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AustinG
Reading PA USA
Posts: 18
Joined: 2020
Recruiting of the U.S. Regulars during the War of 1812
4/5/2020 4:45:10 PM
Were particular units recruited from particular sections of the country? Or just solely based on states? Or did regiments consist of many men from different locations across the country?
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"Those are regulars, by god!" -Not Phineas Riall, in reference to not Winfield Scott's Brigade
MPReed
Monroe MI USA
Posts: 37
Joined: 2005
Recruiting of the U.S. Regulars during the War of 1812
6/27/2020 2:05:22 AM
In general, regiments were recruited regionally. At the beginning of the War of 1812, the army was on three establishments; the Peace Establishment (1st & 2nd Infantry Regiments and the Regiment of Artillerists), the Additional Force of 1808 (3rd-7th Infantry, Rifle, Light Artillery, and Dragoons), and the Additional Army of 1812 (8th-25th Infantry, 2nd & 3rd Artillery, and 2nd Dragoons).

In the Peace Establishment, the1st Regiment was largely recruited in the Northern part of the country, and the 2nd in the Southern. The Regiment of Artillerists' (1st Artillery Regiment from 1812) companies were more or less recruited area from where they would garrison. The exception was on the frontiers. In 1812, recruiting depots for the 1st Infantry were in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York. The 2nd pretty much in Pennsylvania.

The Additional Army of 1808 recruited as follows.
4th Infantry--New England
5th Infantry--Virginia and Maryland
6th Infantry--Pennsylvania and New York
7th Infantry--Kentucky and Tennessee
Rifle Regiment--At large; mostly in the western states
Light Artillery--At large
Dragoons--At large

The Additional Army of 1812 recruited as follows:
8th Infantry--Georgia and South Carolina
9th Infantry--Maine and New Hampshire and Massachusetts
10th Infantry--North Carolina
11th Infantry--Vermont
12th Infantry--Western Virginia
13th Infantry--Vicinity of New York City
14th Infantry--Maryland
15th Infantry--New Jersey
16th Infantry--Eastern Pennsylvania
17th Infantry--Kentucky
18th Infantry--South Carolina and Georgia
19th Infantry--Ohio, and the Territories of Indiana and Michigan, though only three recruits were obtained in the latter.
20th Infantry--Virginia
21st Infantry--Massachusetts proper
22nd Infantry--Western Pennsylvania
23rd Infantry--Northern and Western New York
24th Infantry--Tennessee and the Mississippi and Missouri Territories
25th Infantry--Rhode Island and Connecticut
2nd Dragoons--one squadron in New England, one squadron in eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey, and one-half squadron in the Carolinas and Georgia, and one troop in Kentucky.
2nd Artillery--Pennsylvania and to the south and west
3rd Artillery--North of Pennsylvania

In 1813 a number of one year federal volunteer regiments were formed; in 1814 these would be extended for the war or 5 years.

26th Infantry--Ohio
27th Infantry--Ohio
28th Infantry-- Kentucky
29th Infantry-- New York
30th Infantry--Maine District of Massachusetts
31st Infantry--Maine District of Massachusetts
32nd Infantry--Pennsylvania (Philadelphia region)
33rd Infantry--Massachusetts proper
34th Infantry--Massachusetts Proper
35th Infantry--South Atlantic states
36th Infantry--District of Columbia
37th Infantry--Virginia
38th Infantry--Maryland
39th Infantry--Louisiana, Tennessee, and the Mississippi Territory

On July 5th, 1813, several more regiments were authorized for coastal defense only.

40th Infantry--Massachusetts
41st Infantry--New York City
42nd Infantry--New Jersey and Philadelphia
43rd Infantry--Carolinas and Georgia
44th Infantry--Louisiana and West Florida

In addition 10 more companies of Rangers were authorized in lieu of the 45th Regiment. In January of 1812 six ranger companies (two from Ohio, and one each from Kentucky and the territories of Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri. In July a seventh company was authorized in Tennessee.

In 1814 the three regiments of artillerists were combined into a single Corps of Artillery. The two regiments of artillery were consolidated into one regiment. More regiments were authorized.
45th Infantry--New York
46th Infantry--New York
47th Infantry--Vermont

In the summer of 1814, the 17th and 19th Regiments were consolidated into a new 17th, and the 26th and 27th were consolidated into a new 19th. The 47th was redesignated the 26th, and the 46th became the 27th.

Also created in 1814 were three new Rifle Regiments.
2nd Rifles--Kentucky and Ohio
3rd Rifles--South Atlantic states
4th Rifles--New York

There is more on the rangers, but it is a mess, and I am still trying to sort it out.

