Monday, October 16, 2017

No Ontario Town Should Bear the Name of a Racist and Killer-- Part 1: Confederate Hatred Hits Canadian History

From the October 2, 2017 Huff Post by James Winter.

So, the Confederate hatred has reached Canada.

Jeffrey Amherst, of England, wanted to use small pox-infected blankets to eradicate Native American people.

His name is on Amherstburg, Ontario.  Amherstburg with its Fort Malden was a major British base during the War of 1812.

"Towns in the southern United States recently have torn down statues of bigots who promoted slavery."  We kind of know where Mr. Winter stands on the issue.

It would appear that Mr. Winter is a purgemeister.

This History Purge Thing Just Keeps Spreading.  --Brock-Perry

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Col. Samuel Boyer Davis-- Part 2: Built Delamore Place

When Davis helped rescue the family of a French baron from the island of Santo Domingo during a 1792 slave insurrection, he met and fell in love with the baron's daughter Rose and they married.  Later they moved to New Orleans where he became a wealthy landowner.

At the outbreak of the War of 1812, he was commissioned a lieutenant-colonel in the 32nd U.S. Infantry and assigned to the task of defending the entrance to Delaware Bay, which included where he was born, Lewes.

He built an imposing home there he called Delamore Place outside of Wilmington, Delaware.

After the war, he lived in Philadelphia and was a member of the Pennsylvania legislature.

He is buried at the Wilmington & Brandywine Cemetery in Wilmington, Delaware.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Col. Samuel Boyer Davis, Defender of Lewes-- Part 1: A French Connection

From Find-A-Grave.

In my October 3, 2017, blog entry, I mentioned War of 1812 Lewes, Delaware defender Col. Samuel Boyer Davis having lived at Fisher's Paradise house in Lewes.

Some more information on him.

He was born in Lewes, Delaware, December 26, 1765 and died September 5, 1854 in  New Castle County, Delaware.

Davis developed a love of the sea at an early age and made many voyages across the Atlantic to France where he eventually joined the French Navy.

An Interesting Life.  --Brock-Perry

Work Continues On Quad-Cities Monument-- Part 2: Black Hawk Vs. Americans

A cleanup will be held October 11 and they are asking for help from the public.

They are also seeking monetary contributions to repair the low perimeter wall around the monument.

The Battle of Campbell's Island pitted Chief Black Hawk and his Sauk Indians, around 500 of them, against a group of American soldiers in small boats.  Sixteen Americans were killed and it is not known how many Indians.

Lt. John Campbell was in charge of the Americans.

The monument was erected in 1906 by the State of Illinois and  the DAR chapter and is a white granite obelisk with four plaques around the base.  One is a bronze relief sculpture of the battle.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Work Continues on Monument in the Quad Cities-- Part 1

From the September 29, 2017, Quad-Cities Times  "Work continues on War of 1812 monument" by Alma Gaul.

The work on the bas-relief bronze sculpture depicting the Battle of Campbell's Island, created by sculptor Albert Louis Vander Berghen is nearing completion.

Volunteers from the Moline Chapter Mary Little Deere Daughters of the American Revolution have been making headway on the monument, located on Campbell Island in the Mississippi River.  They have also gotten the State of Illinois to blacktop and stripe the parking lot.

The Davey Tree Service has removed a dead tree and there is a new sidewalk around it.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

St. Michael and All Angels Church, England

French prisoners started construction of the church and it was finished by Americans as the Napoleonic Wars were over.  The first service was held in the church 2 January 1814.  Essentially, a lot of the reason the church was built was to provide the prisoners with something to do.

The last American prisoners left Dartmoor 10 February 1816 and the church was closed and locked.

During the time it was open, nearly 1,500 French and 218 Americans died at Dartmoor Prison.

In 1831, the local villagers reopened the church and services were held until 1994 when it was closed and offered for sale, but there were no buyers.  The Church of England's Historic Buildings Trust took it over and the steeple was restored and the structure waterproofed.  Work has also been done on the exterior.

At least it won't be lost.


Dartmoor Prison and St, Michael Church-- Part 2: American Prisoners from Dartmoor Helped Build the Church

American prisoners started arriving at Dartmoor in 1813 and found the prison to be overcrowded, cold and damp.  Disease set in.  One American prisoner described it as, "an incredibly bleak place.  It is either rainy, snowy or foggy the entire year round."

As they were leaving, the couple were told to visit the church "up the road" because "your people helped to build it."  That would be St. Michael and All Angels Church.  So, the Americans who finished the church were from the infamous Dartmoor Prison.


Monday, October 9, 2017

Dartmoor Prison and St. Michael Church-- Part 3: Stained Glass East Window

French and American prisoners from Dartmoor worked side by side to build the Church of St. Michael and All Angels from locally quarried granite and sits atop a high elevation.

There is a stained glass East Window tribute to the Americans who died at Dartmoor Prison in the church's tower.  Some 271 Americans are buried nearby, some in the church they helped build and others at the prison.

The church is not used anymore.  Its graveyard is overgrown.


Dartmoor Prison and St. Michael Church-- Part 1: French, Then American Prisoners

From the Changes of Longitude: Just Go Already Blog.

Two Americans, Larissa and Michael, were visiting Dartmoor Prison on southern England.

Dartmoor is the only English prison museum.  They were told Americans were held there.  They figured perhaps during World War II and were greatly shocked when they heard they were imprisoned there in the War of 1812.  (I had never heard of it until I came across it in an earlier blog entry.)

Dartmoor was built in 1806, in part to get prisoners off the horrific prison ships.  The first prisoners were French from the Napoleonic Wars.  Later, they were Americans from the War of 1812.  The Americans were still considered to be traitors because  of the American Revolution and as such, French prisoners received  far better treatment.

So, this is the connection of the church and prison.


St. Michael and All Angels Church in England-- Part 3: Stained Glass Window from USD1812

One of the church's windows is a beautiful stained glass one by Mayer of Munich which was installed in 1910 in memory of the American prisoners of war who helped build the church.  This window was partially funded by the donation of 250 pounds from the National Society Daughters of the War of 1812 as part of their ongoing work to commemorate those who died in the War of 1812.

The graves of some of those prisoners who died while in captivity are in the graveyard of the church.

The church was declared redundant in 1995 and vested by the Trust in 2001.  It is still consecrated and used for service occasionally.


Sunday, October 8, 2017

St. Michael and All Angels Church in England-- Part 2: Built By French and American Prisoners

Permission to construct a church at the site was given in 1812 by the Lord Commissioners of the Admiralty.  (You'd think the Anglican Church would be the one to ok the construction of the church.)  It was designed by architect Daniel Alexander and was initially built by French prisoners of the Napoleonic Wars and finished by Americans captured in the War of 1812.

It is the only church in England to be built by prisoners.

The Americans were held until 1816 and then the church closed.

I had to wonder at this point, was the church itself a prison or was there a nearby prison?


Friday, October 6, 2017

St. Michael and All Angels Church, England-- Part 1: Built By American Prisoners at Dartmoor Prison

In the last post, I mentioned the USD1812  (United States Daughters of the War of 1812) as supporting the preservation of St. Michael and All Angels Church in England.  Why would they be supporting an English church, I wondered?

Some more research was needed.

From Wikipedia

The Anglican Church of St. Michael (sometimes known as St. Michael and All Angels) in Princetown, Devon, England, was built between 1810 and 1814 and is on the National Heritage Trust for England and is built of granite.

And, here is the really interesting fact:  It was built by French and American prisoners.


Another War of 1812 Marker-- Part 2: Supports Old Fort Niagara

The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at the cemetery on Angling Road in Corfu, New York, on October 7.

The chapter of the USD1812 marks grave site, assists veteran functions and donates to and supports various museums including Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown.  They also support the preservation of St. Michael and All Angels Church in England which were built by War of 1812 prisoners.

Membership in the USD1812 is open to all with an ancestor who gave civil, military or naval service to the United States between 1784 and 1815.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Another War of 1812 Marker Dedicated-- Part 1: Hiram Sampson

From the September 27, 2017, Lockport (NY) Union-Sun & Journal "Daughters of 1812 ceremony open to the public."

The National Society United States Daughters of 1812, Niagara Frontier Chapter will dedicate a grave marker for Hiram Sampson on October 7 at Hillside Cemetery in Corfu.  The public is invited.

Chapter associate member Christine Holley is a direct descendant and will talk about him.


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Fisher's Paradise in Lewes, Delaware: Revolutionary War, War of 1812 For Sale, $2.3 Million

From the September 27, 2017, Delaware Online  "Fisher's Paradise: Lewes home to Revolutionary spy."

It is on the canal in Lewes.  Major Henry Fisher, the local "eyes and ears" of the Continental Congress during the American Revolution lived here at 624 Pilottown Road from his boyhood to death in 1792 at age 57.

During the Revolution, Fisher "monitored and bedeviled British ships by removing navigation buoys and erecting underground wooden "spike strips" and darkening the Cape Henlopen Lighthouse.

The home was then sold to Colonel Samuel Boyer Davis, who lived there while he headed the defense of Lewes during the War of 1812.

And the 2,800 square foot home on an acre of land is on sale for $2.3 million.

Got $2.3 Million Lying Around?  --Brock-Perry

War of 1812 Grave Marked in Arkansas

From the September 26, 2017, Hot Springs (Ark.) Village Voice "Veteran of the War of 1812 grave marked."

The Baseline-Meridian Chapter United States Daughters of 1812 (USD1812) marked and dedicated another War of 1812 veteran's grave in Arkansas.  He was Jesse McClain and his grave is in Norris Cemetery in Yocana, Polk County.

The USD1812 was assisted by the DeSoto Trace, Sons of the American Revolution.

The USD1812 has identified approximately 750 War of 1812 veterans buried in Arkansas so far and less than 200 have been marked as veterans of the War of 1812.

More grave markings are planned for the remainder of this year.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Battle of the Thames-- Part 8: Consequences for Henry Proctor

**  Henry Proctor was relegated to minor commands for the rest of the war.

**  His career was essentially over.

**  In May 1814, he was charged with negligence and improper conduct,

**  His court martial was delayed because of operational reasons.

**  It was finally held in December and the judge chastised him for his conduct of the retreat and he was suspended from rank and pay for six months.

**  He never held a senior command again.


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Battle of the Thames-- Part 7: Consequences

**  Proved to the First Nations that Britain had a lack of resolution toward them.

**  The coalition of First Nations Indians collapsed without Tecumseh and Stiahta.

**  Peace agreements were signed between Harrison representing the U.S. government and various tribes in a move to divide and nullify Britain's chief ally in the war, the First Nations.

**  Most of the prisoners the Americans took were interned in an encampment at Sanduskey, Ohio, and suffered greatly.


Friday, September 29, 2017

Battle of the Thames-- Part 6: Casualties

A total of 246 British soldiers escaped, led by Henry proctor.  They retreated all the way to Lake Ontario and left behind 606 killed and wounded.  An estimated 33 Aboriginals were killed.

American losses were 7 killed and 22 wounded.  Harrison reported that  most of the American casualties came from the Aboriginals.

