New War of 1812 Resource

Tucker, Spencer, James R. Arnold, Roberta Wiener, Paul G. Pierpaoli, and John C. Fredriksen, eds. The Encyclopedia Of The War Of 1812: A Political, Social, And Military History. Santa Barbara, Calif.  ABC-CLIO, 2012. Call Number Ref E354 .E53 2012.

On June 18, 1812 America declared war against the British. This new, three volume resource contains entries on key persons, locations, military topics and battles of the War of 1812. Each entry is from 1-2 pages in length, with many entries supplemented by maps, portraits or other illustrations. Each entry has a “see also” reference to other articles within the work as well as a bibliography of further reading suggestions.

For example, the entry for the “Illinois Territory” describes the geographical and political situation at the time. It provides other details as to the impact of the war on the area. “In February 1813 the Illinois Territory raised three companies of mounted ranges for the war effort and also furnished 963 militiamen over the course of the conflict.”

A map of Dartmoor Prison (southern England) where thousands of U.S. prisoners of war were held is a good example of the fascinating illustrations in these volumes.

The third volume has some standard sections - documents from the period, a glossary, chronology of main events and index. In addition to these sections, this volume also contains background information many genealogists may find fascinating. The section on “Medals, Decorations and Military Honors” provides an explanation of the various recognitions given to those who served and includes a list of the individuals who received the highest honors. The section on “Military Ranks” outlines the organizational structure and command order of the U.S. military of the time.

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