Sunday, December 28, 2014

Role Model For Horatio Hornblower?

Rear Admiral James Alexander Gordon
Wikipedia Source -  James Alexander Gordon

The Real Hornblower (from the description at Amazon excerpted below):

"Ever since C.S. Forester's fictional hero Horatio Hornblower began to delight and enthrall readers, there has been speculation as to whether his adventures were based on the career of a real naval officer."

"However...the author had been deliberately reticent regarding a Captain James Alexander Gordon, RN, who had led his squadron up the Potomac. Further inspection of naval records revealed a startling number of parallels between the careers of Gordon and Hornblower."

Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Post-War Perspective

Maumee River, Ohio (Near Lucas's Territory)

From the Introduction to the Robert Lucas Journal:

The War of 1812, beneficial as it was in its results to the United States, does not present, when studied in detail, a consistent progress toward victory. It was begun with seemingly no thought for preparation and concluded with apparently little heed to the causes which brought it about. It was not well managed by the administration at Washington, and among the Generals in the field there was much blundering incompetence. Individual bravery and patriotism brought glory in the naval warfare; but on the land, with a few exceptions, the campaigns were distinctly unfortunate.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Plot To Annex Florida

John Houston McIntosh and the sugar mill ruins marker in St Marys, Georgia.

McIntosh...settled in East Florida as a young man and became a leader of a group of American citizens who, during the War of 1812, plotted the annexation of East Florida to the United States. This plot crushed by the Spanish government... .

A letter to Thomas Flournoy (housed in Flournoy's papers at the University of Michigan) from the War of 1812 era:
A letter from John Houstoun McIntosh, director of the Territory of East Florida, concerning the settlers of Talbot Island and Nassau River, East Florida (December 26, 1812).

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Old William Jack Haines


Haines, William Jack, aged 110 years.  (Penna. Society)
Memorial Home, St. Louis, Mo.
Served in Captain Gregory's Company, Tennessee Militia
Participated in Battle of New Orleans, Louisiana, January 8, 1815
[Born 25 December 1787]


Census 1880
St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri
Occupation: Engineer
Household Role Gender Age Birthplace
Peter Sorenson Other M 39 Denmark
Henry Leyfried Other M 50 Germany
Peter Heffer Other M 26 Missouri
Ellen Haynes Other F 45 Tennessee
Frances Bennet Sister-in-law F 50 Virginia
Wm Haynes Other M 93 Tennessee
Ed R Darlow Other M 30 England

Died in Missouri on May, 1899, per FindAGrave?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Colonel Proctor's Brilliant Successes

Colonel [Henry] Proctor, whom he [Sir Isaac Brock] left in command in Michigan, had a brilliant series of successes in the winter of 1812-13. He also received the surrender of two American generals and their armies---Clay, in Ohio; Wilkinson, at the River Raisin. Gen. Wilkinson and his army were brought down to Newark. Gen. Clay and his force were paroled and allowed to return home. [Source]

Friday, December 19, 2014

A Road On Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island Rock Formation (A Road Below)

From Annals of Fort Mackinac:

"This road passing through the cemeteries [on Mackinac Island] leads in nearly a direct line through Early's (formerly Dousman's) farm to "British Landing."

Monday, December 15, 2014

Captain Gordon Approaching Alexandria

The terror struck into the good people of our city, by the capture and conflagration as aforesaid, rolled on in such conglomerating floods to Alexandria, that by the time it reached that place, it had acquired a swell of mountainous horrors, that appear to have entirely prostrated the spirits of the Alexandrians.  Men, women and children in that defenceless place, saw nothing, in their frightened fancies, but the sudden and total destruction of their rising city, by the British army then at Washington and the British squadron under captain Gordon coming up the river. [Source]


From the Niles' Weekly Register:

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Enemy's Fleet Off Ship Island

Ship Island

The War of 1812:  A History.... included a letter from Lieutenant [Thomas Ap Catesby] Jones to Commodore Patterson, dated New Orleans, 12 March 1815 (excerpt below)...:

"On the 12th of December, 1814, the enemy's fleet off Ship Island increased.....".

