Friday, January 29, 2016

USMA Class of 1806: Ethan Alphonso Allen-- Part 2

Cullum's Registry.

No. 22  Was a cadet Dec. 10, 1804, to November 14, 1806 when graduated and promoted to 2nd Lt. Regiment of Artillerists.  First Lt. Oct. 1, 1809.

During the War of 1812 at Norfolk and Craney Island, Va. 1812-1813.  At lake Champlain in 1814.

Transferred to Corps of Artillerists May 12, 1814.

Captain Corps of Artillerists July 25, 1814.

Craney Island 1815-1821.  Superintendent of Regimental Recruiting Services 1818-1828.

Resigned 1821.

Civilian History:  U.S. Inspector of Customs on Canada Frontier 1821-1823. Farmer in Norfolk County, Va. 1823-1833.  merchant Norfolk, Va. 1833-1834.

Died Jan. 6, 1855 in Norfolk County, age 66.

USMA Class of 1806: Ethan Alphonso Allen-- Part 1

Ethan Alphonso Allen was born the same year, 1789,  his father died, the famous Revolutionary War hero Ethan Allen of Green Mountain Boys fame..Allen's two youngest sons both graduated from the USMA and his grandson Ethan Allen Hitchcock was a Union general during the Civil War.

Ethan Alphonso Allen is buried at Elmwood Cemetery in Norfolk, Virginia.

Born October 24, 1789 in Vermont.  Died January 6, 1855 in Norfolk, Virginia.  His father, Ethan Allen died February 12, 1789.

--Brock-Perry

Thursday, January 28, 2016

USMA Class of 1806: Thomas Bennett

From Cullum's Register.  Graduate #21.

No. 21Appointed from New Jersey.  Cadet USMA July 8, 1803, to Nov. 14, 1806. Graduated and appointed 2nd Lt. in Regiment of Artillerists (RoA).  Served in various garrisons along Atlantic coast 1806-1812.  1st Lt. RoA Aug. 1, 1809 and Captain RoA June 20, 1813.

Duty at Fort Independence, Massachusetts and Fort Constitution, New Hampshire during the War of 1812.

Garrison at New London, Ct. 1815-1816, Pittsfield, Mass. 1816, Castine, Maine 1816-1817 and Portsmouth, New Hampshire 1817-1818.

Died at Fort Constitution, N.H. on September 26, 1818, at age 30.  Fort Constitution guarded Portsmouth, N.H..

--Brock-Perry

Class of 1806: Joseph Proveaux-- Part 3: Passionate About Dueling

Joseph Proveaux was nominated for the USMA from South Carolina and was one of the first cadets at that institution.

From the "Memoirs of Gen. Joseph Swift"  He was USMA graduate #1 in 1802.  One of a class of two members and future superintendent of the academy.

He had this to say about Joseph Proveaux:  "Joseph Proveaux from Charleston, S.C., a youth of seventeen, of generous spirit but passionate, addicted to dueling and much opposed to study."

 Proveaux must have been quite a character and live wire.I can find little about his death, but several sources say he was killed on November 10, 1813, in a duel.

--Brock-Perry

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Class of 1806: Joseph Proveaux-- Part 2: A Revolutionary Father

Joseph Proveaux was a West Point cadet of Artillerists and Engineers.

From Anthony Proveaux site.

There was a Captain Adrian Proveaux who fought in the American Revolution.  He was born in Hispaniola and came to the colonies to fight for independence.  He was at Charleston, S.C. and fought at the Battle of Fort Sullivan (later renamed Fort Moultrie).  Was a member of the Society of Cincinnati made up of former American officers.

Resided in Charleston afterwards and had three sons, one of whom was Joseph Proveaux.

--Brock-Perry

Class of 1806: Joseph Proveaux-- Part 1: One of the First Cadets

From Cullom's Register.

Cadet at USMA to November 14, 1806.  Graduated as the 20th USMA member and assigned to 2nd Light Artillery.

Served in garrisons at Atlantic posts 1806-1812  On duty in South 1812-1813 in the Regiment of Artillery.

Died Nov. 10, 1813 at ____, age 30.  From South Carolina.

One of nine cadets when West Point opened on July 4, 1802.

--Brock-Perry

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Trees for the USS Constitution-- Part 4

Essentially, the USS Constitution had 24-inches of extremely strong wood.  This caused the smaller British cannons to fire cannon balls that seemed just to bounce off the sides of the Constitution earning her the name "Old Ironsides."

