Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Restoration of Baltimore's Cannons-- Part 2

During the War of 1812, Patterson Park was a key defensive position at the Battle of Baltimore (part of which was the bombardment of Fort McHenry).  However, there is no evidence that these restored cannons were there at the time.  It is believed that the cannons were used elsewhere in the city's defense.

Restoration began in 2014 with funding provided by the Star-Spangled 200 grant program.  Taylor removed the oxidized and corroded metal, stabilizing the surface and removed the salt that had built up.  Many had evidently been under water at one time or another.

At the Battle of Baltimore, a British land attack was fended off which led to the bombardment of Fort McHenry.

At a banquet at the Belvedere Hotel in 1907, the Society of the War of 1812 presented the City of Baltimore with ten cannons dug up from the city streets after serving for years as curbs.  These were mounted at Patterson and Riverside parks and marked tghe positions of the Maryland militia at the battle.


The Restoration of Baltimore's Cannons-- Part 1

From the August 12, 2015, Carroll County (Maryland) Times "New Windsor expert finishes restoration of Baltimore cannons" by Jacob de Nobel.

Forrest Taylor has a love of military history which eventually led to his making cannons.  For the past 15 years, he has run his Cannons Online, Inc, out of his home in New Windsor.  He specializes in making replica cannons and restoring old ones.

On Tuesday August 11, he unveiled the cannons at Baltimore's Patterson Park, now returned to their original state.  For one hundred years, Patterson Park has been adorned by rows of cannons that were used by children as their own special jungle gym.  Most people figured these cannons were reproduction ones.

But, the cannons all had signs of battle damage.  All were pre-War of 1812 vintage and manufacture dates were from the 1660s to late 1700s and were made in Sweden, France, England and America.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Three Unforgettable Sounds from the War of 1812

From the June 4, 2015, Lebanon Daily News by Bruce Kauffmann.

1.  Francis Scott Key and that poem of his, later set to music.

2.  "Don't Give Up the Ship"  Spoken by James Lawrence in the battle of the USS Chesapeake vs. HMS Shannon.

3.  Oliver Hazard Perry  "Don't Give Up the Ship" flag at the Battle of Lake Erie and "We have met the enemy and they are ours."


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Sackets Harbor Trail Added to NTS

From the June 6, 2015, Watertown (NY) Daily News "Sackets Harbor Trail added to National Trails System (NTS".

The Sackets Harbor Trail is at the eastern end of Lake Ontario in Northern New York andis among ten local and state trails being added to the NTS.

The Sackets Harbor Trail consists of a 3/4 mile loop and includes Sackets Harbor Battlefield History Trail.

The trail features both educational and recreational opportunities.

There are ten panels that describe the Battle of Sackets Harbor during the War of 1812 and the 1860s Naval Shipyard located there.


Monday, December 28, 2015

Hurricanes: 1813 St. Marys, Georgia-- Part 5: Fernadina, Fla. Hit Too

"Gunboats ashore shouldn't be too damaged, a few new boats, 3 or 4 cables and anchors-- some canvas and carpenter work.

"The Gun Vessels and almost every Vessel on shore lay in the street.

"No. 6 lost rudder and channels.

"Nos 160 and 165 the ironwork of their rudder.

"The Saucy Jack, Privateer of Charleston, Laying Ready to sail is now laying high and dry on a marsh that must be at least five feet above the line of Low Tide.  She draws 14 feet, seven feet being the Common Rise.

"The town has suffered much.   Seven inhabited houses blown down but no lives lost.

"Fernadina has 20 houses blown down and every vessel in port drove on shore except a Swedish brig.  Considerable amount of mercantile property destroyed."

It Was Sure a Bad One.  --Brock-Perry

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Hurricanes: 1813 St. Marys, Georgia-- Part 3: Damage to Gunboats

Commodore Hugh Campbell continued with his damage report:

"(Gunboats) Nos. 160, 158, 63 and 165 are on shore above high water mark and should be gotten off with little damage.

"160 and 158 in ordinary.

"No. 3 Hospital Vessel parted her cable and drifted over a body of marsh about three miles and is now on Florida shore and hope to get her off.

"No. 168, John Hulbert, cmdr, is laying off the south end of Cumberland when hit ran for harbor at Fernandina and anchored above it but driven over a marsh about 7-7 miles from this place with loss of its mainmast."

And, There Was Still More to report.  --Brock-Perry

Friday, December 25, 2015

The Christmas Peace That Ensured Canada-- Part 2

"For Canada, the Treaty of Ghent forced the Americans to recognize the Canada-U.S. border as a legitimate boundary.  It ensured that Canada would survive as a separate entity from the United States.

"It also was the first sense for Canadians that they were indeed a separate entity, not Americans, and although closely tied to Britain, not really British either, but 'Canadians'..."


The Christmas Peace That Ensured There'd Be a Canada-- Part 1

From the Dec. 24, 2015, Radio Canada International "Dec. 24, 1814: The Christmas peace that ensured 'Canada" by Marc Montgomery.

The British colonies of Upper and Lower Canada had successfully repelled U.S. forces intent on invading and conquering them since mid-1812.

That is when British and American delegates started meeting in Ghent to bring he war to an end.

The British initially thought they had the upper hand in negotiations and believed the United States woul;d conceded to them territory including present states of Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri and Wisconsin for a promised independent "Indian State.  They also wanted this to be a protective barrier against American westward expansion.

They were also hoping to get the boundaries of Canada extended to the southern shores of the Great Lakes and part of the present-day state of Maine (then a part of Massachusetts).

The American negotiators, however, would have nothing to do with those ideas.

The two sides eventually agreed on essentially what amounted to as status quo.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Hurricanes: St. Marys, Georgia-- Part 2: Fate of the Gunboats

Commodore Hugh Campbell continued his report:

"Gun Vessel No. 164, Jno. R. Grayson, cmdr. had just returned from convoying troops to Beaufort, sunk at anchor-- 20 died of 26.Mr. Grayson and 2 others reached a marsh on the Florida side and survived the night.

"Mr. Lecompt, midshipman and 2 others were rescued from an old wreck 2 1/2 miles down the river.

"No. 161 in ordinary lies sunk above the harbor and hope to be able to raise it.

"No. 62, condemned at anchor and had men from vessels in ordinary, sank at anchor but no lives lost."


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Hurricanes in the War of 1812: 1813 Hurricane at St. Marys, Georgia-- Part 1

From the Naval History and Heritage Command.

Commodore Hugh G. Campbell wrote a letter to Secretary of the Navy Jones from St. Marys, Georgia,  on 18 September 1813:

"We had yesterday morning and night proceeding one of the most severe Gales I have ever witnessed--  It commenced about 6 p.m. at NNE and veered to NNW when it blew with the greatest force and continued until about 1 A.M. at which time the Tide, which had Risen to an uncommon hight ceased to flow, and for about one hour we were favored with a calm--

"About two o'clock the Gale recommenced, every Vessel in the harbor drove on shore or sunk at their moorings."

More to Come.  Brock-Perry

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Meaning of Galoot

The term "galoot" is an 1812 nautical term for a raw recruit or green hand.

Apparently it was originally a sailors contemptuous word for a soldier or Marine.

I use this term often to describe big, clumsy dogs or puppies and had no idea of its War of 1812 origin.

A War of 1812 Term.  -Brock-Perry

Monday, December 21, 2015

Historical Marker Dedicated in Richmond, Va.

From the Feb. 25, 2015, WBDC 16 News Delmarva "War of 1812 Historical Marker to be Dedicated Sunday" by Lauren Hottoway.

Richmond, Virginia.

A historical marker in suburban Richmond was dedicated.  It marks the site of a defensive camp established to protect the city from a possible British attack that never came.  It was never attacked or even threatened.

It is another stop on the War of 1812 Heritage Highway to link sites associated with the war in honor of the bicentennial.

The dedication was Sunday in Sandston.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

U.S. Facts About the War of 1812

From the June 5, 2013, CNN U.S. "By the numbers: U.S. war veterans."

I am doing this list in my Cooter's History Thing Blog which will cover all wars.

WAR OF 1812 (1812-1815)

Total in Service: 286,730

Casualties:  Dead-  2,260, Wounded--  4,505

Last veteran:  Hiram Cronk, died in 1905 at age 105.


Marking the End of the War of 1812-- Part 2: Treaty Signers

The Treaty of Ghent was signed by both British and American officials on December 24, 1814.

Those signing it for the British were:

Anthony St. John Baker, secretary of the British delegation
William Adams, Admiralty lawyer
Henry Goulbourn, member of Parliament and Parliamentary Secretary of War and the Colonies.
Admiral Lord Gambier, Royal Navy and governor of Newfoundland.

Signing for the Americans:

John Quincy Adams, minister to Russia
Albert Gallatin, Secretary of Treasury
Christopher Hughes, Secretary of the U.S. Commission
James Bayard, lawyer and U.S. senator
Johnathan Russell, U.S. Representative in England
Henry Clay, Speaker of the House of Representatives and leader of the War Hawks.


Marking the End of the War of 1812-- Part 1: Ceremonies

From the February 19, 2015, Niagara This Week by Melinda Cheevers.

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

Commemoration turned to celebration on Tuesday.  This took place in two parts.  There was a church service at St. Marks Anglican Church (used as a hospital during the war by both British and American troops).

Then there was a procession to the Court House for the signing of the Treaty of Peace, later known as the Treaty of Ghent.

It was signed in Ghent, Belgium at 6 p.m. on December 24, 1814, but actually not ratified by both the U.S. and Britain until February 17, 1815.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Epraim Brevard Osborne, War of 1812 Medical Doctor

Buried in Salem Cemetery, Navarro County (or possibly Hill County)Medical doctor in the war and one of the few survivors of the Fort Mimms Massacre.  His brother Spruce Osborne was killed there.  Ephraim was also at the Battle of New Orleans.

He married in 1818.

He died May 23, 1875, in Emmett, Navarro County.

A note from his son mentioned that Lt. Osborne was at Fort Mimms and the Battle of New Orleans.  He added, "I have heard him tell of the breast works of cotton bales and of the dense fog that enveloped the whole face of the earth."


Three War of 1812 Veterans Buried in Navarro County, texas

US Gen Web.

This site says that there are three War of 1812 veterans buried in Navarro County, Texas:

Robert Emmett Bledsoe Baylor--  District judge.  Born 1791, Died 1893.

Henry Griggs buried in Chatfield Cemetery.  (I have written about him earlier this week.)

Ephraim Brevard Osborne, MD, Salem Cemetery

I was not able to find Henry Griggs' name in the Find-a-Grave War of 1812 Veterans Buried in Texas.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

The HMS Dauntless: The Real One

From Wikipedia.

This was the ship I wrote about in the Battle of Ice Mound earlier this week.

Launched in 1808 after being built at the Deptford Dockyard on the River Thames.  The ship was 422 tons, 108.4 feet, 29.7-foot beam, 121 crew and mounted 26 guns.

