War of 1812 Reenactment

War of 1812 Reenactment Primary Sources

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War of 1812 Reenactment Primary Source Journals and Diaries and Articles

War of 1812 Reenactment: As a War of 1812 Reenactor I have gone to many War of 1812 sites and have acquired many primary sources. The purpose of this page is to provide a list of pdfs of primary source journals, diaries, and articles for 1812 reenactors.

War of 1812 Reenactment, Free Trade and Sailors Rights

A Selection of War of 1812 Primary Sources:


The pictorial field-book of the War of 1812 by Ben Lossing. May also be able to navigate this URL to find a better text version. Or download the book in a .doc format here from my Google drive account.

St. Clair’s Defeat:

American Indian Military Leadership St.Clairs defeat 


The Conduct of the Militia at Tippecanoe- Elihu Stout’s Controversy with Colonel John P. Boyd, January 1812

Champlain Campaign

A “Traitorous and Diabolical Traffic:” The Commerce of the Champlain-Richelieu Corridor During the War of 1812

A Georgia Officer In the War of 1812: The Letters of Colonel William Clay Cumming – Zip file. By John C. Fredriksen The Georgia Historical Quarterly Vol. 71, No. 4 (Winter, 1987), pp. 668-691 (24 pages) Published By: Georgia Historical Society. William Clay took part in the attempted seizure of Western Florida and then joined the US Army and participated in the battle of Crystler’s Farm as part of the officer’s staff.

Below are some images of an account from a Lt. Gabius (Cabius?) Whitting (Whiting?) of the Corps of Artillery at Fort Constitution. If anyone knows what the images say or has a clearer copy please contact me. I’d love to put it on this page (and give proper credit).

Northwestern Campaign:


David Trimble Letter to Micajah Harrison – this is a translated version into type-text. The original cursive one can be viewed here.

Ohio Centinel Dec 1812 Correction about Battle of Massassinewa – zip file. a letter written into an Ohio paper by John Payne 1st LT Ky Vol. Light Dragoons and adj. to detachment offering a correction to the report.

Narrative of the Northwestern Campaign of 1813 by Stanton Sholes – zip file. Mississippi Historical Review Vol. 15, No. 4. March 1929. pp.519-525

Some Buckingham County VA Soldiers in the War of 1812

Samual Stubbs a Kentuckian Account of War of 1812

Journal of Maj Isaac Roach 1812-1824

Defense of Ft Harrison

Charles S Todd Kentuckian in War of 1812

Capt John Black War of 1812 zip file.

Alexander Bourne Diary_War of 1812 zip file.

Adam Walker Journal 4th US Infantry zip file.

The Papers of Joel Leftwich 1779-1843

Views of the campaigns of the northwestern army Comprising sketches of the campaigns of Generals Hull and Harrison

The Pittsburgh Blues and The War of 1812: The Memoir of Private Nathan Vernon” by John C. Fredriksen, Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, Volume 56, Number 3, July, 1989, Pages 196 – 212.

Pittsburgh Blues by Niebaum Part III

Early History of Wood Co., Ohio. Pioneer Scrap-Book

Muster rolls of 2nd Brigade and 5th Brigade of PA militia


A New Letter About the Massacre at Fort Dearborn

Mrs. Lydia B. Bacon’s Journal, 1811-1812

Life of General Leslie Combs

Journal of Major Isaac Roach_War of 1812

History of Late War In Western Country Robert McAfee

An Authentic History of War of 1812 by Sam Brown

A Brief Sketch of the late war by Robert McCulloh

Cradle of the Cockade A Play Zip file.

Petersburg Volunteers by Lee Wallace

Recollections of War of 1812 by George Hay

Woods Journal of the Northwestern Campaign 1812-1813

Pay Rate 2nd US Artillery Cushings Company

Regimental Book for the 1st Regiment 3rd Detachment of Ohio Militia containing orders issued by James Mills of Butler County

Captain John Barrickmans Diary Account and General Record Book in the War of 1812

