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1812 And All That


 An introduction to the War of 1812: an episode in the history of bungling, with its effects on the Indians


     There is an enormous amount of material on this subject, including patriotic semi-mythology and stodgy summaries, bad enough to not even be wrong, which reference to your on-line library catalog will show you. My main intention here is to create interest (it is a very interesting story) and summarize the action, concentrating on the western activity that I believe was the focus of the war, not the usual maritime scuffles or political wrangling among the lawyers in Congress. Indeed, Congress was totally occupied by how to pay for the war, not how to fight it. For managing the fighting, President Madison appointed incompetents as Secretaries of War, one after the other, as was traditional. I enjoy exposing the sturdy incompetence of most of the military and governmental chiefs in the United States of the time. West Point, founded in 1802, was staffed by incompetents and imbeciles, and taught mainly dueling and drinking. Many officers classfied their generals, political appointees all, as cowards, drunkards, old grannies, or traitors, singly or in various combinations. Harrison, who was not an incompetent, provides much material for this in his struggles with the bureaucracy, and many other observers contribute as well. I have not, by any means, touched all the incompetent blundering by the braggarts of the time. The memory of the non-blunderers (Wayne, Harrison, Perry, Jackson) deserves preservation. Special attention is given to the American Indians, since the war was mainly an Indian war.

Part 1 - The Setting, War Aims

Part 2 - Taking Canada, Really Invading Canada

Part 3 - The Defence of the Capital, War in the Southwest

Part 4 - War in the East, Effects of the War

Part 5 - Notes on Indians, References

1812 Reference Map

1812 And All That is reprinted here by permission of the author Dr. J.B. Calvert
Dr. James B. Calvert - Associate Professor Emeritus of Engineering, University of Denver. Registered Professional Engineer, State of Colorado No. 12317

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