Thursday, October 31, 2013

Holding Cells For POWS

From Historic Pittsburgh:

....Waterford, Pa....the stockade fort built by Major Ebenezer Denny, in 1794, was later commanded by Lieutenant Martin, and was succeeded by a new blockhouse, built in 1797, which was used as a storehouse and place of imprisonment of prisoners during the War of 1812, and later was connected with other buildings and turned in to the 'Blockhouse Hotel.'"  [Source]

This source cited the hotel's name as Le Boeuf.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Pension of Russell Andrus

Major Index Pension List
War of 1812

ANDRUS, Russell and Zerviah  W.O. 20853

W.C. 11359
BLW 40713
40 acres 1850; 39704, 120 acres 1855
Captain [Jarvis] Crittenden
Enlisted 29 August 1814
Discharged: 29 September 1814
Residence of Widow:  1851, 1855, Sterling, Macomb Co., Michigan
"                    "    1878, Wahoo, Saunders Co., Nebraska
Maiden Name: Zerviah Pelton
Married: 7 April 1825, Middlebury, NY
Death Soldier: 10 September 1850, Sterling, Michigan
"  Widow: 3 August 1879  Cereso, Saunders Co., Nebraska

Went to Fort Erie as part of his service.  Russell Andrus's father was identified as Isaac Andrus here.

From "History of Macomb County, Michigan, containing ... biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men and early settlers: the whole preceded by a history of Michigan ..":
When I was a lad, between nine and ten years of age, my father, Abijah Owen, then living in the State of New York, Genesee Co., conceived the idea of emigrating to the West. Some of his townsmen, among whom were Calvin Davis, Elon and Russel Andrus, Joseph and Daniel Miller, Elder Abel Warren, and some others, had gone a year or two previous.  In the latter part of the month of June, 1825, he started with his family of five children and their mother for the far-famed territory of Michigan.

War of 1812 Claim of Widow for Service Pension (on Fold3):


Friday, October 25, 2013

Abram Butterfield's Application

 Abram Butterfield's War of 1812 pension application stated that he "volunteered on or about September 1st 1814 at Buffalo, New York, in Captain Daniel Buell's Company, of Colonel Ganson's Regiment, of New York Militia Vols, War of 1812; that one of my Lieutenants was Butler; that my General was Davis, who was killed at Fort Erie.

Excerpt of Document At Fold3, Page 31

Also mentioned in this application were Adam Richmond and David Richmond.

United States Census, 1850
Event Place: Cambridge, Lenawee, Michigan, United States
Household Gender Age Birthplace
Abraham Butterfield M 60 Massachusetts
Lenora Butterfield F 55 Massachusetts
Faber Perkins M 28 New York

Abram Butterfield in Lenawee County, Michigan, history.

Claim emanating from Gratiot County, Michigan.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Sketch Of Fort Harrison

Near present day Terre Haute, Indiana.


The Fort was to be a storehouse of supplies for the army and a protection in case of a defeat or disaster in the campaign. The site selected was the point nearest the Indian boundary that was suitable for a fort. It was on a sharp eastward bend of the river so that there was a good view both up and down stream. The gate was on the east. The fort was finished October 23, 1811. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fort Erie


"Marshall, in his article on the Niagara frontier, describes the post as located at some distance below the remains of the fort now standing. The part facing the river was built of stone surrounded by squared pickets, while the balance was stockaded. He says:


The fort's sole claim to importance consisted in its location upon the trail along the northern shore of Lake Erie and in the existence of the harbor and the trading place to which it afforded protection. At no time in its history was its possession of great strategical value either to the English or to the Americans. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Robert Lucas


"The War of 1812 found Lucas in his thirty-second year and a Brigadier General in the militia of a State [Ohio] which from its geographical position was sure to assume a prominent part in the coming hostilities."

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Embarked Near Point Pleasant (West) Virginia

On October 20, 1812, the western Virginia Brigade of Militia under command of General Joel Leftwich, embarked here for the Ohio frontier to join the Northwestern Army for service in the Second War with England.

See the General Leftwich post here.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Souvenirs From Two Wars At The Battle Of New Orleans

A Monument At The Battle Of New Orleans Site

And thus by ten o'clock, the British were masters of the western bank, although, owing to the want of available artillery, their triumph, for the moment, was a fruitless one. On one of the guns captured in General Morgan's lines the victors read this inscription: "Taken at the surrender of Yorktown, 1781." In a tent behind the lines they found the ensign of one of the Louisiana regiments, which still hangs in Whitehall, London, bearing these words: "Taken at the Battle of New Orleans, Jan. 8th, 1815." [Source]

Friday, October 18, 2013

Lyon's Creek

Josiah Snelling, Jr. ....early developed a military taste and became a distinguished officer in the United States Army taking a prominent part in the battles of Tippecanoe, Brownstown, and Lyon's Creek.

