Friday, August 31, 2012

The Revenue Cutter Louisiana-- Part 2

The Louisiana remained the only federal ship in Louisiana Territory until June 17, 1806 when Gunboat 13 and Gunboat 14 arrived and were placed under command of Captain John Shaw, USN, (still in charge 1812).

I keep coming across Jefferson's gunboats, which were numbered instead of named.  I'll have to find out more about them.

The Louisiana was severely damaged in a storm during September 1807.  In 1810, it was bought by the US Navy to carry troops.

On April 17, 1812, the Louisiana's Captain Angus O. Frazer, wrote that he had engaged two pirate ships that had outfitted in New Orleans.  He reported "twenty shots were exchanged, but their superior sailing and night coming on, made their escape."

The ship was sunk in the August 19, 1812, hurricane.  Its guns removed, it was placed out of commission and auctioned off in her sunken state.  Her new owner had her raised and placed in mercantile service.

Ship stats: 75 tons, 70.6 feet long, 22.4 beam, 5.7 draft, 30 crew and armament of ten 4-pdrs.

The second ship by the name Louisiana operated 1819 to 1824 and was a topsail schooner.

I believe this is the Louisiana Wikipedia referred to as the US Navy ship sunk in the hurricane.

So, That Ship.  --Brock-Perry

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Revenue Cutter Louisiana

From the Louisiana Military Heritage Site.

I was still wondering about this USS Louisiana.  If it was such a major Navy vessel, why would they not mention its sinking in the 1812 hurricane?

After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the government needed a revenue cutter in newly acquired New Orleans.  On June 18, 1804, the Collector at Baltimore, Md., was authorized by Congress to build a 60-foot cutter, about 60 tons with a six-foot draft.

It was named the Louisiana and set sail for New Orleans December 16, 1804,  in a voyage that took twenty days.  Its first commander was Revenue Captain Joseph Newcomb and, on his first voyage out of New Orleans, ignored his orders and went to Pascagoula (in still-disputed territory and occupied by the Spanish) and confiscated large quantities of coffee.  To avoid a diplomatic incident, the Port Collector ordered the coffee returned.

On April 16, 1805,the Louisiana captured the schooner Felicity which had been privateering.
More to Come.  --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Follow Up on the USS Louisiana, the Hurricane, and War News

Continuing a bit further with my August 24th post.  This ship was wrecked in the Louisiana hurricane of August 19, 1812, according to Wikipedia.  I came across the Navy Department Library while researching this ship.  They have letters from naval officers in New Orleans about the hurricane, and strangely, there was no mention anywhere of a USS Louisiana (which apparently was the most powerful ship in the squadron).  And, no mention of it sinking.

Strange to be writing about an 1812 hurricane at the same time a new hurricane is pounding New Orleans and environs, coming on the 6th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  Hurricanes were not named back in 1812.

That would be kind of strange that a capital ship like that would sink and there would be no mention of it.

News of the US declaration of war against Britain reached New Orleans July 9, 1812, (not the last time news reached the city late) the naval station here being the farthest one from Washington, DC.  Captain John Shaw, USN, the station commander, had 400 officers and men on two brigs and 11 gunboats. He hurriedly put the station on war footing, figuring it would be a prime place for a British attack.

The August 19th hurricane set those efforts back considerably.  There was great damage and loss of lives.

But, significantly, his report did not mention any USS Louisiana.

So, Was There a USS Loisiana or Not?  I Think I Have an Answer.  --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

British Hero Charles Plenderleath

July 22nd Sun-News "Looks were deceiving when it came to 1812 hero Plenderleath" by Tom Villenarie.

Looking at him did not strike a person as the bearing of a hero with his narrow chest and weak chin.  But, his actions spoke louder than looks.  Charles Plenderleath was in the 49th Regiment, British Army which came over to Canada with General Isaac Brock.  This unit captured Detroit.

At the Battle of Stony Creek, Plederleath proved his heroism.  The British were outnumbered and decided to sneak up on the Amercan camp at night with unloaded muskets in what would be a bayonet attack.  On first contact, however, British troops began cheering and alerted the Americans who rallied and began firing.

The British were in a really bad situation.  They had partially disassembled their rifles, removing firing mechanisms to prevent accidental discharge, so the muskets had to be reassembled and loaded.  If they turned and fled, they would be easy targets.

Plenderleath heard heavy cannons firing nearby and attacked the American battery and took four of the guns and, with just twenty men, continued attacking, capturing American generals Winder and Chandler, five field officers and captains and about 100 other prisoners.

