These two works by the former director of the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort constitute a rich repository of information on Kentucky natives who fought in the War of 1812. The Battle on River Raisin, which was fought in and around Frenchtown (now Monroe), Michigan from January 18 to January 23, 1812, was one of the four principal campaigns of the War of 1812 engaged in by Kentucky forces. Following the defeat of the American forces at Frenchtown, as many as sixty Kentucky soldiers were massacred by Indians serving under the British. When news of the massacre reached Kentucky, patriots exhorted one another with shouts of “Remember the Raisin,” which, the author claims, gave the new nation the “vengeance-fired impetus” to wage the remaining battles of the War of 1812.
The larger of these two works treats all aspects of the Battle on River Raisin, including the events leading up to the battle, troop movements, and eyewitness accounts of the skirmishes and the massacre itself. Of greatest interest to genealogists are the detailed biographical and genealogical sketches of nearly 100 officers and enlisted men who served on River Raisin and complete rosters of the Kentucky soldiers who saw action there. The rosters give the name of the company commander and identify each member by rank, with remarks such as “Killed in Action,” “Prisoner of War,” and a date.
The smaller companion volume is a miscellaneous listing of Kentucky veterans of the War of 1812 compiled from newspaper files, pension lists, county histories, veterans’ publications, and so on. Not limited to the Frenchtown campaign, it furnishes data on some 700 Kentucky veterans of the War of 1812, including some or all of the following information: name, county of residence, date of enlistment, unit, campaign(s), date of birth and/or death, and, frequently, much more.
This combined work, which is reprinted with the permission of the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort, must be regarded as one of the richest collections of Kentucky War of 1812 source material ever published.
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