Friday, December 12, 2014

Couche Should Be Hanged

"Edward Couche, deputy commissary general.  The "means" was a local currency to pay 4,000 militia ordered out by Brock.  He needed 1,500 pounds and couldn't get the funds.  Hence we find, December 12, 1813, Col. Nichol writing to Talbot, remarking: "Couche should be hanged."  He made good in many other ways later on." [Source]


"On the sixth of August the deputy-commissary at Amherstburg wrote as follows to Edward Couche, the commissary-general for the province of Upper Canada: 'If the Indians remain and continue their wanton and extensive depredations on cattle, a short period will put an end to our supplies.'"
"'I could easily have supplied provisions for 2,000 troops in conformity with your letter of the 18th of July. Since then I have been feeding 15,000 troops Indians &c I find such difficulty in procuring flour corn etc to feed such hordes...'" [Source]


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Captain Samuel B. Archer


...with [Captain Samuel B.] Archer's company of artillery were stationed near the mouth of Stony Creek for the better security of the boats and baggage ascending the lake...

Samuel B. Archer was a native of Virginia.  He was a captain in Scott's Second Regiment of artillery and was breveted major for his gallant conduct....  He died on the 11th of December 1823 [FindAGrave says 1825].

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Town Was Soon In Flames


Some time after reaching the seat of war, the general [McClure], understanding that certain orders directed him to burn the town of Newark, in Canada, took the necessary steps to obey.  Major Cruger and Mr. Spencer, however, dissented from the view of the order taken by General McClure, and objected to burning the town. About this time Mr. Spencer was called home by sickness in his family, and Mr. Cruger stood alone in his opposition. The general, therefore, prepared to carry out his construction of the order, and Major Cruger was ordered to enter the town with a flag of truce, and inform the "inhabitants of the threatened conflagration."  He obeyed the order, entered the town with an orderly, and after giving the usual notice, he and his orderly assisted the inhabitants to remove their effects; and the town was soon in flames. [Source]

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Goods Captured


McCormick, Thomas

Statement of his goods captured by Americans off Presqu'Isle Pt.  L. Ontario on or about 12-9-1814.

Niagara  10-6-1823

C.688D  pp. 176-180

Monday, December 8, 2014

William Gray Simms

Tyler's quarterly historical and genealogical magazine, Volumes 1-2:

William Gray Simms was born in 1795 and died in 1867.  He served in Bunch's Regiment, Mounted, in the War of 1812.

More about Bunch's Regiment:

"Colonel Samuel Bunch commanded two separate regiments at different times during the war. This regiment of three-month enlistees, in the brigade of General James White, participated in the action against the tribe of Creeks known as the Hillabees."

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Chief Red Jacket


"When the War of 1812 broke out, Red Jacket, like many Seneca, became an ally of the United States. In his sixties, he fought bravely at the battles of Fort George (17 Aug. 1813) and Chippawa (5 July 1814)... ". [Source]

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Cincinnati Volunteers

Taken from Personal memories, social, political, and literary, with sketches of many noted people, 1803-1843, by E.D. Mansfield:

Cincinnati boasted at that time of two volunteer companies. One was a company of light infantry, commanded by Captain John Mansfield, of whom I have spoken. The other was a company of dragoons, commanded by Captain Sloane. These were formed on the right and left of the militia line. When the call was made for volunteers, it seemed to me the whole division volunteered. At any rate, these two volunteer companies were received, and made part of the army of Hull. Captain Mansfield entered upon this campaign with the zeal and high hopes of a young man, but he had not advanced far with the army, on the way to Canada, before he wrote to his uncle, what afterward proved the truth of history, that General Hull was an imbecile, from whom nothing but disaster could be expected.