Journal of Nathen Newsom

James Calloway in the War of 1812

The Siege of Fort Meigs 1813 an eye-witness account by Alexander Bourne

The War of 1812 in Northwestern Ohio Background and Causes

The War of 1812 in Northwestern Ohio The Year of Disasters

We Lay There Doing Nothing John Jackson’s Recollection of the War of 1812

Journal of Joseph Larwill

Journal of Eunis Duncan 16th Regiment Kentucky Militia Detached

A Journal of those Heroic Kentucky Volunteers and Regulars Elias Darnell

A History of the Life and Services of Cpt Samuel Dewees

Best Troops in the World the Michigan Territorial Militia in the Detriot River Theater during The War of 1812

Robert Lucas Journal of the War of 1812 During the Campaign under General William Hull

A Diary of the Attempted Relief of Fort Detriot – Zip file. It’s a copy of a fragmented diary. Comes from Mississippi Valley Historical Review Vol.1, No.2 Sept 1914. p. 274-278.

Niagara Campaign:

Documentary History of the Campaign on the Niagara Frontier in 1814 by Ernest Alexander  Cruikshank. Edited for the Lundy Lane Historical Society.

Memoirs of Capt Ephraim Shaler Cpt 2nd LT in 25th Infantry

Lt Col George McFeely PA Militia War of 1812

Letters of Cpt John Scott 15th US Infantry War of 1812

Joseph Dwight NY Ensign War of 1812

David Parish NY Landowner and the War of 1812

Battle of Chippawa_Infantry Tactics in the War of 1812

War of 1812 in Northern NY_Observations of Cpt Rufus McIntire

A Forgotten Hero in a Forgotten War Crysler’s Farm. Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, 1990.

The Papers of Major Daniel McFarland, A Hawk of 1812” by John Newell Crombie, The Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, Volume 51, April, 1968, Number 2Pages 101 – 125. | McFarland was a Major in the 23rd Infantry Regiment and died at the Battle of Lundy’s Lane.

The Twenty-Second Infantry A Forgotten Regiment in a Forgotten War

The 22nd Regiment in the War of 1812 by William Young Brady

A Soldier’s Diary for 1814

Chronicle of Valor The Journal of a Pennsylvania Officer in the War of 1812 edited
by John C. Fredriksen, The Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, Volume 67, July,
1984, Pages 243 – 284. | Lieutenant Colonel George McFeely of the Twenty-Second United States Infantry

The Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of 1812: An Anonymous Journal of Service for the Year 1814” by John C. Fredriksen, The Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, Volume 70, April, 1987, Pages 123 – 157.

One of Philadelphia’s Soldiers in the War of 1812” [Lieutenant Patrick McDonough] by Isabel M. O’Reilly, Records of the American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia, Volume 12, Number 3, September, 1901, Pages 294 – 321 | Lt. McDonough was in the 2nd US Artillery.

Pennsylvania and the War of 1812

A POOR BUT HONEST SODGER COLONEL CROMWELL PEARCE THE 16TH US INFANTRY AND THE WAR OF 1812 by John C. Fredriksen, Pennsylvania History, Volume 52, Number 3, July, 1985, Pages 131 – 161.


Journal of Events Principally on the Detriot and Niagara Frontiers during the War of 1812 by Capt Merritt of the Prov Light Dragoons

Brigadier General Boyd New York notes and letters related to the War of 1812 – Published in 1816. Boyd was a long-term serving officer who was partially blamed for the loss at Locolle Mill. This is defense.

Memoirs of Captain Ephraim Shaler: A Connecticut Yankee in the War of 1812 – Zip file. John C. Fredriksen and Ephraim Shaler The New England Quarterly Vol. 57, No. 3 (Sep., 1984), pp. 411-420 (10 pages) | Shaler was with the 25th US Infantry Regiment at Ft. George and Stoney Creek.

ZEBULON MONTGOMERY PIKE AND THE YORK CAMPAIGN, 1813 By: W. E. HOLLON New York History Vol. 30, No. 3 (July, 1949), pp. 259-275 (17 pages)

Colonel James Burn and the War of 1812: The Letters of a South Carolina Officer By: John C. Fredriksen and James Burn The South Carolina Historical Magazine Vol. 90, No. 4 (Oct., 1989), pp. 299-312 (14 pages)

Lawyer, Soldier, Judge: Incidents in the life of Joseph Lee Smith Connecticut Historical Society Bulletin 51 (1986) by Fredriksen , John C

The Battle of Chippawa: Infantry Tactics in the War of 1812 by: Jeffrey Kimball Military Affairs Vol. 31, No. 4 (Winter, 1967-1968), pp. 169-186 (18 pages)

New York in Song: War of 1812. Zip file. From David K. Hildebrand New York History Vol. 94, No. 3-4 (Summer/Fall 2013), pp. 283-299 (17 pages) Published By: Cornell University Press

Southern Campaign:

Journal of Capt Isaac L Baker

Tecumseh Visits the Creeks zip file.

