Saturday, January 31, 2015

Skirting The Blockade Of 1812


The Life and Adventures of Capt. Robert W. Andrews... South ...:

Captain Andrews has always lived a hardy life, and during the blockade of 1812 drove a four mule team from Statesburg, S. C., to Boston, with Southern products, and back to Charleston with cotton and woolen cards and other things that could not be gotten round by water. In 1812 he was employed in a woolen mill for a time, operated by Mr. Seth Davis, of Newton, Mass., who applied to the hardy young Carolinian the sobriquet of 'Buckskin.' When Mr. Davis saw the announcement of the pedestrian's arrival in the Boston papers, he wrote to him inquiring if he was the 'Buckskin' of 1812; and if so, inviting him to visit him. Capt. Andrews did so, and found his old friend hale and hearty at the venerable age of 101.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Killed By His Horse

From the Manuscripts Division of the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan:

  Undated . David Riddle ALS to John Lewis Thomson (2 pages)
Regarding the military service of Thomas and Samuel Riddle, both veterans of the war. Samuel served on the Northern frontier and Thomas served under General Hull. Riddle's younger brother, Abram, "was about to march for the frontier when he was killed by his horse falling on him he was a sergeant of a volunteer troop of Dragoons, in the state of Ohio...".

Also see John L. Fink Orderly Books, 1812-1815 post from the same source.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

1815 Letter Written Near Cat Island

Ship Island (Adjacent To Cat Island)

[C. J. Forbes]

On Board H. M. S. Alceste
Off Cat Island, 28th Jan., 1815

Source [ Excerpted Letter]

A summary of Charles Forbes and his letter (Trent University Library):

While in the British Army, Charles Forbes was present for the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. Our donation contains a letter written 29 Jan. 1815 on board H.M.S. Alceste, off Cat Island (near New Orleans), and sent to James Cobb, Secretary, East India Company (a cousin). In the letter Charles says that the information given to the Admiral was “fallacious” and that unlike what they had been led to believe, no “settlers of Louisiana and the Floridas” flocked to join the British cause and hence they had insufficient troops for the encounter with the Americans. It’s interesting to note that even by the end of January, Charles did not know that a treaty to end the War had been signed.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Commodore Charles Morris

Housed at the William L. Clements Library are Commodore Morris's papers:

"...papers contain letters and documents relating to the naval career of Commodore Charles Morris, during the War of 1812... ".

"As Isaac Hull's First Lieutenant on the Constitution, it was Morris who recommended warping or kedging to escape the overwhelming British squadron that pursued her. Subsequent to the action with the Guerriere, and in which he was grievously wounded, Morris was promoted to Captain's rank; much to the ire of those his senior on the list waiting for the same honor; bypassing that of Master Commandant."

Charles Morris married Harriet Bowen in February 1815.  He died on January 27, 1856.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Lost On The Brig Adams

Sylvester Day, surgeon, 5th Regiment, wrote the letter (seen below) on January 26, 1816.  The original letter is archived at the NARA in Letters Received By The Office Of The Adjutant General, 1805-1821:

"The first of these documents, I once received, but it was lost with my baggage, in the Brig Adams, Oct. 1812."  Note:  General Hull's baggage was also lost on the Brig Adams.

Day was also listed on John Stewart's probate, as admin.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

By Order Of The President?


Taken from Opinions of attorneys general..., the Opinion of 25 January 1821:

After the opinion I had the honor to express to you in the case of General Armstrong on the 25th January last, there can remain no question of law in the case; the only question which can remain is one of fact, to wit: "Was the General's excursion to Canada by the direction or order of the President?"

Friday, January 23, 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Jackson At The Battle Of Emuckfau

Source - Page 197
22 January 1814 

"In the afternoon of the 21st the army fell in with numerous fresh trails. These indications of the proximity of a large body of the enemy being presently confirmed by the reports of his spies. Jackson, encamping on the high grounds of Emuckfau, made every preparation to meet a sudden attack. It was well he did so. The morning of the 22d was just beginning to dawn when his left wing was startled by the furious assault... ."

