Thursday, February 26, 2015

Captain Richard's Take On General Macomb

The reviewer of "Memoir of Alexander Macomb, By George H. Richards" thought it "wholly worthless."  "It appears to us that Captain Richards has produced either a very bitter satire on his hero, or a very tame and ineffectual panegyric."


Perhaps Captain Richards had "issues."  From the life of William Beaumont:

"Of Beaumont's personal courage there can be no question. He was nearly involved in a duel with Captain Richards of the Artillery Corps, and indeed sent Richards a challenge, but the matter was smoothed over by mutual friends without bloodshed."

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hospital At St. Mark's Church

Source [Not An 1812 Illustration]

From the St. Mark's Church, Niagara-on-the-Lake website:

"During the War of 1812 the Church was used first as a hospital by the British and Canadian forces and as a barracks by the Americans."

Monday, February 23, 2015

Deciphering Virginia Militia Units

As seen on the [GERMANS-VA] War of 1812 Militia Units message board

...the structure of the Virginia militia during the war. I can only say it is VERY tricky business.

[There were established regiments 1-9]..."And NEW regiments were created numbered 1-9 which could be comprised of units from many different counties.

"The key to that puzzle is knowing the name of the Captain of the unit in which your ancestor served..."

"Fortunately, there is another key to solving that problem, and that is Stuart E. Butler's *A Guide to Virginia Militia Units, War of 1812."

My William Hinds' Captain was Spotswood Henry, son of Patrick Henry.

From U.S. Army register  By United States. Dept. of the Army, United States. Adjutant-General's Office:

Sunday, February 22, 2015

British Return After The Attack On Ogdensburg

From Select British documents of the Canadian War of 1812:


There was not an enterprise undertaken during the war that reflected more credit on the [British] troops engaged in it than the capture of Ogdensburg. Here was no midnight raid but a bold assault in the open day upon a defiant enemy, strongly posted and with every chance in his favor. ....nearly half of the Regulars engaged were Canadians or colonists. These were the men of the Glengarry and Newfoundland Regts who were not excelled in bravery or discipline by any corps that fought in Canada during the war. [Source]

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Meigs House

Meigs House, Marietta, Ohio

The Meigs House, built for Return Jonathan Meigs, Jr.  He was the Governor of Ohio during the War of 1812.


He [Return Jonathan Meigs, Jr.] had had some military experience, and was a man of unusually strong executive power.  He lost no time in mobilizing several regiments of state militia, in which citizens of the best families enrolled themselves In his promptness and effectiveness in this respect, he was not equaled by the governor of any other state. [Source]

Friday, February 20, 2015

Captain Hightower, POW

Letters Received By The Office Of The Adjutant General, 1805-1821:

February the 20th, 1813
Buffalo, New York


"...I am at this place a prisoner of war with about forty-six regular soldiers all on parole.... ."

Mostly from the 17th Regiment; some from the 19th Regiment...part of those men belonging to four different companies....(including Captain R. Hightower of the 17th Reg., U.S.)

"...we are part of of those unhappy bands that was surrendered by Generall [sic] Winchester at French Town at River Raisin on the 22nd of January...:".  The commandant at this place has ordered us to Pittsburgh...".

Capt. of the 17 R  U S A

Thursday, February 19, 2015

General Wilkinson's Camp


The camp was mentioned in David Kilbourn's petition:

"General Wilkinson,.....engaged to examine, secretly, the British posts in Canada, to procure accurate information of their numbers and position, and to communicate the result to the American commander; that he [David Kilbourn] executed this commission to the entire satisfaction of General Wilkinson...".

"...that the enemy, having been informed of the petitioner's employment and acts, apprehended him, confined him in prison, treated him harshly, and proposed putting him to death, when he made his escape [twice]."

"...after his escape, he repaired to General Wilkinson's camp at the French Mills, who renewed to him his former promises, furnished him with money to defray his expenses to Sackett's Harbour, and recommended him to the Quartermaster at that port...".

