer's wife) was a child, she and her mother Delilah Tyler, and other children of the family, were stolen by the Indians and taken from Kentucky to Detroit, where they were ransomed by Major DePeyster, upon learning that Charles Polk (father of Elizabeth Polk, who was Spencer's wife) was a Mason.  The family was reunited.

Information about Captain Spier Spencer from Wikipedia:

In 1818, Spencer County, Indiana, was named for him, as was in 1820 the town of Spencer, Indiana in Owen County. Spencer County, Kentucky was created and named for him in 1824.  Spencer's widow continued operating The Green Leaf Tavern. When she married William Boone, she changed the name to the "Billy Boone Tavern". However, the marriage was short lived and she divorced Boone in 1829.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Some Veterans Settled In Arkansas

From Makers of Arkansas history:

Some of these immigrants had been soldiers in the War of 1812.  The United States had given each soldier in that War a certificate that entitled him to one hundred and sixty acres of the public lands.  Many of these tracts were located in Arkansas.

Bounty Land Warrant recipients in Arkansas.

A War of 1812 hero, James Miller, was the first governor of the Arkansas Territory.

Monday, March 18, 2013

John L. Fink Orderly Books

From the Manuscripts Division of the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan, a finding aid for John L. Fink Orderly Books, 1812-1815:

"These two orderly books were kept by John L. Fink, captain and later lieutenant of the 13th Infantry, United States Army, headquartered at Sackets Harbor, New York, during the War of 1812."
"On October 13, 1812, at the Battle of Queenstown, Fink was taken prisoner by the British and sent to Quebec."  "He participated in the Battle of Plattsburg in September 1814."

His last census (he died in 1850):

United States Census, 1850
event place:  Bushwick, Kings, New York
Household Gender Age Birthplace
John L Fink M 66 New York
Deborah Frink F 39 New York
Elizabeth B Frink F 13 New York
John S Frink M 9 New York
Charles B Frink M 7 New York
Catharin Hyen F 62 Holland


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Acker's Service Noted

From the Livonia Gazette at Fulton History:


After the colonies gained their independence, there was still the ever-present possibility of renewed hostilities with England as well as the danger of Indian attacks.  As a precaution, every able-bodied male between the ages of 18 and 45 was required to belong to the militia.  Local training sites for the militiamen included Dennison's Corners, Doolittle's Tavern on the site of the Annis farm, Crockett's Corners in Conesus, and in Lakeville and on the oval in front of the Presbyterian Church in Livonia Center.  William Wadsworth of Geneseo helped direct training programs and later commanded during the War of 1812.

Many of the men in the militia units eventually served in the War of 1812.  Again, the names, as recorded by Miss Meagher, ring familiar:  Silas Acker, Augustus Annis, Peter Pitts Barnard, Asa Dennison, John Fitch Reed, Philip Short, Tyranus Ripley, Harvey Stedman and Elisha Webster, just to name a few.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

York Militia In Canada

On Page 65 of Officers of the British Forces In Canada During The War 1812-1815, the 2nd Regiment of York Militia is featured.  Engagements listed were Fort Detroit, Queenston, and Lundy's Lane.

On the creation of the District of Gore and the County of Wentworth in 1816, this Corps became the 1st Gore Regiment.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Captain Donald Cameron

Details about Captain Donald Cameron from the War of 1812 Website (Canadian), a story entitled Captains of the Canadian Fencibles in 1812by Robert Henderson.

"In 1812 there were six vacant captaincies in the Canadian Fencibles. These vacancies had been created by the death of three captains; Donald Cameron in December 1811... ."

"When Donald Cameron died at the age of 59 in December 1811, he left behind his wife Elizabeth*, and ten children, ranging from eight to twenty-one years old. Living on their land grant in the township of Chatham, Cameron's family was forced out of financial necessity to apply for assistance in addition to the Captain's widow pension."

