Saturday, November 30, 2013

Soldiers Buried At Thames Battlefield

From The battle of the Thames: in which Kentuckians defeated the British, French ...:

Mound of Battlefield of the Thames where the dead soldiers were buried.

An article, from a Chatham, Ontario, newspaper, added this:

"....those who fell in battle were either left on the field for locals to deal with, or hastily buried by their comrades.  Such was the fate of Privates [William] Hardwick and Foster Bartlett.  ...the fact is, they are here, somewhere. Even more startling than that fact though, is the realization that they're not alone. ...not just...the Americans, who were the victors of the battle. The remains of British soldiers and their Indian allies no doubt also lie beneath Chatham-Kent soil, unmarked. Nobody knows exactly how many people died in battle that day, but it looks like between 38 and 78 casualties were recorded altogether."

The Kentucky Guard blog mentioned William Hardwick and Foster Bartlett and the search for their burial sites.  Even DNA is requested via Facebook in Henry County, Kentucky, for Bartlett relatives!

Friday, November 29, 2013

John Ellis Wool


From the National Park Service:

His [John Ellis Wool's] military career spanned more than 50 years, beginning when he organized a volunteer brigade in 1812 and became the Captain of the Thirteenth United States Infantry

There are John Ellis Wool Papers at the New York State Library.  A bio was also provided:

"When the War of 1812 broke out, he raised and headed a company of volunteers in Troy, and on 14 April 1812, he was commissioned a captain in the 13th Infantry. His troops were engaged in action at the battles of Queenstown and Plattsburgh. In between the battles he was promoted to a major in the 29th Infantry on 13 April 1813, and, afterwards, was brevetted a lieutenant colonel on 11 September 1814. He was made colonel and inspector general of the Army on 29 April 1816 and maintained this grade for more than a quarter of a century."

Major General Wool was buried in Oakwood Cemetery.  He died 10 November 1869.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Fort Mifflin

My presumed ancestor, William Hinds, died near Fort Mifflin on June 25, 1813.

Source [On Mud Island - Map Depicting Revolutionary War era]

Mifflin: The Fort That Saved America, by Andrew M. Coker, was featured here.  Excerpts below:

"After Jefferson was elected, he decreased the funding from $15,000 dollars in the year of 1800, to $1,000 dollars in 1801. Since the nation’s capital had moved from Philadelphia to Washington D.C. the year before, officials no longer saw the importance of Fort Mifflin."

"As a precautionary protection measure for Philadelphia in the War of 1812, Fort Mifflin was once again actively manned. Captain James Nelson Barker was appointed commander of the fort on July 16, 1812. Although the fort was prepared to defend Philadelphia, it saw no action during the War of 1812."

From The Story Of Philadelphia:

Meanwhile there was a good deal of nervousness at Philadelphia which was practically unprotected. Colonel Izard and Lieutenant Colonel Winfield Scott had taken the bulk of the Fort Mifflin troops with them to fight in Canada and the West. There were, in fact, only fourteen invalided soldiers in the fort.

A Fraternity Formed in the War of 1812 Era....Fort Mifflin and the Society of Red Men:

"...does conclusively prove the existence of a Society of Red Men at Fort Mifflin during the war of 1812."

Source: Another Revolutionary War era map [Fort Mifflin Played A Part In That War] 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Charlottesville Hospital

Just on the outskirts of the town (Charlottesville, Ontario, Canada) a rough frame building was erected in 1813 for a hospital.  This was put up during the cholera epidemic of that year.  From Ontario History

Canada's Fort Norfolk was also in Charlottesville.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Lt. Col. George McFeeley

Lieutenant Colonel George McFeeley was the commanding officer at Fort Niagara, War of 1812, and issued the following report [excerpted below] to General Alexander Smyth as found in 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 : with some additional letters and documents elucidating the history of that period .

Fort Niagara, November 25th, 1812.


I beg leave to inform you that on the morning of the 21st instant, at 5 o'clock, a heavy connonading opened upon this garrison from all the batteries at, and in the neighbourhood of Fort George, which lasted, without intermission, until after sun-down. The garrison was not as well provided with artillery and ammunition as I could have wished; however, the batteries opened a tremendous fire upon them in return, with hot shot, admirably well directed.

An instance of extraordinary bravery in a female (the wife of one Doyle, a private of the United States' artillery, made a prisoner at Queenstown) I cannot pass over.  See related Doyle post.

Only two of the above men were killed by the enemy's shot, the rest by the bursting of a 12 pounder in the south-east block house, and by the spunges of the guns on the north block house, and at the salt battery.


Below, date line Carlisle 24th March 1812, is McFeeley's acknowledgment of his appointment as lieutenant-colonel (from Fold3).