From the pension file of Charles Hasson, who was a member of Captain Sloan(e)'s command:


Friday, December 5, 2014

Damages At Fort Bowyer

Fort Bowyer Morphed To Fort Morgan

Congressional serial set, Issue 210:

"...the commanding officer had said store-house demolished, in order that it might not afford to the invaders a shelter."

"Your petitioner, Benjamin S. Smoot, of Mobile, Alabama, represents that he was sutler to the second regiment of the United States' infantry, from 1809 to 1815; that he, with his partner in business, Dennison Darling, erected, about the year 1813, at fort Bowyer, a store-house... ."

Baldwin County, Alabama's Guide to the Records of Miscellaneous Court Records Collection included the following:

"Benjamin Stoddart Smoot’s name appears in several of the early documents. The young Smoot arrived in the area in the early 1800s and was appointed the Baldwin County sheriff. He married a daughter of Samuel Mims who was killed in the 1813 Fort Mims massacre and during the subsequent Creek Indian War he served on Andrew Jackson’s staff."

Thursday, December 4, 2014

General Sheaffe And His Family

British Generals in the War of 1812: High Command in the Canadas, indicated that the belief that General Sheaffe might have been pro-American was "because of his family connections as well as from his conduct."

General Sheaffe's family:

"Lady Seaffe was Margrate, daughter of John Coffin and a cousin of Lt.-Gen. John and of Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin."

From Wikipedia:
General Sir Roger Hale Sheaffe, 1st Baronet (15 July 1763 – 17 July 1851) was a Loyalist General in the British Army during the War of 1812. he was created a Baronet in 1813 and afterwards served as Commander and Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Pre-War Niagara Area

Fort Chippawa - Pre-War In The Niagara Area [Source]

From Richardson's War of 1812:...:

The settlement proper of the country (Canada, near Queenstown Heights) dates from the close of the Revolutionary war, when the disbanded soldiers of Butler's Rangers and other United Empire Loyalists took up grants of land on the banks of the river. At the mouth of the river there soon grew up the town of Niagara (Newark), opposite Fort Niagara, at that time and until 1796 in the hands of the British.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Colonel Dudley Evans

From Genealogical and personal history of the upper Monongahela valley...:

Dudley [Evans], born March 30, 1766, in Loudoun county, Virginia, died March 4, 1844.

In the "General Order" issued by Governor James Barbour, April 19, 1812, he was designated as colonel of one of the two regiments comprising "The Western Virginia Brigade," destined for service in the northwestern army under General William Henry Harrison. The regiment including Colonel Dudley Evans rendezvoused at Point Pleasant, from whence they proceeded to Columbus and Delaware through the wilderness and swamps, finally reaching the neighborhood of Fort Meigs, Ohio, where it formed a part of the right wing of Harrison's army.

Ohio Swampland

A discharge for Leonard Cooper signed by Dudley Evans, Col.:


 Fort Meigs  March 20th 1813
Leonard Cooper a private in Capt. A. Vansickles' company in the 2nd Reg't 1st Brigade of the Virginia Militara having performed a tour of duty of six months in the service of the United States N. W. Army is here by honorably discharged, and has to travel two hundred and thirty five miles to his place of residence.

Dudley Evans, Col.

Monday, December 1, 2014

In Uncle Samuel's Domains


From Historic Sketches Of Oshawa:

A neglected and time worn slab next the fence, along the northern border, will never fail to interest the visitor to this quiet home of the dead. It bears this inscription "In Memory of Capt. Benj, Wilson, who died Mar. 5th, 1821, in the 89th year of his age." By its side a similar slab is seen which tells its own story "James Wilson, died, May 17, 1863, Age 73 son of Benj. Wilson."

Another son was named David, and of him a well authenticated story is told to this effect, that at the time of the war between England and United States in 1812, his sympathies being on the side of his fatherland, and fearing enlistment by the British, he shaped a craft from a pine log, and with no other compass than the glimmer of the northern star he steered across the lake and remained in Uncle Samuels domains until the close of the war, when he returned to his father s home. [Source]