Friday, September 30, 2016

Who Was General Himrod?

From Ithaca (NY).com. "Old Lodi Cemetery Gets Spruced Up" by Glynis Hart.

Most of the article is about this old cemetery, which had fallen upon hard times, being fixed up.  A photo accompanies the article of the resting place of General William Himrod on the cemetery.  It says he raised a local regiment to go fight the British in 1812.

The article goes on to say that his family is buried there as well and that Himrod had bought Military Lot #55, which became known as Himrod's Settlement."

But, as time passed, the fence around his plot rusted and fell apart

Looks like I'll have to do some more research on him.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Haunted Stories Abound at Fort McHenry

From the October 30, 2015, WBAL TV 11  "Haunted stories abound at Fort McHenry" by Jennifer Franciotti.

A woman said she saw feet off the ground at the site of where the hangman's gallows once stood.

Another woman said she saw two American defenders wearing white cross belts, blue coats and white pants and boots.

During World War I, a 3,000 bed hospital was located in the barracks.

However, the fort no longer offers ghost tours.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

USS Constitution-- Part 9: Sailed Under Own Power Twice in the Last 20 Years

The USS Constitution was in dry dock 1992-1996 and again in 1997, to celebrate its 200th anniversary where it sailed for the first time under its own power in 116 years.

Then, the ship again sailed briefly under its own power in 2012, to mark the bicentennial of the beginning of the War of 1812. and her momentous battle with the British frigate HMS Guerriere, which led to her being called "Old Ironsides."

The victory over the Guerriere was great for American morale in the War of 1812, but really, the British ship was entirely overmatched as the Constitution was more of a super frigate or pocket battleship compared to it


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

USS Constitution-- Part 8: "Ay, Tear Her Tattered Ensign Down"



September 16, 1830

Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
Long has it waved on high,
And many an eye has danced to see
That banner in the sky;

Beneath it rung the battle shout,
And burst the cannon's roar, --
The meteor of the ocean air
Shall sweep the clouds no more.

Only, I thought "Ay" was spelled "Aye."

Again, I only remembered the first two lines.  But, in my defense, I memorized this poem a real long, long, long time ago.

And, There Were Two More Stanzas.  --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

USS Constitution-- Part 7: The Poem "Old Ironsides"

I looked up the poem and found it was written by Oliver Wendell Holmes in 1830, not during the pennies campaign of the school children.  And, now, I am not sure if I had to memorize it in fifth grade.  It might have been third.

The more I think about it, the more I am thinking it perhaps was third grade and was a way for us to learn how to memorize.

But either way, it did help me learn to memorize, although I forget what I memorize more often than not.

What Was I Writing About?  --Brock-What

Saturday, September 17, 2016

USS Constitution-- Part 6: How Many of You Had to Memorize the "Old Ironsides" Poem?

I can still remember the first two lines:

"Aye, tear her tattered ensign down,
Long has it flown on high.'

Beyond this, I can't remember.

Can you do better?


Friday, September 16, 2016

USS Constitution-- Part 10: Oliver Wendell Holmes

From Wikipedia.

Born August 29, 1809  died October 7, 1894.

American physician, poet, professor, lecturer and author.

Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts and educated at Harvard College.  After graduation from Harvard in 1829, he briefly studied law before turning his attention to medicine.

He wrote poetry from an early age and his "Old Ironsides" poem, published in 1830,  was influential in the eventual preservation of the USS Constitution.  This was probably the 1927-1931 restoration of the ship.


USS Constitution-- Part 5: Saved By School Children's Pennies

The USS Constitution saw 57 years of active duty and during that time, captured 33 ships.  It sailed around the world and was used as a naval training ship during the Civil War and later was a floating office ship.

The most significant restoration on the ship was done 1927-1931.  At the time, the ship was in such bad condition that it was in danger of sinking at the pier.  U.S. school children raised $157,000 in a pennies campaign that funded nearly 85% of the ship.

I believe the poem that I had to memorize in fifth grade in North Carolina, "Old Ironsides" by Oliver Wendell Holmes, was part of the campaign to raise those pennies.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Frazz Goes to a War of 1812 Battlefield, Well, Maybe Not

From the August 10, 2016, Frazz comic strip.

