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Rangers in the War of 1812





As with the war they fought in, the Rangers of the War of 1812 are today largely forgotten or ignored by those interested in the history of this special American fighting unit.

Even "traditional" ranger histories pay lip service - one or two sentences - to the Rangers of the War of 1812 period (and the US Mounted Ranger Battalion of 1832 that paved the way to a Dragoon/Cavalry arm) and sometimes not even that!

The standard tag line in passing over this period reads:
"During the War of 1812, Congress called for the Rangers to serve on the frontier. The December 28,1813, Army Register lists officers for 12 companies of Rangers."

Or, take another source with a little more length but incomplete information:
"Several independent companies of United States Rangers were raised from among the frontier settlers as part of the regular army. Throughout the war, they patrolled the frontier from Ohio to Western Illinois on horseback and by boat. They participated in many skirmishes and battles with the British and their Indian allies. Several companies were also raised by frontier states (in the present Midwest)- sua sponte.com"

At the National Archives website one finds:
"..Congress authorized the President to increase the size of the Regular Military Establishment, to accept and organize volunteers, to raise units of Rangers (as US Volunteers) and Sea Fencibles, and to create a Flotilla Service. The Ranger units were raised for the protection of the frontier along the Mississippi River and adjacent States. The Sea Fencibles was the first organization of the U. S. Army charged exclusively with coastal defense. With the Flotilla Service, the Sea Fencibles protected ports, habors and the coast. Many of the War of 1812 volunteer units were mustered into service for short periods (30, 60, 90, and 120 days, and 6, 9 and 12 months.) Consequently, many people served more than one enlistment. There may be two or more records for the same soldier." - War of 1812 Military Records at the National Archives

Other past research into their possible uniform and weaponry yielded a not unexpected basic "ranger" look but a mix up of the Rangers circa 1812 with the Mounted Ranger Battalion later formed in 1832-33 - to wit:

"There was a Mounted Ranger Battalion of ten companies. They were equipped with plain green hunting smocks and trousers, a Tarleton helmet with a black roach, green turbaning and a green plumette on the left, and black crossbelts and leather equipment. They were issued rifles, and officers and NCO's wore sabres as well." - (lost web site)

[10 companies equaled a regiment during this time frame - not a battalion - a term seldom used]

"There were also several battalions of Rangers serving on foot. The main difference between their issue and that of the Mounted Rangers was that the dismounted Rangers wore wide brimmed hats and were issued muskets and bayonets." http://www.cmhweb.org/news/2001/200103.pdf

"Typical Ranger accoutrements consisted of a rifle, knife and tomahawk and each man carried with him his own supply of provisions (Dillon)."

War of 1812 histories are woefully inadequate when it comes to a study of Army organization, so it is no wonder that Rangers are scarcely mentioned, let alone studied.

For example, Gilpin in "The War of 1812 in the Old Northwest" gives Rangers 2 brief comments - on page 34 he notes that 5 companies were raised of the 6 that were called for by Congress in January 1812. Elting in "Amateurs to Arms",sites the same 6 company call-up. Katcher in Osprey MAA The American War 1812-1814 fails to mention them..and Kochan in the follow up MAA 345 The United States Army 1812-1815 cites the 6 company formation (foot and mounted) and the 25 February 1813 call for 10 more Ranger companies. Neither mentions the 35th and it is absent from the table on page 16 in Kachan. Katcher's "Armies of the American Wars 1755-1815" mentions the President call-up of 17 ranger companies on p.115. (alibi- John Grenier's
The First Way of War American War Making on the Frontier, 1607–1814, published after the above was written, provides a "reinterpretation of the pattern and relevance of early American military experience" - with rightful stress on the "ranger" concept, tactics, operations, albeit with little organizational discussion (not his purpose) beyond the colonial period.)

An official Army history pointedly assesses: "Early in 1814 four more infantry regiments and three more regiments of riflemen were constituted. Finally, therefore, forty-eight infantry regiments, numbered from the 1st to the 48th, came into being, plus four rifle regiments, the 1st through the 4th. This was the greatest number of infantry units included in the Regular Army until the world wars of the twentieth century. (my underline)" - Army Lineage Series Infantry Pt I

Note the distinction "Regular Army" and the absence of Rangers mention.

The "Curious" Listing:
Years ago, from Bryan Phillip's highly detailed SpecOps chronology now gone from the web
http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Hangar/1738/specops2_frame.html
I noted this curious listing:

3.2. Col. Russell’s 17th U.S. Regiment of Rangers.

I should have investigated into this 17th regiment at that time.

After some research, I annotated the following from various sources, including Phil Katcher's Osprey book:
"By the end of War of 1812 period, the Regular army of the United States had a maximum strength of two regiments of dragoons, a regiment of mounted rangers, sixty battalions of line infantry, six battalions of light infantry, three battalions of Rangers, five battalions of rifles (formed into the 1st-34th, 36th -44th Infantry regiments, 35th Infantry {ranger} regiment, 45th - 48th Infantry {light} regiments, and 1st - 4th Rifle regiments), twelve battalions of the corps of artillery, each of four companies, and a ten-company regiment of light (horse) artillery."

Based on this, I revised Bryan Phillip's table as shown:






United States Army Rangers - War of 1812

1812-1815 - Separate Companies of Rangers (12)

1812-1815 - Regiment of Mounted Rangers (10 companies) - 17th U.S. Regiment of Rangers

1812-1815 - 35th Infantry Regiment - alleged Ranger designation


* That is unless we assume Washington's did not know what he meant when he dubbed the 
Corps of Rangers under Morgan, in June 1777, by such a title, and in February of that year even referred to them as a "Regiment of Rangers." For discussion See my post Revolutionary "Ranger" Riflemen

Since a normal regiment of the day was 10 companies, the above struck me by its potential size. Such numbers tantalizingly break out to, more or less, 32* line companies of US Rangers or slightly more than THREE FULL REGIMENTS OF RANGERS (two purportedly organized as such by name) or TWO plus REGIMENTS of today's RANGERS. Given that units throughout the war were manned somewhere between 1/3rd and 2/3rds full** - that still probably leaves it as the most sizable force of RANGERS ever planned for at one time and not until WWII even thought of!***

*WWII = 6 companies x 6 battalions = 36 Companies

Today's Ranger Regiment = 4 Ranger Companies x 3 Battalions - 12 companies

**WWII Ranger companies averaged 65 men. As early as 1811 and at least by 1813 the "western" states and territories (Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee, Missouri etc.) had each called into service companies of mounted rangers each consisting of about one hundred (100) men.

***the Ranger Force's 1st and 3rd Ranger Battalions ceased to exist after Cisterna in January 1944, the 4th Battalion was subsequently deactivated and merged into the 1st Special Service Force. The 2nd, 5th, and 6th fought through to VE/VJ day.

Now, thanks to the open web, search results for organizational and historical information on the Rangers during the War of 1812 period can provide results that are both illuminating and surprising. These "finds" indicate that these Rangers were central to the nation's response on the western frontier and deserve better understanding and inclusion (something many so-called ranger historians have been unwilling to do - probably in their "rush" to get to their "pet" hero Confederate Mosby - the famed rebel Partisan Ranger - notwithstanding his was not even a US unit!


In searching Congressional "Military" documents at the American State Papers 1789 to 1838, I found several pieces of "ranger" information and posted them to my website as War of 1812 - US Army Infantry, Rangers and Riflemen




---------------------------------------------------------------


alternate search methods and  "Ranger" results:


-Annals of Congress, House of Representatives, 12th Congress, 2nd Session, Pages 145 through 146, Mounted Troops
November 10, 1812  

View pages 145 and 146


-Annals of Congress, House of Representatives, 12th Congress, 2nd Session, Pages 647 through 648, Mounted Rangers 
View pages 647 and 648
January 8, 1813 

--Note: Erroneous Citation in Annals of Congress: Index --HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Mounted Rangers, on motion of Mr. Jennings, the Military Committee were instructed to inquire
into the expediency of raising, for the protection of Indiana Territory ... 195
  = should be page 647-648

Rangers, a bill to authorize the President to raise ten additional companies of, read three times, by consent, and passed ... 1056

Search Descriptive Information
 http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/hlawquery.html

 
House Journal --INDEX TO VOL. IX.
Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, 1813-1815
INDEX TO VOL. IX.

Browse House Journal
continuing act for raising certain companies of rangers ... 31, 44, 231, 232, 614
(See bills H. R. No. 26, 245)
explanatory of act raising 10 companies of rangers ... 121, 129, 297
(See bills H. R. No. 54, 120)
amend act to raise additional military force ... 45, 55
(See bills H. R. No. 28 and S. No. 11)
further provision for filling the ranks and to encourage the re enlistment
of soldiers ... 175, 206
(See bills H. R. No. 77)
further provision for filling the ranks of the ... 497, 526
(See bills H. R. No. 205 and S. No. 61)
proposition to class population and draft for filling the ranks ... 571
authorize the raising a corps of sea fencibles ... 55
(See bills S. No. 10)
raise three additional regiments of riflemen ... 206
(See bills H. R. No. 78)

12th, 1811-13 

12th Congress--November 4, 1811 to March 3, 1813
Henry Clay, of Kentucky, Speaker

First Session: November 4, 1811 to July 6, 1812 (245 days, held in Washington)
Second Session: November 2, 1812 to March 3, 1813 (122 days, held in Washington)
13th, 1813-15

13th Congress--May 24, 1813 to March 3, 1815
Henry Clay, of Kentucky, Speaker
Langdon Cheves, of South Carolina, Speaker1

First Session: May 24, 1813 to August 2, 1813 (71 days, held in Washington)
Second Session: December 6, 1813 to April 18, 1814 (134 days, held in Washington)
Third Session: September 19, 1814 to March 3, 1815 (166 days, held in Washington)


Annals of Congress: Index --INDEX TO THE ACTS PASSED AT THE SECOND SESSION, TWELFTH CONGRESS.


Browse the Annals
House - 2nd Session -- November 2, 1812 to March 3, 1813
Senate - 2nd Session -- November 2, 1812 to March 3, 1813
Rangers, an act to raise ten additional companies of ... 1334

1814-ActtoRaise10CompaniesofRangers-Annals-12th2ndsess-p1334


Senate Journal --INDEX TO THE SECOND SESSION OF THE THIRTEENTH CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES.