For the upcoming repairs, most of the planks will be 30-40 feet long and six inches thick and must have no defects.

Even after being afloat for most of 200 years, some 12% of the wood in the Constitution is original.  Most all of the keel, bottom frames and probably the bottom 13 planks have never had to be replaced.

A grove of trees at Crane was officially named "Constitution Grove" on May 8, 1776, during the nation's Bicentennial.

--Brock-Perry


Trees for the USS Constitution-- Part 3: Revolutionary Construction

Continued from January 15, 2016.

The strength of the USS Constitution's sides came from a revolutionary design by shipbuilder Joshua Humphreys called "frame and space."

The outer layer was of white oak planking up to seven inches thick on top of 12 inches of live oak frames, followed by an inner layer of white oak planking up to five inches thick.

There was only a gap of two inches between the pairs of white oak frame.

--Brock-Perry

Monday, January 25, 2016

West Point Class of 1806-- Part 3

There were 15 members of this, the largest class to graduate from West Point since its first class in 1806.  Of them, one was killed in battle, Eleazor D. Wood.

Five more died during the War of 1812:  William Partridge, Prentiss Willard, Joseph Proveaux, Robert Lucas and John D. Wyndham.

One, Pascal Vincent Bouis, died before the war in 1811.

There were quite a few French names in the list, probably reflecting an attempt by the government to get persons in the newly acquired Louisiana Territory into the the Army.

They were Pascal Vincent Bouis, Auguste Chouteau, Charles gratoit and Joseph Proveaux and possibly Louis Loramier.

--Brock-Perry

West Point Class of 1806-- Part 2

18.  William Partridge  Died 1812 at Detroit, Michigan

19.  Prentiss Willard  Died 1813 at Beaufort, S.C.

20.  Joseph Proveaux  Died 1813 at age 30

21.  Thomas Bennettt  Died 1818 at Fort Constitution in New Hampshire.

22.  Ethan A. Allen  Died 1855 in Norfolk County, Va.

23.  Robert Lucas  Died 1814 at french Mills, New York at age 26.

24.  John D. Wyndham  Died 1813 at age 30.

25.  Louis Loramier  Died 1831 at Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

--Brock-Perry

Friday, January 22, 2016

West Point Class of 1806-- Part 1

The number represents their overall number graduating from the USMA.  The order in which they are listed reflects their class standing.

11.  William Gates  Died 1868 New York City
12.  Julius F. Heileman  Died 1836 Fort Drane, Florida
13.  Pascal Vinceot Bouis  Died 1811 Point Coupe, Louisiana

14.  Auguste Chouteau  Died 1838 Fort Gibson, Indian Territory
15.  Alden Partridge  Died 1854 Norwich, Vermont

16.  Charles Gratiot  Died 1855 St. Louis, Missouri
17.  Eleazor D. Wood  Killed September 17, 1814, in sortie from Fort Erie, Upper Canada.

--Brock-Perry


West Point Classes Before 1806

From Cullom's Register and Annual Reunion.

Class of 1802

1.  Joseph G. Swift, died 1865
2.  Simon M. Levy  Died 1807 in Georgia.

Class of 1803

3.  Walter K. Armistead  Died 1845 in Virginia
4.  Henry B. Jackson
5.  John Livingston

Class of 1804

6.  Samuel Gates  Died 1817 in England
7.  Hannibal M. Allen  Died May 11, 1813, at Norfolk, Virginia.

Class of 1805

8.  George Bomford  Died 1848
9.  William McRee  Died 1832 St. Louis, Mo.
10.  Joseph G. Totten  Died 1864 in Washington, D.C.

--Brock-Perry

Thursday, January 21, 2016

West Point's Class of 1806

From the Annual USMA Reunion.

The Class of 1806 was by far the largest of West Point's graduating classes to that time.

The first one, the Class of 1802 had two members.

Class of 1803 had three.

Class of 1804 had two and the class of 1805 had just three.

The Class of 1806 had 15, just one of whom, Eleazor D. Wood, was killed in action during the War of 1812.

William gates graduated #1 and Louis Loramier was last at #15.

--Brock-Perry

West Point Class of 1806: Prentiss Willard

From Cullom's Register.