Laterm he was the defacto commander of the 49th when he led it at the Battle of Crysler's Farm/Farm.  Here he again charged American artillery and captured it and fought off American cavalry.

He was later promoted to Lt. Col and died in 1857.

I'd Never Heard of Him Before.  --Brock-Perry

Canadian Military to Wear Commemorative Pins

From the July 23rd Lookout "Minister MacKay introduces War of 1812 pins."

War of 1812 commemorative pins will ne worn by all Canadian military branches during the next three years.  Also, all military units and establishments will fly a commemorative banner.

I do not think any of this is happening in the United States.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Ohio Teachers Learn About the War

From the July 23rd News messenger "Program teaches educators about War of 1812 in Ohio" by Vince Guerrieri.

Teachers and college professors visited Ohio sites in a week-long K-12 program sponsored by the Ohio Historical Society "The War of 1812 in the Great Lakes and Western Territories." 

Among the sites visited were Fort Meigs in Perrysburg and Perry's Victory International Peace Monument in Put-In-Bay, Ohio.  Perry's fleet sailed from Put-In-Bay before the Battle of Lake Erie, which took place nearby.

And, then, there are always the sights and sounds of Put-In-Bay which reminds me of Key West, only a whole lot closer.

Hope They Learned Something and Will Teach It to Their Students.  --Brock-Perry

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ships Defending New Orleans

I have been writing about the sinking of the USS Louisiana in the August 1812 hurricane.

Other ships at New Orleans in what was termed the Upper Mississippi Brigade (for some reason, thought that was an army term) were six of President Jefferson's gunboats (I'll have to do some research on these, never heard of them before).

Present were
 #5, launched in 1805 and carrying five cannons
#23 launched 1808 carrying five cannons
All the gunboats were captured Dec. 14, 1814, except #65.

Also present:

USS Alligator
USS Tickler, burned Dec. 13, 1864, to prevent capture

So, there was more to the Battle of New Orleans than just one day and there was naval action as well. 

Something Johnny Horton Didn't Sing About.  --Brock-Perry

Friday, August 24, 2012

USS Louisiana

I mentioned this ship in my entry yesterday saying that it was sunk at New Orleans by the Aug. 19, 1812, hurricane.  I'd never heard of the ship before, so had to do some research.

Wikipedia says the ship was a sloop-of-war launched in 1812 and broken up in 1821.  It weighed 341 tons, was 99-feet in length, had a 28-foot beam and a 14-foot depth in its hold, carrying 16X24-pdrs.

Originally built as a merchant ship, it was purchased by the Navy for $15,500.  Strangely, there was no mention of this ship sinking in the Aug. 19th hurricane.

However, it did participate in the fighting around New Orleans at the end of the war.  From Dec. 23, 1814, to Jan. 8, 1815, it pounded British troops advancing upriver along the shore.  These forces continued upriver until out of range of the Louisiana's guns, which ship could not go after them due to the river being low.

Crewmembers went on shore and then pulled the ship into position to fire its guns.

And the Battle Was On.  --Brock-Perry

Thursday, August 23, 2012

1812 Louisiana Hurricane

No, we're not talking Katrina here. This is before hurricanes were named.

From Wikipedia War of 1812 Chronology.

AUGUST 19, 1812, a hurricane made landfall at New Orleans with high winds and storm surge.  The parade ground at American Fort St. Philip, downriver, had eight vfeet of water in it.  A British fleet was approaching at the time and it was scattered.

The 16 gun warship USS Louisiana, the largest ship at the port, sank, but evidenly was later raised because it took part in the events leading up to the 1815 Battle of New Orleans.  Of interest, another USS Louisiana became the famous powdership at Fort Fisher during the Civil War.

The Big Blow.  --Brock-Perry

Bits of War: Navy Ships-- New Museum-- Powder House

Some New News About an Old War.

1.  NAVY SHIPS--  From 8-22 Detroit News--  The four Navy ships touring the US and Canada for the bicentennial were in Chicago and in Milwaukee next.  September 4-10, they'll be in Detroit.

2.  NEW MUSEUM--  From 8-21 College Park (Md) Patch--  The new War of 1812 Visitor Ceter in Bladensburg Waterfront Park opens this weekend with ribbon-cutting tomorrow.  Prince George's County and Bladensburg played a big role in the war leading to the British sacking Washington, DC.