In November 1809 it escorted a convoy to the African coast and also escorted convoys to Russia.

In early 1814, it was sent to the Newfoundland Station.

On 22 May, the Dauntless and Cyane recaptured the Eolus.

With the end of the Napoleonic Wars and War of 21812, it was no longer needed and paid off in Portsmouth, but recommissioned in 1818 for service in the East Indies.  It was sold for breaking up in 1823.


HMS Dauntless in Pirates of the Caribbean

The movie "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl" featured the HMS Dauntless as the Pride of the Royal Navy, but in search of pirates instead of Frenchmen or Americans.  It was certainly a scourge for Captain Jack Sparrow and Capt. Hector Barbosa.

The movie Dauntless was based on the HMS Victory, a 100-gun first rate ship-of-the-line.  It carried Governor Swann and his daughter Elizabeth from England to his post in the Caribbean.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Henry Griggs Honored in Texas-- Part 6: Texas

After his service was over, Henry Griggs returned to Hancock County, Georgia and married Nancy Ann Sturdivant on October 16, 1816.  her father had fought the British during the American Revolution.

They had a family and moved to Texas when it became a state.  They first settled in Grimes County and later moved to Chatfield.

Nancy Ann Griggs died in 1868 and Henry on December 27, 1871, having just celebrated his 78th birthday.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Henry Griggs Honored in Texas-- Part 5: "Calabee Night Fight"

In January 1814, Gen. John Floyd had recovered from his wound and began an advance again. He established Camp defiance near the first battle site.  Early on the morning of January 27, his command was caught by surprise in what became known as the "Calabee Night Fight."  After some extremely hard fighting, the Americans won the day thanks in large part to the action of their cavalry.

Accounts say the dragoons put "15 warriors to the sabre."

But, once again, despite the victory, Floyd withdrew again, then the six month enlistments were up and the end of Henry Griggs' military career.


Monday, December 14, 2015

War of 1812 Veteran Henry Griggs Honored in Texas-- Part 4

On August 22, 1813, the Georgians marched into Indian Territory.

Most of them had no uniforms and wore civilian attire.  Most were armed with 69 caliber smoothbore muskets similar to those used during the American Revolution.  They were further armed with large knives, tomahawks and swords.

The force number 950 militia and another 450 friendly Indians.  General Floyd and his force fought two major engagements after crossing the Chattahoochee River and entered present-day Alabama.  Private Griggs was present for both.

The Battle of Autossee was on November 29, 1813, was an attack ion a Creek Indian stronghold defended by 1500.  It was about half way between present day Tuskegee and Montgomery along the Tallapoosa River and Catabee Creek.  The Americans won, but General John Floyd was wounded and ordered his troops to retreat and reorganize.


War of 1812 Veteran Henry Griggs Honored in Texas-- Part 3: Paid More for Horse Than Own Service

Floyd had four troops of cavalry in his command, about 175 men.  Among them were Henry Griggs and his Hancock County militia known as "Captain Duke Hamilton's Volunteer Troop of Light Dragoons."

In mid-August, the Georgia militia assembled and moved out against the Indians.  Their force consisted of infantry, cavalry and artillery.

Griggs and his company met the rest of the force at Milledgeville, then capital of Georgia..  There they were enlisted into federal service on Friday, August 20, 1813, for six months' duty.  Griggs actually served six months and fifteen days.

The Hancock cavalry were part of Major Frederick Freeman's four troop Cavalry Squadron.  Back then, militia men supplied their own horses and each man was paid an extra 40 cents a day for the use of their animal.   Griggs himself received $8 a month for his own service, coming to a total of $51.87.  His horse, however, received $78.40.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

War of 1812 Veteran Henry Griggs to Be Honored-- Part 2

Henry Griggs was a private in the Georgia militia from Hancock County during the war and served on the southern Indian frontier.  The red Stick group of the Creek Indians in Georgia in the late spring and summer of 1813 started attacking white settlements and farms leading up to a massacre involving hundreds of militia and civilians.

Under Georgia Militia law, every county was divided into districts with each having about sixty men between the ages of 15 and 60.  Henry Griggs was in one, a cavalry unit referred to as dragoons.  When not at war, militia socialized on "muster day" when assembled for drills and parades.  There was often a barbecue that went along with the muster.

After the massacre, the United States government authorized Georgia's governor to raise 1500 militia to fight the Creeks.  They were to be commanded by Brigadier General John Floyd.


War of 1812 Veteran Henry Griggs Honored in Texas-- Part 1

From the Dec. 11, 2015, Corsicana (Rexas) Daily Sun "War of 1812 Veteran to be honored at Chatfield.

Henry Griggs will be honored at 2 p.m. December 13, tomorrow, at Old Chatfield Cemetery.  he was a Chatfield.  He is the only-known War of 1812 veteran buried in Navarro County, Texas.  He came to the county in his later years and died on 1871.

At the ceremony Sunday, historical plaques will be dedicated.  They are being erected by organizations of descendants of the War of 1812.  One is the Craig Austin Rowley Chapter of the General Society of the War of 1812.  The other is the John Cavet Chapter #39 of the United States Daughters of 1812.

They are assisted by the Chatfield Cemetery Association and the Hodge-Martin-Chatfield Museum.


Friday, December 11, 2015

The Battle of Ice Mound-- Part 4: The Cannon "Becky Phipps"

The British tender was dismantled and sold at auction.    The 12 pdr. carronade was kept by the local community and named "Becca Phipps."  That would be names of the cook and British lieutenant.  The name of the gun became corrupted and today is called the "Becky Phipps."

It was fired for many years to celebrate special events   It exploded while being fired to celebrate Woodrow Wilson's election in 1912.  It was eventually repaired and put on public display in the early 1950s and nicely refurbished in 1999.

Today it can be seen after you cross the bridge on Taylors Island Road.

A Piece of the War of 1812 Right There.  --Brock-Perry

The Battle of the Ice Mound-- Part 3: British Surrender

The American militia closed to within 150 yards of the British and found extra large mounds of ice that could be used for protection against enemy fire, especially against their cannon, a small carronade.  They opened fire on the trapped Englishmen.

After a two hour exchange of fire, the British surrendered

Two of the British crew, including Lt. Phibbs, were taken to Easton and eventually to Baltimore.  The rest were put into jail near Madison.

After the battle, Private Stewart petitioned Congress for prize money and years later, he and his men received $1800 which they all split, a good-sized fortune back then.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Battle of the Ice Mound-- Part 2

They stole 7 sheep, burned several vessels and captured a black man and a woman (a cook by the name Becca).  They started to return to their ship but the winter was very cold which resulted in a lot of draft ice.  They had to stop and spend the night on the lee shore of James Island.

The next morning they discovered they were trapped by ice that stretched all the way to the shore of Taylors Island.

The 48th Maryland Militia had an opportunity to attack them because of the ice.  Led by Private Joseph Stewart, an American force of about twice the size of the British group made their way across the ice.  Along the way they found clumps of ice stacked up because of the tides.


The Battle of the Ice Mound-- Part 1: HMS Dauntless

From the Exploratorius Blog "Battle of Ice Mound: Reloaded.

The HMS Dauntless, one of 30 Comorant-class sloops of war, was launched in 1808 and sailed for Newfoundland, Canada on April 4, 1814.  It mounted sixteen 32-pdr. carronades, eight 18-pdr. carronades and two 6-pdr. long guns.

Ships like the Dauntless made life along the Chesapeake Bay miserable with raids against shore towns and watermen.

Not much is known about the Dauntless until it showed up in Maryland waters during the winter of 1814-1815.

On February 6, 1815, a tender from the ship commanded by Lt. Matthew Phibbs, one midshipman, 13 crew members and 3 Royal Marines raided Tobacco Stick (present-day Madison).


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

North Carolina-Built Jeffrsonian Gunboats

From the NC1812 site.

Three were built in North Carolina.  Gunboat No. 166 was built in Smithville (now Southport) and later had its name changed to USS Alligator.


British Fleet at Battle of Fort Peter, Jan. 13-14, 1815

From Wikipedia.

The British fleet consisted of 1 ship-of-the-line, 6 frigates, 2 bomb-vessels and two schooners.  British losses were 3 killed and 5 wounded.  U.S. losses were 1 killed, 4 wounded and 9 missing as well as two gunboats captured.

British Ships:

Regulus--  44-guns
Brune-- 56-guns
Severn--  40-guns
Hebrus--  36-guns
Rota--  38-guns

Primrose--  18 guns
Terror and Devastation, 8-guns each (bomb-vessels)
Canso and Whiting--  12-guns (schooners)


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

St. Marys to Observe 200th Anniversary of Its Battle-- Part 2

The British drove 90 or so Americans from the fort.  Its commander, Captain Abraham M. Massias, reported 14 casualties and retreated north.  The British burned the fort and moved inland, also burning the property of Archibald Clark whose historic home is still on Osborne Street.

The British remained until February, leaving either when they learned of the war's end or the continuing skirmishes with American troops.

The U.S. senate ratified the Treaty of Ghent on February 18, 1815, officially ending the war.

Saturday's event will be held next to Oak Grove Cemetery at the corner of St. Marys and Bartlett streets.

A St. Marys History Walk trail is going to be built.


St. Marys to Observe 200th Anniversary of Its Battle-- Part 1

From the Jan. 11, 2015, Florida Times Union "St. Marys to observe 200th anniversary of its battle in War of 1812" by Jared Keever.

"Historians sometimes have a hard time marking the exact date of the end of the War of 1812."  It took place, however, in St. Marys and that city will observe what is also referred to as the Battle of Point Peter, one of the last known battles of the war. The commemoration will begin Saturday.

On Jan. 10, 1815, the British landed about 1500 Marines on the north end of Cumberland Island, Georgia, and later attacked a small wooden fort outside St. Marys called Fort St. Peter on Jan. 13.


Monday, December 7, 2015

Day of Infamy 74 Years Ago-- Part 2: Iowa Pearl Harbor Survivor Sails On

From the Nov. 17, 2015, Newton (Iowa) Daily News "A native son sails on.  Leland Lester, Colfax native and Pearl Harbor survivor, passes away at age 94" by James W. Brooks.

One of Iowa's last Pearl Harbor survivors died at age 94 on Nov. 14th.  He was raised in rural Colfax and joined the Navy at age 19.  Aboard the USS Pennsylvania when the attack came and he later served on the USS California.  He didn't talk about his war experiences for a long time, but then began making appearances in local schools to tell.

There are now perhaps just two Pearl Harbor survivors remaining in Iowa: Bob Ulrich of Lisbon and Clarence Pfundheller of Audubon.  Harlan J. Searle of Mason City died in April at age 93.

Day of Infamy 74 Years Ago-- Part 1: Louisiana Pearl Harbor Survivor Dies in 2014

From the Feb, 18, 2014, Nola Times-Pacayune (New Orleans) "Pearl Harbor survivor Robert Templet of Metairie dies at 93."

