Saturday, July 30, 2016

Tennessee in the War of 1812-- Part 4: Jackson's Victory and Treaty Were Very Rewarding to Him

Throughout the Creek War, the Indians were outmanned, inadequately armed, and lacking in military discipline.  In fact, Jackson's greatest threat came not from the Creeks, but from supply shortages and desertions by his troops dissatisfied with their enlistment terms.  I have been writing about the 2nd Regiment East Tennessee Volunteer Militia who were called into service to replace troops lost in Jackson's 1813 mutiny.

Nevertheless, the victories won during the Creek War were acclaimed enthusiastically by a nation experiencing military setbacks elsewhere.  As a reward for his efforts, Andrew Jackson was commissioned a major general in the United States Regular Army.

His treaty with the Creeks at Fort Jackson in August 1814 forced the tribe to forfeit nearly two-thirds of their land (about 23 million acres), which soon filled with white settlers.


Friday, July 29, 2016

Tennessee in the War of 1812-- Part 3: Where It Got the Nickname "The Volunteer State"

Tennessee was greatly alarmed by events at Fort Mimms.  The next month, Governor Willie Blount issued a call for 3,500 volunteers.  The enthusiastic and overwhelming response of Tennesseeans initiated  a tradition that gave the state the nickname of the "Volunteer State."

Andrew Jackson, as major general of the Tennessee militia, along with his military colleague, John Coffee, led a force into the heart of the Creek Nation with the intent of totally destroying the Creeks as a fighting force.

Beginning in November 1813, a series of encounters with the Red Sticks culminated in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend on March 27, 1814.  This battle left over 800 Creeks dead and ended the threat.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Tennessee in the War of 1812-- Part 2: The Creek Indians and "Red Sticks"

For decades, the Creek Indians had become increasingly intermingled with the white culture through marriage and the adoption of commercial agriculture.

Just prior to the War of 1812, however, a more traditional faction of creeks, known as the "Red Sticks" began promoting an anti-white campaign inspired by a visit from the great Shawnee chief Tecumseh.  Indian aggression along the frontier, encouraged by Britain and Spain, alarmed American settlers; then an attack on whites and friendly Indians at Fort Mimms near Mobile, Alabama) on August 30, 1813, stirred outraged whites into action.

The Creek War  therefore became intertwined with the War of 1812.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Tennessee in the War of 1812-- Part 1: More of An Expansion Thing

From the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture.

Tennessee proudly gave its support to the United States upon the declaration of the War of 1812 in June 1812, but it seemed unlikely that the landlocked state would see much action.  Plus, being so, United States claims of maritime rights and impressment would have little impact.

However, the thirst for expansion into British-owned Canada in the north and Spanish Florida did bear on Tennessee.  The acquisition of Florida could open economic opportunities along the Gulf of Mexico.

Then, there was the Indian question, the Creeks most notably.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Local DAR Group to restore War of 1812 Monument-- Part 2: Three Phases of Work

The monument reads:  "This shaft bears witness to the heroism of Lieuts. John Campbell, Steve Rector, Jonathan Riggs and John Weaver, Surgeon John Steward, 33 US Regulars and 65 Illinois Rangers who on this spot valiantly battled for their country."

On Wednesday, 108 years after the initial dedication, the DAR group launched a fundraising campaign to restore the monument, which stands in an Illinois state historic site on Campbell's Island, East Moline.

It is expected that $65,000 will be needed to accomplish this.

Three phases have been detailed for the project.

First will replace the broken sidewalk and a protruding stump.  Second will rehabilitate a low wall surrounding the monument.  Phase three will repair the monument and secure and repair the commemorative plaques.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Local DAR Group To Restore War of 1812 Monument in the Quad-Cities- Part 1

From the July 20, 2016, Quad Cities (Ill-Iowa) Dispatch-Argus "Local DAR kicks off drive to restore War of 1812 monument" by Roger Ruthhart.

The Quad-Cities is a living history museum and one of the things that make it really historical is the War of 1812 Battle of Campbell's Island.