Rangers, to continue in force an act to raise ten additional companies of 1 r. 436, 2 r. 437, 439, 3 r. and p. 439, ex. and s. 444, pr. 445, ap. 446.
Annals of Congress: Index --PUBLIC ACTS AND RESOLUTIONS. FIRST AND SECOND SESSIONS, THIRTEENTH CONGRESS. 
Browse the Annals
House - 2nd Session -- February 16, 1814 to April 18, 1814

 Corps of Rangers, an act to continue in force, for a limited time, certain acts authorizing ... 2723
1814-ActtoContinue10CompaniesofRangers-Annals-13th2ndsess-p2723
note first continuance approval date was July 24, 1813


December 23, 1814 
Bills and Resolutions, House of Representatives, 13th Congress, 3rd Session Bill 39 of 90




American State Papers -- TABLE OF CONTENTS. MILITARY AFFAIRS. VOLUME. I.
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?hlaw:4:./temp/~ammem_W6ck::

American State Papers, Senate, 12th Congress, 1st Session

Report of the Secretary of War on the number and equipments of the military force of the U. States in 1812, ... 319

Senate Executive Journal --INDEX TO THE SECOND VOLUME OF THE EXECUTIVE JOURNAL. 

Journal of the executive proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America, 1805-1815
INDEX TO THE SECOND VOLUME OF THE EXECUTIVE JOURNAL. 

Browse Senate Journal
page 370


Senate Journal --INDEX TO THE SECOND SESSION OF THE THIRTEENTH CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES.

Rangers, to continue in force an act to raise ten additional companies of 1 r. 436, 2 r. 437, 439, 3 r. and p. 439, ex. and s. 444, pr. 445, ap. 446.

American State Papers, Senate, 13th Congress, 2nd Session - Military Affairs: Volume 1 

Rangers-1813ArmyRegister




American State Papers, House of Representatives, 13th Congress, 3rd Session
Military Affairs: Volume 1  
1814-Regimental Recruiting - composite - pp512-513
1814-USArmy-strengthdistributionJuly-Page 535
-

List of officers of the army of the United States from 1779 to 1900 ...by William Henry Powell, 1900
http://books.google.com/books?id=KogDAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover 
  p.139
1814 - Ranger _ list of _ officers- Powell-p139
-------------


Report of the Secretary of War, with an army register for 1815 (actual page shows for year 1816), ... 625

Alternate viewing source:

American State Papers: Documents, legislative and executive of the Congress of the United States ..., Part 5, Volume 1 (Google eBook), United States. Congress, Gales and Seaton, 1832

http://books.google.com/books?id=iJUbAQAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0 


Report of the Secretary of War on the number and equipments of the military force of the U. States in 1812, ... 319 

Register rules and regulations of the army for 1813 December 29 1813   384 

Documents showing the amount disbursed as bounties and premiums for recruits since January 27 1814 and the distribution of the same October 27 1814      511  - 512-513 table
Report of the strength and distribution of the army previous to July 1, 1814     535

----------------------

Obviously, organizational schemes and numbers alone, do not tell us enough about this early Ranger "force" (all three Ranger organizations listed above). With some targeted cluster searching on Vivismo, and online book searches at Google books, as well as some leads from unexpected sources, a more complete picture can be set forth:



US Regiment of Mounted Rangers or 17th US Regiment


The Search:

I found a posting from Shawn Banks (a re-enactor in Co A, Ranger 17th Illinois Territory): 

"...(my unit) was created by an act of Congress in 1811 to deal with Indian attacks and English encroachment...Ten companies of mounted rangers were dispatched under the command of Col. William Russell. Six of the companies were garrisoned, the rest became roving bands, patrolling the territory. Our research concluded that the companies lasted about three years, disbanding because they had yet to be paid for their services rendered or the equpment & horses they provided....started as a "federal" regiment. By the time they got to the Illinois Territory, discipline had become somewhat lacks. Many had traded cloth pants for buckskin, because of brambles and underbrush. An observer wrote that they were rather rag-tag but that they "all had cocked hats made of wolf hair." Banks(a social studies teacher) later elaborates "The rangers were an idea of President Madison. Ninian Edwards had sent several dispatches to Madison and the Sec. of War, Wm. Eustis about the numerous indian attacks happening throughout southern Illinois territory. Edwards stated in one dispatch "No troops of any kind have yet to arrive in this territory, and I think you may count on hearing of a bloody stroke on us soon. I have been extremely reluctant to send my family away but, unless I hear shortly of more assistance than a few rangers, I shall bury my papers in the ground, send my family off, and stand my ground..." Aug 4, 1812. Madison had created the earlier mentioned 10 companies of rangers, i.e. mounted riflemen. The rangers would be like special forces, operating and patroling independenly of other federal troops. "The men would furnish their own equipment, horses, food and clothing. They would not be dependent on military stores in any way. The pay would be one dollar a day and the men would scout the frontier in Illinois and Indiana until the indian trouble came to a close." (Bonham, 411) They were to be commanded by Col. Wm. Russell of the 7th Regiment out of Kentucky. Russell to a fairly long time to organize and move into the territory. In their first engagements, they took the Indians by surprise, as they were not dressed as regulars, and they acted without commands. Each ranger had specific duties that were coordinated in advance as to not take the time during the battle. Their attack was swift and seemingly, to the indians, disorganized. The tribes became confused and were repelled on several occasions. This type of troop movement was effective however, it was not very reasonable in an accounting sense. You have guys roaming about the frontier, getting paid a dollar a day. They didn't have time clocks or a place to go that was keeping track of all their pay. So, the rangers began to realize that this was not working in their favor and many of the units collapsed."
 
In response, board moderator Robert Braun provided illuminating research conclusions on the 17th United States Regiment, displayed at the Blackhawk Message Board - 2005: As Braun reveals:
"I also consulted some of my sources. Rene Chartrand only has a brief mention (one paragraph) in his Uniforms and Equipment of United States Forces in the War of 1812. In Frontier Illinois, author James E. Davis did a little better. He devoted a couple of paragraphs to the Ranger unit on pp. 135-6, and mentioned Samuel Whitesides-- future Black Haw War militia general-- and militia private! Regarding the question of "militia' vs. "Regular," I might venture an assessment:

1. Sources agree that the "Rangers" were raised as the "17th United States Regiment" by an act of Congress, circa 1811. (This unit should not be confused with the 17th Regiment of U. S. Infantry, which served differently than the "Ranger" regiment);

2. They are officered by William Russell, a Revolutionary War officer, war hero, and a Regular Army colonel from Kentucky;

3. Pay was to be drawn from the Federal government;

4. The authorization to recruit and train additional companies came from the Federal government, not the territory-- regardless of Gov. Ninian Edwards' desire for protection in the territory.

While the regiment raised and trained additional companies from the territory, it is clear to me that this authority came from the federal government, with the full cooperation of the Edwards' territorial government. In short-- the 17th Regiment was and remained a Federal "Regular" regiment . It may have had territorial men in its ranks and had the full faith and confidence of Gov. Ninian Edwards, the regiment was beholded to the federal authorities as a Regular Regiment-- however tenuous that authority may have been in territorial Illinois... and however "irregularly" the companies of the regiment may have behaved and fought. This situation is VERY similar to the raising of the U. S. Ranger battalion under Colonel Henry Dodge in 1832. While this battalion raised and trained many territorial and state men in its companies (who were armed, equipped and horsed on their "own hook") the authority and pay came from the Federal Government.- Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Illinois, Volume XI Illinois Militia, Rangers & Riflemen 1810-1813 Pg. 8-26:

"Although Governor EDWARDS had several times during the years of 1811 and 1812 recommended to the Secretary of War the enlistment of one or more companies of "Rangers," to protect the frontier, and Congress having, in 1811, passed an act authorizing the organization of ten companies of rangers, which were afterward organized as the 17th United States Regiment, under Colonel William RUSSELL, of Kentucky, an Indian fighter of bravery and experience, it does not appear that more than one Company was recruited in the Illinois Territory. DAVIDSON and STUVE say in their History, in reference to this force: "Four companies were allotted to the defense of Illinois, whose respective Captains were Samuel and William B. WHITESIDES, James B. MOORE and Jacob SHORT. Independent Cavalry Companies were also organized for the protection of the remote settlements in the lower Wabash country, of which Willis HARGRAVE, William MCHENRY, Nathaniel JOURNEY, Captain CRAIG, at Shawneetown, and William BOON, on Big Muddy, were respectively commanders, ready, on short notice of Indian outrages, to make pursuit of the deprecator. (D. and S. Hist. Ill., p. 249.) We are, however, of the opinion that there must have been some mistake about the fact alleged of four companies of the 17th Regiment being from Illinois, as, of the Captains mentioned, we have evidence that Samuel WHITESIDES, James B. MOORE and Jacob SHORT were commanding Companies of Militia at the time, in the service of the Governor of the Territory, all belonging to the Regiment which WILLIAM WHITESIDE, as Lieutenant Colonel, was then commanding (the 2nd Regiment Ter. Militia). The organization and size of this command appear from a regimental return, on file in this office, bearing date of September 16, 1812, which was no doubt made out at Camp Russell (note: a mile and a half northwest of the present town of Edwardsville, in Madison county, in honor of the Colonel, the commander of the Regiment of Rangers. (D. and S. Hist., pp. 249-250.), signed by Lieutenant Colonel William WHITESIDE, Commanding, and Elihu MATHER, Adjutant,:"

see also reference to Record of the service of the Illinois Militia, Rangers and Rifleman,in protection the Frontier from The Ravages of the Indians from 1810 to 1814 found at (JOHN WILKINSON HEWITT/HUITT, SR. FAMILY GENEALOGY and HISTORY DATABASE Donated by William D.Huitt)

"Colonel Russell, of the United States army, engaged in raising companies of rangers to co-operate with Governor Edwards. These forces concentrated at what was known as "Camp Russell," west of Cahokia. The little army when organized numbered about three hundred and fifty men, including United States rangers and mounted volunteers." 
  - THE RED MEN OF IOWA.
http://www.yawp.com/redmen/chapter3/page64.html  
also similar info at http://www.eslarp.uiuc.edu/ibex/archive/nunes/timeline/empire/1812.htm

"On October 18, 1812, territorial militiamen and U. S. Rangers left Fort Russell, near Edwardsville, under the personal direction of Governor Ninian Edwards and Colonel Russell, and marched north on the Elkhart Hill landmark.7 On Salt Creek near there they burned the Kickapoo Indian town as the tribe fled; following this, they burned another Indian village on the lower Mackinaw and moved northward into our Partridge Township. The war gave an excuse to destroy these Indian villages, although there was scant evidence the tribes were pro-British or pro-anything."
 
- The Centennial Book of El Paso, Illinois, First Published in 1954, and updated in 1979 -
http://www.elpaso.net/~bank/elpasohistory/epstory/index.htm
  
"Captain Taylor used great exertions to forward despatches to General Harrison, but as every road was guarded by strong parties of Indians, his messengers were obliged to return. The following letter will convey some idea of the difficulties under which he labored...."
- http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/cgi-bin/getobject_?p.1042:20./lib35/artfl1/databases/sources/IMAGE/

"Fort Harrison, Sept. 13th, 1812.

