United States in the War of 1812

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Star Spangled Banner, flag that inspired the U.S. National anthem


The War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain began formally on June 18, 1812. It involved about 60,000 U.S. Army forces supported by 470,000 militia and volunteer troops. To end the war, the treaty of Ghent was signed 24 December 1814, however another battle was fought 8 January 1815 at New Orleans. The U.S. Congress ratified the treaty on 17 February 1815, formally ending the war.

When war was declared, the Regular Army had about 10,000 men, and about half of those were new recruits. "Each Regular Army infantry regiment was recruited from a particular state (or states). Rifle, artillery, and dragoons were recruited at large...Most, but not all, of the men recruited for a particular infantry regiment were from the state of recruitment."[1]

David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler, editors Encyclopedia of the War of 1812.Santa . Barbara, California : ABC-CLIO, 1997. FHL 973 H26he


Map of the United States during the War of 1812.

How to Find your War of 1812 Soldier[edit | edit source]

United States Federal Military Units[edit | edit source]


Not all men enrolled in state militia units. Men also enrolled in federal (US) units. The records for the federal units are more extensive than those for the state militia units.

United States (Federal) Units








For a list showing the regimental recruiting districts, see William A. Gordon, A Compilation of the Registers of the Army of the United States from 1815 to 1837, 1 (Washington, DC: James C. Dunn, 1837). Digital version: Internet Archive.

Military Districts[edit | edit source]

  • Military District No. 1: Massachusetts and New Hampshire
  • Military District No. 2: Rhode Island and Connecticut
  • Military District No. 3: New York, from the sea to the Highlands, and East Jersey
  • Military District No. 4: West Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware
  • Military District No. 5: Maryland and Virginia
  • Military District No. 6: North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia
  • Military District No. 7: Louisiana, Mississippi Territory, and Tennessee
  • Military District No. 8: Kentucky, Ohio and the Territories of Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and MIssouri
  • Military District No. 9: New York, north of the Highlands, and Vermont

State and Territorial Militia Units[edit | edit source]

Many men enrolled in state or territory militia units. The records for these men were kept by the state or territory. Check a state or territory below:

Other States with Records of Veterans[edit | edit source]


War of 1812 Records[edit | edit source]

More Records[edit | edit source]

National Archives Catalog[edit | edit source]

Soldiers' Claims[edit | edit source]

  • Higgins, Francis J. "Index of Awards on Claims of the Soldiers of the War of 1812" (Baltimore, Maryland, 1969, 1994)
  • Index of Awards on Claims of the Soldiers of the War of 1812, compiled by the New York Adjutant General's Office. The following list is an index of claims presented by members of Indian tribes primarily in New York mustered into the service of the United States in the War of 1812. Information is presented as follows: Claim number, name of warrior, claimant and amount awarded.


Privateers[edit | edit source]

Battles[edit | edit source]

  • List of War of 1812 Battles on Wikipedia
  • Campaigns of the War of 1812-1815, Against Great Britain, Sketched and Criticised; with Bief Biographies of the American Engineers, George W. Cullum. FHL microfilm 1404257
  • The Fight for a Free Sea: a Chronicle of the War of 1812. 1920. Ralph Delahaye Paine. New Haven Connecticut, Yale Univeristy Press, 1920) FHL book 973 H2ch v. 17

Individual Battles

  • Battle of Queenston Heights, Queenston, Ontario (British victory) - 13 October 1812
  • Battle of Frenchtown(British victory) - 22 January 1813 at what is now Monroe, Michigan on the Raisin River
  • Battle of Lake Erie (Wikipedia)
    Battle Lake Errie 1813.jpg
    (United States naval victory) - 10 September 1813
  • Battle of the Thames (Wikipedia) (Both sides claimed victory) - 5 October 1813 at Moraviantown, on Thames River, Kent County, Ontario
  • Battle of Lundy's Lane - 25 July 1814; Both sides claimed victory; one mile from Niagara Falls
  • Battle of Plattsburg - 11 September 1814

Histories[edit | edit source]

Published Books Online[edit | edit source]

Published Books[edit | edit source]

For Further Reading[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. National Archives. War of 1812 Discharge Certificates, (accessed 25 April 2012).