3.  POWDER HOUSE--  From the 8-23 Fairfield (Ct) Citizen--  A tour and a talk will be given for the War of 1812 Powder House and Town Hall Green on Sunday August 26th. The role of forts Union and Defiance will also be discussed.  And, there will be an ox roast.  I don't think I've ever had roast ox.

Just Some News.  Who Says Forgotten?--Brock-Perry

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Fort Dearborn Monument

The Battle of Dearborn is depicted on a Michigan Avenue bridge house with warriors attacking and a U.S. Army officer fighting them off with his sword.

Under it is the inscription:

Fort Dearborn stood almost on this spot.  After an heroic defense in eighteen hundred andtwelve, the garrison together with women and children was forced to evacuate the fort.  Led forth by Captain Wells they were brutally massacred by the Indians.  They will be cherished as martyrs in our early history.

Erected by the trustees of the E.F. Ferguson Monument Fund.  1928

Some great graphics accompanied the Tribune article that I have been using, including an overlay of the fort on present downtown streets and a map of Chicago showing the site of the fort and approximate site of the battle/massacre a little over two miles away.

"Though the exact location of the battleis not known, the location of Fort Dearborn is marked by brass plates on Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive.  The story unfolded near the foot of the Magnificent Mile, along Lake Michigan and near Soldier Field and the Museum Campus (Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum and Adler Planetarium)."


The Fort Dearborn Massacre-- Part 6

The U.S. Army determined to shorten its defensive perimeter and orders were sent to Fort Dearborn to evacuate, according to General Hull, if it was safe to do so.  Captain Heald said he was simply told to proceed to Detroit.  Either way, the orders came at the same time as 500 Indian warriors arrived, who had learned of the order.

I have read that Heald was going to Fort Wayne in Indiana and that the main reason orders to evacuate the fort happened because of the fall of Fort Mackinac earlier in the summer.

Some of the Indian chiefs argued against attacking the Americans.  One brave, Nuscotnumeg, argued: "Now's the time--we have them within our grasp; we must kill them all."  This answers my earlier thought, news of the fall of Fort Mackinac swayed the Indians to attack and Heald was going to Fort Wayne and then from there to Detroit.

The Americans left the fort and into history on August 15th.  The site of the tragedy is now covered with high rises along Lake Shore Drive, just west of Soldier Field, where the Chicago Bears play.  The Americans were following the lake shore, but it has since been filled in considerably.

In the middle of the buildings is the Battle of Fort Dearborn Park.

In 1835, the Potawatomis assembled in Chicago to receive a final payment from the government for agreeing to move westward.  Before leaving, in full regalia, 500 warriors brandishing tomahawks had a procession through the city and past the rebuilt Fort Dearborn.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Old Ship Comes Through

From the August 20th Boston Globe "Old Ironsides comes through sail in Boston Harbor in good shape" by Melissa M. Werthmann.

The USS Constitution sailed under its own power Sunday for only the second time in 131 years.  Spokesman Frank neely said, "Structurally speaking, the ship held up fine.  She's a very tough girl."

The ship was tugged until just before 10 AM with 285 lucky people aboard.  Once the Constitution reached President Roads in Boston Harbor, the crew set three sails and detached from the tugboats.  She then sailed under her own power for 17 minutes at a maximum speed of 3.1 knots.

After that, the ship was towed by Castle Island where thousands of spectators saw the ship fire a 21-gun salute.

It returned to its pier just after 2 PM and reopened to the public at 4 PM.  It will be going into drydock in 2015 for restoration work.

I sure would have loved to be there to witness it, but just imagine how great it wuld have been to actually have been aboard.

I saw videos of the celebration and was that ever impressive.  There wre lots of small boats along the route as well.

Not Bad for a 215-Year-Old Lady.  --Brock-Perry

The Fort Dearborn Massacre-- Part 5

Far from Fort Dearborn, Britain and France were locked in a life-or-death struggle.  Napoleon and France controlled mainland Europe.  Britain continued to rule the seas. Frustrated, both sides resorted to economic warfare, each imposing a blockade on the other.  As a neutral country, the U.S. claimed a right to continue trading with France which England opposed.  They began stopping American ships and taking off any British-born sailors in what they cal;led impressment.

The United States declared war and invaded Canada which had remained loyal to England, even after American independence.  Lacking forces to fight the Americans in the interior of the country, the British enlisted Indian allies who were fighting the onslaught of settlers flooding into their lands.

