Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Afterclap Of The Revolution

An account of the Battle of Ch√Ęteauguay: ...(published in Montreal):

The War of 1812 has been called by an able historian "the afterclap of the Revolution." The Revolution was, indeed, true thunder--a courageous, and in the main, high-principled struggle. Its afterclap of 1812 displayed little but empty bombast and greed.

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Militia's Dilemma

All too frequently this [militia versus U.S. Army] proved disastrous to our armies, and inflicted defeat on our brave troops and frustrated carefully prepared plans. In speaking of this, [Canadian writer] Auchinleck says :

"We contend that the conduct of the greater part of the American militia on this occasion*, may be fairly adduced as an additional proof that the war was far from being as popular as one party in Congress would fain have represented it. It is notorious that many of the Pennsylvania militia refused to cross into Canada, while others returned, after having crossed the line, on constitutional pretexts. The truth is, and American writers may blink it or explain it as they please, that the refusal to cross the border, on the plea of its being unconstitutional, was one of the factious dogmas of the war, preached by the disaffected of Massachusetts, who imagined, doubtless, that the doctrine might be very convenient in the event of war in that region. The Kentuckians marched anywhere, they had no scruples. Why? Because the war was popular with them and they laughed at the idea that it was unconstitutional to cross a river or an ideal frontier, in the service of their country."
*The battle of Queenstown Heights, in which Brock was killed, and which should have been a most decisive victory for our forces. [Source]

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Needed From The Arsenal

Letter from Peter B. Porter, Q. M. G. of the State of New York
Black Rock, June 28, 1812


"There is every reason to believe that the British meditate an attack on Fort Niagara...".

"Bring with you all the arms and ammunition in the Canandaigua arsenal."

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Pressed At Plymouth

Ten Years of Upper Canada..., by Thomas Ridout and Matilda Ridout Edgar:

"I told him [the Governor, with whom Ridout was conversing] of my being pressed at Plymouth [England], and only escaping by having his letters, at which he laughed heartily." 

[Excerpt from a letter written in London, England dated 17 April 1812]

Friday, June 26, 2015

To The English Mind

To the English mind the War of 1812 was only an episode in the mighty and prolonged struggle against Napoleon, and therefore it finds but cursory treatment in the standard English histories. [Source]

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Service On The Niagara Frontier


Springer and Brigham, loyalist residents of the same locality, were made prisoners, and Westbrook, who accompanied the party, burned his own buildings there.

The discrimination between the cases of Springer and Brigham seems to have been unjust, as, nearly a year and a half before, the former had waxed indignant and complained in writing to Colonel Talbot of Brigham for having mustered his (Springer's) company, during his absence at Detroit, and selected a number of men, under authority from Colonel Bostwick, to fill up his (Brigham's) rifle company, preparatory to service on the Niagara frontier. Springer returned to the country in time to take part in the closing scenes of the war, and took part in the sanguinary engagement at the Falls in October, 1814. His family had in the meantime suffered great privation during his enforced absence.

A letter from Bostwick To Talbot:

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Attack Upon Coastal Virginia

Hampton Creek

From Stuart Lee Butler's Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812 [links added]:

On June 22, 1813, a British force of some 2,500 attempted to storm the heavily defended Craney Island."

"Four days later the British attacked Hampton which lay across the channel, and this time their efforts were more successful.  They...threw the Virginia militia back in flight towards Williamsburg." 

"The British ransacked the town (Yorktown), killing civilians, and ravaged a number of women.  The British blamed the rapine on the French chasseurs and recently liberated slaves from earlier coastline incursions."

A summary of the situation:


Monday, June 22, 2015

Noxious Climate Of Craney Island

From the Report of the Select committee...:

'It is marvellous that any doubt or obscurity should ever have been cast upon the incidents of that battle, or upon the fact as to who were the prominent and conspicuous actors in it.  It is true that the insidious effects of a noxious climate, more fatal than the arms of their British foes, carried off some of them to their eternal repose very shortly...'.