*Elizabeth is thought to be Donald Cameron's 2nd wife and the daughter of Thomas Browne.  It is asserted (by a group of esteemed Cameron researchers) that Donald Cameron may be the father of my ancestor, Allen Cameron, by his 1st wife/relationship.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Meantime The War Rolled On

From The life of John Pendleton Kennedy, a resident of Maryland during the War of 1812 years:

Meantime the war rolled on. The papers were full of stirring events. We suffered no ennui. Every day had its excitements.

In the Spring, the war began to assume a new aspect. The year 1813 was one of defeats on land. This year, 1814, our armies had more success. Our soldiers were growing more confident.

A little skirmish occurred on the Eastern Shore nearly opposite to the mouth of the Patapsco. Sir Peter Parker had been ravaging that neighborhood in small forays and was at last encountered by some of our militia under Colonel Philip Reid and was killled. There was also a little affair on West River where our militia cavalry defeated a party of British.

Mr. Kennedy also wrote about the Battle of the Ice Mound.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Richard Pierpoint Of Captain Runchey's Troops

The blog, Little Red Umbrella, featured a post about Richard Pierpoint (including a film clip):

"When the Americans invaded in 1812, Pierpoint petitioned Isaac Brock, the British commander: he wanted to be allowed to form a "Corps of Men of Colour" to fight on the Niagara border. (That's what's shown in the Heritage Minute.)"

 That blog post dovetailed quite nicely with my post, A Canadian Company Of Blacks.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Albert Gallatin's View Of A Cause Of War

"Gallatin laid down also the law of search in accordance with the law of nations, and pointed out that resistance to search or capture by merchantmen would not only lead to war, but was war."  [Source Here]

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Detroit Maps And Surveys Destroyed

The records and public papers of the Territory were destroyed or carried off by the British troops during their temporary occupation of the country. Among them were the maps and plans of survey made by Mr Greely.  From a letter addressed to:


Saturday, March 9, 2013

1812 View Of Buffalo, New York

Published in Philadelphia, 1845, From An Original Sketch by Lt. Jesse D. Elliott Accompanying His Report To The Secretary Of The Navy On The Capture Of The Detroit And Caledonia
Dated Black Rock, Oct. 9, 1812

Friday, March 8, 2013

Sir George Prevost


Lieutenant General Sir George Prevost, who, after having devoted to his country thirty-five of the best years of his life; after having distinguished himself in many gallant actions; and after having preserved to the crown of Great Britain some of its most valuable foreign possessions, was called upon, at the close of his honourable career, to answer charges which vitally affected his reputation, and which he was prevented by death from fully and clearly refuting. [Source]

The "bare bones" biography, according to Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online:

PREVOST, Sir GEORGE, army officer and colonial administrator; b. 19 May 1767, in New Jersey, the eldest son of Augustin Prévost and Nanette (Ann) Grand; m. 19 May 1789, Catherine Anne Phipps, and they had five children, one of whom died in infancy; d. 5 Jan. 1816 in London, England, and was buried in East Barnet (London).

George Prevost received his first commission in the 60th regiment in the British Army.  After transfers back and forth he was severely wounded at St. Vincent's and went to England to recover.

On January 1, 1798, he became a colonel and a brigadier-general on March 8.  1798 was a big year for Prevost; he was nominated as military governor of St. Lucia; ill health caused him to return to England.  He was made a baronet in 1805 and was now a major-general.  In 1808 Prevost became a lieutenant-general, and also lieutenant-governor and commander in chief in Nova Scotia.

February 14, 1811, he was, "at a critical juncture," chosen to be governor of Lower Canada [Quebec], and governor-general of British North America.

"He found the Canadians suspicious and untractable, while the United States were threatening war, of which Canada was to bear the brunt."  "Prevost's first action was to undertake a tour of military observation...".