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


In the first battle of the War of 1812 on American soil — at Brownstown, August 5, 1812 — the only British troops in actual combat were Indians, under Tecumseh. The first United States soldier to be killed in the War of 1812 was Captain McCullough, killed in this battle of Brownstown, and he was scalped by an Indian before he was dead. The first victory of the British in the War of 1812 was the capture of Mackinac, and it is well to remember that the government of the United States took -especial pains to inform the British commanders of the declaration of war a week or ten days 
before it informed the commanders of our own forts and troops, and as a result the commander of the fort at Mackinac did not know of the declaration of war until he was summoned to surrender although that was more than a week after that declaration was known to the British forces that summoned him to surrender. [Source]

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Letter From Jackson To Cocke

Among the items at the Hathi Trust Digital Library -- Official letters of the military and naval officers of the United States, during the war with Great Britain in the years 1812, 13, 14, and 15:

One of the letters included (HEAD QUARTERS, FORT STROTHER, February 17th, 1814) from General Andrew Jackson to Colonel William Cocke:


Your two letters of the 8th and 14th instant, have been received, but from the continued hurry of business with which I am surrounded, I have not had time to answer them until now. The importance of the service you have rendered, and the deep interest you have taken in forwarding my views and the objects of the campaign, command my sincere thanks. I hope you will continue to aid in procuring the means and transporting the supplies to this place: the active exertions of a patriot of sixty-five years of age, will certainly stimulate the youthful soldier to his duty; such examples have become necessary: I find those
who talk most of war and make the greatest bustle about our injured rights at home, are the last to step forward in vindication of those rights. Patriotism is an appendage which such men wear as a coquette does a fine ribband, merely for show, and to be laid aside or applied as necessity may require.

Monday, February 16, 2015

General Benjamin Whiteman

In Gano Papers

Jim's Photo Of Clifton Mill

The Clifton Mill website stated that:

"The first mill at this site was built in 1802 by Owen Davis, a Revolutionary War soldier and frontiersman miller.  The mill was built in this location to take advantage of the natural power of the concentrated water funneled into the gorge.  Owen Davis and his son-in-law, General Benjamin Whiteman [link added] also built a saw mill and a distillery."

General Benjamin Whiteman's memorial at FindAGrave.

The Ohio legislature created a fifth division in February, 1813, under Major General Benjamin Whiteman [link added]. [Source]

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Deputy Quartermaster Duncan Reid

Frenchtown (Monroe, Michigan) Map

Reports from the Court of Claims...:

Michigan (Frenchtown)

".....Duncan Reed [or Reid],  (late of Captain Hubert La Croix's company of Michigan militia) did act as assistant deputy quartermaster to the militia in the service of the United States in July and August, 1812, stationed at the River Raisin... ."     James Abbott

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Military Ardor In Baltimore

Part Of 1829 Map Of Baltimore

From The life of John Pendleton Kennedy:

The war was coming near to our own doors and events every day grew more exciting. Our military ardor was on the rise. I was in a state of constant exhilaration. Our drills and occasional detached service became more frequent and severe. In fact Baltimore assumed more and more the character of an extensive garrison.

I visited a great deal among the younger belles of the city and rather piqued myself upon the importance of belonging to the army which was entrusted with the defense of the state. Very natural this egotism...everybody looked upon our regiment as an elite corps. We began to long now for more active service.

Friday, February 13, 2015

I Will Try

Source - Norwich University

The Norwich University and their motto explained:

It was thought for generations..."that the words, 'I will try' were first uttered in 1847 by Colonel Truman B. Ransom in the heat of battle during the Mexican War."

The the...question, "who did coin the University motto, and when?" can be found in the first volume of Ellis' History of Norwich University (1912). [which stated that] the origins of the words "I will try" can be traced to the War of 1812.

They were uttered by Colonel James Miller of New Hampshire.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Inferior To None

Statue Of General Jackson In New Orleans

In fact, it might be contended that the battles of Plattsburg and New Orleans, in both of which our
soldiers proved far more than a match, man for man, for Wellington's seasoned and best soldiers, showed the most skillful and resourceful fighting done on this continent; and inferior to none anywhere in the history of war in bravery or brilliancy of achievement. [Source]

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The War And The Duke Of Kent


The Life of F. M., H. R. H. Edward, Duke of Kent: ...:

...he was ordered to embark with them [Fusiliers] for Canada.

The Duke of Kent provided supervision of the war from Kensington Palace:

"My life continues to be be very domestic and I see as little of the great world as possible, and having said this to you, I am sure you will be pleased to learn, that what our life was when we were beside you that it has continued during the twenty years that have passed since we left Canada...". 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Reluctant General

See the portrait of William Hull.