John Coffee, General of Tennessee Militia. Orderly Books 1812-1815.

Eastern Campaign:

The Lebenon Blues Baltimore Campaign Orderly Book

Lebanon Blues in Baltimore Campaign 1814

Baltimore 1813 A study in urban defense

William Wood Thackara, Volunteer in the War of 1812 – Zip file. By Anne Castrodale Golovin and W. W. T. The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography Vol. 91, No. 3 (Jul., 1967), pp. 299-311, 313-325 (26 pages) Published By: University of Pennsylvania Press. Was a private in a militia group called Washington Guards for 4 months between 1812 and 1814. Guarded the du Pont gunpowder factories and was stationed between Philadelphia and Wilmington Delaware in three different camps. This commanding officer, Thomas Franklin Pleasants also has his own diary account. A digital copy doesn’t seem to be available.

Western Campaign (frontier) and Beyond the Mississippi

Capt. T.G. Anderson’s journal, 1814 : journal of the proceedings at Fort McKay, from the departure of Lieut. Col. McKay, for Mackinaw, comprehending the particulars of every occurring circumstance in and out of the fort within the vicinity of Prairie du Chien | This is an online journal that while viewable isn’t user-friendly to go through.

Dress and Uniforms and Headgear

Notes on the Uniform of the Solider at Fort Meigs – Covers US Army Regiments at Fort Meigs (both pre and post-seige), 10th Regiment of Ky Militia, Ky Mounted Troops, 12th Month Volunteers, Ohio Militia, Rangers/Scouts.

22nd US Infantry Regiment, 1812-1813 – By Charles McBarron and James L Kochan. – BMP images in a zip file. Discusses their uniform and includes a plate that serves as an example of what they looked like.

Uniform of the 15th Infantry

Two Leather Caps in the War of 1812

American Military Dress of the War of 1812 by McBarron zip file.

1812 Cockade and Stock

US Army Headgear 1783 to 1832

American Military Dress in the War of 1812

US Army and Militia headgear, caps, shakos, plates, cockades, and eagles. – zip file of the War of 1812 section. American Military Headgear Insigna. Campbell, Duncan J. and Michael J. O’Donnell. 2004. Alexandria, VA:O’Donnell Publications

British Infantry Greatcoats during the War of 1812 – zip file. Discusses sizes, supplying, and descriptions of British Greatcoats.

War of 1812 US Dragoon Shako, Tombstone Shako, and Militia Belt Buckles (c.1820) – Zip file. Photos taken in 2005 during my internship at the National Museum of American History. I posted a few photos below of the zip file.


The French Musket as an American Weapon US Military Shoulder Arms by James Hicks and Fred Porter Todd

Field Artillery of the War of 1812

The French Musket as an American Weapon

Swords and Sword Makers in the War of 1812. zip file

American Polearms

American Firearms

Survey of US Soldier Arms and Accouterments from 1776-2007 by David Cole. Has a few pages that cover the War of 1812 and includes a handful of photos of original equipment


Goods issued to Army Northwest Greensburgh & Indiana 

US Army Military Fifes

Blankets for Military Service

Clothing Costs Procurement and items

Infantry Accouterments in the US Army 1812-1814

Spectacles 1760-1783

US Army Colors and Standards 1808

War of 1812 Gunners Haversack

War of 1812 Camp Kettles

Dry Books of Tactics: U.S.Infantry Manuals of the War of 1812 and After, Part 1. Military Collector and Historian 38 (Summer 1986) : 50-61. By Donald Graves.