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Levi Luther Todd's Orderly Book

Held at Indiana University's Archives (description and partial document below):


"An orderly book is a record book kept by a military company in which general and regimental orders are recorded. This orderly book belonged to a company that fought at the River Raisin [link added]... ."

The Indiana Genealogical Society has more about the Orderly Book in its publication here

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Joel Leftwich's Life


Papers of Joel Leftwich, 1786-1890 at the University of Virginia (and also papers at the University of North Carolina):

"Born in Bedford County, Virginia, Leftwich was the great grandson of Ralph Leftwich, who emigrated from England to New Kent County, Virginia  (in what is now Caroline County)...".

"On January 19, 1809, he was elected Brigadier General of the Twelfth Brigade of Virginia Militia upon the death of General Joseph Martin and led this force to Fort Meigs in Ohio during the War of 1812.

"General Leftwich died on April 20, 1846, in Bedford County."

Also see this blog post about General Joel Leftwich.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Jackson Routs The British

Jim's Photo - Gen. Jackson Statue At New Orleans

"There (the British in the New Orleans area) they faced a hastily assembled force consisting mainly of Louisiana militia and volunteers from Kentucky and Tennessee. The British attacked. They lost more than 2,000 men; the Americans, seventy-one.   Source: The New Nation Grows, Volume Two

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Environs Of Detroit

A Tour from the City of New York, to Detroit, in the Michigan TerritoryBy William Darby:

Route of General Harrison's Army in 1813 and spot marked where Commodore Perry captured the British Fleet are part of the map which was engraved for Darby's Tour.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Hendrys Of Ashtabula

United States, War of 1812 Index to Pension Application Files, 1812-1910
Name: Samuel Hendry
Event Type: Pension Application
Military Unit Note: Capt. James Harpers Co. Ohio Mil.
Spouse's Name: Stella Abigail Hendry

See a post about the Hendrys of Ohio and a Lapeer County, Michigan, deed at In Deeds.

Not related; no further information.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Captured At Sugar Loaf Hill

A detachment of the Canadian 2nd Norfolk was captured at Sugar Loaf Hill.

The land in the district has greatly increased in value since the formation of the Welland Canal. In the neighbourhood of Port Colborne is a high hill, or mound of a conical form, called Sugar loaf Hill, from the top of which an extensive view may be obtained of Lake Erie and the surrounding country. [Source]


...under the command of Lieutenant Titus Williams....

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Scott And Wilkinson In New Orleans

House In New Orleans

When the difficulties arose with Great Britain, it was apprehended that a sudden invasion of Louisiana might be made, and under this apprehension a military force was kept there, under the command of General Wilkinson. In 1809, Scott was ordered to New Orleans, and joined the army there. He was then a captain of light artillery, at only twenty-three years of age, frank, ardent, and bold. It was not at all surprising, then, that he should express his opinions with freedom, or that such freedom should sometimes be ill received by others. This was the case in a difficulty which soon after ensued between Scott and Wilkinson. [Source]


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Battle Of New Orleans Scrimshaw

Louisiana Digital Library has a photo of a British powder horn with scrimshaw depicting a scene from the Battle of New Orleans.

An Example Of Scrimshaw - Not The Battle Of New Orleans
Click on "photo" Link To See British Powder Horn

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The War Not Unattended With Benefits

From The Parthenon, Volume 1...:

But the war of 1812 was not unattended with benefits.

England was made to understand the nature of our government--the unadorned structure of its massive Democracy; she was taught to fear its power--to respect its rights. She sent her armies and navies amongst us with arrogant pretensions to superiority, and supercillious contempt of all that was American.

She received them again, defeated and disgraced. She saw no standing army, and thought us weak. She came among us and found us strong. She knew not that our standing army was the sturdy patriotism of millions of freemen. She despised our militia.

The British soldier quailed before the 'murderous precision' of the western rifleman. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

POW Camp In Pittsfield

"...Pittsfield soon had a reason to be reconciled to it [the war of 1812] the establishment there, of a cantonment of United States troops, followed in 1813, by a depot for prisoners of war...".