In the spring of 1812, the famous chief Black Hawk put the Indian view in the spotlight, "Why did the Great Spirit ever send the whites to this island, to drive us from our homes, and introduce among us poisonous liqours, disease and death?"

More to Come.  --Brock-Perry

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Fort Dearborn Massacre-- Part 4

Continuing from the August 12th Chicago Tribune.

Regardless of whether you cal it a battle or massacre, it was a classic example of winning a battle, but losing the war.  The event convince Americans flooding into the territory that the Indians had to go.  Fort Dearborn was rebult in 1816 and the Potawatomi Indians were forced to move west of the Mississippi River.

One of the four stars on the Chicago flag represents Fort Dearborn.

The battle was just "one small episode in a global conflict that stretched from a European continent dominated by Napoleon Bonaperte to America's western frontier.

Sand dunes and woods covered what would become the Loop.  The future Magnificent Mile had but one store, Kinzie's trading post.  The site of Millenium Park was still underwater with the shoreline being farther west than it is today.  Indeed, all of Grant Park was under water.

Captain Nathan Heald, commander of the fort in 1812, wrote that the place was "so remote from the civilized part of the world."

To Be Continued.  --Brock-Perry

Sunday, August 19, 2012

200th Anniversary of the USS Constitution-HMS Guerriere Battle Today

And, this vaunted ship is supposed to sail under its own power (as in sails) in Boston Harbor today for only the second time since 1881!!  However, it is periodically towed around the harbor.

From the August 17th New York Daily News "USS Constitution, ship that fought in War of 1812, to sail again" by AP.

It will be a ten-minute cruise under its own power to mark the 200th anniversary of its victory over the British ship Guerriere where it earned its nickname, "Old Ironsides."  This sortie will take place as long as the winds are more than 5 mph (less than that and there is not enough) and not more than 15 mph (more than that there is the fear that it will place too much stress on the old ship).

The ship has just undergone a three-year restoration project partly for today's sail

Commanded by Captain Isaac Hull, the battle with the Guerriere took place off Nova Scotia on August 19, 1812.  It wasn't much of a battle actually, the Constitution was much bigger and mounted heavier cannons.  Its 24-pdr. cannons pounded the British ship in close quarters (indeed, the two ships collided once), knocking down its mast.  Meanwhile, the Guerriere's 18-pdr shot often bounced off the two-foot thick live oak (Mom says from North Carolina).  Thus earning the nickname.

On board the Constitution, still a commissioned US Navy ship, will be its 65 man crew and an additional 150 sailors.  Tugs will be nearby, just in case.

I'm Looking Forward to Seeing It.  --Brock-Perry

And, by the way, also a happy birthday to my brother Bob who turns 59.  One to go to the Big 6-0!!

100th Post: Those USS Constitution Forever Stamps

This being my 100th post in this, my newest, and hopefully, LAST blog.

I came across an alert that the US Post Office had a First-Day-of-Issue USS Constitution Forever Stamp yesterday, so got myself over to the Spring Grove one and bought two sheets for $9 apiece.  I was just getting one, but wanted to mail myself a letter with the stamp on it and they only come in sheets.

The stamp features a painting of the Old Ironsides under full sail and the words "USS CONSTITUTION: War of 1812."

The front of the sheet has:
"THE WAR OF 1812" and another painting of several ships.
"On June 18, 1812, the United States declared war on Great Britain.  President James Madison charged the British with violatingthe nation's sovereignty by restricting American trade with Europe and by removing seamen from American merchant ships and forcing them to serve in the Royal Navy."

I believe this is the first commemorative stamp for the War of 1812 Bicentennial issued by the United States.  Canada already has released two of them.

I was surprised there wouldn't be anything about the ship on the front, but if this is the first one for the war, I guess you need to have some background.

America's Forgotten War?  Well, Not Here.  --Brock-Perry

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The USS Constitution Gets Its Nickname

Tomorrow, 200 years ago, the frigate USS Constitition came up against the British frigate HMS Guerriere and won a decisive battle.  In the process, British cannonballs bounced off the sides of the ship, earning it the name "Old Ironsides."

The Constitution has always been afavorite ship of mine, dating back to 3rd, 4th or 5th grade when we had to memorize that famous poem, "Aye, tear her tattered ensign down, long has it flown on high."  That's all I remember now.  I think it was written during an effort to raise money to save the ship in the 1800s.

Sure glad they did.

I have actually seen the ship.  During a trip to Boston and up the coast to Maine, we went to the ship and saw it, but didn't go aboard because of a rather really long line.