Instead of pursuing Proctor, Harrison returned to Detroit.


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Battle of the Thames-- Part 5: Collapse of the British Forces

Harrison concentrated his main force in the center with the mounted Kentucky riflemen  under Johnson riding hard and charging the woods.  The British regulars broke quickly under fire and many surrendered, with the rest, including Proctor, running off.

The Kentuckians dismounted and engaged the Indians in the woods.

Tecumseh was killed as was warrior chief Stiahta (also known as Stayeghtha and Roundhead of the Wyandots).  Without those two capable leaders,dead, the Aboriginal will to resist collapsed and they joined the British in retreating.


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Battle of the Thames-- Part 4: Proctor Was Found Wanting of Leadership

Henry Proctor's retreat vegan 27 September 1813.

Major General William Henry Harrison, future U.S. president, led his American force cautiously following the retreating British and Indians and was soon joined by 500 mounted riflemen from Kentucky.  Proctor was "a slow and uninspired leader."

He did little to obstruct the American advance.  "Worse, Proctor's command of battle tactics were soon tested and found wanting."

"After a slow and disorderly withdrawal," Proctor turned and made a stand near Moraviantown with only a single 6-pdr. artillery piece with no ammunition.  The Aboriginals were in a swamp on the British right.  Tecumseh rode by the British soldiers, shaking the hand of each one to bolster their courage.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Battle of the Thames (Moraviantown)-- Part 3: Tecumseh's Distrust of the British

From the Canadian Encyclopedia.

Fought October 5, 1813.

This account was not too friendly toward British commander Henry Proctor.

After the Battle of Lake Erie in September, Henry Proctor saw the need to withdraw from the Detroit  area as he was cut off from supplies and reinforcements now that the Americans had control of Lake Erie.  Also, he was badly outnumbered.

Shawnee War Chief Tecumseh contested the decision to retreat.  His warriors were eager to fight.  Also, he feared that the British would betray the trust of the First Nations as they had done in the past.

In addition, he feared this would also put Aboriginal settlements west of Detroit in danger from American retaliation.


Monday, September 25, 2017

Canada's Fairfield on the Thames Nat. Hist. Site-- Part 2

The site is referred to as Old Fairfield and Hat Hill Cemetery.  It was destroyed by an invading American force after the Battle of the Thames, 5 October 1813.

The Village of Fairfield was founded in 1792 by fleeing Indians from the persecution they were getting in the United States after they refused to take sides during the American Revolution.  They had been converted to Christianity by German-speaking Moravian missionaries.

The largest of the group who settle in Fairfield, also called Moraviantown or Moravian Town. were the Delaware Indians.  Hat Hill cemetery was founded at the same time.

The village stood for 21 years until the British force and their Indian allies were defeated at the Battle of the Thames, also called the Battle of Moravian Town.

After the battle,  the Americans accused the pacifist residents of Fairfield  of hiding British officers.  A search didn't find any hidden British officers, but the village was plundered anyway and burnt to the ground after the residents were allowed to escape.

The village was subsequently rebuilt on the other side of the Thames River.


Canada's Fairfield on the Thames National Historic Site-- Part 1

From Canada's Historic Places.

I was looking for information from the Canadian side of the battle and found this site.

Fairfield on the Thames National Historic Site of Canada.  Recognized May 16, 1945.

Fairfield was established in 1792 on the north bank of the Thames River in what is today Ontario, Canada.  It is between present-day cities of Thamesville and Bothwell, Ontario.

There are no remains of the former village of Fairfield.

It was founded in 1792 for Aboriginal refugees and Moravian missionaries from Ohio.

The site has a large plot of land with a cemetery, the Fairfield Museum, a plaque and cairn erected by the Historical Sites and Monuments Board of Canada in 1948.

I had to look up cairn.  It is a heap of stones piled up as a memorial or landmark.

Learn Something Every Day.  --Brock-Perry

Friday, September 22, 2017

Battle of the Thames-- Part 14: Simon Kenton and William Whitley

**  Also with William Henry Harrison was Brigadier General Simon Kenton, renowned frontiersman and scout and a veteran of Wayne's Legion.  Like Harrison, he had fought Tecumseh in 1792 and 1793, but arrived on the battlefield too late to fight.

**  William Whitley was one of the most colorful Kentuckians who had built the first brick house in the state.  He enlisted as a private to fight in the War of 1812 at age 64.

**  Whitley died in the action, and like Tecumseh, had a premonition of his death.

**  Years later, his relatives claimed it was William Whitley who had actually killed Tecumseh.


The Battle of the Thames-- Part 13: Indian Strength and Overall Strength

**  The Indian contingent in Henry Proctor's force were commanded by Tecumseh and his deputy Oshawahnah, Chief of the Chippewa.

**  There were braves from the Shawnee, Ottawa, Delaware, Wyandot, Sac, Fox, Kickapoo, Winnebago, Potawatome and Creeks with him.  There were a total of 500 Indians in all.

**  Altogether, Proctor had between 950 and 1000 men.  The Americans outnumbered him by a three-to-one margin.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Battle of the Thames-- Part 12: Proctor's Force

**  Proctor had only a single brass 6-pdr. field piece cannon.

**  Lt. Col. Augustus Washburton commanded the British regulars and had been a captain in the elite 60th Foot, known as the Royal American Regiment prior to the Revolutionary War.

**  Proctor also had 20 Canadian Light Dragoons under Captain Thomas Colemen who served primarily as couriers during the campaign and battle.

**  There were a dozen men from the 10th Foot and some provincial dragoons.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Battle of the Thames-- Part 11: A Family Affair for the Johnsons

Richard M. Johnson was the head of the 3rd Regiment Mounted Riflemen that he had organized.  His rank was colonel.  I have written a lot about him earlier.

Along with him in his regiment, he had his brother James Johnson.

And James Johnson had his two sons with him:  Edward, 17 and William, 15.


The Battle of the Thames-- Part 10: The Battle of Moraviantown and "Old King's Mountain"

**  Called the Battle of Moraviantown by the British and Canadians.

**  William Henry Harrison had with him in the campaign 120 regulars of the newly-formed 27th U.S. Infantry, 260 Indians and a corps of Kentucky volunteers consisting o foot soldiers and mounted infantry under the command of Major General Isaac Shelby.

**  Major General Isaac Shelby was 66-years-old and had the nickname "Old King's Mountain" because of his victory there during the American Revolution.

**  He led five brigades of buckskin-clad infantry men.

**  Also, technically under his command, but more often operating as an independent unit were the men of the 3rd Regiment Mounted Riflemen under the command of "War Hawk" Congressman Richard M. Johnson.


Battle of the Thames-- Part 9: Thamesville and Moraviantown

**  The site of the battle is near present-day Thamesville, Ontario.

**  During the battle, Henry Proctor fought with the Thames River on his left flank.

**  Moraviantown was established in 1729 by the Delaware Indians who had converted to Christianity by the Moravian missionaries.  By October 1813, it had 100 homes, a meeting house, school house and a common garden.


Monday, September 18, 2017

The Battle of the Thames-- Part 8: Tecumseh's Premonition

From History Net.

**  The night before the battle, Tecumseh told the other Indian leaders, "Brother warriors, we are about to enter into an engagement from which I shall  never return.  My body will remain on the field of battle.'

He then gave his sword Proctor had given him to another Indian and said, "When my son becomes a noted warrior, give him this."

He wore his buckskin outfit with ostrich feathers on his head and medal around his neck.


Friday, September 15, 2017

The Battle of the Thames-- Part 7: The Aftermath

The United States now had effective control of the Northwest Frontier for the rest of the war.

With Tecumseh's death, much of the Indian threat in the region also was eliminated.  William Henry Harrison was able to conclude truces with many of the tribes.

Harrison proved to be a skilled and popular leader, but he resigned the following summer after disagreements with Secretary of War John Armstrong.


Battle of the Thames-- Part 6: Who Killed Tecumseh?

The circumstances of Tecumseh's death are not known for sure.  Evidently, there were no people around the action that took his life.

Stories quickly circulated that Richard Johnson had killed him.  However, Johnson never personally claimed the credit, nor did he deny it.  But he definitely used it to his political advantage.

Credit for killing Tecumseh is also given to a Private William Whitley.  I'll see if I can find out some more information on him.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Battle of the Thames-- Part 5: Losses

The Americans pressed on after the retreating Indians and burned the Indian village of Moraviantown despite the fact that the Christian Munsee inhabitants had taken no part in the battle.

Despite the victory, Harrison did not follow Proctor's force and returned to Detroit, citing the fact that his troops' enlistments were beginning to end.

The Americans lost between 10-27 killed and 15-54 wounded.  British losses were between 12-18 killed, 22-35 wounded and 566-579 captured.  Tecumseh's Indians had between 16-33 killed including himself and Wyandot Chief Roundhead.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

And, All This Started With Ann Stokes, Black Nurse in the Civil War

I had never heard of Richard M. Johnson before, but he has a very interesting story as you have been reading over the last two weeks.

Ann Stokes was the reason I found him.  She was one of the first women ever to be in the U.S. Navy, noteworthy in itself.  But, she also was "contraband," a runaway slave.  So, not only was she one of the first women in the Navy, she was also one of the first black women.  She was also the first woman to receive a Navy pension for her service, not her husband's.

I wrote about her in several posts in my Running the Blockade Civil War Navy blog if you want to find out more.

She spent her latter years in the really small town of Belknap, Illinois, and died there.  I can't find out where she was buried.

Population of Belknap in 2000 was 133.  It is in Johnson County, pop. 2010 12,382.  But what got me was that it was named after Richard M. Johnson in 1812, who was then a Kentucky Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives and commanded a Kentucky regiment in the War of 1812 and at the Battle of the Thames and claimed to have killed Indian leader Tecumseh in hand-to-hand combat.  He later became U.S. vice president.

Well, I just had to find out more about this interesting fellow.

And, So It Was.  --Brock-Perry

Battle of the Thames-- Part 4: British Regulars and Tecumseh's Indians Overwhelmed

James Johnson's force quickly overwhelmed the British regulars in less than ten minutes.  The Kentuckians and Paull's regulars drove the British off and captured Proctor's one cannon.  Proctor was among those who fled.

To the north, Richard Johnson attacked Tecumseh and led a forlorn hope of 20 men to draw Indian fire.  He ordered his men to dismount, but he remained in the saddle and became a perfect target.  He was wounded five times and Tecumseh was killed.  Shelby ordered his men to advance to Johnson's aid.

As Shelby came up, Indian resistance collapsed as word of Tecumseh's death spread among his warriors.  They fled into the woods, pursued closely by cavalry under Major David Thompson.

This was a far different result than what took place back in August 1812 at Detroit.

The Commander Leading the Retreat.  --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Battle of the Thames-- Part 3: Johnson Splits His Force

William Henry Harrison placed Richard Johnson's troops along the river and his regulars inland.  He initially intended to launch his main attack with his infantry, but changed his plans when he discovered men of the British 41st Foot deployed as skirmishers.  He had some infantry defend his left flank from attack by Tecumseh's Indians.

