Sunday, August 31, 2014

10th Regiment Muster Roll

A muster roll of a company of infantry under the command of Captain Eml J. Leigh, of the 10th Reg't in the service of the U.S. commanded by Colonel James Wilborn from the 30th June 1813 when last mustered to the 31st day of August 1813 (part of document below):

Source - Fold3

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Fort Mims

The removal of the Cherokee Indians from Georgia, Volume 1  by Wilson Lumpkin:

Indeed, while I was yet in the wilderness I heard of the death of Arthur Lot(t) and his son murdered by the Creek Indians in the path which I had but recently traveled.  And before or just after my return home I heard of the massacre of the inmates of Fort Mims near the junction of Alabama and Tombigbee rivers, a place where I had spent several days to recruit my stock of provisions.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Charles Gratiot Delivers


The beginning of Gratiot's War of 1812 experiences:

The day after his hearing of the Declaration of War against Great Britain, Captain Gratiot, being then at St. Louis visiting his parents during his leave of absence, immediately proceeded to Washington to ask for active service; and was at once appointed Chief Engineer of the North Western Army, with orders to stop en route at Pittsburg to aid in the preparation of ordnance and ordnance stores for General Harrison's forces then in the field. Not till November 1812, could Captain Gratiot and his escort of 300 men move, with the heavy train of twelve pieces of artillery and two hundred loaded vehicles, to Lower Sandusky through an almost trackless wilderness where a wheel had never rolled. After persistently overcoming winter's cold bad roads want of forage and numerous other difficulties, he delivered, January 5, 1813, his whole charge without even the loss of a bullet, to the Commander-in-Chief, who, soon after Winchester's defeat, directed Gratiot to join him without delay at Maumee Rapids. 

Details about the Gratiot family tree can be found here.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Capt. Peter Merrill's Company

From the Old Times In North Yarmouth book:

It is valuable to the historian in showing who were the able bodied men liable for military duty. I found this roll in a book in Washington where it had been forwarded as evidence in the claims for pensions in the War of 1812. It was kept in good business style, by Robert Anderson, and contained the record for a number of years after the date of the roll.

Partial roll of Capt. Peter Merrill's Company of Foot, Aug. 28, 1804:

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sunday, August 24, 2014



Campaigns of the war of 1812-15:

Bladensburg, which has given its name to the disgraceful action fought August 24, 1814, is a small village on the left bank of the Eastern Branch of the Potomac River, connected by a bridge (about 100 feet long) with the right bank, upon which in hot haste our army was drawn up in three nearly straight lines, none of which were flanked or protected by a cross-fire of our 26 pieces, mostly light artillery. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

After The Treaty Of Paris

Source - Map Ca 1784


"By the Treaty of Paris, in 1783, Great Britain recognized the independence of her American colonies. But she gave them up reluctantly, and soon proved that she would yield no more than she was compelled to. In violation of the terms of the treaty she kept garrisons for a dozen years at several western outposts--notably Niagara, Detroit, and Michilimackinac--and incited the Indians to harass the settlers who were crossing the Alleghenies. (The Americans were far from blameless. We had refused to pay debts owed to British merchants or to compensate Loyalists for the loss of their property. We had agreed to do both.)."

Friday, August 22, 2014

Journal's August Entries

Earlier View Of Quebec

Excerpts from a Journal of an American Prisoner at Fort Malden and Quebec in the War of 1812:

16th.—Sunday. Pleasant weather but unpleasant news we herd about noon that Hull had given up Detroit and the whole Territory Mitchigan. The Indians began to return about sunset well mounted and some with horses and chais. Who can express the feelings of a person who knows that Hull had men enough to have this place three times and[19] gave up his post. Shame to him, shame to his country, shame to the world. When Hull first came to Detroit the 4th U. S. Regt. would have taken Malden and he with his great generalship has lost about 200 men and his Territory[29].
Can he be forgiven when he had command of an army of about 2500 men besides the Regulars and Militia of his Territory and given up to about 400 regular troops and Militia and about 700 Indians.
17th.—Monday. Clouday. The news of yesterday was confirmed. The Indians were riding our horses and hollowing and shouting the whole day.
18th.—The Provo Marshal[30] came on board and wanted a list of the Regular Troops, and told us that the Regular Troops[31] were prisoners of war and the militia had liberty to go home. We were taken from the Schooner Thames and put into a little Schooner but every attention paid us that was possible. In the evening we were ordered on[20] board the Elinor. Their was a detachment of prisoners joined us.
19th.—Wensday. Pleasant. I got provisions and medicines on board. The other vessels came from Detroit. Nothing extraordinary through the day.
20th.—Thursday. Rainy. Unpleasant on board. The militia left the river.
21st.—Friday. We drifted out of the river into the Lake. Capt. Brown and Ensign Phillips came on board.
22nd.—Saterday. Clouday but no rain. We sailed to the Three Sisters and lay to for the Sharlott[32], and about 12 o'clock we came to ancor.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Colonel Joseph Cilley