One last unit was created during the war, and that was the companies of the Sea Fencibles. These were unique formations that served the coastal fortifications. They could fight as Marines on Navy ships or army floating batteries or gunboats, act as coastal artillery, or serve as infantry depending upon needs. Not all were raised, and there is not a lot on them. But they are interesting to say the least.


George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11977
Joined: 2009
Recruiting of the U.S. Regulars during the War of 1812
6/27/2020 4:51:16 PM
Gentlemen, I am reading with interest. If a regiment was raised for the regular army, was a standing or sedentary militia also raised in addition?

I know that, as on the British side, militia were involved in the war and were sometimes maligned but I wondered whether Pennsylvania militia also entered British North America to fight alongside the US regulars.

I am aware that there were instances in which militia from some states refused to leave the state to fight in Canada.

EDIT: I did find a website from an historical society in Pennsylvania that listed the names of militia men. It included the colonel under whom the served and also the length of enlistment. Those commitments varied from 3 months to 6 months to one year. Were those who joined regular regiments committed to fight for the duration of the war?

Cheers,

George
MPReed
Monroe MI USA
Posts: 37
Joined: 2005
Recruiting of the U.S. Regulars during the War of 1812
7/13/2020 12:27:54 AM
George,

Yes, Pennsylvania troops did enter Canada during the War of 1812, but not in large numbers. Overall Pennsylvania militia was something of a disappointment. It did provide some top notch volunteers though.

I had to do a bit more research before I could answer your question re: enlistments. Originally, enlistments were for five years, and this was true of the prewar army as well as the Additional Army of 1812. A $16.00 enlistment bounty was included. A private at this time was paid $5/mo.

By April of 1812 (just as recruiting for the Army of 1812 was getting under way) it was clear that the five year enlistments were not going to go over well. As a result the Act of April 8th, 1812, up to 15,000 of the 25,000 men authorized in January could be enlisted for a shorter term of 18 months. Still with the $16 bounty. As of November 1st, about 10,000 men had been recruited for the 1812 Army along with two or three thousand of the existing army (Peace Army, and Additional Army of 1808).

Recruiting was hampered by men joining the volunteers (though there were relatively few of these), militia call ups, a general anti-regular army outlook (many viewed regular soldiers as "slaves"), but mostly the low pay. The years prior to the war had seen the U.S. begin to industrialize, and as the U.S. was an agrarian society of principally small farmers, this caused a nation-wide labor shortage with the result that day laborers were commanding an average wage of $30/mo, or six times that of a private (or the same as a captain in the army).

In December, the pay of enlisted soldiers was increased by $3/mo, and enlistments could be for the duration of the war, or 5 years.

In an effort to lessen reliance upon militia (and state control of those officers), twenty regiments of one year enlistments (plus the usual bounty), and in July five of these were designated for coastal service only (40th-44th).

In January of 1814 the bounty was increased to a whopping $124! $50 paid upon enlistment, $50 paid on muster, and the remainder upon discharge, or if a recruit was killed or died as a result of service the final $24 was paid to his family.


George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11977
Joined: 2009
Recruiting of the U.S. Regulars during the War of 1812
7/14/2020 12:51:35 PM
Thank you for that information, MPReed. I wondered how the private soldier's wage compared with that of a British soldier. I believe that the British regular enlisted man who "took the King's shilling", was in the army for 20 years and more. He was
paid a shilling a day and paid for uniforms and rations out of his pay. Now that was regular service. I really don't know whether the pay increased during war time.

Your post prompted me to poke about and I found some interesting stuff in your National Archives regarding the discharge of soldiers. A man named John Warring had enlisted in 1813 and he was one of the 5 year enlistees that you mentioned.

It seems that he had asthma and was honourably discharged before his 5 year stint was up. I noted that he left service in March of 1815 which was just after the siege of Fort Bowyer so I am assuming that everyone knew that the war was over.

Quote:
"in consequence of his being afflicted with the Asthma, &c." Warring received the balance of his military pay dating from October 31, 1813, as well as three months' pay and subsistence to travel from his current post at Greenbush Cantonment (headquarters of the Northern Division of the U.S. Army) in upstate New York to Danbury, some 120 miles away. Warring also returned home well supplied with the balance of his Army-issued clothing, including two caps, four vests, four linen pantaloons, eight shirts, two pairs of boots, five pairs of shoes and stockings, two coats, four pairs of socks, two blankets, two frocks, two trousers, and two stocks.


The article also says that Congress was several months behind in pay to the soldiers but it seems that upon discharge, they did make it up to the men.

