Monday, March 31, 2014

Whale's Valor

Presented by J. Madison, President, of the U.S.
To Whale
The Reward of Signal Valor of Heroism
At the Battle of the Horseshoe  
March, 1814

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Battle Of Lacolle Mills


Pending the reply to his request for a court martial, [General] Wilkinson determined to strike a blow at Montreal as a last proof of his military ability. The road to the city was barred by small garrisons at St Johns and Isle Aux Noix and by outposts at Lacadie and Lacolle.

On March 30, Wilkinson crossed the boundary and made his way through the deep snow to the mill.

While the Americans were making this assault, two companies of British troops arrived from Isle Aux Noix whereupon the British commander made a vigorous sortie against Bissel and Smith, but after several desperate charges the British were repulsed.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

General Eleazar Wheelock Ripley

A biography of the General:  Eleazar Wheelock Ripley of the War of 1812..."  Also here.


After protracted and severe suffering. General Ripley so far recovered as to be able to travel, and started for Albany, where he arrived in January, 1815. During his long prostration, he received the constant and unremitted attention of his wife to whom he was married in 1811, and who was the daughter of the Reverend Thomas Allen, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, a distinguished Revolutionary patriot.

The announcement of peace, which soon followed, rendered his presence unnecessary upon the frontier, and as soon as returning health permitted, he demanded and put in motion a Court of Inquiry as to his military conduct, which had been missrepresented and traduced.

The current of public opinion flowed strongly in his favor. Congress voted him a gold medal, for his gallant conduct at Chippewa, Lundy's Lane and Fort Erie, testimonials of esteem on every hand reminded him that his countrymen appreciated his services and at last, even Brown himself, whatever may have been his mental reservations and secret animosity, felt constrained to contribute the following letter to his vindication:

Upon the return of peace, the army was reduced to a peace establishment and was re-organized. Two Major Generals, Jackson and Brown, and four Major Generals by brevet, Macomb, Gaines, Scott and Ripley were retained in the service. 

The Genealogy of the Ripley Family here.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Harris Hampden Hickman

A letter with a dateline, Detroit, April 5, 1812, from Harris H. Hickman who married Gen Hull's daughter, Ann Hull, acknowledging his appointment as Captain of Infantry in the Army of the United States.


A deed transaction involving Harris Hickman:


"...George Hoffman...grant, bargain, and sell...unto Harris Hampden Hickman, Esq....tract of land lying on the south side of river Rouge in the land district called Detroit...23 March 1808"

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Letters From The Swearingens

James Swearingen of Ohio; Captain of Artillerists and a letter, dated 6 August 1811,  from Chillocothe to Major Nicoll:

More from Chillocothe:
A letter dated 1 July 1811 from James Swearingen, Capt. of Artillery, and one dated 29 November 1811.

An 1813 letter from Mrs. Nancy Bedinger Swearingen, written when she and her husband, James, were stationed in Pittsburgh, was incorporated in this article.  He was then the quartermaster for the Western District.

From the NARA, War of 1812 Discharge Certificates, Appendix I: List of Units and Subunits:

1st Artillery
Capt. Addison Bowles Armistead's Co. 
Capt. Stephen Conover's Co.
Bvt. Maj. Ichabod Bennet Crane's Co. 
Capt. Samuel T. Dyson's Co.
Capt. William Gates's Co. 
Capt. Nathaniel Leonard's Co.
Capt. Benjamin Kendrick Pierce's Co. (Note 6)
Lt. Samuel Rockwell's Detachment 
Capt. James T.B. Romayne's Co.
Capt. James Strode Swearingen's Co. 
Capt. John De Barth Walbach's Co. 
Company not indicated


James Strode Swearingen's memorial at FindAGrave and his place in the Family Register of Gerret Van Swearingen.

Swearingen's journal entries from 1803 here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Brisbane's Memoirs And Papers a collection held at the Clements Library (University of Michigan):

Title: Thomas M. Brisbane papers
Creator: Brisbane, Thomas Makdougall, Sir, bart., 1773-1860.
Inclusive dates: 1813-1815
Extent: 57 items
"The papers contain plans to advance on Plattsburg...and a detailed plan, with maps, which Brisbane designed for the destruction of the American fleet at Whitehall, New York, in the winter of 1814."

"Of special interest is a batch of letters from General Prevost that includes a confidential letter from Cadwallader Colden, a member of the American militia and Lieutenant Governor of New York from 1760-1762. The forward is a transcription of a letter written in invisible ink that details three ways of destroying the American Fleet at Whitehall."