"DEAR SIR: — I wrote to you on the 10th instant, giving you an account of an attack on this place, as well as my situation, which account I attempted to send by water; but the two men whom I despatched in a canoe after night found the river so well guarded that they were obliged to return. The Indians had built a fire on the bank of the river a short distance below the garrison, which gave them an opportunity of seeing any craft that might attempt to pass, and were waiting with a canoe ready to intercept it. I expect the fort as well as the road to Vincennes is as well or better watched than the river. But my situation compels me to make one other attempt by land, and my orderly sergeant and one other man set out to-night, with strict orders to avoid the road in the day-time, and depend entirely on the woods, although neither of them have ever been in Vincennes by land, nor do they know any thing of the country; but I am in hopes that they will reach you in safety. I send them with great reluctance, from their ignorance of the woods. I think it very probable there is a large party of Indians waylaying the road between this and Vincennes, likely about the Narrows, for the purpose of intercepting any party that may be coming to this place, as the cattle they got here will supply them plentifully with provisions for some time to come. Please, &c.,
Z. TAYLOR."
"His excellency, Governor Harrison."

At the time of the writing of this letter Colonel Russell was within fifteen miles of Fort Harrison, with a reinforcement of six hundred mounted rangers, and five hundred infantry. He arrived on the 16th, to the utter surprise of Captain Taylor, who had not heard of even his approach. Some time after the garrison was further reinforced by about 4000 men under Major General Hopkins.

 "In 1812 President Madison commissioned Judge Dunn a captain of rangers. He soon raised a company, among the members being two of his brothers and two of his brothers-in-law. On the 13th of April, 1813, the company was mustered into the service of the United States, at Madison, and at once entered upon active service. For some time it was employed in erecting block-houses in the counties of Switzerland, Jefferson and Scott, for the protection of the settlers.
In June, 1813, Captain Dunn and his company made a raid upon the Delaware towns on the west fork of White river, and next month, with three other companies, all under the command of Colonel Russell, marched against the Indian towns on the Wabash river, at the mouth of the Mississiniwa. During this expedition Captain Dunn's company encamped one night on the spot which is now known as Circle Park, Indianapolis. In September, 1813, Captain Dunn's rangers marched to Fort Harrison, near Terre Haute, to relieve Captain Zachary Taylor's company of United States regulars. Dr. David H. Maxwell, a brother-in-law of Captain Dunn, and a member of his company, in a petition to Congress asking compensation for medicine and medical services rendered the members of his company, gives this graphic description of the situation at Fort Harrison when Captain Dunn arrived:
"After this campaign (the Mississiniwa), and without a respite, Captain Dunn's company of rangers was ordered to Fort Harrison to relieve a company of United States infantry which had charge of that garrison.
"No language which your petitioner can command can adequately describe the situation of this infantry company when the Rangers took charge of the fort. Of the whole company four only were able to perform duty. The physician who was stationed at the fort had been sick and confined to his bed for weeks. At his request your petitioner attended upon the sick of his company until those who recovered (for some died) were able to leave the fort. Within the short space of three months after Captain Dunn's company of rangers was stationed at Fort Harrison there were eighty-five men out of one hundred and six who were sick and confined. Such was the rapid increase of disease that your petitioner was wholly unable to attend personally upon the sick, and he was obliged to apply to the officers to obtain the aid of three or four intelligent individuals to assist him in preparing and administering medicines, and to attend on the sick during their operation. Nearly all the sick were affected with remitting and intermitting fever, some few from dysentery or bloody flux. The rangers were continued at Fort Harrison for four months, and during that time, and, in fact, until the company was discharged, in March, 1814, the sick were often requiring additional medicines. Of the whole number of rangers at the fort, only one died during the service; but more than twenty never perfectly recovered, and died within eighteen months afterward."
 
- Williamson Dunn Biographical and Historical Sketches of Early Indiana by William Wesley Woollen. 1883 http://myindianahome.net/gen/jeff/records/history/woollen/dunnw.html

 "War Dept May 14. 1814 - your Excellency may have found it necessary to detail the 4th. Regt. and an order is inclosed for Col. Miller to suspend his march, until you may be satisfied that the rangers & regular troops under Colonel Russell and the recruits which are raising in the Territory for the additional army are equal to the protection of that frontier." -
-Eustis to Harrison 
 http://www.ohiohistory.org/onlinedoc/war1812/harrison/hpage010.cfm

"William Kelley who was a private in the Company commanded by Captain Samuel Whitesides in the Regiment of Mounted Rangers commanded by Colonel William Russell in the war with the Indians in the year 1812 & 13, on the frontier of Illinois; that he enlisted at Russellville, Illinois as he believes, on or about the ____ day of May or April, A.D. 1813 for the term of twelve months, and continued in actual service in said war for the term of twelve months, and was honorably mustered out of service on the ____ day of April or May, A.D. 1814, on account of his term of service having expired. He makes this declaration for the purpose of obtaining the bounty land to which he may be entitled under the "act granting bounty land to certain officers and soldiers who have been engaged in the military service of the United States," passed September 28th, 1850. "I served twelve months in the Regiment of United States Mounted Rangers, the Regiment com'(d) by Col. William Russell & in the Company commanded by Samuel Whitesides."
- http://www.rootsweb.com/~arpcahs/pcahsolr/bounty/bounty_18.htm 

"After the formation of the United States, the first Army Rangers were created by act of Congress in 1811, just before the outbreak of the War of 1812. The organization of 10 Companies of mounted Rangers were under command of Colonel William Russell with 4 of these Companies detailed to patrol and protect the Illinois Territory from the English and Indians." - 17th Reg. of Illinois Territorial Rangers this re-enactor group portrays this unit but does not use the original title the unit was formed under - 17th United States Regiment
 
For more on Col William Russell, read the interesting article
KENTUCKY "REGULARS" IN THE WAR OF 1812. By A. C. Quisenberry.

Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, Frankfort, Kentucky January 1914

 

"Congress, in 1811, passed an act authorizing the organization of ten companies of rangers which afterward formed a regiment, known as the 17th U. S. Infantry, placed under the command of Col. Wm. Russell of Kentucky, a renowned Indian fighter. Of these companies four were raised in Illinois Territory, those commanded respectively by Captains Samuel Whiteside, Wm. Whiteside, James B. Moore, and Jacob Short.—J. H." - footnote p.338 - "Camp Russell was erected about a mile and a-half northwest of the present town of Edwardsville, and was called for William Russell, who was colonel of a regiment of ten ranging companies." p.405

- The Pioneer History of Illinois
http://books.google.com/books?id=COvAV4QZXycC&printsec=frontcover

"An act of Congress followed, authorizing the enlistment of ten companies of mounted rangers, to be styled the 17th regiment, of which Col. William Russell, of Kentucky, was given command, and over each of which companies a captain was elected by the men. Four of those companies, recruited from Illinois, were assigned to the defense of Illinois, towit: The companies of Capt. William B. Whiteside, Capt. Samuel Whiteside, Capt James B. Moore and Capt. Jacob Short. Four of them were assigned to Indiana and two to Missouri. Over toward the Wabash five companies of mounted rangers were organized, to-wit: The companies of Capt. Willis Hargrave,§ Capt. William McHenry,§ Capt. Nathaniel Journey, Capt. Thomas E. Craig (of Shawneetown) and Capt. William Boone of the Big Muddy. Forts, block houses and stockades were erected over the State wherever settlements were to be found...(p.71)...On the llth day of September, Colonel Russell, who had been ordered, from near Vincennes, promptly left that point with two small companies of United States rangers, commanded by Captains Perry and Modrell* to join Governor Edwards and move up the Illinois to make a demonstration before the hostile Indians (there concentrated) of a character to cower them, which if ineffectual was to be followed by chastisement and destruction of their villages; likewise to recover the property and murderers sought by Captain Levering, to suffer no possible miscarriage. Gen. Samuel Hopkins commander of the Kentucky troops raised for the occasion, some 2,000 in number, was ordered to move up the Wabash to Ft. Harrison, destroy the villages in his coarse near the Wabash; march across the prairies of Illinois by way of the headwaters of the Sangamon and Vermillion rivers; form a junction with Edwards and Russell and together sweep all the villages along the Illinois river. General Hopkins' Kentuckians, undisciplined, and hopelessly insubordinate, after crossing into the Illinois prairies, became reckless and disorderly. It was known among them that the success of the expedition depended entirely on their activity and secrecy. Yet they loitered and shot game along the way and otherwise disobeyed the positive commands of the veteran general and his aids to such a shameful extent that the Indians in all the territory desired to be covered, learned the object of the movement and fled north to safety,just as had been feared when orders for secrecy and haste had been given. The season was rainy and the roads naturally slow; competent guides were lacking and on the fourth day out from Ft Harrison, the army lost its course in the vast prairies and returned disgraced, to the Wabash....The part assigned to Governor Edwards and Colonel Russell, more hazardous, was executed with precision and despatch, though fraught with nothing brilliant. Happily Governor Reynolds, in whose debt the State of Illinois must always remain, was a member of that expedition, as sergeant in the company of William B Whitesides, and has left us the following faithful account of it: "
Towards the last of September, 1812, all the forces of the United States rangers and mounted volunteers, to the number of 350, were assembled at Camp Russell and duly organized, preparatory to marching against the Indians, and join the army under General Hopkins. Camp Russell was one mile and a half north of Edwardsville, and then on the frontier. " Colonel Russell commanded the United States rangers; Colonels Stephenson and Charles Rector were in command of the volunteers; Major John Mordock, Colonel — Desha, United States army, and several others (names not recollected) were field officers; Captains William B. Whiteside, James B. Moore, Jacob Short, Samuel Whiteside, Willis Hargrave (William McHenry, Janny and Lieutenant Roakscn, with a small independent company of spies, consisting of 21 men,) commanded companies. " Colonel Jacob Judy was the captain of a small corps of spies, comprising 21 men. (Governor Reynolds was in this company.) The staff of Governor Edwards were Nelson Rector, Lieut. Rober K. McLaughlin, United States army, and Secretary Nathaniel Pope There may have been more, but the writer does not recollect them. " This little army being organized, and with their provisions for or 30 days packed on the horses, they rode (except in a few instance when pack horses were fitted out,) took up the line of march in northwardly direction. Captain Craig, with a small company, was ordered to take charge of a boat, fortified for the occasion, with provision and supplies, anc proceed up the Illinois river to Peoria. "This little army at that time was all the efficient force to protect Illinois. We commenced the march from Camp Russell on the last day of September....I am well aware that we cannot judge of conditions so competently as those present at the time, but from the manner in which Governor Reynolds treated it; the pusillanimous conduct of Hopkins' troops and the assinine and criminal action of Craig, we must, while conceding that to the expedition amid the Indiains, until they recovered breath to do more damage, we must regard with regret the treatment given the villages of the friends of the whites. We will admit that much mischief was hatched in their villages; possibly the Fort Dearborn massacre, of it who shall say an indiscriminate assault should have been made upon friend and foe alike? It was an incident of Indian life and character to find such conditions, and when a raid was contemplated, the highest intelligence should have directed its execution. Finding no reinforcements from Hopkins and Craig and suspecting attack from the exasperated Indians, Governor Edwards turned his face toward Camp Russell, and reached it with his command after 13 days absence. Strange as it may seem, a controversy arose as to who should have the credit of originating the expedition. The question should have been, to whom should we credit the execution of it...(On the latter question Governor Edwards wrote: "I received a letter from Colonel Russell, proposing to me an expedition somewhat similar, and promising to come on before the day I had appointed for marching. He accordingly arrived, with a part of two companies of rangers, consisting of 50 privates and their officers, and tendered me his services, which I gladly accepted by appointing him second in command, well knowing and duly appreciating his great experience in Indian warfare and his merits as a military )....Let it not be understood that the rangers of Missouri were idle while those reports were current and while those plundering raids and murders were multiplying. Though settlements were few and far apart, the great distances were covered by pursuing parties almost constantly. In fact it may be said for the rangers, that all of fighting, vengeance, reprisal, victory which came to the whites, came through the steadfastness of companies of rangers or other detachments and not from any combination of command or concerted expedition. Those rangers were here, there and everywhere, abating not their energies to protect the feeble settlements and by the time the year 1813 came round, with its renewed needs of protection, the rangers went from fort to fort, repairing some, enlarging others, removing families- to safer posts and running down thieves and murderers. " (p.127-144)" -