Parts of a Company and Regiment Niles Weekly Register

Military Life:

Monthly Soldiers Pay1813 Niles Weekly Register

Military Punishments in the War of 1812

Black and White Prisoners in War of 1812

Retaliation for Treatment of Prisoners

Army Recruitment War of 1812

Regulations for the Field Exercise and Conduct of Infantry 1812 Smyth

The Men Were Sick of the Place _ Soldier Illness and Environment in the War of 1812

1st Infantry. 1801 Standing orders – As written by Colonel John Hamtramck, and copied into the Company book of Captain Clemson, 1807, carried throughout the War of 1812. If interested in a copy contact the unit here. Makes mention of US Enlisted Men’s Messes:

“In garrison or whenever practicable the Regiment is to dine at one O’clock, at which time an Orderly officer is to visit the rooms and see that the Messes are sufficiently and properly served, that the Rooms are clean that the arms knapsacks and clothing are hung in the places alloted for them, and if any irregularities exist, to report them to the Officer commanding the regiment…..

At dinner drum, the Roast Beef is to be beat, precisely at One O’clock each day, when the men off duty are to assemble to Dinner. The dinner of those on guard are to be sent them by the non Commissioned officers of their different squads.

Every Mess will furnish themselves with two corse table clothes.  A knife fork spoons and plate for each man, and the men of each barrack room must have two corse towels, one of which is to be fastened on a roller behind the door for the men to wipe themselves with.

The officers commanding companies will be pleased to see the above articles purchased as cheap as possible, the expense is trifling and will add much to the comfort of the men.

The non commissined officers of squads are to be answerable that a clean table cloth and towel be supplied twice a week, the room to pay for the washing. no man is permitted to clean himself or any thing belonging to him during Dinner time. ……

No mess shall consist of less than six men and not more than eight, unless permitted to the contrary, and no mess is to presume to sit down to dinner until the orderly officer has seen it, and no person to be permitted to eat his dinner at any other time, or to set at table without his hands are very clean.

A man in each room is to cook for the day, and to take the dinner to the men on guard. Soldiers who have families may be permitted to live by themselves.”

3 Shots minute sources:

There is a reference in “Red Coat and Brown Bess” by Anthony Darling:

“On parade he was expected to deliver by word of command one shot
every fifteen seconds.”

There is a footnote:

Simes, Thomas The Military Medly,p.23 London 1768. Cited in Peterson,
Op. Cit. P 160. On the battlefield, three shots a minute would
probably be average for a well-trained and disciplined body of men
while advancing.

Food and Rations

Raynor, Laura A., and Douglas J. Kennett. “Dietary Variability among a Sample of United States Soldiers during the War of 1812.” Historical Archaeology, vol. 42, no. 4, 2008, pp. 76–87. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/25617530. Accessed 15 Dec. 2022.

Wine Measures – The 1805 book “The Scholars arithmetic or Federal Accountant” by Daniel Adams has a mention of the terminology of how to measure wine:

2 pints       MAKE ONE      Quart;
4 quarts      MAKE ONE      gallon;
10 gallons    MAKE ONE      Anchor of Brandy;
18 gallons    MAKE ONE      Runlet;
31 1/2 gallons MAKE ONE     half hogshead;
42 gallons    MAKE ONE      Tierce;
63 gallons    MAKE ONE      hogshead;
2 hogsheads   MAKE ONE      pipe or Butt;
2 pipes       MAKE ONE      Tun.

HardtackBiscuits, Hard Tack, and Crackers in Early America by Stuart Wier Boulder, Colorado July 2014 digs up a mention of hardtack during the War of 1812 and provides a couple of period recipes. Though, it’s not clear if these are more “biscuit” or more “hardtack”.

A hardtack recipe – though I’m not sure how accurate this is.

1 Part Water
4 Parts Flour
Salt to Taste

Flour/Water salt into dough, Knead
Roll into 1/4in. thickness.
Cut into 2in. squares.
Bake at 275 degrees until bottom is brown. Same for other side.
Leave in oven, overnight to cool.


Jesse Bennet Pioneer Physician and Surgeon

Retaliation for treatment of prisoners

Survivals of American Service in British Regiments

Life and Letters of William Beaumont War of 1812 Surgeon

Medical Sketches War of 1812

Medical Topography of Upper Canada

Enlisted Soldiers:

Cousin Jonathan: The Common United States Soldier in the War of 1812 by Eugene Watkins

Enlisted Men in the United States Army, 1812-1815: A Preliminary Survey. J. C. A. Stagg Source: The William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, Vol. 43, No. 4 (Oct., 1986), pp. 615-645

Officers and Upper Command

United States Army Officers in the War of 1812: A Statistical and Behavioral Portrait October 2012 The Journal of Military History 76(4):1001-1034 by JC Skaggs

QM Corps Part 1_Pub_10-12-1 – Covers a brief mention of the US Quartermaster Corps in the War of 1812 but mostly covers WW2.


