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FORWARD of State of Vermont ROSTER of SOLDIERS in the WAR of 1812-14 [part of]
Posted by: J. transcriber (ID *****1076) Date: November 03, 2011 at 17:49:33
  of 6349

FOREWORD
On pages 2 [inside cover], 3 and 4:
"Napoleon, dominating Europe after the tremendous battle of Austerlitz in 1805, issued decrees declaring the continent closed to British good, and ordered all vessels seized that touched at a British port. England, still master of the seas when Admiral Nelson shattered the combined fleets of France and Spain off Cape Trafalgar in October of the same year, retaliated by seizing all merchant vessels which did not touch at British ports; and in consequence American ocean trade, caught between these two orders, was so havily reduced that
in 1808-1809, President Madison tried by desperate diplomacy to bride England and France to bid against each other for our trade. It happened at this time that British seamen deserted to the higher paid and better treated American merchantmen; and England, contemptuous of American naval weakness, exercised the 'right of search' on American vessels to recover her sorely needed seaman. In May 1811, our frigate "President", chasing a British cruiser on which a Massachusetts citizen was impressed, was fired upon by a British sloop of war. American indignation was great. After Governor Harrison of the Northwest Territory had reported British ammunition in the hands of Indians, and Henry Clay's brilliant oratory had stirred great popular excitement, President Madison wrote a fiery message against British outrages, and on June 18, 1812, Congress declared war.

The United States was woefully unprepared. The regular army numbered less than seven thousand men, many of them raw recruits. Our fifteen ships had to match England's one thousand. Much went amiss. The commander at Detroit was court martialed and sentenced to death for timid abandonment of his post, and the generals at the other end of Lake Erie fought duels over mutual charges of cowardice instead of advancing against the enemy. Clay had boasted that the Conquest of Canada could be accomplished by a small body of militia, but events proved that except for the victory of Perry's little Lake Erie fleet and Macdonough's brilliant manoeuvers [sic.] on Lake Champlain, we could hardly have been saved from a disastrous British invasion from Canada. Cheered by Perry's famous dispatch, "We have met the enemy and they are ours," Harrison recaptured Detroit, but in August, 1814, a small British force raided Washington and burned the city. Fortunately for us, however, England was principally engaged in fighting France, so that the United States had had time to build a few necessary ships. Though our Navy was still small, the exploits of such frigates as "Old Ironsides" proved the genius of American seamanship, and by a series of surprising triumphs kept the country in a fever of rejoicing. The war was disastrous to American exports, but fortunately our Navy in two years had captured some 2000 British merchantmen, and England, worn by trouble on all sides, signed peace with us at Ghent on Christmas eve, 1814.

Such in brief are the facts relating to the War of 1812. Vermont's position as a state bordering both on Lake Champlain and Canada laid her open to especial danger, and made her part in the campaigns particularly important. When British impressment of American seamen had first stirred the nation in 1807, the Vermont Legislature adopted, by a vote of 169 to 1, a resolution which they forwarded to President Jefferson in which they declared: "And we do further for ourselves and our constituents declare that, fearless of the dangers to [which] we may be exposed as a frontier state, we shall be ever ready to obey the call of our common country, whenever it shall be necessary either for the purposes of redress or vengeance." [Vt. Assembly Journal 1807 p. 230.] Jefferson, though not needing the help of Vermonters at the time, replied that their sentiments were 'worthy of their known patriotism.' Again in 1809, after further outrages, the Legislature sent a similar message to President Madison, who received it with equal gratitude. Consequently when Madison issued his proclamation of war, Governor Jonas Galusha and the legislature sustained the government and passed laws immediately to prohibit intercourse with Canada.

But is must be understood that, though Vermonters could be stirred to patriotic fury by British indignities on the high seas, they were not all so eager to see their livelihood endangered by laws forbidding commerce with Canada. In consequence Galusha and the Democratic legislature were opposed in the 1813 elections by the Federalists who succeeded by a hotly contested vote of 112 to 111 in declaring Martin Chittenden as governor - a man who opposed the war.

Yet there was no doubt as to the loyalty of the state as a whole." <excerpt>

Source is "State of Vermont ROSTER of SOLDIERS in the WAR of 1812-14", prepared and published under the direction of Herbert T. Johnson, the Adjutant General, 1933.

Transcribed by
VT volunteer, j.

My note: It appears that FORWARD was spelled incorrectly above.


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