At age 21 Robert Templet was a radioman 3rd class stationed at Ford Island.  He died February 18th and was one of the last three known Pearl Harbor survivors in the New Orleans area.

He enlisted in New Orleans on August 30, 1940.  His father and two other brothers had enlisted earlier.  he was turned away the first time he attempted to join as he was two pounds too light (minimum weight accepted was 125 pounds).Officers told him to go to the banana wagon on Canal Street and eat some and drink some water and return. He did and he made it.

Mr. Templet described December 7th as "a beautiful, beautiful day" as far as the weather.  He spent the day at the radio transmitting messages for his commanding officer.

He was a member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Marblehead in the War of 1812-- Part 2: Fortifying

Both the USS Essex and USS Constitution had many sailors from Marblehead in their crews as did privateers from Salem.

There was a distinct danger to Marblehead from the sea.  It was decided at a Town Meeting to reinforce the arsenal and Fort Sewall at the mouth of the harbor which had been neglected and falling into disrepair ever since the Revolution.

To protect Little Harbor, Fountain Park was fortified with a battery of cannons as designated as Fort Washington.

A 42-pounder was placed at Skinner's Head (now Glover's Landing).  Smaller cannons were placed at Goodwin's Head and Gilberts Heights.  Guards were stationed at Marblehead Neck.


Marblehead and the War of 1812-- Part 1: Unpopular War, Privateers

From the Dec. 31, 2014,Wicked Local "Marblehead 101: Marblehead and the War of 1812" by Pam Robertson.

The war of 1812 was not popular in the state of Massachusetts or New England.  It hurt their maritime business interests with the constant threat of British seizure of their ships..  The town of Marblehead was still struggling with poverty as a result of the Revolutionary War 30 years prior.

However, many of its captains became privateers under letters of marque received from President Madison. This gave them the right to capture foreign ships and confiscate their cargoes.

Some of Marblehead's privateers:

CONCORDIA--  owned by the Blackler family and John Pedrick


BETSEY--  captured off Newfoundland


Friday, December 4, 2015

Historic Battle of New Orleans Stamp Issued Back in January-- Part 2

Continued from January 6, 2015.

The Battle of New Orleans will have a re-enactment January 9-Jan 11th in which 1500 British and Americans will have encampments in Chalmette, where the battle took place.

They will act out five of the different battles that took place during the New Orleans Campaign.  This will take place about a mile away from the federal Chalmette Battlefield where the battle actually took place.  re-enactments are not allowed on federal battlefields.

I wish they would be allowed, however.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The USS Constitution at Washington Navy Yard-- Part 1

From the May 18, 2015, "Lost Capitol Hill: The USS Constitution" by Robert Pohl.

He was looking for the connection between this famous U.S. warship and Washington Navy Yard  He found that it was only at the outbreak of the War of 1812 that the Constitution ever came to that yard.  It was one of six frigates authorized by Congress in 1794 and began building in Boston the next year, being launched Oct. 21, 1797.

It served in the Quasi-War with France and the First Barbary War.  In the latter it was overseas for four years and had one of the peace treaties signed on board and transported the memorial back to the U.S..  Once back in the U.S., she was overhauled and returned to duty.  In June 1810, Isaac Hull became its commander.  he was in command during the ship's most important engagements of the War  of 1812.


Seven Times the U.S.-Canada Border Wasn't So Peaceful

From the June 30, 2015, History site by Christopher Klein.

I am just listening the events and dates.  he goes into bigger detail.

1.  The American Revolution(1995)

2.  War of 1812 (1812-1814)

3.  Patriot War (1838)

4.  Pork & Beans War (1838-1839)

5.  Pig War (1859)

6.  Fenian Raids (1866-1871)

7.  Cypress Hills Massacre  (1873)


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

War of 1812 Memorial for Marines Now Has Names-- Part 2

After the battle of Lake Erie, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's vessels returned to Put-in-Bay on September 11, 1813 and prepared for the journey back to Erie, Pennsylvania.

Ten days later, the USS Lawrence was transporting sick and wounded from the Battle of Lake Erie and Dr. Usher Parsons, a surgeon on the ship, noted in his journal that the two Marines died of typhus near what is now Avon Lake.

Bill Krejci and John Shondel are now working on getting veterans headstones for the men at the cemetery.

Relatives of both men have been contacted as well.

War of 1812 Memorial for Marines Now Has Names-- Part 1: The Battle of Lake Erie

From the September 23, 2015, Lorain County (Ohio) Chronicle-Telegram by Jon Wysochanski.

Two hundred and two years ago, two Marines who sustained major injuries at the Battle of Lake Erie, were buried at sea.  Tuesday these two men were honored at Lakeshore Cemetery where they are believed to have been buried after their bodies washed up on shore.

For years a local legend spoke of the two men being found by a passerby on a supply trail that is now Lake Road, who buried them.

They went unnamed until local au Bill Krejci delved into the story and discovered their names.

Henry Van Poole and Richard Williams were privates in the U.S.M.C., serving in a detachment under Lt. John Brooks Jr.


Monday, November 30, 2015

Americans As Canadian Liberators?

From Nov. 28, 2015, Vox "A pig almost caused the US and UK to go to war"  An interview with Kevin Lippert "War Plan Red."

More than one American commander believed that Canadians would welcome U.S. troops as liberators there to overthrow the British rule and would be extremely grateful.

Others felt invading Canada would be easy since it didn't have a standing army and was essentially a collection of backwoodsmen.Kevin Lippert describes the War of 1812 as being "one sorry Keystone Cop episode after another.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Other 9 Canadian Heroes (Well, 10)

In case you're wondering about the other 9 heroes:

Elsie MacGill--  World War II

Talbot Mercer Papineau--  World War I

Billy Bishop--  World War I

General Arthur Currie--  World War I

Margaret MacDonald--  World War I

Sir William Stephenson--  World War II

Tommy Prince--  World War II

Leo Major--  World War II

Charles Henry Byce--  World War II

George McLean--  World War I

Of course, Britain and Canada refer to the wars as First World War and Second World War.


11 Canadian War Heroes

From the Nov. 9, 2015, Huffington Post Canada "11 Canadian War Heroes We Can't Forget on November 11" by Jesse Ferreras.

Two of them were from the War of 1812.


Laura Secord walked more than 30 kilometers and into Canadian history after she overheard talk of an American attack on the British at Beaver Dams in the War of 1812.  She managed to warn the English and their Mohawk allies, who were able to prepare for the attack and defeat the Americans.


Tecumseh, a Shawnee chief, became a hero in the War of 1812 for his instrumental role in forcing an American surrender.  He helped British Gen. Isaac Brock attack Detroit by leading his own men through a forested area, as the English approached directly.  Today, he's considered a folk hero.

I am kind of surprised that Isaac Brock wasn't on the list.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Remembering the Decisive Battle of Crysler's Farm

From theNov. 11, 2015, Standard-Freeholder.

An informal observance was held at the battlefield by the friends of the Crysler's Farm Battlefield.  This wa the site of a crucial and key victory in November 11, 1813, which saved Canada from American conquest.
First Nations warriors helped save the day as well.

The farm belonged to John Crysler where Lt.Col Joseph Morrison with 8u00 British and Canadian regulars, militia and First Nations men engaged some 4,000 Americans and won, stopping a thrust at Montreal.

This, along with another victory over the Americans in late October at Chateauguay, saved Canada from conquest in 1813.


Monday, November 23, 2015

Sam Houston's War of 1812 Service-- Part 2: A Sense of Honor

I found in one source that Sam Houston reportedly forced another lieutenant at the point of his sword to remove the arrow in the midst of the Battle of Horseshoe Bend.

The same source said that it was hard for him to get his mother's permission to join the Army because he was too young, but, eventually Elizabeth caved in, signed the paper and gave her son two gifts: a gold ring and a musket.

The ring had the word "honor" inscribed inside it.  He wore that ring until his death.

With the musket, Elizabeth said " son, take this musket and never disgrace it; for remember, I had rather all my sons should fill one honorable grave, than that one of them should turn their back to save his life.  Go, and remember, too, that while the door of my cottage is open to brave men, it is eternally shut against cowardice."

Apparently, young Sam took these words to heart.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sam Houston's War of 1812 Service-- Part 1: Camp Blount, Tennessee

From Wikipedia.

In the last post I mentioned that Sam Houston, much better known for his role in the history of Texas, was in Col. John Williams' 39th U.S. Infantry.  I did some more research on his role in the War of 1812.

(March 2, 1793-July 26, 1863)

In 1813 he reported for training at Camp Blount near present-day Fayetteville, Tennessee, and enlisted.  By December, he had transferred to the 39th U.S. Infantry and had risen from private to third lieutenant.

At the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, he was wounded by a Creek arrow in the groin.  The wound was bandaged and he returned to the battle.  General Andrew Jackson called for volunteers to dislodge the Indians from their breastworks and Houston was eager to go.  He suffered bullet wounds in the arm and shoulder, but his men drove the Creeks away.

Afterwards, he returned to Marysville, Tennessee, as a disabled veteran but took advantage of the Army's offer of free surgery and convalesced  in a New Orleans hospital.

Andrew Jackson was impressed with Sam Houston's bravery and the two became close friends and Jackson acted as his mentor.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Col. John Williams of the 39th U.S. Infantry Regiment-- Part 2

In the War of 1812, John Williams raised a small company of 200-250 volunteers, primarily from Tennessee and Georgia, with the intention of invading Florida and attacking the Seminoles.  They invaded Florida in February 1813 and destroyed several Indian villages.  They returned to Tennessee where they were mustered out.

In June 1813, Williams was commissioned into the U.S. Army and ordered to recruit and organize the 39th U.S. Infantry Regiment.  They were charged with engaging the Red Stick Creeks Indians.  Williams raised 600 troops for his regiment.

Early in 1814, they were placed under General Andrew Jackson's command, who was preparing for an expedition against the Red Sticks in Alabama.  They met at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend where the 39th formed the center of Jackson's line and captured the log barricades the Creeks had fortified along the riverbed and forced them to retreat..

Among the soldiers in the 39th were future Arkansas senator Thomas Hart Benton and future governor of Tennessee and Texas, Sam Houston.

After the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, Williams went to Washington, D.C., to raise money and weapons for the 39th.  Throughout the rest of 1814, Jackson and Williams bickered over the dispersal of those weapons.,leading to them being adversaries after the war.

In 1815, he was chosen to fill Tennessee's senate seat and later won it on his own.


Colonel John Williams of the 39th U.S. Infantry-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

(January 28, 1778-August 10, 1837)

Lawyer, soldier and U.S. senator 1815-1823.  Lost that re-election to Andrew Jackson.

Served as colonel of the 39th U.S. Infantry Regiment in the Creek War and played a key role in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend on March 27, 1814.

Born in North Carolina and studied law in Salisbury in that state.  Captain of the 6th U.S. Infantry Regiment 1799-1801 and then relocated to Knoxville, Tennessee, and practiced law there.  In 1807, was appointed to be Tennessee's attorney general.