Journal Kept Board the US Frigate Constitution 1812 by Amos Evans

War of 1812 Navy Documentary History in 3 volumes (zip file link to my dropbox account)

Brief Sketches of the Officers who were in the Battle of Lake Erie

Cruise of the US brig Argus in 1813: Journal of Surgeon James Inderwick

U.S. Navy Petty Officers in the Era of the War of 1812 October 2012 The Journal of Military History 76(4):1035-1052 by Michael Crawford

History of the American privateers, and letters-of-marque, during our war with England in the years 1812, ’13 and ’14. Interspersed with several naval battles between American and British ships-of-war. By George Coggeshall.

Privateering in Early America Carl E. Swanson First Published December 1, 1989

“The Sport of Arbitrary Men”: The Privateer Nonsuch and a Search at Sea in the War of 1812. by Leiner, Frederick C. Journal of Military History. Oct 2012, Vol. 76 Issue 4, p1147-1164. 18p.

The Private Navy of the United States: The effects of Privateers on the War of 1812” by Anthony Green. Spring 2019. Master’s Thesis, James Madison University.

Terror Weapons in the Naval War of 1812 Andrew J. B. Fagal New York History, Vol. 94, No. 3-4 (Summer/Fall 2013), pp. 221-240 (20 pages). Discussion of early Torpedos, the Torpedo Act, and Robert Fulton.


US Army as viewed by UK travelers 1825 to 1860

Laws of War in the 1812 Conflict

Federalist Party Unity in the War of 1812

A Note on Western Logistics in the War of 1812

Who Invented Scalping

High Army Leadership in the War of 1812

Jews in the War of 1812.

The Financial History of the War of 1812

The Militia System and the State Militias in the War of 1812 by Robert L. Kerby. Indiana Magazine of History Vol. 73, No. 2 (June 1977), pp. 102-124 (23 pages)

Biological Warfare in Eighteenth-Century North America: Beyond Jeffery Amherst February 2000 The Journal of American History 86(4):1552-80 by Elizabeth Fenn

British Soldiers:

A Splendid Man Richardson, Ft Meigs, and the story of Metoss

Recollections of War of 1812 by George Hay

Letters of British Admiral Sir David Milne War of 1812

Journal of William Beall War of 1812

Glassware of the British Military – English

The March of 104th Foot to Quebec 1813

The Bisshopp Papers during the War of 1812

Major John Richardson War of 1812

Recollections of the War of 1812 by George Hay 8th Marquis of Tweeddale


Journal of events principally on the Detroit and Niagara frontiers, during the War of 1812 by Cpt. W.H. Merritt of the Prov. Light Dragoons

A Veteran War of 1812 Jonathan Phillips Glengary Regiment of Infantry

A veteran of 1812 The life of James FitzGibbon

A subaltern in America Comprising the Narrative of the Campaign of the British Army at Baltimore and Washington by Lt George Robert Gleig – Describes “going ons” and the attacks and the Washington and Baltimore from a British subaltern.

Indians/Native-Americans/First Peoples:

A Running kind of Fight: Indian Battlefield Tactics of the Late 18th Century

The Illinois River Potawatomi in the War of 1812 by David Edmunds

The life of Tecumseh and his brother the Prophet by Ben Drake

The Unkindest Cut, or Who Invented Scalping by James Axtell and William Sturtevant

Muster Rolls

Muster Rolls of the Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of 1812

Kentucky Troops in the War of 1812 – An accounting of all the Kentucky Militia units and companies along with officers. The 7th US Regiment, 17th US Regiment, 28th US Regiment, and 2nd Regiment of US Rifles are included as they appear to have recruited primarily from KY.


A small collection of sheet music – zip file. Chester, God Save America, Over The Hills and Far Away, Back and Sides Go Bare, To Anacreon in Heaven, Spanish Ladies.

Constitution and the Guerriere

Contemplator – a good source for period music


Sgts Appointment NY Militia. Provenance unknown.

Traveling Pay Document made on Rag Paper. Notes on size could be 7×5 inches or 5×25 inches? Provenance unknown.