The Battle of Craney Island took place 22 June 1813.

Did my presumed ancestor, William Hinds, succumb to the effects of a noxious climate?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Saturday, June 20, 2015

General Bloomfield's Announcement


On the morning of June 20, 1812, at about nine o'clock, news from Washington was received by mail in New York City that war had been declared by the United States against Great Britain on the 18th. An extra of the National Intelligencer, published at Washington, was issued about four o'clock on the 18th of June, making the announcement, and was in the morning mail that arrived in New York City. This news was confirmed by a bulletin issued by Gen. Bloomfield, at his headquarters in the fort off the Battery (now Castle Garden) in the city, at about half-past nine o'clock A.M., who was then in command of the fortifications in New York City and Harbor. It was as follows:

General Orders.

General Bloomfield announces to the troops that war is declared by the United States against Great

By order

R. H. McPherson, A. D. C.
[Robert Hector MacPherson]

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

General Ebenezer Huntington


"After the war, in 1792, he was appointed Major-General of the State militia, which office he held for thirty years. In 1799, when a war with France was anticipated, he received from President Adams the appointment of Brigadier-General in the U. S. army. He served also in the war of 1812. In 1810, and in 1817, he was elected a member of Congress. He died in 1834. Mrs. Sigourney describes him as having 'a fine figure,with military carriage, and a countenance, which was considered a model of manly beauty.' She speaks of the 'elegant manners,' and 'decision of character,' which 'were conspicuous in him, and unimpaired by age.'"  [Source]

Letters Received By The Office Of The Adjutant General, 1805-1821, including a letter written by Ebenezer Huntington:


General Huntington played a more prominent role in the Revolutionary War, although the bio above stated that he also served in the War of 1812.

Per Wikipedia:

Ebenezer was born on December 26, 1754 in Norwich, Connecticut to Jabez and Elizabeth (Backus) Huntington. The Backus family was a prominent family from the area who's heirs would found Backus Hospital. His brothers Jedediah, Andrew, and Joshua also served during the revolution.[1]

Note:  He was a Backus descendant, as am I.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Pre-War Kentucky Bourbon Business

An excerpt from the William B. Northcutt Journal (held at the Kentucky Historical Society):


"....1810 left Campbell County and went to Bourbon County, and set in with a gentleman by the name of Jas Hutchinson in the distillery business, which I had learned from my father and was a complete master of, I averedge [sic] him three gallons of whiskey to the bushel of grain that he furnished me the first season, which pleased him so that he enlarged his distillery and I worked with him two or three seasons until the War of 1812 with Great Britain came on, in the spring of 1812...".

Monday, June 15, 2015

Jacob Graves

WAR OF 1812
State of Mississippi
County of Tippah
22 April 1878
Elizabeth Graves, Age 73
Widow Of Jacob Graves
Private - Captain Hollman's Company
Jacob Graves was drafted at Franklin Co., Tennessee
Elizabeth And Jacob Were Married In Tishomingo County, Mississippi
She was Elizabeth Bromley before her marriage to Jacob Graves
Jacob Graves' 1st wife was Peggy Johnson who died about 1825
Jacob Graves died 9 March 1876
Her P.O. Address is Ripley, Mississippi

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Baron Francis De Rottenburg


In May, 1810, he was transferred to the staff in Canada, and took the command of the garrison at Quebec; in the same year he was promoted to the rank of major general. In 1812, on the breaking out of the American war, he was appointed to the command of the Montreal district; and in 1813 he took the command of the troops in the upper province, and was sworn in president of Upper Canada. In 1812, he was promoted to the colonelcy of DeRolls regiment. In 1814 and 1815, he commanded the left division of the army in Canada, and returned to England in September of the latter year. He attained the rank of lieutenant general in 1819 and died at Portsmouth, England, on the 24th April 1832.