Cadet USMA Nov. 23, 1803 to Oct. 30, 1806, when graduated and entered U.S. Army as 2nd Lt. in Corps of Engineers Oct. 30, 1806.

Served at West Point 1806-1807 as Assistant Engineer in construction of works on New England coast.  In 1808 as superintendent.

1st Lt. Corps of Engineers Feb. 28, 1808.

Engineer of fortifications at Beaufort, S.C. 1809-1810 as assistant engineer in construction of defenses of New York harbor, 1811.

Captain Corps of Engineers July 6, 1812.

Engineer defenses of Beaufort, S.C.

Died Oct. 12, 1813, at Beaufort at age 23.

--Brock-Perry

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Josiah Bacon Gets Gravestone-- Part 2

While in Indiana with the 4th U.S. Infantry, he served as quartermaster and became a friend of William Henry Harrison.

Six months after the Battle of Tippecanoe, the 4th U.S. was at Detroit during the War of 1812 and Josiah Bacon and his wife were taken prisoner by the British when General Hull surrendered.  Later he was freed and returned to Boston

He served a few terms as representative from Sandwich in the state assembly.  In 1841, he was appointed by President William Henry Harrison to the Marine Hospital in Chelsea and led that hospital for eleven years.

In 1852, he took $1,000 of his money and helped create Sailors' Snug Harbor of Boston to help old and infirm sailors.

Quite a Life.  --Brock-Perry

Josiah Bacon Gets Gravestone-- Part 1

From the Oct. 17, 2015, Boston Herald "War of 1812 vet with storied history gets Everett gravestone" by O'Ryan Johnson and Matt Ingersoll.

A Boston man who fought at the Battle of Tippecanoe, befriended a governor who became president, was taken prisoner by the British and founded Sailors' Snug Harbor has been honored.

A gravestone was unveiled by a grandson at Woodland Cemetery in Everett for Lt. Josiah Bacon, a veteran of the War of 1812.

He was a soldier, a leader of the Whig party in Massachusetts, state representative from Sandwich and a philanthropist.

In 1808, he joined the 4th U.S. Infantry and was called to help Indiana Governor William Henry Harrison quell an Indian uprising.

--Brock-Perry


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

National Designation Sought for HMS General Hunter-- Part 3

The excavation revealed much of the lower part of the hull, charred timbers, a small swivel cannon, iron nails and spikes, cannon balls, lead shot, a bayonet, ceramics, spoons and military buttons.

These artifacts are now on display at a 3/4 replica built at the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Center.  It's flag, captured in battle, is today displayed at the recently commissioned naval base at Windsor.

About 35% of the hull remains and has been covered up again for preservation.  The wood is white oak and in excellent condition.  A plaque marks its location.

Last month, Ken Cassavoy applied to Park Canada's Historic Sites and Monuments Board to get national historic site designation like that of the USS Scourge and Hamilton.

"It will raise its profile to a large degree."

--Brock-Perry

Monday, January 18, 2016

National Designation Sought for HMS General Hunter-- Part 2

Ken Cassavoy also led the exploration for the schooner USS Scourge and USS Hamilton which sank in a storm in lake Ontario in August 1813.

The HMS General Hunter was built in 1806 in Amherstburg and captured by the United States in the September 1813 battle of Lake Erie.  the ship lost 3 killed and 5 wounded.

The United States dropped the General from the name and deliberately beached in a storm on the British side of the lake in 1816.  The crew rowed to the American side.  They returned and burned it down to the sand line so they were able to reclaim the iron and other valuables.

--Brock-Perry

National Designation Sought for War of 1812 Shipwreck-- Part 1

From the October 15, 2015, Welland (Canada) Tribune by Greg Furmingen.

Ken Cassavoy unearthed the ship from the sands of Saugeen Shores ten years ago.  He now wants to elevate its prominence.  The marine architect was in his 30s, now 60s, and had just moved to Welland three months and wants the wreck of the HMS General Hunter designated a National Historic Site.

He always knew there were wrecks around Southampton, but he and a friend literally stumbled upon the General Hunter while walking on Southampton Beach.  He tripped over a blackened timber poking though the sand.

Preliminary digs yielded a ship and he became project head of an excavation in 2004 which had as many as 200 volunteers at times for a nine-weeks.  This was his first one done above ground.  The wreck soon could be identified as the General Hunter.