(I looked up the 6th U.S. Infantry Regiment and found that it was created in 1813.)


Friday, November 20, 2015

39th U.S. Infantry Regiment-- Part 2: Battle of Horseshoe Bend

At the Battle of Horseshoe bend, Jackson placed the 39th (because they were the best-trained) at the center of his attacking force.  They were engaged in some of the heaviest fighting and suffered 20 killed and 52 wounded, although these numbers are questioned as some say considerably more were casualties.

It is said that the Creeks lost more in that one day at Horseshoe bend than they did in all of the Indian wars.

As a result of the battle, they conceded more than a million acres to the United States.

I did not come across any mention of the regiment being with Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans.

In 1815, at the end of the war, the regiment was consolidated with the 8th and 24th regiments to form the 7th Infantry Regiment.  The flag of the 39th was given to Colonel Williams and is now on display at the East Tennessee History center in Knoxville. It was embroidered with the handiwork of Col. Williams' sister-in-law Mary Williams.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

39th Infantry Regiment (War of 1812)-- Part 1: Mainly a Tennessee Regiment

From Wikipedia.

This was the regiment in which Gen. Nathaniel Smith served as a lieutenant during the war.

Regular U.S. Army regiment authorized January 29, 1813.  recruited in the east by Col. John Williams of Tennessee and commanded by him.  Col. Williams had previously led the Mounted Volunteers of Tennessee from the eastern region of the state.

On December 31, 1813, he was ordered by Major General Thomas Pinckney to join Andrew Jackson in the Creek War.  Jackson war,y welcomed the 39th as he was having serious problems with the discipline of his militia and volunteers.


San Jacinto Texans Buried at Fort Houston Cemetery

From the Fort Houston Cemetery site.

Yesterday I mentioned these two men as being buried at the soldiers' section at the Fort Houston Cemetery in Texas along with General Nathaniel Smith, War of 1812 veteran.

JOHN W. CARPENTER--  Veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto.  Born Sept. 25, 1806 and died Oct. 12, 1838.  Killed about four miles east of Palestine in an Indian skirmish prior to the main Battle of Kickapoo, brought back to Fort Houston Cemetery and buried there.

JAMES WILSON--  Veteran San Jacinto.  Died of yellow fever in Houston September 8, 1844.

Also buried at the cemetery:

WILLIAM FROST--  The last white man killed by Indians in Anderson County.  Killed near the Trinity River at West Point sometime during the latter part of February 1841.  Son-in-law of pioneer Joseph Jordan, who donated the land for the town and cemetery.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Fort Houston Cemetery

From the historical plaque at the cemetery.

In 1835, 500 acres were donated for the town of Houston, later known as Fort Houston.  Part of this also included a public burying ground.

The first reported burial was an infant child.  The oldest marked grave is that of Dr. James Hunter dated 1840.

This cemetery is the only remaining physical evidence of the town which was abandoned after Palestine became county seat of Anderson County in 1846.

Burials in the cemetery often included victims of disease, Indian massacres and hardships that went along with life on the frontier.  A special soldiers' plot, marked by a large boulder, contains soldiers of the Texas Republic.

Two of them fought at the Battle of San Jacinto: John W. Carpenter and James Wilson, are buried in unmarked graves..

The final resting spot of General Nathaniel Smith, a veteran of the War of 1812, also is in the soldiers' plot.


Texas War of 1812 Veterans-- Part 4: General Nathaniel Smith

From Find-A-Grave.

General Nathaniel Smith.  Born 1791 in Athens, Tennessee.  Died September 17, 1841, in Anderson County, Texas.

A bronze War of 1812 marker was once at his grave but disappeared in 1939.

Military Service:

Ensign, Tennessee Volunteers 1812-1813
Lieutenant, Tennessee Volunteers 1813
Lieutenant, 39th U.S. Infantry 1813-1816
Colonel, Tennessee Volunteers 1836.  Discharged a a colonel 1837.
Supervised the Cherokee Indian removal to Indian Territory 1837-1839

Served with Sam Houston and developed a long-lasting friendship.
Served with Andrew Jackson in the 1836 Seminole War.

The State of Tennessee issued Nathaniel Smith 18 land grants of 180 acres each for his military service.
Trustee of the Forest Hill Academy in Tennessee from 1826-1836.
Arrived at Fort Houston in September 1839.

At some point the Texas U.S. Daughters of 1812 dedicated a marker for him at the cemetery on Nov. 9.  This was done by the Capt. James Asbury Tait Chapter.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Texas War of 1812 Veterans-- Part 3: General Nathaniel Smith

SMITH, GENERAL NATHANIEL  (1791-1841)  Buried at Palestine.

War of 1812 veteran.  As young lieutenant in 39th U.S. Infantry fought at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend along with Sam Houston and later in the Seminole War with Andrew Jackson.

I came across correspondence from a Gen. Nathaniel Smith who was Superintendent of Cherokee Indian Removal from 1837-1838.  Could be one in the same.  he certainly would have had connections.


Texas War of 1812 Veterans-- Part 2: Adam Smith, Killed By Indians

RUNNELS, HIRAM-- (1796-1857)   Buried in Houston.

SMITH, ADAM TRIGG--  (1796-1841) Buried at Newcastle.  Killed by Indians while in service with the Texas Rangers.

SMITH, EZEKIAL--  (1781-1854)  Buried at Seguin.  Born in Virginia.

SMITH, ISHAM--  (1791-1867)  Buried at Gonzales County.  Veteran of Texas Revolution and Mexican War.

SMITHER, JOHN  (1779-1860)  Buried at Huntsville.  From Virginia.


Monday, November 16, 2015

Texas War of 1812 Veterans-- Part 1

From Texas 1812 Veterans site by Find-A-Grave.

While looking up the Waco veterans in the previous post, I came across this site which listed 155 War of 1812 veterans buried in Texas.  I went to the last page and looked up the names on the list.  Several of these men signed the Texas Declaration of Independence as well as the Texas Revolution.

ROBERTS, JOHN S.-- (1796-1871)  Signer of Texas Declaration of Independence.  Buried Nachagdoches.

ROBERTSON, STERLING--  (Oct. 2, 1785-March 4, 1842)  Born in Nashville, Tennessee.  Buried Austin.  Signer of Texas Declaration of Independence.  Fought at battle of New Orleans.  In 1825 received permission from Mexico to settle in Mexican Texas.  Brought 600 families with him.

ROBERTSON, STERLING CLACK--  Born and died same date so I think this is the same man listed twice.

ROWE, ROBERT--  (1793-1869)  Buried at Round Rock.


Early Waco Settlers Had Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Ties

From the Nov. 10, 2014, Waco (Texas) Trib by Regina Davis.

Seven War of 1812 veterans are buried in McLennon County.

One was the Rev. William C. Buck, first lieutenant in Virginia's 2nd Regiment.  He was later a classical language scholar and Baptist minister while living in Central Texas.  He is buried at the First Street Cemetery.

Obituaries in Waco's early newspapers also mention the War of 1812 in connection toJohn McBride, G.W.Clayton, Col. William Nally and L. Cagle as being buried in McLennon County.  These, however, are not documented.

Two other War of 1812 veterans listed are Edward Kellum Sr. and Rev. Silas Witt.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

War of 1812 Veteran Honoured-- Part 2: After the War

In case you're wondering, honoured is the British spelling.

Col. Vrooman and his two brothers came to Brock Township in 1821 and spent eight years clearing land there before registering for deed.  In 1822, he married Jane Purdy of Cobourg and had 7 children. She died in 1838 and he married Rhoda Johnsonas Manilla and had 10 more children.

He was a farmer for most of his life but interested in politics and held various public offices.  He helped develop Vroomanton as a community before dying Sept. 4, 1871 at the age of 75.  He is buried at St. James.


War of 1812 Veteran Honoured in 2014-- Part 1: Col. James Vrooman

From the Nov. 13, 2014, My by Scott Howard.

The heroism of Brook Township's Col. James Vrooman was recognized on the plaque installed at his grave at St. James United Church in Vroomanton.  The colonel's father, Adam, though living in the American colonies, remained loyal to Britain.

He later left the United States and came to Canada as a United Empire Loyalist.

Jame Vrooman was born in 1798 and joined the Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles along with his brother when the War of 1812 started.  He fought in many battles throughout Upper Canada.  Among them were the capture of the American Army at St. Regis, the storming of Ogdensburg, Raid on Oswego and the Battle of Lundy's Lane.

At the end of the war, every British veteran was awarded land.


Friday, November 13, 2015

Original Fort Recovery Plan Found

From the Nov. 17, 2014, Daily standard (Celina, Ohio) "Original 1793 fort plan found."  For Fort recovery.

The original construction plan for Fort recovery has been found according to an announcement by the Fort recovery Nazerine Church family Center.

It was likely drawn by American General Anthony Wayne.  The plat was sent in a December 22, 1793, letter to Henry Burbeck, who commanded the artillery in the Wayne Legion.

The discovery was made at the University of Michigan's Clements Library while researchers were sorting through Burbeck's papers.

According to the Fort recovery State Museum, the original plat was destroyed when Washington was burned in 1814.

The fort was built in 1793 at the site of General Arthur St. Clair's disasterous defeat by the Indians.  The fort consisted of a square 32-foot wall and a 22-foot blockhouse and as many as 300 soldiers could garrison it.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Home of Kentucky's William Brown to be Torn Down

From the Nov. 17, 2014, State Journal, Frankfort, Kentucky "200 Year Old Home of Congressman and War of 1812 veteran to be demolished."

The Harrison County Fiscal Court voted to demolish the home of U.S. Congressman and War of 1812 veteran Colonel William Brown.  It sits in the middle of Flat Run Veterans Park and they want a swimming pool on the site.

The home looks rough on the outside but structurally sound.

During the War of 1812, he commanded a Kentucky regiment and worked closely with Henry Clay on the Missouri Compromise..  he and his family had connections to the Todd/Lincoln families as well.

I would hate to see it torn down, especially for a pool.


Honoring Our Veterans: Washington, D.C., Memorials-- Part 2

The starkly moving Vietnam veterans memorial features black granite walls inscribed with the names of more than 58,209 Americans missing or killed in the war.  Also on the site is Frederick Hart's life-size bronze sculpture depicting three young servicemen.  The memorial is free and open 24 hours.

Objects left at the wall are taken to a special storage facility.

The Vietnam Women's memorial is located in a grove of trees across from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  The 2,000 pound bronze statue depicts three service women and one wounded soldier.

There is also a World War I memorial to honor men who served from the Washington, D.C. area on the National mall, but increasing calls are being made for a regular memorial to be erected.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Honoring Our Veterans: Washington, D.C., Memorials-- Part 1

From the Nov. 6, 2015, Chicago Tribune "Of Thee We Sing."

It is kind of surprising that there are no War of 1812 Memorials in our nation's capital.

Beyond the monuments and memorials to the nation's iconic presidents in Washington, D.C., there are memorials in bronze and marble and granite that mark the nation's wars and those who served.