Thomas M. Brisbane's also wrote his memoirs (excerpted below):

"It having been resolved by the British Government to send four brigades to America, I was appointed to the command of one of them. Accordingly on June 14th we proceeded down the Garonne to Bordeaux, and embarked on board line-of-battle ships, and after a pleasant voyage, we reached Quebec about the end of July, and proceeded from thence to Montreal. On receiving my instructions from Sir George Prevost, the governor and commander-in-chief, I proceeded to take the command of the advance of the army close upon the enemy's frontier."

Monday, March 24, 2014

Nancy Agnew And Others

From the United States. Congres. House. Committee on Claims. Published in Washington, D.C., D. Green, 1833.

...for the destruction of the property of George Agnew, the husband of one of the petitioners, and the father of the other petitioners; taken by the British and Indians in the year 1812, at the river Raisin.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The War Was Over; The Hornet And The Penguin Hadn't Heard The News

One of the holdings of the University of Michigan's Clements Library:

Title: HM Sloop Penguin collection
"Abstract: The HM Sloop Penguin collection contains watercolor illustrations, photographs, a crew member's letter, and a journal...".

"The USS Hornet captured the 20-gun cruiser on March 23, 1815, near the island Tristan da Cunha, over a month after Britain and the United States signed the Treaty of Ghent, ending the war. The Penguin and the Hornet were, however, stationed in one of the most remote areas of the Atlantic Ocean and had not yet heard the news."

From Description of American Medals:


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Friday, March 21, 2014

William Denney's Pension File

Residence circa 1851 and 1855: Hamilton County, Tennessee
Residence circa 1872:  Harrison, James County, Tennessee
Widow:  Mary Moon
Married in Sevier County, Tennessee

Captain Wilson Maple, Tennessee Militia
Captain John A. Porter
Colonel Edward E. Booth
Thomas Coulter was his General

This document identified him as William Denna.


Fought against the Creek Indians.

Affidavits of John C. Maddux and William C. Norman; their good character was verified by George Curry.

"To John C. Maddux, executor of William Denney, deceased, of James County....".

William Denney was identified in this blog as one of the earliest settlers of James County.

An article abstracted from a Chattanooga newspaper article, indicated that "John Campbell Maddux occupied the old William Denny place....".

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Richardsons Of Livingston County

Source - Illustration of Conesus Lake

From the History of the Town of Conesus...:

When the news that Buffalo was burned reached Conesus, through Captain Tyler of Livonia (who was killed in the war,) two brothers, Joseph Richardson, a cripple, and Jonathan, resolved to take their teams and convey soldiers to the lines.  Joseph was killed at Black Rock by a ball which passed through his heart. The friends sent to Buffalo for his remains and they were buried in Livonia. Jonathan was taken prisoner, carried to Montreal and Halifax, and after six months reached home. On his way to Montreal he was urged forward, on the march, at the point of the bayonet. While in prison he was nearly starved to death. Joseph Richardson, Jr., son of the Joseph named above, made his escape before Buffalo was taken.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Prison Ships In England

From Prisoners of war in Britain, 1756 to 1815; a record of their lives, their romance and their sufferings:


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

James Nelson Barker

"Captain James Nelson Barker was born in Philadelphia June 17, 1784."

"On the commencement of hostilities he was appointed captain of artillery, and in 1813 commanded Fort Mifflin...he raised two companies of artillery and marched with them to the Canadian frontier."

A biographical notice of Captain Barker:

James Nelson Barker was the son of the Honorable John Barker, one-time Mayor of Philadelphia, and ex-Revolutionary soldier. After the fashion of the day, he was trained in the old-time courtesy and in the old-time manner of defending one's honor with the sword, for it is recorded that he was once severely wounded in a duel.

He lived until March 9, 1858. [Source]

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Spy From Frenchtown

From The Pictorial Field-book of the War of 1812:

Soon after Wayne's campaign, Knaggs settled at Frenchtown and became a farmer. In 1811 he established a regular ferry at the Huron River, on the road to Detroit, with only Indians as companions and neighbors. These, excited against all Americans by British emissaries, were very troublesome and Knaggs had frequent conflicts with them in some form. When Hull was on his way toward Detroit, Knaggs joined the army as a private in Captain Lee's company of dragoons. River Raisin men the best troops in the world as Harrison said, and became very expert and efficient in the spy scout or ranger service.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

General Winchester Conceded Command

Historical details:

"...I was at Lexington, Kentucky, superintending a recruiting district, and occasionally at Newport and Cincinnati, for the purpose of expediting the equipment... . Whilst engaged in this service, information was received of the fall of Detroit, and the capture of general Hull. This change in the aspect of the war on the north-western frontier, induced me to assume the command of the detachment... .