Cheers,

George
MPReed
Monroe MI USA
Posts: 37
Joined: 2005
Recruiting of the U.S. Regulars during the War of 1812
1/10/2022 2:28:03 PM
Quote:
Thank you for that information, MPReed. I wondered how the private soldier's wage compared with that of a British soldier. I believe that the British regular enlisted man who "took the King's shilling", was in the army for 20 years and more. He was
paid a shilling a day and paid for uniforms and rations out of his pay. Now that was regular service. I really don't know whether the pay increased during war time.


Sorry for such the long delay. It is only recently that I got around to actually looking the pay up. Yes, the British paid a shilling a day. According to Cramer's Almanac of Pittsburgh, the currency exchange between the U.S. dollar and the British Guinea was 4.667 dollars (whose value was pegged to the Spanish milled dollar; i.e. the Piece of Eight) to the Guinea. Thus a British private was paid the equivalent of 6.67 U.S. dollars per month. More than the initial $5.00/mo in 1812, but the cost of the uniform and rations was not passed onto the soldier in the U.S. Army. The one year volunteers of 1812 were paid $16 in cash for their uniforms (by law upfront, in practice not always).

Quote:


It seems that he had asthma and was honourably discharged before his 5 year stint was up. I noted that he left service in March of 1815 which was just after the siege of Fort Bowyer so I am assuming that everyone knew that the war was over.


Actually the down sizing of the army did not actually occur until well into 1815 (late spring or so).

Quote:
The article also says that Congress was several months behind in pay to the soldiers but it seems that upon discharge, they did make it up to the men.


It was not so much Congress was late (except for a few months in 1814 when collections did not match expenditures), but a distribution issue as regiments were rarely together, and soldiers were often separated from their commanded. Being nine months late was not unusual. This was a big issue with clothing as well.

George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11977
Joined: 2009
Recruiting of the U.S. Regulars during the War of 1812
1/10/2022 3:20:37 PM
Thank you MP Reed. It was worth the wait.

I just finished reading a book about James Fitzgibbon who was a British officer of some note who fought extensively on the Niagara peninsula during the War of 1812. There were multiple references to American forces taking goods from farmers to feed the troops. The British did the same on the other side of the river. I was never sure whether this was retributive justice or simply the fact that invading armies had to live off what they could scrounge.

As well it seems that the last to be fed and clothed were the militia, at least on the British side and they were not above stealing food from their neighbours. I don't know whether the militia on the US side were treated any better.

Pay and food for militia seems to have been the responsibility of the local militia commander. I don't know where he got the money initially but he would have to apply for back pay to ensure that he was reimbursed. Was it the same on the US side or did they have a more efficient supply chain and pay system?

The British did pay prize money to the militia and the regular troops after a successful mission. This had more to do with preserving the stores captured from the enemy so that a free for all did not ensure. So dependent upon rank, each soldier was paid in shares. I do not know how the take was evaluated to determine the value of a share.

Cheers,

George





Cheers,

George
MPReed
Monroe MI USA
Posts: 37
Joined: 2005
Recruiting of the U.S. Regulars during the War of 1812
1/16/2022 8:07:55 PM
George,

The British army had a commissary department, and the commissaries would purchase provisions from the locals (the quartermaster department purchased other supplies), and then issued them to the army. That would include militia. Every district had its own commissary. The U.S. did not have a commissary for provisions, but used contractors. A contract would be let, and the contractor and his agents would purchase the required provisions, and they were given 2.5% on the total. Since the object of the contractors was to turn a profit, they usually purchased the lowest quality provisions.

In general, both armies, while in enemy territory, usually just provisioned via the commissary. This did not happen much with the British on the American side as they were not here long enough to do so. The single exception was the Michigan Territory. After the fall of Detroit, the British moved on the River Raisin and Miami Rapids settlements (with the Indians as primary troops). There they did seize all the public supplies, but looting by the Indians (and the odd Canadian) was fairly uncontrolled, and the entire Miami Rapids settlement burned down. Detroit was itself largely turned over to the Indians, and after Hull surrendered the town was pretty much sacked, and the Indians killed, destroyed, or took anything that resembled food. They proceeded to cross the river, and have a go at the Canadians as well. At least one Canadian militiaman was shot and killed at the Rapids in the boats ferrying provisions. As a result, the Michigan Territory was destitute of food stuffs, and over the winter some 600 people were expelled from the settlement (mostly men), and relatively few crops were planted in the 1813 growing season. The British were forced to supply the civilians as well as troops and Indians, which in July of 1813 had reached 17,000 rations daily for the Indians alone (that would equate to some 4 to 5000 warriors). After the U.S. retook Detroit in the autumn of 1813, the population had to be supplied from army provisions mostly sourced from Ohio and western Pennsylvania. The loss of two provision ships to a storm in late in 1813 was extremely problematic.