The Korean War Veterans Memorial Advisory is located on a 2.2 acre site adjacent to the Lincoln memorial Reflecting Pool.  It features a sculptured column of soldiers arrayed for combat and a 164-foot mural wall inscribed with the words, "Freedom Is Not Free," and is etched with 2,500 photographic images of nurses, chaplains, crew chiefs, mechanics and other support personnel.  Open daily 8 a.m. to midnight.  Free.

Located between the Washington Monument and Lincoln memorial, the National World War II memorial honors the 16 million who served during World War II and those who supported the war effort from home.  The memorial features two 43-foot arches, a 17-foot pillar for each state and territory from that period and a field of 4,000 gold stars honoring the 400,000 Americans who died.

A series of bronze sculpture panels depict Americans at war, at home and overseas.  Open daily except Christmas.  Free.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Canada Recognizes Supply Route, Nine Mile Portage and Willow Depot

From the Dec. 1, 2014, Digital Journal "Harper Government recognizes the National Historic Significance of the War of 1812 Supply Route, Nine Mile Portage and Willow Depot" Canadian Newswire for Simcoe County.

The War of 1812 Nine Mile Portage and Willow Depot were an important supply route that was crucial in provisioning the British post at Fort Michilimackinac especially after its supply route was cut with the American control of Lake Erie and recapture of Detroit in 1813.

These enabled the British to retain control of the Upper Great Lakes.

**  Nine Mile Portage was a trail from Kempenfelt Bay on Lake Superior to Willow Creek, a tributary of the Nottawasaga River which flows into Georgian Bay at Wasaga Beach.

**  Willow Depot was on high ground about a mile from Willow Creek and was built as a storage and transhipment post for goods coming over the portage.


Pittsylvania County's Role in War of 1812

From the Dec. 11, 2014, Go Dan Danville, Virginia "Author explores Pittsylvania County's role in the War of 1812" by Susan Elsey.

Author Larry Aaron has written eight books and his latest "Pittsylvania County and the War of 1812" is in its sixth printing.  he gave three reasons for writing it:

1.  The Bicentennial of the war.

2.  His third great grandfather was in Samuel Calland's artillery company at Craney Island.

3.  He wanted to investigate Pittsylvania County's role.
Some facts:

**  Lt. Samuel Hairston, owner of Oak Hill Plantation, was one of the South's largest slave owners.  He saw action on the Northern frontier and the Invasion of Canada.

**  More than 15 militia companies were from Pittsylvania County and served in the Chesapeake Bay area and the defense of Norfolk, Va..

**  Virginia suffered more than any other state than New York and Louisiana.

**  Dolley Madison was the second cousin of Walter Coles.


Monday, November 9, 2015

American Veterans Honored at Princess Anne Service

From the Nov. 10, 2014, Delmarva Now "War of 1812 veterans honored at Princess Anne service" by Jeremy Cox.

The 15-star U.S. flags were placed on the graves.  Each star represented a U.S. state.  Also, each star represented one Somerset Country War of 1812 veteran.  The flags were planted at three cemeteries and at each one a brief prayer was said and "Taps" played.

This was done by the Somerset War of 1812 Committee after researching for the graves in preparation for the War of 1812 Bicentennial.  So far, they have located 80 graves, but there are probably more because just Maryland militia rosters have been used so far.

Probably the best-known of the veterans was Joshua Thomas, a Methodist minister called the "Parson of the Islands."  In September 1814, he gave a sermon to British troops and officers in which he told them they would be defeated at Baltimore.

Thomas is buried at Deal Island.


Battlefield Tour of Iowa's Credit Island Offered in 2013-- Part 2

Among the participants at the Battle of Credit Island was future president of the United States Zachary Taylor and Sauk Warrior Black Hawk.

Zachary Taylor led the Americans from St. Louis and had the objective of destroying Sauk and Fox Indian villages, who were aiding the British.  Badly outnumbered, Taylor was forced to withdraw.

The battlefield tour will be at 3 p.m..

Commonwealth Cultural resources Group, Inc. is doing archaeological research and military terrain analysis on Credit Island.

In 2012, the City of Davenport received a $47,105 grant from the Department of the Interior's National Park Service for the study.


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Battlefield Tour of Iowa's Credit Island Offered in 2013-- Part 1

From the November 9, 2013, Quad-City Times (Davenport, Iowa) "Researcher invites you to battlefield tour of Credit island" by Alma Gant.

Davenport has the distinction as the westernmost site of a War of 1812 battle..  Two lectures were given on this battle on November 11, 2013.

It was fought in September 1814, one of only two battles west of the Mississippi River, the other being at Fort Madison, Iowa.

The Battle of Credit island was fought between 335 Americans in eight fortified keelboats who fought 1,200 Indians on both banks of the Mississippi River assisted by 26-30 British soldiers with one 3-pdr light cannon and two 1-pdr. swivel guns.

it was fought on Credit and Pelican islands.


Cornwall, Upper Canada, in the War

From the November 9, 2013, Seaway News (Canada) "Visual reminder of Cornwall's role in the War of 1812" by Adam Brazeau.

Hostile Americans forced the evacuation of Cornwall after the defeat at Crysler's Farm.

A plaque has been placed in front of the United Counties building on Water Street by the SD&G Historical Society.

Its inscription:


"The United Counties west of Cornwall were invaded by American forces in November of 1813.  On November 11, American cavalry also occupied Cornwall, which had been deemed indefensible by British authorities.

"The King's Stores, situated near the present site of the Court House, had been brimming with war materials which were removed to the St. Andrew's area in 150 wagons.  With the stores then empty, Cornwall was plundered by the invading American troops.

"At the same time the bulk of the American army was being defeated at the Battle of Crysler's Farm by Canadian and British forces.  This defeat led to the withdrawal of 2,000 American invaders."


Friday, November 6, 2015

War of 1812 Veterans Honored in 2013

From the November 5, 2013, Delmarva Now by Liz Holland.

They will be honored on Veterans Day.  A ceremony was held at 1 p.m. at the American Legion Post 94 in Princess Anne.  Then there was a procession to three local cemeteries to place flags on the War of 1812 raves.

Some of the veterans honored had famous local names, including Dashiell, Phoebus, Jones and Long.


David Powell Price, Royal Navy

From Wikipedia

David Powell Price 1790-1854.  One-time commander of the Pacific Station.  Joined the Royal Navy in 1801 and served in the Napoleonic Wars.  His first command was the bomb vessel HMS Volcano.  He was severely wounded 24 December 1814 at New Orleans.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Bomb Vessel HMS Volcano-- Part 2

After the Battle of Baltimore, the Volcano served on the Potomac River.  On October 31, 1814, while escorting a merchantman to Jamaica, it was nearly captured by the 7-gun privateer Saucy Jack.

It was then sent to the Mississippi River with the bomb vessel HMS Aetna, and the HMS Herald (18 guns), HMS Thistle (12 guns), HMS Pygmy (11 guns).  They participated in the bombardment of Fort St. Philip, downriver from New Orleans.

After the retreat from New Orleans, it sailed the Gulf Coast and in the siege of Fort Bowyer by Molbile.

It was sold at Dortsmouth 28 August 1816.


Bomb Vessel HMS Volcano (1804)-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

Origianally the merchant vessel Heron, purchased by the Royal Navy in 1804 and became the HMS Heron.  During the Napoleonic Wars it served as a convoy escort vessel on the Leeward Islands Station.

In 1810 it was converted into a bomb vessel and renamed the HMS Volcano and served during the War of 1812 and participated in the Battle of Baltimore (which led to "The Star-Spangled Banner").  It was sold in 1816.

Commander David Powell Price assumed command of it 6 December 1813.  In the summer of 1814, it was sent to North America and joined Sir Alexander Cochrane's fleet off Baltimore harbor.  It was one of 19 British vessels that bombarded Fort McHenry.  The Volcano and other bomb vessels launched over 1500 bombs.  However, only 4 Americans were killed and 24 wounded.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

War of 1812 British Bomb Vessels-- Part 2

Bomb vessels were built with really strong hulls.  Some were later fitted out for Arctic and Antarctic exploration.

The "Bombs Burst in Air" at the Battle of Baltimore in 1814 was provided by the bomb vessels Volcano, Meteor, devastation, Aetna and the Terror.

Bomb vessels also comprised part of the British force that attacked Fort St. Phillip on the Mississippi River at the end of the war in what became known as the Siege of Ft. Philip.


War of 1812 Bomb Vessels-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

Also called Bomb Ships and Bomb Ketches.  Primary weapon was the mortar  bomb.

By the 1800s, British bomb vessels were designed as full-rigged ships with three masts and two mortars.  Mortars back then were the only kind of naval armament to fire explosive shells instead of solid shot.

This is where Francis Scott Key got his "Bombs bursting in air."

Bomb vessels were usually accompanied by a tender to carry the ammunition  Being assigned to one of these ships, either the tender of bomb vessel was considered to be very dangerous work because of these shells and the reinforcing for the mortar platforms which made the ship unstable.

British bomb vessels were traditionally given the names of volcanoes or a name suggesting an explosive quality.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

New Monument Pays Tribute to War Chief Tecumseh

From the October 5, 2015, Chatham (Canada) Daily News "Monument pays tribute to war chief who died October 3, 1813, at Battle of the Thames" by David Gough.

It was unveiled October 5 at Walpole Island on Veterans monument.  It has been planned for 80 years.

Tecumseh was a war chief, orator and statesman and didn't like the United States because of what that country was doing to Indian lands.  Today, his monument faces the United States across the St. Clair River.

His remains became available in the 1930s and Walpole Island veterans raised funds to construct a cairn for them.  Those remains were placed in it in 1940.


Stephen Decatur and the Second Barbary War-- Part 3

On June 17, 1815, Decatur's fleet captured the Algerian frigate and flagship Mashouda in the Battle Off Cape Gata after a short engagement and two broadsides into the ship.  Four Americans were killed and 10 wounded.  Algerian casualties were 30 killed, many wounded and 406 captured.

The helped convince the Bey of Algiers to come to terms with Decatur and end the war.


Monday, November 2, 2015

Stephen Decatur and the Second Barbary War-- Part 2: Decatur's Fleet

From Wikipedia.

Wikipedia did not list the USS Saranac as being in Decatur's fleet.    Either a mistake on its part, or, it was with Bainbridge's fleet or maybe it didn't go at all.

Decatur's fleet was interesting as it consisted of two previously captured British ships.and the flagship was named for one the USS Constitution had sunk.