This morning, I went to the post office and bought two sheets of the Day-of-Issue USS Constitution stamps and even sent a letter to myself with one of the stamps.

Tomorrow, the ship goes for a sail under its own power.

That Is Something I Really Wish I Could See.  --Brock-Perry

Friday, August 17, 2012

Another British Victory: The Fall of Detroit

From August 16th WKAR "War of 1812: The Surrender of Detroit" by Scott Pohl.

Yesterday marked the 200th anniversary of the surrender of Detroit, regarded as one of the most embarrassing moments in American history.

The territorial governor of Michigan, William Hull,  had been appointed to command the 2,000 man army made up mostly of Ohio militia charged with defending Detroit from British attack.  British General Isaac Brock bombarded Detroit and made the Americans think he had more regular troops through ruse, but used his trump card, a veiled threat that should a battle take place, he couldn't assure the Americans he could control his many Indian allies and no-telling what atrocities they might commit.  Hull was deathly afraid of Indians.

Hull immediately surrendered without even consulting his officers.  The regular U.S. Army troops were taken to prison in Canada while the Ohio militia were paroled and sent back home.

This capped a month of great success for the British in the territories.  Fort Mackinac, guarding the strait between Lake Huron and Michigan,  had been captured in July and the day before, Fort Dearborn (present-day Chicago) had been captured.

William Hull had a three-month-long trial for cowardice, neglect of duty and treason and was found guilty on the first two charges.  He spent the remaining ten years of his life trying to clear his name.  The real situation was that he was the wrong man for the job.

Another Big American Loss.  --Brock-Perry

At that time, most Detroiters were French and may have numbered about 1,000.

The Fort Dearborn Massacre-- Part 3

Yep, that's what I'm calling it, despite what others say that it was just a battle.

Lt. Helm feared his wife was among the dead, but found that she had been rescued by Potawatomi Chief Black Partridge, who had opposed the attack.  He dragged her to the lake and pretended to drown her.  John Kinzie, her stepfather, also survived as he had friends among the Indians.

This took place August 15, 1812.  Of the 55 soldiers who left the fort, 26 were killed; seven of the ones who surrendered were murdered; the remainder were enslaved, as were the civilian survivors.  Some died in captivity and some were later ransomed. Potawatomi losses are unknown, but most likely were less than the Americans.

The next day, the Indians burned Fort Dearborn to the ground.

The bloody clash took place somewhere between what is now Roosevelt Road and 18th Street and through the years has been referred to as the Fort Dearborn Massacre.  That site was recently renamed the Battle of Fort Dearborn.  The reasoning being that both sides committed atrocities during the long struggle for control of what is today the United States.

In 1899, Simon Pokagon, a Potawatomi writer, observed, "When whites are killed, it is a massacre; when Indians are killed, it is a fight."

It Was a Massacre.  --Brock-Perry

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Fort Dearborn Massacre- Part 2

The encounter was brutal and brief, just a minor skirmish in a war that stretched all the way to Europe.  There were fifteen minutes of fighting and an Indian victory that proved to be a Pyrrhic one that only delayed them from being exiled further west, opening the Illinois Territory to white settlers.  For the whites, it convinced them that Indians could not be allowed to continue living in Illinois.

As soon as the Indians were spotted, Captain Nathan Heald ordered a charge which separated the troops from the wagons carrying the civilians and a small militia group.  Indians poured into the gap and surrounded both groups.  Hand-to-hand combat ensued with soldiers  falling under tomahawk blows and Indians being bayoneted.  Within minutes, the Americans were forced to surrender.

The soldiers were shocked by what they saw back at the wagons as they were being led away.  According to Lt. Linai Helm, "When we arrived at the bank and looked down on the sand beach I was struck by the horror of men, women, and children lying naked with principally all their heads off."


The Fort Dearborn Massacre-- Part 1

From the August 12th Chicago Tribune Chicago Flashback page "15 historic minutes" by Ron Grossman.

The soldiers and civilians in Fort Dearborn in those days leading up to yesterday, two hundred years ago, were more than a bit jittery and rightfully so. There had been a recent Indian attack to the west that had sentfrightened settlers seeking the safety of the fort on the banks of the Chicago River by Lake Michigan.

Outside the fort's walls, there was an increasing number of Indians.  Then, they had been ordered by the area commander to abandon the fort, which meant going outside.  Negotiations with the Indians had gained safe passeage in return for the fort's supplies, but the younger warriors were itching to prove themselves in battle.