Excerpts from PUBLICATION NO. 9 OF THE ILLINOIS STATE HISTORICAL LIBRARY - TRANSACTIONS OF THE ILLINOIS STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY FOR THE YEAR 1904.


"Congress in 1811 passed an act for the organization of 10 companies of mounted rangers to protect the frontiers of the West These companies constituted the 17th United States regiment and Colonel William Russel an old Indian lighter of Kentucky was assigned to its command..." 
- A complete history of Illinois from 1673 to 1873, by Alexander Davidson (of Springfield, Illinois), 1877, p. 249
http://books.google.com/books?id=tRgVAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover


So, by many accounts, the first* US RANGER REGIMENT was conceived as early as 1790-91 and formed beginning in 1811-1812!

(and they were mounted!)


I could find no Congressional military legislation enacted in 1811 but, obviously, discussion, debate and drafting, preceded the 2 January 1812 legislation:


TWELFTH CONGRESS First Session 4 Nov, 1811-6 July, 1812 
"1812 - Jan 2 Chap 11 
- An act authorizing the President of the United States to raise companies of rangers for the protection of the frontiers of the United States..."not exceeding six"...p. 211" 

"1813 - July 1 Chap 119 
- An act supplementary to An act authorizing the President of the United States to raise certain companies of rangers for the protection of the frontier of the United States...p. 233"



THIRTEENTH CONGRESS First Session 24 May  - 2 Aug 1813

"1813 August 2 Chap 41 
- An act explanatory of an act entitled An act to raise ten additional companies of rangers...p. 249"  



- MILITARY LAWS 0F THE UNITED STATES RELATING TO THE ARMY, VOLUNTEERS, MILITIA AND TO BOUNTY LANDS AND PENSIONS, from the foundation of the Government to the year 1863, By JOHN F CALLAN, CLERK TO MILITARY COMMITTEE UNITED STATES SENATE, 1868
http://books.google.com/books?id=ugVCAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover 



note - one law not "inserted" in Callan's book of Military Laws was the 9 April 1816 Act:
"to provide for the payment of horses and other property lost or destroyed in the military service of the United States..."

In March, 1849 - Chapter 129 Approved March 3 1849 Vol 9 p 414 - we find:
"That any field or staff or other officer mounted militiaman volunteer ranger or cavalry engaged in the military service of the United States since the eighteenth of June eighteen hundred and twelve or who shall hereafter be in said service.."  and a note accompanying:
"This act superseded all the expired acts on the same subject of 9 April 1816 chap 40 vol 3 p 261, 3 March 1817 chap 110 vol 3 p 397, 3 March 1825 chap 68 vol 4 p 123 20 April 1818 chap 124 vol 3 p 456 19 Feb 1833 chap 33 vol 3 p 813 3 June 1834 chap 153 18 Jan 1837 chap 5 vol 5 p 142 14 Oot 1837 chap 5 vol 5 p 204 and 2 March 1847 chap 39 vol 6 p 154 none of which are inserted in this compilation.."

 In December 1838, a resolution was put forth to account for property losses in 1811. including those by the mounted rangers that were formed them, in the lead-up to the war:

"Resolved That the Committee of Claims be instructed to inquire into the expediency of abridging its duties by reviving such sections of the act passed the 9th day of April, 1816, entitled "An act to authorize payment for property lost captured or destroyed during the last war," as may be deemed proper and to embrace horses lost and private property consumed by mounted rangers and militia and Volunteers in the authorized campaign of 1811, previous to the formal declaration of war in 1812; also, into the expediency of authorizing and granting to the officers and privates in the service of the United States as rangers, volunteers, and militia, for six months, altogether, from and after the date of the order given to the army to imbody to march to Tippecanoe, in 1811, to the end of the war,scrip sufficient to enter a tract of public land each, apportioned according to rank."

- HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 26, 1838, PROCEEDINGS OF CONGRESS IN RELATION TO THE ARMY AND NAVY, Army and Navy Chronicle, pp. 325-326 

 ----------------------------------------------------

John Coffee's Rangers (primarily known as Mounted Riflemen) of Tennessee in the War of 1812:

LETTERS FROM GEN COFFEE
American historical magazine, Volume 6, by Peabody Normal College, 1901
http://books.google.com/books?id=cGgUAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA174

THE BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS , by AC Quisenberry; The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, Volume 13, by Kentucky Historical Society, 1915
http://books.google.com/books?id=ynEUAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA7

"Gen. Coffee's Official Record.

"War Department.
"the Adjustant General's Office.
"Memorandum for the Secretary of war.

"The name of John Coffee, appears with the rank of Colonal on a muster roll of the field and staff officers of the regiment of Tennessee Volunteer Calvalry under command of Col. John Coffee, (war of 1812) covering the period between December 10, 1812, and April 27, 1813. This roll is dated April 27, 1813, and shows the date of his appointment as November 21, 1812, and a payroll of the organization shows the date of his service as April 27,1813.

"The name John Coffee also appears, with rank of Colonal, on a muster roll of the field and staff belonging to Col. John Coffee's regiment of Tennessee Volunteer Calvalry and mounted Rifilemen 'on an expedition against the Creek Nation of Indians' (war of 1812) covering the period between September 24, and October 29, 1813. This roll is dated October 29, 1813, and shows September 24, 1813, as the date when he mustered into service and October 29, 1813, as 'time of service performed.'

"The name also appears with rank of brigadier general on a muster roll of the general and staff officers of Brig. General Coffee's Brigade of Tennessee Volunteer Calvalry and Mounted Gunmen (war of 1812) covering the period from Oct. 30, 1813, to May 10, 1814. This roll is dated May 10, 1814, at Fayetteville, and shows October 31, 1813, as the date of his appointment and May 10,

1814, as date of expiration of service.

"The name also appears, with rank of Brigadier General on muster roll of the general and staff officers of Brigadier General Coffee's Brigade of Tennessee Volunteer Mounted Gunmen 'in the late campaign in the south' (war of 1812) covering the period between September 11, 1814, and June 20, 1815, when discharged. The roll is dated June 20, 1815, at Nashville and shows June 20,

1815, as the date of expiration of service.

"The name also appears with rank of Brigadier General on a muster roll of officers belonging to Brigadier General Coffee's Brigade of Tennessee Volunteer Mounted Gunmen in the service of the United States at New Orleans on the first of March, 1815 (war of 1812). This roll is dated March 1st., 1815, at New Orleans, Louisiana, and shows September 11, 1814, as date of commencement of service.

%"It further appears from the records that this officer marched from Nashville, Tennessee, to Washington, M. Ter., in the months of January and February, 1813, thence to Nashville Camp Coffee on the Tennessee river (September 26, 1813), 'Black Warrior's Town,' Fort Deposit and Chenubbe (October 13, 1913); that he marched from Camp Chenubbe by Camp Pleasant, thence to Talishetehay, near Ten Islands Fort Strother (November, 1813), Taledga, Fort Strother, Rutherford County, Tennessee, Enotochopo, Emuckfau, Fort Strother, (January, 1814), Fort Williams, Tohopeka, (March 1814), Fort Williams, Hoithlewalea, Fort Jackson and Rutherford County Tennessee, and that he marched between September 28, 1814, and April 27,1815, from Fayetteville, thence to Fort Montgomery, Pensacola, Fort Montgomery, mouth of Sandy Creek, on the Mississippi, to the encampment below New Orleans, and to Nashville, Tennessee.

"Nothing additional has been found in this department relative to the services of this officer, but it appears from an unofficial publication (Dictionary of the Army of the United States, Gardner) that this officer was wounded in battle under Major General Jackson with Creek Indians at Emuckfau, January 22, 1814, and in an attack on Pensacola November, 1814, and that he distinguished himself in the defense of New Orleans in battles of December 23, 1814, and January 8, 1815.

"It also appears (from No. 19, 'Filson Club Publications' entitled 'The Battle of New Orleans' by Zachery F. Smith) that the thanks of the general assembly of the state of Louisiana were presented to General Coffee and other officers 'For the brilliant share have had in the defense of this country and the happy harmony they have maintained with the inhabitants and malitia of the state.'

"P. C. Harris,
"The Ajustant General.

"Agust 19, 1920."

...The name-sake of General Jackson, Andrew Jackson Coffee, was born near Nashville, Tennessee, August 20, 1819, educated at the University of Nashville, and was appointed to West Point Military Academy by President Jackson. He served on General Taylor's staff in the Mexican war and at its close remained in the service and served in Texas and Louisana, until 1853, when he was assigned for duty on Tampa's coast, with headquarters at San Francisco, with General Albert Sidney Johnson and General Curtis Lee. In the Civil War he sympathized with the south. He returned to civil life in 1859."....

