Monday, December 30, 2013

The British Navy's Role in the War of 1812

From the November 10, 2012, National Post "British Navy played a central role in the War of 1812" by James Carelese.

 The Royal Navy was primarily involved in fighting France's Napoleon during the first years of the War of 1812 and, consequentially, the ships sent to the United Staes were "not the best ones and not manned by their most experienced crews, many of whom had been forced or impressed into service," according to Victor Suthren, a Canadian naval historian. In other words, we were essentially a backwater as far as British efforts.

American frigates won singular battles versus outgunned and smaller British frigates. But on June 1, 1813, the frigate HMS Shannon defeated the USS Chesapeake and then towed the American ship to Halifax Harbor in Canada.

Small American and British fleets on the Great Lakes were expanded. Eventually, even a ship-of-the-line, the HMS St. Lawrence was built on Lake Ontario with 112 guns, making it larger and better armed than Lord Nelson's HMS Victory.

A Short History. --Brock-Perry

Southport, Bald Head Island, NC, in the War of 1812

From the October 16, 2012, Wilmington (NC) Star-News "Southport, Bald Head remember War of 1812." //// A symposium, living history, tour and dedication of a historical marker were held October 18-20, 2012. //// On Oct. 18th, the National Society of the U.S. Daughters of 1812 rededicated a marker on Garrison Lawn at Fort Johnston. On Oct. 19th, there was the dedication of a new marker at Bald Head Island Ferry Terminal which tells about the site of a militia encampment at the site. The militia had been called out by the governor to protect the NC coast. //// Glad They're remembering. --Brock-Perry

Gold and Silver Commemorative Coins

From the Dec. 21, 2012, Baltimore Business Journal. //// The Star-Spangled 200, Inc. is a non-profit is raising funds for the 1812 bicentennial has raised about $3 million by selling 240,000 gold and silver coins. //// However, that is still short of the $8.5 million they would have made had they sold all 600,000 coins.//// --Brock-Perry

War of 1812 Privateers

From the July 11, 2012, New Hampshire Public Radio "The Tall Ship Privateers Who Shaped the War of 1812" by Brady Carlson. //// The Pride of Baltimore II is a recreation of a topsail schooner like the ones that served so well as privateers during the War of 1812. Privateers served a vital role for the outmanned U.S. Navy in the war as, at its onset, the British Navy had 1,048 ships compared to just 17 for the United States. //// Privateers were government sanctioned pirates whose job (for profit) was to go out and seize British merchants ships. //// Several prominent New Hampshire families made their fortunes doing just this "annoying the heck out of the British" just like mosquitoes that sank, disabled or looted some 1700 of their merchant ships during the course of the war. //// Maryland was attacked by the British fleet because of the many privateers built and based there. Shortly after the war, the original Pride of Baltimore, then known as the Chasseur, sailed to China and brought back tea and other goods. //// Aye, It's a Privateer's Life for Me (And, It's Legal). --Brock-Perry

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The First USS Vixen

From Wikipedia. //// As I said earlier, there was a previous USS Vixen to the one captured by the HMS Belvidera. I found out a lot about the first Vixen, but very little about the one the Belvidera captured. //// THE FIRST USS VIXEN: Was 83-feet long, mounting 14 guns and a crew of 111. Commissioned in 1803 and fought in the First Barbary War off the coast of Tripoli, but was not there when the frigate USS Philadelphia was captured. It did participate in bombarding Tripoli on four different occasions. //// From 1806-1807, it was in ordinary at the Washington Navy Yard. After that, it operated along the Atlantic coast under the command of Lt. James Lawrence (later commander of the USS Chesapeake and the famous "Don't Give Up teh Ship" words. //// It was captured 22 November 1812 by the 32-gun British frigate HMS Southampton under Captain James Yeo, later commander of the British Lake Ontario fleet. //// Both vessels were later lost by Concepcion Island, Bahamas, when strong westerly currents wrecked them on uncharted submerged rocks off the island in the Crooked Island Passage. //// On the Rocks As They Say. --Brock-Perry

HMS Belvidera-- Part 4

On 7 March 1814, the Belvidera and two other British warships captured the American privateer Mars, mounting 15 guns and with a crew of 70. Throughout the rest of the war, the Belvidera continued capturing many other American ships, including, on 2 April 1814, the U.S. ship New Zealander which had been captured by the USS Essex and was sailing from Valparaiso to Philadelphia. //// At the end of the war, the Belvidera was decommissioned at Portsmouth, refitted and relaunched in 1817 and cruised the Mesditerranean and West Indies waters. //// In 1846, it became a store ship and in 1852, became the receiving ship at Portsmouth where it served until 1890. In 1906, it was sold for 1,800 British pounds. //// --Brock-Perry

Friday, December 27, 2013

HMS Belvidera-- Part 3

Between June 1812 and Dec. 14, 1812, the HMS Belvidera captured seven American merchant ships In February 1813, she captured the letter of marque (privateer) Lottery which went on to become the HMS Canso. //// The Belvidera continued capturing ships. On December 25, 1813, mentioned in my timeline, it captured yhe USS Vixen, a 14-gun brig commissioned for the Americans in that same year. The Vixen was sailing fromWilmington, NC, to Newcastle, Delaware, without armament or stores. This was an earlier USS Vixen which was captured by the HMS Southampton. --Brock-Perry

Thursday, December 26, 2013

HMS Belvidera-- Part 2

On July 22, 1810, the Belvidera and HMS Nemesis captured 3 Danish vessels. After that, the Belvidera was transferred to the Halifax Station in North America. //// Just five days after the U.S. declared war, on 23 June 1812, it encountered the American heavy frigates President, Congress (not the Civil War one) and United States. Any one of these ships could take the Belvidera single-handedly. The crew of the Belvidera were not even aware that war had been declared, but managed to escape anyway and in so doing, led the American ships away from the convoy it was escorting. //// On 16 July 1812, the Belvidera was part of a British squadron that chased the USS Constitution which was able to escape despite a light breeze by using its anchors to pull itself. The Belvidera did likewise and eventually pulled close enough to exchange gunfire. //// For the remainder of the war, the ship was on blockade duty and quite successful at it. //// Quite a Successful, But Little-Known Ship. --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

HMS Belvidera-- Part 1

Yesterday, I mentioned the HMS Belvidera capturing the USS Vixen off Delaware on today's date 200 years ago. I didn't remember ever hearing of either ship so did some more research. It turns out I had written about the British ship at an earlier date. //// From Wikipedia. //// The HMS Belvidera was a 36-gun Apollo-class, fifth rate frigate built in Deptford in 1809 and was 145 feet long and had a crew of 264. It saw action in the Napoleonic Wars and War of 1812 and actually survived to 1906 when it was sold for breaking up. //// It served the British Navy as a warship until 1846 and then became a harbor service ship and in 1860 became a receiving ship. //// More to Come. --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

War of 1812 Timeline-- December 23-25: 1813

DECEMBER 23RD: U.S. forces attack the Muscogee (Creek) Nation village at Eccanachaca, Mississippi territory. //// DECEMBER 25TH: HMS Belvidera captures USS Vixen off coast of Delaware. //// And that ends the first full year of warfare between the United States, Britain, Canada and the Indians. The war had been fought for a year and a half now and had one more year to go. ///// --Brock-Perry

Saturday, December 21, 2013

War of 1812 Timeline: December 19-30, 1863: American Towns Burned in Retaliation for Niagara, Upper Canada

DECEMBER 19TH-30TH, 1813: British and First Nation allies fight American troops at Lewiston and Fort Schlosser, burning the communities of Lewiston, Tuscarora settlement, Black Rock and Buffalo, all in New York, in revenge for the burning of Niagara, Upper Canada. //// On 19 December, a force of British troops and First Nations defeated American Militia at Black Rock. On the 30 December, the U.S. militia force under Major General Amos Hall were defeated near Buffalo. //// The British burned the American towns in punishment for what happed on December 10th at Niagara. //// Over 300 American houses were burned, and the whole frontier from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie was depopulated. //// Four armed U.S. schooners were also burned, and a large quantity of military stores and weapons captured or destroyed. At Lewiston, NY, a large number of American civilians were killed by First Nations. //// The attack on the American Tuscarora settlement brought the Tuscarora Indians in on the side of the United States. //// --Brock-Perry

USS Constitution Nearly Captured: "Warping" 1812-Style

From the July 12, 2012, Strategy Page "War of 1812: Waging War With the Navy You Have" by Austin Bay. //// The frigate USS Constitution was nearly captured over July 16-19, 1812, off the coast of New Jersey when the sails of an unidentified ship were spotted. The Constitution pursued, only to find that it was more than a single ship, it was a British battle squadron which gave chase. //// The wind flagged (dropped) and the British ships got close, but the American ship escaped by "warping," and not Star Trek-style, but by rowing a boat with an anchor ahead, dropping the anchor to the sea bed then dragging the ship along by winding up the chain. //// British squadron commander Philip Broke, wrote that the Constitution escaped by very superior sailing "tho' the Frigates under my Orders are remarkably fast ships." //// The USS Constitution and her sister ships were fast, super-frigates larger and more heavily armed than their British counterparts. So, generally, a one-on-one action would result in an American victory, but a one vs. many wouldn't work out so well. //// A Narrow Escape. --Brock-Perry

Friday, December 20, 2013

War of 1812 Timeline: December 17th and 19th,1813: Capture of Fort Niagara

DECEMBER 17TH: The Lower Canada Militia raid Derby, Vermont, capturing supplies and burning barracks and storehouses. //// DECEMBER 19TH: British capture Fort Niagara, New York, in a surprise night assault. During a snow storm on the night of 18-19 December 1813, British troops and Canadian militia volunteers crossed the Niagara River at Youngstown and attacked Fort Niagara. // An advance party led by British Sergeant Andrew Spearman moved unseen through the village of Youngstown, killing or capturing the American guards posted outside the fort. His group was able to force the main gates and the attackers stormed inside. // After a fierce struggle the fort was taken, along with an immense quantity of weapons and supplies. Seventy-nine Americans were killed or wounded, and 350 surrendered. // The attackers lost five killed and six wounded. // The British occupied Fort Niagara, controlling the mouth of the river until the end of the War of 1812. //// --Brock-Perry

How Well Do You Know the War of 1812?-- Part 2: The Answers

The questions are on the previous post. //// 1. Blockade of U.S. and impressment, //// 2. British, Canadians, Indians and U.S., //// 3. France in Europe, //// 4. Shawnee Chief Tecumseh (I missed this one), //// 5. Laura Secord, 6. York, Upper Canada, //// 7. Samuel Wilson, //// 8. Battle of New Orleans, //// 9. d. //// How'd You Do? --Brock-Perry

How Well Do You Know the War of 1812?-- Part 1: The Questions

From the June 20, 2012, BBC News "1812 Quiz." //// Answers are on the next post. The BBC was actually a multiple choice quiz, so you can gio to it for guessing if need be. //// 1. Why did the U.S. declare war on Britain at the start of the war? //// 2. Who fought? //// 3. Who was Britain fighting at the same time? //// 4. Which leader died for Britain at the Battle of the Thames? //// 5. Who warned of the American attack at the Battle of Beaver Dam? //// 6. Besides the burning of Washington, D.C., what other major city/capital was burned during the war? //// 7. Who really was Uncle Sam? //// 8. What was the last major action of the war? //// 9. Which was not an outcome of the war?: a) Jackson became a national hero after the Battle of New Orleans, b) Canada's success in defeating American attacks became a source of national pride, c) Native Americans lost much territory, d) Britain regained control of several former colonies. //// Answers in the next post. //// I missed just one question, even back then when I didn't know as much about the war. //// --Brock-Perry

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Blacks a Key to the War of 1812-- Part 3

Charles Ball, a former Maryland slave, served as a seaman in Commodore Joshua Barney's Chesapeake Flotilla , but was sold into slavery after the war. //// William Williams ran away from his Maryland owner in 1814, and on April 14, enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army, despite a federal law prohibiting slaves from joining. He served in the 38th U.S. Infantry Regiment. //// In September 1814, he was severely wounded at Fort McHenry by a cannonball that blew his leg off. He was taken to a Baltimore hospital afterwards, but died two months later. //// --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Blacks a Key to War of 1812-- Part 2

Some 500 of the 6,000 Americans at the Battle of New Orlans were black. //// Black sailors served on U.S. warships. Commodore Isaac Chauncey wrote, "I have nearly fifty Blacks on this boat and many of them are among the best of my men. //// Oliver Hazard Perry commended the courage of his black sailors at the Battle of Lake Erie. //// Three blacks: William Ware, Daniel Martin and John Stachan were taken off the USS Chesapeake and impressed into British service by the HMS Leopard on June 22, 1807. //// More to Come. --Brock-Perry

Monday, December 16, 2013

Blacks a Key to War of 1812-- Part 1: Blacks in the War

From the June 20, 2012, Afro by Zemtha Prince.