Richard Johnson was ordered to attack the British main line.  Johnson split his force into two battalions and planned to lead one against Tecumseh, while his younger brother, Lt. Col. James Johnson led the other against the British regulars

James Johnson's men charged down the River Road with Colonel George Paull's 27th U.S. Infantry in support.


The Battle of the Thames-- Part 2: Major General Isaac Shelby

Proctor's line was interrupted by a small swamp between the British regulars and Tecumseh's men.  Tecumseh lengthened his line into he swamp and pushed it forward so they could fire into the flank of the American force if it advanced on the regulars.

On October 5, Harrison approached with the U.S. 27th Infantry Regiment and a large corps of Kentucky volunteers led by Major General Isaac Shelby.  Shelby was a veteran of the American Revolution and had commanded troops at the Battle of King's Mountain in 1780 during that war.

There were also five brigades of infantry as well as Richard Johnson's 3rd Regiment of Mounted Riflemen.


Monday, September 11, 2017

In Observance of 9-11

In observance of 9-11, all seven of my working blogs will be dedicated to this sad moment in United States history.  (I still can't get my Second Civil War Again blog working.)

Sixteen years later, lest we forget.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

The Battle of the Thames-- Part 1: Chasing Proctor

With all the writing about Richard M. Johnson at this battle and other references, here is the Thought Co.  account of the battle.

After the Battle of Lake Erie, the British withdrew from Fort Malden, Upper Canada (near Detroit).  William Henry Harrison reoccupied Detroit and Sandwich.  He left garrisons at each and took his 3,700 men in pursuit of Proctor's British forces, pressing hard after him.

Proctor reached the Christian Native American settlement of Moraviantown on October 4, 1813, and turned to fight.  He had with him 1,300 men.  He placed his regulars, mostly of the 41st Regiment of Foot and one cannon on the left along the Thames River.


Friday, September 8, 2017

Richard M. Johnson-- Part 11: Honor For War Service

On April 4, 1818, by an Act of Congress, it was requested that the president of the United States present Richard Johnson with a sword in honor of his "daring and distinguished valor" at the Battle of the Thames.  This made him one of only 14 military officers presented a sword by Congress before the Civil War.

In August 1814, the British attacked, captured and burned down many buildings in Washington, D.C..  Congress formed a committee to investigate the circumstances and Richard Johnson became the chairman of it.  he delivered the committee's final report.

The Treaty of Ghent ended the war, even as Johnson was preparing to return to Kentucky to raise another military unit.

After the war, he turned his attention to issues like securing pensions for widows and orphans of the War of 1812 and funding internal improvements in the West.

I am only taking his story up to here, but it continues to be of interest after that.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Richard M. Johnson-- Part 10: The Battle of the Thames Marked the End of the War in the Northwest

Richard Johnson fell unconscious after the duel with Tecumseh and was taken from the battlefield,  He had been wounded five times and twenty other bullet hit his horse and gear.

But, the War in the Northwest was over after that.

William Henry Harrison withdrew to Detroit instead of following Henry Proctor's British force.  Johnson recovered from his battle scars except for a crippled hand.

He was still suffering from his wounds when he returned to the U.S. House of Representatives in February 1814.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Richard M. Johnson-- Part 9: Who Killed Tecumseh?

The Indians eventually broke and fled into the swamp.  During this time Tecumseh was killed.  Some say that Richard Johnson killed him, but others believe that someone else did.

Richard Johnson, though, was credited with killing Tecumseh and used that reputation to further his political career.  Indian reports after the battle had Tecumseh being killed by a man on horseback and Richard Johnson was one of the few men mounted in that part of the battlefield (he had his men dismount and Shelby's men were infantry.

Johnson had been wounded four times and had been shot in the shoulder by an Indian chief advancing toward him to tomahawk him (Tecumseh?).

But, Johnson then fired his pistol, killing the Indian instantly.  After the battle Tecumseh's body was found near Johnson's hat and scabbard and had been shot from above (from horseback) and hit by a round of what Johnson usually loaded into his pistol: 2 buckshot and a pistol ball.


Richard M. Johnson-- Part 8: The Battle of the Thames

Johnson's force was the first to attack at the Battle of the Thames.  One battalion under Johnson's older brother, James Johnson, engaged the 800 British regulars.  At the same time, the rest of Richard Johnson's battalion attacked 1500 Indians led by Tecumseh.

James Johnson's attack was aided by a heavy tree cover which broke up the British volley.  Three-fourths of the British regulars were killed or captured.

The Indians put up a much harder fight.  Richard Johnson ordered a suicide squad attack by 20 men who were to ride forward, draw the Indian fire and then Johnson would attack with the rest of his force as they were reloading.  But the ground in front of the Indians was too swampy for a cavalry attack so he ordered his men to dismount and hold the Indians where they were until Shelby's infantry came up and attacked.


Monday, September 4, 2017

Richard M. Johnson-- Part 7: Leading Up to the Battle of the Thames

The British, under General Henry Proctor withdrew to the northeast from Fort Malden.  Tecumseh and his warriors covered the British retreat.  Gen. Harrison's American troops stayed after him, with Richard Johnson's soldiers keeping the Indians occupied.

Johnson had been called back from a raid on the Kaskaskia Indians.  Johnson's cavalry defeated Tecumseh's main force on September 29 and captured the British supply trains on October 3 and this became one of the factors that caused Proctor to stop his retreat and make a stand and fight at the Battle of the Thames on October 5, 1813.

One of Johnson's slaves, Daniel Chinn, accompanied him.  I can't find out much about him, but he might have been Johnson's common-law wife's brother.


Saturday, September 2, 2017

Richard M. Johnson-- Part 6: New Indian Fighting Tactics

He also developed a new tactical system for his troops.  Whenever a group of them encountered the enemy, they would dismount, take cover and hold the enemy in place.  All groups of his men not in contact with the enemy would then ride as quickly as possible to the sound of firing, dismount and surround the enemy.

Between May and September 1813, they raided throughout the Northwest, burning war supplies in Indian villages and surrounding Indian warriors and either killing and scattering them.

In September 1813, the Battle of Lake Erie took place and afterwards the Americans had control of Lake Erie.  The British Army was at Fort Malden (now Amherstville, Ontario) and out of supplies and cut off.


Richard M. Johnson-- Part 5: His Mounted Riflemen

Johnson returned to Congress in late fall 1812, after his unit was disbanded.  With his military experience fresh in his mind, he proposed a plan to defeat  the British Indian allies with mounted riflemen.  They could move quickly, carry their own supplies and live off the land and woods.

He submitted these plans to President Madison and Secretary of War John Armstrong.  They approved the plan and referred it to General William Henry Harrison.

He left Washington, D.C., just before Congress adjourned, went to Kentucky and raised 1,000 men for his mounted force.  These men and Johnson were officially under control of Kentucky Governor Isaac Shelby, but essentially operated independently.

Johnson put his force through much training, drill and discipline.


Friday, September 1, 2017

Richard M. Johnson-- Part 4: War Hawk and Colonel

The War of 1812 was a received a lot of support from the people of Kentucky who feared the British would stir up the Indians.  Richard Johnson became a War Hawk, along with Henry Clay.  These were men in Congress who were pushing for a war with Britain.

After the declaration of war in June 1812, Johnson returned to Kentucky to recruit volunteers.  He recruited 300 men and was elected their major.  Then his group merged with another one and he was elected colonel.

His command was supposed to join General Hull at Detroit, but Hull surrendered before they got there.  He then reported to General William Henry Harrison, the territorial Governor of Indiana, who ordered him to relieve Fort Wayne in the northeastern part of the state which was under attack by the Indians..  Johnson and his men reached the fort on September 18, 1812 and lifted the siege.

They then returned to Kentucky and disbanded, burning Potawatomi villages along the Elkhart River on their way.


Thursday, August 31, 2017

USS Niagara-- Part 6: More Reconstruction

The 1913 reconstruction, without the original plans, was not very accurate to the period.  The hull of the Niagara was launched in 1943, without its masts and then placed in a concrete cradle in 1951.

Dry rot was discovered throughout every part of the ship and it was determined that a complete reconstruction was needed.  Funds were given by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to make the USS Niagara presentable for the sesquicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie in 1963, including rigging and cannons.

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Richard M. Johnson-- Part 3: Turning Political

Richard Johnson was born in Virginia, but his family moved to Kentucky when he was very young..  This still being frontier, he received no formal education until he was 15 and entered Transylvania University in Kentucky.  He was admitted to the bar in 1802, at age 22.

When his father died, he inherited an octoroon slave named Julia Chinn who became essentially his common-law wife.

In 1804, he entered politics and was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives, even though he was just 23 (Kentucky law had minimum age at 24), but he was so popular, his age was overlooked.  In 1806, he was elected as a Democrat-Republican to the U,S, House of Representatives.  This, even though he had not yet attained the minimum age 25 (but he was that old when he took his seat).

Age Is Just a Numbers Thing for Richard.  --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Richard M. Johnson-- Part 2: Killed Tecumseh

Richard M. Johnson was the only vice president ever elected by the U.S. Senate under Amendment 12.  He was also U.S. Representative and Senator from Kentucky.  His political career began and ended in the Kentucky House of Representatives.

Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, he allied with fellow Kentuckian Henry Clay as a member of the War hawks, those who supported having a war with Great Britain.

Commissioned as a colonel in the Kentucky Militia, he commanded a regiment of mounted volunteers from 1812-1813.  He and his brother James served with General William Henry Harrison in the Battle of the Thames in Upper Canada and some reports had him killing the famed Shawnee Chief Tecumseh at this battle which he later used to his political advantage.


Monday, August 28, 2017

Richard M. Johnson-- Part 1: Kentucky Politician, Vice President and Killed Tecumseh

From Wikipedia.

I have been writing about Ann Bradford Stokes in my Running the Blockade Civil War Naval Blog.  She served on the hospital ship USS Red Rover during the Civil War, one of the first women to serve on a U.S. naval ship.  She also became the first woman to receive a pension based on her wartime service.  She was also a black woman and former slave.

She died in the town of Belknap, Illinois, in 1903, which is in Johnson County, named for this man.

I wrote about that today and am looking to see where her grave is and whether or not it is marked (but have been unsuccessful so far).

Richard Mintor Johnson was born October 17, 1788, apparently in Virginia, and died November 19, 1850.  He was a War of 1812 leader and the 9th vice president of the United States, serving under Martin Van Buren (1837-1841).

I'd never heard of Him.  --Brock-Perry

Friday, August 25, 2017

USS Niagara-- Part 5: Efforts at Restoration

The City of Erie transferred ownership of the vessel to the newly formed USS Niagara Foundation in 1929.  They were set up to restore it and make it the centerpiece of a museum.

However, the Great Depression forced the State of Pennsylvania to take over.  Two years later the state gave $50,000 for another restoration in 1931.  In 1938, the state stopped funding the ship.  It was transferred to the Pennsylvania Historical Commission and it became a WPA project.

The commission contracted Howard I. Chapelle to restore the Niagara and he used plans for period ships built by Noah Brown like the USS Saratoga.