Memoirs and services of three generations...Cilley:

Joseph Cilley, at his election to the Senate, was an old man. Not only broken and shattered by the contests of three-score years and ten, but by the strife of his country s battlefields, in which he had borne gallant part. He was with Scott and Miller in all the bloody conflicts of the Canadian border in the war of 1812; and from those fields he had come with but one eye left, and his body weighted with the leaden bullets of his country's enemy.

There's more biographical information about Joseph Cilley here.

From Fold3:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Rendezvous At Georgetown

"Both [William Northcutt and probably Robert Harrison, his teacher] volunteered in the army and the school broke up, he volunteered in Maurice Langhorn's company of Rifle Men for six months and I volunteered in Capt. Garrard's troop of twelve months Light Dragoons, and was attached to Jas V. Ball's Squadron of United States Light Dragoons, on the 20th of August 1812 we rendezvoused at Georgetown Scot County Ky and took up our line of March for Malden Upper Canada.  There were three Ridgements [regiments] of.....".

Some Northcutt Family information was contained in William's Journal (ancestors here).

Monday, August 18, 2014

Captain William Henry Allen

Source - Page 305

At the first fire from the H.M.S. Pelican, Captain Allen [of the U.S.S. Argus] fell.


"By the fall of these young officers, Captains Allen and Burrows, the naval service experienced a heavy and almost irretrievable loss. Captain Allen had distinguished himself in a gallant manner in the action with the Macedonian, at which time he was first officer to Commodore Decatur...".

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Day Late To Detroit

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

"As my detachment could not embark from Dover, it was sent by land to Delaware again to keep up the communication with the Western District. After an unnecessary delay at this place, were allowed to proceed on by Col. Talbot, (under whose command I then was,) to Sandwich, where we arrived the day after the fall of Detroit, much chagrined at not being up in time." 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

From The story of old Fort Dearborn:

At the time that Fort Dearborn was built, the site of Chicago had been known to the civilized world for a hundred and thirty years.
Stories about the Fort Dearborn massacre (War of 1812 era) here and here.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Pre-War Meeting At Grouseland

Grouseland, Harrison's Home In Vincennes, Indiana

Even Ft. Knox commandant Captain Floyd, recently arrived from New Orleans, drew a dagger in defense of the Governor. Tense moments passed as Tecumseh's men shouted and brandished their edged weapons. Finally, the soldiers enforced the governor's dismissal of the Shawnee, into leaving Grouseland, the governor's house. The next day Tecumseh issued an apology, apparently having lost his legendary self-possession. [Source]

From an article in the Tribune-Star:

"On Aug. 14, 1810, Capt. George Rogers Clark Floyd of the 7th U.S. Infantry, the new commandant at Fort Knox, watched as 80 canoes of Shawnees, “painted in the most terrific manner,” arrived for the parley."
"At the meeting on Aug. 15 attended by 400 armed warriors wearing war paint, Tecumseh insisted that the Treaty of Fort Wayne was illegitimate and asked Gov. Harrison to nullify it."
"At one point, Tecumseh’s temper flared and he called Harrison “a liar.” The talks nearly erupted. Potawatomi chief Winamac, a friend to Gov. Harrison, soothed the passions of the Shawnee and the meeting was postponed until the following afternoon."