Friday, January 9, 2015

Pakenham's Charge

Pakenham Leading The Charge At New Orleans.

"On January 8, 1815, Major General Sir Edward Pakenham planned a four-prong attack on New Orleans. Three prongs would attack various points on Jackson’s line of defense, and the fourth prong would travel up the Mississippi River to take over the American artillery guns and turn them against the city." [Source]

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Scythe Of A Mower

"Like grass before the scythe of a mower, said an eyewitness, they went down. At last the whole line melted away without reaching the ditch for which it had started. The stragglers made their way back to shelter and the broad plain was left covered by spots and patches of red."

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Ganson Assigned To Bear The Flag

Of Star-Spangled Banner Fame

A flag is ordered to cross over to the Canada shore..... .   Lieut. Col. Walter Greeve of the N. Y. S. Artillery and Major James Ganson are assigned to bear the flag.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Virtually Under Siege

BLM GLO Records Map

That the Hyder Ally's prize was recaptured off Cape Elizabeth is not really much of a surprise. Throughout 1813 and 1814 the coast of Maine was virtually under siege. Maine began to fortify its coast. In Portland the militia built Fort Burrows, named for the captain of the Enterprise, on Jordan's Point and shore batteries at Fish Point, the most easterly point on the neck. A little further out, the mouth of the harbor was protected by Fort Preble at Spring Point and Fort Scammel on House Island, both built in 1809. [Source] [Links Added]

Monday, January 5, 2015

Repercussions From General Jackson's Wartime Decisions


"[See]...a "Coffin Handbill" that circulated in 1828 as part of an anti-Andrew Jackson campaign."  

Note:  The executions ordered by General Andrew Jackson during the War of 1812 [including that of David Hunt] because an issue in the 1828 Presidential campaign.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

A Letter To Isaac Shelby


A letter from General Harrison to Shelby after the River Raisin disaster which tremendously affected Kentuckians:

A continuation of Harrison's letter:

The greater part of Colonel Wells's regiment, United States Infantry, and the 1st and 5th regiments Kentucky Infantry, and Allen's rifle regiment, under the immediate orders of General Winchester have been cut to pieces by the enemy or taken prisoners.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Divided Into Three Great Periods

Surrender of Detroit (Beginning Of The 2nd Period)

The military heroes of the war of 1812: with a narrative of the war:
The war of 1812 naturally divides itself into three great periods. The first embraces the origin of the war. This will necessarily contain a review of the conduct of Great Britain towards the United States, from the peace of 1783, to the declaration of hostilities on the 19th of June, 1812; comprise an account of the celebrated Berlin and Milan decrees, and of the British orders in council; and furnish a narrative of the origin, exercise, and perversion of the claim of England to impress seamen.

The second opens with the surrender of Detroit; records the failure of Harrison's winter and autumnal campaigns in 1812; and explains the miscarriages of Dearborn, Wilkinson, and Hampton, on the Lakes and St Lawrence, during the spring, summer and autumn of 1813. This was a period of almost universal defeat for the armies of the United States. Inefficient Generals and undisciplined troops to cover the nation with disgrace. During this interval the war in the south occurred. But for some brilliant successes at sea, and for the victory of the Thames in October, 1813, these first months of the contest would have presented only unmitigated disaster.

The third and last period opened in the spring of 1814, with the most gloomy anticipations. The subjugation of Napoleon left England free to employ all her strength against the United States. The veteran troops of Wellington were accordingly poured into Canada. Boasts of permanently annexing a portion of New York, or of New England, to the British dominions were publicly made by the English officers. But suddenly the scene changed. These splendid veterans were defeated in every contest, by our comparatively raw troops. Instead of gaining a foothold in the United States, the enemy was everywhere beaten on his own soil. These results proceeded from placing bolder and younger men in command of the army; from disciplining the troops thoroughly; and from the spirit of patriotism which was now fully aroused to meet the impending crisis. From this hour the arms of the United States were in the ascendant. Success had at first receded from us further and still further, like a wave withdrawing from a beach; but suddenly the tide turned, it rolled in, and towering higher and prouder, broke over us in triumphs.