In February, 1812, Governor Hull being in Washington, war with England imminent, and the Indians threatening the people of Michigan, he urged the necessity of troops at Detroit to keep the...[Native Americans] in check. President Madison accordingly called upon the governor of Ohio for twelve hundred militia for that service, and Governor Hull was asked to lead them to Detroit. He declined, stating that he did not wish for any military appointment. Col. Kingsbury was then ordered to the command, but was taken sick, and was unable to go. Governor Hull being again approached, he, in his anxiety for the safety of the territory, in an evil hour accepted the command, with the rank of brigadier general, and retaining his office of governor, with the understanding that in case of war he was to be released from command. [Source]

Monday, February 9, 2015

Forty Mile Creek

Forty Mile Creek - Screenshot From YouTube

From Reminiscences, 1780 to 1814, Including Incidents in the War of 1812-14 ...:

We continued our march through mud and mire, it sometimes required six teams to drag our baggage wagons and artillery; the day was extremely warm, and we were obliged to repair several bridges before we could cross the streams. We halted in the evening at 'Forty Mile' Creek. A detachment of boats with provisions and ammunition had followed our march. They were discovered by Commodore _____and we dispatched the schooners to destroy them.

My ancestors settled in the "Forty Mile" Creek (Grimsby, Ontario, Canada) area [near the Niagara area].

Friday, February 6, 2015

Captain Richard Alexander's Papers

The Alexander Family Papers are housed at the Tennessee State Library and Archives and are focused on Richard Alexander (ca.1786-ca. 1856), a Captain in the War of 1812, and...are composed of accounts, correspondence, military records for the War of 1812, deeds, land records... .  The military papers, largely requisitions for supplies, are the records of Richard Alexander, Quartermaster of the First Brigade of Tennessee Volunteers in the War of 1812.

There was an auction (now ended) that included Richard Alexander's papers (partial description below):

1st item: Partially printed document appointing Richard Alexander quartermaster with rank and grade of first lieutenant in a regiment of Infantry of the Tennessee Volunteers, commanded by Colonel W. Hall. Dated Nov. 21, 1812, Nashville, and signed by Governor Willie Blount.

4th through 7th items: ... receipts and supply requisitions, all related to Richard Alexander, quartermaster.... .

8th item: ... refers to Jackson's efforts to retain tents for his men which had been ordered back by the Secretary of War John Armstrong, as part of Armstrong's Feb. 6 letter ordering the dismissal of the detachment under Jackson's command. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Poem Fredoniad

The Fredoniad:


...In consequence of the calamities at Raisin, offensive operations are deferred until the return of Spring....

The scene is laid at the above-mentioned place.

The time is about ten months: from the commencement of the War, June 18th, 1812, until the Spring of 1813. From the time the Essex enters Valparaiso, till the day of Battle, is forty-six hours.

A sample of verses:
On the same morn of the disastrous day,
Which wrapp'd the martyrs in their robes of clay,
Shelby commanded Croghan from his rest,
And him, like father to a son, address'd:

Thy youthful warriors marshal, and proceed
To strengthen Lewis at his pressing need.
His heart, all anxious, palpitates with pain
To meet the foe, progressing on the plain. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Anable La Grosse

From Michigan, Probate Records, Wayne Probate packets:

Image 431 File 139 1/2

Anable (Amable) LaGrosse 
A private in Stephen Mack's Company of U.S. Volunteer (Militia)
[Major Witherell's Detachment, Michigan Volunteers and Militia]

Know all men that we, Stephen Mack and Shubel Conant, are firmly bound....
administrators....  4 Feby 1818

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

An Acker On The List


Silas Acker was the father-in-law of Samantha Jane (Richmond) Acker and the father of Newman McLennan Acker.  Samantha was the daughter of Elijah and Elizabeth (Fowler) Richmond and the sister of my Thomas P. Richmond.

War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files:

Source: Fold3

Monday, February 2, 2015

Blowing A Horn For Peace

Kentucky Scene [Not Hoagland's Stable]

An excerpt from the History of Lexington, Kentucky...:

In the year 1812 and for some time after, the post office was located in a little red frame house which stood on the site of Hoagland's stable, on Main, between Limestone and Rose. Persons are still living who remember when the news came to Lexington that the war with England was over. The post-rider, with the mail bag strapped behind him, and furiously blowing his horn, dashed up to the post office door with the word "Peace" in big letters upon the front of his hat.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

To The Very Last Hour

The most discouraging difficulties presented themselves in the economy, equipment, and government of the American forces to the very last hour of the war. [Source]