Sunday, September 29, 2013

David Thomson And Notes From The Show Me State

Search results for the term "1812" in the State Historical Society of Missouri and the Berry-Thomson-Walker Family papers here.

From the Berry-Thomson-Walker Collection: "Printed biography of David Thomson, Kentucky state senator, who was engaged for a time in transportation of goods on the Mississippi River and tributaries and was commissioned a general when he fought with Richard M. Johnson in the War of 1812. The work mentions slaves, milling, Richard M. Johnson, and family genealogy."

The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society included a biography of David Thomson here.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Hang On Sloop Of War "Gen. Pike"

A Scene On Lake Ontario

U.S. Sloop Of War "Gen. Pike," Commodore Chauncey 
British Sloop Of War "Wolfe," Sir James Yeo 
Preparing For Action 
September 28th, 1813

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Lieutenant Burrows

William Burrows was born at Kenderton, near Philadelphia, on the sixth day of October, in the year 1785.   His father [William Ward Burrows of South Carolina], then in possession of a large property, did not wish to confine the genius of his son to any particular pursuit, apprehending that the paternal estate would be amply sufficient to his support in the style and character of a gentleman.

....he [William Burrows' father] accordingly seconded his application to the secretary of the navy for an office and Burrows was appointed a midshipman in November 1799. 

Shortly after his exchange [the ship he was on was captured], lieutenant Burrows was ordered by government to repair to Portsmouth New Hampshire, and to take the command of the United States' sloop of war Enterprise, then in a state of readiness for sea. His mind was still sore with a sense of his unredressed grievance, on the subject of his rank. But the prospect of active service gratified his master passion, the love of glory, which suspended, for a season, all other considerations. He declared, to an intimate friend, that he would serve during the war, and that he would then dash his commission in the fire. SourceThe Port Folio

Lieutenant Burrows died during the battle of the Boxer and the Enterprise.  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

William James, Naval Historian

The Index for the Naval history of Great Britain - Vol. VI by William James can be found here.  Volume VI deals with the War of 1812.  

Monday, September 23, 2013

Michigan Territory In Canadian Hands

Michigan Territory Was Larger Than The Current State of Michigan

Journal of Events....principally on the Detroit and Niagara Captain W. H. Merritt... .

"The Michigan Territory was in our hands. A great number of the Western Indians had reinforced Col. Proctor who was secure from any attack at that time." 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

General Harrison's Army Crosses Lake Erie

He had plans to cross on September 23, 1813 (see letter excerpted below).
From Indiana History's images:

A letter from General Harrison to Secretary of War Armstrong dated September 22, 1813, from Bass Island [in Lake Erie] indicated that:

"The greater part of the troops are here with me and the whole will I believe be up by twelve oclock.  I shall proceed as far as the middle sister up the course of tonight & tomorrow& in the following night get or near the enemies coast as to land two or three miles below Malden by eight o'clock in the morning... ."

See a map of General Harrison's troop movements.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Raid On Gananoque

From Wikipedia: "On September 21, 1812, during the War of 1812, a United States force of some 200 regulars and militia under Captain Benjamin Forsyth attacked Gananoque, Ontario. The village was an important forwarding point for supplies moving up the St. Lawrence River from Montreal to Kingston ... ."

The War of 1812 website, "A Tranquil River No More: The Raid on Gananoque 1812," by Robert Henderson has two interesting drawings of the area included in the narrative (excerpted below):
"It had been a surprisingly long journey from Sackets Harbor on Lake Ontario... .  Avoiding open water would have been a necessity.   If they happened upon one of the many British gunboats patrolling the river, they would have to quickly land and take cover on one of the islands.  Stories of British Indian allies lurking behind every tree likely played on their imagination as the forest made eerie shadows on the dark waters of the St. Lawrence."

See the YouTube version of The Raid on Gananoque (picture above from YouTube).

