Monday, October 31, 2016

When General Van Rensselaer Returned

Stephen Van Rensselaer

From old newspapers, and other sources, we gather the fragmentary items that follow, relating to the soldiers of 1812.  When General Stephen Van Rensselaer returned, October 31, 1812, to Albany, after the battle of Queenstown, a large concourse of private citizens and dignitaries turned out to escort him to the city. Major John Lovett was his Secretary, and Colonel Solomon Van Rensselaer, one of the bravest men that Albany ever produced, was his Aid. He was long disabled by four bullet wounds received in this battle. One of the balls he carried in his flesh until his death.  [Source]

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Transporting Military Stores

Camp [Fort] Russell was mentioned:

Fort Russell (1804 - 1814?), Edwardsville [Illinois] This five-gun stockaded blockhouse was the headquarters and main supply depot for the territorial militia. U.S. Army Regulars were briefly here in 1812. Also referred to as Camp Russell. The guns were supposedly taken from old Fort de Chartres. Located one and one-half miles northwest of town. [Source]

Thursday, October 20, 2016

October 1812 Massacre


The October, 1812, Pond settlement massacre, near New Haven in what is now Indian Creek Township [White County, Illinois], "spread terror over that section for a long time."

Indians of the Pi-an-ka-shaw tribe who were then living far up the Wabash "had been skulking about the settlement" so the chase, which included John Pond, Pearce, a brother of Hosea Pearce, and Trousdale, "promised to be a long one." [Source]

Note: More of the story is posted in my Detour Through History blog.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Became So Bold And Bloody

Peoria, Illinois, Waterfront

The prospect for 1813 was gloomy enough.  The general government made no provisions for the militia and on June 8, Governor Edwards discharged them from service.  The moment that was done hostile Indians began collecting about Peoria lake, from which point marauding parties again began to harass the settlements.  They concentrated in such great numbers and became so bold and bloody, that it at once became evident that the country must be protected and the enemy scattered, else the former exertions of defense would quickly be obliterated and many of the fortifications reduced. [Source]

Friday, October 14, 2016

Don't Go To Bed Hungry

Did They Also Have Tea To Drink?  A Block Of Tea At An Historic Fort

From Pioneer Collections...(recollections of Aura P. Stewart of St. Clair County, Michigan):

"Gen. Trotter, on hearing Gen. Meigs' order, rode up in front of his men and said: 'Boys don't go to bed hungry; if you can find anything good to eat, take it, and I will pay for it.'  It was vegetables the men wanted, and they took them whatever found.  The next morning Gen. Harrison sent for the men whose gardens had been invaded; the damages were estimated and paid to the satisfaction of all.  The British troops, in their hurry, left at Dolsen's Station, several hundred loaves of bread, which Mrs. Dolsen was selling to our men at twenty-five cents a loaf, which my father put a stop to by informing the men that it was left by the British troops, and did not belong to Mrs. Dolsen."

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Yost's Military Adventures

Yost's book (transcribed as written):

"Major lewis Came up with us he took the greatest paines to instruct the troops and it is a pleasing thing to see such a good officer as Major Lewis at the head of so many fine troops...

Riviere La Tranche (River Thames In  Ontario, Canada)

...on the 22 the British prisoners that was taken up the river trench pased this place under the care of the Cantucky milicia about four hundred in number two companys was ordered out of our Brigade Commanded by Richeson and Smith to gard the British prisoners to Chilecothe at this place I wrote to Samuel Zane But on the morning of the 26 we again took up the line of march and then we was inspected by Major Lewis...

Fort Meigs

...and then marcht for fort Megs with two days provisions in our nabsacks our rout was down the Sandusky River about four miles and one half and then Crost a large Creek and then took the old indian trale Which was through a low marchy ground....".

Also see a blog post, Robert Yost's Book.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Mutual Destruction Of Tecumseh And Colonel Whitley


From Pioneer Collections...(recollections of Aura P. Stewart of St. Clair County, Michigan):

" account of a very singular and daring old man by the name of Whitney [sic; it's Whitley], a Kentuckian, and at the time about seventy years old.  "...Col. Whitney's [Whitley's] adventures and death at the Battle of the Thames.  It appeared that....[he] was an old resident of Kentucky, and had fought many a battle with the Indians on the bloody ground."

" their search they first came to Colonel [Whitley], and about four rods distant lay Tecumseh, both dead on the battlefield.  My father [Mr. Stewart] had seen Tecumseh often in Detroit and pointed him out to the officer who never saw him before.  The shout that Tecumseh was dead brought all of the parties together to see him...".

Tecumseh Statue

"Who killed Tecumseh is a question that cannot be answered, buy Judge Connor, my father, and many others believe that Colonel [Whitley] went into battle with a desire to meet Tecumseh, and it is possible that he killed him; General Harrison and his officers lamented the death of the old veteran...".

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

William Sanford Eveleth

A dictionary of all officers: who have been commissioned, or have been ...:


A random entry:

Wm. Sanford Eveleth (D.C.) Cadet July '13; bvt Sec Lt. Engrs 4 Mar '15; Am Prof. Engrg. M.A. fm Jan. '15 to Sept. '16; drowned 4 Oct '18 in Lake Michigan. 

More about the circumstances of Lieutenant Eveleth's death in an Inland Seas article.

"As the double-masted craft Hercules was leaving port for the evening voyage to Detroit, Eveleth [who had been inspecting military sites near Chicago] hitched a ride on the sailboat as its only passenger besides a crew of five.  "...the Hercules was the “first decked vessel to operate on a regular basis on the lake” west of the Mackinac Straits. Within a day of the time the boat departed Chicago, it also became the “first documented vessel to be destroyed on” Lake Michigan."

Lieutenant Eveleth was a cadet at West Point during the War of 1812.  His grave is noted here in a John Farmer map.

See a portion of Eveleth's map here at the University of Michigan Clements Library Chronicles, Fort Mackinac Captured By The British.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

House Used As Hospital

From a letter to the...Board of Claims for Losses, 1813-1848...addressed to Colonel Clarke (Film T-1126):

October 2, 1815

"...the General Doctor of our army had dispossess(ed) me of my house and property and made a Hospital of it...".  "...the next day the Yankees camer and destroyed the Whole."

Signed Richard Chason