Friday, November 28, 2014

Fort Oswegatchie

While [Benjamin] Forsyth was away on his expedition, Brigadier General Richard Dodge arrived at Watertown with a detachment of Mohawk Valley militia. He outranked General [Jacob] Brown, and on his arrival he ordered that officer proceed to Ogdensburg, at the mouth the Oswegatchie River, to garrison old Fort Presentation, or Oswegatchie, at that place. General Brown was chagrined by this unlooked-for order, but like a true soldier, he immediately obeyed it.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Wartime Letters

The Archives of the Florence Griswold Museum holds the letters to Phebe Griffin Lord from her brother in New York written during the war:

A view of the war from Connecticut's perspective:

"The second war with Britain, which crippled New England’s maritime trade, was so unpopular in Connecticut that Governor Roger Griswold from Lyme refused to allow the state’s militia to serve. Already ill, Governor Griswold died in office in October 1812."

An excerpt of a letter from George Griffin to Phoebe Lord, dated 27 November 1813:

"This dreadful war is injuring this city deeply, & prostrating my profession. If the times become much worse, there will be literally nothing doing here."

Some background on the Lord and Griffin families via a brief bio of Phoebe Griffin Lord Noyes:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Battle of Cote Sans Dessein


" Cote Sans Dessein, Baptiste Louis Roi heroically resisted the attack of a large body of Indians on his cabin. Intrenched [sic] in his primitive 'castle,' he fired on..[them] with unerring aim as often as they approached, the women of his household keeping his rifles loaded and at his hand. He killed fourteen Indians before they withdrew, and it is not improbable that this was the bloodiest engagement of the war in this region. News of General Jackson's victory at New Orleans was received February 18, 1815, and the firing of a national salute and a general illumination of houses attested the joy of the people over the result of that memorable battle." [Source]*

Rangers from St. Louis came to their relief:

*"News of the conclusion of the treaty of peace with Great Britain was announced in St. Louis March 11, 1815."

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Claims From Washington Burning

Digested Summary and Alphabetical List of Private Claims which ..., Volume 2

List of Private Claims Presented to the House Of Representatives....

Categories (most):

Name of claimant, Nature or Object of the Claim, How Brought to Representatives, No. or Date of the Report, How Disposed

The first example:

Hodge, George - Indemnity For Loss By The Burning Of Washington

Monday, November 24, 2014

Zachary Taylor's Executive Ability


"He was a soldier, with good executive ability."

"At the time Taylor had reached his twenty-first year he was a tough, rough, and vigorous fellow ready for any emergency calling for pluck, endurance ,and sound manly judgment. His father had been a soldier, and the circumstances in which he had been reared led his inclinations in the same way."

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Fort McKay


This article [Wikipedia] is about the fort in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin (links added):

Fort Shelby was a United States military installation in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, built in 1814. The fort was captured by the British during the Siege of Prairie du Chien in July 1814. The British renamed the fort Fort McKay after Major William McKay, the commander of the forces that won the battle. Fort McKay remained under British control until 1815, when the British destroyed it before leaving the area. Fort Crawford was built on the same site in 1816.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Skirmishing And Spies Near Defiance

Fort Defiance (Ohio) In Granite

From Elias Darnell -- A journal containing an accurate and interesting ...;

[Sept.? 1812] 27th. The spies and Capt. Garrard's troop started this morning to bury the dead. They were attacked by a party of Indians who were watching the dead. One of the spies got shot in the ankle by an Indian. They fired on the Indians, and with the assistance of Capt. Garrard, they made them run... .  It was supposed some of them were badly wounded. Capts. Hickman and Ruddell returned, who had started this morning to reconnoitre Fort Defiance. They reported, that they saw many fresh signs of Indians. As they returned to camp they spied an encampment of Indians; the Indians were talking and laughing merrily. A detachment was sent after dark in order to surprise them. Ruddell, their pilot, got lost before he got far, so that they could not execute their design.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Prelude: Napoleon's Berlin Decree


Berlin Decree of 21 November 1806 issued by Napoleon:

"The decree forbade the import of British goods into European countries allied with or dependent upon France, and installed the Continental System in Europe. His plan was to unite the European countries against Britain."

From The war of 1812 ...:  21st November 1806: Placed in a position of power apparently impregnable by his recent victory of Jena (14th Oct, 1806) which left the Prussian monarchy prostrate at his feet; but smarting still with the galling memory of Trafalgar, the French Emperor deemed the opportunity afforded by the complete humiliation of Prussia favorable for returning as fiercely and as fully as he could the terrible blow inflicted by Great Britain in the annihilation of his navy. 