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mr. And Mrs. Bacon


Historic Vincennes

A synopsis of Mrs. Lydia Bacon's story was found at the Central Michigan Library's Clarke Library's website (see excerpt below with added link):

Lydia Bacon (1786-1853) accompanied her husband, Josiah, a quartermaster, to his military assignment. She waited at Vincennes...for him to return from the Tippecanoe campaign along the Wabash, then left on horseback to go with her husband's regiment to Detroit

From The Detroit News:  

"Mrs. Bacon carried in a bag on the pommel of her saddle a Bible, a copy of Homer's "Iliad," and a "huge Spunge cake." She wrote letters to her 15-year-old sister Abby, her mother and friends in Boston, which later she collected as a memoir of her experiences during the War of 1812."

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Brig Adams

Brig Adams - Source (Toronto Public Library)

A Chapter of the History of the War of 1812 in the Northwest:... the mouth of the river Rouge, had been towed up by a party under the command of Captain Kyle, of Clermont county. She had her masts and spars, but not her sails or armament, and was anchored in the river just above the foot of the street running down by Smith's Tavern.

When the Brig Adams was taken by the British it was renamed the Detroit.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Major Tatum's Journal

Major Howell Tatum's Journal: While Acting Topographical Engineer (1814) ...:

A bit of biographical information about Tatum:

After resigning from the army in 1782, Captain Tatum turned to the law. At some time he must have studied surveying, an accomplishment of many of the bright young men of the colonies. His topographical notes of the voyage down the Alabama River in 1814 show how well he was versed in that art. As a lawyer, he was in Nashville as early as 1790, for when Tennessee was organized as a territory under federal authority after it had been ceded by North Carolina, Tatum was one of the lawyers whom the new governor licensed to practise law at that place on December 15 of that year. It is of interest to see who were the others. In the records of the local court the names stand as follows: "Josiah Love, John Overton, Andrew Jackson, David Allison, Howell Tatum, James Cole Mountflorence and James White.

A reference to William Weatherford's plantation in an excerpt from Major Tatum's Journal:

Monday, August 11, 2014

The War In West Florida And Louisiana

An Historical memoir of the war in West Florida and Louisiana in 1814-15 : with an atlas (1816):


The volume which I [Major A. LaCarriere LaTour] present to the public is devoted to the relation of the campaign of the end of 1814 and beginning of 1815: that is to say, from the first arrival of the British forces on the coast of Louisiana, in September, until the total evacuation, in consequence of die treaty of peace, including a period of about seven months.

A review of Major LaTour's book can be found here.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Hull's Ill-Judged Actions

The War of 1812 was written by Secretary of War John Armstrong and published in 1836.  Here's Armstrong's critique of General Hull's actions in the Detroit area:

Nothing can be more ill-judged and ruinous, than to send out small parties on services which necessarily expose them to the attacks of large ones; and hence the maxim, that "the strength of a detachment should be proportioned, 1st, to the importance of the object to be obtained in sending it; and 2d, to the disposable means possessed by the enemy of embarrassing or defeating the attainment of that object."

In none of the detachments made by General Hull, were these conditions fulfilled; and in that of Major Van Horne, both were directly and grossly violated. What object could have been more important to the American army situated as it then was than the re-establishment of its communications with the State of Ohio; from which alone were to be expected reinforcements of men and supplies of provision?  And again, what fact was better ascertained than the facility with which the whole British force concentrated at Malden, and amounting to seven hundred combatants, could be brought to act upon any American detachment marching by the route of Maguago and Brownstown? Yet was Van Horne sent to fulfil that object and by this route with only two hundred militia riflemen.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Helm's Story


"The first disaster [after the culmination of the tensions of the pre-cursors of the War of 1812] came at Chicago, where Fort Dearborn had stood for a dozen years. Lieutenant Linai T. Helm, second in command, lived to tell the story.  Captain Heald got the information of War being declared, and on the 8th of August got Gen. Hull's order to evacuate the post of Fort Dearborn by the route of Detroit, or Fort Wayne, if practicable."

From The New Nation Grows... .

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Lt. Anderson's Small Picketed Fort

From The Napoleon-Series Organization website, (4) Fortification on Property of Robert Gouie (links added below):

The trading establishment of Robert Gouie was located along the Detroit River on lot 76. *Lieutenant John Anderson...supervised construction of a small picketed fort here. The fort was manned by about 250 men and two artillery pieces starting on 7 August 1812 and was evacuated and burned on 11 August 1812.