For many blacks it was a "first major pathway to self-determination and freedom." Thousands played a role.

Their options: Fight for the United States, run away snd seek freedom with the Indians or join the British.

Many chose the British who promised free emigration to British colonies in Canada and West Indies in exchage for their service.

When the British fleet entered the Chesapeake Bay in March 1813, hundreds of slaves and their families made their way to the fleet and claimed their freedom. Many joined the Colonial Marines, an all-black fighting unit which had a hand in the burning of Washington, D.C. and the Battle of Baltimore.

And yet, some elected to fight with the Americans, despite slavery. Some 60% of the defenders of Fort McHenry at Baltimore were immigrants and one in five was black. The huge flag that Francis Scott Key wrote about was partially sewn by blacks.

More to Come. --Brock-Perry

Timeline for December 1813-- Part 2: Skirmish at McCrae's Farmhouse

DECEMBER 13TH: Lt. General Gordon Drummond takes command in Upper Canada, the first Canadian-born general officer in British service. //// DECEMBER 15TH: SKIRMISH AT McCRAE'S HOUSE, UPPER CANADA-- Following the British defeat at Moraviantown on 5 October 1813, the Americans controlled the Lower Thames River Valley. They dispatched a detachment of about 40 officers and men, mostly of the 26th U.S. Regiment of Infantry to Thomas McCrae's farmhouse using it as an observation post. //// British Lt. Henry Medcall and 32 men of the Norfolk and Middlesex Militia Kent Volunteers and Provincial Dragoons was sent down the Thames River to collect cattle and came upon the Americans, surrounded them, killed one and took the rest prisoner to Long Point, Upper Canada. //// After that, the Americans no longer stationed troops so far up the river and instead sent raiding parties into the area resulting in clashes like the Battle of Longwoods, Upper Canada, in March 1814. //// --Brock-Perry

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Army-Navy Game Today Pays Tribute to War of 1812

From the Nov. 25, 2013, Wasgington Times "Uniforms Army-Navy game unveiled Monday night." //// The Navy's uniforms pay tribute to Captain James Lawrence whose famous words "Don't Give Up the Ship" was a battlecry during the War of 1812. You see those words on flags all over the place and were flown at the Battle of Lake Erie. //// The Army pays their tribute to General Winfield Scott who fought in the war and later commanded U.S. troops in the Mexican War and was in charge of the Union Army in the early days of the Civil War and came up with Scott's Anaconda Plan to defeat the Confederacy. //// We watch this Army-Navy game most every year at the Fox Lake American Legion who has a big party for it with lots of food and cheering. I tend to favor the Navy, but with their domination of the series of late, will be backing the cadets of Army this year. //// Go Knights!! --RoadDog

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Revenue Cutter Thomas Jefferson

From the U.S. Coast Guard Site and the article from the last post. //// The Revenue Cutter Thomas Jefferson was constructed and commissioned in Norfolk, Virginia in 1802 and served out of Savannah until 1809 when relieved by the Revenue Cutter James Madison then served out of Norfolk until it was decommissioned in 1817. //// In May 1812 (before the war) it sailed around the Hampton Roads area with US Navy Captain Stephen Decatur to survey existing lighthouses and signal towers for a comminication system. The ship was responsible for the U.S.'s first maritime victory in the war when it captured a British schooner sailing from Guadeloupe to Halifax with a cargo of sugar. //// Little is known of the ship after its 1817 decommisioning. //// It's War of 1812 commander was William Ham who was commissioned a 2nd mate in Norfolk, Virginia, based cutter Virginia. He served as an officer on Norfolk-based cutters through the War of 1812, after which little is known of his life. ////

War of 1812 Painting Delivered to Virginia Capital

From the Dec. 20, 2012, (Virginia) Progress-Index ""War of 1812 painting delivered to State Capital." A reproduction of marine artist Patrick O'Brien's painting of the U.S. revenue Cutter Thomas Jefferson engaging British barges in the James River has been placed in Richmond. //// The U.S. Coast Guard commissioned the original for the bicentennial of the war. The painting will hang in Virginia Delegate Del Cox's office who heads up the bicentennial commemoration for Virginia. At the end of the year it will be returned to the Coast Guard. --Brock-Perry

Death From Disease in the War of 1812

From the Dec. 4, 2012, WBFO NPR, Buffalo, NY "War of 1812: Part II- Death and Disease" by Rick Kellman. //// More than 20,000 died during the war, some 15,000 from disease. At the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, 600 British and American soldiers are buried in the 1812 plot. Only 16 are known to be from New York. //// During the war there was a small U.S. Army hospital on the grounds. The winter of 1812 brought death to what would become Buffalo's Delaware Park where the dead were eventually buried The ground was so frozen that the caskets were only partially buried. //// In the spring of 1813, Dr. Daniel Chapin dug them up and buried them in a mass grave on his property. //// --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

USS Hamilton and Scourge Shipwrecks "An Archaeologist's Dream"

From the Dec. 6, 2012, CBC "Hanmilton's War of 1812 shipwrecks 'an archaeologist's dream."

The USS Hamilton and USS Scourge are aging well beneath Lake Ontario. The American schooners are 90-meters deep and 10.5 kilometers off Port Dalhousie and owned by the City of Hamilton since 1980. 

The entire site of the wrecks has been mapped and archaeologists want to recover artifacts. The wrecks are currently being colonized by a relative of the invasive zebra mussel and a mapping survey is underway.

Both ships were originally involved in the merchant trade before becoming U.S. warships. A sudden fierce squall after midnight on August 8, 1813, sank both ships quickly. They were first discovered in the 1970s and both sit upright and intact.

 Not the USS Constitution. --Brock-Perry

Temporary White House: D.C.'s Octagon-- Part 5-- Preserving an Icon

John Tayloe III died in 1828 and sometime after 1855, his family left the Octagon. It was later used as a school and a Navy office, but by the end of the 1800s was abandoned, trash-filled and occupied by as many as 10 homeless families. Things looked bleak until it caught the attention of A1A member and preservationist Glenn Brown. (I haven't been able to find out what the A1A organization is, however, but I'm sure they have an interesting history. From the article I gather it is a preservation group.) //// The A1A was founded in 1857 in New York City, but after 40 years was going to relocate to Washington, D.C.. They leased it in 1897 and bought it in 1902. The house was rehabilitated and the organization's offices moved there. Since then, they outgrew the house and built a new headquarters behind it in 1973. The Octagon is today a museum. //// The most recent renovation, 1990-1995, returned it to its appearance when the Tayloes lived there. //// It is located at 1799 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. open for tours Thursday and Friday from 1-4 PM. //// Something Worth Seeing. --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Temporary White House-- D.C.'s Octagon-- Part 4: The Treaty of Ghent

President James Madison used the circular room on the second floor, above the entry hall, as his office. It was there, at a round pedestal table ringed with labeled drawers, that he signed the Treaty of Ghent, formally ending the War of 1812, or "Mr. Madison's War" as some called it. //// The terms of the treaty had been agreed on by Christmas Eve 1814, in Ghent, Belgium, but the hard copy and signings of it took almost two months to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The president added his signature in mid-February 1815. So, the famed Battle of New Orleans being fought after the war was over isn't technically correct as the treaty did not officially go into effect until all parties had signed it. //// The Madisons moved out of the Octagon later in 1815 and took residence at a place on Pennsylvania Avenue. //// Years later, San Francisco's A1A chapter bought the treaty table at auction and returned it to the Octagon, where it is displayed in what is known today as the Treaty Room. The leather box in which the Treaty of Ghent was delivered to madison is part of the Octagon Museum collection. I wonder where the original Treaty of Ghent is today? //// That's Some History. --Brock-Perry

Temporary White House: D.C.'s Octagon-- Part 3: The War of 1812

The Tayloes referred to the house as the Octagon, even though it only has six sides. The architectural style was part of the new country's tendency to reference traditional forms while developing its own styles. //// On August 24, 1814, the British marched into Washington, D.C., and treated themselves to dinner at the White House before setting fire to it and other public buildings. Despite its proximity to the President's House, the Octagon was spared. //// Why? //// Possibly because the French Minister, Louis Serrurier, was leasing the house at the time. "The French flag was flying over the residence." Fortunately, the French and British were not then at war as they had been much of the previous twenty years. //// After the British left, Madison pledged to rebuild the city and to prove it, took up temporary residence in Tayloe's Octagon. Tayloe was a Federalist and opposed to the war, but nonetheless, offered it to the First Couple. They moved in on September 1814, and Dolley resumed her lavish entertaining that had become so popular. //// The Party Continues. --Brock-Perry

Monday, December 9, 2013

Temporary White House: D.C.'s Octagon-- Part 2

Designed by William Thornton, the Federal-style mansion was to be the winter home of Virginia planter and statesman John Tyloe III and, when built, it was the largest and most-stylish home in the new capital city. //// Mr. Tyloe was born September 1771 at Mt. Airy plantation overlooking the Rappahannock River inj Virginia. He was educated in England and returned to Virginia and oversaw family ventures and was activein the local militia and the Army's Light Dragoons. He was consideredone of Virginia's wealthiest men and inherited the plantation. //// But, it was very isolated and after considering building in several cities, decided on the new federal capital in the District of Columbia. //// In April 1797, he paid $1,000 for a lot at the corner of New York Avenue and 18th Street. He wanted a home large enough to accomodate his large family (15 children), a large staff of servants and for his wife's entertaining. The home's strange dimensions came about because of an acute angle created by the lot's diagonal orientation with New York Avenue and it had a slope as well. This created quite a challenge. //// More to Come. --Brock-Perry

War of 1812 Records Now Available Online

From the december 17, 2012, Joplin (Missouri) Globe by Frankie Meyer. //// You can now find War of 1812 pension records online at no cost. With the old pension files in such a fragile condition and a great demand stemming from the war's bicentennial, the National Archives and Records Administration has formed a partnership with the federation of geneaology Societies and This is a similar partnership that worked last year to digitalize the 1940 census. //// There are some 7.2 million pages of pension records and so far 414,000 have been digitalized. //// You can find more information at preservethe //// Digging Deeper Into History. --Brock=Perry

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Pearl Harbor, 72 Years Ago

Seventy-two years ago, the Japanese attack on military bases on Oahu launched the United States into World War II. I always observe the anniversary in my blogs. This year, I am giving the name of one American who met his death December 7, 1941, in each of my blogs. //// DONALD CLASH, Iron Mountain, Michigan. USS Arizona. His brother James was killed in Germany in March 1945. Imagine their family's grief over losing two sons like that. ////

Temporary White House: D.C.'s Octagon-- Part 1

From the July/August DAR American Spirit Magazine "The Octagon: An Icon of Democratic Design" by Courtney Peter.

Before this article, I'd never heard of this house or that it had served a s temporary White House for James and Dolley Madison after the British burned much of the city, including the President's House, as the White House was then called.