Britain's response to the Berlin Decree, the Orders In Council (1807), caused tension between the United States and Britain, which eventually led to war between them.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Isaiah B. Sexton

From The Constitution and Register of Membership of the General Society of the War of 1812:

*Sexton, Isaiah B. (Penna. Society) Sparta, Kent Co., Mich.
Served 6 months
Company Commander, Captain Moses Waters
New York State Militia
*Died ___, 1897, aged 92 years, 8 months
[He died November 19, 1897]

From the Journal of the American Medical Association (1897):

From the History of Kent County:


Michigan, Marriages, 1868-1925
Age (Expanded): 83 years
Birth Year: 1806
Birthplace: Lewis Co., N. Y.
Spouse's Name: Anna R. Hodge Salmon
Spouse's Age (Expanded): 63 years
Spouse's Birth Year: 1826
Spouse's Birthplace: Yates Co., N. Y.
Event Date: 29 Mar 1889
Event Place: Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan
Father's Name: Charles Sexton
Mother's Name: Abigail Butler
Spouse's Father's Name: Jacob Hodge
Spouse's Mother's Name: Abigail Rowley

His death record indicated that Mr. Sexton was a divorced physician.  His parents were Charles and Abigail (Butler) Sexton.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

An Historical Marker In Erie County


The always wonderful Dorene sent this link of the Sandusky Register to me.  This newspaper article, entitled "Historical marker remembers War of 1812 - It recalls time when Sandusky area was the western frontier" by Tom Jackson was published November 6, 2014.

The article noted that an historical marker, sponsored by the Erie County Historical Society,  was erected (see images in the article).

Pre-War Queenstown


Queenstown--From a drawing by Mrs. Simcoe, taken during the Revolutionary War [later the scene of the Battle of Queenstown Heights].

Monday, November 17, 2014

Driven Off By The Cavalry

From The military heroes of the war of 1812: with a narrative of the war:

"...Lieutenant Colonel Campbell of the 19th infantry was dispatched...against the Indian towns on the Mississinewa river.... . On the seventeenth of November he surprised a village inhabited by Delawares and Miamis... ."

"Just before daylight the next morning they were attacked by a party of Indians three hundred strong.  A desperate contest was kept up for nearly an hour when the enemy were driven off by a charge of cavalry....". [Source]

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Alexander Robinson And Fort Greene

Source (See Fort Green, perhaps Greene, on the Map)

Papers held at the University of Michigan's William L. Clements Library

Alexander Robinson papers
Bulk dates: 1814-1815
"The Alexander Robinson papers contain military records relating to Fort Greene, which Robinson commanded during the War of 1812... ."

Saturday, November 15, 2014

William Tate's Request To Reenlist


Charleston (S.C.)
15th Nov. 1811


The President's address has reached me; the indications of approaching war are more distinct than hitherto; I have therefore to request the honor of having my name enrolled, for the second time, in the list of defenders of the country......

Late a head of Brigade in  _ French Army

Friday, November 14, 2014

Jonas Genung

A War of 1812 soldier found in the Genung, Ganong, Ganung Genealogy: A History of the Descendants of Jean ... book:

Jonas Genung was a soldier in [Christopher] Bellinger's 27th Regiment in the War of 1812.

From Archivegrid:

 Papers related to the War of 1812, mostly relating to Christopher Bellinger's regiment
New-York Historical Society  .2 linear feet.
...Other miscellaneous documents, mostly related to Bellinger's regiment, which appears to have been stationed at Sackett's Harbour...

From Sustained honor:  The Age of Liberty Established:

About the 20th of July, Fernando's company joined the regiment of Colonel Bellinger at Sackett's Harbor, at the eastern end of Lake Ontario. Nine days later, the British squadron composed of the Royal George, 24 guns, Prince Regent, 22 guns, Earl of Moira, 20 guns, Simcoe, 12 guns, and Seneca, 4 guns, appeared and bore down on the American forces there. Fernando was sleeping when the discovery was made, but was soon roused and saw soldiers hauling in the Oneida so as to lay her broadside to the approaching enemy. Colonel Bellinger's militia were many of them raw recruits, and the approach of a fleet unnerved a few of them; but the majority were cool as veterans.

"Take that thirty-two pound gun up on the bluff," commanded the colonel, pointing out an old iron cannon down by the shore.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Rattler and Bream Off Pemaquid Point


A story from the History of Boothbay, Southport and Boothbay Harbor, Maine. 1623-1905:

Early in the spring of 1813 two British cruisers, the Rattler with sixteen guns and the Bream with eight, hovered along the coast from the mouth of the Kennebec to St. George, paying special attention to Bristol and Boothbay.  On March 31st, just off Pemaquid Point, they captured five schooners on their way to Boston loaded with lumber. Prize crews were put aboard, but on April 2d, while becalmed just outside Boothbay Harbor, three boats with twenty men put off and recaptured one of the schooners. The record of the act exists, but who the actors were is now unknown.

Also see the Engagement Near Boothbay, Maine blog post.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

British Armed Schooner At Pensacola


Copy of a Letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Bower to Brigadier-General Clairborne, dated Mobile Point, September 14, 1813.