GENERAL JOHN COFFEE AND FAMILY, including Gen Coffee's Official Record, pp. 195-202 Andrew Jackson and Early Tennessee History, Volume 2, by Samuel Gordon Heiskell, 1921
http://books.google.com/books?id=LPqZ80I8pfgC&pg=PA195#v=onepage&q&f=false

Mississippi Territory in War of 1812, Publications of the Mississippi Historical Society: Centenary series, Volume 4, by Mississippi Historical Society,1921, pp. 11-233
http://books.google.com/books?id=CksTAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover 



pp. 72-73; Part III Post Revolutionary War Units, Elite Warriors: 300 Years of America's Best Fighting Troops, by Lance Q. Zedric, Michael F. Dilley, 1996
http://books.google.com/books?id=ccVm7FTnz4AC&printsec=frontcover

pp. 29-30; US Army Rangers: History Chapter 2 in Blood Warriors: American Military Elites, by Michael Lee Lanning, 2002
http://books.google.com/books?id=yg1E4wWlmsAC&printsec=frontcover
"John Coffee" 8 citations
In the Footsteps of Davy Crockett, by Randell Jones, 2006
http://books.google.com/books?id=RhBdkc6p3UoC&printsec=frontcover


-----------------------------------------------------

As for the case of the 35th U.S. Regular Infantry and its alleged Ranger affiliation (foot rangers)?

To date, I have yet to find mention of its RANGER designation and have not been able to relocate my non-web - book source for my original notation.
NARA states that "the 12th, 20th, and 35th infantry regiments were recruited from Virginia," and its 98.3.2 Records of infantry units shows Company and order books available on the 35th. According to Craig R. Scott's Tip # 36, War of 1812 - Records in the National Archives: in some cases militia units became the core of regular Army units, and he cites as one example the 35th recruited in Virginia.
A search at American State Papers and other sites yields numerous individual officer assignment and promotion mentions for the "35th Infantry" or "Thirty-Fifth Infantry" and inclusion of the regiment's strength and disposition (along with all the 48 regiments) raised in the 1815 register

The US 35th Infantry Regiment, as shown in the tables, was superintended for recruiting by Colonel Goodwyn with a principle rendezvous at Petersburg Virginia. I suspect the US 35th Infantry may have been centered or based on the "hope" of attracting recruits of the caliber, or even former members, of the militia unit The Petersburg Volunteers, 1812-1813
whose "conduct in the Field has been excelled by no other Corps..." - General Orders - Headquarters, Detroit, 17th October, 1813.
It's performance under General Harrison at Fort Meigs, repulsing several attacks from January through September 1813, is said to have led to the cities "sobriquet, "The Cockade City of the Union," which is usually shortened to "The Cockade City." Allegedly it was conferred by President Madison himself - comparing the volunteers to the distinctive leather cockade ornament then worn on soldiers' hats - but research shows the sobriquet was not in general usage until several decades after the war.

In July of 1814, it was in vicinity of Norfolk,
garrisoning Fort Norfolk, but also deployed at key points (e.g.Fort Powhatan) along the Hampton Roads and James River, with an unstated effective strength since the aggregate given for it and the 20th Inf plus the 1st battalion of the 38th Inf = 873). By October its recruited strength was 565 all ranks.
It's location vicinity this vital seaport, at first glance, does not bring to mind ideal "ranger-style" country, but it was well-considered.

"(Virginia) Records concerning War of 1812 soldiers are scattered and fragmentary, and proof of federal military service and benefits will be found only at the National Archives." "Virginia did not grant bounty land or pensions for military service in the War of 1812. - http://www.lva.lib.va.us/whatwehave/mil/rn19_sold.htm

click here for more information on the old 35th US Inf Regiment

___________________________________________________________________________________

READINGS & RESOURCES


PICTORIAL FIELD-BOOK OF THE WAR OF 1812 - BY BENSON J. LOSSING

1869
CHAPTER XVI.
WAR WITH THE BRITISH AND INDIANS IN THE NORTHWEST.

Let us resume the narrative of events in the Northwest in the autumn of 1812.

We left General Harrison at Franklinton, General Tupper at Urbana, and General Winchester at Fort Defiance, all engaged in preparations to move forward to the Rapids of the Maumee, and thence to Detroit. While the movement of the troops in Western Ohio and Eastern Indiana, just related, were in progress, stirring events of a like nature occurred in the region nearer the Mississippi River.

We have already noticed the departure of troops from Kentucky for Vincennes, and the messengers sent to that post by Captain Taylor, asking immediate aid for Fort Harrison on the Wabash. 32 This call was immediately responded to. Colonel William Russell, of the Seventh United States Regiment of Infantry, just arrived at Vincennes, departed at once for Fort Harrison with about twelve hundred men, consisting of three companies of Rangers, two regiments of Indiana militia, under Colonels Jordan and Evans, and Colonel Wilcox’s regiment of Kentucky Volunteers. Lieutenant Richardson, of the regulars, was directed to follow with eleven men as an escort for provisions. By a forced march Russell and his party reached Fort Harrison on the 16th, much to the joy of Captain Taylor, without encountering the foe. Not so the provision escort. That was attacked by the savages on the 15th, who killed more than one half of the detachment and captured all of the provisions. Another provision train that followed immediately afterward was more fortunate. The savages were not seen. the great body of the Indians seemed to have fled from the vicinity, and Russell and his troops, except Wilcox’s regiment, returned to Vincennes.

At about this time the Indians of Illinois and Northern Indiana, persuaded, like the rest of the savages under the influence of Tecumtha, after the fall of Mackinaw, Detroit, and Chicago, that the time was at hand when the white people might be driven beyond the Ohio River, every where showed signs of hostilities. These were so menacing that Ninian Edwards, the Governor of the Illinois Territory, called on the executive of Kentucky for aid. That aid was on its way in the person of Colonel Barbour and his command, when it was diverted to Vincennes, on account of the dangers impending over Fort Harrison. Edwards had sent out spies, and was persuaded that no time was to be lost in making preparations for offensive and defensive operations against the savages. He combined the scattered militia of his Territory, and caused several companies of Rangers to be encamped on the Mississippi, above St. Louis, and on the Illinois River. These served to keep the Indians in check for a time. Meanwhile Governor Shelby had made the stirring appeal [September 8, 1812.] to the Kentuckians already alluded to. 33 He told them of the "extensive combination of the savages, aided by the British from Canada," who were momentarily expected on the frontier settlements of Illinois and Indiana. Twenty-one persons, he said, had already been murdered not more than twenty miles north of the Ohio! "It is hoped," he remarked, "that it will rouse the spirit and indignation of the freemen of Kentucky, and induce a sufficient number of them to give their services to their country for a short period." He asked them to rendezvous at Louisville on the 18th of the month, with thirty days’ provisions. "Kentuckians," he said, "ever pre-eminent for their patriotism, bravery, and good conduct, will, I am persuaded, on this occasion, give to the world a new evidence of their love of country, and a determination, at every hazard, to rescue their fellow-men from the murders and devastations of a cruel and barbarous enemy." 34

This address, as we have seen, was responded to with wonderful alacrity. Hundreds more than were needed were at Louisville on the appointed day, and were turned back with feelings of the keenest disappointment. One old veteran, who had suffered from savage cruelty, and had fought the dusky foe in the early days of Kentucky settlement, although greatly chagrined when he found his company rejected, said, "Well, well, Kentucky has often glutted the market with hemp, flour, and tobacco, and now she has done so with volunteers." This was a truthful exposition, in few words, of the wealth and patriotism of Kentucky.

General Samuel Hopkins, under whom the Kentucky Volunteers were placed, made his head-quarters at Vincennes. The troops continued to arrive and were mustered into the service from the 21st of September until the 2d of October, when Hopkins, then convalescing after a severe attack of fever, found himself at the head of almost four thousand men, about two thousand of them expert riflemen, on horseback. His little army was speedily organized, 35 and on the 10th of September he started with the mounted riflemen for the Indian country by the way of Fort Harrison. The chief design of the expedition was to march an annihilating force upon the principal Kickapoo and Peoria Indian villages on the waters of the Illinois River, the former supposed to be about eighty miles distant, and the latter one hundred and twenty miles.

Hopkins and his two thousand horsemen crossed the Wabash on the afternoon of the 14th [October, 1812.], and made their first encampment that night three miles from Fort Harrison. Before them lay magnificent level prairies, covered with tall grass, both dry and green. The guides passed a satisfactory examination as to their knowledge of the route, and the plans of the general were unanimously approved by a council of officers. On resuming the second day’s march, every thing promised well excepting the lack of discipline and evident restlessness under restraint manifested by the troops. Indeed, so far as military discipline was concerned, they constituted little more than a vast mob, and it was soon found that every man was disposed to be a law unto himself. Every hour of the march revealed to the commanding general evidences of the fact that his army was as combustible as the dry grass around them. The symptoms of discontent, seen even at Vincennes, now assumed the positive forms of complaint and murmuring. The guides were suspected of ignorance or disloyalty; and food and forage, it was alleged, were becoming alarmingly scarce. Finally, while halting on the fourth day’s march, a major, whose name is withheld, rode up to the commanding general, and in an insolent manner peremptorily ordered him to march the troops back to Fort Harrison. Not long afterward a violent wind arose that blew directly toward them, and very soon it was discovered that the prairie was on fire at the windward. They saved themselves by burning the grass around their camp. It was believed that this was the work of the Indians, and it gave the finishing blow to the expedition. The troops would not march farther. Hopkins called a council of officers [October 20.], when it was decided by them to return, as their men were utterly unmanageable. The mortified commander then called for five hundred volunteers to follow him to the Illinois. Not one responded to his summons. His authority had vanished. They even refused to submit to his leadership on their return, and he followed his army back to Fort Harrison, where they arrived on the 25th. 36 Thus ended an apparently formidable and promising expedition. Yet it was not unfruitful of good. It alarmed the Indians, gave them a sense of the real power of the white people, and made them more cautious and circumspect. That imposing force had marched eighty or ninety miles in the Indian country without show of opposition any where.

Russell’s co-operating Expedition in Illinois.
We have already noticed the departure of troops from Kentucky for Vincennes, and the messengers sent to that post by Captain Taylor, asking immediate aid for Fort Harrison on the Wabash. 32 This call was immediately responded to. Colonel William Russell, of the Seventh United States Regiment of Infantry, just arrived at Vincennes, departed at once for Fort Harrison with about twelve hundred men, consisting of three companies of Rangers, two regiments of Indiana militia, under Colonels Jordan and Evans, and Colonel Wilcox’s regiment of Kentucky Volunteers. Lieutenant Richardson, of the regulars, was directed to follow with eleven men as an escort for provisions. By a forced march Russell and his party reached Fort Harrison on the 16th, much to the joy of Captain Taylor, without encountering the foe. Not so the provision escort. That was attacked by the savages on the 15th, who killed more than one half of the detachment and captured all of the provisions. Another provision train that followed immediately afterward was more fortunate. The savages were not seen. the great body of the Indians seemed to have fled from the vicinity, and Russell and his troops, except Wilcox’s regiment, returned to Vincennes............