USS Guerriere, 44 guns.   Flagship.  Named after the HMS Guerriere.  Capt. William Lewis
USS Constellation, 36 guns,  Capt. Charles Gordon
USS  Macedonian, 38 guns.  Captured from British.  Capt. Jacob Jones


USS Epervier.  Captured bu USS Peacock.  Captain John Downes.  This ship disappeared carrying dispatches regarding the surrender of the Dey of Algiers after the war was over.
USS Ontario, 16 guns.  Capt. Jesse D. Elliott


USS Firefly, 14 guns.  Lt. George W. Rodgers
USS Spark, 14 guns.  Lt. Thomas Gamble
USS Flambeau, 14 guns.  John B. Nicholson


USS  Torch, 12 guns.  Lt. Walcott Chauncey
USS  Spitfire, 12 guns.  Lt. Alexander J. Dallas

But No Saranac.  --Brock-Perry

Stephen Decatur and the Second Barbary War-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

On Friday I wrote about the USS Saranac which accompanied Stephen Decatur to the Mediterranean Sea in what became known as the Second Barbary War.  Again, I have not been able to find out much about this ship, but decided to at least find out something about the war it fought in back then.

Once the War of 1812 was over, it became necessary for the U.S. Navy to again turn its attention to the Mediterranean Sea where the Barbary pirates were once again harassing and capturing American merchant ships and holding them for ransom.

On February 23, 1815, President James Madison asked Congress for a declaration of war against them and it became so on March 2.

Two squadrons were assembled, one under Decautur at New York and the other at Boston under William Bainbridge.  Decatur's fleet of ten ships (one of which was the USS Saranac) was ready first and left for Algiers on May 20, 1815.


Saturday, October 31, 2015

West Point's "Long Gray Line"

From "The War of 1812: A Complete Chronology."


The cadets at West Point receive gray uniforms to honor Army regulars who had worn gray at the Battle of Chippewa and Battle of Lundy's Lane in the War of 1812.

The West Point cadets still wear these uniforms and its cadets referred to as "The Long Gray Line."

"The Long Gray Line" refers today to the continuum of all graduates and cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point.  It is hard to find information about it as most searches lead to the 1955 movie of the same name starring Tyrone Power and Maureen O'Hara.


Friday, October 30, 2015

The War of 1812's USS Saranac

From War of 1812: A Complete Chronology.

While researching for the USS Saranac which went hunting for the Confederate raider CSS Shenandoah at the end of the Civil War, I came across a USS Saranac in the War of 1812.  I, however, was unable to find out much about it.

It was a brigantine laid down in 1814 and named after a river in New York that flowed into Lake Champlain, although it did not serve on the Great Lakes.  It was not completed in time to fight in the war and launched in 1815.  On June 20, 1815, it sailed from New York as part of Commodore Stephen Decatur's squadron, one of two squadrons sent to the Mediterranean Sea to deal with the Barbary Pirates in Algiers.

It was decommissioned in 1818.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Donna Davies Offers to Replace Washington Irving's Medallion Out of Pocket

From the October 25, 2015,  Lohud Journal News "Outpouring of support after vandalism at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery" by Kevin Phelan.

The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery posted on its Facebook page that the medallion had been stolen and this caused much outcry.  How could someone be so base as to do something like this?

One person, Donna Davies, even went so far as to say she would replace the medallion with money out of her pocket.

The medallion was installed in the last 15 years.  Cost to replace it is between $50 and $60.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

New York's Sleepy Hollow Cemetery-- Part 2

Other notables buried there:

Walter Chrysler 1875-1940.  Founder of Chrysler Corporation and had New York City's Chrysler Building built.

Francis Pharcellus Church 1839-1906.  Editor of the New York Sun who penned "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus."

Samuel Gompers  1850-1924  Labor leader and founder of the American Federation of Labor.

Walter S. Gurnee  1805-1903.  Mayor of Chicago.  it would be interesting to find out how he ended up here.

William E. LeRoy 1818-1888.  U.S. Navy during the Civil War.

William Rockefeller  1841-1922.  The head of New York's Standard Oil Company.

Thomas J. Watson  1874-1956.  Transformed a small manufacturer of adding machines into IBM.

And There Are Lots More.  these Are Ones I Knew About or Found Interesting.  --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

New York's Sleepy Hollow Cemetery-- Part 1: Just in Time for Halloween

From the Cemetery site,

Last week I wrote about the War of 1812 medallion being stolen from Washington Irving's grave at this cemetery.

  I didn't know they had a cemetery there by that name.

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is in New York and is the final resting place of numerous historical figures.  One of the better-known is Washington Irving who wrote the famous "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow."  The famous church from the story is next door.  The cemetery was listed on the NRHP in 2009.


Elizabeth Arden--  1878-1966--  cosmetics

Leo Baekland--  1863-1944--  Father of Plastic

Major Edward Bowes--  1874-1946--  early radio star and host of thhe Major Bowes' Amateur Hour

Andrew Carnegie--  1835-1919


Monday, October 26, 2015

Another New York City War of 1812 Fort: Fort Wood, the Base of the Statue of Liberty

From Wikipedia.

Fort Wood was a Second System fort constructed from 1809-1811 as a 12-pointed star fort to mount 24 guns. It was garrisoned and abandoned several times until 1847 and expanded to eventually mount 77 guns and hold a garrison of 350.

In 1849, it became a temporary immigration station.  It was regarrisoned 18 January 1861 as the Southern states began seceding.  After the war, it was placed in caretaker status.

In 1884, it was selected to be the base for the Statue of Liberty which was erected on the fort's center and dedicated 28 October 1886.  Fort Wood was reestablished November 1886 and occupied the rest of Bedloe's Island.  In 1899 it served as a recruiting center.  During World War I it was a coastal defense fort and depot.

In 1924, Fort Wood and the Statue of Liberty became a National Monument and in 1933 was transferred to the National Park Service.

The U.S. Army abandoned the post in 1927.

During World War II, the U.S. Coast Guard maintained an observation station on Old Fort Wood statue base.  After the war, all remaining military buildings were torn down.


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Washington Irving's War of 1812 Service

From Wikipedia.

I didn't know Washington Irving served during the War of 1812 until yesterday's post, so had to find out more.  Good old Wiki to the rescue.  Best place to find out info fast.

Washington Irving had had success with his book "A History of New York" in 1809 and then became editor of Analectic Magazine where he wrote biographies of naval heroes like James Lawrence and Oliver Hazard Perry.  He was also among the first magazine editors to reprint a poem by Francis Scott Key titled "Defense of Fort McHenry."  And, we all know what happened to that poem.

Like many merchants (his family had a prosperous business) and New Yorkers, he opposed the War of 1812 as it hurt business.  But when the British attacked and sacked Washington, D.C. in 1814, that convinced him to enlist.  As I have written about earlier this month, after the attacks on Washington and Baltimore, New York folks believed they were next to have a British visit.

Irving served on the staff of Daniel Tomkins, governor of New York, and commander of the state's militia.  Apart from a reconnaissance mission to the Great Lakes region, he saw no action.

The war proved a disaster for many merchants, including his family.  In mid-1815, he went to England to attempt to salvage the family's trading business.  He remained in Europe for the next 17 years.


Friday, October 23, 2015

War of 1812 Medallion Stolen from Washington Irving's Grave in Sleepy Hollow

From the October 22, 2015, Iohud Journal News by Kevin Phelam.

A bronzed War of 1812 veteran medallion was stolen from Washington Irving's grave in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.  It happened some time between the beginning of October and now, according to Jim Logan, superintendent of the cemetery.

It is just one example of rude behavior lately plaguing the cemetery partly because of the influx of visitors during the Halloween season.

Wonder Why?  Sleepy Hollow, Like "Boo!"  --Brock-Perry

Register of Officers and Graduates of USMA Class of 1806-- Part 5

23.  ROBERT LUCAS--  Died during the War of 1812 at French Mills, New York.

24.  JOHN D. WYNDHAM--  5 years in the Army.  Dismissed for drunkenness and died the next year.  Dismissed in 1812, died 1813.

25.  LOUIS LORAMIER (LORIMER)--  Resigned after 3 years and west to farm in Missouri.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Register of Officers and Graduates of the USMA Class of 1806-- Part 4

19.  PRENTICE WILLARD--  Engineer, died seven years after graduation.

20.  JOSEPH PROVEAUX--  Died seven years after graduation.  (I'm not sure about these last two.)

21.  THOMAS BENNETT--  In artillery.  Died while serving in the Army at age 30.

22.  ETHAN A. ALLEN--  Son of Revolutionary War hero, was in artillery for 15 years then civilian life in Norfolk, Virginia.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Register of Officers and Graduates of the USMA Class of 1906-- Part 3

16.  CHARLES GRATIOT--  Chief Engineer of Army.  Probably wrongfully dismissed from the Army by President Van Buren.

17.  ELEAZOR WOOD--  "By all accounts, an outstandingly brave man and competent soldier, killed in the War of 1812.

18.    WILLIAM PARTRIDGE--  six years after graduation, he died in a British prisoner of war camp after the fall of Detroit.  "When his commanding general announced his determination to surrender, Partridge broke his sword across his knee and threw the pieces at that officer's feet.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Register of Officers and Graduates of the USMA Class of 1806-- Part 2

I figured this class would have a lot of activity in the War of 1812.  I looked up several of the members I listed yesterday and found a lot of interesting stuff so will eventually get around to writing more on each one for whom I can find information.

I was writing about Fort Adams in Newport, Rhode Island, and one of the officers who served there was George W. Cullom who was a Civil War general and West Point superintendent.  He also wrote the Biographical Register of Officers and Graduates of the United States Military Academy.  I am using his register for the Class of 1806.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Register of Officers and Graduates of USMA Class of 1806-- Part 1

From Cullom's Register.

11.  William Gates--  served nearly 60 years and fought in the War of 1812, Seminole Wars and Civil War.  Well into his 70s.

12.  Julius F. Heileman--  served 30 years in the artillery.  Mortally wounded in the 2nd Seminole War.

13.  Pascal Vincent Bouts--  resigned after 2 years and died soon afterwards.

14.  Auguste Chouteau-- resigned within seven months and became an India trader.

15.  Alden Partridge--  math professor at West Point and commandant.


Saturday, October 17, 2015

HMS Hunter (General Hunter)

From Wikipedia.

Ten-gun Royal Navy brig launched in 1805 at Amherstburg shipyard.  Shortly after entering the Royal navy, it took part in the British attack on Fort Shelby.

It was part of Commander Robert Heriot Barclay's Lake Erie British squadron and captured at the Battle of Lake Erie in September 1813, along with the rest of the fleet.

Afterwards it was used by the Americans as a transport ship until it was purposefully run aground in 1816 and then destroyed by its crew.

The wreck was discovered onshore on the beach at Southampton, Ontario, in 2001.

It had a crew and mounted four 6-pdr. long gubs, two 4-pdr. long guns, two 2-pdr long guns and two 12-pdr. carronades.


Friday, October 16, 2015

HMS General Hunter Shipwreck Leads to Heritage Award

From the October 4, 2015, Bayshore Broadcasting News Centre.

Ken Cassavoy is the 2015 recipient of the Saugeen Shores Municipal Heritage Conservation Award for his work unearthing the HMS General Hunter on the shore of Southampton Beach, just north of Morpeth Street.

He directed hundreds of volunteers as they removed sand that had covered the ship since he had foundered onto the beach in 1816.  The work on the General Hunter began in 2004, but the ship's name was not known until awhile later.