--Brock-Perry

Friday, January 15, 2016

Trees for the USS Constitution-- Part 2

Much work is involved with these white oak trees before they can be placed on the Constitution.  They must be harvested, milled, shaped and then transported to Boston.  The final step is installation.

In addition, there is only a limited time slot for harvesting the trees because the NSA Crane forest is home for the endangered Indiana bat.

The forest now has 150 GPS-located mature white oaks set aside for future use on the USS Constitution.

The white oak lumber will be used to replace deteriorated hull planking and support structures called knees.  White oak is the same king of wood used originally.

--Brock-Perry

Naval Support Activity Crane

The trees for the USS Constitution repairs were selected from the Naval Support Activity Crane, about 25 miles southwest of Bloomington, Indiana.

This is a huge base, with 64,000 acres, 109 miles of roadway, over 3,000 buildings spread over the 98 square miles.

It is manned by 5,000 Department of Defense civilian and contractor personnel and just 50 military.

--Brock-Perry

Trees for the USS Constitution-- Part 1

From the April 19, 2012 America's Navy  "Select NSA Crane Trees to help Repair 'Old Ironsides'"  by Bill  Counch.

Representatives of the Boston Navy Yard assessed specially designated trees at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Crane (Indiana) April 17 and 18 for preparations to restore the USS Constitution in drydock.  The USS Constitution is the world's oldest commissioned warship.

Foreman Dwight DeMilt, ship restorer, and Robert Murphy, production manager, Naval History and Heritage Command, Boston detachment, hiked to see several dozen white oak trees located around the 63,000 acre base to determine suitable trees for the ship.

DeMilt was also involved in the Constitution's last drydocking 1991-1995.

The new drydocking is scheduled for 2014-2018, but much work remains to be done before then.

--Brock-Perry

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Restoring the 218-Year Old Technological Wonder USS Constitution-- Part 2

The USS Constitution was commissioned by President George Washington.

The Constitution's current commanding officer (it is still a commissioned warship in the U.S. Navy and the oldest commissioned warship in the world) is Sean D. Kearns.

The USS Constitution was a secret weapon of sorts for its time.  Its hull was more than two feet thick and its hull was covered in copper to protect it from wood borers.  In battle, its sides withstood the impact of 18-pdr. iron cannonballs so well that is how it got its name "Old Ironsides."

Today's foes are the New England elements and Boston harbor's burrowing mollusks.

--Brock-Perry

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Restoring the 218-Year Old Technological Wonder, the USS Constitution-- Part 1

From the Sept. 24, 2015, BU Today by Amy Laskowski.

Tree trunks arrived at Charleston Navy Yard near Boston on July 7.  They were white oak and 45 feet long, each weighing about 10,000 pounds.

They had been trucked over 1000 miles from a naval base in Crane, Indiana, which maintains a woodland with 150 mature white oak trees set aside for the restoration of the USS Constitution.

Over the next two years, 35 logs will be sawed into planks to replace the ship's hull.

--Brock-Perry


The Civil War Sesquicentennial Versus War of 1812 Bicentennial-- Part 2

Virginia (Civil War) first.  Maryland  (War of 1812) second.

NUMBER OF SITES WITHIN STATE:  1,227  //  330

STATE COMMISSION TWITTER FOLLOWERS:  5,016  //  3,344

VISITORS TO EVENTS:  3.7 million  //  3.1 million

MENTION OF THE "TONIGHT SHOW" STARRING JIMMY FALLON:  0  //  1

--Brock-Perry

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Civil War Sesquicentennial Versus the War of 1812 Bicentennial-- Part 1

From the September 24, 2015, Washington Post.

These figures represent the states of Virginia for the Civil War and Maryland for the War of 1812.  Virginia/Civil War numbers given first:

YEARS SINCE:  150  //  200

STATE COMMISSION FACEBOOK PAGE LIKES:  7,712  //  11,430

STATE DOLLARS SENT ON EVENTS:  $7.4 million  //  $5 million

ECONOMIC IMPACT:  $290.3 million  //  332 million

More to Come.  --Brock-Perry

Historic Cannons Restored Atop Baltimore Hill

From the Sept. 29, 2015, AP.

Seven cannons, dating back to the 1680s, have been refurbished and restored on a hill in Patterson Park as the final piece of the city's War of 1812 commemoration.  Each cannon is at least 200 years old.

They were removed last year to be cleaned and coated with protective sealant.  This was paid for by a state grant.