This site located upriver from Crawford Avenue was later developed as a salt mine with rail access. Later the site was the location of the CKLW broadcast station.

From a Missouri resident's memoir:

"After leaving Fort Erie we arrived at Detroit, eight days out in the latter part of August. I [Judge Watson] remained with my uncle Robert Gouie Watson in Detroit one year.  My uncle had a small trading establishment on the British side opposite Detroit, and he sent me over there to take charge of it."

Did Robert Gouie own property on both sides of the Detroit River?

*Lt. Anderson, 1 lt. 19 inf.,  was taken prisoner 16 Aug 1812 [Hull's Surrender of Detroit]

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

McGaw From Niagara

"In the diary of Wm. McGaw, a militiaman from Niagara, and who was with Gen. Brock at the taking of Detroit, August 16, 1812, many of the items in the American Prisoner's Journal are corroborated." [Source] 

McGaw's in Grimsby, Lincoln County, District of Niagara [ excerpt from "my" William Howard's petition]:

... William McLean and his wife (whose maiden name had been Jane McGaw, a UE loyalist Daughter) he purchased her rights, which the said Jane had been granted her in the year 1815...Your petitioner purchased a lot three years ago, in the Sixth Concession of the Township of Grimsby, county of Lincoln, in the District of Niagara, at an exorbitant price, being told by the... . 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Blocking A Convoy

The situation at Brownstown from the Canadian/British point of view (taken from the Richardson War of 1812 book):

On the 6th of August [should be 5th August], information having been conveyed to Colonel Procter, that a body of the enemy were then on their march to convoy a quantity of provisions for the use of the garrison of Detroit, Brevet-Major Muir, with a detachment of about a hundred men of the forty-first regiment, and a few militia, received orders to cross the river and occupy Brownstown, a small village on the American shore, through which they were expected to pass; and thither we repaired accordingly.

Monday, August 4, 2014

British At The Chesapeake

From Leading Events of Maryland History:

In August, 1814, another British fleet arrived in the Chesapeake, commanded by Admiral Cockrane. On board this fleet were three thousand veteran soldiers under General Ross. An expedition for the capture of Washington was planned at once. Sir Peter Parker was sent up the bay with several vessels to threaten Baltimore and annoy the people as much as possible.

A map of the U.S. Troops' attempt to protect Washington.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Fearless And Defiant Brock


From Soldiering in Canada: Recollections and Experiences, by George Taylor Denison:
"The clearest impression...[about] discussions to which I [Denison] delighted to listen, was the remarkable respect and esteem felt by all the old veterans of the War of 1812 for their favorite leader, General Brock."

"What especially endeared him to the memory of these old loyalists was the fearless and defiant way in which he maintained his confidence in the face of enormous odds, and what was worst of all, internal intrigue and treachery. The action that particularly pleased them was his bold move in proroguing the House of Assembly, and declaring martial law, in order to arrest and banish the traitors who were spreading doubt and hesitation among the people."

Friday, August 1, 2014

Young Harrison

The  Northern Illinois University's Digitization Projects included an 1840 book entitled The Life and Times of William Henry Harrison (excerpts below).

William Henry Harrison was the third and youngest son, and though the father was poor in this world's goods, the son received a rich and noble inheritance -- the legacy of a name surrounded by glorious achievements and connected with the first struggles of his country for freedom.

Young Harrison...applied himself diligently to the study of medicine. In his boyhood he had wished for some opportunity to serve his country, for he

"-- had heard of battles, and longed 
To follow to the field some warlike lord."

He was about to graduate as a physician, when fresh reports of the daring deeds of his countrymen in the western wilds; tales of midnight murders in the new settlements, roused again the lambent desire to share the perils of his fellow-citizens and he resolved to join the frontier army; --not to spread plasters and sew up gashes, but as a soldier of liberty.

His guardian was the celebrated Robert Morris, who so frequently relieved the Continental army from his private fortune, and was the intimate friend of the immortal Washington. Perceiving in young Harrison the germ of true greatness, Mr. Morris endeavored to persuade him from his purpose... .

At the early age of nineteen he adopted the service of his country as his profession, and...repaired immediately to a dangerous position, to give the strength of his boyish arm to defend a frontier which may be said at that time, almost to have been in the possession of a ruthless, cruel, and vindictive foe.