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Harrison Trail

Source: Harrison Trail Gateway

"...General William Henry Harrison was encamped with a considerable army at Camp Seneca, a few miles south of here, having come so far on his way to meet the British forces that were occupying the western end of Lake Erie. While Harrison paused at Fort Seneca where he could keep in communication with the forces that were gathering at some distance upon his right and left flank, Major Croghan won his famous victory over the British forces at Fort Stephenson... ."

"Long lines of well armed infantry and splendidly mounted cavalry with their accompanying artillery and baggage wagons moved along this trail, passed through the area occupied by this gateway and over the hill beyond on its way to old Fort Sandoski and across Lake Erie to the brilliant victory of the Thames."

"Between the Harrison and Buckland entrances runs the Harrison Trail, an old deeply trodden military road preserved as the principal driveway of Spiegel Grove [the home of President Rutherford B. Hayes]."  [Source]

See this blog post regarding Harrison's Trace.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Some Events In The Life Of General Daniel Bissell

He was promoted to colonel in the Fifth Regiment and distinguished himself at Lyon's Creek (Cook's Mill).

After the war Daniel Bissell, then of Missouri, was nominated to be colonel of the second regiment of artillery:


A court martial.

Monday, September 16, 2013

On The Road

Originally posted at Detour Through History on April 13, 2011:

On The Road In The War Of 1812

"Downriver War of 1812 trail gets its due...".

"As far as (Daniel) Harrison was able to learn, the section of more than 600 logs was the only surviving remnant of Hull's Trace, a 200-mile road named for Gen. William Hull, who oversaw 2,300 U.S. troops who built the rudimentary road to supply food, weapons and other goods to Michigan. An inland route was crucial because the British military controlled Great Lakes shipping, Harrison said."  (Source: Detroit Free Press published April 11, 2001)

portion of "Hull's Trace" (North Huron River Corduroy Segment) was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Mr. Harrison's efforts were largely responsible for the recognition it has now received, according to the Free Press article.

 Jim's Photo Of An Historic Plaque In Ohio

 Major troop movements in the War of 1812 are shown on the plaque above, including those who marched on "Hull's Trace."

From a State of Michigan news release dated January 3, 201, celebrating the National Register of Historic Places:

Hull’s Trace North Huron River Corduroy Segment, W. Jefferson Ave. just north of Huron River, Brownstown Township, Wayne County Hull’s Trace is a corduroy road segment beneath Jefferson Avenue just north of the Huron River. The road segment is a remnant – the only one thus far identified – of “Hull’s Trace” or Road, a 200-mile long military road hastily built during the summer of 1812 by troops under the command of American General William Hull to convey his army with its military supplies from southwestern Ohio north to Detroit. The segment of road, built by Hull’s forces in late June or early July 1812, played a role in major events in the War of 1812 in the Old Northwest. It carried Hull’s supply wagons on their way to Detroit on July 4, 1812. It likely carried the British force that defeated the Americans in the second Battle of Frenchtown on January 22, 1813, from and back to Fort Malden. The road also likely carried Lt. Col. James Johnson’s force of mounted Kentucky riflemen, with their baggage wagons and artillery, on their way from Fort Meigs in Ohio to Detroit in late September 1813 to support Gen. William Henry Harrison’s attack on the British in western Ontario in the wake of Commodore Oliver H. Perry’s defeat of the British fleet controlling Lake Erie on September 10.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Hyder-Ally Privateers

From Maine Stories:

"The Hyder Ally was built in Portland by shipwright Samuel Fickett at a dock near the foot of Park Street."

"The Hyder Ally's keel was laid before the war was declared. There just was no market for ships in these times, but "Fickett concluded to finish her and trust to luck for a purchaser." Times were tough; Maine was devastated by the Embargo and Non-Intercourse acts. Few, if any shipbuilders, were laying keels. Any investment that Fickett had in the hull which became the Hyder Ally was rescued just as times began to change, and there was some resurgence in a market looking for privateers."