"The Octagon (not sure why it is not called the Octagon House) has stood at the corner of 18th Street and New York Avenue Northwest in Washington, D.C., for 214 years, yet is best known for a brief period in 1814-1815 when it served as James and Dolley Madison's temporary presidential residence after the British burned a path through the city. Undeniably, the first couple's stay was historically significant-- President Madison signed the Treaty of Ghent, whih officially ended the War of 1812, at the Octagon-- but the home's rich history includes much more than the Madisons."

And, I'd Never Heard of It Before. --Brock-Perry

Fort Mims in Alabama-- Part 3: Jackson Retaliates and the DAR

From the July/August DAR American Spirit Magazine. //// Colonel Andrew Jackson mobilized three state militias to attack the Red Sticks. At the 1814 Battle of Horseshoe Bend, he defeated them, ending the Creek War. This defeat eventually led to the banishment of several Indian tribes to the West on the infamous Trail of Tears. //// The modern history of Fort Mims has a lot to do with the Fort Mims DAR chapter of Stockton, Alabama, founded in 1949. Organizing Regent June Whiting Slaughter and her husband Carl were asked by the Alabama Parks and Conservation Department to help clearing brush off land adjacent to their north Baldwin County property where they had been finding arrowheads and pieces of pottery. Charred wood was found that determined the fort's original site. //// In the mid-1980s the first battle reenactment was held and this continues. Gregory Waselkov at the University of South Alabama has started a dig at the fort and written a book A Conquering Spirit: Fort Mims and the Redstick War of 1813-1814. Artifacts from the fort will be on display during the anniversary weekend. //// We'll probably be driving to Alabama if NIU plays in the Go-Daddy Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, in January. This could be a stop on the way. --Brock-Perry

Fort Mims in Alabama-- Part 2: Creek-U.S. Tensions and Massacre

Continued from Nov. 30th. //// The conditions leading to the Creek Indian War which led to the Fort Mims massacre started even before the War of 1812. In the early 1800s, the Creek Nation numbered between 18,000 and 14,000 primarily inhabiting present-day Alabama and western Georgia. In the years following the American revolution, Spain, France, Britain and the United States all atempted to gain influence in the region. //// By 1805, the Creeks had signed four treaties with the U.S., but animosity between Britain and the U.S. would cause the Creek War which became an extension of the War of 1812. And, of course, another major factor was the continued white pressure to move onto Indian lands. //// By early 1813, about 550 settlers and slaves had crowded into the tiny stockade in Tensaw along the Alabama River. On August 30, about 700 warriors from the pro-British Red Stick faction of the Creek Nation attacked the fort, killing hundreds and capturing around 100 slaves, women and children. Only about 36 settlers survived. ////

Friday, December 6, 2013

Timeline for December 1813-- Part 1: The Burning of Niagara, Upper Canada

DECEMBER 10TH: Burning of Newark. // Major General David Adams burned Nuyaka. // THE BURNING OF THE TOWN OF NIAGARA, UPPER CANADA: By December 1813, U.S. Brigadier General George McClure was left with only 100 soldiers to defend his base at Niagara. On 10 December, after giving inhabitants little notice, he ordered the destruction of the town and withdrew his men to Fort Niagara, NY. Elderly and sickly men, women and children were turned out into a fierce winter blizzard. The treasonous "Canadian Volunteers" led by Joseph Willcocks burned the first capital of Upper Canada and pillaged the wretched people. British and Canadian troops arrived that evening too late to save any buildings but found Fort George in better condition, complete with artillery and camp equipment. McClure had acted against his orders and was forced to resign. ////

Ships of Oak, Guns of Iron

From the December 18, 2012, Huntington (WV) News "Book Review: 'Ships of Oak, Guns of Iron': The War of 1812 Examined in Readable Detail on Its Bicentennial" reviewed by David M. Kinchen. //// I am most interested in the naval aspects of any war so this book would be right up my line. // The book is written by Ronald D. Utt, 528 pages, $29.95. He blames the Royal Navy's impressment actions as the cause of the war. Low estimates put impressment at 2,500 and a high of 25,000 with some 7,500 by the start of the War of 1812. //// The Royal Navy faced serious manpower shortages as Britain had been fighting Napoleon and had been at perpetual war for twenty years. //// The book covers some land battles, but most of it centers on naval action (that's alright for me). The U.S. Navy had 17 ships at the start of the war that had to fight 500 British warships (though most were involved in the Napoleonic Wars). Utt says the "American courage, gunnery and skill could prove itself against daunting odds." //// Signature battle was the USS Constitution vs, HMS Gueriere on August 19, 1812, which made Isaac Hull a national hero (this was actually a very lop-sided battle favoring the Constitution). His uncle, General William Hull, 59, a hero of the Revolutionary War, had surrendered Detroit without much of a fight just three days before the Constitution's victory. Thomas Jefferson bears responsibility of appointing many of the disappointing American commanders. //// --Brock-Perry

Thursday, December 5, 2013

U.S. Ship Gets a Virginia Marker

From the Nov. 26, 2013, Washington Post "U.S. ship in War of 1812 getting a Virginia marker" by AP. //// The Virginia Department of Historic Resources will dedicate a marker Dec. 3rd in White Stone on Virginia's Northern Neck. //// On April 3, 1813, the British overpowered four American privateers. The largest American ship, the Dolphin, fought on after the others had surrendered. It's captain, W.J. Stafford was wounded when the ship was boarded and captured. The Dolphin mounted 12 guns and had a crew of 100. //// --Brock-Perry

Tennesseans in the War of 1812

Fr5om the Dec. 9, 2012, Knox News "From frontiersmen to Congressen multiple Tennesseans gained war fame" by Steven Harris. //// Of course. most famously was Andrew Jackson, but here are some others: Davy Crockett and former Blunt County resident Sam Houston (later somewaht famous in Texas) who was wounded three times at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. //// Knoxville founder James White, a brigadier general in 1813 who led the attack at Hillabees Creek, Tennessee. //// Congressman Felix Grundy led the Congressional group called The War Hawks who wanted war with Britain. //// General Edmund Gaines of Kingsport, Tn., served on the Canadian border, commanding Fort Erie when it was attcked by British, Canadians and Indians and where the enemy lost over 100 men. --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Battle of Credit Island

From the Nov. 11, 2013, Quad-City (Iowa) Times "Researcher talks about 200-year-old battle at Credit Island" by Alma Gaul. //// Almost 25 people were at Davenport, Iowa's Credit Island on Nov. 11th as researcher Chris Espenshade of Commonwealth Cultural Resources Group , Inc., hired by the City of Davenport, gave a talk on a very little-known battle in the "Forgotten War." //// Around 334 Americans led by future U.S. President Zachary Taylor fought between 20-30 British troops and 800-1200 Indians. //// The Americans were outnumbered and retreated to St. Louis. //// The battle did not have a big impact on the war, but might have helped bring on the later Black Hawk War in 1832 as Indians feared the continued encroachment of whites into their territory. //// Espenshade had been using Zachary Taylor's account of the action as well as two British reports, but is looking for Indian input. He has done some archaeological work but has found no battle-related items. --Brock-Perry

Not Much Posted the Last Two Weeks

The laptop did not work for the most part so had to find other alternatives. But, just got back a few hours ago and now have the pc up and running, so will catch up. --Brock-Perry

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Fort Mims in Alabama-- Part 1

From the DAR July/August 2013 Magazine by Sharri Whiting. //// Chalk it up as another unknown item for me. //// The 200th anniversary of the battle took place August 30, 2013, and it was marked by a commemoration from August 30-Sept. 1st in Tensaw, Alabama including exhibits, living history demonstrations, period music, crafts, re-enactments and even a pioneer church service. //// The Fort Mims Restoration Association joined with descendants of the survivors, members of the Creek Nation and the general public. It was to remember the 500 white settlers, Creek Indians and slaves who died or were captured Aug. 30, 1813. //// --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Georgia County Purchases Fort Daniel Site

From the Dec. 12, 2012, Gwinnett (Ga) Daily Post" by Camie Young. //// Fort Daniel protected area settlers in the War of 1812. Its four acres on Hog Mountain predates the county. The Gwinnett County Archaeological Research Society unearthed walls and found artifacts. The land was bought for $24,000. //// It is near the intersection of Georgia highways 124 and 324. There is a historical marker and a local elementary school named for the fort. Hog Mountain is the highest point for miles around. //// It is named for Major General Allen Daniel, garrisoned by the 25th Regiment of Georgia Militia and was built in 1813. //// Fort Peachtree was constructed at Chattahoochie River about 30 miles away. Atlanta's Peachtree Road was built to connect the two forts. //// About 300 forts housed Georgia soldiers between the frontier and Civil War days. //// --Brock-Perry

How Washington State Almost Became a Part of British Columbia

From the November 11, 2012 Province by Kent Spencer. //// Most of the War of 1812 action took place on the east coast, but the British capture of Fort Astora on the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest was a big event. The fort was a newly established trading post dealing with furs. The British Northwest Fur Company purchased Fort Astoria. Had it remained under British control, Washington state would have been a part of Canada's British Columbia. //// The British Navy sent the 36-gun sloop HMS Raccoon and, on arrival, demanded the formal surrender which took place and the place was renamed Fort George. //// The Peace Conference of 1814 regarded the fort as occupied American territory and it was given back to the Americans. //// Almost, But Not Quite. --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Peter Buell Porter

From Wikipedia. //// (August 14, 1773-March 20, 1844) American lawyer, soldier, politician and U.S. Secretary of War. Graduated Yale College in 1791. Moved to Black Rock, New York, in 1809 and elected to Congress where he was a leading War Hawk. From 1810-1816 was a member of the Erie Canal Commission. //// In the War of 1812, he was quartermaster general of New York State Militia. In 1812, he participated in and became a major critic of Alexander Smyth's botched invasion of Upper Canada. This led to the famous duel between the two. Neither hit their opponent. //// Porter later raised and commanded a brigade of New York militia and he was presented with a Congressional Gold Medal for his conduct at the Battle of Chippewa, Battle of Niagara and the Battle of Erie. //// His son, Colonel Petere A. Porter gained recognition, but died at the Battle of Cold Harbor during the Civil War. --Brock-Perry

Monday, November 18, 2013

Alexander Smyth

From Wikipedia. Doing some more research on the Nov. 16th blog entry. //// (1765-April 17, 1830) American lawyer, soldier and politician from Virginia. Member U.S. House of Representatives. General in War of 1812. Smyth County, Virginia, named for him. //// Born in Ireland and emigrated to Virginia in 1775. Served as member of the state's House of Delegates and Senate. From 1808 to 1813 served in U.S. Army and commissioned a colonel. At the Battle of Queenston Heights, he refused to support his commander, General Stephen Van Rensselear, a militia general with no experience. For his disobeying orders, Smyth was given Rensselear's command and proved to be very inept himself. //// His plans to invade Upper Canada in 1812 had to be called off because of poor organization. A subordinate, General Peter B. Porter accused his commander of cowardice and Smyth challenged him to a duel. As historian John R. Elting wrote, the duel came off and "Unfortunately, both missed." //// Smyth was later removed from the Army and returned to Virginia and served again in the House of Delegates and later the U.S. Senate. He died in Washington, D.C. and is buried in the U.S. Congressional Cemetery. //// Brock-Perry

Some Facts About the War of 1812-- Part 2

**** Major John Norton had a Cherokee father and Scottish mother and deserted the British Army to live with the Mohawks. He sided with the British at the Battle of Queenston Heights and scared the Americans with his fierceness. //// **** There were attrocities on both sides. Reportedly, after his death, Tecumseh's body was cut up for souvenirs. //// The U.S. burned York, the capital of Upper Canada because the British had done the same to Lewiston, Black Rock and Buffalo. //// --Brock-Perry

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Some Facts About the War of 1812-- Part 1

