Monday, April 30, 2012

US Navy Commemorates the War of 1812

From the April 5th Sacramento (Ca) Bee "U.S. Navy Commemorates Bicentennial of the War of 1812" by US Fleet Forces Command.

This anniversary is of particular importance to this branch of our Armed Forces as the Navy demonstrated itself as a force to be reckoned with.  The Navy began its 4-year observance on March 13th at the Library of Congress.  There will be a series of public events over the course of the bicentennial.

One has already concluded, the Navy Week in new Orleans.  Others:

2013  The Battles of Lake Erie and Champlain
2014  Fort McHenry and the Star-Spangled Banner
2015 the Battle of New Orleans..

For more information


Arthur Sinclair, USN

Thanks again, Wikipedia.

Saturday, I wrote about the current naval officer, Lt.j.g. Lloyd Mustin who found his fifth great grandfather's grave, Arthur Sinclair.  I had never heard of Arthur Sinclair, so good old Wiki to the rescue for a fast fix.

Born Feb. 28, 1780.  Died Feb. 7, 1831.

Also served in the First Barbary War.  He had three sons who also served in the US Navy, even though all three resigned and served in the Confederate Navy.  He was also the great grandfather of novelist Upton Sinclair who wrote "The Jungle" in 1906.

From Oct. 12 to Dec. 17, he commanded the Argus and cruised with the North Atlantic Squadron, taking a number of prizes.  During this time, the Argus was once separated from the fleet and chased by British ships for three days before escaping because of Sinclair's excellent ship handling.

On May 18, 1813, Sinclair was ordered to the squadron on Lake Ontario under command of General Pike and participated in the engagement of September 28, 1813.  In 1814, he commanded the USS Niagara on Lake Huron and Lake Superior and directed the Naval squadron at the Battle of Mackinac Island and the engagement on Lake Huron.

Promoted to captain in 1813, he commanded the USS Congress in 1817, served in Washington, DC in 1818.  The following year, he commanded the Norfolk Station and established a naval school, forerunner of the USNA, on the Guerriere.  He died at Norfolk.

An Interesting Life.  --Brock-Perry

Saturday, April 28, 2012

War of 1812 Symposium in Illinois This Weekend

From the April 25th Morton (Il) Times News "1812 is topic of discussion."

Well. too late, missed it by now.  But, the Illinois History Symposium was held April 26 to 28th at the Embassy Suites in East Peoria.

In 1812, Illinois was still a territory with fewer than 10,000 settlers located mostly along the Mississippi, Ohio and Wabash rivers.  The rest of the state was home to Native-Americans.  The War of 1812 proved to be their last stand.

More than 30 presentations were scheduled.

Would Have Been Interesting.  --Brock-Perry

Sailor Finds War of 1812 Ancestor's Grave

From the April 9th Navy Times by Jacqueline Klimas.

Lt.j.g. Lloyd Mustin is the eighth generation of his family to serve in the Navy (quite impressive in itself) and is on the USS Stout.  His fifth great-grandfather, Arthur Sinclair, was a commodore in the Great Lakes region in 1812.

Sinclair joined the Navy at age 12 and served during the Quasi-War with France on the frigate USS Constellation during its famous fight with the French frigate L'Insurgente which ended with the first American capture of a foreign vessel.

Mustin did a web search for his ancestor's grave and found it at Cedar Grove Cemetery, just a ten-minute walk away for him.  The cemetery contains many early 19th-century gravestones, many barely legible all these years later.  He found it, though.

because of his family's commitment to the Navy, a destroyer, the USS Mustin was named for Captain Henry Mustin who flew the first aircraft to be catapulted off a ship in 1914.  Henry Mustin also designed the naval aviator insignia.

Friday, April 27, 2012

"We Didn't Start It..."

From the March 25th Spec "The War of 1812: Our War" by Jon Wells.

"We didn't start it, but the War of 1812...was Canada's war, even if it was an event with global implications."

General Isaac Brock (the first name in my sign-off) has a huge monument, 185 feet high, at Queenstown heights (where he was killed in battle).  A plaque says his remains are in a vault at the base of it.

The first monument to him at the sit, was dynamited in 1840 by terrorists.  (Now this has to be a good story.)  It was rebuilt in 1852, even taller than its predecessor.

The bottom line for Canadians, is that the border with the United States remained the same as before.

It's a Canadian Thing.  --Brock-Perry

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dig Points to NY Site of War of 1812 Encampment

March 30th WCAX.