From Portland In The Past:

The ship Hyder Ally...was not especially built for a privateer but was constructed to carry a battery, as no vessel was then safe on the high seas without one. Her register at the Custom House says she was of three hundred and sixty-seven tons. She was built for speed as most vessels of her time were; drogers were sure to be picked up by the armed vessels of some nation, and during Napoleon Bonaparte's time, it was hard to comply with the restrictions of all the belligerents.
The captain of the ship was Israel Thorndike of Beverly; first lieutenant, Henry Oxnard of Portland; second and third officers, Perry of Salem, and Noah Edgecomb, a rigger of Portland. The ship carried a crew of fifty men, among them Alexander Paine, Aaron Jordan, John Raynor, and others of Portland. 

The Hyder Ally eventually became the prize of the Owen Glendower.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

John Anderson, West Point Graduate

John Anderson "served in the War of 1812 at Detroit and was made prisoner when Hull surrendered."

"He [Anderson] made an exploring trip into the northwestern and western country soon after and in 1815-16 surveyed Lake Champlain. In 1817 he was engaged in constructing the military road from Detroit to the Maumee River. In 1818 he was in Washington D. C. when it was reported that he had died. This was later denied and on August 21, 1818, he married Julia Ann Taylor, a Quakeress of that city. They returned to Detroit in September, and in 1819 he surveyed Grosse Isle. They lived where the old Mariners' Church now stands. Major Anderson took an interest in the affairs of the town and was very much liked."

"He died September 14, 1834, at Detroit, Mich., aged 59 years. His widow, Julia Ann Taylor Anderson, died October 29, 1842, leaving her property in trust for a church, the Mariners' Church, at the death of her sister Charlotte Thomas Anderson, of Potsdam, St. Lawrence County, NY, and E. Rood of Detroit were among the heirs of John Anderson."  From the Governor and judges journal: proceedings of the Land board of Detroit

Register of West Point Graduates
26 JUSTUS POST. Died, March 14, 1846, at Caledonia, Ill, aged 65.
27 SATERLEE CLARK. Died, 1848, Washington, D. C.
28 JOHN ANDERSON. Died, Sept. 14, 1834, at Detroit, Mich.
29 SAMUEL CHAMPLIN. Died, Feb. 10, 1863, Charleston, S. C.
30 SAMUEL NOAH. Near Mt. Pulaski, Ill.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Attack Upon Fort McHenry


The approach to Baltimore by water was guarded by Fort McHenry by obstructions sunk in the channel of the river and by two heavily constructed batteries between Fort McHenry and the city.

Here however the British met with an unexpected repulse. The bombardment of Fort McHenry began at sunrise, on the 13th [September], and continued throughout that day and the succeeding night, though without reducing the fortress. Under cover of the darkness, several rocket vessels and barges ascended past Fort McHenry, but being detected were received with a heavy cannonade. [Source]

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rodger's Bastion, Baltimore

From the Friends Of Patterson Park website:

On Hampstead Hill, the ridge where the Pagoda now stands, Baltimoreans rallied on September 12, 1814 to protect the city from the threat of a British invasion. By water, British troops entered the Patapsco River and bombarded Fort McHenry. By land, they amassed forces at North Point. As they marched on to Baltimore and looked up to Hampstead Hill they saw Rodger’s Bastion – including 100 cannons and 20,000 troops. This sight led the British to return to their ships and leave the Port of Baltimore.

This blog has a nice map on the post entitled "The British Route from Washington to Baltimore in 1814," including Hampstead Hill.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Victory On September 11th

Source (Battle Of Plattsburgh Illustration, Page 60)

From Historic Lakes, The Battle of Plattsburghin four parts, culminating in victory on September 11, 1814.

See The Battle of Lake Champlain on Facebook, too.

On September 11, 2012, there was an article in the Press Republican [Plattsburgh, New York] entitled, "In My Opinion: Battle of Plattsburgh was pivotal."

