War of 1812 Clifton's Collectibles Genealogy

War of 1812- Second War for Independence

War of 1812 

Second War of Independence

United States of America Flag during War of 1812
Flag of the United States of America during the
War of 1812
U.S.S. Chesapeake Afrigate built in the Gosport Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia
U.S.S. Chesapeake, launched at the Gosport Navy Yard. Portsmouth, Virginia, 2 December, 1799. Painting by F. Muller. (Public Domain).
U.S. Army Model 1795 Springfield musket
U.S.Army Model 1795 Springfield musket
British Brown Bess musket
British Brown Bess musket
U.S.S. Chesapeake was on the way to the Mediterranean, in June 1807,   when she was intercepted by the British ship, HMS Leopard. Chesapeake was not ready for battle as she was carrying munitions and stores when the Leopard stopped her and demanded  Chesapeake be searched for British deserters.. When Chesapeake refused, Leopard fired on the practically defenseless American ship,  killing and wounding several of her crew. Chesapeake surrendered and Leopard boarded her and searched for  supposed deserters. A few members of the crew; were taken and she was allowed to return to Virginia for repairs. This event became known as the, "Leopard Affair," and was one of many incidents that culminated in the War of 1812.

Chesapeake was captured during the war by HMS Shanon, and put into service by the Royal Navy. In 1820 she was broken up. Much of the material from Chesapeake was used as building material by the British.

Ancestors who served in the War of 1812

U.S.Army buttonBickerstaff, Robert: Commissioned as an Ensign in the War of 1812 in Captain Leonard Worty's Company of Infantry, Wooten's Detachment, Georgia Militia, from 7 August 1814, to 5 February 1815.  He was killed by the Indians in Alabama near Loachapoka. A Mr. Alexander Nynn states this proof in his column, OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS.; also per Sue Bickerstaff Gillispie Wooton's Detachment, Georgia Militia. Visit our Bickerstaff page.

U.S.Army buttonBickerstaff, Henry: 36th Regiment, Tennessee Militia, Private. Source: Roll 17, Extraction 602.

U.S.Army buttonBickerstaff, John: Tennessee Militia, Sgt. Source: TENNESSEANS IN THE WAR OF 1812, By Byron and Samuel Sisler, 1992.

U.S.Army buttonClay, Green:  Clay served in the militia in the Revolution and served in the Virginia Legislature from 1788-89, in the Virginia convention that ratified the U.S. Constitution. He was in the Kentucky Constitution Convention in 1799, in the Kentucky Legislature and Senate, and as an officer in the Kentucky Militia; .Brigadier General, Clay's Kentucky Volunteers. Source: Roll Box 41, Extract 602. The commander of the American forces in the western territories that ran to the Canadian line was William Henry Harrison, (a governor of Indiana and later President of the United States). Harrison was defeated in the battle of Raisin River, the British and their Indian allies under famed Chief Tecumseh, lay siege to Fort Meigs. The fort was located on the Maumee River in upper Ohio. Clay and his Kentuckians were sent to relieve the fort. Clay's forces arrived by boat and, suffered heavy losses. But, Green's Kentuckians were able to get into the fort and break the siege.  As a result of this military service, Clay added the title of General to his honors.

U.S.Army buttonClay, Henry: Member of U.S. House of Representatives, Speaker of the House and U. S. Senator. He was born in Hanover County Virginia , 12 April 1777., attended public schools and studied law in Richmond, Virginia. He was admitted to the bar in 1797. He practiced law in Lexington, Kentucky. He was a member of the State House of Representatives  in 1803, and elected to fill a vacancy in the U. S. Senate and served from 19 November  1806 to 3 March 1807, even though younger than the constitutional age limit of thirty years. He served again in the House of Representatives 1809-1809 and as speaker in 1809. He again, was elected to fill a vacancy in the Senate, serving from 4 January 1810 to  1811. Then  he served in Congress from 4 March, 1811 to 19 January 1814, when he resigned. He was appointed one of the commissioners to negotiate the peace treaty with Great Britain in 1814.  Then he was elected to the Fourteenth Congress 4 March 1815 - 3 March 1817. His seat was declared vacant by the Governor of Kentucky caused by  the acceptance of Henry Clay to sign a commercial convention as minister plenipotentiary to Great Britain. He was elected in a special election to fill his own vacancy on, 30 October 1815; reelected to the 15th and 16th Congress and Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 14th, 15th and 16th Congresses. Clay was elected to the 18th and 19th Congresses, serving again in the 18th Congress as Speaker of the House.  He was appointed Secretary of State by President John Quincy Adams 1825-1829, then elected to the United States Senate on 10 November 1831 to fill a vacancy starting 4 March 1831.  He was reelected in 1836 and served from 10 November 1831 to 31 March 1842 when he resigned During the 23rd and 24th Congresses he served as on the Foreign Relations Committee and Committee on Finance during the 27th Congress. Clay was am unsuccessful  candidate for president three times. He was elected again to the Senate in 1849 and served until his death, 1 July 1852. His body lay in state in the Rotunda at the Capitol. Funeral services were held in the Senate Chamber. He was buried in Lexington , Kentucky.  Vist our Clay page.