Very little of the original USS Niagara remained by this time.  What hadn't rotted had been sold off as souvenirs.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Washington, D.C., Invaded 203 Years Ago Today

In 1814, during the War of 1812, British forces invaded the United States' capital, Washington, D.C..

They set fire to the Capitol (which was still under construction) and the White House and other public buildings.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

USS Niagara-- Part 4: Raised Again in 1913 For Centennial of Battle of Lake Erie

For the centennial of the Battle of Lake Erie in 1913, the Niagara was again raised in April 1913.  It was found to be in good enough condition to be rebuilt.  But that was made difficult because of a lack of the original plans.

The restored USS Niagara was launched 7 June with a new bowsprit, rigging and reproduction cannons.

From mid-July to mid-September of that year, the Niagara was towed to various Great Lakes ports, including Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit, Buffalo and Cleveland.  The USS Wolverine, the Navy's first iron-hulled warship towed it.

Ownership of the ship was transferred to the City of Erie in 1917.

It was docked and allowed to deteriorate.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

USS Niagara-- Part 3: Sunk, Raised and Sunk Again

The USS Niagara was built by Daniel Dobbins, who also built the USS Porcupine.  In September 1812, he traveled to Washington, D.C. to warn the government about the vulnerability of the Great Lakes.  On 15 September he was authorized to build 4 gunboats for the protection of Lake Erie

The construction of these four ships was largely overseen by Noah Brown, a noted naval architect.

After the war, the Queen Charlotte, Detroit and Lawrence were sunk for their preservation in Misery Bay by Presque Isle.  The Niagara was kept afloat to be used as a receiving ship.  It was sunk in 1820 when the naval station at Presque Isle closed.

Benjamin H. Brown of Rochester, New York, bought all four ships in 1825 and then he sold them to George Miles of Erie, Pennsylvania who raised them to use as merchant ships, but he found the Niagara and Lawrence had holds that were too small and they were in such bad shape that he allowed them to sink again..


Monday, August 21, 2017

USS Niagara-- Part 2: Mounted Twenty Guns

Ordered 31 December 1812.  Launched 4 June 1813.  Sunk 1820.  Raised March 6, 1913.  Restored 1913, 1931, 1943, 1963, 1988.  Homeport: Erie, Pennsylvania.

Class-type :  Niagara-class, snow-brig.

110 ' 8", beam 32', 9 feet draft.

1813:  492 tons burden, 155 crew

Armament:  Eighteen 32-pdr. carronades, two 12-pdr long guns.  (Long guns had more distance than carronades)


USS Niagara (1813)-- Part 1: Second Flagship of Perry at the Battle

From Wikipedia.

Snow brig, square rigged vessel, wooden hulled, with two masts.  A snow-brig has a snow or try-sail mast located behind the main mast.

It was the relief flagship for Oliver Hazard Perry at the Battle of Lake Erie after his USS Lawrence was too smashed to continue fighting.  It is certified for sail training by the U.S. Coast Guard and as such is the SSV Niagara.  It is usually docked behind the Erie Maritime Museum in Erie, Pennsylvania.  It often travels the Great Lakes during summers.

It was constructed 1812-1813 to protect  the vulnerable American shore of Lake Erie and played a pivotal role in the Battle of Lake Erie.


Saturday, August 19, 2017

U.S. Navy Ships at the Battle of Lake Erie-- Part 2: Long Guns and Carronades

Name--   classification---  armament--   fate

Long guns are regular cannons and good for long range firing.

CALEDONIA--  brig--   2 long guns, 1 carronade--  1830 either sank or was dismantled

NIAGARA--  brig--  2 long guns, 18 carronade--  present day used as a sailing school.  (Original ship?)

SOMERS--   schooner--   1 long gun, 1 carronade--   unknown

PORCUPINE--   schooner--  1 long gun--    1873 beached

TIGRESS--   schooner--  1 long gun--  1815 sunk

TRIPPE--  sloop--   1 long gun--  1813 burnt by British

Totals:  9 ships--  15 long guns, 39 carronades


Thursday, August 17, 2017

U.S. Navy Ships At the Battle of Lake Erie, September 10, 1813

From the National Park Service.

Sunce I have been writing about the USS Porcupine, these were the U.S. ships at the battle:

Name--  classification--  armament--  fate

SCORPION---  schooner---  1 long gun, 1 carronade---  Broken up 1831

ARIEL---  schooner---  4 long guns---  unknown

LAWRENCE---  brig--  2 long guns, 18 carronades--=  1876 burnt in a fire

More to Come.  --Brock-Perry

USS Porcupine-- Part 4: Sank and Raised

The Porcupine/Caroline made one last sail into Spring Lake, Michigan, where it was abandoned in 1843.  Soon after that it sank at the foot of 4th Street near the Johnston Brothers Boiler Works.

It was raised in 1901 by Charles G. Butthouse of Ferrysburg.  There is a photo accompanying the article captioned "Remains of 'Porcupine' In the Yard of Mr. Bolthouse, Ferrysburg, Mich."  So, it appears there has been a misprint on his name.

Pieces of the Porcupine were sent to Detroit and Put-In-Bay for the centennial of the Battle of Lake Erie.  Other pieces ended up in museums in Grand Rapids, Grand Haven and Lansing, Michigan.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

USS Porcupine-- Part 3: U.S. Coastal Survey and Revenue Cutter Service

From the Michigan Shipwreck Research Association.

In 1816, the Porcupine was commissioned as a survey vessel in the newly formed United States Coastal Survey Office, and worked the border between the United States and Canada under the command of War of 1812 hero Stephen Champlin (he commanded the USS Scorpion at the Battle of Lake Erie)..  In 1819, it entered the United States Revenue Cutter Service.

In 1825 it was sold by the government and five years later renamed the Caroline.  It had several owners over the rest of its career, including Ferry & Sons of Grand Haven, Michigan, and was used extensively in the lumber trade until she became unseaworthy.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

USS Porcupine-- Part 2: More Service Afterwards

The USS Porcupine was anchored at the head of the Niagara River 12 August 1814, along with the USS Ohio and USS Somers, when they were attacked by 6 or 8 boats manned with English seamen and Canadian militia.  The other two were captured, but the Porcupine escaped.

It remained in Lake Erie providing transportation and support William Henry Harrison's army at the battle to recover Detroit and the Battle of the Thames.  It was still commanded by George Senat when it transported supplies to Harrison's Army to the north of the Thames and went up the Thames to provide artillery and logistics support.

It was laid up in Erie, Pennsylvania, until 1819, when it was refitted and turned over to the Collector of Revenue at Detroit 2 June.

Returned to the Navy 2 August 1821, it remained inactive until sold 8 August 1825.  Afterwards it served as a cargo vessel on the Great Lakes until it was determined to be unseaworthy and beached on the sand at Spring Lake near Grand Haven, Michigan.


Monday, August 14, 2017

USS Porcupine-- Part 1: At the Battle of Lake Erie

From Wikipedia.

60 tons, 60 feet length, 25 crew.  Mounted one 32-pdr and later two 12-pdrs.

Launched May 1813 and commissioned spring 1813.  Allowed to sink in Spring Lake at Ferrysburg, Michigan, in 1873.

It was a gunboat schooner built by the famed Adam and Noah Brown shipbuilders at Presque Isle, Pa (by Erie, Pa.)  an was a part of Oliver Hazard Perry's fleet at the Battle of Lake Erie.

At the battle, Acting master George Senat was in command of it on 10 September 1813.

After the battle, the Porcupine was used as a hospital ship for wounded and captured British sailors.


Friday, August 11, 2017

USS Porcupine Project-- Part 3: The Original Fought At the Battle of Lake Erie

The 7,800 pound keel was welded to the Porcupine's hull last year.  Shipwrights have changed the shape of the Porcupine's bow, stern and transom, installed a rudder and have raised the free board, giving the ship more height above the waterline as well as additional internal room and more deck space than the original USS Porcupine.

The first USS Porcupine was built under the direction of Daniel Dobbins in the spring of 1813 near the foot of present-day Sassafras Street.  It fought at the Battle of Lake Erie that year near Put-In-Bay, Ohio in September 1813.

Keith and Kathy Palmerton donated the Porcupine's 40-foot fiberglass hull in September 2014 after learning about the Maritime Center and its work with inner city and underserved children.

Always Like It When a Historic Ship Is Rebuilt.  --Brock-Perry

USS Porcupine Receives $100,000 Donation-- Part 2

The Maritime Center has raised $400,000 of the estimated $810,000 cost of the Porcupine.  Larson has been making math textbooks from 6th grade to college calculus for nearly four decades and currently provides books for around five million students.

The Porcupine's primary function will be to serve as a floating classroom offering half-day or full-day sails for school children.  There will also be overnight programs, public sails, private charters and special programming.  I imagine it will also participate in tall ships reviews.

The new one is twin-masted, 43 feet long on deck with a 15 foot 2 inch beam.  The overall length from bowsprit to the stern is 62 feet with a draft of 5'4".


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

USS Porcupine Project Receives $100,000 Donation-- Part 1

From the August 5, 2017, Go "Porcupine project infused with $100,000 donation" by Ron Leonadi.

The Bayfront Center and Larson Texts on August 4 announced a partnership to build a topsail schooner Porcupine.

Big Ideas Learning, a subsidiary of Larson Texts pledged $100,000 over the next six years to complete the Porcupine project and to provide maritime-themed math curriculum for onboard programming.

The Porcupine Project is to build a representative of a War of 1812 topsail schooner and it will be known as "The School Ship for Presque Isle Bay."


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Encampment Called Greene Ville-- Part 4: Covered by Greenville, Ohio

Today the site of Encampment Greene Ville is covered by much of downtown Greenville, Ohio.

There is a bronze tablet in front of the City Hall of Greenville.

It reads:

"Site of Fort Greene Ville.  The largest pioneer fort in Ohio built in 1793 by General Anthony Wayne.  Here August 5, 1795, the Treaty was signed by which much of present Ohio was opened to White settlement."


The Encampment Called Greene Ville-- Part 3: Abandoned and Reused in War of 1812

The site was abandoned after 1796.  Later, the buildings were burned for the nails to be reused in Dayton, Ohio.  What was left of the encampment began to rot.

During the War of 1812, sections of what was left of the enclosure were refitted and it was reused briefly as a supply depot and a staging area (used by Col. John B. Campbell's force preparing to attack the Miami Indians at Mississinewa).

After the war, it was abandoned again.


Monday, August 7, 2017

The Encampment Called Greene Ville-- Part 2: Battle of Fallen Timbers and Treaty of Greenville

The camp (well, Fort Greenville) had a double two of cabins within the walls and each corner had a defensive bulwark.  In addition, there was a blockhouse in the central wall on each side  There were eight redoubts, each with blockhouses.  A strong fortification indeed.

This was General Wayne's winter encampment 1793-1794.  In the spring of 1794, he led his troops to what is now Toledo and fought the Indians at the Battle of Fallen Timbers.  In the summer of 1795, the Indians cam,e to Wayne and there signed the Treaty of Green Ville which became known as the Treaty of Greenville.

This ended what was known as the Northwest Indian War and is considered the beginning of modern Ohio history.