From the November 12, 2012, WGRZ by Richard Kellman. //// **** The war resulted in 20,000 deaths, 15,000 of them from disease. //// **** Canadian hero Sir Isaac Brock (the Brock in the Brock-Perry signoff) died early in the war at the Battle of Queenstown Heights. He had a reputation for bravery and impulsiveness and thought his posting to Canada had him in a "backwater." //// **** The U.S. commander at Buffalo, General Alexander Smyth was untrained, inept and so hated by his men, some took potshots at him. //// **** Peter Porter of Black Rock and Niagara Falls was a wealthy businessmen, officer and Congressman where he was a major War Hawk (those who wanted war) and demanded the annexation of Canada. He fought a duel with General Smyth on Grand Island over an insult. Both men missed. He became Secretary of War under President John Quincy Adams in 1828. Smyth left the war early and returned to his native Virginia. //// Just Some Stuff. --Brock-Perry

War of 1812 Canadian Coins

From the Nov. 12, 2013, Sacramento Bee. //// The Royal Canadian Mint is issuing the final coins of the 2012 year and will commemorate the War of 1812. One of the coins is the Battle of Queenstown Heights and the other First Nation leader tecumseh. --Brock-Perry

Friday, November 15, 2013

War of 1812 Veteran Gets New Grave Marker

From the Nov. 25, 2012, Brookfield (Ohio) Tribune Chronicle. //// Jesse reeder is buried in the oldest section of the Brookfield Cemetery and his grave has just received the placement of a new Veterans Association (Administration?) marker. he was buried in 1883. The cemetery has forty-three War of 1812 veterans buried in it. //// Brock-Perry

"Everywhere I Saw Devastation": Civilian Life During the War of 1812-- Part 2

Continued from Saturday, Nov. 9th. //// On December 10, 1813, retreating Americans, who had occupied Niagara, Upper Canada, since May, set fire to and burned almost all the buildings of his town to the grouund. Residents were given just minutes to leave. //// Charlotte Dickson's brick home had been used by American Generals McClure and Brown and Colonel Seal, but even that didn't save it. //// Townspeople did not begin rebuilding until after the war. //// Burning and destruction were tit-for-tat on both sides, becoming uglier and more brutal as the war dragged on. All males between the ages of 16 to 60 had to serve in the militia. With men serving in the militia, farming was very difficult, especially during planting season. //// Stuff You Don't usually hear About in War. --Brock-Perry

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Toledo Museum of Arts Opens a Perry's Victory Exhibit

From the Toledo Free Press "Perry's Victory: TMA exhiit celebrates 200th anniversary of Battle of Lake Erie" by Sarah Ottney. //// The Toledo Museum of Art's (TMA) newest exhibit combines artwork, history, artifacts and a multi-media display. //// The highlight is an eight-foot oil painting by Thomas Birch"Perry's Victory on Lake Erie" and a portrait of Oliver Hazard Perry by Gilbert Stuart. //// Also at the exhibit is Perry's naval commission signed by President James Madison. //// Birch started his painting within weeks of the battle. Many other artists painting the victory wrote Perry for accuracy and he did answer some, but it is not known whether he did for Birch. Perry, however, did own one set of the prints. //// TMA had a similar exhibit back in 1913, on the centennial of the battle. //// Northern Illinois plays a key football game against the University of Toledo This Coming Wednesday. If I Decide to Go, I'll Check Out the Museum. --Brock-Perry

Maryland Veterans To Be Honored-- Part 3

The April 30, 1814, Niles Weekly Reporter in Baltimore describes a raid, possibly at White Haven, then a part of Somerset County: "The schooner Buzzi, a bay trading vessel, Captain Jarvis, was chased into Wicomico on the 9th by a tender and several barges. Capt. [James]Dashiel, with 25 men of his artillery company and a six-pounder came to his rescue. They had several fine raking shots at the enemy; several men were seen to fall and oars floated on shore. The Englishmen retreated in great haste...." //// Somerset County native Joshua Thomas, a Methodist preacher, known as the Parson of the Islands, preached a sermon in 1814 to british troops stationed there predicting their defeat at Baltimore. //// Considering the Congregation, This Could Have Caused Problems. --Brock-Perry

November 1813 Timeline: Hurricane and Skirmish

NOVEMBER 12TH: A hurricane strikes Halifax, Nova Scotia, causing extensive damage to British ships there. //// NOVEMBER 13TH: Skirmish at Nanticoke Creek, Upper Canada. Norfolk County Militia engage a group of American sympathizers (marauders). Light casualties on both sides. //// NOVEMBER 16TH: British extend blockade to all middle and southern states. //// NOVEMBER 24TH: Loyal London Volunteers, a unit of Upper Canada militia is formed. //// NOVEMBER 25TH: Loyal Kent Volunteers formed. //// NOVEMBER 29TH: Battle of Autosse, Mississippi Territory. Americans inflict significant casualties on Muscogee (Creek) Nation warriors but fail to achieve a clear victory. //// --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November 1813 Timeline-- Part 6: Decisive Battle of Crysler's Farm

NOVEMBER 11TH-- In October, Wilkinson's Army began a coordinated campaign to capture Montreal with between 7,000 and 8,000 soldiers based at Sackets Harbor. He was to link up with Major General Wade Hampton's army which was to advance to Montreal along the Richelieu River. //// British Lt. Col. Joseph Morrison's force of about 1,100 men pursued Wilkinson's flotilla down the St. Lawrence River. When the Americans turned to engage with about 3,000 of their force, the British landed and took a strong defensive position on John Crysler's field. //// After a bloody battle Wilkinson's troops hastily retreated to their boats and descended the river to French Mills, New York, where they took up winter quarters abandoning their effort to capture Montreal after hearing news of Hampton's defeat at Chateauquay. //// Losses for the Americans. --Brock-Perry

November 1813 Timeline-- Part 5

NOVEMBER 10TH: British gunboats commanded by Royal Navy Captain William Mulcaster engage American gunboats protecting the flotilla of boats carrying Major General Wilkinson's army on the St. Lawrence River. The British withdrew when they came under effective American artillery from the shore of the river. --Brock-Perry

November 1813 Time Line-- Part 4

NOVEMBER 10TH: SKIRMISH AT HOOPLE'S CREEK, UPPER CANADA-- During the American campaign down the St. Lawrence River to capture Montreal, American Major General James Wilkinson landed troops at the head of the Long Sault Rapids and sent Brig. General Jacob Brown along with 2,500 troops to clear the road to Cornwall, Upper Canada, and seize much-needed supplies. //// After stopping to repair a bridge at Hoople's Creek, Brown was ambushed by 300 local militia commanded by British regular officer Major James Dennis of the 49th Regiment of Foot. Concealed among the trees, the militia had a strong position but slowly withdrew against the much larger American force. //// Dennis succeeded in delaying the American advance enough to allow 150 wagons of British supplies to be safely removed from Cornwall to Coteau-du-Lac, Lower Canada. //// --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Maryland Veterans To Be Honored-- Part 2

During the war there were many raids along the Pocomoke, Annemessex and Wicomico revers and Coulbourne's and Back creeks. //// From the diary of Thomas Seon Sudler: "May 25, 1813, Tuesday night about 10 o'clock, James Curtis came to see me to inform me that the British was up the Pocomoke as far as the Flatts, and that another party of them was up as far as Jerico, the mouth of the Annemessex River. We are becoming a very unhappy people. War and bloodshed appears to be the Ellement of the French Democrats and war party." //// Sure Not Too happy About the British Being Amongst Them. --Brock-Perry

Maryland Veterans To Be Honored-- Part 1

From the Nov. 5, 2013, "War of 1812 veterans to be honored" by Liz Holland. //// Somerset County, on Maryland's Eastern Shore, militia men were to be honored on Sunday, Nov. 10th in a Veterans Day event. Many of those so honored have famous local names like Dashiell, Phoebus, Jones, Long, Pollitt and Yerges. //// U.S. 15-star flags will be placed on their graves. There are 80 of them altogether which have been found through much research and effort by the Somerset County War of 1812 Committee. Fourteen of them are at Antioch Methodist Church, St. Andrws Episcopal Church and Manokin Presbyterian Church. Others are located at Deal Island, Crigfield, Marion Station, Westover, Reheboth and Kingston. //// Little Known War in Somerset County. --Brock-Perry

Monday, November 11, 2013

USMC in the War of 1812

From Wikipedia. //// Just a short summary of the Marines in the War of 1812 in honor of yesterday's 238th birthday of the Corps, established November 10, 1775. //// Marine detachments participated in all of the great frigate battles during the war. Marines delayed the British march to Washington at the Battle of Bladensburg. I have written that their bravery and determination were one of the reasons the British didn't sack the Marine Corps headquarters and barracks in Washington, D.C.. //// Marines held the center of General Andrew Jackson's line at the Battle of New Orleans. //// By the end of the war, Marines had earned a reputation for their excellent marksmanship, especially in ship actions. //// --Ooo-Rah!!! --Brock-Perry


The Armistice ending The War to End All Wars, World War I signed and it became known as Armistice Day, later in the U.S. Veterans Day. It went into effect at 11:11 AM, November 11th whatever the time was in Europe. I plan to be at the ceremony at the Fox Lake, Illinois, train station later today. --Brock-Perry

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Happy Birthday USMC!!!

Today marks the 238th birthday of America's finest fighting outfit, the USMC, established this date in 1775. They also participated and earned honors in the War of 1812 which I will be writing about in more detail tomorrow. Congrats! --Brock-Perry

Saturday, November 9, 2013

"Everywhere I Saw Devastation": Civilian Life During the War-- Part 1

From the October 28, 2012, National Post "Everywhere I saw devastation: Civilian life on the front line during the War of 1812" by James Careless. //// Thomas-Rene-Vercheres Boucher de Boucherville (there's a name for you) wrote in 1815: "I saw devastation, homes in ashes, fields trampled and laid to waste, forts demolished, forests burned and blackened, truly a most pitiful sight." He was writing about the Niagara Peninsula, a major scene of conflict. //// Civilians on both sides suffered in this area between upper New York state and southwest Ontario. The city of Niagara (now Niagara-on-the-Lake) suffered the most. //// --Brock-Perry

The War Gets Comic Book Treatment

October 27, 2012, AP "The War of 1812 gets comic book treatment. //// Don't laugh, in my younger days this was a major way I caught up on history and literature. I remember those 15 cent Classic Comics. //// Erie, Pennsylvania, local historian Don Haener created a comic book on the War of 1812 to run in conjunction with the its 200th anniversary. He did it to get kids interested in the war. (Do kids even still read comic books?) Artist Dan Cozy worked with him. and it consists of twenty pages with three illustrations per page and covers the war's major events. (I wonder if it has the old Sgt. Rock and Easy Company's "Kapoww!! Bam, Bam?" //// Of course, I Really Liked the Haunted Tank. --Brock-Perry

Friday, November 8, 2013

McHenry County War of 1812 Burials-- Part 5

LINN-HEBRON CEMETERY (HEBRON)-- Daniel Cornue 1-20-1876, John Begun 4-2-1850, John A. Ehle 1871, A. Clary 1867 and Stephen Wickham 5-26-1873 (also Major Watson 3-16-1845 from the American Revolution) //// HEBRON CEMETERY--- Zenos Pierce 7-28-1882, David H. Hyde 1880 and John Stewart 11-6-1869 (Also Josiah Giddings 10-21-1887 from the Blackhawk War.) //// --Brock-Perry

McHenry County War of 1812 Burials-- Part 4

ALDEN CEMETERY (HARVARD)-- L.R. Robinson 1876, John McLean 1881 and James Helm 7-13-1870 //// MT. AUBURN CEMETERY (HARVARD)-- William Carmack 9-28-1865, Jacob G. Saunders 3-19-1875 and B. Lowell 10-23-1860 //// OAKLAND CEMETERY (WOODSTOCK)-- Alfred Barrows, Sylvester Russell (and Thomas Finney from the Blackhawk War 8-9-1876) //// S. DUNHAM CEMETERY MARENGO NORTH) Fillmore. //// --Brock-Perry

