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