For over a century, the cannons marked the position of the Baltimore militia at the September 14, 1814, Battle of Baltimore which led to the writing of "The Star-Spangled Banner."  I wonder if future Pennsylvania Governor Francis Shunk was stationed there with the Pennsylvania militia.

--Brock-Perry

Monday, January 11, 2016

Francis Rawn Shunk-- Part 2

From Wikipedia.

1788-1848, 10th Governor of Pennsylvania.  He was born into a poor German family family but overcame that.  Served in the Pennsylvania militia during the War of 1812 and took part in the successful defense of Baltimore in 1814.

After the war, he was appointed principal clerk of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.  In 1820, he married Jane Findlay, daughter of Pennsylvania Governor James Findlay.  From 1829-1839, he was secretary of the state Canal Commission.

Another source listed him as a private in the Pennsylvania emergency force which hurried to Baltimore to defend that city after the fall of Washington, D.C. and was at the Battle of Baltimore.

--Brock-Perry

Pennsylvania's Governor Francis R. Shunk-- Part 1

From the Sept. 30, 2015, TribLive "Exploring History: Gov. Shunk's passing" by Miles Richard.

As governor, he challenged James Buchanan.  By 1846, he was very popular in western Pennsylvania.

Francis Rawn Shunk was born August 7, 1788, in Pennsylvania.  By 1805 he was a school teacher and a private surveyor.

In May 1812, he was hired as chief assistant to Andrew Porter, Surveyor General of Pennsylvania.  He also studied law at the office of Thomas Elder, a prominent Harrisburg attorney, and was admitted to the bar in 1816.

During the War of 1812, he was a lieutenant in the Pennsylvania militia.  In 1814, he utilized his survey skills in the construction of various American fortifications around the Chesapeake Bay.

--Brock-Perry

Friday, January 8, 2016

Andrew Jackson's Hermitage Open For Free Today

From the January 2, 2016, Brentwood Home Page "Hermitage admission is free on the anniversary of Battle of New Orleans."

There will be free activities, speeches, wreath-laying and book signings at Andrew Jackson's Hermitage on Jan. 8, 2016, marking the 201st anniversary of the battle.  There will also be a living history program

Visitors can see the newest exhibit, "Andrew Jackson: Born for a Storm which features significant Jackson artifacts such as his presidential carriage and a gold presentation box given him for the victory in the battle.

Chalmette Battlefield, where the Battle of New Orleans  took place, is downriver from New Orleans.

The Hertmitage opened its doors to the public in 1889 and was one of the first presidential museums.

The state has 1,120 acres with 27 buildings including the mansion, his tomb and slave quarters.

It is a National Historical Landmark and has more than 180,000 visitors a year.

And, Today, It Is FREE!!  --Brock-Perry

Captain William Bradley Honored at Beechwood Cemetery-- Part 2

Captain Bradley was born in Georgia prior to the American Revolution, but his family moved to Canada afterward.  He grew up in New Brunswick  and at age 22 joined the military.

He was a captain commanding a company in the 104th Regiment when the War of 1812 began and took part in the unprecedented 52-day forced march on snowshoes from Frederickton to Quebec City in 1813.

Following the war, he settled in March Township and was appointed magistrate.

The plaque was courtesy of the War of 1812 Graveside Recognition Project.

--Brock-Perry

Captain William Bradley Honored at Beechwood Cemetery-- Part 1

From the September 17, 2015, Stittsville Central (Canada) "Beechwood Cemetery will honour Captain Bradley, local pioneer."

A granite marker for Ottawa pioneer Captain William Brown Bradley (c1771-1851) veteran of the War of 1812 will be unveiled at Beechwood, the National Cemetery of Canada, on Oct. 4, 2015, at 11 a.m..  There will be a ceremony followed by a reception.

Re-enactors of Ottawa's 100th Regt. Historical Society will march to the grave site bearing a reproduction of the 104th Regiment's battle flag which is on loan from the New Brunswick Museum.

--Brock-Perry

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Baltimore's First Public War Memorial Honored

From the September 8, 2015, CBS Baltimore by Mike Schuh.

Six months after the War of 1812 ended, Baltimore wanted something to remember those killed in September 1814 Battle of Baltimore.

The sculptor of the Court of Spain designed it on a spot originally intended for the Washington Monument but it was found to be too small.  A stone was set at Calvert and Fayette streets.