McHenry County War of 1812 Burials-- Part 3

McHenry County, Illinois. //// ORVIS CEMETERY: John W. Sanborn //// SPRING GROVE CEMETERY (in our village) Joseph Bliven 1851 (also Civil War veteran James K. Rice, 1923) We also have a Bliven Road. //// BIG FOOT CEMETERY-- Stephen S. Edwards 7-9-1871 //// ALGONQUIN CEMETERY-- J.D. Schuyler, S.Z. Sherwood and William Clark. //// --Brock-Perry

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Canada's Fort Wellington-- Part 3

Even though the fort was never involved in a battle, it served as a staging and rallying point for local militia and regular British troops. //// On February 22, 1813, about 500 men crossed the frozen St. Lawrence River and attacked Ogdensburg where they destroyed American military barracks and burned four ships frozen in the river. They returned with food, ammunition cannon and prisoners. This attack was in reprisal for the American raid earlier in the month on Ganonoque and Elizabethtown. //// In November 1813, American General Wilkinson's army, on its way to attack Montreal, feared Fort Wellington's cannons so much that they disembarked from their ships above Ogdensburg and marched through town at night while the boats slipped by unloaded. //// Once Wilkinson's army had slipped by, the fort's garrison followed them along the King's Highway (modern Highway 21) and on November 11th met at the Battle of Crysler's Farm near present-day Morrisburg, Ontario and the much-larger American army was defeated. The attack on Montreal was abandoned and Canada was saved. //// The fort fell into disrepair after the war and finally was abandoned in 1832. //// Story of a Fort. --Brock-Perry

Canada's Fort Wellington-- Part 2

THE FIRST FORT WELLINGTON //// This is the one from the War of 1812. //// The first fort was built with earth ramparts reinforced with a verticle palisade fence and a glacis. The North Facade had a masonry gate. Timber buildings were inside the fort and casemates were tunneled into the ramparts for storage. //// The fort's main armament was a pair of 24-pdr. cannons mounted on the southeast and southwest corners. Smaller guns defended other parts of the fort. //// Unlike other British forts in the area, Fort Wellington was never attacked by the Americans. //// A Strong Fort for the Era. --Brock-Perry

Canada's Fort Wellington-- Part 1

From Wikipedia. //// Fort Wellington National Historic Site is a historic military fortification located on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River by Prescott, Ontario, orginally built in 1813 on land given by Major Edward Jessup, a prominent Loyalist who left Connecticut after the American Revolution and founded the town of Prescott in 1784. //// The British government built it at the head of the Gallup Rapids. Prior to the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1950, these were a series of rapids that ran downriver from Prescott to Montreal. Shipping freight or passengers on regular lake ships was impossible and they would have to shift to smaller batteaux for this segment of the journey. //// Prescott is located just a mile from Ogdensburg, New York, on the American side of the river and because of this, was especially vulnerable to military action. //// Pretty Close to Have an Enemy. --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

This Date in the War of 1812: British Fort Wellington

From the Parks Canada site. //// Two hundred years ago today, an American army led by General Wilkinson successfully passed by Fort Wellington on their way to attack Montreal. //// "One consequence of the American Revolution was the emergence of a hostile country to the south of Great Britain's Canadian colonies." Upper Canada (present-day Ontario) was particularly at risk because of the St. Lawrence River between Kingston and Montreal which could be easily cutoff by the Americans on the south shore. //// The declaration of war in 1812 caused the British to move fast to the area's defense and Fort Wellington was built at the town of Prescott. //// Prescott was founded in 1784 by United Empire Loyalists who fled to Canada from the United States. The capture of Prescott would effectively close the St. Lawrence River. //// Initially, local militia occupied two buuildings on the eastern edge of town and built a stockade around them. An advanced battery was built and mounted two 9-pounder cannons. //// In December 1812, the commander of British North American forces ordered that a more permanent fort be built. A substantial one-story blockhouse enclosed in earthen ramparts was built over a two-year period. //// The fort was never attacked but served as a staging area for regular troops and militia. Early in 1813 an attack was launched across the frozen St. Lawrence River on Odensburg, New York. //// After the war, the garrison was gradually removed and the fort deterirated until it was abandoned in 1833. It was rebuilt in 1837. //// The Story of a Fort. --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

McHenry County War of 1812 Burials-- Part 2

McHenry County, Illinois. //// CRYSTAL LAKE CEMETERY, CRYSTAL LAKE: //// N.B. Beardsley 10-6-1845; Newman Crabtree 12-1-1843; Wm. Huffman 12-15-1857; Wm. Kearnes 6-2-1845; George Thompson 7-27-1876 //// PIONEER CEMETERY: Abraham Dickinson 9-30-1848 //// FRANKLINVILLE CEMETERY: John Wilbur 6-26-1871; Joseph E. Mead 4-19-1864; Ira Waterman 5-7-1854 //// RICHMOND CEMETERY: Isaac Mead born 1793 died 1885; John Tebbetts 7-25-1877; William Faulkner 6-28-1881; William Tebbetts. //// More Than I Knew. --Brock-Perry

More of a McHenry County War of 1812 Connection Than I Thought-- Part 1: Burials

From "McHenry County, Illinois, 1832-1968" edited by Lowell Albert Nye, 1968 Pages 31-40. //// I live in McHenry County, but dudn't think there was much of a connection with it and the war since Illinois didn't even become a state until 1819. But, land in Illinois Territory was offered to War of 1812 veterans as part of their pay and to get people to moving to the new territory. Many War of 1812 veterans did come to McHenry County and are buried here. //// This information comes from a list of different war veterans buried at local county cemeteries (also given s date of death). //// These are War of 1812 veterans: HOLCOMBVILLE CEMETERY: G.L. Beckley 10-27, 1884; George Brown; Elijah Waterman 10-21-1854; UNION CEMETERY, CRYSTAL LAKE: William Jackman, 1871; Abner Mack 3-5-1872. //// Many More to Come. --Brock-Perry

November 1813 Timeline-- Part 3

NOVEMBER 6, 1813: Major General James Wilkinson's army, carried in a flotilla of boats, is fired upon and forces a passage past the British Fort Wellington at Prescott, Upper Canada. Wilkinson continues his descent of the St. Lawrence River on his way to attack Montreal, Lower Canada. //// NOVEMBER 9, 1813: American troops under Major General Andrew Jackson defeat Red Stick Muscogee (Creek) fighters beseiging the friendly Muscogee (Creek) village of Talladega, Mississippi Territory. Known as the Battle of Talladega. //// -- Brock-Perry

Paul Revere's Bell On the USS Constitution-- Part 2

Best-known for his "Midnight Ride" and his gold and silbersmithing, Paul Revere, in his later life, got into manufacturing other metal products. He built an iron and brass foundry in 1787 at the corner of Lynn and Foster streets in Boston's North End. He produced iron products such as fire buckets and window weights. Then he branched out into bolts and spikes for shipbuilding and later cannons and bells. //// In 1800, at the age of 65, Revere bought a copper rolling mill and became the first American to successfully roll copper into sheets commercially. The federal government used it on its warships and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts used his copper for the dome of its new statehouse. Robert Fulton used Revere's product on the boilers of his steamships. //// In 1788, Revere had built a furnace to make copper spikes, bolts and other ship fittings. //// Later, Paul Revere cast copper alloy bells. Before this, the U.S. imported its bells from England. Revere cast his first bell in 1792 and made a total of 398 in his North Boston foundry. Many of these bells are still in use in Boston today, including the one at King's Chapel which weighs 2437 pounds. The bell of the USS Constitution was also one of his until it was shot away in the battle with the HMS Guerriere. //// A "Listen My Children and You Shall Hear" Bell. --Brock-Perry

Monday, November 4, 2013

Paul Revere's Bell On the USS Constitution-- Part 1

Last month, I wrote about the bell of the HMS Guerriere coming to Rhode Island last year and that it had been taken from the ship after its battle with the USS Constitution before the Guerriere sank. During the battle,the Constitition's bell was destroyed and it had been made by Paul Revere's factory; the Paul Revere famous for his Midnight Ride to warn the Minutemen of the British Army marching out from Boston. //// I knew that Revere was also a famous silversmith, but not that he had anything to do with making bells. Of course, that meant I had to do some research. //// A Ringing In My Ears. --Brock-Perry

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Time Line November 1813-- Part 2

MONTH OF NOVEMBER-- **** British begin construction of a road in Upper Canada from Kempenfelt Bay on Lake Simcoe to Penetanguishene on Georgia Bay in order to open a supply route to Fort Mackinack, Michigan Territory, and points west. This was built as an alternate to using Lake Erie after the Battle of Lake Erie earlier in the fall. Since I am a bit of an old road fan, I may have to do some more research into this road. //// NOVEMBER 3RD American forces attack the Muscogee (Creek) Nation village of Tallushatchee, Mississippi Territory. //// NOVEMBER 4TH: Britain offers the U.S. direct peace negotiations. //// Brock-Perry

The Battle of Sag Harbor, NY-- Part 2

From the 7-12-13, Newsday (NY) "Fort from War of 1812 dedicated in Sag Harbor" by Mitchell Freedman. //// Sag Harbor history buff David Thommen wants to right an oversight and that would be a War of 1812 battle that took place in his Sag Harbor that has been mostly overlooked. There just isn't much information on it, but he has been doing a lot of research and has come up with a history of it. //// As a result of it, there wiill be a dedication for a long-gone fort on the town's High Street on July 13, 2013, the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Sag Harbor. //// Several vessels carrying 100 British troops were spotted by a 16-year-old from Amagansett warned the garrison at the fort (which may have been called Turkey Hill). That fort was manned by 60 militia and two cannons. //// A Forgotten Battle In a Forgotten War. --Brock-Pery

Sag Harbor Victory Observed

From the 7-11-13, Sag Harbor (NY) Express "War of 1812 Victory Observed in Sag Harbor" by Emily J. Weitz. //// On July 11, 1813, five barges of British troops approached Sag Harbor. According to U.S. General Abraham Ross, they were met with a "reception so warm and spirited from our militia that they abandoned their formation and retreated." //// The Americans had a strong fort on a hill with a 9-pound and 18-pound cannon. The British had about 100 men with them. Henry Green and John Gunn were sentinels on the wharf and spread the word that the British were coming. //// The British wanted the port for its deep-water harbor They also had a blockade to prevent trade between New York and the rest of the world. //// Yet another reason for the attack was that the five British ships off the coast needed provisions of food and fresh water. //// The British landed and the Americans held their fire and opened a warm volley upon the British. //// Just One of Those Battles That You Don't Hear About. --Brock-Perry

Friday, November 1, 2013

Timeline November 1813-- Part 1

Events happening in November 1813: //// ***Arrival of British reinforcements, the 70th Regt., at Quebec, Lower Canada. //// *** Naval reinforcements allow the British to blockade the entire U.S. eastern seaboard from New England to Florida. New England was not, however, blockaded, partly because of British dependence on trade with the region via New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. I think another reason might have been because New England was the weak link in the American effort and perhaps the British were hoping for them to secede. //// NOVEMBER 1-2: Skirmish at French Creek, New York. The British Navy from Kingston unsuccessfully attacks vessels bringing Maj. Gen. James Wilkinson's Army down the St. Lawrence River. //// --Brock-Perry

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Rogue Diving On the Scourge and Hamilton

