Friday, October 31, 2014

Near Peoria

Below is a letter about Russel's Indian Expedition.

Camp Russel, October 31st, 1812.

This will inform you, that I arrived at this place, from Vincennes, after general Hopkins had marched his mounted riflemen up to fort Harrison. I took with me, a part of three companies of United States' rangers, where I was joined by governor Edwards, with his mounted riflemen; the whole of our strength amounted to 360 privates. We penetrated very far into the Indian country, with an expectation of co-operating with general Hopkins, who, by appointment, was to meet us at the Peoria, on the Illinois river. In this, we were sadly disappointed, as we could get no intelligence of his army. This prevented us from tiding as much damage to the Indians, as otherwise we could have done. As our numbers were too weak to make any delay in that quarter; as this was farther than any troops had hitherto penetrated, we stole a march upon the celebrated Pimartam's town, situated about 21 miles above Peoria, and immediately at the head of Peoria lake. This was a well built town, and contained a number of Indians; between the town and river, was a
dismal swamp, in which they immediately flew for shelter, returning a few scattering shots. Our men nobly pursued them through the swamp; and also others, as they were crossing the Illinois river. 

Riverbank Near Peoria

The men also pursued them to the opposite bank, and brought back some of their canoes, and several dead bodies — the governor states, to be upwards of 20 killed, of the enemy. This was a flourishing town, with an immense deal of Indian plunder in it, together with a great deal of corn; all of which was committed to the flames. I believe not less than 80 horses fell into our hands belonging to the enemy. Several white persons' scalps were also found among their plunder. I had the immediate command of the battalion, and the superior command was retained by his excellency the governor. On this expedition we were fortunate; we had but 4 men wounded, none of which is mortal. This tour was performed from camp, and back to the same place, in 13 days.

I have the honour to be yours, &c.

Colonel 7th Dist. Comdg.

[To] The Secretary of War.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Treaty And John Quincy Adams


A little sarcasm?:

"WHO has not heard of the triumphant result of the negotiations at Ghent? Who does not know that the glory of the triumph is claimed by John Quincy Adams? He is the intellectual giant who prostrated with ease the sophistry and the arguments the arts schemes and stratagems of a superannuated Admiral and two mere diplomatic machines."

John Quincy Adams diary* entry, October 30, 1814, mentioned the subject of fisheries:
Oct. 30.—...Mr. Gallatin proposes to renew the two articles of the Treaty of Paris of 1783, the stipulation for our right to fish, and dry and cure fish, within the waters of the British jurisdiction, and the right of the British to navigate the Mississippi. To this last article, however, Mr. Clay makes strong objections. He is willing to leave the matter of the fisheries as a nest-egg for another war, but to make the peace without saying anything about it; which, after the notice the British have given us, will be in fact an abandonment of our right. Mr. Clay considers this fishery as an object of trifling amount; and that a renewal of the right of the British to navigate the Mississippi would be giving them a privilege far more important than that we should secure in return.  [Source]

*Available online at the Massachusetts Historical Society website

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Second Regiment Of York Militia


Also see:

Transcripts of Documents of the 2nd Regiment of York Militia 
During the War of 1812 
Taken from 
Library and Archives Canada 
R1022-11-6-E, Upper Canada Militia Records 
Volume 16 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

28 October 1814

From Chronological Tables...:

[1814 October] 28. Six soldiers of the U. States army shot at Plattsburgh for desertion.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Before The War - Governor John Graves Simcoe


John Graves Simcoe (1752 - 1806) was the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada.

"He was Upper Canada's first lieutenant-governor and the most effective of all British officials dispatched from London to preside over a pioneer society. Simcoe was denied the opportunity to serve his country in a military capacity and became instead a stubborn, strong-willed autocrat presiding over a forested fiefdom deep in the heart of North America."

"In a letter to Joseph Brant in 1791, the Duke of Northumberland called Simcoe "brave, humane, sensible and honest." These qualities shine forth from the military journal Simcoe kept. About Simcoe's performance as lieutenant governor of Upper Canada there may be divided opinions, but as a military man there can be no doubt at all. His talents were surely wasted during a very tense and trying period of British history."

"...the sovereign's "trusty and well-beloved John Graves Simcoe" accepted the position as lieutenant governor of Upper Canada at a salary of 2000 pounds a year, the appointment to be effective on December 24th, 1791.

Simcoe's Military Journal recounts his service as commander of the Queen's Rangers in the American Revolution. While taking part in the siege of Boston, Simcoe purchased a captaincy. His subsequent promotions were all based on merit.

