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A new generation of leaders emerge from the war of 1812: America's second war with Britain (1812-1815) saw the rise of a new and influential citizenry in an ever-expanding society. Prominent among them were war veterans. (Famous War Veterans).

ANDREW JACKSON (1767-1845) b. Waxhaw Settlement, S.C. Seventh President of the U.S.

Andrew Jackson served two terms as President (1828-1837). He championed equality of opportunity for Americans from all walks of life, majority rule, limited government and fiscal responsibility. He was the first and last President to pay off the national debt.

As a general in the Tennessee militia and later the regular U.S. Army, he led troops to victory over the Creek Indians at Horseshoe Bend, Ala., and the British at New Orleans. Three years after the war, he defeated the Spanish in Florida.

The quintessential self-made man, Jackson launched his career in the legal profession. He was Tennessee's first senator and representative in Congress and was Florida's territorial governor. For the remainder of his life, Jackson was the most popular man in the nation. At the age of 78, he died of kidney failure.

WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON (1773-1841) b. "Berkeley," Va. Ninth President of the U.S.

Harrison was the first President to die in office. Contracting pneumonia, he died in April 1841, only one month after his inauguration, leaving no time to establish a presidential legacy.

A general in both the Kentucky militia and regular U.S. Army, his greatest victory was over the British and Indians at the Battle of the Thames River in Ontario. Previous to the war, he had earned fame at the Battle of Tippecanoe. In 1794, he was at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in the Northwest Territory Indian War.

Before the war, he had served as governor of Indiana Territory for 12 years. After the war, Harrison served in the House and Senate, the Ohio legislature and briefly as minister to Colombia. As a congressman, his primary concern was providing for the care of widows and orphans of soldiers killed.

RICHARD MENTOR JOHNSON (1780-1850) b. Louisville, Ky. Ninth Vice President of the U.S.

Johnson reached the pinnacle of his career when he became the only vice president ever chosen by the Senate in 1837. But he left more of a mark in the Senate, where he sponsored legislation abolishing imprisonment for debt.

A colonel of Kentucky mounted riflemen--that earned him the title "Father of American Cavalry"--he was shot five times at the Battle of the Thames and reputedly killed the Indian leader Tecumseh there. He was honored with a congressional resolution and ceremonial sword for valor in combat.

Johnson was re-elected to five successive terms in the House and served 10 years in the Senate (1819-29). As chairman of the House Committee on Military Affairs, he secured pensions for veterans and aid for widows/orphans of men killed in the war.

He introduced a congressional resolution for a naval academy, organized George Washington University in D.C. and donated land for the nation's first Indian school.

THOMAS HART BENTON (1782-1858) b. Hillsborough, N.C. Statesman

During three decades in the Senate, Benton became one the nation's most respected statesmen. He was largely responsible for achieving monetary stability and proposed what later became the homestead system of land grants in the West.

A colonel of Tennessee volunteers in the war, Benton served as aid-de-camp to Andrew Jackson. He was later a lieutenant colonel in the regular U.S. Army until 1815. Eager to enter the battle against the Greeks, he was denied that opportunity because of a political vendetta.

Before the war he was a lawyer; shortly thereafter he became a newspaper editor in St. Louis. in the Senate from 1821-1851 and the House for two years after, he gained national notoriety. But his strong opposition to slavery cost him his stature back home in Missouri. He authored the 16-volume Abridgment of the Debates of Congress from 1789-1850.

Until his dying breath, he remained a selfless public servant and tireless worker.

LEWIS CASS (1782-1866) b. Exeter, N.H. Statesmen

Cass ran unsuccessfully for President in 1848, served in the Senate, held the Cabinet positions of secretary of war and state, was minister to France and developed Michigan Territory for 18 years while governor.

When the war broke out, Cass commanded the 3rd Ohio Regiment. He fought in Canada at the River Aux Canards, Sandwich and Battle of the Thames. From Detroit, he undertook the military administration of Michigan and Upper Canada for the war's duration.

Cass first proposed the doctrine of territorial popular sovereignty. And he helped form the University of Michigan. The last years of his life were devoted to literary pursuits. His published studies covered his diplomacy with Indians and France.

A man of conviction and a strong nationalist, he uncompromisingly advocated preservation of the Union.

WILLIAM PINKNEY (1764-1822) b. Annapolis, Md. Attorney, Senator

Regarded as the greatest lawyer of his time, Pinkney made a profound impact on Supreme Court decisions. He also left his mark in the Senate where he helped push through the Missouri Compromise of 1820, among other legislation.

