By John R. Elting
Began in lack of know-how of the army proof of existence, fought with uncooked troops, regularly incompetent officials, and insufficient logistics, the struggle of 1812 used to be a close to catastrophe for the fledgling usa. This new volune in Algonquin's significant Battles and Campaigns sequence tells how our country's so much "unmilitary" struggle was once fought and virtually misplaced. 12 pages of illustrations. sixteen maps.
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Additional info for Amateurs, to Arms!: A Military History of the War of 1812 (Major Battles and Campaigns)
T h e few Americans who appeared at Prairie du C h i e n (now in southwest Wisconsin), the great inland center where Sioux, Sac, Fox, Winnebago, and Chippewa gathered to trade, had little prestige and less influence. T h i s weakness of the northwestern frontier and the probability of further Indian troubles made it essential that Detroit be rapidly and strongly reinforced. T h i s would not only overawe the "savages" but would prepare for an invasion of Upper Canada, an event long anticipated by land-hungry American westerners.
Hunters and warriors from childhood, they were masters of the wide-ranging raid, surprise attacks, and ambush. T h e s e tactical skills, and the savagery with which they too often applied them—prisoners tortured; wounded, women, and children butchered; houses and crops b u r n e d — h a d a thoroughly demoralizing effect on green American troops, whether militia or regular. T h e y were far more feared than British soldiers. T h e Indian was hard to hold to any fixed plan, uncontrollable when drunk (which, with most, was as often as possible) or in the heat of combat.
Collecting small boats, Hull planned to cross into Canada on July l o , but was delayed for two days by a rumor of Indian attack on Detroit and the semi-mutiny of some of the Ohio militia, who suddenly developed conscientious scruples against crossing the river and thus taking part in a war of aggression. ") T h e crossing on the 12th went smoothly. Hull set up a lightly fortified base near the village of Sandwich, reconnoitered toward Fort Maiden, sent M c A r t h u r north to overawe the countryside and collect supplies, and urged the local Indians to remain neutral.
Amateurs, to Arms!: A Military History of the War of 1812 (Major Battles and Campaigns) by John R. Elting
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