(1800-1915) Pre-WWI
Reading PA USA
Posts: 18
Joined: 2020
Recruiting of the U.S. Regulars during the War of 1812
4/5/2020 4:45:10 PM
Were particular units recruited from particular sections of the country? Or just solely based on states? Or did regiments consist of many men from different locations across the country?
"Those are regulars, by god!" -Not Phineas Riall, in reference to not Winfield Scott's Brigade
Posts: 24
Joined: 2005
Recruiting of the U.S. Regulars during the War of 1812
6/27/2020 2:05:22 AM
In general, regiments were recruited regionally. At the beginning of the War of 1812, the army was on three establishments; the Peace Establishment (1st & 2nd Infantry Regiments and the Regiment of Artillerists), the Additional Force of 1808 (3rd-7th Infantry, Rifle, Light Artillery, and Dragoons), and the Additional Army of 1812 (8th-25th Infantry, 2nd & 3rd Artillery, and 2nd Dragoons).

In the Peace Establishment, the1st Regiment was largely recruited in the Northern part of the country, and the 2nd in the Southern. The Regiment of Artillerists' (1st Artillery Regiment from 1812) companies were more or less recruited area from where they would garrison. The exception was on the frontiers. In 1812, recruiting depots for the 1st Infantry were in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York. The 2nd pretty much in Pennsylvania.

The Additional Army of 1808 recruited as follows.
4th Infantry--New England
5th Infantry--Virginia and Maryland
6th Infantry--Pennsylvania and New York
7th Infantry--Kentucky and Tennessee
Rifle Regiment--At large; mostly in the western states
Light Artillery--At large
Dragoons--At large

The Additional Army of 1812 recruited as follows:
8th Infantry--Georgia and South Carolina
9th Infantry--Maine and New Hampshire and Massachusetts
10th Infantry--North Carolina
11th Infantry--Vermont
12th Infantry--Western Virginia
13th Infantry--Vicinity of New York City
14th Infantry--Maryland
15th Infantry--New Jersey
16th Infantry--Eastern Pennsylvania
17th Infantry--Kentucky
18th Infantry--South Carolina and Georgia
19th Infantry--Ohio, and the Territories of Indiana and Michigan, though only three recruits were obtained in the latter.
20th Infantry--Virginia
21st Infantry--Massachusetts proper
22nd Infantry--Western Pennsylvania
23rd Infantry--Northern and Western New York
24th Infantry--Tennessee and the Mississippi and Missouri Territories
25th Infantry--Rhode Island and Connecticut
2nd Dragoons--one squadron in New England, one squadron in eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey, and one-half squadron in the Carolinas and Georgia, and one troop in Kentucky.
2nd Artillery--Pennsylvania and to the south and west
3rd Artillery--North of Pennsylvania

In 1813 a number of one year federal volunteer regiments were formed; in 1814 these would be extended for the war or 5 years.

26th Infantry--Ohio
27th Infantry--Ohio
28th Infantry-- Kentucky
29th Infantry-- New York
30th Infantry--Maine District of Massachusetts
31st Infantry--Maine District of Massachusetts
32nd Infantry--Pennsylvania (Philadelphia region)
33rd Infantry--Massachusetts proper
34th Infantry--Massachusetts Proper
35th Infantry--South Atlantic states
36th Infantry--District of Columbia
37th Infantry--Virginia
38th Infantry--Maryland
39th Infantry--Louisiana, Tennessee, and the Mississippi Territory

On July 5th, 1813, several more regiments were authorized for coastal defense only.

40th Infantry--Massachusetts
41st Infantry--New York City
42nd Infantry--New Jersey and Philadelphia
43rd Infantry--Carolinas and Georgia
44th Infantry--Louisiana and West Florida

In addition 10 more companies of Rangers were authorized in lieu of the 45th Regiment. In January of 1812 six ranger companies (two from Ohio, and one each from Kentucky and the territories of Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri. In July a seventh company was authorized in Tennessee.

In 1814 the three regiments of artillerists were combined into a single Corps of Artillery. The two regiments of artillery were consolidated into one regiment. More regiments were authorized.
45th Infantry--New York
46th Infantry--New York
47th Infantry--Vermont

In the summer of 1814, the 17th and 19th Regiments were consolidated into a new 17th, and the 26th and 27th were consolidated into a new 19th. The 47th was redesignated the 26th, and the 46th became the 27th.

Also created in 1814 were three new Rifle Regiments.
2nd Rifles--Kentucky and Ohio
3rd Rifles--South Atlantic states
4th Rifles--New York

There is more on the rangers, but it is a mess, and I am still trying to sort it out.