The British/Canadian ship was captained by George Bignell and fought in six major battles before being captured by the Americans at the Battle of Lake Erie in September 1813.


Treasury Notes Fill Gap in War of 1812 U.S. Finances

From the September 21, 2015, Coin World "Treasury notes fill gap to support War of 1812 finances" by Paul Gilkes.

Wars are expensive and so was the War of 1812.  Issued between 1812 and 1815, these treasury notes became known as War of 1812 Notes and provided financial help for James Madison's government.

They received their authorization through four different legislative acts.

The Second Series was issued in 1813 and many consider them to be the first U.S. paper currency.  They also served as interest-bearing reserves for banks.  They were convertible to any kind of monmey and bore interest simultaneously.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fort Fish in Central Park

From Wikipedia.

Earthwork fortification in northern Manhattan built in 1814.  Now in Central Park on East Drive near 105th Street.  Currently, there is only a white marble bench on the site dedicated to the memory of Andrew Haswell Green, 18th century educator and city planner.

The fort was named for Nicholas Fish, chairman of New York City's Committee of defense during the War of 1812.  He is also the father of U.S. senator and secretary of State Hamilton Fish.  Fort Fish is on the southern end of a complex of defenses built along a portion of Old Post Road (Kingsbridge Road) which is now Central Park's East Drive.  The region was formerly known as McGowan's Pass.

At an elevation of 89 feet above tide water, it is the highest point on the northeast quadrant of Central Park.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Nutter's Battery in Central Park

Along with Fort Clinton, Fort Fish and McGowan's Pass, another element of the New York City defenses set up in what is today Central Park was Nutter's Battery.

It was hurriedly constructed in 1814 of earth and wood near Harlem Meer.  A 1905 history says that it was on the line of Sixth Avenue (Lenox Avenue) between 109th and 110th streets.  It was named after Valentine Nutter who owned the surrounding land.

Maps and illustrations show it to be a redoubt connected to Fort Fish by earthworks along Old Post Road.  At the line of 107th Street and Sixth Avenue the earthworks led to a gatehouse at McGowan's Pass.  From this, the earthworks ran up the rocky hill to Fort Clinton.

Once Central Park was established, Nutter's Battery was inaccessible to the public.  In 1945 paths were built to the site and a low stone wall built to mark its location.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A History of HMS Hussars in the Royal Navy-- Part 2

5TH HMS HUSSAR--  28-gun, 6th Rate launched in 1784 and wrecked on 27 December 1796 in a strong storm that drove her ashore about 15 miles west of Ile de Batz.

6TH HMS HUSSAR--  14-gun sloop, originally the French privateer Hussard.  Captured 1798 and sold 1800.

7TH HMS HUSSAR--  38-gun, 5th Rate, launched in 1789 and wrecked 8 February 1804, by grounding on reef near Ile de Sein.  Crew burned the ship and escaped.

8TH HMS HUSSAR--  This was was around during the War of 1812, but I could find no mention of it being in the North America region.  It was a 46-gun 5th Rate, launched in 1807 and destroyed as a target ship in 1861.

9TH HMS HUSSAR--  a torpedo gunboat in service 1894-1920.

10TH HMS HUSSAR--  Minesweeper launched in 1934 and accidentally sunk of Normandy by the RAF in 1944.  This looks like an interesting story that I will have to look into for my World War II blog. Tattooed On Your Soul.


A History of HMS Hussars in the Royal Navy-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

I decided to look up whether there was another HMS Hussar in the War of 1812 and found out some interesting things.  There were a total of ten ships by that name dating from 1757 to 1944.  Many met untimely ends.

FIRST HMS HUSSAR--  Was a 28-gun, 6th Rate launched in 1757 and captured by the French in 1762 after running aground off Cape Francois, Hispaniola due to the negligence of her pilot and master.

2ND HMS HUSSAR--  This was the one which sank in the East River and whose two guns are at the Fort Clinton Overlook in Central Park.

3RD HMS HUSSAR--  American galley captured in 1778 and sold in 1786.  This may also refer to the Hussar galley built in Philadelphia during the 1777-17778 British occupation.  It was used at the Battle of Red Bank and Fort Mifflin.

4TH HMS HUSSAR--  Was Massachusetts Navy 26-gun, 6th Rate ship named the Protector which was captured in 1780 and sold in 1783.


Monday, October 12, 2015

HMS Hussar-- Part 3: Blown "Straight Back to Hell"

In 1876, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determined to take care of the dangerous Hell's Gate passage by blowing "the worst features of Hell's Gate straight back to hell with 25 tons of dynamite."  The Hussar's remains, if there are any, are believed to be beneath the landfill of the Bronx.

On January 16, 2013, preservationists with the Central Park Conservancy discovered gunpowder, wadding and a cannonball in one of the two recovered cannons.  The bomb disposal unit removed about 1.8 pounds of active black powder and disposed of it.

"We silenced British cannon fire in 1776 and we don't want to hear it again in Central Park," according to a New York Police Department statement.


HMS Hussar, Revolutionary War Ship-- Part 2: Victim of Hell's Gate

The HMS Hussar served in the American Revolution, mostly carrying dispatches along the American coast.  By the middle of 1779, the British position in New York City was growing increasingly precarious.  When Admiral Sir George Brydges Rogers took his  twenty ships-of-the-line south in November, it was decided that the Army payroll should be moved to anchorage at Gardineri Bay on eastern Long Island.

On 23 November 1780, against his pilot's judgement, Captain Charles Pole decided to sail the Hussar on the East River through the treacherous waters of Hell's Gate between Manhattan Island and Long Island.

The ship was swept onto Pot Rock and began sinking.  Unable to run his ship aground, Pole's ship sank on 29 meters of water.  Though the British denied it, rumors abounded that it was carrying between $2 to $4 million in gold which caused many salvage attempts despite the extreme difficulty of the wreck site which continued over the next 150 years.


Saturday, October 10, 2015

HMS Hussar, Revolutionary War Ship-- Part 1: What Does Armed En Flute Mean?

From Wikipedia.

Although this ship did not fight in the War of 1812, nor did the two recovered cannons from the Hussar.  However, the cannons are now at a War of 1812 fort, Fort Clinton.

The HMS Hussar was commissioned in August 1763 and was 124 feet long, 33.10 foot beam, 200 crew and mounted 28 cannons with 24 9-pdrs. and 4 3-pdrs.  It was rated as a 6th rate frigate and of the Mermaid-Class.

It served off North America from 1768 to 1771 and went into ordinary in 1771.  It was repaired and refitted from 1774 to 1777 and recommissioned in 1777.

It captured the Spanish ship-of-the-line Nuestra Senora del Buen Confeso though armed en flute on 20 November 1779.  I had to look up armed en flute as it didn't make since that a 6th rate frigate mounting just 28 cannons, could take a ship-of-the-line.  Armed en flute means a warship being used in transport with a reduced armament.  At the time the Spanish government had just 26 12-pdrs.

Never Knew Armed En Flute.  --Brock-Perry

Central Park's Fort Clinton's Cannons-- Part 3: Not From War of 1812, But Fort Is

Originally thought to have been part of the city's defenses in the War of 1812, the cannons had actually been on the bottom of the East River in the HMS Hussar for 80 years before they were anonymously donated to Central Park in 1865.  They were originally displayed at the Arsenal, now the Parks Department headquarters on Fifth Avenue and later they were moved to the museum at Mount Saint Vincent convent at 105th Street.  The museum burned in 1881, but the cannons survived..  Their whereabouts for the next twenty years are unknown.

They re-emerged in 1905 when the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society persuaded the Parks department to install them, at the site of Fort Clinton.  They were displayed on a granite base (with a plaque wrongly saying they were War of 1812 cannons) until the 1960s and 1970s.

This is when New York City's budgetary problems caused them to be neglected and they became targets of vandalism.  The Central Park Conservancy retrieved them in 1996.  Last January, during restoration, it was discovered that the mortar/carronade had a cannonball with live powder in it.  The police bomb squad was summoned to disarm it.

Fort Clinton is within sight of where the HMS Hussar sank.


Friday, October 9, 2015

Central Park's Fort Clinton's Cannons-- Part 2: Carrying Gold?

The guns were removed from Fort Clinton and taken to a warehouse on Randalls Island.  They were brought back because of the War of 1812 Bicentennial commemoration and because of the reconstruction of Fort Clinton and Nutter's Battery Overlooks.

It was originally thought that the guns protected the city during an expected British attack during the War of 1812, but that wasn't true.

The guns date back to 240 years to the British ship HMS Hussar, a 28-gun frigate commissioned in 1763.  It ran aground in New York's treacherous East River in the 1780 and sank.  Rumors abounded that the ship had been carrying gold to pay the British Army and as a result, many salvage efforts were made.  None was ever found, but many artifacts were recovered.


Central Park's Fort Clinton's Cannons-- Part 1: Bringing the Guns Back

From the March 23, 2014, New York Times "Big Guns Will Return to Watch Over Park" by Sam Roberts.

I did some research on the two cannons which were reinstalled there.

A photo accompanied the article show the preservation of the two cannons.  One is classified as a cannon, the other one as either a carronade or mortar.

For most of the 20th century, two 18th century cannons were located at the Fort Cklinton site ij New York's Central Park.  They had been recovered from a British frigate that had mysteriously sunk off Hell's Gate in the East River.  The ship had reportedly also been carrying gold.

These cannons survived the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and a fire at the nearby Conservatory Gardens.  New York's financial crisis  in the 1970s resulted in the cannons becoming victims of vandalism and neglect.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Jonathan Williams, Builder of Forts

From Wikipedia.

I came across this man's name in researching Fort Jay, Castle Williams and Castle Clinton.  He had a hand in or led the construction of all three.

Born 1751 and died May 16, 1815.  American businessman, soldierpolitician and writer.

He was Chief of the Army Corps of Engineers and first Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point.  He was also elected to the 14th Congress but did not serve as he died before being seated.

Williams was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and attended Harvard.  he was grandnephew of Benjamin Franklin and from 1770-1775 was in England and France assisting his uncle in his business affairs.

President John Adams appointed him a major in the Army Corps of Engineers in 1801.  President Thomas Jefferson made him the Army's Inspector of Fortifications and assigned him to serve as the first superintendent of the new USMA in 1801.  The following year he became the commander of the Corps of Engineers.

From 1807-1811, he designed and completed the fortification which was to bear his name, Castle Williams and also Castle Clinton.  Castle Williams was the first casemated battery in the United States.

Williams resigned from the Army in 1812 when Secretary of War William Eustus refused to give him command of Castle Williams.  However, the state of New York placed him in charge of the New York City fortifications, so he probably had a hand in the construction of the Central Park forts.

He was elected to the 14th U.S. Congress in 1814, but died of gout before he took his seat.


Fort Jay (Fort Columbus)-- Part 2

During the Civil War, the fort's armament was upgraded to some of the most formidable cannons in the Union's arsenal to deter any thought of attack by Confederate raiders.  Nearly fifty 10-inch and 15-inch Rodman guns were placed at the fort.