An archaeological dig last summer near Lake Champlain's shoreline has uncovered evidence of an American winter encampment.  It was led by Timothy Abel on the former property of Plattsburgh AFB unearthed military artifacts including buttons bearing the number 15, indicating the U.S. Army;s 15th Regiment.

That unit spent the winter of 1812-1813 encamped at what was then known as Pike's Cantonment, after its commander, Zebulon Pike, who later became famous for western exploration.  The camp's exact location has been debated for decades and more excavation is planned for this summer.

Nearby, American land and naval forces defeated the British at the Battle of Plattsburgh.

Uncovering the War.  --Brock-Perry

Bits of War: Songs-- Dough-- AT&T

Bits of War: Snippets from an Old War.

1.  SONGS--  The Stratford Historical Society met at Christ Episcopal Church and heard 12 popular songs played during the war.

2.  DOUGH-- The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission donated $70,000 to three groups involved in the Battle of Queenstown Heights Bicentennial.

3.  AT&T--  AT&T has become the largest contributor of the War of 1812 commemoration, donating more than $1 million to it.

Just Some Stuff.  --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New York State Getting Involved in Commemoration Effort

From the April 1st Niagara Gazette "New York state enlists in War of !812 efforts" by Don Glynn.

The state finally agreed to help communities commemorate the War of 1812.  Two years ago, Governor Dan Peterson, citing financial problems vetoed a proposal to create a War of 1812 commission to market and promote the bicentennial.

Current Governor Andrew Cuomo also said there were no funds available.

Lewiston, a major area for U.S. invasions of Canada was looking for help and funds.  The state has now provided $450,000.  That's just a fraction of what is needed, but better than nothing.  Earlier in 2012, Niagara County awarded a $37,000 grant to Old Fort Niagara.  The county gave another $37,000 to the Lewiston Historical Society.

these amounts pale next to the $25 million Maryland is considering budgeting.  Canada has $29 million available.

New York getting On Board...A Little, Anyway.  --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Commemoration Taking Shape

From the March 20th Ottawa (Canada) Citizen "War of 1812 commemoration takes shape: $28 million to mark 200th anniversary" by Randy Boswell.

Close to $5 million is being spent for 24 projects, including $1 million for a series of interactive exhibits at Vancouver's Canada Place, more than 3,000 kilometres from where the fighting took place.

The war is considered "a seminal event in the evolution of Canadian nationhood."  Had the American invasions not been defeated, Canada as a nation would not exist today.  It would probably be a part of the United States.

There will also be commemorative coins, stamps, educational programs and a major traveling exhibit.

Real Big Stuff North of the Border.  --Brock-Perry

Monday, April 23, 2012

Michigan Commemorating the War

From the March 25th Sault Ste. Marie (Mi) Soo Evening News "Help Commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812."

The Michigan Commission on the Commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 is seeking volunteers from towns to organize ceremonies.  They have developmental materials available to help.

Michigan played a prominent role in the war and was the center of several military encounters including Detroit, Monroe and Mackinac Island.

For more information:


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saving Connecticut's Powder House

From the March 26th Christian Science Monitor "Betty Oderwald helps save a memory in stone of a 200-year-old forgotten U.S. War" by Cathryn J. Prince.

The Powder House in Fairfield, Connecticut is one of the state's few remaining structures from the War of 1812.  Ammunition was stored in it back then, but t had fallen into great disrepair until enter Betty Oderwald, president of the Connecticut Society of U.S. Daughters of 1812.  It has been her aim to increase local awareness.Along with her organization, the Fairfield DAR, Fairfield Public Works and $5,000 in town funds, a new roof, new door, stones aligned has come to pass.

It is believed to be the only structure in Connecticut built for the war still standing.  It was built in 1814.  Until then, the state wasn't too worried about British attack until Napoleon abdicated that year.  Now, the British could turn their full attention to the United States.

Remember, the British burned Washington, DC, and attacked Fort McHenry in 1814.  Even though it was never used, Oderwald is working to get it listed on the NRHP.

Connecticut so opposed the War of 1812, that Governor Roger Griswold prohibited the state militia (some 5,000 served) from leaving the state borders.

Oderwald is also working to compile a list of War of 1812 soldiers from the state's 169 towns and cities.

Saving Those Old Buildings.  --Brock-Perry

Friday, April 20, 2012

US Navy Bicentennial Celebration Launched

From the March 28th Sacramento (Ca) Bee "Regional Team Helps Launch U.S. Navy War of 1812 Bicentennial Celebration"

U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, launched the Navy's Bicentennial commemoration at the Library of Congress. The Perry Group of Ohio presented him with a "Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial Celebration" flag stitched with the words, "Don't Give Up the Ship."