In addition, it established the Greenville Treaty Line, which was the boundary between Indian and American lands.  It also gave the U.S. government a lot of control over the Indians.

--Not a Good Treaty for the Indians.  --Brock-Perry

Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Encampment Called Greene Ville-- Part 1: Largest Wooden Fortification Ever Built

From the Touring Ohio site.

Probably the reason I wasn't able to find out much about a Fort Greenville in Ohio was because it was called Greene Ville and was classified as an encampment.

It was built by General Anthony Wayne, 5 miles north of Fort Jefferson at what is now Greenville, Ohio.  It had ten feet high walls and enclosed about 50 acres.  It  is said that it was the largest wooden fortification ever built.

It was named for Wayne's friend, Nathaniel Greene and laid out like a city.


Friday, August 4, 2017

Greenville and Fort Greenville, Ohio-- Part 2

I found that both the city of Greenville and Fort Greenville were located in the southwestern part of Ohio.  This would make it fairly close to the Miami Indian village of Mississinewa, which would make sense for the path Col. Campbell would have taken.


Fort Greenville, Ohio-- Part 1: Some Difficulty Finding It

From the Ohio War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission.

Last week, I was writing about John B. Campbell and his December attack on the Miami Indians village of Mississinewa in 1812.  He left from a Fort Greenville in Ohio.  I looked it up but couldn't find much about any Fort Greenville.

There is, however, a city of Greenville, Ohio.  Perhaps this was the site of the old Fort Greenville?

There were two markers listed in Greenville.  One was for the Colonel Campbell Campaign and the other for Second Fort and Second Treaty.

According to the commission, neither was completed.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

"Old Ironsides" Is Back in the Water

From the July 23, 2017, Washington Post.

The USS Constitution has been out of the water for repairs for more than two years.  It undocked Sunday night at 11:45 p.m. before  a large crowd of onlookers.

It is taken out of the water every twenty years for maintenance in a drydock to its below the waterline area.

Bob Gerosa, USMC, serves as the ship's 74th commander.  It is the last of six super frigates ordered by George Washington.

The ship was originally expected to last just 10-20 years, but here it is 220 years later.

It entered the drydock on May 18, 2015.


The USS Constitution Is Back In the Water Again

From the July 24, 2017, USA Today  "The USS Constitution -- 'Old Ironsides' -- is back afloat again" by Matthew Diebel.

The world's oldest commissioned warship, launched in 1797, is afloat again after a $12 million project which replaced most of its copper cladding with 2,200 sheets, repairing outside wooden planks and rebuilding its 42 gun carriages.

Refurbishing of the rigging and masts will be done before the ship reopens for visitors in August.  The ship received its name from George Washington and won three major ship-to-ship victories in the War of 1812.

It remained on active duty until 1855.  After that it became a training ship for the USNA then a touring national landmark.  Since 1934 it has been based at Charleston Navy Yard in Boston.

One Hell of A Ship.  --Bock-Perry

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Plattsburgh Barracks-- Part 6: War of 1812 Skeletons Found

All of the War of 1812 forts except Fort Brown were leveled to form a huge 40-acre parade ground known as the "U.S. Oval."  This happened in the early 1890s.

In 1892, during the removal of Fort Moreau which had been the main and largest of the War of 1812 forts during the Battle of Plattsburgh, numerous human remains, as many as twenty-five, were unearthed.  They had been hurriedly buried either during or immediately after the Battle of Plattsburgh.

When Fort Scott was leveled, perhaps thirty or more skeletons were also discovered.  Cannonballs and other War of 1812 artifacts were also found.  These were reportedly sent to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

All of the recovered skeletons were buried with full military honors in the nearby Old Post Cemetery in a mass grave marked by a large monument to the unknown dead of the War of 1812.


The Plattsburgh Barracks-- Part 5: Much Delayed in Opening and Then, A War of 1812 Flashback

By August 1839, under the direction of Benjamin Kendrick Pierce the exteriors for the officers and enlisted men had been built, but in peacetime, there were lots of delays

Eventually it was occupied by various infantry and artillery units and by early 1890, a big expansion program was instituted.

And this led to an interesting sidebar back to the War of 1812.


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Plattsburgh Barracks-- Part 4: The War of 1812 Fortifications

During the Second Seminole War, nearly a quarter of the U.S. Army strength was sent to Florida and Congress realized that the Army needed to be expanded and that was when it was raised to 12,539.  Along with the increase in strength, housing became a big issue which was why the Army built the Plattsburgh Barracks.

A permanent Army post was planned and was to have four stone barracks surrounded by a wooden palisade.

A site was selected outside of the town of Plattsburgh and just south of the three remaining earthwork fortifications from the 1814 siege:  Fort Brown, Fort Moreau and Fort Scott.

These forts had been constructed under the direction of Major Joseph Totten, an expert military engineer during the war.  There were also two smaller redoubts erected later, Fort Tompkins and Fort Gaines.  All five of these fortifications formed the endpoints of a pentagon which featured a field of interlocking cannon fire.


The Plattsburgh Barracks-- Part 3: The Need for Permanent Barracks

Troops were stationed there from 1812-1823, but  they did not have permanent barracks or even a permanent military installation.  Men often stayed in dilapidated and inadequate log structures left over from the War of 1812.

In an October 1839 letter to the General of the Army, Major General Alexander Macomb, who had commended the troops at the Battle of Plattsburgh, and Brigadier General Abraham Eustis told of just how bad the barracks situation was at Plattsburgh.

It was decided to construct permanent barracks, with part of the reason for doing it because the strength of the Army had been raised to 12,539 men because of the Second Seminole War.


Monday, July 31, 2017

The Plattsburgh Barracks-- Part 2: To Guard Against British Canada

From Wikipedia.

What stands in Plattsburgh, New York, today is the last remaining structure of an 1838 U.S. Army Barracks used by the Army for about a century.  A young lieutenant by the name of Ulysses S. Grant even stayed there at one time.  The remaining structure is now the home of Valcour Brewing Company.

Obviously, American soldiers were stationed there during the War of 1812, but their barracks were no where near as permanent or luxurious as the 1838 ones.

In the years after the British defeat at the Battle of Plattsburgh in 1814 and after the end of the War of 1812, the United States military was highly suspicious and wary of British Canada, being so close.  Relations with England were not good and it was decided to garrison an army post at Plattsburgh because of the strategic importance of the Lake Champlain corridor.


Friday, July 28, 2017

The Plattsburgh Barracks-- Part 1: The War of 1812 Pewter Button

On Tuesday's blog entry, I mentioned that a War of 1812 button had been discovered during the erection of new wooden bunkhouses at the Plattsburgh Barracks in Plattsburgh, New York, in 1917.  The barracks were being built as the United States ramped up for World War I.

This was taken from the July 24, 2017, Plattsburgh Press-Republican "Look-Back July 24 to July 31."

Artifacts were discovered in the construction  "Among those are a pewter button that no doubt dates from the War of 1812 because similar ones have been found upon the site of battlefields in Canada."

Plattsburgh, of course was the site of the big War of 1812 victory at the Battle of Lake Champlain/Battle of Plattsburgh.


Thursday, July 27, 2017

John B. Campbell and the War in Indiana-- Part 8: Frostbite Prevalent

DECEMBER 24, 1812

His troops decimated by freezing weather, Campbell arrived back at Fort Greenville.  More than 300 of his troops suffered from frostbite.

He allowed the Indian women and children to ride captured Indian horses on the return trip.  The captives were escorted to Indian settlements at Piqua.


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

John B. Campbell-- Part 7: Withdrawal Due to Cold

DECEMBER 18, 1812

Just before dawn, a force of about 300 Indians counter attacked Campbell, killing eight soldiers and wounding 48.  Fifteen Indians were killed.

Faced with bitter cold, mounting casualties and the loss of 109 soldiers killed in battles, Campbell determines to withdraw his forces to Fort Greenville.


Monday, July 24, 2017

John B. Campbell and the War in Indiana-- Part 5: Ordered to Destroy Miami Village of Mississinewa

NOVEMBER 25, 1812--

Harrison orders Campbell to attack and destroy the Miami village of Mississinewa.  Campbell is advised to try to spare chiefs Richardville, Silver Heels, White Loon, Charley and Pecon, and the sons and daughters of Little Turtle if it can be done without risk to his force.

He is also advised to guarantee the safety of the Indian women and children who are to be captured and conducted back to settlements in Ohio -- a condition that will eventually cost Campbell severe losses among his troops.


John B. Campbell and the War in Indiana-- Part 6: A Cold March and a Surprise

DECEMBER 14, 1812

Campbell's force of nearly 600 mounted troops, guided by William Conner departs Fort Greenville, Ohio, on an 80-mile forced march to the Miami towns on the Mississinewa River.

The snow is knee deep and the weather is bitter cold.

DECEMBER 18, 1812

Campbell's force surprises and attacks the first of four Indian villages on the Mississinewa River near present-day Jalapa.  Eight Indians and one African-American were killed and 42 Indians, including 34 women and children are captured.  Two American soldiers are killed.


Friday, July 21, 2017

John B. Campbell and the War in Indiana-- Part 4: Indian Threat

NOVEMBER 15, 1812--

Informed of General Samuel Hopkins' defeat in Illinois and the growing confidence of the Indians in attacking the Army's supply lines, Harrison advises Eustis that he command Colonel John B. Campbell to direct an expedition against the Indian town of Mississinewa.

It will be the rendezvous where the Indians are certain to receive provisions and assistance in launching attacks on every military convoy in Ohio between St. Mary's and the Miami rapids (present-day Mau Mee).

NOVEMBER 22, 1812--

General Hopkins' force destroys Prophetstown along with deserted Winnebago and Kickapoo villages along the Tippecanoe River.

The Indians ambush and kill sixteen of Hopkins' force on Wildcat Creek, northwest of present-day Kokomo.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

John B. Campbell and the War in Indiana-- Part 3: To Attack Or Not To Attack

OCTOBER 26, 1812

Harrison seeks approval from U.S. Secretary of War William Eustis, to attack Indiana towns along the Mississinewa River in Indiana.

NOVEMBER 5, 1812

Secretary Eustis advises Harrison that "the Miamis, as well as other Indians, must be dealt with as their merits and demerits may in your judgement require."

In other words, passing the responsibility along.

And, It Is Starting To Get COLD.  --Brock-Perry

John B. Campbell and the War in Indiana-- Part 2: Miamis Stirring Up Trouble

Timeline of 1812 events in Indiana.

SEPTEMBER 24, 1812

William Henry Harrison is given command of the Second Army of the West, replacing General James Winchester.

OCTOBER 11, 1812--

Indiana Agent B.F. Stickney passes along information from fur trader John Conner to Harrison.  he reported that from September 13 to October 2, the Miamis had sent nine messengers to the Delaware Indians inviting them to join forces with them in a war versus the United States.


This John B. Campbell Is Not the One From the Battle of Rock Island Rapids

I was looking to find out more information on the commander of American forces at the Battle of Rock Island Rapids and for whom Campbell island was named for in Illinois.

I came across the name of John B. Campbell, an American officer during the War of 1812, and initially thought he was the same.  This is the man I wrote about in yesterday's post.