U.S.Army buttonCole, Jesse: Jesse Cole was a Captain of Militia under Colonel Snodgrass in Crocker's Brigade, General Andrew Jackson's Division, Tennessee Militiamen.  Son of Sampson and Lydia Wheeler Cole.

U.S.Army buttonPatterson, Andrew: A Captain in the 70th Regiment Virginia Militia. He received a Land Grant in Washington County, Virginia, and his wife Elizabeth Cole Patterson, daughter of Sampson and Lydia Wheeler Cole, received a pension.  He owned land on the South Fork of the Holston River. Andrew also owned a grist mill as well as a saw mill. He was a Baptist minister, probably at Rush Creek Church, as he is shown as officiating  marriages in records from 1846 - 1851. At a 1845 session of the Church Assoication meeting held at Glade Hollow  Church in Russell County, an Elder John Wallis was elected moderator and Elder Andrew Patterson elected, clerk. According to historian, Redmond Cole. Andrew was also a county justice. He and his wife were the parents of eight children, all born in Washington County. They lived at a farm near Friendship, Virginia.  Andrew and Elizabeth Patterson are at rest in Moore Cemetery, the Old Edmondson's Fort Estate, in Washington County, Virginia.

U.S.Army buttonPatterson, William, Jr.: :Private in Virginia Militia. Born: circa 1760 in Montgomery County, Virginia Died: 8 February 1825 in Wythe County. Source: Virginia History Magazine, Vol. 47, pp 38 Description:  Captain Buchanan, Montgomery County. Wife: Agnes Patton, born in Virginia and died 25 Dec. 1843 in Gates County, Virginia. They were married  10 June 1789 and had a son, James.

U.S.Army buttonSt. John, Abram: 4th Regiment (Greenhill's) Virginia Militia, Private



What caused the War of 1812?

All anyone has to do is a look at Trafalgar Square in London to realize the Battle of Trafalgar  was a fairly important event in British history. Admiral Lord Nelson,was fatally wounded, but the Royal Navy really handed the French and Spanish a "good licking" in this important sea battle.  Napoleon countered by heading an economic "no trade agreement", with all countries under French control, against Great Britain.  This tactic didn't help the British economy, so Britain struck back by imposing a blockade of  France.  The young U. S., with no significant Navy, tried to remain neutral.
It got to the point 1807, the U. S. was having trouble trading with France due to a British decree called, " an Order in Council," noting anyone trading with a country on the continent must first stop in England.  France countered by declaring any neutral ship submitting to search by the British would be seized. This is the climate  in which the U.S.S. Chesapeake (shown above) was seized by H.M.S. Leopard.
Interruption of trade was heavily contributing to a depressed  economy in the United States. Many  people wanted to go to war with Great Britain.  By 1810 there were several Republican congressmen elected who were advocating war. American sailors had been impressed into British service and there had been intense interference with  shipping from the U.S.
The group of Republicans who pushed for war was led by  one of my ancestors, Henry Clay of Kentucky; the group was called  the "War Hawks' by many. Clay became Speaker of the House. Congress passed  several resolutions to strengthen the armed forces.  
So the stage was set; Congress called upon  President James Madison to declare war on the British  in June 1812. The War Hawks, led by Virginia born Henry Clay, swung the vote to a declaration of war  18 June, 1812.
Some say the War Hawks and others wanted to invade and annex Southern Canada. I say, Henry Clay was  not unlike Patrick Henry, another Virginia "firebrand" during the Revolutionary War, who wanted Canada invaded as well. As a national news network denotes, "We report, you decide".

Neale Clifton


Three men involved in the War of 1812

President James Madison Henry Clay Green Clay
James Madison
U. S. President. Declared war with Britain in June of 1812
Henry Clay
U. S Congress, Speaker of  the House, Senator, Secretary of State
Green Clay
Served in Virginia Militia  Revolutionary War, Kentucky Legislature and Senate. Kentucky Militia General in War of 1812
The three images above are in the Public Domain


U.S.Army buttonSt. John, Abner: Bradley's Regiment, Virginia Militia, Private 

U.S.Army button
St. John, Berry: Virginia Militia, 5th Regiment, Private: Smyth County, Virginia and Virginia Militia, 7th Regiment (Saunders), Private. Source: War of 1812 Service Records Administration, Index to Compiled Military Service records for Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During the War of 1812, Washington, D.C. National Archives and Records Administration. Rolls M602 Data Base is a listing of men mustered into the Armed forces between 1812 and 1815.  Visit our St. John page.

U.S.Army button
St. John,  John: 19th Regiment (Ambler's), Virginia Militia, Private.  Pension: 1788-1872.  Copy of pension application when he was 85 years of age and residing in Cannon County, Tennessee, 29 April 1972; O. B. Vance, Clerk.

U.S.Army buttonSt. John, Samuel: Bradley's Regiment, Virginia Militia, Private 

U.S.Army buttonSt. John, Thomas: 5th Regiment, Virginia Militia, Private 

U.S.Army buttonSt. John, William: Bradley's Regiment, Private

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Revised 18 August 2011