"About this period general Harrison arrived, and intimated a right to the command, predicated on a commission of major general, then recently received from the governor of Kentucky. Objections to the intended procedure of general Harrison were made. They were unavailing. Two or three notes passed between us; and when finally an interview took place, it was agreed, that general Harrison might assume the command, but on his own responsibility."

Friday, March 14, 2014

Loyalty And Treason In Upper Canada

The War of 1812: Loyalty and Treason In Upper Canada is an article on the Ontario [Canada] Ministry of Government Services website.

"Wartime in Upper Canada, which had a mixed population of loyalists and more recent American immigrants, posed problems for individuals and the government."

"There is no doubt that some residents actively helped American forces when parts of Upper Canada were under military occupation."

"On March 14, 1814, the Legislature of Upper Canada passed three acts as emergency measures. The first limited the right to habeas corpus applications for those accused of treason; the second provided for trials for treason and related charges in districts outside the area where the alleged offences occurred; the third act, and the one that had the greatest impact, was the Alien Act which made it an offence for anyone to have left the province after July 1812 for the United States."

Thursday, March 13, 2014

An Assist From Lafitte's Pirates

Several attempts were made to break up the band [of Lafitte's pirates] and the U.S. Grand Jury more than once indicted Lafitte, but the government could never arrest him. At the very time when a Federal force was being equipped to descend upon the settlement of Barataria, the pirates were able to do the United States a great service, which saved New Orleans from capture by the British, and won for Lafitte the title of the "pirate patriot." When the British were arranging their expedition against the city, they prepared to advance on it by way of Barataria, and sent a man-of-war to the island to make terms with Lafitte and secure the co- operation of the pirates in capturing New Orleans, offering as a bribe a large sum of money and to Lafitte personally a commission as captain in the British navy.

Lafitte affected acquiescence in these proposals, but at the same time warned Governor Claiborne of the approach of the British, and thus enabled the United States to take steps for the defence of the city and to send General Jackson there.

Notwithstanding Lafitte's services, an expedition was fitted up against the pirates and the settlement captured. The Baratarians were ironed and committed to the Calaboose at New Orleans, and their spoils, consisting of an immense amount of valuable goods, money, etc., seized and conveyed to the city.

At the battle of New Orleans, General Jackson being short of gunners, appointed several of Lafitte's men to the artillery, where they did good service. [Source]

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Fort Collier

The War of 1812 helped foster the resolution of the boundary between the United States and Canada.  Fort Collier (on Drummond Island) was constructed after the War of 1812 in the mistaken belief that Drummond Island would remain British and St. Joseph would be ceded to the United States.  Many years passed before this issue was resolved and as a result Fort Collier (referred to as Fort Drummond) (1815-1828) was the last British fort in the United States of America. [Source]

Fort Drummond was also known as Fort Collier or Fort Colyer.



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Captain A. McDonald And A Court Martial

British Military and Naval Records (RG 8, C Series) - INDEX ONLY
Microform: c-11837

President of Regt'l Court-Martial held at Fredericton on 11th March 1813, by order of Major Bliss for trial of Andrew Steadholm and Michael Guriet (Gurier)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Captain McClellan's Military Career

British Military and Naval Records (RG 8, C Series) - INDEX ONLY
Microform: c-11837


McClellan, Martin
Capt.  1st Regt.
Lincoln Militia

President at Court-Martial held for trial of James Cudney, private, Capt. George Bell's Co., 1st Lincoln Militia.

Captain McClellan met his demise:


Captain McClellan's wallet is now a museum artifact at the Niagara Historical Society Museum:

Narrative: McClellan, Martin. "...From "100 Years, 100 Artefacts" compiled by Clark Bernat It was May 26th, 1813; the wife of Captain Martin McClellan...left the family farm on John Street and found safety three miles away."  "He told his wife that he would never see her or their children again."

The Museum also holds a letter regarding the guardianship of the McClellan children.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Abram R. Woolley

From A dictionary of all officers...:

First Commandant at the Allegheny Arsenal:


1820 Court Martial:

An account of a court martial of Lt. Col. A. R. Woolley at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri.  He was dismissed for caning a soldier.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Ryersons

Life and times of Major-General Sir Isaac Brock, K. B.:

On the 6th August, Brock left York for Burlington Bay on his way to Detroit to meet the enemy, accompanied by the York Volunteers... not then knowing that the grand army had decamped.  Brock had depended on picking up the militia by the way and appointed a rendezvous at Long Point in the county of Norfolk. Not far from this place was the residence of Colonel Ryerson of the Norfolk militia.