It turns out they are two different men, but I did see some sources confusing the two.

The Battle of Rock Island Rapids was fought July 19, 1814.  The Colonel John B. Campbell I wrote about in the last post was mortally wounded at the Battle of Chippawa on July 5, 1814, and died August 28, 1814.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

John B. Campbell and the War of 1812 on the Frontier-- Part 1: Attacks on Fort Wayne and Fort Harrison

From Mississinewa. 1812.  America's Most Exciting Living History Weekend-- At Mississinewa Battlefield, Marion, Indiana, October 13-15, 2017.


SEPTEMBER 3, 1812--  Shawnees led by Missilimeta attacked Pigeon Roost settlement in southern Indiana and killed 20 whites.

SEPTEMBER 6, 1812--  Indians attack Fort Wayne and Fort Harrison  (Terre Haute) in Indiana. The Americans repulse them and then attack Indian villages north of the Wabash River.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Campbell's Island in the Early 1900s to 1980-- Part 1

Campbell's Island was bought at the turn of the 20th century by a street car company which intended to build an amusement park on the island.  In 1904, a street car bridge was built on top of a closing dam built by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1899.

The island became a popular resort from then to the mid-1950s with cottages available for rent.

The House-In-the-Woods Inn operated from 1904-1911 when it burned down, but was rebuilt and renamed the Campbell Island Inn.  In the 1950s it became the Ship's Wheel Boat Club and operated until it burned down in 1979.


Defenses and Battles in Missouri, Iowa and Illinois Territories-- Part 2

4.  Fort Shelby, defeated 1814. Where the Wisconsin River flows into the Mississippi River at present-day Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.

5.  Battle of Rock Island Rapids, July 1814 and the Battle of Credit Island, September 1814, by the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois.

6.  Fort Johnson, abandoned 1814.  Where the Des Moines Rover joins the Mississippi River.

7.  Fort Cap au Gris and the Battle of Sinkhole, May 1815.  On the Mississippi River, a short distance above St. Louis.


Defenses in Missouri and Illinois Territories in War of 1812-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

Map of the Upper Mississippi River in 1812, showing U.S. fortifications.

1.  Fort Bellefontaine, U.S. headquarters at St. Louis.

2.  Fort Osage on the Missouri River, west of St. Louis, abandoned 1813.

3.  Fort Madison, defeated 1813 (north of where the Des Monies River flows into the Mississippi).


Monday, July 17, 2017

Campbell's Island-- Part 2: An American Defeat

Three American gunboats were heading up the Mississippi River with military supplies for Fort Shelby at present day Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.  One of the boats had 42 people in it, including soldiers of the 1st U.S. Infantry regiment and their families.  The other two had 66 United States Rangers.

The Indians attacked and forced the Americans to turn back.  The Americans lost eight killed in the 1st U.S. Infantry and sixteen wounded.  Four Rangers were killed and eight wounded.

This defeat helped the Sauk Indians to maintain control over the Quad City area (Bettendorf and Davenport, Iowa, and Moline and Rock Island, Illinois) for almost twenty more years.

The Campbell's Island State Memorial was dedicated in 1908.


Friday, July 14, 2017

Campbell's Island-- Part 1: One of the Westernmost Battles

From Wikipedia.

Campbell's island is adjacent to the city of East Moline, Illinois and is connected to it by a bridge.  It is the site of the Campbell Island State Memorial, overseen by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

During the War of 1812, it was the site of one of the western-most battles and is called the Battle of Rock Island Rapids.  A band of Sauk warriors, allied with Britain clashed here with an American force led by Lt. John Campbell of the 1st Regiment United States Infantry.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Plaque Dedication for 'Widow' Cole in New York-- Part 2

The plaque reads:

"On September 26, 1812 and from this site, some of the first shots of the War of 1812 fired by local militia at armed soldiers from the British schooner Lady Prvost.

When a small boat carrying the soldiers from the British ship was sighted rowing in pursuit of an American salt barge that had taken refuge at the mouth of Canadaway Creek, local citizen Celea Sampson "Widow" Cole rode her horse to the settlement of Canadaway (Fredonia) to secure reinforcements.

"Recognized as a War of 1812 heroine for her efforts to spread the alarm, the "Widow" Cole reportedly also carried food and water to the militiamen and melted her pewter dishes to make bullets for their use during the attack."

A heroine.  --Brock-Perry

Plaque Dedication for 'Widow' Cole in Dunkirk NY-- Part 1

From the March 30, 2017, Observer "War of 1812 heroine:  Plaque dedication to be held for Celea Sampson 'Widow' Cole.

A plaque will be placed at the Dunkirk Lighthouse & Veterans Park Museum in Dunkirk, New York (along Lake Erie).  The State of New York Society, United States Daughters of 1812 will hold the dedication at 2 p.m., April 1, 2017.

Celea Cole was the wife of Seth Cole, the first settler in the Dunkirk area and a Revolutionary War soldier. He died in 1810.During the War of 1812, she served as a patrol to alarm neighbors of British attacks, fed soldiers stationed near her home.  She even melted her pewter dishes and teapot to make bullets.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

General William Hull Invades Canada Today in 1812

Well, it all started off good enough and met with great success at first.

U.SA. forces led by General William Hull entered Canada during the War of 1812 against Britain.

Hull retreated back to Detroit shortly thereafter.

And, in August came the surprising surrender of his force.

A Major Debacle.  --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Battle of Lundy's Lane

From Wikipedia.

This was where James Miller, who I have been writing about, gained his nickname, The Hero of Lundy's Lane.

Fought 25 July 1814 at present-day Niagara Falls, Ontario.  It was one of the bloodiest battles of the war and one of the deadliest events ever to take place in Canada.  It ended as a tactical draw, but a British strategic victory because the Americans suffered so many casualties.

The United States losses were 174 dead, 572 wounded, 79 captured and 28 missing, for a total of 853 casualties.  Two of the American commanders, Jacob brown and Winfield Scott were wounded and Eleazor Ripley was killed.

The British lost 84 killed, 559 wounded, 169 captured and 55 missing for a total of 878.

Forces engaged were 3,500 for Britain and 2,500 for the United States.


Monday, July 10, 2017

USS Louisiana (1812): The Battle of New Orleans

From Wikipedia.

Sloop of war built in New Orleans, launched 1812, broken up in 1821.

341 tons, 99 feet long, 28-foot beam.  Mounted sixteen 24-pdrs.

Originally built as a merchant ship for $15,510.

Commanded by Captain Charles C.B. Thompson.

From 23 December 1814, to January 8, 1815, fired on the advancing British troops in support of Andrew Jackson.

The lack of wind caused crew members to go ashore and they had to tow the ship upriver against the current.

Played a key role in the American victory at the Battle of New Orleans.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

James Miller-- Part 3: Superintendent of Indian Affairs Arkansas Territory

From the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.

Brigadier General War of 1812,  1st governor of Arkansas Territory.  Superintendent of Indian Affairs Arkansas Territory.

Commanded the 21st U.S. Infantry.  Distinguished self at the Battle of Lundy's Landing.


James Miller-- Part 2: The Hero of Lundy's Lane"

James Miller joined the 4th U.S. Infantry in 1808.  In 1811, he fought the Indians at Vincennes, Indiana where he was promoted to colonel.

In May 1812, he was posted to Detroit and commanded the American forces at the Battle of Maguaga.  He was taken prisoner at the surrender of Detroit and later exchanged.

In 1814, he was the commander of the 21st I.S. Infantry and led his men in the capture of British artillery at the Battle of Lundy's Lane where his "I will try sir" comment became famous.  He came away from the battle with the name "Hero of Lundy's Lane."  For his service there, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and brevetted to brigadier-general.


Thursday, July 6, 2017

James Miller-- Part 1: First Governor of Arkansas Territory and War of 1812 Brigadier General

From Wikipedia.

When I was writing about William Whistler at the Battle of Maguaga, his commander was James Miller.

April 25, 1776 to July 7, 1851.

First governor of Arkansas Territory.  It was his influence which got the Territorial Capital moved from Arkansas Post to Little Rock.  During the War of 1812, he commanded units and was brevetted to brigadier general.

Born Peterborough, New Hampshire and was a lawyer in Greenfield, New Hampshire from 1803-1808.

He joined the New Hampshire militia and commanded an artillery unit.  His work so impressed General Benjamin Pierce that he recommended him for appointment as a major in the regular U.S. Army.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

George Washington Whistler on West Point Notables Site

From the USMA West Point site.

Considering the number of officers who have graduated from the United Stats Military Academy at West Point, the fact that George Washington Whistler is on a short list of notables is very impressive.

This list includes many Civil War generals on both sides (Robert E. lee in 1829, George Meade in 1830, William T. Sherman in 1840, Thomas Jackson 1846 and U.S. Grant in 1843), Jefferson Davis, 1903's Douglas MacArthur, 1907's Hap Arnold, 1909's George S. Patton and 1915's Omar N. Bradley and Dwight Eisenhower.

There is a short write up on each notable.  G.W. Whistler's:  "Eminent civil engineer, chosen by the Czar of Russia to build a railroad from Moscow to St. Petersburg."


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

What About 1775 and American Independence?

From the History Channel site.

When the initial battles of the American Revolution were fought in 1775, few colonists wanted independence form Great Britain.  Those who did (Sons of Liberty and Patriots) were considered radical.  By the middle of the following year, however, many more colonists, especially in New England, were in favor of independence.

On June 7, 1776, the Continental Congress met at the Pennsylvania State House (now Independence Hall) in Philadelphia.  Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence.

A heated debate was held and the vote postpones.  But a five-man-committee was appointed to draft a formal statement justifying a full break with Great Britain (Independence).

Members were Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Robert R. Livingston of New York.


William Howe, Member of Inventive Family

From Wikipedia

I looked up William Howe, whose bridge design I discussed in the last post.

He is listed under William Howe, architect.

Born May 12, 1803, in Spencer, Massachusetts.  Died September 9, 1852.  American architect and bridge builder, famous for patenting the Howe Truss design for bridges.

He learned carpentry and construction at an early age and put those to good work.

His whole family was quite inventive.  His brother Elias Howe patented the first viable sewing machine.  His other brother, Tyler Howe, invented the box spring bed.

William Howe founded the Howe Bridge Works in 1840.

In 1840, he was engaged to build a railroad bridge across the Connecticut River in Springfield, Massachusetts..  It was taken down in 1855.


The Howe Truss Bridge

OK, I realize these next two posts are a bit off of the War of 1812, but are of general history interest to me.  You never know what you are going to find when you start researching.

From Garrett's Bridges site.

Back on June 30th, I mentioned that George Washington Whistler had introduced the Howe Truss Bridge to Russia.

What is a Howe Truss bridge?

It was designed by William Howe in 1840 and used mostly wood in its construction and was very good for use in longer spans of bridges.

It is considered one of the best designs for railroad bridges back in its day.

There are still many Howe Truss bridges in the northwestern part of the United States.


Monday, July 3, 2017

Getting To Know Whistler's Father

From the June 2014 Smithsonian Magazine.

There is an interesting article in it titled  "Getting To Know Whistler's Father" by Jeff MacGregor.