"Provost's intervention in the military operations of the campaigns of 1812-14 was most unfortunate. Though nominally commander-in-chief, he left the chief conduct of the war to others, and his own appearance in the field on two occasions was followed by the humiliation of the British arms." [Source]

An obituary for Sir George Prevost here.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

British Prisoners From The Ice Mound

Found in a contemporary account regarding prisoners from the Battle of the Ice Mound in a Baltimore, Maryland, newspaper:

Battle of the Ice Mound (source: GenealogyBank)
Wednesday, February 22, 1815  
Paper: American and Commercial Daily Advertiser  

Excerpted below:

13th Feby 1815

I do hereby certify and make known, that on Friday, the 10th February 1815,  Mr. Joseph Stewart, of Dorchester county*, a private in the militia of Dorchester county, delivered to me the following British prisoners captured by him and a small party of citizens, residing on, and near James' Island, on board a tender to the British ship Dauntless.  *Account linked indicated that the incident happened in 1814 (I believe in error)

Matt. Phibbs, lieut. and commandant.
James Gallaway, midshipman.

Thomas Nicholas, John Strachan, James Robinson, Jacob Needham, Thomas R_eyly, ____Johnson**, James Rawlin, James Smart, Thos. Martin, William Harrower, Peter Parker, and William Sauntfield.  **Isaac Johnson


William Bennett, Thos. Blackham, and William Keenir.
Abraham Travers, a black man, and a black woman.

Henry Haskins, D p. Marshal
for Dorchester county

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

House At Chalmette Battlefield

The Malus-Beauregard House is in the background of the National Park Service's Chalmette Battlefield site. The house, built in 1830, was built post-war.  It is presently being used as a visitor's center.  The previous visitor's center was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

Jim's Photo of  the Malus-Beauregard House

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Diary of Arad Joy

From the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at Cornell University Library:

Diary of Arad Joy (1812-1813) discusses events during his service in the War of 1812 including punishment of deserters, living conditions, a visit to Niagara Falls, a skirmish, and duties as paymaster.  Guide to the Joy Family Journals, 1812-1813, 1844

His diary was written while he was in the army (during the War of 1812) as a regimental paymaster in the 19th Regiment of Detached Militia, in New York State, under Lt. Col. Henry Bloome. 
Contents: Description...of living conditions in the army, explanation of the punishment for desertion (the men had half of their heads shaved, and were forced to walk before the regiment with their hands extended by a board across their backs and fastened on their foreheads)... .

Monday, March 4, 2013

Battle Of Longwoods

The Battle of Longwoods took place on March 4, 1814, in Canada, and was won by the United States.

Screenshot From YouTube

The Upper Thames Military Reenactment Society hosts a reenactment of the Battle Of Longwoods.  See a reenactment on YouTube (a more recent reenactment here on YouTube).

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Chatham Artillery

A bit of War of 1812 in the Confederate Veteran, Volume 30:

The outbreak of the war of 1812 found the battery under the command of its seventh captain, Robert McKay.Volunteering for the war, the Chatham Artillery was mustered into the service of the United States.

Jim's Photo Of Fort Jackson, Savannah, Georgia

A detachment garrisoned Fort Jackson on the Savannah River and the remainder of the command assisted in the construction of earthworks for the protection of the city. The battery was mustered out of the Government service in January 1815.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

DeSalaberry's Appointment

Source of Charles De Salaberry Picture

Prince Edward of England, and his brother Prince William Henry were in Canada, the former in command of a favorite regiment. [Jean Baptiste] Faribault witnessed the manoeuvres of this fine body of men, and was so much struck by the brilliancy of the display; that he proceeded to place on canvass a very creditable picture of the regiment and its officers, albeit he had never received any instruction in painting. The production was shown to Prince Edward, who was pleased with it, so much so indeed, that he proffered to the young artist a commission as junior officer in his regiment. Faribault declined the honor, but requested the Prince to bestow the commission upon a fellow clerk named De Salsbury*, which was done, and the appointee joined the regiment accordingly, and subsequently became a prominent and distinguished officer in the British service during the war of 1812-14.    *Charles De Salaberry

Friday, March 1, 2013

Timeline Of Maryland Battles

MARYLAND IN THE WAR OF 1812 has a timeline for Maryland.  One item on the timeline:
March. British began blockade of Chesapeake Bay, from Norfolk, Virginia, to Havre de Grace, Maryland. [1813 - no specific date listed]

And of course, this one from 1812:
June 18. U.S. declaration of war against England.