Members of the Mary Little Deere Fort Armstrong Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution on Wednesday launched a campaign to restore the monument there for future generations.

The battle took place on July 19, 1814, when a band of Sauk warriors led by Black Hawk attacked U.S. soldiers and their families traveling north on the Mississippi River to reinforce the American garrison at Fort Shelby at Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin.

About 500 Saul warriors allied with the British attacked the First U.S. Regiment of Infantry and a company of Illinois Rangers led by Lt. John Campbell passed near the island.Eight men of tye First Regiment were killed and 16 (including Lt. Campbell) were wounded.  The Rangers lost four killed and 8 wounded.

A monument to one of the War's most western battles was dedicated in 1908, being erected by the State of Illinois and the Moline chapters of the DAR.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

William McHenry, McHenry County's Namesake-- Part 3: Buried at Vandalia, Illinois

From Find-a-Grave.

Birth:  October 3, 1791
Death:  February 3, 1835

William McHenry was an Illinois legislator from White County.

Burial at Old State Cemetery in Vandalia, Illinois.


Saturday, July 23, 2016

William McHenry, McHenry County (Illinois) Namesake-- Part 2: Fought the Indians

In 1811, William McHenry served in the Illinois militia during Tecumseh's War, which culminated in the Battle of Tippecanoe in the Indiana Territory.  In the War of 1812, he participated in the attack on the Indian village at Peoria, which was allied with the British.

After the war, he was a delegate to the Illinois Constitutional Convention in 1818, which led to statehood in 1819.  Then he was elected to the first Illinois House of Representatives.

During the Blackhawk War in 1832, he was a major of the Mounted Spies.  He became ill during the campaigning and was mustered out at age 61.  Immediately, he was elected to the Illinois Senate.

He died in 1835 in a boarding house in Vandalia, Illinois, which was then the capital of Illinois.

When McHenry County was formed in 1836 out of Cook (Chicago) and LaSalle counties and it was named after him.

What's In a Name.  --Brock-Perry

Friday, July 22, 2016

Fort Anne, Lake George and Plattsburgh Get Battlefield Funds

From the June 27, 2016, Post-Star (NY) by Bill Toscone.

Two local battlefields among 20 historic sites were awarded grants from the American Battlefield Protection Program last week.

The Battle of Fort Anne was a part of the 1777 Saratoga Campaign.  Lake George, the site of Fort George, was the site of several battles during the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War.

The City of Plattsburgh was awarded$54,000 to evaluate the needs and uses of six key northern New York battles sites from the Revolutionary War (Vancouver Bay) to the War of 1812 (Crab Island, Plattsburgh Bay, Fort Brown, Fort Moreau and Fort Scott.

SUNY Buffalo Research Foundation received $23,200 for architectural survey of the Battle of Scajaguada Bridge in August 1814 during the War of 1812.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Major William McHenry, McHenry (Illinois) County's Namesake-- Part 1: From Kentucky

From Wikipedia

I had always though McHenry County, Illinois, where we live, was named for Baltimore's Fort McHenry, but just found out a short time ago that it was named for Major William McHenry.

William McHenry was an early Illinois politician and soldier.

He is believed to have been born in 1771 and married Hannah Ruth Blackford in the late 1790s in Logan County, Kentucky.  He served as a lieutenant in Price's Battalion of Mounted Volunteers and participated in thye Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794, near modern day Toledo, Ohio.

McHenry moved from Henderson County, Kentucky, in 1810 and settled in what is now White County, Illinois, along the trail near the old salt works in Shawneetown, Illinois, and Fort Vincennes.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Philip Crecelius-- Part 6: Captain Hartsell's Company

From the  Tngenweb.

It lists a Philip Creselsu as a member of Captain Jacob Hartsell's Co. of the 2nd Regiment East Tennessee Volunteer Militia.

Very likely this is the Philip Crecelius I've been writing about.