At the start of the war, the fort was used as embarkation for troops to relieve Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.  Tghe first one involved the steamer Star of the West which was turned back by cadets from the Citadel.  The second attempt resulted in the start of the war..

The North Barracks were used to house captured Confederate officers awaiting transfer to Camp Johnson in Ohio, Fort Delaware or Fort Warren in Boston Harbor.  The fort also was used a s a recruitment center and a hospital.  Confederate Major General William H.C. Whiting had been wounded and captured at Fort Fisher on January 15, 1865.  He was treated at the hospital, but died of dysentery.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fort Jay (Fort Columbus) in New York City

From Wikipedia.

Continuing with the New York City seaward approach forts.

Fort Jay (Fort Columbus) was a coastal star fort on Governors Island and the oldest defense structure on the island.

It was an earthwork during the American Revolution and occupied for awhile by the Americans.  On 12 July 1776, it engaged the British ships HMS Phoenix and HMS Rose.  It was evacuated when the Americans left the city and then occupied by the British.

It had fallen into disrepair by 1794 and somewhat rebuilt.  In 1797 Congress appropriated $30,117 for a major fort at the site.  The earthworks were replaced with granite and brick walls and enlarged by Major Jonathan Williams and completed in 1808.  At that time it was named for New York Governor John Jay, one of the nation's Founding Fathers.'

It saw no action during the War of 1812.


Castle Williams in New York City

From Wikipedia.

While on New York City's defenses during the War of 1812, I am going to write about other fortifications designed to protect the city from seaward attack.

Castle Williams was a red sandstone circular fortification on Governors Island, opposite Castle Clinton.  Together with Fort Jay (formerly Fort Columbus), they make up Governors Island National Monument.

It was built from 1807 to 1811 under the direction of Lt.Col. Jonathan Williams (for whom it is named) and part of a defensive system including Castle Clinton on Manhattan Island, Fort Wood on Liberty Island and Fort Gibson on Ellis Island.

The fort stood 40 feet high and had a 210-foot diameter with 7-8-foot-thick walls.  There were four levels, each containing 14 casemates capable of mounting 28 cannons.

It saw no action during the War of 1812.  During the Civil War, it was used to house new recruits, garrisoned for defense and later was a prison for Confederate enlisted men.


Monday, October 5, 2015

Castle Clinton in New York City

From Wikipedia.

After some initial confusion between Fort Clinton and Castle Clinton, I figured out which was which.  Fort Clinton was part of New York defenses built quickly in 1814 to defend against an expected British attack.  Castle Clinton, so called because of its appearance, was also a Fort Clinton at one time and also called West Battery.

It was built on a small artificial island at the south end of Manhattan Island which has since been filled in with land fill.  It is located about two blocks from where the Dutch built Fort Amsterdam in 1626.

It was built between 1808 and 1811, designed in part by Jonathan Williams, and was to complement the three-tiered Castle Williams on Governor's Island for the city's protection.  Castle Williams was called East Battery.

Today, Castle Clinton is used as a departure point for visitors going to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.


Central Park's Fort Clinton-- Part 3:

Fort Clinton was named for the city's mayor, DeWitt Clinton.  The site had previously been used by British Hessian troops during the occupation of New York City 1776-1783.

From the Central Park web site.

In the 1860s, designers of Central Park recognized the scenic and historic value of Fort Clinton and returned the location to its original topography and the remains of the fort.  By 1900, the remains had eroded and the site was turned into a scenic overlook with rustic fencing, benches and flag pole.

The Central Park Conservancy rebuilt Fort Clinton in 2014 for the War of 1812 bicentennial.  Two cannons were also reinstalled.


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Central Park's Fort Clinton-- Part 2: A Tale of Two Clintons, a Castle and a Fort

Last night, I was talking with my friend Kevin, who grew up in Brooklyn, at the American Legion and told him I was writing about McGowan's Pass, Fort Fish, Nutter's Battery and Fort Clinton.  He said he knew all of these places on Manhattan.  But he referred to Fort Clinton as the "Castle."

I didn't know about the Fort Clinton in Central Park being anything like a castle since it was built very quickly.

When I did the search for Fort Clinton this morning, I found out why it was the castle.

It turns out that Manhattan has two fortresses known as Clinton.  The one Kevin was referring to is now called Castle Clinton and is at the south end of the island.  Both of them were named for mayor DeWitt Clinton, though.

So, this is so you won't get confused about the two Fort Clintons.


Central Park's Fort Clinton-- Part 1: Part of City Defenses

From Wikipedia.

Yesterday, I posted about a line of fortifications in New York City's Central Park that were hurriedly built in 1814 for use in stopping a possible British attack that was expected.  This included McGowan's Pass, Fort Fish, Nutter's Battery and Fort Clinton, a line connected with earthworks.

Fort Clinton was in present-day Central Park and was an 1814 stone and earthwork fortification on a rocky escarpment near the present line of 107th Street and slightly west of Fifth Avenue.

It was the easternmost of a connected series of forts, connecting Nutter's Battery on the west by a series of earthworks and a gatehouse over Old Post Road (evidently Kingsbridge Road) at the bottom of McGowan's Pass.

Fort Clinton and Nutter's Battery were in turn commanded by Fort Fish which had a sweeping view of Long Island Sound, northern Manhattan and Westchester County.


Friday, October 2, 2015

Remnant of War of 1812 Fortification Found In New York's Central Park-- Part 2

Other fortifications rebuilt included Fort Clinton, Nutter's Battery and Fort Fish.  But, fortunately, the British never came.  All the above mention fortifications are long gone except for those at McGowan's Pass, which still remain.

In 1990, the Conservancy worked with archaeologists to identify breastworks that have eroded over time at the pass.

On the north side of the pass, citizens drilled a line of holes into rock outcroppings.  Iron rods inserted in them could have helped build a wall linking the three small forts listed in the first paragraph.  These forts guarded the pass and surrounding countryside.

You can still see the holes.  They were recently found during reconstruction of the $2 million Fort Landscape Project in the north end of the park.Foundations of the southeast side of the gate house that had been constructed, almost like a bridge across McGowan's Pass over Kingsbridghe Road.  Evidence of the stone-splitting process known as plug-and-feather was used in the fort built atop rock they were composed of.

The northwest side of the gatehouse and part of the original Kingsbridge Road was also found.

And, You Didn't Think Much Happened in New York City During the War.  --Brock-Perry

Remnant of War of 1812 Fortification Found in New York's Central Park-- Part 1

From the September 24, 2014, New York Times "Excavated in Central Park: Traces of Anti-Redcoat Fortification Never Needed."

In August 1814, America was in chaos.  The British had taken and sacked the capital and held Lake Champlain.  It was becoming obvious that there was a real possibility of an attack on New York.

It was expected that Kingsbridge Road, actually a very rudimentary byway, which ran from the mainland down Manhattan Is;and to New York City, was the most likely avenue of British invasion.

Civilians rapidly fashioned impromptu fortifications, including one at McGowan's Pass in Harlem.  (east side of 107th Street, just south of Harlem Meer.  These were originally built during the Revolutionary War, but now, 200 volunteers spent six weeks rebuilding the city's network of forts.  They fortified McGowan's Pass with a barrier wall and a blockhouse mounting cannons.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Historic Marker Honors Military Hero Winfield Scott

From the Sept. 24, 2014, Pilot On Line.  AP

Dinwiddie County, Virginia.

A state historical marker was dedicated on Sept. 29, 2014, for Winfield Scott, a native son of Virginia.  He was wounded in the war and later promoted to brigadier general.  Scott also led American forces in the Mexican War and early days of the Civil War.

He attended the College of William & Mary and died in 1866.

Did the Cape Fear Region Play Any Significant Role in the War of 1812?

From the April 30, 2010, Wilmington (NC) Star-News "My Reporter" by Meston Vanoe.

No battles were fought in North Carolina, but the British did occupy Ocracoke and Portsmouth islands in the Outer Banks from July 12-16, 1813.  This scared the state and the militia was called out, some going to Wilmington.

Johnston Blakely was a naval hero from Wilmington who commanded the sloop USS Wasp that captured the HMS Reindeer

Captain Otway Burns was from Onslow County and was a leading privateer.  he is buried in Beaufort in a tomb topped with cannons from his ship, the Snap Dragon.  His desk and a model of his ship are at the North Carolina Maritime Museum.

Brunswick County raised a company of volunteers for the North Carolina Militia.

After the war, the government increased the size of the Navy.  Seven ships-of-the-line, the most powerful ships of their day, were built.  One was the USS North Carolina which was launched in 1820 and commissioned in 1824.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Five Things to Know About "The Star-Spangled Banner"-- Part 2: A Shakespearean Connection?

4.  The song lyric's Shakespearean roots.

Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" contained the phrase "by spangled star-light sheen".

From "Taming of the Shrew" come the words "what stars do spangle heaven with such beauty".

But, did the "Star-Spangled Banner" coin the phrase "In God We Trust."  In its 4th verse, it says, "The conquer we must, when our cause is just.  And this be our motto: 'In God is our trust.'"

5. HOW EMBARRASSING:  Francis Scott Key owned slaves and his descendants supported the Confederacy.  (And, this was before the murders in Charleston in 2015.)

The North adopted "The Star-Spangled Banner" as its unofficial national anthem.  The Confederacy adopted "Dixie" as its unofficial national anthem.  It was written by northerner Daniel Emmett.

Just the Facts.  --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Five Things to Know About "The Star-Spangled Banner"-- Part 1: Amateur Poet

From the September 10, 2014, Daily herald by Juliet Linderman.

1.  What does it have to do with Baltimore?  The Battle of Baltimore

2.  Francis Scott Out-of-Key.  Key was only an amateur poet and probably tone deaf and described by his family as non-musical.

3.  200th Anniversary.  The city was commemorating the 200th anniversary of the September 11, 1814, attack.


Monday, September 28, 2015

Eleazor Wheelock Ripley-- Part 3: War of 1812

Eleazor Ripley was wounded at York and also participated in the battles of Sacketts Harbor and Crysler's Farm.

In April 1814, he was promoted to brigadier general and commanded the Second Brigade of Major general Jacob Brown's Left Division in the Niagara Campaign.  At the Battle of Lundy's Lane, his brigade captured and held British cannons until the Americans could withdraw.  However, Brown accused Ripley for losing those guns.  Ripley demanded and got a court martial to clear his name.

He briefly commanded Brown's division during the Siege of Fort Erie after Brown had been wounded at Lundty's Lane, but he was replaced by Brigadier general Edmund Pendleton Gaines.

Ripley was conspicuous in the repulse of the British assault on Fort Erie on August 16 and the American sortie from the fort on September 17, 1814, where he was wounded again.  he was awarded the Congressional Gold medal for his action at Fort Erie.  This was the precursor of the Medal of Honor.

Ripley later moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1815 and left the Army in 1820.