Defense

April 30, 2012

Military kicks off War of 1812 bicentennial

by Gary Sheftick
Fort Meade, Md.
Navy photograph by PO1 Kenneth W. Robinson
Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 141st Field Artillery, of the Louisiana Army National Guard, fire a cannon salute as ships sail up the Mississippi at New Orleans for the War of 1812 Bicentennial Commemoration.

The bicentennial of the War of 1812 launched last week in New Orleans with a commemoration that revolved around the Navy’s Fleet Week celebration there.

At the beginning of the celebration, the Louisiana Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 141st Field Artillery, fired a cannon salute as the Navy’s Parade of Ships, including several international tall sailing vessels, made their way up the Mississippi River.

Over the next three years, the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard have an ambitious series of commemorations planned in cities across the nation to bring into the public’s eye the war which Navy officials believe was that service’s “real start as a blue-water force.”

The Army doesn’t have a commemoration committee planning huge national events for this bicentennial. But it is printing a series of seven booklets to explain the campaigns, said John Maass of the U.S. Army Center for Military History.

“We’re trying to get as many first-person accounts of the battles as we can find,” said Maass, an historian who specializes in commemorative works.

Many Americans don’t fully understand the War of 1812 and some were confused about its objectives even back in the days of Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison, according to Maass and other historians.

“The United States entered the war with confused objectives and divided loyalties and made peace without settling any of the issues that had induced the nation to go to war,” begins Chapter 6 of “American Military History, Volume 1,” which was produced by the U.S. Army Center for Military History, or CMH.

The CMH 1812 booklet about to go to print will help further explain the causes for the war, Maas said. It will take readers from the end of the American Revolution through the Battle of Tippecanoe, fought Nov. 7, 1811, against Shawnee leader Tecumseh. Popular opinion at the time was that British interference on the frontier had incited the Indian violence.

The immediate causes of the War of 1812, according to CMH historians, was the seizure of American ships by the British and the “impressment” of U.S. Sailors forced to serve aboard British warships battling Napoleon. Some Americans also saw an opportunity to expand the frontier while the British were busy fighting Napoleon in Europe.

Ecuadorian sailors aboard the Ecuadorian steel-hulled barque BAE Guayas (BE-21) man the yardarms as they arrive in New Orleans in conjunction with the War of 1812 Bicentennial Commemoration.

The conflict officially began June 18, 1812, when President James Madison signed the declaration of war into law. He had sent a message to Congress, June 1, outlining grievances against Great Britain. Congress reacted by declaring war.

The Campaign of 1812 will be the second CMH booklet published about the war, Mass said. The United States launched a failed invasion into Canada in July of that year. Other booklets in the series will include:

 

  • The Canadian Theater of 1813
  • The Canadian Theater of 1814
  • The Chesapeake Area – which includes the burning of Washington, D.C., in the summer of 1814 and the siege of Baltimore, which inspired Walter Scott Key to write the “Star-Spangled Banner ” during the bombardment of Fort McHenry.
  • The Creek Campaign – involving Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson
  • The Gulf Theater – which culminated with the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815.

 

The plan for the booklets is to publish them about the same time as the 200th anniversary of the campaigns they describe, Maass said, but added that it depends on resources.

“We’re on track to get at least one of them out this year,” he said.

The booklets will be “what most people would call traditional history,” Maass said, explaining that they will be a narration of the campaigns from the standpoint of the Army.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy photograph

TACP-M ties it all together

Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Lealan Buehrer Tactical air control party specialists with the 169th Air Support Operations Squadron survey an enemy-controlled landing zone before calling in close-air support Aug. 14, 20...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler

Nellis aggressor squadron inactivated

Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler SSgt. Justin White signals to Maj. Sam Joplin to begin taxiing a 65th Aggressor Squadron F-15 Eagle to the runway Sept. 18, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base Nev. The roles and responsib...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Dillian Bamman

A-29 Super Tucano arrives at Moody AFB

Air Force photograph by A1C Dillian Bamman An A-29 Super Tucano arrives at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., Sept. 26, 2014. The A-29 is a multi-role, fixed wing aircraft that will provide the Afghan Air Force air-to-ground capability...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Wesley Farnsworth

Air Force Research Lab unveils ‘Lightning’ supercomputer

Air Force photograph by Wesley Farnsworth The $20.8 million supercomputer will streamline testing time and cut costs on research initiatives. The Air Force Research Laboratory Department of Defense Supercomputing Resource Cente...
 
 
Army photograph by Conrad Johnson

Army scientist bolsters nanomaterials research with Singapore

Army photograph by Conrad Johnson Dr. Govind Mallick (left), a research chemist with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, and Dr. Lily Giri, a physicist who works as a contractor at ARL, are investigating the topological properti...
 
 
Army photograph by Nancy JonesBonbrest

JRTC takes on cyber, hybrid, conventional threats

Army photograph by Nancy JonesBonbrest The Joint Readiness Training Center, located at Fort Polk, La., leverages lessons learned from more than a decade at war to provide Soldiers realistic, intensive training. When the 3rd Bri...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>