Monday, July 18, 2016

Philip Crecelius-- Part 5: Service in War of 1812: Jackson's "Mutiny"

From Free Pages Geneaology.

The 2nd East Tennessee Volunteer Militia consisted of about 700 men and was assigned to fill the ranks at Fort Strother for Andrew Jackson after the December 1813 "mutiny" of his army.  While the regiment was at Fort Strother it comprised half of Jackson's forces until mid-January 1814, when their enlistments were up.

The regiment was used to keep the line of communications open and to guard supply lines.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Philip Crecelius-- Part 4: Moved from Tennessee to Indiana

During the War of 1812, militia were only required to serve ninety days.  Philip Crecelius served from October 12, 1813, to January 12, 1814.  he was paid $8 a month for his service.

Philip Ausmus Crecelius was born April 17, 1794 and enlisted in the 2nd Regiment of East Tennessee Volunteer Militia.

Sometime before 1816, he and his parents moved from Tennessee to Harrison County, Indiana and settled in O'Bannon Woods, where his parents are buried.  he was one of the original landowners in the area.

I wonder if some of the land was payment for his service?


Philip Crecelius-- Part 3: Many Descendants Attended Ceremony

From the June 8, 2016, Clarion (Indiana) News "Daughters Dedicate Pvt. Crecelius' grave."

The dedication took place in the Mt. Eden Cemetery, Eckerly, Indiana.  This was the Daughters of the War of 1812 local unit's 13th grave dedication.

As I mentioned yesterday, Philip Creclius had 17 children and a lot of his descendants were able to attend the ceremony.

One of them was David Myers, his great-great grandson who is a member of the Alabama Society of the War of 1812.  Nine other direct descendants were also in attendance.  Two of them are active in the Johnathan Jennings Chapter Daughters of the War of 1812: Evelyn Jackson and Edith Key.


Friday, July 15, 2016

Philip Crecelius, 2nd East Tennessee Volunteer Militia-- Part 2: Married Twice, Had 17 Children

From the Hastings Tribune.

Philip Crecelius was born in 1794 in Washington County, Tennessee and served during the War of 1812 in the 2nd East Tennessee Volunteer Militia.

His parents moved to what is now southern Indiana's O'Banon Woods in 1811.  he joined them after his service and eventually was married twice and had seventeen children.

He died in 1850 and is buried with his two wives.


2nd Regiment East Tennessee Volunteer Militia-- Part 2

Served from October 1813 to February 1814.  Commanded by Col. William Lillard.  They left Kingston, Tennessee, going through Fort Armstrong and Fort Strother.

They were assigned to replace men who had been part of the so-called mutiny against Andrew Jackson.

They were mostly from Cocke, Grainger, Greenem Hawkins, Jefferson, Sullivan and Washington counties.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

2nd Regiment East Tennessee Volunteer Militia-- Part 1: Some at Battle of Horseshoe Bend

From Freepage geneaology.

The 2nd Regiment of East Tennessee Militia served from January 1814 to May 1814.  It was commanded by Colonel Samuel Bunch who had commanded the 1st regiment of Volunteer Mountain Infantry.  The regiment served under General George Doherty.

Some companies of the regiment fought at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend while others remained at Fort Williams.  Many of the men stayed after the expiration of their service to guard Fort Strother and Fort Williams.

Men in the regiment were mostly from Blount, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Greene, Hawkins, Jefferson, Knox Rhea, Sevier and Washington counties.

Three of the officers were captains James Allen, Amos Burrow and Francis Berry.


Indiana War of 1812 Veteran Receives Final Dedication: Philip Crecelius-- Part 1

From the June 10, 2016, Indiana Public Media News by Sophia Salby.

Private Philip Crecelius was honored with a dedicated grave Sunday in Pateko Township by the members of the Johnathan Jennings Chapter of the United States Daughters of 1812.  They placed a dedicated  marker on his grave in Mt. Eden Cemetery where he was buried in 1850.

This new marker is part of an ongoing project of the chapter to locate and document graves like his.