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Battle Of Wild Cat Creek

What Wikipedia has to say about the Battle of Wild Cat Creek.

A recent newspaper account:

"The Indians ran into a ravine. The Americans followed, unaware that it was a trap. Over a hundred Indians opened fire on the militia. The militia spurred their horses to retreat, thus the nick-name of Spur’s Defeat. Eighteen men were lost within 2 minutes."

Friday, November 22, 2013

Correspondence: Major Armistead To General Smyth....


...regarding being engaged at Fort Niagara during its bombardment Nov. 21, 1812:

Major Armistead to Brigadier General Smyth
Lewistown November 22, 1812


I left Niagara with the intention of seeing you, but finding my horse not able to proceed, I have declined going.  My business was to get, if possible, some ammunition for the garrison, as we nearly expended all we had yesterday, and which did the enemy great damage--destroyed one of their best buildings, and did the town considerable damage; sunk a schooner that was sent out of Genesee river, and dismounted several of their guns.

...but my greatest concern is, the want of provisions, which, if not supplied, we will inevitably have to evacuate the post.

I am sir, your obedient servant, W.K. ARMISTEAD

The engagement was also noted for the bravery of Mrs. Doyle (see more about her here and here).

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Extracts Of The Journal Of Peter Davis

Peter Davis, the author of this Journal, was born at Shrewsbury, New Jersey, September 16, 1783, and came with his parents to the vicinity of the town of Salem, Harrison county, West Virginia, when but six years of age.  Here he grew to manhood and served with the Harrison County troops in the Western Virginia Brigade, with the Northwestern Army in 1812-13.  On is return from the war he settled on Middle Island Creek, about four miles below West Union, now in Doddridge county, West Virginia, but later removed to "Westfield" in Lewis county.  He was for many years a devoted minister of the Seventh Day Baptist Church. He died March 4, 1873, aged ninety years.

Ohio River

October 20, 1812--"Brigade crossed the Ohio river...."

October 21, 1812--"Encamped at Gallipolis."

October 23, 1812--"Encamped on Big Racoon Creek, at the sign of the "White Horse."

October 25, 1812--"The Brigade arrived at the Scioto Salt Works."

October 26, 1812--"Marched down Salt Creek.... ."

October 27, 1812--"...encamped on the edge of town of Chillicothe."

October 31, 1812--"Struck the tents; waded the Scotia river on a cold, blustering morning; marched fifteen miles, and encamped on the Pickaway Plains."

November 1, 1812--"Marched through the Plains; at a distance of four miles, passed a small town called Jefferson; three miles further, passed through Circleville; proceeded twenty miles this day, and encamped on a large creek."  Source

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Overcoming The Odds

A scholastic paper by Major Joseph D. Davidson:


"With victory in Europe behind them, the British could begin diverting battle proven troops, and supplies to North America. This policy perhaps had the potential to change the complexion of the war to heavily favor the British in numbers of experienced and battle hardened troops."

An earlier post delineated nine districts; the tenth was the Washington, D.C., area.

Monday, November 18, 2013


From A Map At Horseshoe Bend NP

A day or two later [after the Battle of Talladega] the people of Hillabee town about the site of the present village of that name in Clay county, Alabama, sent messengers to Jackson's camp to ask for peace which that commander immediately granted. In the meantime, even while the peace messengers were on their way home with the good news, an army of one thousand men from east Tennessee under General White, who claimed to be independent of Jackson's authority, together with four hundred Cherokee under Colonel Gideon Morgan and John Lowrey, surrounded the town on November 18, 1813, taking it by surprise, the inhabitants having trusted so confidently to the success of their peace embassy that they had made no preparation for defense. Sixty warriors were killed and over two hundred and fifty prisoners taken with no loss to the Americans, as there was practically no resistance.   [Source]

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Coming Attack On Fort Wayne

The gist of General Harrison's letter from The Pictorial History of Fort Wayne, Indiana: A Review of Two ..., Volume 1


"Writing from Piqua on the 5th of September, Harrison pictured conditions to the secretary of war. Said he:
'I received information last night that a British army left Detroit on the 13th ultimo for the purpose of attacking Fort Wayne and, if successful, Fort Harrison [near Terre Haute] and Vincennes.'" 

See Siege From Darnell's Journal.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Mahlon Burwell, His Capture And His Map

The colonization survey of the Talbot Road was made by Mahlon Burwell, a resident of Dunwich, who lived...near the home of Col. Thos. Talbot. Burwell surveyed from the Niagara to the Detroit. 