Per the United States NPS:

"Realizing the tension between the United States and Great Britain would only grow, Simcoe began preparations for war as early as 1794. He supplied Indian allies with weapons, fortified the fleet on the Great Lakes, and established a capital further inland at the Indian settlement of Toronto, renaming it York after King George III’s second son, the Duke of York."

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Worthless Mother?

Source - Unknown Ship

"On the 25th of October [1812] off the Western Islands she [The United States commanded by Commodore Decatur] fell in with the [HMS} Macedonian.... ."   "The superiority of the American gunnery in this action was very remarkable both for its greater rapidity and effect."

"The commodore arrived at New York on the 4th of December with his prize."

"....the generous conduct of our heroick seamen has uniformly drawn forth the praise of the enemy; all the private property belonging to the men and officers on board the Macedonian was restored to the captured..." "...their treatment was the most polite and humane."

The carpenter, who was unfortunately killed* in the conflict with the Macedonian, had left three small children to the care of a worthless mother. When the circumstance became known to the brave seamen, they instantly made a contribution amongst themselves to the amount of eight hundred dollars and placed it in safe hands, to be appropriated to the education and maintenance of the unhappy orphans. [Source]

John Archbold, ordinary seaman, Of wounds in action
Thomas Brown, boatswain's mate, In action
John M. Funk, Lieutenant, Of a wound
William Murray, seaman, In action
Henry Shephard, seaman, In action


Friday, October 24, 2014

Pre-War Proclamation And Complaints

An entry From Papers Of The War Department (Collection - Detroit Public Library: Timothy Pickering Papers):

October 12, 1797 Wilkinson's Proclamation and Related Documents Timothy Pickering James McHenry Pickering encloses General Wilkinson's proclamation [see below] at Detroit, John Askin's petition to General Wilkinson complaining about the proclamation, and Wilkinson's response to the complaint. Also included is Wilkinson's letter to the Justices of the British western district of Upper Canada and their answer.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Did Scandalously Combine.... injure and defame the character of his superior officer, captain Isaac Hull.

Niles' National Register, Volume 23:

"....Joel Abbot did...scandalously combine with surgeon Samuel R. Trevett, of the navy....scandalously combine with Cheever Felch, a chaplain in the navy....[and]...with lieutenant Henry Ward, of the navy.....".

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Band Of Brothers

From the Library of Congress, First American West: The Ohio River Valley, 1750-1820, a letter written by
Isaac Shelby.

Camp at the mouth of Portage Upon Lake Erie
20th Oct. 1813

The Army having now returned to this place [from the Battle of the Thames].....October 20....united...a Band of Brothers.....

From The Battle of the Thames: In which Kentuckians ...:

"On October 20th the day following their arrival a general order was issued for the troops to return to Kentucky by way of Franklinton (Columbus), at which point those who had received government arms were to deposit them...".

Saturday, October 18, 2014

LeBreton And The Flag Of Truce

General Harrison

"After the disastrous battle at Moraviantown where the British were badly defeated and were obliged to retreat to the Niagara River, giving up the whole western portion of the Province, LeBreton volunteered and was sent with a flag of truce to General Harrison to arrange for an exchange of prisoners." [Source]

More about what happened in the aftermath of LeBreton's encounter with General Harrison (excerpted below*):


*"General Harrison received, by messenger Lieutenant Le Breton, a letter from Major General Proctor dated October 18th (place of writing not given) addressed to him at the Moravian towns by the Thames but delivered at Detroit before his departure from that place."

"Lieutenant Le Breton was given good opportunity to see that the proprieties of civilization had been complied with in regard to the British. He was not permitted to return by land, however, but was taken across Lake Erie in boat with General Harrison."

Note: In other actions, LeBreton was severely wounded at Lundy's Lane.

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Fissure In The Sauk Nation

Chief Keokuk

The Sauks and the Black Hawk War...:

...when an Indian Nation contains more than about 2,000 people its increase of population decreases its cohesive power.  But in the division of the Sauks, which occurred with the late war between Great Britain and the United States, this custom or weakness was not a factor. That division grew out and was a part of the war of 1812- 14.

 For more than forty years Mucketee-Meshe-Kiah-Kiah, (literally meaning in our language Black Sparrow Hawk but always called Black Hawk), prior to that war had been the universally acknowledged first or head War Chief of the Sauk Nation.

Living at Saukenuk, near Rock Island, and "out of a job," as he [Black Hawk] had no immediate fight on his hands, but eager to have, on learning that war had been declared, hastened to offer his services with two hundred picked braves, to our Government to fight against the British.   On being refused, he at once tendered his services to the British, and was accepted, and went to Green Bay, where he was assigned to duty with the rank of Colonel.