The Naval History blog has a post entitled Unsung Heroes of the Battle of Lake Champlain.

Champlain 1812's history of the battle included an overview and a timeline.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Brevet Commissions

A list of officers in the army of the United States who hold brevet commissions for gallant conduct in battle, and for other causes, from American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and ..., Part 5, Volume 2, by United States. Congress:

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Man Who Would Be Quartermaster For Canada

The life of Robert Nichol (1774 - 1824) from the Ontario [Canada] Historical Society:

"The first record I have found of his life in Canada, is contained in a certificate over his signature, dated at Amherstburg on January 21, 1798, in which he states that he had been employed by Mr. Askin, a British merchant of Detroit and had transacted all his mercantile 'business at Amherstburg...".  

Was it his business acumen learned from working with Mr. Askin and elsewhere that proved invaluable in the eyes of Sir Isaac Brock?

"He [Brock] sent for Nichol...and offered him the important and responsible office of Quartermaster-General of the Militia. This would involve the entire organization of a new department, charged with all the duties of supply and transport for a considerable body of men suddenly called into service, for whose equipment, subsistence, quarters, and movements, no previous arrangements of any kind had yet been made. Everything must be improvised. Nichol said that at first he refused to accept this appointment on the ground that his private business would be neglected and ruined... . Brock insisted on his acceptance, saying that Nichol was the only person in the province whom he considered fit for the office... ."

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Enterprise And The Boxer

On September 5, 1813....

Source was believed in Halifax that thereafter his Majesty's ships were to have as easy a time with ours as they had had with the French previous years. So the Boxer, a brig about the size of the Enterprise, fitted out to go in search of the Yankee coast-guard.

As the Enterprise was then really running from the Boxer, the Yankee crew thought Burrows intended to avoid fighting. This so greatly disgusted them that they asked Midshipman John H. Aulick to tell the captain they wanted to fight. The midshipman, as in duty bound, reported this to the first lieutenant, Edward R. McCall, who promptly assured them that they should have the fight they wanted at the proper time. And they had it.

The time came at 3:20 when with both crews cheering the Boxer ranged up within a few yards of the Enterprise--no farther away than from sidewalk to sidewalk of a narrow city street--and the firing began. 

Few fiercer fights with such forces have been described in history; but bad as the Enterprise now was as a sailer the Boxer was worse... . [Source]

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Perry's Opportune Moment

Put-in-bay, an Ohio island in Lake Erie

Small as these vessels were, it was necessary to remove the guns from the larger ones before they would pass over Erie Bar, which lay outside Erie Harbor. The existence of this bar made it possible for the British fleet, which was blockading Erie, to pen up Perry's forces and render them useless. Fortunately, at an opportune moment, the British commander relaxed the blockade, and Perry was able to reach the open lake.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Battle Of Hampden

The Battle of Hampden took place in present-day Maine on September 3, 1814.  Gen. John Blake (a Cleveland descendant as am I) participated in the battle.

The Canadian perspective of the battle from The Canadian war of 1812, by Sir Charles Prestwood Lucas:

At daybreak on the 3rd the artillery was landed... .  It was a foggy morning, and the American position could not be reconnoitred until the skirmishers were actually engaged.

It was then found that the Americans were drawn up in line in front of and covering Hampden, their left resting on a high hill the guns which commanded both the road and the river; their right also on high ground outflanking the British line with guns posted so as to command a bridge over which the attack force would be obliged to advance.

Notwithstanding the strength of the position there was little fighting. The American right furthest removed from the river was first carried and soon the Americans fell back at all points before the regulars charging on land and the gunboats firing on the river.

The British forces followed on land and water, and at Bangor there was an unconditional surrender, the militia becoming civilians again and the officer in command taking his parole.

Note:  The battle did not go well for General Blake.  Can you say "court martial?"  He was acquitted, though.