West Point Graduates Killed in Action – War of 1812

Click on the Graduate’s Name, the Forts, and Battles

1812 US Flag

1812 US Flag

Maps of the 5 major North American Land Campaigns are at


Class of 1806

Eleazer Derby Wood – Bvt Ltc, Brilliant in Skill & Valor killed in sortie from Fort Erie Upper Canada, while gallantly leading and directing a column on the British batteries and siege works, 17 September 1814.

Wood at Ft Erie

WILLIAM PARTRIDGE – Captain, Corps of Engineers, chief engineer Michigan Territory; taken prisoner in surrender of Detroit. When his commanding general announced his determination to surrender, Partridge broke his sword across his knee and threw the pieces at that officer’s feet. Died a British prisoner of sickness 20 September 1812.

Note While Col McArthur broke his sword into 3 pieces tore off his epaulets threw himself on the ground and wept – it is conceivable Partridge broke his sword – http://www.whatwouldthefoundersthink.com/the-surrender-of-detroit

Class of 1808

Samuel B. Rathbone – Second Lieut., Reg. of Artillerists; Mortally wounded in attack on “Queenstown Heights’, Upper Canada Oct. 13, 1812, dying Dec. 8, 1812, at “Fort Niagara”, N. Y.

James Gibson – Colonel 4th Rifles, killed in Sortie against British guns, Fort Erie Sep. 17, 1814, where, in the language of the official dispatch, he “fully sustained the high military reputation which he had before so justly acquired.

Class of 1811

Alexander J. Williams – Captain, 2d Artillery, killed while being engaged in the Defense of Fort Erie, Upper Canada, where, in a hand-to-hand encounter, while repulsing the enemy’s fourth desperate assault upon the bastion of the work.

Henry A. Hobart – First Lieut. Light Artillery killed in capture of Fort George, Upper Canada, May 27, 1813, while gallantly leading his company to the attack.

Henry A. Burchstead – First Lieut., 2d Infantry Killed in the “Creek Campaign”, Nov. 30, 1813, on the Alabama River.

George Ronan – Ensign, 1st Infantry; First West Point graduate to be killed in action, Fort Dearborn Massacre while with Captain Heald’s desperate engagement near Ft. Chicago, Ill., Aug. 15, 1812, against a vastly superior force of savages, two of whom he slew in a hand-to-hand fight, but, while upon his knees as he had fallen faint from his bleeding wounds, still wielding his sword, Aug. 15, 1812.

Class of 1812

Joseph M. Wilcox – First Lieut., 3d Infantry, in “Creek Campaign” under Major-General Jackson, against the Creek Indians, and after two desperate fights with the hostile savages on the Alabama River, was killed (Tomahawked and Scalped), Jan. 15, 1814

William Wallace Smith – First Lieut., Light Artillery; Mortally wounded in Battle of “Chrystler’s Field”, while gallantly serving, with his own hands, a piece of artillery under his command, dying of wounds, Dec. 3, 1813, at Ft. Prescott, Upper Canada. In Adam Sherriff Scott’s painting Smith can be seen at his gun while the Army is in retreat.

Smith at his gun while the Army retreats

Smith at his gun while the Army retreats

Some thoughts on the war from the June 21, 20012 Atlantic. http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/06/the-warts-of-1812-the-unglamorous-truth-about-a-hyped-up-war/258614/

“All of those are events that come in the last months of the war when the British were mounting a counterattack against the United States.” Bill Taylor explained. “They are all events that lead Americans to think they were on the defensive in the war and that the British were the aggressor. What’s lost sight of is that the United States declared the war and conducted the first two years of the war primarily as an invasion of Canada. And so Americans don’t remember the battles in Canada because they went so badly for the United States.”

But this myopia ultimately served a useful purpose. For a country that was young and divided and lacked a national identity, the legacy of the War of 1812 created heroes like Andrew Jackson and Oliver Perry as well as national symbols and slogans that endure today.

“Those three major events are certainly an important part of the legacy of the war in the public memory,” Professor Donald Hickey, author of The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict, suggested. “All those symbols of the war have developed an iconic significance. Uncle Sam, the Fort McHenry flag, the Star-Spangled Banner, the Kentucky rifle — these all help Americans understand who they are and where they are headed as a nation.”


Taken from – http://ckwarof1812.weebly.com/time-line.html

The Web Site provides details of several Campaigns.


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