He made a map and plan of Malden in time to give Gen. Proctor when on his way to Ft. Malden during that war. Letters to surveyors, Generals and other officials show he was at Niagara 1812-1813. In 1814 a small body of American soldiers ravaged the Pt. Talbot settlement, and Mahlon Burwell was carried off a prisoner.  [Source]

See more about Mahlon Burwell's capture at the Elgin Historical Society's website.  

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Southerland Mayfield's Abstracted Pension File

Abstracts of pensions: soldiers of the Revolution, 1812 and Indian wars who settled the Blue Grass region of Kentucky ([n.d.]), by Lucy Kate McGee


Mayfield, Southerland
Private   Amelia
Private  Captain C. H. Holder Company
17th U.S. Infantry and Captain Robert Edwards
Kentucky Militia
War of 1812  O.W. 23795
W.C. 22380 - Old War Invalid File 25646

"The above named soldier lost one foot during the War of 1812 to the heel and all of his toes on the other foot, signed -- Dr. John H. Wood and Dr. S. Willis"

The soldier participated in the Battle of The River Raisin.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Battle Of Nanticoke Creek

The Western Corridor 1812 website related the story of the Battle of Nanticoke Creek in Canada.


On a page at the Norfolk Militia (Heritage Regiment) at (at the Upper Canadian Heritage), Filming At Backus, included the following:  "Although this skirmish at Nanticoke was small it did bolster the morale of the people of the district at what must have been a bleak time for them."

The Nanticoke Generating Station was built upon the site of the Battle of Nanticoke Creek (skirmish).

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Captain William Griffith

From The Pictorial History of Fort Wayne, Indiana: A Review of Two ..., Volume 1:

"...Quartermaster Sergeant (later Captain) William Griffith, one of the survivors of the Fort Dearborn massacre... ."

"Detroit was surrendered the day before the Chicago Massacre took place. As soon as information of the tragedy reached Detroit, Judge Woodward appealed to Colonel Proctor in behalf of the prisoners and possible survivors of the Massacre at Fort Dearborn. The information given by Judge Woodward in this letter to Colonel Proctor probably came from William Griffith, a survivor who had reached Detroit." [Source]

"...William Griffith, afterward a captain of General Harrison's spies. He joined Harrison's army after his escape to Michigan, was placed in command of the spies, and received two wounds in the skirmish at the Moravian towns a few days before the battle of the Thames, but participated also in the latter engagement."

"He was the son of William Griffith, Sr., a farmer of Welsh descent whose home was near the present site of Geneseo, NY. His sister, Mrs. Alexander Ewing, removed with her husband to Michigan in 1802 and thence to Piqua Ohio in 1807 from which place William Griffith probably came to Chicago. He died in 1824, leaving two sons and a daughter and was buried near old Fort Meigs, Ohio." [Source]

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Mississippi Territory


"....the Mississippi Territory in the War of 1812, accompanied by a complete roster of the soldiers of the young Territory which, only fourteen years before, had been released from Spanish rule."

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Input Of Baron De Gaugreben

The Canadian Historical Review published a portion of the memoirs of Baron De Gaugreben (Captain, King's Royal German Engineers also known as the King's German Legion), who entered service with the British in 1811, and served in Canada 1812-1815, entitled The Defence Of Upper Canada, dated 10 November 1815 (excerpt below):

Experience has proved that a regular cordon of strong places properly distributed on the frontiers, was the surest expedient of preserving a country from all hostiles schemes.  For these most important points are preserved by a few of our troops, in order to enable our whole force to collect in time, with a view to take advantage of any favorable moment.  But this requires discernment, presence of mind at the time of danger, activity perseverance, and intrepidity in the Commanding Officer.  Is this the case, the fortified places will admirably support the Operations of an Army against an Enemy superior in numbers, and the Engineer Officers will then be highly esteemed, admired and supported.  Therefore I conclude with the following motto:
No Genius, no Honor.)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

1812 Letter Written At Fort Harrison

From Indiana History:

Zachary Taylor, Fort Harrison, Indiana Territory, to General James Taylor, Newport, Kentucky

General James Taylor and Zachary Taylor were cousins.  Per Wikipedia:
"Gen. James Taylor Jr. was Quartermaster General and paymaster of the Northwestern Army during the War of 1812, thus Newport became a vital center for war supplies."

Papers of General James Taylor are held at the Kentucky Historical Society.

Jackson's Campaign In Alabama

General Jackson's Campaign
(Seen At Horseshoe Bend NP)

The next great battle was at Talladega [after Tallaseehatchee], on the site of the present town of the same name in Talladega county, Alabama, on November 9, 1813.  Jackson commanded in person with two thousand infantry and cavalry. Although the Cherokee are not specifically mentioned they were a part of the army and must have taken part in the engagement.   [Source]

Thursday, November 7, 2013

From The Whittlesey Papers....