The father obviously aims a dart at a board to determine where the family goes for vacation.

1.  The student/son is standing, slumped over with arms folded and looking mighty sad.

2.  The Dad's dart must be approaching the board as the kid is now crouching in anticipation.

3.  He jumps with joy!!

Over the frames are the words:  Your dad aimed the vacation dart at a free War of 1812 battlefield and it landed on H2O Water S;ides.

4.  Frazz to the kid:  "I though he (the kid's dad) was a great darts player."
Kid:  "Which means anything 'happens' to the flights, where he aims is the one place the dart's not going."

Hey, I Like Those Battlefields.  --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

USS Constitution-- Part 4: Launched October 21, 1797

Humphreys also wanted copper sheathing for the hull to protect it from marine wood borers.  The United States was not producing it at the time, but Paul Revere was able to procure the needed sheathing from England.

The USS Constitution was launched on October 21, 1797 from the present-day Constitution Wharf and U.S. Coast guard base in Boston.

It was 305-feet long, 220 feet tall and had a crew of 450.

The frigates were designed to render enemy ships immobile by damaging rigging and sails.  They didn't want to sink these ships as they wanted to capture, repair and then use those ships in our fleet.

You read a lot about ships on both sides during the War of 1812, being captured and then used against its former country.


The USS Constitution-- Part 3: What Made Her the Fastest, Strongest and Most-Heavily Armed

The USS Constitution featured a bluff bow (flattened front), has a long,  narrow hull for speed and an acre's worth of sails on three masts.  It could reach speeds of up to 13 knots an hour in a good wind and even 15 when trying to outrun a pursuer.

For her outgunning an enemy frigate, she carried 24 32-pdr. carronades and 30 long guns on her gun deck.

It's hull was designed like a sandwich, three planks thick.  The exterior planks were white oak with a dense live oak framing for ribs.  It also had live oak for its interior planking.

Today, the ship's keel is one of the only few original pieces of the ship remaining.  It is made of four pieces of white oak harvested from New Jersey in 1795.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The USS Constitution-- Part 2: It and Her sister Ships Were the Fastest, Strongest, Most Heavily Armed Frigates Afloat

Soon afterwards the fleet was sold, our merchant ships started being harassed by the British and the North Africa Barbary Pirates.  In 1794, George Washington signed the Naval Act, authorizing $600,000 for the construction of six-medium-sized frigates.

Naval Constructor Joshua Humphreys was commissioned to build the Constitution, Chesapeake, President, United States, Congress and Constellation.  Knowing that our small Navy would be facing the huge British fleet, Humphreys designed his ships to be the fastest, strongest and most heavily armed frigates afloat.  They were essentially Super-Frigates.  No regular British frigate would have much of a chance against any of Humphreys ships.

Designed to either defeat or get away from any enemy ship.  They could easily take a British fleet in one-on-one battle.  If there were too many of them, the American ship could easily outdistance pursuit.


Restoring the USS Constitition-- Part 1: Technological Wonder

From the September 24, 2015, BU Today "Constitutional Amendments: Restoring a 218-year-old technological wonder" by Amy Laskowski.

Restoration on this great old ship is done about every twenty years.  Its current crew, all members of the U.S. Navy consists of two officers and 76 sailors.

This restoration will be a $12-$15 million project where they will be replacing the lower hull planking and caulking. the copper sheathing and some deck beams, rigging, upper masts and yards.

After the American revolution, the U.S. Navy was sold off to help pay the French back the $70 million it had loaned the rebelling colonies.


Monday, September 12, 2016

2007th Post of This Blog

This post marks the 2007th that I have done since 2012 when I began this blog to honor the Bicentennial of the War of 1812.  I believe that to be more posts than any other blog on this somewhat forgotten war.

I started it so I could learn more about the war as I realized I really didn't know a lot about it.  Back when I was teaching U.S. history, I was supposed to cover it from the beginning to the Civil War.  I think only one year I made it as far as the War of 1812.

I have definitely learned a lot about the War of 1812.

The Brock in the Brock-Perry sign-off refers to British/Canadian hero General Isaac Brock and the Perry refers to U.S. Naval hero Oliver Hazard Perry.