John Kinzie, who operated a trading post near the fort, sensedsomething was up and evacuated his family earlier by boat.

Fifty-five soldiers and around 36 cilivilians left the fort and had proceeded just a couple miles south along the Lake Michigan shoreline before hundreds of Potawatomies emerged from behind a sand dune and the fight, roughly fifteen minutes, was on.

More to Come.  --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Fort Dearborn Massacre 200 Years Ago Today

On this date, the garrison of Fort Dearborn, in Illinois Territory, located at the mouth of the Chicago River in present-day Chicago, was attcked by Indians who had promised them safe passage out of the fort and to American-held territory.

There is some discussion today as to whether it was a battle or a massacre, but everything I've read about it points to the latter, even though not all of them were killed, just most of them.  Women and children also died.  Anyone not killed became captive.

The Indians were angered that the Americans had not lived up to their part of the agreement which was to leave all supplies and liqour in the fort.  Instead, it was all destroyed.  On August 16th, the Indians burned the fort to the ground.  Americans later rebuilt it, but tore it down in the 1840s when it was no longer needed.

A Red-Letter Date in Chicago History.  --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Decision Day 200 Years Ago at Fort Dearborn

This is Illinois' biggest War of 1812 event.

August 14, 1812, and the garrison and commander at Fort Dearborn, on the site of present day Chicago, had to make a decision as to whether they stayed or left the fort.

They believed they had worked out a deal with the local Indians for safe passage out.  Part of this deal was that they leave munitions, supplies and liquor at the fort.

The decision was reached to leave the fort the next day.  Unfortunately, it was decided that the agreed on stuff to be left would be destroyed which led to disasterous results.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Girl Scouts to the Rescue

From the August 4th Columbus (Ind) Republic "Girl Scouts restore Maine cemetery where Revoluyionary War, War of 1812 veterans are buried." AP

A big congratulations goes out to Girl Scouts Samantha Allshouse and Kayla Theriault who earned the highest honor for the organization with a Gold Star for their restoration project at Grand Trunk Cemetery in Portland's East Deering section.

A kiosk with information about the cemetery and a map of 100 burials was dedicated.

Long neglected, the two girls led a much-needed clean up and rehabilitation of the park.

Crispus Graves served in the Revolutionary War and five veterans of the War of 1812 were buried in unmarked graves between 1818 and 1860.

Way to Go, Girls.  --Brock-Perry

Friday, August 10, 2012

You Missed It: Privateer Lynx Comes to Martha's Vineyard

From the May 14th Martha's Vineyard Patch by Mathea Morais.

The 1812 bicentennial clipper-schooner Lynx, a 122-feet long, square rigged tipsail schooner came to Martha's Vineyard May 16th and docked at Tisbury Wharf for five days.

The 110 ton ship is an interpretation of what a privateer schooner back in 1812 would have looked like and is fitted out with period ordnance and flies flafs and pennants from the era.

Sorry I Missed It. 


The Lynx will be coming back August 24-27.  Today, it is in Marblehead, Massachusetts until the 14th.  Then Nantucket Aug. 14-23rd.  Then, on to Greenport, New York.

A Sailing We Will Go.  --Brock-Perry

Bridge to Nationhood

Tuesday, I wrote about a man trying to get a bridge by Windsor, Canada, named after the men who defended it from Americans  in the first battle of the War of 1812.  The man succeeded and it is now called the Hancock and Dean 1812 Bridge to Nationhood.

I also came across mention that the action also cost the lives of the first Native Americans and at least one was reportedly scalped.  Dean was wounded and captured, only to be released shortly thereafter after the American surrender of Detroit.

The River Canard, which the bridge crossed is also where British General Brock first met Indian Chief Tecumseh.

Just Some More Stuff.  --Brock-Perry

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The War of 1812 Shaped Wisconsin's Destiny-- Part 2

The British sent a couple soldiers and commissioned a fur trader to raise a militia unit and to enlist Indian allies.  By the time the group reached Prairie du Chein, they numbered 600.  About 60 US soldiers from the 7th Infantry were stationed at the fort.  The British demanded a surrender, the Americans refused and fighting started.

After a two and a half day fairly bloodless battle, the fort surrendered.  Nothing is left of the original fort as the British burned it.  But the fighting occurred of the grounds of the Villa Louis estate built in 1870.  Two years later, Americans returned and built Fort Crawford.  The Treaty of Ghent put the Midwest off limits to British fur trading.

