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Defending the Old Dominion: Virginia and Its Militia in the War of 1812

Overview

Defending the Old Dominion describes historical events in Virginia during the War of 1812, examining how Virginia’s militia was organized, supplied, and financed by the Commonwealth. The book discusses the militia’s unpreparedness in training, its lack of adequate ordnance and arms, and how that affected its ability to defend the state against British incursions during the war. Political activities of the Virginia legislature and the U.S. Congress are examined with special reference to how the state financed the ...

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Defending the Old Dominion: Virginia and Its Militia in the War of 1812

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Overview

Defending the Old Dominion describes historical events in Virginia during the War of 1812, examining how Virginia’s militia was organized, supplied, and financed by the Commonwealth. The book discusses the militia’s unpreparedness in training, its lack of adequate ordnance and arms, and how that affected its ability to defend the state against British incursions during the war. Political activities of the Virginia legislature and the U.S. Congress are examined with special reference to how the state financed the war and its relationship with the U.S. government. The book includes the fascinating story of nearly two thousand former slaves who fled to British ships to fight in Virginia with British forces.

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Editorial Reviews

Ralph E. Eshelman
With the bicentennial of the War of 1812 upon us, it is fitting and timely that Stuart Butler has written the most complete history of Virginia during that war. His writing style is clear and easy to read. He not only covers the complexity of the war in Virginia, but he also sets the war in context to the region and the nation. In addition to the battles, skirmishes and raids expected in a book on this subject, Butler takes the reader further into the politics of the war, and the difficulty of adequately supplying the militia and funding it. His experience as a former employee of the National Archives and Records Administration results in a work that is well researched, citied and indexed. Butler has achieved for Virginia what every state with War of 1812 history should strive for. Any scholar of American history will want this book in their library; every library in Virginia should have a copy on its shelves and every citizen of Virginia should read it.
Brent Tarter
The War of 1812 was important in Virginia, not only at Fort McHenry, in Washington, D.C., or at New Orleans. Stuart Butler’s important study is the first book-length account of the war in Virginia and on Virginians and the war. Because the national army was so small and ill-prepared, national defense fell onto the shoulders of the state governments. State governors and militiamen carried much of the burden, with serious consequences for the state budget and the people of Virginia. Some became heroes, some died on battlefields, and some like their ancestors fled to the nation’s enemies in hopes of gaining freedom that their own native state denied them. An important addition to the bookshelf of Virginia history.
The Journal of Southern History
Butler should be complimented for having written what is undoubtedly the most extensive account of Virginia's role in the War of 1812. Those interested in the history of the Old Dominion or in this conflict in general will find something of value here.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761860396
  • Publisher: University Press of America
  • Publication date: 12/21/2012
  • Pages: 672
  • Sales rank: 879,442
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 2.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Stuart L. Butler is the former assistant branch chief of the Military Archives Division, National Archives and Records Administration. He retired in 1999 and currently serves on the Citizens Advisory Council for the Virginia Bicentennial of the American War of 1812 Commission. He attended Florida State University and Florida Atlantic University where he received his B.A. and M.A. in American history. He is the author of the Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812 (revised 2011), Real Patriots and Heroic Soldiers: General Joel Leftwich, and The Virginia Brigade in the War of 1812 (2008).

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Table of Contents

Preface
List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Introduction
1. Prologue to War
2. Wrongs so Daring in Character
3. The Year of the Five Governors
4. May God Desert Those Who Now Desert Their Country
5. Thirty Years of Neglect
6. The Militia the Great Bulwark of Our Liberty
7. Virginians Debate the War
8. We Shall Be Victorious Because We Are Right
9. A Brigade of Hearty Athletic Men and Fine Soldiers
10. We Find This Place in a Most Defenceless Situation
11. British Strategy and the Defense of Norfolk
12. Legislative Initiatives
13. To the Mercy of Any Invader
14. The Result Has Been Most Glorious to Our Arms
15. They Acquitted Themselves as Becomes Virginians
16. Richmond Threatened
17. We have a Savage Enemy at our Threshold
18. There is reason to believe that he will be reinforced
19. Taxes and Embargoes
20. The Internal Foe
21. Our Weakness is Alarming
22. Determined to Ruin the Northern Neck
23. The Donation of Alexandria and the Battle of the White House
24. To Repel and Chastise the Invaders
25. Richmond in Peril
26. Those Gallant Virginians
27. The Last Months of the War
28. Its Conditions are Honorable to our Country
29. To the Tented Field
30. Epilogue
Appendix One
Appendix Two
Bibliography
Index

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