A dozen years later it was incorporated as part of Baltimore's city seal and it sometimes goes by the name of The Baltimore Monument.

The eighteen layers in the marble base represent the eighteen states in the country at the time it was dedicated.  The column is tied with stone ribbons listing the names of soldiers who died at the Battle of Baltimore.

A short program was held at the site on Tuesday, September 8.

The stone figure at the top of the monument is known as Lady Baltimore and was removed about two years ago.  A concrete duplicated now stands in her place.

--Brock-Perry

Fort Preble, Portland, Maine-- Part 2

Fort Preble was a star-shaped fort made of stone, brick and sod and mounted 14 heavy cannons.

It was built to accompany Fort Scammell on House Island to protect Portland in case the United States got drawn into the Napoleonic Wars.

In 1808, Sec, of War Dearborn ordered the regiment of Light Artillery to occupy the fort and enforce the U.S. Embargo Act which was a move to hurt France and England for their actions against U.S. shipping.

Various units manned the fort during the War of 1812 including the Regiment of Light Artillery, the 21st, 33rd and 34th Regiments of U.S. Infantry and the U.S. volunteers.  In times of crisis, local militia was also called out.

When Winfield Scott and other Americans were released from prison in Quebec, they landed at Fort Preble.  many were starving and ill and some died at the post hospital.

Two new batteries were added around 1845.

From 1848-1849 and 1851-1853, Fort Preble was commanded by Captain Robert Anderson who gained much recognition at the start of the Civil War with his defense of Fort Sumter.

I will write about the fort's Civil War and subsequent service in my naval Civil War blog.

--Brock-Perry


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Fort Preble, Portland Maine-- Part 1

From WikipediaSouth Portland.  Built in 1808 by Henry A.S. Dearborn and modified through 1906.

Now on the campus of Southern Maine Community College.

U.S. Secretary of War Henry Dearborn authorized its construction in 1808 and placed his son, Henry A.S. Dearborn, in charge of it.

It was named for Commodore Edward Preble who led an American squadron during the First Barbary War.  he died in Portland in 1807 and is buried there.

Fort Preble was a Second National System Fortification.

--Brock-Perry

Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn

The man who built the original Fort Scammell in Portland Harbor.

From Wikipedia.

(1783-1851)

American lawyer, author, statesman and soldier.

He was the son of Secretary or War and major general Henry Dearborn and named for his father's friend Alexander Scammell (American revolution, died at Yorktown).

In 1808 he oversaw the construction of Fort Preble and Fort Scammell in Portland, Maine.

During the War of 1812, he commanded volunteers in the Boston Harbor defensive works.

He later replaced his father as as Collector at the Port of Boston and served in that capacity from 1813-1829.  promoted to brigadier general in the Massachusetts Militia in 1817.

--Brock-Perry

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Historic Fort Scammell-- Part 2

Fort Scammell was built of stone, brick and earth and initially mounted 15 guns and a 10-inch mortar.  It was a semi-circular battery of masonry with a wooden blockhouse protecting the rear and mounting six guns.

In the 1840s, as part of the national third system of fortifications, it was modernized by extending its walls to anchor a larger area.  Thomas Lincoln Casey, an Army engineer known for his work on the Washington monument, completely rebuilt the fort in 1862 during the Civil War.

It was not rearmed during the Spanish-American War

Two emplacements for anti-aircraft guns were added in 1917.

The island became an immigrant quarantine station in 1907 and operated as such until 1937 when it was considered the "Ellis Island of the North."

--Brock-Perry

Historic Fort Scammell-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

Yesterday I wrote about part of House Island in Portland Harbor coming up for sale.  The island contains Fort Scammell, a work dating to before the War of 1812.  It was the only American fort in what is today Maine, to exchange gunfire with British forces during the War of 1812.

It was built by Henry A.S. Dearborn, an officer in the Massachusetts militia and future general in 1808 as part of the national second system of fortifications.  The fort received its name from Alexander Scammell, adjutant-general in the Continental Army during the American Revolution who was killed at the Battle of Yorktown.

Fort Scammel was designed for the defense of Portland Harbor as was nearby Fort Preble.

The spelling of the name of the fort can vary by source.

Of interest, the S. in the fort's builder's name was Scammell.

--Brock-Perry

Monday, January 4, 2016

Half of Historic House Island Back on the Market

From the August 31, 2015, Portland (Maine) Press-Herald byWhit Richardson.