Among the band of the United Empire Loyalists who took part in the war of 1812, there is no name more deserving of remembrance than that of George Ryerson (some time after the war the Rev. George Ryerson)....... .  The reverend gentleman and soldier was of the loyal family of Ryersons, of New Jersey, who performed eminent service to the British cause during the struggle of the American colonies for independence .  George was the son of Joseph Ryerson, and brother of the Rev. Egerton Ryerson...  .

Friday, March 7, 2014

Colonel McDougal And His Uniform

"British Uniform Coatee Worn by Colonel Daniel McDougal when he was an Ensign at the Battle of Lundy’s Lane on July 25, 1814 (see below)."


"McDougal was born in...Scotland in 1782 and came to Canada with his parents who settled in Glengarry County. When the war broke out in June 1812, he was in the Glengarry Militia...".

Is this the same Daniel McDougal who is in an In Deeds post?

Records of the Niagara Historical Society indicated where Colonel Daniel McDougal was buried:

In the enclosure of the McDougal family is the grave of Col. D. McDougal, treasurer of the united counties of Lincoln, Welland and Haldimand for many years. He fought at Lundy's Lane and lay on the field all night, being reported as mortally wounded, but recovered, carrying in his body a bullet to his, grave. In the Historical Room is the original document authorizing Daniel McDougal to enlist men in Glengarry to serve in the war, dated April, 1813, E. McDonell.  

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Canadians Wanted The Destruction Of Fort Wayne


From the Richardson book:

"The fall of Detroit having secured the tranquility of Amherstburg and its contiguous districts, as expedition was projected into the interior of the enemy's country, the object of which was the destruction of Fort Wayne....".

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Peter Dudley

In the Calendar of the Papers of John Jordan Crittenden:

1837 Dudley, P.[eter] re War of 1812

...for indemnity for loss in cost of equipping the Regiment of Volunteer mounted gunners of Kentucky in service of the U.S. [in war of 1812].

Another letter [written by Isaac Shelby to James Monroe] from the Peter Dudley file at Fold3:

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Battle Of Longwoods

From Wikipedia:

The Battle of Longwoods took place during the Anglo-American War of 1812. On 4 March 1814, a mounted American raiding party defeated an attempt by British regulars, volunteers from the Canadian militia and Native Americans to intercept them near Wardsville, in present-day Southwest Middlesex, Ontario.


Monday, March 3, 2014

A Change Of Scenery

From The Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland...:

Lindsey Warfield [of Maryland] entered the war of 1812, and was stationed in the Genesee Valley.  He was engaged in the battle of Lundy's Lane. Pleased with the country of that valley, he returned after the war, and settled there [Yates County, New York]. He married Elizabeth L'amoreaux.

The soldier in the 1860 census:

Was there also a Michigan connection?


T. 6, S. of R. 10 W. Nottawa Twp. St. Joseph Co., Michigan. The land on which the trading post was located was entered from the Government by Lindsey Warfield of Gates [Yates] Co., N. Y., June 7, 1831; Warfield deeded one acre to School District No. 1 of Nottawa. The trading post was located between the school house and the corner of the Section on the old trail, afterwards a branch of the old Territorial road."

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Political Dynamite


From the Star-Tribune (May 2012):

"Two hundred years ago (2012), President Madison dealt with what in our time might be dubbed 'Henry-gate.' He and James Monroe, were being accused of manipulating intelligence, as rumors of war roiled Washington."'

"With Secretary of State James Monroe, Madison learned that the Comte de Crillon and Capt. Henry possessed diplomatic dynamite."

Did he [Henry] start the war blog post as well as a post entitled Henry's Secret Pre-War Mission.

Excerpted from this site:

Count Edward de Crillon*...had met John Henry in London society. When he appeared on the Boston packet, a friendship arose between these two men so hardly treated by fortune. ...Crillon gave himself much concern in the affair, urging Henry to have no more to do with an ungrateful [British] government, but to obtain from the United States the money that England refused. The count offered to act as approach the Secretary of State.

*de Crillon was a fraud

A description of the imposter from this source:

"Crillon had hardly left the shores of America when a dispatch arrived in Washington... . To the chagrin of Madison and Monroe he [Barlow] announced that there was no Duc de Crillon... . Count Edouard de Crillon was an impostor. The only thing about him that was real was the $50,000 of government money he had in his pocket!"