The Society of the War of 1812 was founded about twenty years ago and, on Wisconsin, consists of 15 members, all descendants of soldiers and sailors who fought in the conflict.  About half live iin the Milwaukee area.

Four military ships are going to visit Milwaukee August 8-14th:  Frigate USS DeWert, coastal patrol ship Hurricane, US Coast Guard cutter Neah Bay and the Canadian cutter HMCS Ville de Quebec.

Join the Descendants.  --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The War of 1812 Shaped Wisconsin's Destiny-- Part 1

From the July 13th Milwaukee (Wi) Journal-Sentinel "Oft-overlooked War of 1812 shaped Wisconsin's destiny" by Mary Jones.

The war marked a turning point in the territory, even though Wisconsin did not become a state for decades.  Most of the conflict in the territory revolved around beaver pelts. 

This past weekend, there was a re-enactment of the only battle fought in Wisconsin, plus, in August, the US Navy comes to Milwaukee as part of their commemoration of the war's bicentennial.

Prairie du Chein, in southwest Wisconsin is located between the US military post at St. Louis and the American fort on Mackinac Island in Michigan.  After the war began, the Great Lakes quickly fell to the British and their Indian allies.

The lucrative fur trade ground to a halt.  American soldiers from St. Louis built a fort at Prairie du Chein in 1814.

Mpre to Come.  Brock-Perry

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Campaign to Name Bridge After the First War of 1812 Skirmish

From the May 14th CBC News.

Tour guide Ron Lapointe wants an Essex County bridge renamed where County Road 20 crosses River Canard, just south of Windsor, Ontario (across from Detroit).

Back in 1812, a 280 man American force faced two British soldiers, James Hancock and John Dean, at the bridge.  A plaque at the bridge doesn't mention their names, only that a sentry was there.

It is today called the Skirmish at River Canard and James Hancock became the first one to die in the war.  Dean was taken prisoner..

The current bridge is not the actual one where the skirmish took place which was a wooden one.  Lapointe hopes to have the new plaque in place by July 16th, the day the fight took place two hundred years ago.

The Canard River Skirmish.  --Brock-Perry

Just Nine Days Before the Bicentennial of the Fort Dearborn Massacre

Without a doubt, this was the biggest story of the War of 1812 out of the Chicago area.  The soldiers, women and children were massacred by Pottawatomi warriors on August 15, 1812.

Obviously, I will be covering the event.

200 Years Ago.  --Brock-Perry

Monday, August 6, 2012

National Anthem's Roots Reach to South Dakota

From the August 2nd Rapid City (SD) Journal "Kent: Anthem's roots reach Fort Meade" by Jim Kent.

Most Americans know the story of the Star-Spangled Banner, but mot its connection to Fort Meade many years later. 

In 1892, Colonel Caleb Carlton became the fort's commander.  He and his wife Sadie had long been saddened by the lack of a United States national song.  They wanted something that could be played at the Retreat Ceremony in the evening when the flag is lowered.

They felt Francis Scott Key's "Star-Spangled Banner" would fill the bill and pushed for it, though it did not become the official anthem until 1931 with the help of urging from John Philip Sousa.

"Oh Say Can You See..."  --Brock-Perry

Two Star-Spangled Items You Might Not Know About in Baltimore

You can see Francis Scott Key's original manuscropt with the words to the Star-Spangled Banner at the Maryland Historical Society.

You can also visit the home of Mary Pickersgill who sewed the 15-star, 15 stripe garrison flag made famous in the song.

Now you can see these and other related places with a new combo ticket.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sackets Harbor 1812 Weekend

From the Watertown (NY) Daily Times "Sackets Harbor prepares for War of 1812 weekend" by Gordon Block.

Sackets Harbor played a primary role in the war.  This weekend there will be re-enactors at Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site.

Along with them, there will be groundbreaking for a memorial honoring the approximately 50 Crown soldiers killed during the Second Battle of Sackets Harbor.

The 110-foot Canadian brig Fair Jeanne will be there for tours.

Still Remembering.  --Brock-Perry

Friday, August 3, 2012

If You're Watching the Olympics on Canadian TV

From the July 31st Market Watch "Bill Mann's Canada: Canadian TV attacks U.S., Brits at Olympics."

And, it has to do with the War of 1812.

Canadians are being reminded by their government that the U.S. may be winning more Olympic medals, but they've already won the war...the War of 1812.

This commercial, done up to look like a movie trailer, would shock any Americans who happen to be watching Canadian TV.  Too bad they are not running the spot on U.S. television.  Evidently, it is a series of one minute spots.