A strong supporter of the war, he served in the Maryland militia as a major of riflemen. At the Battle of Bladensburg, he was severely wounded in the arm.

Pinkney had been minister to Great Britain before the war and U.S. attorney general during. After it ended, he served a term in the House and then was minister to Russia. He held a Senate seat for the last few years of his life.

Perhaps his most famous legal case was McCulloch v. Maryland (involving the Bank of the U.S.), one among 84 he argued. A peer wrote of him: "No man ... received a more undivided homage from the Court and Bar."

WILLIAM BEAUMONT (1785-1853) b. Lebanon, Conn. Physician

A surgeon, Beaumont gained international medical fame for explaining the human process of digestion. His studies were published in 1833, earning him professional esteem as America's first physiologist.

During the war, he was a surgeon's mate with the U.S. 6th Infantry Regiment, serving in Canada and at Sacket's Harbor, York, Fort George and Plattsburgh, where he was cited for battlefield bravery.

Entering private practice after the war, he again served in the Army (1820-39). As a post surgeon, he conducted experiments. His last years of private doctoring were spent in St. Louis. He was at the organizing session of what became the American Medical Association (AMA).

JOHN PENDLETON KENNEDY (1795-1870) b. Baltimore, Md. Writer

One of the most influential literary figures of his time, Kennedy was popular with both readers and critics who rated him equal to New England's top writers. In addition, he was a devoted public servant and philanthropist in education.

Kennedy fought as a private with the Maryland militia's 5th Baltimore Light Dragoons at the battles of Bladensburg and North Point. He rescued a wounded comrade on the battlefield by carrying him away on his shoulder.

From magazine essays in the 1820s, he soon progressed to novels and political commentary. He also served in Congress, as secretary of the Navy and helped organize the University of Maryland.

SAMUEL HOUSTON (1793-1863) b. Lexington, Va. Senator & Texas Leader

Houston was a Tennessee representative, president of the Republic of Texas, a Texas governor and senator who fought to preserve the Union.

Enlisting as a private in the U.S. Army, he eventually became a lieutenant. As part the 39th Infantry Regiment, he fought against the British-allied Creeks in Alabama at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. Three wounds sustained there kept him out of the rest of the war's combat, but his bravery made him a hero.

Houston remained in the Army until 1818. Then he went into law, served two terms in the House and became governor of Tennessee. As the Texas army's commander, he defeated the Mexicans and was wounded at San Jacinto in 1836.

PETER BUELL PORTER (1773-1844) b. Salisbury, Conn. Congressman

Committed to his constituents, Porter served as a devoted public servant for two decades in Congress. Equally important, he demonstrated that properly trained and led citizen-soldiers were effective in battle.

As an officer in the New York militia, Porter fought in the Niagara campaign at Black Rock, Chippewa, Lundy's Lane and Fort Erie. Congress awarded him a gold medal--the only militia officer so honored in the war.

Besides being in the House (he was once chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee), Porter was a member of the Northwestern Boundary Commission. And he was secretary of war for one year, a position then primarily concerned with Indian affairs.

                                            KILLED IN
BATTLE                      PLACE            ACTION     DATE

Fort Mims                   Alabama            533      Aug 30, 1813
Raisin River (Frenchtown)   Michigan           300      Jan 22, 1813
Lundy's Lane                Ontario            171      Jul 25, 1814
Fort Meigs                  Ohio               110      May 5, 1813
Chrysler's Farm             Ontario            102      Nov 11, 1813
Queenstown Heights          Ontario             90      Oct 13, 1812
Essex v. Phoebe/Cherub      Off Chile           89      Mar 21, 1814
Fort Erie                   Ontario             80      Sep 17, 1814
Fort Niagara                New York            67      Dec 19, 1813
Chesapeake v. Shannon       Boston Harbor       61      Jun 1, 1813
Chippewa                    Ontario             61      Jul 5, 1814
Fort Dearborn               Illinois            58      Aug 15, 1812
York (Toronto)              Ontario             52      Apr 27, 1813
Lake Champlain              New York            52      Sep 11, 1814
Chateaugay                  Quebec              50      Oct 26, 1813
Beaver Dams                 Ontario             50      Jun 24, 1813

Source: Warfare and Armed Conflicts by Michael Clodfelter. Vol. I
(1618-1899). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1992.

Note: The War of 1812 was actually three wars in one. Besides the
British, the Americans fought the Shawnee of the Ohio region and the
Creek of Alabama. Many of the highest casualty-producing battles were
with Indians allied to Britain.
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Author:Kolb, Richard K.; Moran, Joe
Publication:VFW Magazine
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2000
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