During his [Black Hawk's] absence a rumor reached Saukenuk that a large force of United States troops had left Peoria, Illinois, for an attack upon Saukenuk, which created great alarm among the Sauks, who, as a mass, sympathized with the people of the United States in this war.  [Keokuk]...organized a small army sent out spies and went in person at the head of a little band of trailers towards Peoria and satisfied himself that the whole story was a canard.

When Black Hawk and his 200 braves returned from the war, he found Keokuk fully installed in his place as the War Chief of the Nation, and a division of the tribe ensued.  ...[one group was] known as the British or Black Hawk's band; the latter as the Peace or Keokuk's band.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Morning Reports

Documents listed in the Digital collections that are online at Virginia Memory at the Library of Virginia include the following morning reports.

Morning reports for Captain Andrew Stevenson's Company - 2nd artillery:

Creator: Virginia. Militia. Regiment
Source: Organization Records
Abstract: Morning reports, August-October 1814, of Captain Andrew Stevenson's artillery company, 2nd Infantry Regiment, Virginia militia, consisting mainly of requisitions for supplies and of company returns.

My ancestor, William Hinds, was a member of Virginia's 2nd Artillery; he died on 25 June 1813, months before the above record was generated.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Brock Centenary

"The desire to commemorate the centenary of Brock's death-day—October 13th, 1912—took form at a meeting of the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada, held at Toronto on April 11th, 1912...".


Monday, October 13, 2014

Queenston Heights


Before daylight on the morning of the 13th of October. a large of General Van Rensselaer's army, numbering between thirteen and fourteen hundred, under Brigadier General Wadsworth, effected a landing the lower end of the Village of Queenston, (opposite Lewiston) and an attack upon the position which was defended with the utmost determined bravery by the two flank companies of the 49th Regiment, commanded by Captains Dennis and Williams, aided by such of the forces and Indians as could be collected in the vicinity.

A considerable force, however, had effected a landing some distance above, and succeeded in gaining the summit of the mountain. No resistance could now be offered to the crossing from Lewiston, except by the battery at Vromont's Point,, half a mile below and from this a steady and harassing fire was kept up which did considerable execution. [Source]

See The Battle Of Queensto(w)n Heights here.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Niagara

From A geographical view of the province of Upper Canada: and promiscuous remarks ...

In the description of Niagara Falls ....

The river here is a half a mile wide, and a little above there is a whirl of considerable depth, though not dangerous.* *This place is memorable.  Here the Americans crossed on the 12th of October, 1812, to invade Canada.  After you pass this place 300 yards, you enter the dismal chime:.... .+

+This place is also memorable.  Down in this dreadful chime, a number of the American soldiers were drove headlong by the Indians, after they had surrendered themselves prisoners of war to the British, on the 13th of October, 1812.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

When Talbot Employed Sauve Qui Peut


During the war with the United States, in 1812, Colonel [Thomas]Talbot commanded the militia of the District, a force then not numerous; and this Western portion of Canada, was more indebted for safety to the difficulty of supporting an army in it, and of finding an enemy, than, to the force, which could be brought together to repel an attack. Therefore, only marauding parties found their way into the settlement more in search of plunder, than with any view of fighting.

On one occasion, one of these marauding parties, commanded by a man named Walker, presented themselves at Port Talbot, and summoned the garrison to surrender. The garrison, it may be conceived, was not very formidable, there being no fortifications or troops, except a few of the yeomanry. The sudden appearance of these brigands, left not much time for consultation, and Capt. Paterson, who commanded the yeomanry or militia, intimated to Colonel Talbot, that as defence was out of the question, sauve qui peut [translated to "save himself who can"] should be the order of the day, and that he, (the Colonel) of all others, ought not to be found at home, to grace the triumph of a lawless horde. [Source]

Friday, October 10, 2014

James D. Craig's Scrapbook

Source [Scrapbook Excerpt]

James D. Craig's scrapbook (1814-1815) is housed at the Alabama Dept. of Archives and History in Montgomery, Alabama.  A description [link added]:
James D. Craig was a captain of a Tennessee volunteer company, Jackson's Army, in the War of 1812, and later served at Fort Claiborne, Ala. in the Creek and Seminole Wars.  ...the collection deals with the activities of the 2nd Regiment of Tennessee at Mobile and Fort Claiborne, Ala... .

History of Alabama and dictionary of Alabama biography, Volume 3 has a biography of a James D. Craig [he was probably the son of Captain James D. Craig whose scrapbook was referenced above].