General Simon Perkins to General Wadsworth....

Camp at Huron
 Sept. 8, 1812

...there is or was last night at Sandusky, a number of Indians and British who have burned the public store. The spies saw the enemy and fire, but could not determine their numbers. My present arrangements are to march my whole force to Pipe Creek, except one company...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

When America Came Into Her Own

Thus closed a war in which little was nominally gained, but much in reality. By it, indeed, the United States consummated their independence, which hitherto, so far as regarded England at least, had not fully existed. In other words, the war of 1812, freed the popular mind in America, from a sort of provincial reverence for Great Britain. It also removed that dread of her military prowess which had descended from the revolutionary epoch, but which was wholly unbecoming a nation so vigorous as the United States had since become. It is not too much to say that the military spirit of the Republic, which has since shone with such brilliancy, had its birth in the war of 1812.

The early misfortunes of the war, considered in this light, were not without benefits. They forced the nation to put forth its whole strength, and thus developed a capacity, of the existence of which, even she had been ignorant. From that hour the United States took a prouder stand among the nations of the earth. From that hour her flag was respected. Source

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Major Larrabee

General Harrison At Tippecanoe 

"Major Charles Larrabee commanded a company under General Harrison at Tippecanoe, receiving his commander's special notice for his good service in that notable engagement with the Indians...

Bullets Embedded At Brownstown 

...and at the battle of Brownstown, in August, 1812, he lost an arm while managing the artillery." [Source]

Description of a letter written by Major Larrabee's wife in the inventory at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Political Attack On Sir George Prevost

The Letters Of Veritas, .... (thought to be written by Major John Richardson*):

*Relentlessly, the English party in the province kept up its attacks. Samuel Gale and “Veritas” each printed a malevolent series of letters in the Montreal Herald and subsequently published them as pamphlets. A diligent investigation ensued to unmask “Veritas.” John Richardson, a Montreal merchant and executive councillor, has been suspected, but the author was Solicitor General Stephen Sewell, Jonathan’s brother, whom Prevost suspended for his involvement in the campaign against him. [Source]

Sunday, November 3, 2013

General Coffee At Tallaseehatchee

General Coffee's Portrait At Pope Tavern

As the army advanced down the Coosa the Creeks retired to Tallaseehatchee, on the creek of the same name, near the present Jacksonville, Calhoun county, Alabama. One thousand men under General Coffee, together with a company of Cherokee under Captain Richard Brown and some few Creeks, were sent against them. The Indian auxiliaries wore headdresses of white feathers and deertails. The attack was made at daybreak of November 3, 1813, and the town was taken after a desperate resistance, from which not one of the defenders escaped alive, the Creeks having been completely surrounded on all sides. [Source]

The blog, Blue Alabama, has additional details.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

General Ripley's Testimony...

...regarding the preliminary activities to the Battle of Crysler's Farm, from Memoirs of my own times, Volume 3,  By [General] James Wilkinson.

"That in September and October 1813 he [Eleazar W. Ripley] was colonel of the 21st regiment of infantry, stationed at Sackett's Harbour, and left that place on the 16th of October, to accompany the expedition, down the St Lawrence. Previous to this, he thinks, there had been no embarkation of his regiment; but a battalion of the 11th regiment of infantry, attached to his command, under Lieutenant-colonel Upham, had embarked a few days before, whether for the purpose, of proceeding on the expedition, or simply to change position, he cannot tell. They landed about a mile from their former position and encamped."

Due to "a sudden squall, many of his boats were dispersed and driven ashore, and three or four days elapsed before they reached Grenadier Island. ...they arrived at French Creek about the 2d or 3d of November.  Whether there was any unnecessary delay, at Sackett's Harbour, he could not answer without knowing the state, of the several staff departments of the army. But there was no delay at Grenadier Island, for which a commanding general could be accountable, owing to the variable and tempestuous state of the weather."

Friday, November 1, 2013

Portrait of Stephen Van Rensselaer


From The War of 1812 website:

"Despite being an anti-war Federalist, a political rival publicly suggested that Van Rensselaer be named a major general in the New York militia. Van Rensselaer knew his reputation would be at stake if he refused, and so he reluctantly became the leader of over six thousand men that were expected to conduct a successful invasion of Canada. Luckily, he had a family ally who was also a capable commander; his cousin, Solomon Van Rensselaer."

From the Historic Lewiston website:

"Why the Americans Lost the Battle of Queenston, in the words of the losing American Major General, Stephen Van Rensselaer written the day after the historic War of 1812 battle [to General Dearborn]."  Apparently it was a career-ending loss for General Stephen Van Rensselaer.