From the Oct. 18, 2013, Toronto "Rogue divers visit shipwreck sites" by Mark McNeil. //// Six divers made ten dives to the USS Scorge and USS Hamilton between 2000 and 2002. They were all experts in deep-water diving and refer to themselves as the MAREX group. //// The two American ships are located 92 meters deep about 11 kilometers from Port Dalhousie. Both ships sank in a violent storm in August 1813 and were discovered in 1973 by Dr. Dan Nelson, an associate archaeologist at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). //// Since then, ownership of the ships has shifted from the U.S. Navy to the ROM and now to the City of Hamilton, Canada. //// Diving on the ships is strictly illegal, as they are also considered war graves, but the group figured it would be easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Eight dives were made on the Hamilton and two on the Scorge. Neither ship had any radio security until 2004-2005. //// They are protected by the Ontario Heritage Act. --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Some More On the Connecticut River Mystery Ship-- Part 2

Based on the age and location of the ships knee, it is likely from one of two American privateers the British attempted to take downriver with them after their attack on the privateer base at Essex in 1814 in which 27 American ships were destroyed. //// They burned the Young Anaconda and Eagle after running them aground in shallow water near where the ships knee was found. //// The knee is in a tank undergoing a two-year conservation process and can be seen at the Connecticut River Museum at 67 Main Street in Essex. //// The museum is also home to the permanent "Burning of the Fleet" exhibit which includes artifacts from the British raid, a 14-ft long mural, paintings, dioramas and audio clips of the event. //// A second piece of wood was found in the same location last week. It is believed that a heavy spring freshet (flood) uncovered them. Last year, the museum was given a British sword found in the area. //// And I Had Never Heard of the Raid on Essex Before Starting This Blog. --Brock-Perry

Some More On That Connecticut River Mystery Shipwreck-- Part 1

A follow up to yesterday's post from the October 12, 2013, Connecticut Day "Mystery Shipwreck Discovered in Connecticut River." //// On June 20th, while dragging nets for sturgeon research in the Connecticut River just south of the town of Essex, Tom Savoy and his state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection snagged an old ships knee (a large wooden L-bracket used to fasten the deck beams to the ribs of wooden ships). //// They took it to the Connecticut River Museum where it was identified and preservation begun. //// It is tentatively identified as a wooden knee made in America prior to the 1820s due to its hand-carved wooden trunnels (pegs) and lack of metal fasteners. So, the Knee Knew. --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

War of 1812 Shipwreck Possibly Discovered in Connecticut River

From the September 30, 2013, WTIC 1080 CBS, Connecticut. //// The remains of a ship was found in Old Saybrook in several feet of water off Watrous Point about a mile south of the harbor. All that was found is a ballast pile since the rest of the wooden ship has disintegrated in the water. //// Old musket balls have been found buried in the lawn on the banks of the river near the ballast stones. //// Archaeologists have started a dig and think it might be the remains of the Young Anaconda. //// --Brock-Perry

Monday, October 28, 2013

Rhode Island's Great Road

I'll write more aboutn this road in my RoadLog blog, but for right now, I'll give a short history of it here since I mentioned that the Hearthside House is located on the Great Road. //// The Great Road was a major transportation route through the Blackstone River Valley until the early 1800s with the completion of the Louisquisett Pike and Blackstone Canal took away much of its traffic. ///// It connected Rhode Island with Massachusetts, to the north. //// Several small mills operated along it, but the limited power of the Moshassuek River prevented the development of larger mills like those along the Blackstone River. The Great Road remained an agricultural area until well into the 1900s. //// The Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor has a driving tour guide of it "Great Road-- Lincoln, Rhode Island-- Travel Through Three Hundred Years In Three Miles.". The road dates to 1683 and would definitely have been used during the War of 1812. //// Oh, That Great Road. --Brock-Perry

Lincoln, Rhode Island

From Wikipedia. //// I was wondering how a Ruode Island town came to be named Lincoln since the man did not become president until considerably after the colony and state of Rhode Island was founded. This town is where the Hearthside House is located and I have written a lot about it and its connection to the bell of the HMS Guerrire this past week. //// The town is located in Providence County and has a population of 21,105 and is north of the city of Providence. //// It was settled in the 17th century and several colonial stone-enders are still located there. (In case you're wondering, a stone-ender is a house with one wall made up entirely of a chimney, a unique style of architecture to Rhode Island.) //// Limestone quarrying was a big early industry. //// To answer the Lincoln question, it was part of the town of Smithville until 1871 when the town split off and was named for President Lincoln. //// It was an important mill town in the late 19th century with many of them located along the Blackstone River. //// Lincoln was recently ranked #63 in Money Magazine's "Best Places to Live" list. //// --Brock-Perry

Saturday, October 26, 2013

HMS Guerriere: Captured By a Captured Ship

Wikipedia. //// 38-gun, 5th rate frigate, originally in French Navy. Launched 1803 and, at time of capture, was attacking British and Russian whalers in the Arctic Ocean off the coast of Greenland. //// On July 19, 1806, forced to surrender to HMS Blanche and commissioned by the British as the HMS Guerriere and served in the West Indies and off the American coast. Captured by the Constitution August 19, 1812. //// Had the ship not been so damaged in the battle and sunk, it might have also served in the U.S. Navy, making twice she was captured and three navies she served. //// Of interest, the HMS Blanche, was formerly the 5th rate frigate Amfitrite in the Spanish Navy which had been captured by the 74-gun ship-of-the-line HMS Donegal off Spain 25 November 1804. //// Also of interest, the United States laynched its own USS Guerriere, named after the British/French one in 1815, the first frigate built by the country since 1801. //// The Story of Some Ships. --Brock-Perry

Friday, October 25, 2013

Some More on the HMS Guerriere Bell-- Part 2

Peter Seest, born in Hadersleben (now Holstein, Germany, around 1715 and became foreman of the City of Amsterdam bell and cannon factory. In 1770, he became director of it. //// The HMS Guerriere was built in Cherbourg, France, in 1799. At the time, Amsterdam was under French control so the bell was probably taken by the French for their new frigate. //// The USS Constitution also has an HMS Guerriere plate in its collection that is quite colorful and impressive. --Brock-Perry

Some More on the HMS Guerriere Bell-- Part 1

From the USS Constitution Museum. //// Tradition has it that the HMS Guerriere's bell was removed from the ship on August 19, 1812, to replace the Constitution's bell which had been destroyed in the battle. //// A story in the Boston Daily Advertiser in 1897 claimed the bell "was sold among a lot of condemned naval stores between 1812 and 1816. The purchaser was S.H. Smith, who took it to Providence [RI] and placed it in the belfry of the factory in Lincoln [the 'Butterfly' cotton mill in Saylesville, RI, built around 1815] where it hangs today." //// Other sources say the bell was removed from the USS Constitution in 1835 during a complete refit, but there are no documents to confirm it. //// Doing Some History Sleuthing. --Brock-Perry

Rhode island's Hearthside House: The House That Love Built-- Part 3

The house is sometimes referred to as "Heartbreak House" because of this. //// Stephen and his brother George and his family lived in the home for awhile, but Stephen grew tired of the family life commotion and moved into a house down the road. //// Across the street from the Hearthside, he built a mill of fieldstone, but was uncuccessful in the manufacturing business he started. In 1826, he was a commissioner for the Blackstone Canal between Providence and Massachusetts. //// Smith died in 1857 and is buried in the cemetery at the Friends Meeting House, one mile from the Hearthside on Great Road. Twelve families have lived in the house since then. The Talbot family gave the house its Hearthside name in 1904. //// The Story of a House. --Brock-Perry

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Rhode Island's Hearthside House: The House That Love Built-- Part 2

According to folklore, Stephen Hopkins Smith, a Quaker from a prominent agricultural family in Lincoln, Rhode Island, lived a simple life as a good Quaker should, but also circulated in social circles of the rich and famous as far away as Providence. During this time, he met the love of his life, a socialite. She told him that he certainly was handsome, but she wanted to marrry a rich man so she could live a life of wealth. Poor Stephen Smith was not that. And that should have been that If a girl is going to be like that, best to leave her well enogh alone. //// The story goes on that he won $40,000 in a lottery, the equivalent of $8,600,000 today, and kept the winnings secret but had the mansion (now called Hearthside) built to sweep the love of his life off her feet. //// When the home was finished, he went to Providence to take her on a horse and buggy ride along the Great Road. Not knowing the mansion was Stephen's, she was amazed with its beauty but added who would want to live so far out in the wilderness. Heartbroken, Stephen drove her back to Providence and (wisely) never saw her again. //// What We Could Say About That Girl. --Brock-Perry

Rhode Island's Hearthside House: The House That Love Built-- Part 1

From the Hearthside House website. //// I have been writing about the HMS Guerriere's bell coming to the Hearthside House in Rhode Island back in 2012 earlier this week. It turns out that the home has quite a history as well and is connected to the War of 1812 (and even old roads). //// Hearthside is an 1810 stone mansion located along The Great Road, the first byway built through the wilderness between Providence, Rhode Island, and Mendon, Massachusetts, one of the oldest thoroughfares in the United States. //// It was a private residence until 1996 when the Town of Lincoln purchased it. In 2001, the Friends of Hearthside was founded. //// The home is an example of 19th century federal-style architecture built of fieldstone and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. //// What's Love Got To Do With It? --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Privateer Dart's Logbook

The logbook of the privateer Dart for its cruise between May 22, 1813, and June 9, 1813, is located in the Dalhousie University Archives along with a full list of the crew. As such, it is one of the best documented privateers of the war. //// On its first cruise, it was under the command of Captain John Harris. Captain JamesRoss commanded it for the second cruise. //// Brock-Perry

The British Privateer Dart

From Wikipedia. //// Operated out of St. John, New Brunswick, Canada, and took 11 prizes on two cruises over a five month period. The Dart had originally been the American vessel Actress which was captured on July 18, 1812, by the HMS Spartan and taken to St. John and auctioned. //// The new owners changed the name to Dart and made it a privateer and operated until captured by the U.S. Revenue Cutter Vigilant on October 22, 1813 (my sources list the capture as Oct. 4th, so I am not sure of the actual date). //// After its capture, the Dart was turned over to its original owners when it was the Actress. //// --

A Big Thanks to the Vigilant

From the October 21, 1813, (Middlebury, Vt.) Columbian Patriot. Earlier this month, I wrote about the capture of the British privateer Dart by the U.S. Revenue Cutter Vigilant on Oct. 4, 1813. I found this big thank you from a period newspaper: "Captain Cahoone, with the volunteers under his command, deserve the highest credit for for the spirit and promptitude with which this affair was conducted, and it is of utmost import once, as it is probable she [Dart] would, but for this, have been almost a constant visitor during the ensuing season, when the mischief she would have done is incalculable." //// Thanks, Vigilant. --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

HMS Guerriere Bell On Display in Rhode Island-- Part 4: Two Other Connections

A SECOND CONNECTION: One of the USS Constitution's officers in the battle was Silas Talbot, great-grandfather of Arnold Talbot who once owned the Heartside. //// A THIRD CONNECTION: Frederick Sayles, another Hearthside owner, removed the bell but kept it in storage and it was passed down through the generations of his family. //// I wonder how the USS Constitution Museum came to own the Guerriere's bell? //// --Brock-Perry

HMS Guerriere Bell on Display in Rhode Island-- Part 3: Oldest Bell in the World?

According to etched information on the bell, it was manufactured in Amsterdam by Peter Seest, likely for a monastery and for a long time the bell was considered the oldest bell in the world. The date was believed to be 1265. Later historians determined that the 2 was an upside down 7 so the real date is 1765 when it was cast. Shoddy merchandise? //// There is a crudely etched "1812" near the top of the bell, believed to have been put there by Stephen Smith. //// Even So, It Still Has the Benefit of Being Taken In That Famous Sea Battle. --Brock-Perry

Monday, October 21, 2013

So What Happened to the Paul Revere USS Constitution Bell?