"Sir, I have information from a source in which I placed every confidence, that a British armed schooner from the Bahamas arrived at Pensacola on the 10th instant, with a large supply of arms, ammunition, clothing, and blankets for the Creek Indians, also that the old Seminole chief Perriman and his son William, the latter lately appointed a brigadier-general in the British service, are at Pensacola.  They drove into that place two hundred head of fine cattle, and sacrificed them at the heretofore unknown price of from one to eight dollars per head.  Fifty cows and calves sold for fifty dollars, so anxious were they to get supplies to join the hostile Indians."

Monday, November 10, 2014

General Joseph Bloomfield

General Bloomfield was also active in the Revolutionary War.


...he married 2nd Isabella [Ramsey].  

He was a Brigadier-General in the War of 1812.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Lt. Colonel Archibald Woods

"...another requisition was made, under which the Tenth Brigade was called upon to furnish 349 men, officers included. Under this last requisition Ohio county furnished a company of light horse...under the command of Capt. William Irvin. Their superior officer was Lieut. Col. Archibald Woods, of the Fourth Regiment of Virginia militia."

"So sparse was the population of Wheel­ing...that when the com­panies departed from the town it appeared as if every able-bodied man had deserted the place, leaving behind them the aged men, women and children alone." [Source]

Woods family papers held at the University of Michigan's Clements Library:
"Abstract (excerpt): The Woods family papers...also contains...documents relating to military and public affairs, including the War of 1812."

William And Mary's Earl Greg Swem Library also had similar documents in their holdings:

Title: Archibald Woods Papers, 1777-1846
Papers, chiefly 1783-1846, of Archibald Woods of Ohio County, West Virginia. ...Virginia militia during peacetime and in the War of 1812, 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Friday, November 7, 2014

March Against Prophet's Town


Tecumseh was assisted in his enterprise by his brother, who was known by the name of the Prophet.
Some great movement against the whites was obviously in preparation. Determined to take the initiative, the United States assembled a force of regulars and militia in 1811, and placing it under the command of Harrison, directed him to march against the Prophet's town of Tippecanoe and demand the restoration of such property as had been carried off by the Indians. If his request was refused, he was to proceed and enforce the claim.

Accordingly Harrison, losing no time in delay, arrived before the town on the 6th of November. Here he was met by messengers from the Prophet, deprecating hostilities and promising that all differences should be adjusted on the morrow. Relying in part on this stipulation, yet alive to [possible] treachery...Harrison was perplexed what to do... .

 He resolved finally to encamp for the night on...a position affording the best means of defence in the vicinity. His mistrust of the enemy was so great, however, that he encamped his men in order of battle, and directed them to rest on their arms, hence if attacked in the night, they would be ready instantaneously for the contest.

They were attacked and there was a battle.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Native Americans Driven Off


In the middle of November, a large force of Kentuckians under General Hopkins proceeded into the Indian country and destroyed the Prophet's town and a Winnebago village. The inclemency of the weather and the constant retreat of the [Native Americans] rendered pursuit useless and inconvenient and the detachment accordingly returned to Vincennes. Another detachment, consisting of three hundred regulars under Colonel Russel(l), surprised and destroyed an Indian town on the Illinois river, and after driving the inhabitants into a swamp, captured twenty of them.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Blockades And Counter-Blockades

War of 1812 Era

From the 1812, the war and its moral: a Canadian chronicle By William Foster Coffin:

In May, 1806, Mr. Fox, then leader of the British Government, had declared the coasts of France and be in a state of blockade... .

In November, 1806, and in November, 1807, Napoleon, by Decrees dated from Berlin and Milan respectively, retaliated. He declared the whole British Islands to be in a state of blockade, authorized the seizure of any vessel of any nation bound to Britain... . Constructive blockade was an innovation in the enginery of war. It was blockading run mad.

Also see another post with this source.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Arsenal Building In Watertown

The Arsenal was built circa 1809 in Watertown, New York.

By an act of the Legislature in 1808, five hundred stand of arms were ordered to be stored or deposited at Champion, but in a little time these arms were ordered to Watertown, and also an Arsenal was planned  and was soon in process of construction on the east side of Arsenal street. [Source]

During the war of 1812, Watertown was often excited and made anxious by its proximity to Sackett's Harbor, an important naval station of the government and the scene of one or two spirited battles.

During the war of 1812, bodies of troops were stationed at Watertown for short periods, and the sick were often sent here from Sackett's Harbor for better attendance than could be had there. [Source]

Saturday, November 1, 2014

General Simon Perkins


"Mr. Perkins was commissioned a brigadier-general of the fourth division on May 31, 1808. On the breaking out of the war of 1812 he was only a little past forty years of age, in the full possession of his mental and physical powers, enjoying the unlimited confidence of the state and national authorities and of General Wadsworth, who was his immediate chief." [Source]


"No biographer seems to have yet gathered his deeds into a fitting memorial....of a man who...passed into eternal rest in the November days of 1844." [Source]