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Turned Her Face To Heaven

The first part of the story of Mrs. Susan Simmons' and her daughter who were in captivity after the Fort Dearborn Massacre.

Source [Where Mrs. Simmons Was Captured]

Heroes and Heroines of the Fort Dearborn Massacre: A Romantic and Tragic ... By Noah Simmons, included the following, about Mrs. Susan Simmons:

It was an awful moment for the poor woman but as she had often done before in the last twelve days when overcome with grief and almost famished with hunger, she turned her face to heaven and reposed her trust in her creator, her only source of hope and consolation...she ran rapidly down the line reaching the goal bleeding and bruised, but with [her infant] unharmed.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

(Then) Colonel Joseph Grubbins



Travels Amongst the Loyalists: 1813 – by Stephen Davidson:

"In July of 1813, Lt. Colonel Joseph Gubbins prepared himself for his annual inspection tour of New Brunswick's militia regiments."

"In Kouchibouguac, Gubbins met Jacob Kollock, a loyalist from Delaware. As well as serving as a supervisor of roads, Kollock also was the major for the local militia. He had persuaded his neighbours to build a blockhouse to defend the community during the war."

"(Gubbins' New Brunswick Journals 1811 & 1813, edited by Howard Temperley, was published in 1980 by New Brunswick Heritage Publications.)"

See more about Grubbins' Journal here.

A report of retired Major-General Joseph Grubbins' death:

Monday, October 6, 2014

Who's Who (Including Isaac Hull)


Figuring out who is who from the website 1812 And All That:

Isaac Hull (1773-1843), the naval officer, must be distinguished from his uncle William Hull (1753-1825), the incompetent general. The John Armstrong (1755-1816) who fought the Miamis at Eel River on 18 October 1790 where the Kentucky militia panicked and he lost his sergeant and 21 of his 30 regulars, and hid under a log until the Indians were gone, is not the same as the John Armstrong (1758-1843) of New York who married a Livingston, was minister to France, and became Secretary of War in 1813.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

British Lieutenant Charles Hare

This is to Certify that Lieutenant Charles Hare, served under my orders in the command of H.M. Schooner Bream, when I was senior Officer commanding the Squadron in the Bay of Fundy, in Eighteen Hundred and Thirteen and Eighteen Hundred and Fourteen, stationed for protecting the frontier of New Brunswick, in the war with the United States of America. That the activity and enterprize displayed by Lieutenant Hare, in destroying the American coasting trade, and capturing their small Privateers between Boston and Saint John, was the admiration of Admiral Griffith, of Sir Philip Broke, of myself, and of every officer who knew him.
H. Le Fleming Senhouse, Commodore Bay Of Fundy

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Activity At Fort Presentation

[New York]...Brown arrived on Oct. 1, and the next day a British flotilla, composed of two gunboats and twenty-five bateaux, bearing about 750 armed men, left Prescott to attack Ogdensburg. At the latter place Brown had about 1200 effective men, regulars and militia, and a party of riflemen, under Captain Forsyth, were encamped near Fort Presentation on the margin of the river. The latter were drawn up in battle order to dispute the landing of the invaders. Brown had two field pieces, and when the British were nearly in mid-channel, these were opened upon them with such effect that the enemy were made to retreat precipitately and in great confusion. This repulse gave Brown much credit, and he was soon regarded as one of the ablest men in the service.

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Junction

View At Junction Of The Thames And M'Gregor's Creek

From Electric Scotland:

"Tecumseh considered the point at the junction of the Thames and McGregor’s Creek the best place to make a stand against General Harrison’s Kentuckians who were pursuing them, but the stand was finally made further up the river at Moraviantown where the British were defeated and Tecumseh killed."

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Daniel Cruger's Foray Into Canada

Soon after this [burning of Newark] he [Major Cruger] was placed in command of a detachment of soldiers, and two companies of Indians under the command of the celebrated chief, Red Jacket, with orders to proceed into the interior of Canada on a reconnaissance. The movement was attended with great danger from ambuscades of hostile Indians and attacks from heavy bodies of British troops which could be thrown forward against them. But Major Cruger was not a man to shrink from danger, and with his little command he carefully, successfully, and skillfully obeyed his instructions.

On the 2nd day of October they approached a small Indian village. Hearing an unusual shouting, yelling, and whooping, Cruger halted and sent forward scouts to ascertain the cause of the commotion. After a short absence they returned and reported that the Indians had three American soldiers whom they had captured and were about compelling to run the gauntlet.  [Source]