From Farewell banquet to Colonel the Baron de Rottenburg, C.B., adjutant general of militia, Canada:

Friday, June 12, 2015

General Brown's Pre-War Years

Caption: Brown Keeping School

From the Life of General Jacob Brown...:

From the University of Buffalo Reporter:

There isn't much in Brown’s pre-military life that would inform his destiny. He was a farmer from Northern New York whose most glowing accomplishment before the war was his success smuggling goods across the St. Lawrence River.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Fourth Infantry With Hull



During the months of May and June the Fourth Infantry, forming part of the army under General Hull, was on the march from Ohio to Detroit. 

July 12, the Fourth Infantry, with the army, crossed the Detroit river into Canada, and encamped at Sandwich, on the east bank of the Detroit river, two miles below Detroit, with the professed object of marching upon the British post at Maiden, about thirteen miles from Sandwich. [Source]

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

British Man-O-War Bream

"Of these 18 men of war schooners six only were built at Bermuda, and like the others, were named after the piscatory tribe: Bream, Chubb, Cuttle, Mullet, Porgay and Tang." [Source]

War of 1812 Era Illustration

From A History of American Privateers:

The Wasp, Captain E. Ewing (or Ervin), also was a Salem privateer that was captured by an English cruiser but not until she inflicted some injury on the enemy's commerce.

[The Wasp] was chased...by the British man of war Bream... . .....Captain Ewing made every effort to escape.  The Bream gave chase, and for nine hours kept the Wasp in sight and gained on her. When in easy gunshot the English opened a heavy fire, which the Americans returned as well as they could for forty minutes, when they surrendered. The British lieutenant commanding the Bream treated his prisoners with exceptional courtesy.

Monday, June 8, 2015

James Eutrican At The Soldier's Home

Index To The Miscellaneous Documents Of The House Of Representatives [1883]....:


James Eutrican is listed on this site (about the Dayton, Ohio, Soldier's Home).  He died in 1881 according to FindAGrave.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Document Delays

Source [First State House In Chillicothe, Ohio] War of 1812 Era

Governors Messages and Letters, Volume 2...:

General Orders 
Chillicothe, June 5, 1813

"The unaccountable delay which has taken place in the marching of some of the detachments of troops destined for the North Western Army, makes it necessary that some effectual remedy be provided for an evil which is pregnant with the most fatal consequences. The general, therefore, directs that every officer when ordered to march with a detachment of troops, shall, upon receiving the orders, commence a journal...[documenting] every circumstance which tends to procrastinate his march or delay....".

Robert Butler, Cap. 24th Inf. Assist, Adj., General

See a blog post regarding a May 16th letter from the same volume here.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Bissell And The Louisiana Territory

Louisiana Territory

Upon the purchase of the province of Louisiana from France, President Jefferson appointed [Daniel] Bissell as military commander of that portion which today embraces the states of Missouri and Illinois. Promoted to colonel on August 15, 1812, and later to general on March 9, 1814, Bissell participated in the last engagement of the War of 1812, when he led the United States forces in the battle of Lyon’s Creek. After commanding posts at Mobile, New Orleans, and Baton Rouge in the South, Bissell retired from the Army in 1821. [Source]

Excerpt From Letter Sent By Bissell From Saint Louis, Missouri Territory (Fold3)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Foremost Defender Of Canada's Flag

Source - Brock's Cocked Hat

That Isaac Brock is entitled to rank as the foremost defender of the flag Western Canada has ever seen, is a statement which no one familiar with history can deny. Brock fought and won out when the odds were all against him. [Source]

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Superabundance To Scarcity

Source [Page 342]

The information was taken from the History of the late war, between the United States and Great Britain:...: 

 From the want of that system regularity and strictness which belong to old establishments there existed at one moment a superabundance of all the necessary munitions and at another as great a scarcity. There was no end to the irregular and unforeseen expenses which the government was constantly called upon to incur.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Captain Henry Whitby

See Pre-War Provocation: The 1806 Murder Of Pierce....




"...April 1812 he attended the launch at Chatham and commissioned her a few days after. Scarcely had he performed this business which he regarded as leading to glory when he was arrested by a painful disease to which he had been long occasionally subject and on the 5th of May he died.