The fort on the island exchanged gunfire with British privateers during the War of 1812.

A portion of the prominent island in Casco Bay is back on the market after being bought ten months ago after a Florida real estate developer purchased it.  Asking price for the 13 acres is $6.9 million and includes three renovated cottages and a new boat dock.  It had been purchased in October for $2.2 million.  Good profit if you can make it.

Fort Scammell was built in 1808 on the island's southern tip and was the only fort on Maine's coast to see action during the War of 1812.

During the 1800s it was owned by two Portland fishing families to cut, salt and dry fish, mostly cod.

In 1905, the government bought the island for use as an immigrant station.

--Brock-Perry

The Catastrophic Explosion That Defined the War of 1812-- Part 2

The Americans landed at York at 7:20 a.m., near the fort.  The battle lasted for five and a half hours and the British lost.  As they retreated, Brigadier General Roger Sheaffe ordered the fort's main magazine blown up.  It contained 30,000 pounds of gunpowder, 30,000 cartridges, 10,000 cannonballs and many musket balls.

It exploded around 1 p.m.  `The American force was just 200 yards away when the magazine exploded.  Twenty-five Americans were killed, including Zebulon Pike and 200 more were seriously wounded.  This made the Americans mad and in retaliation, they looted and torched the town.

(Yes, Zebulon Pike was the Pike's Peak guy.)

--Brock-Perry

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Catastrophic Explosion That Defined the War of 1812-- Part 1: "Man Killing Idiot"

From the April 27, 2013 Blog To (Toronto) by Chris Bateman.

On April 27, 1813,, "the most powerful explosion ever witnessed in North America tore through Fort York."

This took place during the American attack on York (now Toronto) Upper Canada.  The American fleet consisted of 14 vessels. Two-thirds of York's civilian population were American born.

There were 300 troops in the fort, 300 militia in town and 100 Indians.

The American Army consisted of 1700 troops, including the riflemen under Benjamin Forsyth, described as "a man killing idiot" who wore a green jacket into battle.

--Brock-Perry

War Hero Perry Keeps Popping Up While Traveling-- Part 2

There is a paint of Oliver Hazard Perry's victory at the Battle of Lake Erie in the rotunda of the Ohio Statehouse.

Ten states, including Ohio, have a Perry County.  One in Kentucky also has a city named for him, Hazard.

Other places with Perry memorials are Erie, Pennsylvania, and Buffalo, New York.  Also the new Rhode Island Statehouse in Providence.

This summer, the 200-foot-long tall ship SSV Oliver Hazard Perry will be launched in Narragansett Bay.  It is the first full-rigged sailing vessel built in the United States in more than a century.

--Brock-Perry

Friday, January 1, 2016

War Hero Perry Keeps Popping Up While Traveling-- Part 1

From the August 29, 2015, Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch by Steve Stevens.

Newport, Rhode Island--  There is a statue of Oliver Hazard Perry in Washington Square near the Colony House which was once Rhode Island's Statehouse.

Next to the statue is the Buliod-Perry House.  Perry, a Rhode Island native, bought it shortly after his victory at the Battle of Lake Erie.  The house was built around 1750 and has been restored and preserved by the Newport Restoration Foundation.

Perry died of yellow fever on another Navy ship in 1819 on his 34th birthday.  He is buried in Newport's Island Cemetery near his brother, Matthew C. Perry, another famous Newport Navy hero.

Put-in-Bay, Ohio--  Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial,  At 352 feet tall, it is the world's most massive Doric column.

--Brock-Perry

Shipwrecks Designated Historical Site in Kingston

From the August 4, 2015, Kingston (Can) Whig by Julia McKay.

Kingston has historical significance both above and below Lake Ontario.

The War of 1812 had Great Britain and her North American colonies fighting against the United States and led to the expansion of the "Provincial Marine" naval base established at Kingston in 1789.  Many ships were constructed there, especially during the great naval ships race if 1814,.

With the end of the war, many of these ships became unusable.  In 1834, the decision was made to close the shipyard.  The vessels there needed to be disposed.  Some were auctioned off and sold for scrap.

Others were deliberately sunk in Deadman Bay, but clear of the shipping channel.

Three of these are known:  HMS Prince Regent, HMS Princess Charlotte and the HMS St. Lawrence.

The site of these wrecks now has a commemorative designation.

--Brock-Perry