One last unit was created during the war, and that was the companies of the Sea Fencibles. These were unique formations that served the coastal fortifications. They could fight as Marines on Navy ships or army floating batteries or gunboats, act as coastal artillery, or serve as infantry depending upon needs. Not all were raised, and there is not a lot on them. But they are interesting to say the least.

Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11699
Joined: 2009
Recruiting of the U.S. Regulars during the War of 1812
6/27/2020 4:51:16 PM
Gentlemen, I am reading with interest. If a regiment was raised for the regular army, was a standing or sedentary militia also raised in addition?

I know that, as on the British side, militia were involved in the war and were sometimes maligned but I wondered whether Pennsylvania militia also entered British North America to fight alongside the US regulars.

I am aware that there were instances in which militia from some states refused to leave the state to fight in Canada.

EDIT: I did find a website from an historical society in Pennsylvania that listed the names of militia men. It included the colonel under whom the served and also the length of enlistment. Those commitments varied from 3 months to 6 months to one year. Were those who joined regular regiments committed to fight for the duration of the war?


Posts: 24
Joined: 2005
Recruiting of the U.S. Regulars during the War of 1812
7/13/2020 12:27:54 AM

Yes, Pennsylvania troops did enter Canada during the War of 1812, but not in large numbers. Overall Pennsylvania militia was something of a disappointment. It did provide some top notch volunteers though.

I had to do a bit more research before I could answer your question re: enlistments. Originally, enlistments were for five years, and this was true of the prewar army as well as the Additional Army of 1812. A $16.00 enlistment bounty was included. A private at this time was paid $5/mo.

By April of 1812 (just as recruiting for the Army of 1812 was getting under way) it was clear that the five year enlistments were not going to go over well. As a result the Act of April 8th, 1812, up to 15,000 of the 25,000 men authorized in January could be enlisted for a shorter term of 18 months. Still with the $16 bounty. As of November 1st, about 10,000 men had been recruited for the 1812 Army along with two or three thousand of the existing army (Peace Army, and Additional Army of 1808).

Recruiting was hampered by men joining the volunteers (though there were relatively few of these), militia call ups, a general anti-regular army outlook (many viewed regular soldiers as "slaves"), but mostly the low pay. The years prior to the war had seen the U.S. begin to industrialize, and as the U.S. was an agrarian society of principally small farmers, this caused a nation-wide labor shortage with the result that day laborers were commanding an average wage of $30/mo, or six times that of a private (or the same as a captain in the army).

In December, the pay of enlisted soldiers was increased by $3/mo, and enlistments could be for the duration of the war, or 5 years.

In an effort to lessen reliance upon militia (and state control of those officers), twenty regiments of one year enlistments (plus the usual bounty), and in July five of these were designated for coastal service only (40th-44th).

In January of 1814 the bounty was increased to a whopping $124! $50 paid upon enlistment, $50 paid on muster, and the remainder upon discharge, or if a recruit was killed or died as a result of service the final $24 was paid to his family.

Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11699
Joined: 2009
Recruiting of the U.S. Regulars during the War of 1812
7/14/2020 12:51:35 PM
Thank you for that information, MPReed. I wondered how the private soldier's wage compared with that of a British soldier. I believe that the British regular enlisted man who "took the King's shilling", was in the army for 20 years and more. He was
paid a shilling a day and paid for uniforms and rations out of his pay. Now that was regular service. I really don't know whether the pay increased during war time.

Your post prompted me to poke about and I found some interesting stuff in your National Archives regarding the discharge of soldiers. A man named John Warring had enlisted in 1813 and he was one of the 5 year enlistees that you mentioned.

It seems that he had asthma and was honourably discharged before his 5 year stint was up. I noted that he left service in March of 1815 which was just after the siege of Fort Bowyer so I am assuming that everyone knew that the war was over.

"in consequence of his being afflicted with the Asthma, &c." Warring received the balance of his military pay dating from October 31, 1813, as well as three months' pay and subsistence to travel from his current post at Greenbush Cantonment (headquarters of the Northern Division of the U.S. Army) in upstate New York to Danbury, some 120 miles away. Warring also returned home well supplied with the balance of his Army-issued clothing, including two caps, four vests, four linen pantaloons, eight shirts, two pairs of boots, five pairs of shoes and stockings, two coats, four pairs of socks, two blankets, two frocks, two trousers, and two stocks.

The article also says that Congress was several months behind in pay to the soldiers but it seems that upon discharge, they did make it up to the men.



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