Citizen Soldiers in the War of 1812

By: C. Edward Skeen.

Price: $35.00

Quantity: 5 available


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" Winner of the Army Historical Foundation Book Award During the War of 1812, state militias were intended to be the primary fighting force. Unfortunately, while militiamen showed willingness to fight, they were untrained, undisciplined, and ill-equipped. These raw volunteers had no muskets, and many did not know how to use the weapons once they had been issued. Though established by the Constitution, state militias found themselves wholly unprepared for war. The federal government was empowered to use these militias to ""execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions""; but in a system of divided responsibility, it was the states' job to appoint officers and to train the soldiers. Edward Skeen reveals states' responses to federal requests for troops and provides in-depth descriptions of the conditions, morale, and experiences of the militia in camp and in battle. Skeen documents the failures and successes of the militias, concluding that the key lay in strong leadership. He also explores public perception of the force, both before and after the war, and examines how the militias changed in response to their performance in the War of 1812. After that time, the federal government increasingly neglected the militias in favor of a regular professional army.

Title: Citizen Soldiers in the War of 1812

Author: C. Edward Skeen.

Illustrator: Reg. Price: $35.00

Categories: War of 1812,

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky: c1999

ISBN Number: 0813120896

ISBN Number 13: 9780813120898

Binding: cloth

Book Details: 224 pages, 6 x 9, illus, maps, cloth, University Press of Kentucky

Seller ID: 120896

Description: Winner of the Army Historical Foundation Book Award
During the War of 1812, state militias were intended to be the primary fighting force. Unfortunately, while militiamen showed willingness to fight, they were untrained, undisciplined, and ill-equipped. These raw volunteers had no muskets, and many did not know how to use the weapons once they had been issued. Though established by the Constitution, state militias found themselves wholly unprepared for war. The federal government was empowered to use these militias to "execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions"; but in a system of divided responsibility, it was the states' job to appoint officers and to train the soldiers.
Edward Skeen reveals states' responses to federal requests for troops and provides in-depth descriptions of the conditions, morale, and experiences of the militia in camp and in battle. Skeen documents the failures and successes of the militias, concluding that the key lay in strong leadership. He also explores public perception of the force, both before and after the war, and examines how the militias changed in response to their performance in the War of 1812. After that time, the federal government increasingly neglected the militias in favor of a regular professional army.

About Author
C. Edward Skeen, professor of history at the University of Memphis, is the author of 1816: America Rising.


Reviews
“An excellent addition not only to our knowledge of the War of 1812 but also to the evolution and development of the American military establishment.”—Journal of the Early Republic

“A useful analysis of militia in a war that was largely fought with volunteer forces.”—Journal of America’s Military Past

“Impressive and properly grounded where it should be—solidly in state and local sources. Until the twentieth century, the state soldiery in whatever guise—militia, uniformed volunteers, National Guard—was a state and local institution and can only be understood from that perspective."—Jerry Cooper

"Skeen looks beyond the surface problems to address the performance and the reasons for the failure of the militia . . . . An invaluable contribution for military and American history."—Bookwatch

"As Skeen states, 'There is no book dealing specifically with the militia in the War of 1812." The author fills that void in a work that has comprehensive documentation, excellent analysis, and clear writing."—Choice

"This indexed volume will appeal to those interested in U.S. and military history."—Library Lane

"Skeen's exhaustive research in both state and federal sources provides a more detailed record than hitherto available of the diversity of militia laws and practices, the complexity of federal-state relations, and the actual performance of the amateur soldiers in the field."—Journal of Military History

"Makes a significant contribution to the scholarship on the War of 1812."—Newsletter of the Army Historical Foundation

"A valuable resource to any scholar investigating the militia system of the United States' first declared war under the Constitution. Not only provides insights into the War of 1812, but also into the broader American militia tradition.”—H-New Reviews

“Rightly concludes that the militia was frequently unreliable, ill-equipped and ill-trained, and generally incapable of standing up to the British forces.”—Michigan Historical Review

“A timely, valuable, and by no means unsympathetic treatment of the militia in that conflict.”—New York Military Affairs
Symposium Newsletter

“A very well-documented and interesting history of the difficulties of mobilizing soldiers for the War of 1812.”—Journal of Economic History

“Will be the standard on the subject for years to come.”—Filson Club Historical Quarterly

“Provides a good overview of militia law and the state-federal politics related to it, and it raises some worthy questions.”—Army History

“Paints a stark picture of the decline of the militia tradition in the early republic and the militia’s poor combat performance in the war.”—Journal of American History

“Noteworthy. . . . Anyone interested in the War of 1812 or the development of military policy would be well served with this study.”—Journal of Southern History

“Provides some long overdue scholarship of an often-overlooked conflict.”—Maryland Historical Magazine

“His treatment is the most extensive available, and his thorough research provides plenty of gems.”—Pennsylvania Magazine of History

“Skeen’s work, based on an impressive mix of state and federal records, augmented by contemporary newspapers, public documents, and primary accounts, should not be ignored.”—Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

“Students of the War of 1812 will want to have this resource handy.”—Ohio History

“A much-needed addition to the slowly growing literature on a neglected aspect of U.S. history.”—Historian