A major turning point of the war was when Oliver Hazard Perry, waving a "Don't Give Up the Ship" flag led an American fleet to victory over the British Navy in Lake Erie (the first and only fleet victory over them.

The Navy already has a 15-city tour set to commemorate the war.

It Ramps Up. --Brock-Perry

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Follow Up on the US-Canada Hockey Game

Frpm the April 8th Niagara News "It'ss be red, white-but no blue for Buffalo mayor after Team Canada's Battle of the Border win."

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown will be wearing red and white the next time he attends a public event in his city. He and Fort Erie (Canada) Mayor Dory Martin had a friendly bet. The mayor of the losing team would wear the jersey of the winning one.

Team Canada won 7-5.

Fort Erie was the site on the bloodiest War of 1812 battle and the stepping off point of the last American invasion of Canada in early July 1814. Buffalo was burned during the war.

So Round One Goes to Our Northern Neighbors. --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

He Shoots and Scores!!!

March 29th Niagara This Week "He shoots and scores"

The rivalry between the United States and Canada is coming to the ice. The next activity of the 1812 Bicentennial Committee is an ice hockey game with current junior and college-level players on both sides of the border.

The game was held April 7th and is part of a three-year lineup of celebrations planned.

I did not find out who won. Perhaps the NHL can have another one of their Canada and US pros play each other. We sure had a great time watching the Canada-US games the last time hey played. And, we were in Panama City, Florida, watching it with a lot of Canadians. That was a blast.

Go, Team U.S.A.!!! --Brock-Perry

New York State Funds War Observation

March 29th "Albany Money Will Aid Effort to Remember 1812."

Like every state these days, New York has some serious budget woes. In 2011, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo vetoed a bill setting up a State War of 1812 Commission.

Bu. money is coming because of a budget agreement. The state is giving $450,000 to the NY Council for the Humanities to provide grants for 1812 programming, particularly in the upstate like Buffalo, Plattsburgh and Sackets Harbor.

This is definitely a step in the right direction, but the article also noted that Maryland has set aside $25 million for the bicentennial and Canada has $28 million to work with.

Money Gets in the Way of Observance. --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Perry's First Ship, the USS Revenge

The third US ship by the name of Revenge was a 70-foot long schooner mounting 12X6-pounder guns purchased in 1806 which ran aground and sank Jan. 9, 1811, while under the command of Lt. Oliver Hazard Perry who had commanded it since 1809. It was built in Baltimore.

In April 1810, it freed an American ship in Spanish waters that had been seized and placed under British colors. Two British ships were near it, but Perry boarded it anyway, manned it with a prize crew and sailed away.

When the ship ran aground near Watch Hill, Rhode Island, the Revenge had been charting coastal waters and the harbor. An attempt was made to tow the ship off, but the rope broke and it sank.

An investigation was held and Perry exonerated, but it did cause his career to get waylaid from fast advancement.

On Jan. 7, 2011, local divers Charles Duffum and Craig Harger announced the discovery of a shipwreck that matches the site where the Revenge sank and its size. Two months ago, the Navy sent divers to the site, but would not confirm if the wreck was that of the Revenge.

This story takes place before the war, but does have an impact on it, along with one of the reasons the U.S. finally declared war.

Don't Have Your Ship Sink. --Brock-Perry

And the Observance Starts in the U.S. at New Orleans

From the April 15th Examiner.

Nine ships are set to arrive in New Orleans April 17th to kick off the bicentennial observation of the War of 1812 in the United States. Three are US Navy, three from foreign navies and three are tall ships.

They will be docked at Woldenberg Riverfront Park and open for free tours from April 18th to 22nd.

They are:

USS Wasp, an amphibious assault ship
USS Mitscher, destroyer
USS De Wert, frigate

FS Germinal from France
HMS Montrose from Britain
HMCS St. Johns from Canada

One of the three Tall Ships is the Coast Guard's Eagle.

And, So It Starts. --Brock-Perry

Monday, April 16, 2012

And, I Was Hoping This Wouldn't Happen

The idea of having a separate blog for the bicentennial of the War of 1812 for a month or so now. Today, in a fit of weakness, I started one.

I sure don't need one as this will make SEVEN of the buggers. I spend way too much time on them, but have to admit that I sure enjoy them.

This is the second blog to spin off my Cooter's History Thing Blog. The other one started Jan. 1st of this year and is on World War II, "Tattooed On Your Soul."

I have already been posting some to the history blog about the War of 1812. I expect to have one or two blog entries a week and run this during the course of the bicentennial.

Oh, Well. Here We Go. --Brock-Perry