While Hopkins’s expedition was in motion, another, under Colonel Russell, composed of two small companies of United States Rangers, marched from Vincennes [October 11, 1812.] to unite with a small body of mounted militia under Governor Edwards (who assumed the chief command), for the purpose of penetrating the region toward which General Hopkins was marching, and to co-operate with him. Their combined force numbered nearly four hundred men, rank and file. They penetrated deeply into the Indian country, but, hearing nothing of Hopkins, and being too few to attempt much, they contented themselves with some minor exploits. They fell suddenly and furiously upon the principal Kickapoo town, twenty miles above Peoria, at the head of Peoria Lake, and drove the Indian inhabitants into a swamp, through which for three miles they were vigorously pursued, the invaders finding themselves frequently waist-deep in mud and water. The fugitives fled in dismay across the Illinois River. Many of the pursuers passed over, and brought back canoes with dead Indians in them. Twenty lifeless warriors lay prone in the path of the returning victors. Doubtless many more perished in the morass and the stream. The town, with a large quantity of corn and other property, was destroyed. The spoils brought away were eighty horses, and the dried scalps of several white persons who had been murdered by the savages. 37 The expedition returned, after an absence of thirteen days, with no other serious casualty than four men wounded, not one of them mortally.

--------

FORT RUSSELL

- Many blockhouses were erected in Illinois during the War of 1812, most of them defenses against attack by the Indians who were allied with the British. There were at least 22 such blockhouse-forts between old Kaskaskia and Alton in Madison County, with the largest and strongest of them being Fort Russell, just northwest of present Edwardsville. The fort was built by Governor Ninian Edwards and named for Colonel William Russell of Kentucky, who commanded ten companies of Rangers, organized by an act of Congress, to defend the western frontier against the British and Indians. Four of these companies were allotted to the defense of Illinois. At least five cannon were removed from Fort Chartres to arm Fort Russell. The only Army regulars stationed at the fort were there during spring of 1812 and constituted the garrison for only a few months.

--------

Old Northwest Territory Rangers:


Following the treaty of Greenville with the Indians in 1790 and the Jay Treaty of 1794 with the British, migrations by Americans into the Northwest Territory increased dramatically. By 1809, the area of Illinois had a population sufficient enough to be organized into a independent territory, the recorded population according to the 1810 Federal census being 12,282. This dramatic influx of newcomers into the Illinois Territory provoked frictions between the American settlers and the native Indians, a friction which was further aggravated by the incitements of British agents and traders.

The following account of British activity was made in 1808 by the Indian Little Turtle:

Brother - At the time we were making bright the chain of friendship at Canadaiqua, the commissioner on your part told us that the time might come when your enemies would endeavor to disturb or minds, and do away with the friendship we had then formed with you. That time has finally arrived. Since you have had some disputes with the British government, their agents in Canada have not only endeavored to make the Indians at the westward your enemies, but they have sent a war belt among our warriors to poison their minds and make them break their faith with you.1

Those British agents had long cultivated friendships among the various tribes and, fearful of loosing influence over them as well as personal benefits, used every opportunity to exploit and aggrandize the injustices done the Indians at the hands of the American citizens. Such was the beginning of the War of 1812 for the people living in the Illinois frontier. For these frontier families, the War of 1812 was not so much a war with the British as it was with the Pottowatomie, Kickapoo, Sac and other Indian tribes. While they may well have placed the ultimate blame for Indian hostilities with the British, they fought no British forces, only Indians. The beginnings of Indian hostilities in St. Clair County involved only the stealing of horses and other livestock. By June of 1811, however, the situation had deteriorated precipitously as is evidenced by the following address by Governor Ninian Edwards to the Pottowatomies:

On the 2nd day of last June, on Shoal Creek in St. Clair County, in this Territory, three of your bad men went to the house of a Mr. Cox, plundered his property, took two guns, two mares and colts, and a stud horse, barbarously killed his son and took his daughter prisoner. A few days after this outrage, near the Mississippi, in the same county and territory, others of your bad men killed a man by the name of Price, and wounded another by the name of Ellis.2

The reaction of the people of St. Clair County to these depredations was almost immediate. A mass meeting of the citizenry of the county was held and a petition drafted requesting that the United States government provide greater protection for the people living in the Illinois Territory. Assuming that help from the Federal government would be slow in coming if it were to come at all, the men formed a company of rangers to provide for their own protection. An act of Congress did soon follow, however, authorizing the establishment of ten companies of rangers in the frontier regions, four of which were assigned to the defense of Illinois.

To assist in that defense, the people began constructing forts and blockhouses across the state where people could gather in case of attack. The "family forts" or blockhouses were of log construction ranging in height from one and a half to two stories. The doors were of thick puncheons and portholes were located throughout the structure to provide places from which to shoot. Where ever there was a settlement of any size, there would also be found a fort. The blockhouse located closest to the area where the Radcliff family resided was known as Chamber's fort on the west of Looking Glass Prairie and it was to that location that the Radcliffs and their neighbors would have gone in times of trouble. By March of 1813, their existed a sophisticated system of forts. We have now nearly finished twenty-two family forts (stations), extending from the Mississippi, nearly opposite Bellefontaine (the mouth of the Missouri), to the Kaskaskia river, a distance of about sixty miles. Between each fort spies are to pass and repass daily and communicate throughout the entire line, which will be extended to the U.S. Saline and from thence to the mouth of the Ohio. Rangers and mounted militia, to the amount of 500 men, constantly scour the country from twenty to fifty miles in advance of our settlements.

-----------------

Mounted Riflemen, Illinois Militia:

A soldier services at the rate of $6.66 per month, receiving a total of $15.76 for his two month plus term of service. In addition, since the men provided their own mounts, they were allotted forty cents per day for the feed and care of their horses. He received an additional $28.80 in compensation for this bringing the total amount he received for his government services to $44.56. Undoubtedly this was a tidy sum for that day, particularly in an area of the country where cash money was a scarce commodity.

These men assigned to the protection of Illinois fought in no great recorded battles. Their war was limited to constant ranging between forts and blockhouses, pursuit of Indians after aggressions and perhaps some minor skirmishes. When the war with the British was concluded by the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in 1814, Indian hostilities in Illinois generally ceased as well but the citizens remained fearful. Indian raids and attacks persisted in neighboring Missouri well into 1815. In reaction to those hostilities, as well as a few in Gallatin County, Governor Edwards petitioned Secretary of War James Monroe requesting a company of rangers be established under the command of Captain Samuel Judy.
Attached to the request was a list of eighty-four "hand picked" men who had volunteered to serve under the command of Captain Samuel Judy. 5 Evidently this unit was never called into service as the Treaty of Portage de Sioux was signed with the Indians shortly thereafter and the threat of future hostilities vanished with it.


Letter from N. Edwards regarding Illinois Rangers

Elvirade, Randolph County, Illinois Territory May 4th, 1813
SIR---A short time ago I received a letter from Colonel BOND, informing me that you had authorized him to request me to raise and organize three additional companies of rangers. I immediately wrote you that I supposed what had been done would be sufficient, and that those three companies who, through me, tendered the President their services as rangers, would be accepted...


Munger's Rangers
uniformed in traditional period hunting garb and carrying long rifles,
(and positioned at strategic positions along the James River such as Fort Powhatan) during the summer of 1813.
"On July 3, 1813 this unit, along with a number of local militia companies were ordered to reinforce Lambert's Point and Sewell's Point area of then Norfolk county. This was in response to the British burning and looting of Hampton, Virginia. Original order books from the period are located in the Virginia Historical Society's Library in Richmond, Virginia. It's officers had a summer uniform which included "a linen round jacket made without the tails or lace. Ten buttons were used to close the jacket at the front. Very plain and easy to produce by the contractors of the period. Starting in 1812 this coatee was issued to those troops south of the Potomac River." - old nut inactive link at http://www.geocities.com/rangers1812/

THE WAR OF 1812

Upon the declaration of war by Congress in June 1812 the Pottawatomies and most of the other tribes of Indians in the Territory of Illinois strongly sympathized with the British. The savages had been hostile and restless for some time previous, and blockhouses and family forts had been erected at a number of points, especially in the settlements most exposed to the incursions of the savages.

Governor Edwards, becoming apprehensive of a outbreak, constructed Fort Russell, a few miles from Edwardsville. Taking the field in person he made this his headquarters, and collected a force of 250 mounted volunteers who were later reinforced by two companies of rangers, under Col. William Russell, numbering about 100 men.

An independent company of twenty-one spies, of which John Reynolds (afterwards Governor) was a member, was also formed and led by Capt. Samuel Judy. The Governor organized his little army into two regiments under Colonels Rector and Stephenson, Colonel Russell serving as second to the commander in chief, other members of his staff being Secretary Nathaniel Pope and Robert K. McLaughlin.

On October 18 1812 Governor Edwards, with his men set out for Peoria, where it was expected that their force would meet that of General Hopkins, who had been sent from Kentucky with a force of 2,000 men. En route, two Kickapoo villages were burned and a number of Indians unnecessarily slain by Edward's party. Hopkins had orders to disperse the Indians on the Illinois and Wabash Rivers and destroy their villages. He determined, however on reaching the headwaters of the Vermilion to proceed no farther. Governor Edwards reached the head of Peoria Lake, but failing to meet Hopkins, returned to Fort Russell. About the same time Capt. Thomas E. Craig led a party, in two boats, up the Illinois River to Peoria. His boats as he alleged, having been fired upon in the night by Indians who were harbored and protected by the French citizens of Peoria, he burned the greater part of the village and capturing the population, carried them down the river, putting them on shore, in the early part of the winter just below Alton.

Other desultory expeditions marked the campaigns of 1813 and 1814. The Indians meanwhile gaining courage remote settlements were continually harassed by marauding bands. Later in 1814, an expedition led by Major (afterwards President) Zachary Taylor, ascended the Mississippi as far as Rock Island where he found a large force of Indians supported by British regulars with artillery. Finding himself unable to cope with so formidable a foe Major Taylor retreated down the river. On the site of the present town of Warsaw he threw up fortifications which he named Fort Edwards, from which point he was subsequently compelled to retreat. The same year the British with their Indian allies, descended from Mackinac captured Prairie Du Chien and burned Forts Madison and Johnston after which they retired to Cap Au Gris.

The treaty of Ghent, signed December 24, 1814 closed the war although no formal treaties were made with the tribes until the year following.