This snippet from the Historical Society of Wisconsin [Draper] gave us the name of Captain Snelling's commanding officer:
"Captain [Snelling]...distinguished in the affair at Lyon's Creek under Gen Bissell... ." 

The Great River Road website [St. Louis area] featured an article on the General Daniel Bissell house that included the following:

"With the onset of the War of 1812...Bissell was...given command of the 5th Infantry and in 1814 he given a brevet promotion to brigadier-general and assigned a brigade in Izard's Right Division at Plattsburgh. He commanded this brigade throughout 1814 and won a tactical draw at the small action fought at Lyon's Creek or Cooks' Mills, Canada, on October 19, 1814."


Canadian perspective:

"That the enemy does not intend to leave the frontier is evident from the events of this day 18th when a large force was reported to be moving up Black Creek in the direction of Cook's Mills on Lyon's Creek. Sent the Glengarry Light Infantry and seven companies of the 82nd and on being informed that the enemy had passed Cook's Mills, sent the remaining three companies of the 82nd and the 100th regiment with orders to Myers to feel the enemy closely which he shall attack if not too strong."

Drummond to Prevost 20th October. Report of the retreat of the force from Cook's Mills without destroying the mills which might have been done on public grounds. The commanding officer (Bissell) has been very cautious about burning or plundering, probably admonished by the retaliation at Washington and on the coast.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Embarked In Smuggling

The war of 1812 was not wholly popular with the inhabitants of the coast towns of Maine. The embargo Act of April 4, and the declaration of war against Great Britain by Congress June 18, 1812, brought matters to a head. The maritime interest could only see ruin and disaster ahead.

Many of our people went into privateering, others embarked in smuggling, or the importation of contraband goods. I am inclined to think that many United State soldiers would fight a British soldier, who would be very tender towards British goods. The State was full of British goods from St. Croix to Kittery. All kinds of schemes were invented to get them into Maine. It has been stated that both governments winked at the violation of the laws relating to goods contraband of war. [Source]

From the Press-Herald:

"A letter in Canada's national archives shows that Porter [who was engaged in "questionable" trade] openly tried to negotiate an illegal trade agreement with military officials in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He offered $50,000 as security if they would allow one of his privateers to bring flour, beef and pork to Canada and fake the "capture" of British goods to be brought to the United States."

'"I don't believe they ever answered him," Smith said.'

Privateers in a book review at this blog.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Mr. Fowler's Intelligence From Detroit

An extract of a letter from Urbanna, Ohio, to a gentleman in Baltimore, dated July 18, [probably 1812] was published in Niles' weekly register:

"Mr. Fowler, who is immediately from Detroit informs us that the army of General Hull met with a friendly reception from the Canadians at Sandwich; fifty of their militia joined our army on Sunday last...".

This blog included the above letter from the Niles Register.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fort Grey New Lewiston, New York

Battery Fort Grey mentioned in signage of the Battle of Queenstown Heights.

Funded by a donation from Scotia Bank Niagara Falls.  Image scanned by MES. (image/jpeg)
Source (Watercolor Of Battery Fort Grey)

Source: Congress

A Canadian account of the action at Fort Grey courtesy of William Hamilton Merritt:


Fort Grey mentioned in this blog post.

Monday, October 14, 2013

MacDonnell, Brock's Fallen Aide

John Macdonell according to Wikipedia:

"Lieutenant Colonel John Macdonell of Greenfield (19 April 1785 – 14 October 1812) was an aide-de-camp to British Major General Sir Isaac Brock during the War of 1812, dying in the Battle of Queenston Heights."

Source - Lt. Col. John Macdonnell

From The Documentary History of the Campaign Upon the Niagara Frontier ..:

A song was written about Lieutenant Colonel John Macdonell entitled Macdonell on the Heights (also on YouTube).

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Captures Of Vessels

The navy of the United States, from the commencement, 1775 to 1853:..., by George Foster Emmons, included Captures Of Vessels Of War By The U.S. Navy During The Last War With Great Britain (first page seen below):

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Requisition From Detroit From Capt. Rhea

Fort Wayne, October 12, 1811:


 I received your letter of the 21st Ult. respecting making a requisition the Comms. officer of Detroit for flints and cartridge paper. I enclose to you my Inspections and Monthly Returns for the garrison under my Command which I believe are correct.

1st Reg. Infry

Adj And Inspector Army

This letter was written pre-war as was this one.

Friday, October 11, 2013

A Still More Glorious Affair

The Mexican War And Its Heroes...

 In the following year [after being exchanged as a POW] General Winfield Scott was engaged in a still more glorious affair at Fort Grey [Lewiston, New York, opposite Queenston, Canada].

In the passage of the river, before taking this place, he led the van and rushed up the steep Canadian bank amid a shower of balls and drove the British into the woods. At the fort he tore down the flag with his own hands and afterward pursued the enemy until evening.