One starts with the words "200 years ago...the U.S. invaded our territory.  But we defended our land."  Then, you see Canadian/British troops, Indian Chief tecumseh and Laura Secord rushing through the brush to confront the Americans.  "We stood side by side and won the fight for Canada."

I saw it on the internet and must say it is quite impressive.

Worth a Watch for Another Perspective.  --Brock-Perry

Forgotten Man of the "Forgotten War"-- Part 2

Beanes family and townspeople called on prominent Georgetown lawyer Francis Scott Key to free the elderly doctor.  He boarded a British ship September 13, 1814, to negotiate Beanes' release.  An agreement was reached to release the doctor, but Key was held on the ship during the attack on Fort McHenry.

Beanes died in 1828 and is buried in a non-descript grave on a hill at the corner of Elm Street and Governor Oden Bowie Drive in Upper Marlboro in Maryland.

So, That's How It Got Written.  --Brock-Perry

Forgotten Man of the "Forgotten War"-- Part 1

From the May 14th Upper Marboro Patch "Dr. William Beanes: Forgotten Man of the "Forgotten War" by Kelsey Miller, CNS.

His capture and release served as the fodder for the National Anthem and Maryland intends to remember him as the state kicked off their bicentennial celebration in June.

The Star-Spangled Sailabration took place June 14-17th and the National Star-Spangled National Historic Trail is set to open.  There is also a new book and documentary out about the war.

Francis Scott Key would not have been at Fort McHenry to witness that rocket's red glare had it not been for Dr. William Bennes.  The wealthy doctor was living in Upper Marlboro when he detained straggling British soldiers who were looting local farms after burning Washington, DC.

The good doctor had opposed the war and just days earlier had welcomed British soldiers.  British General Ross returned to Beanes' place, released the British soldiers and took the doctor prisoner.

More to Come.  --Brock-Perry

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Kentucky Long Rifleman Honored

Ftom the May 14th Lafourche Parish (La) Daily Comet "Ky. town to honor War of 1812 militia man" by AP.

Greenville Kentucky, located in the western part of the state, is planning to erect a bronze statue of a War of 1812 hero lnown as the "Kentucky Long Rifleman," Ephraim Brank.  They have a summer 2013 target date.

Brank served in the militia and was at the Battle of New Orleans.  Kentucky claims that the state lost more soldiers in the war than any other state.

The statue will be on a limestone base with expected cost at $100,000.  Local and national donations have been received.

Anything to Bring Knowledge of the War to Folks.  --Brock-Perry

Paddlers Wanted for Hisorical re-Enactment

From the May 16th Soo Today, Sault Ste. Marie.

On July 17, 1812, 70 canoes, 10 bateaux and one ship, the Caledonia, gathered at Fort St. Joseph and proceeded to the enemy (American) Fort Michilmackinac, which surrendered without a fight.  It was the first military maneuver of the War of 1812.

The call is going out for paddlers to recreate the event as a part of the Algoma War of 1812 Bicentennial.

I Imagine It Has Already Taken Place By Now.  Brock-Perry

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hell's Gate, Vermont

Definitely an interesting name that I came across when writing in my Civil War Navy blog concerning the capture of  a blockade-runner at Hell Gate, Georgia.  I'd never heard of it so had to do some more research. Turns out, it is a channel near Savannah.  Then, I found out the captured runner became a US Navy ship on blockade duty and also towed a monitor to South Carolina.  Its first commander went on to become a rear admiral and commanded the monitor USS Saugus at the Battles of Fort Fisher.

Well, anyway, back to this Hell's Gate in Vermont.  Turns out it is a name that a Vermont town is called and that it got that name from the War of 1812.  I'd never heard of a Georgia, Vermont.

From the Hell's Gate Vineyard site.

Georgia, Vermont was given that during the War of 1812.  An embargo on Canadian goods was established. The war was not popular among New Englanders in general.  Vermonters began a substantial trade with Canada in spite of the embargo.

The citizens of Georgia, however, chose to support it and created a blockade to stop the illegal trade causing the smugglers to give the town the name "Hell's Gate."  That name stuck for many years, even after those who remembered why it came to be were gone.

Today, the town, located in Franklin County and bordering Canada, has a population of 4,375.

Civil War General George J. Stannard was born there and cmmanded Vermont troops.  After the war, he served as Doorkeeper to the US House of Representatives.

Stuff You Didn't Know.  --Brock-Perry