Private Crecelius was born in Tennessee in 1794 and was in Colonel William Lillard's 2nd Regiment East Tennessee Volunteer militia.  After the war, he settled with his parents in southern Indiana.

Ten direct descendants were present at the ceremony, including a 4th-great grandson currently serving in the U.S. Army.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Some More on Abel P. Upshur

Abel P. Upshur was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1811.  He was a volunteer in the Virginia State militia in the War of 1812, but saw no action.  Also a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1812-1813.

His father, Liileton Upshur,  was a captain in the U.S. Army in the War of 1812 while commanding a company in the 27th Virginia Militia Regiment which was called to duty.

The destroyer USS Abel P. Upshur (DD-193) was named for him.


Two Coincidences in Abel P. Upshur's Death

Two coincidences I find of interest in the U.S. Secretary of State's death in 1843.

First, he was on the USS Princeton, the eventual name of the college he was expelled from for being a leader in the "Great Rebellion" in 1807.

Second, the USS Princeton was commanded by Robert F. Stockton, the son of Richard Stockton who had delivered the speech at Princeton's chapel trying to get the students to back down on their grievances.

Interesting Coincidences.  --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Abel P. Upshur-- Part 3: As Secretary of State, Death

On february 28, 1844, along with U.S. President John Tyler and other dignitaries, Abel P. Upshur was on the Potomac River aboard the new navy steamship USS Princeton, when he and several others were killed in a gun explosion.  He was buried at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C..

Also killed were the Secretary of the Navy, Thomas Gilmer and Beverly Kennon, the Navy's chief of construction.  Twenty others were injured.  President Tyler survived because he was below deck at the time.


Captain Littleton Upshur

On Saturday I mentioned that Abel P. Upshur's father, Littleton Upshur was a War of 1812 officer.

I wasn't able to find out much about him, but this is what I did find.


Captain Littleton Upshur's Company, 27th regiment.  This company had 63 men and was a part of the Virginia militia.

The payroll of it showed that Littleton Upshur, was a captain and was owed pay for 1 month and 29 days.

the 27th Regiment Virginia Militia was from Northampton County and the regiment was commanded by Col. major Major S. Pitts (probably just one Major in the name.)

They served from September 21 to October 28, 1813 and from May 28 to November 1814.


Fort McHenry Stamp-- Part 5: "The Star-Spangled Banner"

Maryland native Francis Scott Key, a 35-year-old lawyer, witnessed the massive display of firepower from the deck of an American flag-of-truce vessel.  he had just completed negotiations with the British for the release of an American prisoner confined aboard a ship in the British fleet.

On the morning of September 14, Key realized that the bombardment had been a failure when he saw the British squadron withdrawing downriver.  The garrison flag was run up over the fort at 9:00 a.m., confirming the post was still in American hands.

Key was so moved that he wrote "The Defence of Fort McHenry" to the tune of an old English song, and it quickly gained wider recognition under the title "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Actually, I always heard he was on a British vessel during the battle and that he wrote it as a poem that someone put to the tune.


Fort McHenry Stamp-- Part 4: Twenty-Five-Hour Bombardment

After the British Army met stiff resistance on land, Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane of the Royal Navy attempted to attack the city by getting past the defenses of Fort McHenry, which was manned by 1,000 troops under the command of Major George Armistead.

For some 25 hours beginning on the morning of September 13, Cochrane's squadron fired more than 1,500 rounds of shells and rockets at the fort, while his ships remained safely out of range of the fort's guns.


Fort McHenry Stamp-- Part 3: George Armistead, the Fort's Commander

On the back of the sheet is written:

Picture of George Armistead who served as the commander of Fort McHenry during the British assault on Baltimore in the War of 1812.


Baltimore was the third largest city in the country and an important commercial hub.  It boasted an energetic militia of some 10,000 citizens who had recently constructed an extensive system of earthworks in preparation for a British assault by land.

The city was also protected by Fort McHenry, a star-shaped fortification built in the 1790s at the narrow entrance to Baltimore's harbor.