More from The Mexican War And Its Heroes:

General Winfield Scott and The Early Years Of General Winfield Scott.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Horseblock Point

From the Horseblock Point website:

"The name Horseblock Point arose from an incident which occurred during the war of 1812. Local history tells us that a group of horse thieves from New York State, which can be seen immediately across the river from the front of our property, landed here and proceeded into the surrounding countryside to steal horses."

"However, they were apprehended by the local militia and elements of the British Army on this point... ."


The Horseblock Point story was also featured in a newspaper article in the Gananoque Reporter.

There's also this:  Raid On Gananoque.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Avoiding A Duel

"Although Perry spoke very highly of Elliot in his official report and Congress decorated him, rumors of Elliot's animosity against his commander and observations from both British and United States experts that Elliot had not backed Perry's boldness as he should created a simmering controversy.  Various accusations and cross accusations in the press, including a defense by James Fenimore Cooper, resulted in Elliot challenging Perry to a duel and then facing a court-martial, a situation that the Cabinet desperately wished to avoid." [Source]

Indiana University has included a copy of Elliott's vindication as well as a brief summary of the feud between Perry and Elliot(t) :
Alexander Murray. Opinion of the Court of Inquiry on the conduct of Jesse Duncan Elliott in the Battle of Lake Erie. 1815. (copy)  A handwritten copy of the court opinion clearing Jesse Elliott of any wrong-doing in the Battle of Lake Erie.

This site has a cast copy of Captain Jesse Elliott's Tribute Medal to James Fenimore
Cooper (the Fenimore Art Museum also has a copy of the medal online).

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Request To Correct The Record? The Capture Of Detroit And Caledonia


Correspondence in relation to the capture of the British brigs Detroit and Caledonia, on the night of October 8, 1812. Now first published.

Main Author: Elliott, Jesse D. 1782-1845.
Other Authors: Towson, Nathan, 1784-1854.
Published: Philadelphia, United States book and job printing office, 1843.
Note: Controversy between Commodore Elliott and Gen. Towson.

From the correspondence below:  "...I cannot, after a lapse of nearly a quarter of a century, undertake, upon the evidence of a single and not uninterested witness, to alter an official report....".


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Portrait Of Tecumseh


See a blog post about Tecumseh's bones here.  Tippecanoe and Tecumseh, Too blog post here.  The Eluding Tecumseh post is here.

He died October 5, 1813.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Maj. Gardner Court Martial

The "Court martial : proceedings of a general court martial held at Fort Independence (Boston Harbor), for the trial of Major Charles K. Gardner of the Third Regiment Infantry, upon charges of misbehavior, cowardice in the fact of the enemy, &c. : preferred against him by Major General Ripley", convened on 4 October 1815 and included the following personnel:

Colonel M'NElL, President 

Lieut. Col. Eustis, Lieut. Col. Walbach, Major Harris. Major Brooks, Capt. McDowell, Capt. Manigault*,
Capt. Bennett, Capt. Craig.

Major Crane and Capt. Irvine, Supernumeraries. 
Lieut. James L. Edwards, of the Corps of Artillery, Judge Advocate.

By Order of General Ripley

*Captain Thornton, of the Light Artillery, will sit as a member of the Court Martial in lieu of Captain Manigault.

Major Gardner was charged with Charge 1: "Misbehavior in the face of the enemy," at Chippeway on July 5, 1814; at Lundy's Lane on 25 July 1814; and at Fort Erie on September 17, 1814.Charge 2 was Cowardice and Charge 3 was Neglect of Duty, Charge 4 was Conduct Unbecoming An Officer and a Gentleman.

[Another format here]

The description of the Charles Kitchell Gardner Papers (seen here) indicated that "He was found guilty of being disrespectful to a superior, but not guilty of cowardice or neglect of duty."

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Edward White Tupper

From the "Official letters of the military and naval officers of the United States, during the war with Great Britain in the years 1812, 13, 14, & 15..." (1823):

An excerpt of a letter written by *Edw. W. Tupper, Brigadier General:
Thus, sir, has terminated an expedition, at one time capable of tearing the British flag from the walls of Detroit, wherein our troops might have returned with the pleasing reflection of having rendered their country an essential service. [Source]

*He was Edward White Tupper of Marietta, Ohio, who was also a boat builder.  

Before the war, Edward W. Tupper submitted a deposition in an interesting case:


General Edward White Tupper died at Gallipolis in 1823.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Lieutenant Colonel James V. Ball

James V. Ball of Lieut. Col. Ball's Squadron Light Dragoons, U.S. Volunteers, War of 1812 (as viewed at Fold3):



From the Book and Journal of Robt. B. McAfee's Mounted Company...:

"[1813] July 3rd--Warm--After Breakfast Gen'l Harrison started to Cleveland with Ball's squadron and in the evening my company came up and the greater part of the Regiment of Mounted men and campt in the flatt near Sanudsky River south of the fort."

McAfee's Orderly Book was featured on this blog post.

The story of Fort Ball, named after Colonel James V. Ball here.