I came across mention that the Constitution's bell was damaged and/or destroyed during the 1812 battle with the HMS Guerriere. Another source said the bell was carried away by a shot. Does that mean it was blown overboard and is somewhere at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean? //// If it was just damaged and replaced, what happened to the original? I couldn't find out any more about it. //// Brock-Perry

HMS Guerriere Bell on Display in Rhode Island-- Part 2

The bell is under plexiglass and there is a recording of it ringing that you can hear. //// The Heartstone's connections to the Guerriere's bell: *** Stephen Smith, who built the Heartstone and the original Butterfly Mill across the street, reportedly bought the bell from the U.S. government as surplus. The Constitution's crew had taken the bell from the British ship before sinking it. The Constitution's own bell, said to have been cast by Paul Revere, had been destroyed in the battle. When the Constitution returned to port for repairs, it was given a new bell and the Guerriere's sold off as scrap, presumably to Stephen Smith. //// Here a Bell, There a Bell. --Brock-Perry

HMS Guerriere Bell on Display in Rhode Island-- Part 1

From the September 4, 2012, (Providence, R.I.) Valley Breeze " "Ship's Bell from War of 1812 on display at Hearthstone this weekend" by Marcia Green. //// The bell is from the HMS Guerriere, involved in the famous fight with the USS Constitution, is on loan for a month from the USS Constitution Museum. It will be on exhibit at the Hearthside Museum in Lincoln, Rhode Island. //// The bell was taken in the battle on August 18, 1812, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence off Newfoundland. It and a scale model of the USS Constitution arrived at the Hearthstone. //// The Heartstone has three connections to the Guerriere's bell, which is larger than most ship's bells from the era and made out of bronze instead of the usual brass. Many consider a ship's bell as the heart of the ship. //// More to Come. --Brock-Perry

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Time Line October 19th to 31st, 1813: American Attack on Montreal Fails

OCTOBER 19TH: Major General Wade Hampton, (father of Confederate General Wade Hampton) crosses the border near Odelltown, Lower Canada, en route to Montreal. //// OCTOBER 25TH: U.S. Master Commandant Jesse Elliott assumes command of Lake Erie fleet after Captain Oliver Hazard Perry was ordered to the East Coast. OCTOBER 25-26: Battle of Chateauguay, Lower Canada. Together with the Battle of Crysler's Farm, ends the American two-pronged campaign against Montreal. Wade Hampton defeated by Lt. Col. Charles Michel de Salaberry. //// END OF OCTOBER: Hampton retreats to Chateaugay, NY. //// Brock-Perry

Friday, October 18, 2013

Southern Maryland's Role in War of 1812-- Part 3

On June 26, 1814, the British attacked Barney's fleet. U.S. infantry set up artillery at today's Jefferson Patterson Park and forced the British ships to withdraw. Two months later, Joshua Barney found it necessary to scuttle his fleet. //// Jefferson Patterson Park has 560 acres in it. They are planning a big, two-day event to mark the bicentennial of the battle in 2014. //// County seats at St. Mary's and Calvert were both raided July 19, 1814, by two different British forces. The British believed the Calvert County Courthouse was being used for military purposes. //// Admiral George Cockburn took 1500 men along the Potomac River toward Leonardtown, where a division of U.S, infantry was camped. The Americans fled when they heard the Britush were coming. //// On August 19, 1814, 4,500 British troops disembarked at Benedict and began their march on Washington, DC. --Brock-Perry

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Southern Maryland's Role in War of 1812-- Part 2

On July 19, 1812, the British occupied St. Clements and St. George islands and landed just north of Point Lookout in St. Mary's County and raided along the shores of the Potomac and Patuxent rivers. They already had a blockade along the Atlantic Coast as well as a major presence in the Chesapeake Bay. //// Commodore Joshua Barney, a veteran of the Revolutionary War, was the commander of a privateer ship in 1812. He proposed the construction of a small defensive flotilla in 1813 to harass the Royal Navy and protect American property. //// His small fleet skirmished with a small British fleet off Cedar Point on June 1, 1814. His fleet was blocked from the Potomac River so entered the Patuxent River whereupon the British blockaded that river's mouth. The British then pursued Barney's ships into St. Leonard Creek and the fleets exchanged gunfire. Outgunned, the Americans retreated into shallower water where the British couldn't follow. //// The British then raided along the Patuxent River's shore to draw Barney out. There was a skirmish at Benedict in Charles County on June 21, 1814, between the English sailors and marines and American militia who drove them back to their ships. //// It's Not Over Yet. --Brock-Perry

Southern Maryland's Role in the War of 1812-- Part 1

From the September 9, 2012, Washington Post "Recalling Southern Maryland's role in the War of 1812" by Justin Babcock. //// How's this for some action during the war: The largest naval battle fought on the Chesapeake Bay was fought at St. Looner's Creek, Calver County's Courthouse was burned, Benedict was the landing point of 4500 British troops and farms and homes in St. Mary's County were raided. //// The British did not terrorize the Chesapeake Bay area until 1813 and 1814. In August 1814, 45 British warships sailed up the Patuxent River as part of the operation against Washington, DC. They burned plantations along the way. //// On April 7, 1813, British ships began probing the Potomac River. The April 22, 1813, Maryland Gazette reported five British ships were anchored in the harbor of Annapolis and state records were moved from the capital. //// And, It gets Hotter. --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

NC Veterans Get Grave Markers-- Part 3

Sgt. John Huske II (1786-1848), moved to Fayetteville in 1804 and helped procure food for soldiers sent to defend Wilmington. Lt. Col. Dickson Schaffer gave a brief history of his g-g-g grandfather (Huske) who was later appointed aide to general Thomas Brown and became a well-known businessman after the war. ///// Militiaman John Powers (1794-1881) signed on with the 1st Robeson County Militia Regt. at age 18. His regiment was absorbed into a militia brigade that was activated for service in 1814 and sent to Fort Johnson near Southport, NC. //// The Story of Four North Carolina Soldiers. --Brock-Perry

Monday, October 14, 2013

NC Veterans Get Grave Markers-- Part 2

John Eccles and John Huske served in the Light Infantry Company. //// All four were deployed at Wilmington to protect the port from British naval attack. //// General Thomas Davis was the ranking military officer at Fayetteville, is the 5th great grandgather of the Reverend Robert Alves, rector of St. John's Episcopal Church, who spoke at the grave. He was a prosperous businessman and lawyer who served two terms in the House of Commons in 1803 and is buried under a magnolia tree. //// Lt. John Eccles was a Fayetteville businessman who donated land for what became a part of the Cross Creek Cemetery and is also buried under a magnolia tree at the corner of North Cool Spring and Grove streets. //// --Brock-Perry

October 1813 Timeline-- Part 3

OCTOBER 14TH: //// Major General William Henry Harrison signs provisional armistice in Detroit, Michigan Territory, with First Nations that have abandoned their British alliance. //// OCTOBER 16TH: Fort Astoria, Columbia District (Oregon Country) is sold to the North West Company. OCTOBER 16TH: First troops of Major General James Wilkinson's expedition to attack Montreal leave Sackets Harbor and land at Grenadier Island at the head of the St. Lawrence River. The island will become a staging point for the attack. //// Brock-Perry

Saturday, October 12, 2013

NC Veterans Get Grave Markers-- Part 1

From the September 22, 2012, Fayetteville (NC) Observer "Soldiers from War of 1812 honored with grave markers" by Nancy McClearly. //// Forty people gathered at Fayetteville's Cross Creek Cemetery No. 1, including members of the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry (I have written about them in my Saw the Elephant Civil War and Cooter's History Thing blogs) and the DAR. They were honoring four War of 1812 North Carolina veterans with gravestones and a ceremony. //// Each of the four men honored with a small brass marker shaped like a star with "War of 1812" engraved in it. These four men represented a cross-section of the soldiers who served in the war. //// They were General Thomas Davis of the NC State Militia, Militiaman John Powres, Lt. John Eccles and Sgt. John Huske II. //// An Overdue Honor. --Brock-Perry

Friday, October 11, 2013

War of 1812 Veteran in Minnesota Gets a Gravestone

From the Sept. 19, 2012, Preston (Minnesota) Republican Leader by Debra Richardson. //// Near the end of 1875, Peter G. Benway died at the county poor farm in Canton Township at nearly 87 years of age, no family, without a home and without financial resources. No obituary was published at the time, but the following summer, the Preston Republican ran an update detailing the removal of the remains from from the poor garm burial grounds to the nearby Lenora Cemetery referring to him only as "a man named Benway." //// Members of Benway's Masonic Lodge saw that a plain, tiny white slab of stone was placed on his grave to mark it. //// As research was made for June's bicentennial commemoration, Benway's military service records were ordered from the National Archives and Research Administration in Washington, DC. //// These records were shared with the Fillmore County Veterans Services Office and Jason Marquardt submitted the claim for a government-issued grave marker. The Lewistown Monument Company then offered to set the stone for free. It reads: "Peter G. Benway, Pvt. Capt. McNath's Co., NY Militia, War of 1812, Jan. 1789 Dec. 17, 1875." //// About Time. --Brock-Perry

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Black War of 1812 Veteran Honored-- Part 2

The new gravestone was paid for by the federal government. Richard Hill's grave is located alongside Portland's black Revolutionary War veterans at the cemetery located at Congress and Montfort streets. //// Larry Glatz said that 20,000 white Mainers in the state militia were called upon to defend Portland in 1814. Another 5,000 served in the U.S. Army. Most of the federal troops were buried in unmarked graves. //// Hill was born around 1792 and they're not sure if he was born in Portland or moved there later. Records show him in service in 1812 on Gunboat 47 with the New York Flotilla. It is believed that he was at Baltimore Harbor on September 14, 1814, when Fort McHenry was attacked. //// After the war, he returned to Portland and worked as a common laborer. He was one of the city's 400 blacks who lived in neighborhoods at the foot of Munjoy Hill. At one point, he applied for and got 160 acres of government land in Ohio as a War of 1812 veteran. He never moved there and probably sold it to a land speculator at a fraction of its cost. //// His son, Richard L. Hill, was a troubled young man. He robbed a boot store as a teenager and went to jail. After his release, he killed his father. //// An Interesting Story. --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Black War of 1812 Veteran Honored-- Part 1

From the September 15, 2012, Kennebec (Maine) Journal "War of 1812 veteran gets his due, late" by Beth Quimby. //// Richard Hill, a black veteran of the War of 1812, received military honors and a veteran's headstone after a brief ceremony in the Colored Ground in Eastern Cemetery in Portland, Maine, 151 years after his death. //// He is believed to have witnessed the British attack on Fort McHenry. His gravesite was forgotten after his death in 1861 at the hands of his son, who murdered him outside their home in Munjoy Hill. //// Unfortunately, his new stone lists his death as 1881. //// Larry Glatz of South Portland came across Hill's name while researching Mainers who fought the British in 1812. //// About Time. --Brock-Perry

Talbot County and the War of 1812

From the Feb. 22, 2012, Maryland Star Democrat by Jean Griffith.

Most Americans do not know much about the war. (That is why I started this blog which has been very informative to me.). Actually, I was supposed to teach it the last eight years I taught, but I never got much past 1800.) Some Marylanders, of course, know about Fort McHenry and the Star-Spangled Banner.

St. Michaels can be remembered as "The Town That Fooled the British." Before the declaration of war in June 1812, a new armory was established in Talbot County and there was also an organization of local militia.

Not too far away, the HMS Leopard attacked the USS Chesapeake.

The original Star-Spangled Banner that flew over Fort McHenry was sewn by Mary Pickersgill, her daughter, two nieces and a servant. Much of its original length has been lost to time and souvenir hunters.

A Preview of the War Before I Started My Blog Last Year. --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Got My Battle of Lake Erie Stamps-- Part 5

With several surviving sailors, Perry boarded a small boat and made his way to the Niagara through a hail of gunfire. (This is the scene depicted on the stamps.) Famously, he took with him the private flag displaying the words Captain Lawrence spoke as he lay mortally wounded, 'Don't Give Up the Ship.'