Fort McHenry Stamp-- Part 2: Twenty Stamps on Sheet

There are twenty stamps on the sheet.

On the front is written:

The War of 1812: FORT McHENRY

In the summer of 1814, Britain launched an offensive "into the very heart of America," as one British officer put it.

Burning the White House and other public buildings in the nation's capital in August, the British then sailed up the Chesapeake Bay to attack Baltimore, Maryland.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Fort McHenry Stamp-- Part 1: A Mighty Colorful Stamp

Today, I had a letter to mail and went to the post office in Spring Grove and was able to find a flat of Fort McHenry stamps commemorating that battle in the War of 1812.

It is a very colorful stamp showing a group of artillerists around a cannon at the the fort firing at the at the British fleet with all the shells and Congreve rockets coming at them and a huge American flag flying off to the right of them.

I don't know if this is the flag that flew during the battle or the famous one that Francis Scott Key saw flying in the early morning hours of the next day.


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Abel P. Upshur-- Part 2: Secretary of the Navy

His father was Littleton Upshur, a plantation owner, member of the Virginia legislature and a captain in the U.S. Army in the War of 1812.

Abel P. Upshur attended Princeton and Yale Colleges and was expelled from Princeton for his participating in a student rebellion.  From October 11, 1841, to July 23, 1843, he was Secretary of the Navy and during that time introduced the Bureau Systems, regularization of the officer corps, increased Navy appropriations and established the U.S. Navy Observatory and Hydrographic Office.


Abel P. Upshur-- Part 1: Leader of the "Great Rebellion" at Princeton and Later U.S. Secretary of State

From Wikipedia.

I mentioned in earlier posts on Andrew Hunter Holmes that one of the leaders of the "Great Rebellion" at Princeton in 1807 was Abel P. Upshur and that he had gone on to be the Secretary of War in the Tyler administration.


American lawyer, judge and politician from Virginia.  Served as Secretary of the Navy and secretary of State in the Whig administration of President John Tyler.

He was instrumental in negotiating the secret treaty that led to the 1845 annexation of Texas to the United States and also had a key role in it coming in as a slave state.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Port Talbot, Canada-- Part 3: Raided Often

From Wikipedia.

It was established by Thomas Talbot in 1803.

During the War of 1812, several former inhabitants of Port Talbot joined with the Americans and worked for vengeance on Thomas Talbot and conducted several raids on it from across Lake Erie.  Not only did they hit Port Talbot, but also Port Dover and several other locations.

I mentioned earlier that some found Talbot's authoritarian handling of internal affairs at the town offensive and wanted to get back at him.

On May 19, 1814, a small American raiding party under Col. John B. Campbell attacked Port Talbot.  Five days earlier, they had also attacked Port Dover and burned several flour mills, saw mills, distilleries and a significant number of homes.

Other raids on Port Talbot took place in July, August and September.  The September 9 one resulted in the grist mill being burned to the ground.  Also burned were the saw mill, several houses and farms.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Port Talbot National Historic Site, Canada-- Part 2

From Ontario National Historic Sites.

In the previous post I mentioned that Port Talbot, Ontario, became a Canadian National Historic Site in 1923.

Port Talbot was one of the most prosperous communities in Upper Canada in its day.  It was especially known for its good roads.  Thomas Talbot kept out land speculators and attracted hardworking settlers to his community.

But his authoritarian control over his town led to his downfall at the hands of colonial authority.

In Wikipedia, essentially they said that his downfall occurred with the destruction of Port Talbot by attacks made by Americans in the War of 1812 and those made by former residents who hated him.



Port Talbot, Ontario

From Wikipedia.

It was located by where Talbot Creek flows into Lake Erie.  During the War of 1812, the Americans burned it down in a series of raids and it was never rebuilt.It was listed as a Canadian National Historic Site in 1923.