At Mackinac, immediately after the capture, the local populace was told to take an oath of loyalty to Great Britain or get out of Dodge: they had one month. Presumably some supply might have been obtained locally, but that area is not exactly good farm material. That who region would continue to rely on supply from York (i.e. Toronto).

In the Niagara, the commissaries supplied both armies as usual. I'm not certain just how much was bought on the Canadian by the U.S. as most of the productive farms would have been out of reach. There was, of course, a lot of bitterness on both sides after a while, but from what I can make out from the primary record, almost all the extracurricular activity on the American side was conducted by the British regulars. Even as late as the summer of 1814, American forces were greeted well by many Canadians as "liberators." Though it must be said their were many many American expats in Canada still; most of whom would migrate back to the U.S. during the course of the war, and the years immediately following.

George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11977
Joined: 2009
Recruiting of the U.S. Regulars during the War of 1812
 Today 6:47 AM  
While the British commander, Henry Proctor, lost control of the First Nations warriors at the Battle of the River Raisin or Battle of Frenchtown as it is commonly called here, I think that it would have been most difficult to stop the FN's and especially the Potawatami from seeking vengeance. William Henry Harrison had practiced genocide against a number of tribes. His victory at Tippecanoe was not a one off. Fallen Timbers. ("Mad" Anthony Wayne??) is another. The western tribes were fighting to maintain control of their territories.

With respect to the behaviour of US troops on BNA soil, there is ample evidence of malign intent. Farms were burned and mills destroyed. In fact, this behaviour had the effect to harden the American settlers in Upper Canada against the US troops. Isaac Brock was greatly concerned that the American settlers, in the majority in UC, would join or lend support to the US. Certainly that happened but not in the numbers anticipated and it was partly the behaviour of US troops that convinced the Americans in Canada to at least remain neutral.

We know of the burning of York but there were worse depredations on the Niagara Peninsula. The burning of Newark in the dead of winter just before the Americans abandoned Fort George certainly upset the residence. It mattered not that the traitor Joseph Willcocks had a hand in it. He had been ordered by his US commander to fire the town. I believe that that US commander was disciplined by US higher command which did not approve of his actions.

We also know that the British response was to cross the Niagara and burn everything from Fort Niagara to Buffalo. The British were clear that this action was retributive in nature.

MP Reed you have said that once the war was over that the American settlers in Upper Canada decided to head home. I did not know that. Perhaps that is because there was a great influx of settlers in the years immediately following the War of 1812. I believe that these were mostly British settlers and the period is called, "The Great Migration". And to a certain extent, it was controlled migration meaning that settlers were told where they were needed. And restrictions and inducements were enacted to assure that the new immigrants didn't bolt for the US.

And the US would experience a similar and much larger period of immigration after the war.

In the post war period, settlements in Canada were created in places where militia would possibly be needed in a future war. Military preparedness guided immigration policies.

Between 1815 and 1850 over 800,000 people came to Canada. Nearly all were British including many Irish and many Scots.

Would that have had the effect to discourage US immigrants who had come to Canada, to return to the US? Did they feel overwhelmed by the influx of Britons?

The American Loyalists who came to Qu├ębec (Upper and Lower Canada after 1791) and the "Late Loyalists" who came looking for free land and minimal taxes had a great effect on the politics of the colony. Even though they could not support the revolution, these people did support representative government and were instrumental in effecting the progress to that state. But they were not republicans and were very conservative. My province of Ontario was guided by the Loyalist principles of loyalty to the crown and conservatism. In fact, the Coat of Arms of this province has on it the Latin words "Ut incepit fidelis sic permanet", which means, "Loyal she began, loyal she remains".

So if there was an out migration of American settlers, I would think that it would have been from the "Late Loyalist" group. Many were anti-Tory and some were outspoken even though they had to take an oath to the crown to be allowed to live in BNA. Late Loyalist is a derisive term and there was tension between the true Loyalists and the Late Loyalists. Certainly the Loyalists did not trust them even if they were just farmers trying to eke out a living in Upper Canada.

As I recall, with the end of the war further immigration by Americans was not permitted but I cannot recall how long that policy was in place. If my memory is correct, then perhaps the late Loyalists would have felt unwelcome by 1815.

How many Americans actually left the British colonies when the War of 1812 ended?

Cheers,

George

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