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.

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