Military Subjects:  War of 1812


The War of 1812 Magazine

Issue3: February 2006


War of 1812 Notes and Queries

The editors of the War of 1812 Magazine invite queries but please note that we cannot answer questions relating to genealogy. Those interested in such matters are directed to the many websites that specialize in this type of research.†

1004. While it is well understood that both Major-General Wade Hampton and Major General James Wilkinson disliked each other to the extent that they refused to support one another during the fall of 1813, I have had some difficulty trying to account for the reasons for their mutual hatred. Could you please provide some insight into this question? Thank-you. Thomas Arbuthnot.

1005. While significant criticism has been made of the performance of the Provincial Marine during 1812, there appears to have been some differences in the quality and in particular the leadership between the squadron on Lake Ontario and that on Lake Erie. Was this actually the case? Alex Dickson.

1006. We often hear that the life of a British soldier was dominated by strict discipline and punishments. However, I have read that this was not always the case and depended often on the character of the unit commanding officer or his superior. How did discipline in the American Army compare to that with the British? Joe Morrison.

1007. I was recently listening to a CD by Canadian folksinger Stan Rogers.  On it was a song called "MacDonnell on the Heights".  Supposedly he was a major and died with Brock at Queenstown.  What did Major MacDonnell do that warranted writing a song about him? Bob Burnham

Lieutenant-Colonel John Macdonell was born in Scotland in 1785 and emigrated to Upper Canada in 1792. In 1808, he began a brief, but meteoric legal career in the provincial capital of York and also joined the York Militia. In 1811 Macdonell became the provincial attorney general, which brought him into contact with General Brock, who appointed him as one of his provincial aides-de-camp in April 1812. A man of fiery temper, he is known to have fought a duel in 1812. Macdonell was at Detroit in 1812 and later accompanied Brock to Queenston Heights. Following the generalís death during the battle, he joined in the second charge against the redan battery, during which he was hit four times by American fire. Macdonell succumbed to his wounds the day after the battle and is buried with his former commander in the Brock Memorial atop Queenston Heights. Reply by John R. Grodzinski


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