"After taking command of the Niagara, Perry sailed across the enemy line. While attempting to maneuver in response, the Detroit and Queen Charlotte collided and became entangled in their rigging. Niagara could now fire down the length of both ships, making the situation for the British hopeless. The Royal Navy's four largest ships surrendered and Pery's smaller vessels captured the other two.

"In his after-action report to General William Henry Harrison, Perry penned perhaps the most memorable phrase of the war: 'We have met the enemy and they are ours."

A Good Account of the Battle. --Brock-Perry

Got My Battle of Lake Erie Stamps-- Part 4

"On the morning of September 10, Perry's fleet of nine vessels engaged a British fleet of six vessels off Put-in-Bay at the western end of Lake Erie. (Put-in-Bay is on South Bass Island near Sanduskey, Ohio, and home of the Perry Peace Monument.)

The British seized the advantage early in the battle, mainly due to their superior long-range guns. When the winds changed, Perry was able to close his flagship Lawrence, within range, where his firepower (Perry's ship mounted carronades with much shorter range) was almost twice that of the British. For most of the battle the Lawrence fought the two largest British vessels, the Detroit and the Queen Charlotte, unaided.

"After two harrowing hours, all three ships were badly damaged. 'Nearly the whole crew and officers' of the Lawrence, recalled Sailing Master William V. Taylor, were 'prostrated on the deck, interlined with broken spars, rigging, sail, and in fact one confused heap of horrid ruins.'"

 Hard-Fought Battle. --Brock-Perry

Got My Battle of Lake Erie Stamps-- Part 3

Text from the back of the War of 1812 Battle of Lake Erie stamps. //// "THE BATTLE OF lAKE ERIE: MASTER COMMANDANT OLIVER H. PERRY was only 27 years old in the spring of 1813 when he was charged with building a fleet at Lake Erie. Coming from a prominent naval family, he eagerly left his post at Newport, Rhode Island, for a shot at glory. //// "The most critical ships of his fleet were the two dentical 20-gun brigs Lawrence (named in honor of Perry's friend, Captain James Lawrence) and Niagara. Master shipbuilder Noah Brown completed work on these 500-ton ships by midsummer." //// Lawrence had been killed earlier in the war when his chip, the USS Chesapeake, was defeated andhe was killed. //// The Perry in the Sign-Off Name Is Perry's. --Brock-Perry

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 1813 Timeline-- Part 2

OCTOBER 5T-- Battle of the Thames, Upper Canada. Chief Tecun=mseh killed. Americans win and secured control of the southwest and Upper Canada. OCTOBER 5TH-- The Portsmouth Packet captured by HMS Fantome off Maine. Her original owners got her back and resumed privateering under her original name, the Liverpool Packet. //// OCTOBER 6TH-- Commodore Chauncey's Lake Ontario squadron captures six of seven transports of a British convoy sailing from York to Kingston. Took 250 prisoners. //// OCTOBER 13TH-- American raids on Missisiquoi Bay, Lower Canada. //// --Brock-Perry

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Got My Battle of Lake Erie Stamps-- Part 2

On the back of the sheet, there is a painting of Oliver Hazard Perry, (Old Sideburns. He does sport quite an impressive set of sideburns.) Under it says: "With his victory at the Battle of Lake Erie, Oliver Hazard Perry (1785-1819) forced the British and their Indian allies (and Canadians) to abandon their outposts on the Detroit frontier. *(And, very importantly, the loss of Detroit itself.) Perry was immediatelty celebrated as a natinal hero." //// My Hero. --Brock-Perry

The War in Real Time: Vigilant Captures Dart 200 Years Ago-- Part 3

The Vigilant refloated the Little Francis and towed it back to port. //// The Vigilant remained in service until May 13, 1842, when it was decommissioned and sold at auction. //// To the present, there have been 12 cutters named Vigilant. //// Now the 210-foot Reliance class cutter Vigilant is homeported at Cape Canaveral, Florida, where it is primarily involved in counter-drug and alien immigrant operations. //// There is a painting of the Vigilant-Dart fight off Block Island by Walter Jones. //// --Brock-Perry

Friday, October 4, 2013

The War in Real Time: Vigilant Captures the Dart 200 Years Ago Today-- Part 2

On January 25, 1812, John Calhoun was commissioned as a master (captain) in Rhode Island and received command of the Vigilant. //// On October 4, 1813, the Vigilant sailed out of Newport, Rhode Island, seeking the British privateer Dart. On board were 28 additional sailors. The Vigilant caught up with the Dart and opened fire. It came alongside, boarded and seized the ship. This was the last armed boarding by a revenue cutter during the Age of Sail. //// Then on October 26th, the Vigilant captured a British schooner carrying a cargo of wood. //// On June 2, 1814, it towed the fire-damaged brig St. Francis into Newport. It had been en route from St. Bart's with a cargo of molasses and sugar when it had been run ashore by the HMS Nimrod who then torched it. //// --Brock=Perry

The War in Real Time: Vigilant Captures the Dart 200 Years Ago Today-- Part 1

From the U.S. Coast Guard site, Revenue Cutter Vigilant. Two hundred years ago today, the U.S. revenue cutter Vigilant captured the British privateer Dart off Rhode Island. //// The U.S. Revenue Service, the forerunner of the U.S. Coast Guard, was just 22 years old when the War of 1812 began. The revenue cutter Vigilant was one of its newest ships and the third ship to carry the name. //// It was built and equipped by shipbuilder Benjamin Marble of Newport, Rhode Island, for $8,500. //// The revenue service bought it August 21, 1812, and the ship was noted for its quickness, maneuverability and was lightly manned with just a crew of seventeen. //// ---Brock-Perry

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Got My Battle of Lake Erie Stamps-- Part 1

Monday, I bought my set of twenty Forever U.S. Postal Service stamps at the Spring Grove, Illinois, post office. Along with the twenty stamps, on the front it read "The War of 1812: The Battle of Lake Erie. The Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813, produced an American naval hero, Oliver Hazard Perry, and helped the United States take back territory lost to British forces in the opening months of the war." //// Of course, it wasn't just the British who took our territory, but also their close allies, the Canadians and Indians. The most important part of territory they were referring to was Detroit. //// Brock-Perry

Baltimore's One really Big Flag-- Part 2

At 1:30 PM, the flag was unveiled in the Society's courtyard, then the U.S. Army's Old Guard Color Guard folded it and prepared it for the 3.6 mile journey to Fort McHenry. And, this is a heavy flag, weighing in at 42 pounds. The flag was to be raised at Fort McHenry on Saturday.

Bombs Burst In Air. --Brock-Perry

Baltimore's One Really Big Flag-- Part 1

From the September 13, 2013, Baltimore Sun "Fort McHenry captures the glory of Defenders' Day" by Chris Kaltenbach. //// In 2012, some 1.5 million people crowded Baltimore's Inner Harbor for the War of 1812 Bicentennial Defenders' Day kickoff. The highlight of the 2013 Defenders' Day weekend will be the hoisting of a replica of that famous Star-Spangled Banner. Fort McHenry and the Maryland Historical Society joined forces for the reproduction. //// Sewing on the flag began this past July 4th and more than 1000 volunteers made some 150,000 stitches at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore to recreate the famous 30-by-42-foot flag. //// And the Rockets Red Glare. --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What Actually Happened at the Wooden Bridge 200 Years Ago?-- Part 2

Author Marty Gervais who wrote "The Other Windsor: Forgotten Stories" thinks that perhaps they weren't those mighty heroes. Essex County decided to name the replacement bridge at the site over the River Canard "The Hancock and Dean 1812 Bridge to Nationhood." //// Gervais claims that he has come across a story that the two British soldiers on sentry duty there were drunk and had passed out at the time the Americans crossed. //// James Hancock became the first casulaty of the war and John Dean was wounded and captured. //// Dean later was released and rejoined the British Army, but was captured again and this time deserted. He is lost in history from then on. //// --Brock-Perry

What Actually Happened At That Wooden Bridge?-- Part 1

From the July 23, 2012, Windsor (Canada) Star "Tale of 1812 'heroes' questioned" by Julie Katsis. //// I have written about this last year. Look up Canard River Bridge. This was one of the opening incidents of the War of 1812 in the Northwest. //// What actually happened at the wooden bridge over the River Canard 200 years ago? Were privates James Hancock and John Dean heroes? Did they deserve the honor General isaac Brock bestowed on them? //// Author Marty Gervais thinks maybe not. --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fort McHenry Quarter Debuts

From the Sept. 19, 2013, //// The U.S. treasury introduced the new Fort McHenry quarter, part of the national parks set that are not in general circulation (which I hate), at Fort McHenry at the start of the Defenders' Day weekend to honor the garrison of Fort McHenry back on that fateful night in 1814. //// Rolls of 40 quarters can be purchased for $18.95 (almost double the face value) at the U.S. Mint and there are other options. //// I only get them when I find then in circulation which is rare so have no idea when I'll get one. I really hate the fact they are not put out in general circulation as the state quarters were. I haven't even seen any national park folders for your collections. //// So Sad. ---Brock-Perry

October 1813 Timeline-- Part 1

New Month, New Timeline. Most of these are from the excellent Canadian site, "Historic Places.Can. What was going on 200 years ago this month in the War of 1812: //// OCTOBER-- British reinforcements arrive at Quebec City, Lower Canada. /// OCTOBER 1ST-- Skirmish at Chateauguay, Lower Canada. /// OCTOBER 2ND--Group of 133 ex-slaves from the Chesapeake Bay area arrive in Halifax, Nova Scotia. /// OCTOBER 4TH--Action at McGregor's Creek, Upper Canada. /// OCTOBER 4TH-- American revunue cutter Vigilant captures privateer Dart off Rhode Island. /// Brock-Perry

Monday, September 30, 2013

Middletown, Connecticut in the War of 1812

From Wikipedia. //// Before the war, the city was a major shipping center, but the strained U.S.-Britain relations before the war and the Great Embargo started a decline from which the seaport never recovered. Diversification became the order of the day and Middletown was major center for firearms manufacturing and most of the U.S. pistols used during the War of 1812 came from there. After the war, however, manufacturing left the town for Springfield, Massachusetts, Hartford, Ct. and New Haven, Ct.. //// The city also had a large number of blacks, with some 218 in 1756. During the colonial times, it became quite the city for pewter manufacturing. George Washington visited in 1789, so if you see a place advertising that "Washington slept here," he might have. //// Other famous people: BILL BELICHICK, head coach New England Patriots attended Wesleyan University; HENRY CLAY WORK, author of Civil War Song "Marching Through Georgia' and ALLIE WRUBEL, composer of "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah." //// Now, You Know. --Brock-Perry

Middleton Honors Thomas Macdonough-- Part 2

Macdonough was born in Delaware on Dec. 31, 1783, and served on the USS Ganges in the Quasi-War with France and the USS Constellation fighting the Barbary States. he also served on the USS Enterprise and distinguished himself in the destruction of the USS Philadelphia which had been captured by pirates. //// He was promoted to lieutenant in 1806. //// He assisted Isaac Hull in the construction of several gunboats in Middletown and married Lucy Anne Shaler on December 12, 1812. Several ships in the U.S. Navy have been named for him. //// --Brock-Perry

Middletown Honors Thomas Macdonough-- Part 1

From the September 10, 2012, Middletown (Ct) Press "Middletown honors War of 1812 commodore." //// Members of the Society of 1812 in Connecticut and the Connecticut United States Daughters of 1812, honored Commodore Thomas Macdonough, who lived and died in Middletown. Macdonough Elementary School is named for him. //// A ceremony was held at the Macdonough grave in Riverside Cemetery this past Saturday. //// The Battle of Lake Champlain on September 11, 2014. brought him fame. Of interest, the American victory at Lake Champlain came just a year and a day after the much more famous Battle of Lake Erie (Sept. 10, 1813). //// Brock-Perry