Citizen Soldiers in the War of 1812
Americans' ingrained fear of a standing army created a system in which the disaster of the 1812 Detroit campaign was much more common than Andrew ... Show synopsis Americans' ingrained fear of a standing army created a system in which the disaster of the 1812 Detroit campaign was much more common than Andrew Jackson's triumphant defense of New Orleans. During the War of 1812, state militias were intended to be the primary fighting forces. Unfortunately, while militiamen showed willingness to fight, they were untrained, undisciplined, and ill equipped. 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.