Indiana History - Ranger Service of 1807; Rangers of 1813; Hopkins' Expedition; Mississinewa Expedition; Bartholomew's White River Expedition; The Passing of Governor Harrison; Russell's Expedition


Ranger Service of 1807


Mr. Cockrum, in the work above mentioned, also published certain valuable papers of a Captain William Hargrove which revealed that in 1807 the troubles were so acute that a ranger service was organized to patrol the frontier. This body was formed into three divisions, one taking the country from the Wabash eastward to the neighborhood of the French Lick springs; another from that point to the Falls of the Ohio; and the third from the falls to Lawrenceburg. The commander of one of these divisions was Captain Hargrove, and the papers mentioned, being letters of instruction to him from John Gibson, Secretary of the Indiana Territory, throw considerable light on that particular period and its dangers (Cockrum's "Pioneer History of Indiana," pp. 202-29).

Rangers of 1813

In 1813 Acting-Governor John Gibson called into service several companies of mounted ranges each consisting of about one hundred men. These were in the employ of the United States. The accoutrements consisted of a rifle, knife and tomahawk and each man carried with him his own supply of provisions (Dillon). The office(rs) of these rangers was, seemingly, the same as that of the frontier patrol of 1807, described in another place.

Hopkins' Expedition


Early in November General Samuel Hopkins, after a previous attempt at a campaign in Illinois which resulted in mutiny and a premature return, started up the Wabash with three regiments of Kentucky militia and one company each of regulars, rangers and scouts, the objective being the old "Prophet's Town" at the mouth of the Tippecanoe and various villages in that locality. The town named, which was destroyed after the Battle of Tippecanoe, had been rebuilt and now consisted of about forty huts. This and two other towns of the Kickapoos and Winnebagos, were destroyed, along with what corn was found, leaving the Indians, at the beginning of winter, without shelter or provisions. This expedition continued its operations throughout November, and the chief loss suffered was that of sixteen men killed in an ambuscade.

Mississinewa Expedition


The most notable expedition of this period as estimated by results was that of Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell with about six hundred mounted men against the Miami villages on the Mississinewa River. This campaign was conducted, virtually, in the heart of winter, the troops moving from Dayton, Ohio, on December 14, 1812. After three days of hard riding one of the villages was surprised, eight warriors killed forty-two prisoners taken and the place burned. Following this three other villages were destroyed. Campbell then debated the advisability of returning without further offensive operations, owing to the hardships to which the men were subjected, the weather being severe, and at four o'clock on the morning of the 18th had convened his officers for a conference, when they were suddenly and furiously attacked by a body of Indians. The fight that followed, by Campbell's official report, was well-nigh as fierce and stubbornly contested as was that at Tippecanoe. After an hour's engagement the assailants drew off, leaving fifteen of their dead on the ground and, probably, carrying others off with them. Of the soldiers, eight were killed and forty-two wounded. The exact number of the attacking Indians was never known, though Campbell in his official report estimates them at "not less than three hundred." This engagement, known and as the Battle of the Mississinewa, occurred within the present Grant County, on the bank of the Mississinewa River, about a mile form the village of Jalapa. The field is privately owned and is unmarked by any memorial.

Bartholomew's White River Expedition


During the earlier part of the war the Delaware Indians on White River professed to be friendly to the United States, and were so regarded, but in the numerous forays made against the settlers in 1813 there was evidence that this tribe at least harbored hostile bands. In March of 1813 John Tipton, then in command of militia that was guarding the frontier of Harrison and Clark counties, pursued a party of marauders that had killed one man and wounded three others near Vallonia, Jackson County. At an island on the Driftwood River he overhauled the band and after a "smart skirmish" killed one and routed the rest. In April he pursued another party that had killed two men and stolen some horses and recovered the horses and "other plunder." Tipton was convinced that these miscreants made directly for the Delaware towns. He expressed the opinion that "while the government is supporting one part of that tribe the other part is murdering our citizens," and added "those rascals, of whatever tribe they may be harboring about those towns, should be routed (Tipton's report to Governor Gibson).

In June of that year a force of about one hundred and thirty-seven mounted man under Col. Joseph Bartholomew rode to the Delaware towns to discover and surprise, if possible, hostile Indians who, it was believed, operated from there. By Bartholomew's report these towns all seem to have been deserted and three of them had been already burned, though why or by whom is not recorded. Considerable corn was found and something like eight hundred or one thousand bushels destroyed (Bartholomew's report to Governor Posey).

Russell's Expedition

Following hard upon Bartholomew's raid a much larger force under Col. William Russell circled the Indian country with an expedition covering upward of five hundred miles. Russell started from Vallonia, as did Bartholomew the month before, with five hundred seventy-three men (Dillon), and his route took in the Delaware towns on White River, the Mississinewa towns, and all those on the Wabash below the Mississinewa, bringing up at Ft. Harrison, on the northwestern frontier. No encounters are spoken of in Colonel Russell's report of this long march. It was a campaign of destruction based on the theory (or knowledge) that the surest way to prevent depredations on the borders was to break up the nesting places of those who committed the depredations.

see also An Anthropological Report on the Piankashaw Indians

The Passing of Governor Harrison

For twelve years Governor Harrison sustained a most intimate relation to the affairs of Indiana Territory, he being by far the most conspicuous figure of that period of our history. By virtue of his military experience and ability he logically became a leader in the western country when the outbreak of war threatened the frontier. In August, 1812, he was asked by Kentucky to take chief command of all the troops raised there, and this, in view of the military talent and ambition existing in Kentucky, Harrison regarded as the most flattering appointment he had ever receive (Autobiographical letter).

A little later he was made a Brigadier General in the United States Army and on September 17, 1812, he was appointed to the command of the whole army of the northwest with large discretion as to his military plans and movements. This ended his civil relation to Indiana, Secretary John Gibson succeeding him as Acting Governor until the appointment of Governor Posey in February of 1813. The part he subsequently played in the war, culminating in the brilliant victory at the Thames, which secured safety to the northwest, belongs to the larger history of the country. He retired from military service I 1814 and became a citizen of Ohio.

Missouri Rangers

Captain Nathan Boone's Company of Missouri Ranger


The War of 1812 in the western territories has been misunderstood and widely ignored by mainstream historians. In fact, interest is growing in the events, battles and skirmishes that took place in the Mississippi valley.

British involvement was limited but to a certain degree effective in obtaining the help of certain tribes of native Americans to harass, rob and destroy the small American settlements on the frontier. When war was declared, the Americans began an extensive effort in creating networks of forts and military stations across the frontier. In the Missouri territory, Americans built or created over forty-five forts and raised militia groups and Missouri Rangers. In the Illinois territory, over sixty-five forts were erected, with militia and Illinois Rangers also being formed. Fort Bellefountaine near St. Louis, were "bullet proofed" and used to patrol up and down the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Indian attacks were indiscriminate but lethal. The Battle of Cote Sans Dessein in the Missouri territory was an attempt to destroy an entire settlement by the Rock River Sac , Fox and other joining tribes. The Battle of the Sinkhole near St. Louis found the Sac and Fox leader Black Hawk surrounded, but he managed to elude his American pursuers.

Campaigns against the tribes included the Peoria expedition, the removal of the Miami from the Booneslick, and the ill-fated Prairie du Chein expedition. Attacks by Indians didn't end in the Missouri territory till 1817, two years after the war was over. Individuals such as William Clark, Daniel Boone, his sons Nathan and Daniel Morgan, Henry Dodge, Augustus Chouteau, Zachary Taylor, William Ashley, John Colter, Zebulon Pike, all had parts to play in the War of the 1812 in the west.

Captain Nathan Boone's Company of Missouri Rangers

One of the first settlers in Missouri, Nathan Boone raised and commanded a company of mounted rangers which was mustered into the militia in 1812. The heroic and determined actions of Boone's Rangers contributed greatly to the defense of the area between the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. Colonel Boone was cited for his conspicuous heroism and resourcefulness during these actions. When Missouri was admitted to the Union, he materially assisted in framing its first constitution. Colonel Boone spent over twenty years of military service performing duties associated with Indians, traders, and Army posts in the West. During the Mexican War he assisted in the capture of Santa Fe and then served as military governor of New Mexico and western Texas. Captain Nathan Boone's Company of Missouri Ranger

Nathan Boone's Captain of Mounted Rangers

Nathan Boone's Mounted Rangers - Muster Roll War of 1812

Capt. James Callaway & His Rangers

Captain James Callaway 1783 - 1815

(From the History of Callaway County Missouri, 1884, page 94 - 98.)

Callaway County was organized November 25, 1820, out of territory taken from Montgomery County, and was named in honor of Captain James Callaway, who was killed by the Indians at Loutre Creek, on the 7th of March 1815.

Inasmuch as Captain Callaway occupied a prominent position in the affairs of the country at the time of his death, and a few of his relatives are still living, we insert the following sketch of his life, public services, and death, as given by his sister, Mrs. Susannah Howell, corroborated by Mr. William Keithly and Rev. Thomas Bowen. (Keithly and Brown were members of Callaway's company, though not present it the time of his death.) James Callaway, elder son of Flanders Callaway and Jemima Boone, was born in Lafayette county, Kentucky, September 13, 1783. He received a liberal education for that period, and in 1798 came with his parents to Upper Louisiana, where he remained a short time, and then returned to Kentucky to complete his education. Having finished his course he came west again, and on the 9th of May 1805, he married Nancy Howell. After his marriage he built a cabin and settled near the northwest corner of Howell's prairie, in St. Charles County, on a small stream which he named Kraut Run. Three children resulted from this marriage - Thomas H., William B., and Theresa. Captain Callaway is described as a tall man, with black hair and eyes, high forehead, prominent cheek bones, and as erect as an Indian. He was more than usually kind and affectionate toward his family, by whom he was devotedly loved, and his intelligence and strict integrity as a man, gave him the confidence, respect and friendship of all his neighbors. He served as deputy sheriff of St. Charles County for several years under Captain Murray, and in 1813 be raised his first company of rangers for service against the Indians. This company was composed of the following named men, as shown by the muster roll, which is still preserved: Captain, James Callaway; first lieutenant, Prospect K. Robbins; second lieutenant, John B. Stone; first sergeant, Larkin S. Callaway; second sergeant, John Baldridge; third sergeant, William Smith; cornet, Jonathan Riggs; trumpeter, Thomas Howell. Privates - Frank McDermid, John Stewart, John Atkinson, Robert Truitt, Francis Howell, Joseph Hinds, Richard Berry, Thomas Smith, Adam Zumwalt, Enoch Taylor, Aleck Baldridge, Lewis Crow, Benjamin Howell, Anthony C. Palmer, Daniel Hays, Boone Hays, Adam Zumwalt, Jr., John Howell and James Kerr. This company was enlisted for a term of only a few months, and Captain Callaway organized several others before his death. The roll of his last company was in his possession when he was killed, and it was lost, but from the memory of old citizens we are enabled to give a pretty correct list of the names of the men, as follows: Captain, James Callaway; first Lieutenant, David Bailey ; second lieutenant, Jonathan Riggs. Privates - James McMullin, Hiram Scott, Frank McDermid, William Keithley, Thomas Bowman, Robert Baldridge, James Kennedy, Thomas Chambers, Jacob Groom, Parker Hutchings,_____Wolf, Thomas Gilmore.