Fort Jennings in Ohio-- Part 5: Memorial Hall Built to Honor War's Cenetennial, 1912

In June 2012, the Ohio State University forensic anthropology team, using ground-penetrating radar was unsuccessful in its attempts to locate the exact site of the fort.  The question remains, was the blockhouse situated where the monument is or perhaps it is where the Memorial Hall stands today.

Construction of Memorial Hall was to honor the centennial of the War of 1812 and completed in 1916.  It fell into disrepair over the years, but was preserved in 2012 in preparation for the war's bicentennial.

August 19-21 Fort Jennings held its annual Fort fest to honor the centennial of the building.


Fort Jennings in Ohio-- Part 4: Where Is the Fort?

Besides protecting and escorting supplies, the 2nd Regiment of Kentucky Volunteer Militia, provided the garrison troops, produced cartridges for the muskets and built rafts and pirogues for the transportation of supplies on the Auglaize River.

The fort was located on the west branch of the river where the village of Fort Jennings stands today.  The Fort Jennings Historical Society is trying to determine the exact spot where the fort stood.

About a dozen soldiers are believed to have been buried there.


Sunday, September 11, 2016

My Students and 9-11

Another article in the Tribune was about an educator who personalizes the events of 9-11 when he talks about a friend who was murdered that day.

My students certainly had a lot of 9-11 on that day.  As soon as I learned about the attack at about 9:30 a.m., that became my lesson plan for the day.  We couldn't get TV reception, so listened to the radio in all my classes after that.  That was also the subject of all my classes the rest of the week.

I had them write a 500-word account of their experiences on that day, and I did that with all my classes for the next five years before I retired in 2006.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Fort Jennings in Ohio-- Part 3: "Unpleassant, Uninteresting" Life at the Fort

The men of the 2nd Kentucky Volunteer Militia camped in tents during the fort's construction.

On October 1, U.S. General William Henry Harrison and several regiments numbering 3,000 men spent a night at the new fort, still under construction,  while advancing to assist General Winchester at Fort Defiance.  In mid-October, William Jennings and his regiment, now under Winchester's command, completed the fort.

It was named in honor of Colonel William Jennings.  A major role of the fort was to serve as a supply center.  Life at the fort on garrison duty was routine and monotonous.

One member of the regiment wrote:  "We had the same unpleasant, uninteresting round of escorting convoys and provisions etc. in advance of us."


Fort Jennings in Ohio-- Part 2: Built by 2nd Regiment Kentucky Militia

There is a monument surrounded by a white fence in Fort Jennings, Ohio, on State Route 189, marking the spot where 600 Kentucky volunteers prepared to served their country and supposedly built Fort Jennings' blockhouse.

The 2nd Regiment of Kentucky Volunteer Militia, commanded by Colonel William Jennings was formed for service on September 1, 1812, in Frankfort, Kentucky.  By the middle of September they were encamped at St. Mary's, Ohio, when General Harrison ordered them forward on September 14.

The regiment advanced thirty miles and saw signs of Indian presence.  Spies informed them that the enemy was at Fort Defiance.

They halted on the banks of the Auglaize River and began a blockhouse which Harrison had directed to be at least 25 feet across in the lower story.  The fort  was also to have "breastworks of logs" and encompass roughly an acre.  It was completed in October 1812.


Friday, September 9, 2016

Fort Jennings in Ohio-- Part 1: Village Named After It

From the August 14, 2016, Delphos (Ohio) Herald "This and That--  The Fort of Fort Jennings" by Evelyn Martin.

Fort Jennings was built in 1812 by Colonel William Jennings who served with General William Henry Harrison.  It was one of a string of forts built by Harrison for the defense of the frontier against the British and their Indian allies.

It is located in the village of Fort Jennings, Ohio, a small municipality in the southwest corner of Putnam County.  In 2010, the population was 485 people.  The first settlement of the area began around 1850 and it took its name from the frontier fort constructed there during the War of 1812.  The village incorporated in 1881.

Every third weekend in August, the village hosts Fort fest, a three-day event to nonor the fort at Fort Jennings Park.