Connecticut in the War of 1812
In the War of 1812, Connecticut furnished 9,161 infantry men, 137 cavalry men, and 905 artillery men for a total of 10, 203.
Connecticut disapproved of the War of 1812. The militia was forbidden to leave the state, and only about 3,000 Connecticut militiamen saw active duty for any length of time. In the Regular Army, Connecticut had 160 men and 156 officers. The legislature did spend some money on internal defenses, including funds for 3,000 muskets, eight cannon, 600 pounds of powder, and five tons of bullets.
In June 1814, the British cornered a U.S. naval squadron in New London. Some 6,000 Connecticut militiamen rushed there, and their presence may have restrained the British, allowing the American sailors escaped overland. The British then caused about $200,000 worth of damage to shipping at Essex. In August 1814, five British ships bombarded Stonington for three days.
In late 1814, the Hartford Convention met at the Old State House to draft anti-war resolutions.
Explanation of the Major Record Types
- Pearson, Thomas A., comp. Genealogical Records of the War of 1812: an Introduction and Selected Bibliography of Materials in the Collection of St. Louis Public Library. (St. Louis, Missouri: St. Louis Public Library, July 2004).
- Connecticut State Library, Research Guide to War of 1812 Sources, and the more general, Research Guide to Manuscript Military Resources, show what is available at the Connecticut State Library and contain links to relevant databases .
- Family Tree Maker. Connecticut Officers and Soldiers, 1700s-1800s. CD-ROM. Broderbund, 2000. FHL CD-ROM no. 9 pt. 120 (view this copy only at the FHL)
- Fredriksen, John C., Free Trade and Sailor's Rights: a Bibliography of the War of 1812 (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, c1985). 399 pages. FHL Book 973 H23
- Connecticut Adjutant General. Records of Service of Connecticut Men in the I. War of the Revolution, II. War of 1812, III. Mexican War. (Hartford, Connecticut: Case, Lockwood and Brainard Company, 1889). Includes the Connecticut men who served in the regular Army and in the Militia in the War of 1812]. Name, rank, date of muster, regiment or organization, and remarks are given for officers and enlisted men in the regular Army. For the Militia an alphabetical list of names, with rank, place of service, commander, and period of service are given. The above links are to the digital version at Internet Archives. Also available in book, film, and fiche formats: FHL book 974.6 M2ca; film 1036328 item 4; fiche 6046698.
- Judd, Sylvester and Connecticut State Archives. Connecticut Archives: Militia Records Selected Papers, Series 1-3, 1678-1820. (Microfilm of originals at the Connecticut State Library in Hartford, Connecticut). Digital version at Connecticut State Library. Also available at Family Search. 18 FHL films beginning with film 3599
- General Society of the War of 1812. The Constitution and Register of Membership of the General Society of the War of 1812 to October 1, 1899]. (Philadelphia: Dewey and Eakens, Makers, 1899). Contains registers for eight states and District of Columbia. Descendant Members of the Connecticut Society identifies veteran ancestor by name, his rank, unit in which he served, dates of service, etc., starting on page 159. FHL Digital Book and in paper FHL book 973 C4con
- Weed, Clara Louise, comp. List of Connecticut Revolutionary Soldiers Mentioned in Beckwith's Almanac, New Haven 1850-1870 Inclusive, also War of 1812, 1856-1889 Inclusive]. (Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1931). Indexed digital book identifies soldier, war, death place, and age. Sometimes mentions pensioner. List of Connecticut Revolutionary Soldiers Mentioned in Beckwith's Almanac, New Haven 1850-1870 Inclusive, also War of 1812, 1856-1889 Inclusive.
A soldier may have been recorded in state records (see below) or in federal records (see US War of 1812 Pension Records).
- Fold3. Connecticut War of 1812 Pension Files. (Free). Alphabetical by surname. Shows entire pension file for those digitized. Incomplete as of 1 Jun 2012.
Congress decorated two Connecticut men who served in the U.S. Navy: Isaac Hull (1773-1843), who commanded the U.S.S. Constitution, and Thomas MacDonough (1783-1825), the hero of Plattsburg Bay. Though MacDonough was not born in Connecticut,he considered Middletown his home.
The first soldiers home in Connecticut was founded on July 4, 1864. It was called Fitch's Home for Soldiers and their Orphans. Probably only a few of the veterans of the War of 1812 lived at this home. A history of the Connecticut soldiers homes was done.
- Connecticut Historical Society Manuscripts Blog has various blog articles about the War of 1812 and records available at the society.
Important National and International Sources
- United States in the War of 1812 has lists of records, books, etc. for the United States, not just one state. The federal records are listed here rather than on each state page. Two of the most important are:
- FamilySearch Historical Records Collection On line Database: United States, War of 1812 Index to Pension Application Files, 1812-1910
- FamilySearch Historical Records Collection On line Database: United States, War of 1812 Index to Service Records, 1812-1815
- War of 1812, 1812 to 1815 has lists of general books and documentaries, as well as a list battles with links to web sites about the battles, and other information not tied to one country.
- Wesley Potter Kremer. 100 Great Battles of the Rebellion;...Also, All the Battles of the Revolution, War of 1812-5, Mexican War, Indian Battles, American-Spanish War, and Naval Battles. (Hoboken, N.J.: s.n., 1906), p. 326. Internet Archive.
- Connecticut's Heritage Gateway, Connecticut at War, article by Joseph Duffy, East Catholic High School.