He writes "Whistler's mother is a superstar.  But the painter's dad has languished in obscurity -- until now."


George Washington Whistler's Grave

From Find-A-Grave.

I wonder whi he might have been named after?

Born May 19, 1800 in Allen County, Indiana,. where his father, John Whistler, was commandant of Fort Wayne.  Died April 7, 1849, in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Stonington, Connecticut, New London County.


Sunday, July 2, 2017

George Washington Whistler-- Part 5: Legacy

In 1830 they joined the Baltimore and Susquehanna Railroad and later others.  He went to Russia, where he died unexpectedly and evidently his body was returned to the United States as he is buried in Stonington, Connecticut.


Stone arch bridges he built in 1841 are still carrying trains in western Massachusetts..

He also was the first civil engineer in the United States to use contour lines to show elevation and relief on maps.


Saturday, July 1, 2017

George Washington Whistler-- Part 4: Got Involved With Railroads

From 1821-1822, he was Assistant Professor of Drawing at West Point.

In 1822 he was reassigned to the artillery corps and was with the commission tracing the international boundary between Lake Superior and Land of the Woods.

In 1827, his brother-in-law and fellow engineer, William Gibbs McNeill, became a member of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.  Even though he was still on active duty, Whistler also joined in 1828.  He went with McNeill and Jonathan Knight to England to study railroad engineering as Britain was in the forefront of this new mode of transportation.


George Washingtom Whistler-- Part 3: U.S. Military Career

He was born in 1800 at the military outpost at Fort Wayne (Indiana) where his father, John Whistler, was commandant.

Appointed to the USMA at West Point, he graduated in 1819 and was commissioned second lieutenant in the Corps of Artillery.

He served at topographical engineer at Fort Columbus in New York City from 1819-1821.  This fort was originally called Fort Jay but the name was changed to Fort Columbus in 1806.  During the Civil War, Confederate Major General W.H.C. Whiting died here, the highest Confederate officer to die in a northern prison.  I have written about him a lot in my Civil War Naval Blog, Running the Blockade.

When the U.S. Army reorganized in 1821, he became second lieutenant in the First Artillery.


Friday, June 30, 2017

George Washington Whistler-- Part 2: Major Mover in Early American Railroads and "Whistler's Father"

After major involvement in the development of U.S. railroads, in 1842, he went to Russia as a consulting engineer on the Saint Petersburg-Moscow Railway, the first large-scale endeavor by the Russian government.  He introduced the Howe truss bridge to Russia.

Sadly, he is probably best known for being the father of artist James McNeill Whistler, who painted the famous artwork referred to as "Whistler's Mother."


Thursday, June 29, 2017

George Washington Whistler-- Part 1: William's Brother, John's Son

From Wikipedia.

Keeping it in the family since I have been writing about both John Whistler and William Whistler the last couple weeks.  I was unable to find out if he had any involvement in the War of 1812, but if he did, he would have been very young.

1800-1849.  Prominent American civil engineer in the first half of the 19th century.

Member of a noted military family, USMA graduate and served in the U.S. Army.

Railroad and locomotive builder.  His shops produced the first-known steam locomotives in the United States known to have a whistle.

Kind of a Whistler's Whistle, You Know.  Sorry  --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

William Whistler's Burial Place

From Find-A-Grave.

William  Whistler, one of the longest-serving-ever U.S. officers, was born December 3, 1780 in Hagerstown, Maryland and died December 4, 1863, in Newport Kentucky.

He is buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Southgate, Kentucky, Campbell County.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Battle of Maguaga-- Part 2: Getting the Supplies

The American forces had vital supplies at the Miami Rapids and General Hull sent a detachment to get it, but they were turned back at the Battle of Brownstown.  He then sent a larger detachment under Colonel James Miller to escort the supplies back to Detroit.

This detachment consisted of 280 regulars and 330 Ohio Volunteers.  They encountered 205 British regulars, Canadian militia and Indians at the Battle of Maguaga.

In the engagement, the British lost 6 killed, 21 wounded and 2 captured.  U.S. losses were 18 killed and 64 wounded.


Monday, June 26, 2017

The Battle of Maguaga-- Part 1: William Whistler Distinguished Self Here

From Wikipedia.

I have been writing about William Whistler who is considered a hero at this battle.

Also known as the Battle of Manguaygon and the Battle of Oakwoods was fought August 9, 1812 near Detroit.

It pitted British regulars, Canadian militia and Tecumseh's Indian warriors against a larger American force near the Wyandot Indian village of Maguaga (present-day Trenton, Michigan).

Brigadier General William Hull had moved his American Army to Detroit to use it as a base for his planned invasion of British Upper Canada.  However, he soon became too worried and failed to attack the British at Fort Amherstburg after he learned about the fall of Fort Mackinac.  He also was very worried (and scared) of the Indians and what they might do to his army.

He retreated back to American territory.


Friday, June 23, 2017

William Whistler-- Part 2: Captured at Detroit Surrender

From the Chronicles of Oklahoma.

William Whistler distinguished himself at the Battle of Maguaga, August 9, 1812, which was a big American victory in the War of 1812.  It was 14 miles away from Detroit.  He was taken prisoner at Hull's surrender of Detroit August 16, 1812.

Exchanged, he became a captain in December 1812 and was at Fort Mackinac in 1816.  Then he was stationed at Green Bay, Wisconsin 1817 and 1819 and married in 1820.

He was stationed at Oklahoma's Fort Gibson on four different occasions.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

William Whistler-- Part 1: Over 60 Years in U.S. Army

From Wikipedia.

John Whistler's son, who accompanied him to Fort Dearborn, was born in 1780 and died in 1863.

He was commissioned 2nd lieutenant in the 1st U.S. Infantry in June 1801 and promoted to 1st lieutenant in 1807 and captain in December 1812.

When the Army reorganized after the War of 1812, the 1st Infantry was redesignated the 3rd Infantry.

Brevetted to major in 1822 and served ten years at that rank.  In April 1826 he was assigned to the 2nd U.S. Infantry and became lieutenant colonel of the 7th Infantry in July 1834.

Colonel of the 4th U.S. Infantry July 1845.  Retired April 1861 and died December 4, 1863.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

John Whistler and the Founding of Chicago's Fort Dearborn-- Part 2

In 1875, Mrs. William Whistler (I imagine the wife of William Whistler) said that when they arrived that there were only four cabins or traders' huts occupied by Canadian French and their Indian wives.

In the spring 1804, John Kenzie, living near Niles, Michigan, bought land there and came with his wife and infant son.  He was the first Anglo-White and lived there until late 1827, except for the four years between the summer of 1812 to the fall of 1816 when Fort Dearborn was destroyed and finally rebuilt.

In 1810, John Whistler returned to Detroit and Captain Nathan Heald assumed command of Fort Dearborn.  Captain Heald was in command in the Fort Dearborn Massacre.

John Whistler then commanded Detroit until the arrival of General William Hull.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

John Whistler and the Founding of Chicago's Fort Dearborn

From the World History Project.

In the summer of 1803, Captain John Whistler, then stationed at Deroit, was ordered to take his company of soldiers to Lake Michigan to occupy the the site of what was to become Chicago and to build a fort there.

His soldiers traveled overland, led by Lt. James Swearingen.  Captain Whistler and his family came in the U.S. schooner Tracy from Detroit to the mouth of St. Joseph River. With him he had his wife, young son George and his eldest son, Lt. William Whistler and his young bride.  They continued to Chicago in a row boat.


Monday, June 19, 2017

John Whistler-- Part 4: A Military Family

In 1817, he moved toSt. Charles, Missouri and was military storekeeper at the Jefferson Barracks, near St. Louis.

He died at Fort Bellefontaine in 1829.

John Whistler had 15 children and three became military officers.    Colonel William Whistler served from 1801-1861 and Lt. George Washington Whistler, a railroad designer in America and Russia.

Two of his grandsons were officers in the Civil War:  Brigadier General Joseph N. G. Whistler and Colonel Joseph Nelson Garland Whistler.

Another grandson, James Abbott McNeil Whistler attended West Point, but did not graduate.  He went on to become a famous artists ("Whistler's Mother")

Quite the Military Family.  --Brock-Perry

Saturday, June 17, 2017

John Whistler-- Part 3: War of 1812

He was recalled to Detroit in 1810 from Fort Dearborn and was evidently in command before William Hull.

During the War of 1812, he was brevetted to major and served with his company until 1815.

I was unable to find out anything more about his War of 1812 service other than this.  It would be interesting to know if he was surrendered by William Hull at Detroit.  His previous British military service would have made for an interesting case.

After the war, he became military storekeeper at Newport, Kentucky.  In 1816, he was sent to Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he built the third fort there (he had also been involved in the construction of the first two forts there as well).


Friday, June 16, 2017

John Whistler-- Part 2: Completed and Commanded Fort Dearborn

John Whistler joined the United States Army and was sent to the Western Frontier and was in the Hamar Campaign in 1790 and was severely wounded at St. Clair's Defeat in 1791.  He became a lieutenant in the Legion of the United States and helped build U.S. forts in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

In 1797 he was promoted to captain and transferred to Fort Lemoult in Detroit.  In the summer of 1803, he and his company of the 1st United States Infantry moved from Fort Detroit to the southern shore of Lake Michigan where he completed Fort Dearborn, on the future site of Chicago.

He became the fort's first commandant.


John Whistler-- Part 1: Served With British and U.S. Armies

From Wikipedia.

Back in May i was writing about the first USMA  at West Point graduate, Joseph G. Swift.  On May 22 I wrote that he had mentored younger engineers George Washington Whistler and William Gibbs McNeill.  Was this Whistler fellow somehow related to the famous artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler?

While researching him I found out that the artist's grandfather had been John Whistler who served in the American Revolution on the British side and the War of 1812 on the American side.

John Whistler was born in 1756 in Ulster, Ireland.  He ran away at an early age and joined the British Army and served with British General John Burgoyne in the American Revolution.  After the surrender at Saratoga, John Whistler returned to England and was honorably discharged.

He eloped with the daughter of his father's friend and emigrated to the  United States and settle in Hagerstown, Maryland.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Jacob Nicholas Jones, USN

From Wikipedia.

Tuesday, I wrote about the USS Revenge being commanded by Jacob Nicholas Jones when it first entered service in the U.S. Navy.  I have done a lot of research on him, but found no mention of his commanding the USS Revenge.

I also have already printed several entries about him.  Just hit the Jones label at right.

In addition, before joining the U.S. navy, he was married to the daughter of Delaware Governor James Sykes who died sometime before he entered the Navy at age 31.

He is buried at the Wilmington and Brandywine Cemetery in Wilmington, Delaware.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The War of 1812 Flag On Flag Day

The War of 1812 United States flag featured 15 stars and 15 stripes, one for each state in the Union.  Vermont and Kentucky had joined in the meantime.

This is the famous flag that flew over Fort McHenry in Baltimore which inspired what became our National Anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner."

I wrote about it today in my Cooter's History Thing Blog.

I have my U.S. flags up outside.  Unfortunately, I do not have a 15-star 15 stripe flag or it would be up as well.

