Military Subjects:  War of 1812

The War of 1812 Magazine

Issue 10: October 2008


By John R. Grodzinski

Welcome to the tenth issue of the War of 1812 Magazine. Reaching our tenth issue is a considerable milestone and we have been fortunate to receive great support from a great many individuals in doing so. In particular, thanks must be extended to all members of our Editorial Board, for their guidance, general help and advice. In particular, Professor Donald Hickey has been most helpful. As for other individuals, Donald E. Graves has also provided great assistance, while Bob Burnham, our host with the Napoleon Series website has been most supportive. Without the help of these people, this publication would not exist.

This issue includes contributions from a variety of people in Canada, Great Britain and the United States. In this issue, well known scholar David Curtiss Skaggs provides an interesting article titled “The Making of a Major-General: the Politics of Command of the North West Army, 1812-13,” while Gareth A. Newfield of the Canadian War Museum examines a particularly distasteful aspect of the war in “Anatomy of Atrocity: Crimes of the Independent Companies of Foreigners in North America, 1813.” This article is based upon a paper given by the author at a Military History Colloquium at Wilfred Laurier University in May 2008. Finally, Sandy Antal returns with an interesting examination “Remember the Raisin: Anatomy of a Demon Myth.” In other features, Nicholas Riall, a descendent of British Major-General Phineas Riall, commander of the Right Division in the Niagara Peninsula from late 1813 to the summer of 1814, provided fascinating imagery of two portraits of the general, including interesting details on their provenance.

It is the support and interest by authors and contributors such of these that are the foundation of this magazine and its success.

The year 2008 is quickly coming to a close; the year has witnessed the appearance of several important new articles and books on the war, while preparations for the bicentennial of the war continue. Many individuals are working hard to coordinate the many symposia, re-enactments, commemorations and other events that will occur between 2012 and 2015. In many ways, this is a historically crowded window, as War of 1812 events will compete for attention with similar commemorations of the Napoleonic Wars and the First World War. For example, since it was impossible to commemorate the centenary of the battle of Waterloo in 1915 due to the Great War, a major series of events is being planned there for 2015, including the unveiling of a new British memorial and the dedication of Hougoumont, which is now under restoration.

Next year brings the addition of new conference on the War of 1812, details of which are provided elsewhere in this issue. This joins the already well established conferences in Baltimore, Maryland and others in the United States. There are also plans for several major conferences beginning in 2012 as well! It is good to see so much interest in this conflict and to know that there are many concerted efforts to expand our understanding of this rich period.

Enjoy this issue of the War of 1812 Magazine!

Click on the image for a larger picture.

Members of a syndicate from the Joint Reserve Command and Staff Programme of the Canadian Forces College, discuss the battle of Chippawa during a Field Study Exercise focussing on the Niagara Campaign in 1814 (Photo by John R. Grodzinski)
Grave marker for Lieutenant William Hemphill, 1st Royal Scots, killed at Lundy’s Lane on 25 July 1814. Hemphill is buried at the Drummond Hill Cemetery at Lundy’s Lane battlefield. (Photo by John R. Grodzinski)

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