Andrew Holmes Was a Special Forces Pirate Hunter Before Mackinac- Part 2:

Before the war, Andrew Holmes was from a prominent family in Virginia and was a 1799 graduate of Princeton (but I thought he had been expelled for his role in the "Great Rebellion" of 1807.  Perhaps he was only suspended or later reinstated.

  It is said that he killed a man in a duel.  he enlisted and trained as a "Dragoon" in the 24th U.S. Infantry, a cavalry unit.

The War Department sent Holmes and a detachment of dragoons to New Orleans with orders to stop piracy and slave smuggling.  That meant the Lafitte brothers.

Lafitte had built a fortified camp at Barataria Bay.  Holmes and his men eventually captured them.

He was needed in the Detroit area in the War of 1812.  In February 1814, he led an attack on British fortifications at Port Talbot.  He then beat off an attack of 240 British troops at the Battle of Longwoods and was promoted to major after that battle.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Andrew Holmes Was Special Forces Pirate Hunter Before the Battle of Mackinac-- Part 1

From the July 12, 2014, Mackinac Island Town Crier "A Look at History: Fort Holmes Namesake Was Special Forces Pirate Hunter Before Mackinac" by Frank Straus.

Holmes Hill, a rocky mound and rock hazard in Wawashkama Golf Links is named for him as is the former British Fort George on Mackinac Island.  Andrew Hunter Holmes gave his life fighting for the United States in the War of 1812.  He was second in command of the American forces under George Croghan when they attacked Mackinac Island in 1814.

Before he was killed at the Battle of Mackinac, he assisted  the army against the notorious pirate brothers, Pierre and Jean Lafitte who were into smuggling slaves and anything else they could get their hands on in the Gulf of Mexico area.


Monday, July 4, 2016

Andrew Holmes Captures the Notorious Lafitte Brothers-- Part 3: Trial? What Trial?

In the early summer of 1812, Territorial Gov. William C.C. Claiborne sent an Army unit under the command of Captain Andrew Holmes into Barataria to put an end to the Lafitte smuggling and enterprises.  The Lafittes eluded Captain Holmes for months, until it got to be joke with them.

However, their luck ran out and they were captured in mid-November by sheer luck on the part of Holmes.

They were brought back to New Orleans for trial and locked up.  But, they quickly got bail and left prison.

The trial began two weeks later, but neither Jean or Pierre ever showed up.


Andrew Holmes Captures the Notorious Lafitte Brothers-- Part 2: Privateers, Not Pirates

Jean and Pierre Lafitte commanded about 1,000 loyal buccaneers who controlled an area called Barataria, south of New Orleans on the Mississippi River.  No vessel passing upriver or down could do so without passing them.  And, they benefited greatly from this.  They charges passing fees and sometimes just took the ships.

It is said they didn't attack American ships as Jean Lafitte liked the young country's constitutional values.  They considered themselves privateers instead of pirates as most did.

Anyway, Gov. Claiborne had to deal with them.


Friday, July 1, 2016

Andrew Holmes Captures Jean and Pierre Lafitte in 1812-- Part 1

From the U.S. Marshals Service "History-- A Pirate, a Marshal, and the Battle of New Orleans."

What exactly did Andrew Holmes have to do with the pirate Jean Lafitte?

New Orleans was "something of a political enigma at the onset of the War of 1812.  It exhibits the influence of several different cultures, including French, Spanish, Creole, African and British."

Territorial Governor William C.C. Claiborne had his hands full keeping these groups in line.  "Not the least of Governor Claiborne's worries was the powerful and ever-popular Jean Lafitte."


Andrew Hunter Holmes and the Lafitte Brothers in New Orleans

From the Pirates Lafitte by William C. Davis.

This book contains a statement made by Andrew Hunter Holmes made November 19, 1813 during the War of 1812 in the United States vs. Jean Lafitte, Case #0574, MAFW.

Holmes gave several statements, a deposition and submitted to cross-examination.

A copy of the November 19, 1813 deposition is at

Unfortunately, it wasn't transcribed to print and it was too hard to read, but evidently Holmes had dealings with the famous pirate.