15 and 15.  --Brock-Perry

USS Revenge, Perry's Lost Ship-- Part 3: The End of the Revenge

That winter, the Revenge was charting the American coast along Newport, Rhode Island, New London, Connecticut, Gardiner's Bay and Long Island, New York.

On 9 January 1811, the Revenge ran aground on a reef off Watch Hill, Rhode Island while attempting to navigate a hazardous stretch of water known as "The Race" in a heavy fog.  The ship was a total loss.

The Opps Perry.  --Brock-Perry

USS Revenge, Perry's Lost Ship-- Part 2: Seizing the Diana From the British

In 1809, Oliver Hazard Perry took command of the ship.  With the passage of the Non-Intercourse Act on 1 March 1809, most restrictions to commerce with foreign countries were removed, with the exception of France and Britain.  The Revenge began cruising as far south as the tip of Florida and north to New England.

In 1810, the Revenge entered Washington Navy Yard for needed repairs.

July 1810 found the ship cruising off Charleston, S.C. when it was ordered to Amelia Island, Florida, then part of Spanish Florida.  It was to attempt to free an American ship, the Diana, which had been seized in Spanish waters and placed under British colors.

Despite the presence of two British warships in the area, Perry boarded the Diana, seized it, placed a prize crew on board and sailed away.

The Gallant Perry  --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

USS Revenge, Perry's Lost Ship-- Part 1: Enforcing the Embargo Act

From Wikipedia.

The ship was bought by the U.S. Navy in 1806 and ran aground 9 January 1811 and sank.

It was 70 feet long and mounted 12 X 6-pdr cannons.

The Navy bought the Baltimore-built schooner Ranger in New Orleans in December 1806.  It was renamed the Revenge and commissioned.

In 1807, it was ordered to the Atlantic Ocean and sailed under Lt. Jacob Jones.  It joined Commodore John Rodgers' New York Flotilla which assembled shortly after the USS Chesapeake-HMS Leopard Affair.  With the passage of Thomas Jefferson's Embargo Act on 22 December 1807, the flotilla established a blockade of the U.S, coast to prevent foreign commerce.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Oliver Hazard Perry and the Sinking of the USS Revenge-- Part 2

On january 9, 1811, the USS Revenge ran aground off Rhode Island was lost.

"seeing fairly quickly that he could not save the vessel, [Perry] turned his attention to saving the crew, and after helping them down the ropes over the vessel's stern, he was last to leave the vessel."

A court-martial exonerated Perry and placed the blame for the ship's loss on its pilot.

In January 2011, divers claimed to have found the remains of the USS Revenge.


Oliver Hazard Perry and the USS Revenge Sinking-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

Oliver Hazard Perry was appointed a midshipman in 1799.  In the First Barbary War, he served on the USS Adams and later became a first lieutenant and second in command of the USS Nautilus.

He then served under Captain John Rodgers on the USS Constitution and then on the USS Essex.

After that, he was placed in charge of the construction of gunboats in Newport and Westerly, Connecticut.

In April 1809, he commanded the sloop USS Revenge and did patrol duties off New England to enforce the Embargo Act.  He also led a successful raid which resulted in the recapture of an American ship held in Spanish Territory in Florida.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Watch Hill Light, Rhode Island-- Part 2: Other Wrecks

In 1827 a rotary light was installed.  The lighthouse operated until 1855 when it closed due to severe erosion.  It was moved further inland away from the edge of the bluff and a new 45-foot lighthouse was built.

The steamer Metis crashed aground off Watch Hill in 1872, killing 130 people.  Lighthouse keeper Captain Jared Starr Crandall received a Congressional Gold Medal for his actions in rescuing survivors.  After his death, his wife, Sally Ann (Gavitt) Crandall, became the first  female lighthouse keep in the country.

A U.S. Life-Saving Service station was built next to the lighthouse and operated until the 1940s.  It was destroyed in 1963.

In 1907, the steamer Larchmont collided with a schooner 4 miles from the lighthouse, killing 200.  The hurricane of 1938 caused severe damage to the structure.  The light was automated in 1986 and leased to the Watch Hill Light Keepers Association.


Watch Hill Light, Rhode Island-- Part 1: Second One Built in 1807

From Wikipedia.

There has been a beacon at Watch Hill, Rhode Island, dating to 1745.  Rhode Island's colonial government erected a watchtower and beacon there during the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War.

The original structure was destroyed in a 1781 storm.  Plans were immediately made to build a new lighthouse to mark the eastern entrance to Fishers island Sound and to warn mariners of dangerous reefs southwest of Watch Hill.

President Thomas Jefferson signed an act to build a lighthouse there in 1806 and construction of the 35 foot tall structure was completed in 1807.

So, there was a lighthouse there when Oliver Hazard Perry had his ship, the USS Revenge run into the reef and sink in 1811.


Friday, June 9, 2017

U.S. Navy Recovers Cannon Off Rhode Island-- Part 3: Perry's?

The Navy raised the cannon earlier this year on May 24.  It is encrusted with sea life and calcium carbonate from the interaction between salt water and iron.

Perry's career languished after the sinking, even though he was exonerated of the loss in a court-martial.  Later, he was sent to the Great Lakes where he became a hero because of his victory at the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813 and his famous quote, "We have met the enemy and they are ours."

Archaeologists will be looking for foundry marks on the cannon to determine whether or not it is from the Revenge.

The cannon is 5.5 feet long and weighs over 1,000 pounds.  It is estimated that the preservation of it will take about two years.  Meanwhile, the Navy continues to map the site.


U.S. Navy Recovers Cannon Off Rhode Island-- Part 2: Watch Hill Reef

There was a thick fog and heavy swells that January 9, 1811, when Oliver Hazard Perry's ship, the USS Revenge struck the reef off Watch Hill in Waverly.  Hazard ordered the men to jettison the cannons, mast and anchor to get off the rocks, but to no avail.  His ship sank (and he was disgraced).

The cannons were found in 2005 by a pair of divers and the announcement was made in 2011, on the 200th anniversary of the sinking.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

U.S. Navy Recovers Cannon Off Rhode Island-- Part 1: Perhaps From Perry's USS Revenge

From the June 3, 2017, Providence (Rhode island) Journal "US Navy recovers cannon to identify 200-year-old shipwreck."

A picture of the cannon accompanies the article with the label:  January 7, 2010, one of the cannons found on Water Hill reef by Charles Buffum, Stonington, Connecticut, and Craig Harger..  They found six cannons and an anchor 15 feet below the surface of the water.

It is believed the cannon is from the wreck of Oliver Hazard Perry's schooner USS Revenge which sank in the area on January 9, 1811.

Always Great to Find Lost Stuff.  --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Perry's (?) Cannon Discovered Off Rhode Island's Coast

According to the AP, a cannon has been discovered off the coast of Rhode Island, believed to be from the USS Revenge, a ship commanded at one time by War of 1812 naval hero Oliver Hazard Perry.

The ship sank in 1811 after hitting a reef.

Conservation work will be done on it and desalination at the Washington Navy Yard.  Foundry marks on the cannon are expected to definitely identify the ship wreck as it is not known that any other U.S. navy ships sank in the area.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Fort Winthrop, Boston Harbor-- Part 2: Originally Fort Warren

U.S. Secretary of War described the fort in December 1811 as masonry, 12 guns and brick barracks for 40 men.  On the western edge of the island was a circular battery mounting ten guns.

Fort Winthrop was originally named Fort Warren after Revolutionary War hero Dr. Joseph Warren, but that name was transferred to the new  fortification constructed on George's Island.

In 1846, the United States government got the rest of the island then began construction of a Third System Fortification.  It was a three-story citadel, 16 gun battery star fort.

Today it is part of Boston's Logan Airport.


Monday, June 5, 2017

Memorial Day Also Honors Our War of 1812 Veterans

And, Memorial Day is also for our War of 1812 veterans.

Actually, this whole blog is my way of honoring the dead of that long-ago war.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Fort Winthrop, Boston Harbor-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

Fort Winthrop was started in 1808 and named Fort Warren originally until 1834 when it was renamed Fort Winthrop for John Winthrop, an early governor and leader of the Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony.

It was built on Governors Island which the Winthrop family owned from 1632 to 1808.  In 1808, as relations with England worsened, the U.S. government acquired land in the center of it to build a fort.

Construction on the fort took place between 1808 to 1812.  It was an earthen fort in the form of an eight-pointed star.  Sylvanus Thayer, later a famous West Point (USMA) superintendent was in charge of the fort's construction.


Continuing Memorial Day 2017-- Part 6: Started After the Civil War

Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, was conceived after the Civil War as a way to honor the Union's war dead, with Southern states setting aside separate days to honor Confederate soldiers.

By the early 20th century, the holiday had evolved to honor all military members who died in the service of their country.

I honor the living veterans as well as those still serving on Memorial Day.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Continuing Memorial Day 2017-- Part 5: It's Somber

Douglas and Rene Licklighter, Iraq veterans at the cemetery with their 10- and 12-year-old sons said they believe most people understand what the holiday is about.  But, they too cringe when they hear "Happy Memorial Day."

"It's not happy, said Rene, 37, who retired from the Army National Guard.  "It's somber."

Continuing Memorial Day 2017-- Part 4: Go Silent

Allison Jaslow's group, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, is trying to raise awareness with its #GoSilent campaign, which encourages Americans to pause for a moment of silence at 3 p.m. Monday to remember the nation's war dead.Plenty of Americans do observe Memorial Day.

At Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Annville, Pennsylvania, fields of newly erected small American flags flap in the breeze.  By the end of the long weekend, thousands of people will have come to the cemetery to pay their respects.  This is where Allison Jaslow was.

This is true at the majority of all national cemeteries as well as other ones.

Continuing Memorial Day 2017-- Part 3: A Growing Civilian-Military Disconnect

Veterans groups say a growing military-civilian disconnect contributes to a feeling that Memorial Day has been overshadowed.  More than 12 percent of the U.S. population served in the armed forces during World War II.  That number is down to less than one-half of a percent today.

Said Brian Duffy, commander-in-chief of the veterans of Foreign Wars, "It hurts."  For combat veterans and Gold Star families especially, "it hurts that, as a society, we don't truly understand and appreciate what the true meaning of Memorial Day is."

A Gold Star Family is one which has lost an immediate member in action.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Continuing Memorial Day 2017-- Part 3: Not Just Beaches and Barbecues

While millions of Americans celebrate the long memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start of summer -- think beaches and backyard barbecues (in my case, a trip to Indy 500 the last six years) -- some veterans and loved ones of fallen military members say they wish the holiday that honors more than one million people who died serving their country would command more respect.

Or at least awareness.

"It's a fun holiday for people:  'Let's party.'  It's an extra day off from work," said Carol Resh, 61, whose son, Army Captain Mark Resh, was killed in Iraq a decade ago.  "It's not that they're doing it out of malice.  It just hasn't affected them."

Personally, I wish more people would make it out to where ceremonies are held in their towns.  In Fox Lake, Illinois, we'll usually have a 100-150 turn out for it.  Not a bad crowd, but it should be a lot larger.