Early in the morning on the 7th of March, 1815, Captain Callaway, with Lieutenant Riggs and fourteen of the men, viz. McMullin, Scott, McDermid, Robert and John Baldridge, Hutchins, Kennedy, Chambers, Wolf, Gilmore, Deason, Murdock, Kent and Berry, left Fort Clemson, on Loutre island, in pursuit of a party of Sac and Fox Indians who had stolen some horses from settlers in the vicinity. They swam Loutre slough on their horses, and followed the Indian trail, which led them up to the west hank of the main stream. (Loutre slough runs from west to east, parallel with the Missouri river, from which it flows, and into which it empties again, at a distance of seven or eight miles below. Loutre creek flows from northwest to southeast, and empties into the slough at nearly right angles.) The trail being very plain, they had no difficulty in pursuing it, and they made rapid progress. Reaching Prairie fork, a branch of Loutre, they swam it on their horses, a distance of seventy-five yards above where it empties into Loutre creek. It was now about noon and feeling sure that they were not far in the rear of the Indians, they advanced with caution, in order to avoid surprise. About two o'clock in the afternoon, and about twelve miles from where they had crossed Prairie fork, they came upon the stolen horses, secreted in a bend of Loutre creek and guarded by only a few squaws. These fled upon the approach of the rangers, and the latter secured the horses without further trouble. They were not molested in any manner, and not a sign of an Indian warrior could be seen anywhere, although the appearance of the trail had proven conclusively that the party numbered from eighty to 100. These circumstances aroused the suspicions of Lieutenant Riggs, and obtaining the consent of his captain, he reconnoitered the locality thoroughly before they started on their return. No signs of Indians could be discovered; still his suspicions were not allayed, but on the contrary, they were increased, and he suggested to Callaway that it would be dangerous to return by the route they had followed in the morning, as the savages were evidently preparing an ambuscade for them. Captain Callaway was an experienced Indian fighter, and as wary as he was brave, but on this occasion he did not allow himself to be governed by his better judgment. He declared that he did not believe there were half a dozen Indians in the vicinity, and that he intended to return to the fort by the same route they had come. Seeing that further expostulation was useless, Riggs said nothing more at the time; and the rangers were soon in the saddle and on the march for the fort.

Upon reaching a suitable place, about a mile from the mouth of Prairie fork, they stopped to let the horses rest, and to refresh themselves with a lunch. Riggs availed himself of the opportunity, and again represented to the captain the danger they were incurring. He anticipated an attack at the crossing of the creek, and entreated Callaway, for the sake of the lives of the men, to at least avoid that point. He showed that the Indians would have all the advantages on their side; they outnumbered the rangers three to one, were not encumbered with horses, and would, no doubt, fire upon them from their concealment behind trees and logs, where the fire could not be successfully returned.

But Callaway, instead of heeding the good advice of his lieutenant, flew into a passion, and cursed him for a coward. He declared, also, that he would return the way he had come if he had to go alone. Riggs said nothing more, but reluctantly followed his captain into what he felt sure was almost certain death. Hutching, McDermid, and McMullin were in advance, leading the stolen horses, while Callaway, Riggs, and the rest of the company were fifty or a hundred yards in the rear. The three men in advance, upon reaching Prairie fork, plunged their horses into the stream, which was swollen from recent rains, and were swimming across, when they were fired upon by the entire body of Indians, concealed on both sides of the creek. They were not harmed by the first volley, but succeeded in reaching the opposite shore, where they were killed.

At the first sound of firing, Callaway spurred his horse forward into the creek, and had nearly reached the opposite shore, when he was fired upon. His horse was instantly killed, while he received a slight wound in the left arm, and escaped immediate death only by the ball lodging against his watch, which was torn to pieces. He sprang from his dead horse to the bank, and throwing his gun into the creek, muzzle down, he ran down the stream a short distance, then plunged into the water and commenced swimming, when he was shot in the back of the head, the ball passing through and lodging in his forehead. His body sank immediately, and was not scalped or mutilated by the Indians.
In the meantime Lieutenant Riggs and the rest of the men were hotly engaged and forced to retreat, fighting as they went. Several were wounded, but none killed. They could not tell what execution was done among the Indians. Scott and Wolf became separated from the main body, and the former was killed. Wolf escaped to the fort, and was the first to bring the news of the disaster, which he greatly exaggerated, supposing himself to be the only one who had escaped death. Riggs and the men under him fell back about a mile, and turning to the right, crossed Prairie fork about the same distance above its month, and making a wide circuit, escaped without further molestation to the fort.

The following day a company of men returned to the scene of the fight for the purpose of burying the dead. The bodies of Hutchings, McDermid and McMullen had been cut to pieces and hung on surrounding bushes. The remains were gathered up and buried in one grave, near the spot where they were killed. It is said that Hutchings and McDermid, shortly before their deaths, had a bitter quarrel, and had agreed to fight it out with rifles as soon as their term of service expired. But their quarrel was brought to a sudden and tragic termination without any intervention of their own, and now their bodies slumber together in the same grave. Thus death ends all animosities. Captain Callaway's body was not found until several days after his death, when, the water having receded, it was discovered by Benjamin Howell, hanging in a bush several hundred yards below the scene of the fight. His gun had been recovered several days before. It was found standing upright, with the muzzle sticking fast in the mud at the bottom of the creek. Lewis Jones swam in and brought the gun to the shore, and fired it as readily as if it had never been in the water. It had an improved waterproof flintlock, which water could not penetrate. Flanders Callaway, learning the death of his son, had come from St. Charles County with a company of men, to assist in searching for the body, and he was present when it was found. The body was wrapped in blankets and buried on the side of an abrupt hill, over-looking Loutre creek. Several months afterward the grave was walled in with rough stones, and a flat slab was laid across the head, on which was engraved:

see also 1815 Massacre Near Charrette Village - Ramsey

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The focus above has not been to document "militia Ranger units" - there were just too many - but a unique example is offered here - an East Coast unit:
"The Legislature, on January 26, 1811, passed an act exempting manufacturers and their employees from military duty, "with a view to the encouragement and prosperity of industrial establishments." When war was declared the Messrs. Du Pont purchased at their own expense three hundred muskets and uniforms, and organized the two volunteer companies from among the workmen in their mills. They were called the North Brandywine and the South Brandywine Rangers." - http://www.accessible.com/amcnty/DE/Delaware/Delaware16.htm




RLTW - then as now


 see "rangers" "William Russell" "Colonel Russell" entries in

The pictorial field-book of the war of 1812 by Benson John Lossing, 1868

 

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Rangers - 1811-1815 - from House and Senate Journals


Search Descriptive Information
 http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/hlawquery.html 
"continue in force an act to raise ten additional companies"

Senate Executive Journal --INDEX TO THE SECOND VOLUME OF THE EXECUTIVE JOURNAL. 

Journal of the executive proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America, 1805-1815
INDEX TO THE SECOND VOLUME OF THE EXECUTIVE JOURNAL. 

Browse Senate Journal
page 370

Senate Journal --INDEX TO THE SECOND SESSION OF THE THIRTEENTH CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES.

Rangers, to continue in force an act to raise ten additional companies of 1 r. 436, 2 r. 437, 439, 3 r. and p. 439, ex. and s. 444, pr. 445, ap. 446.

House Journal --INDEX TO VOL. IX.
Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, 1813-1815
INDEX TO VOL. IX.


continuing act for raising certain companies of rangers ... 31, 44, 231, 232, 614
(See bills H. R. No. 26, 245)
explanatory of act raising 10 companies of rangers ... 121, 129, 297
(See bills H. R. No. 54, 120)
amend act to raise additional military force ... 45, 55
(See bills H. R. No. 28 and S. No. 11)
further provision for filling the ranks and to encourage the re enlistment
of soldiers ... 175, 206
(See bills H. R. No. 77)
further provision for filling the ranks of the ... 497, 526
(See bills H. R. No. 205 and S. No. 61)
proposition to class population and draft for filling the ranks ... 571
authorize the raising a corps of sea fencibles ... 55
(See bills S. No. 10)
raise three additional regiments of riflemen ... 206
(See bills H. R. No. 78)

Browse House Journal
12th, 1811-13 

12th Congress--November 4, 1811 to March 3, 1813
Henry Clay, of Kentucky, Speaker

First Session: November 4, 1811 to July 6, 1812 (245 days, held in Washington)
Second Session: November 2, 1812 to March 3, 1813 (122 days, held in Washington)
13th, 1813-15

13th Congress--May 24, 1813 to March 3, 1815
Henry Clay, of Kentucky, Speaker
Langdon Cheves, of South Carolina, Speaker1

First Session: May 24, 1813 to August 2, 1813 (71 days, held in Washington)
Second Session: December 6, 1813 to April 18, 1814 (134 days, held in Washington)
Third Session: September 19, 1814 to March 3, 1815 (166 days, held in Washington)

Journals - proving only that the wheels of legislation proceed slowly:
House Journal --TUESDAY, DECEMBER 24, 1811.  
A message from the Senate, by Mr. Otis, their Secretary:
Mr. Speaker: The Senate have passed a bill "authorizing the President of the United States to raise certain companies of rangers, for the protection of the frontier of the United States;" to which they desire the concurrence of this House.

House Journal --TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 1812.

On motion of Mr. Jennings,
Resolved, That the committee appointed on that part of the President's message which relates to military affairs, be instructed to inquire into the expediency of authorizing the President of the United States to cause two additional companies of mounted rangers to be raised for the protection of the frontiers of the Territory of Indiana.
Page 566 | Page image 
Mr. Bond presented a petition of the Legislature of the Illinois Territory, praying that four companies of mounted rangers may be raised for the protection of their Territory against the hostile Indians.
Page 609 | Page image Senate Journal --THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 1813.

An act to continue in force for a limited time certain acts authorizing corps of rangers for the protection of the frontier of the United States, and making appropriations for the same.
House Journal --THURSDAY, JULY 22, 1813.
Mr. Crawford, from the Joint Committee on Enrolment, reported that they had examined the following enrolled bills, viz:
"An act to continue in force, for a limited time, certain acts authorizing corps of Rangers, for the protection of the frontiers of the United States;"

House Journal --SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 1814.
Mr. Troup also, by leave of the House, reported a bill to continue in force an act to raise ten additional companies of rangers; which was read the first time, and, on motion, the said bill was read the second time, and ordered to be engrossed, and read the third time on Monday next.
House Journal --MONDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 1814.
An engrossed bill to continue in force an act to raise ten additional companies of rangers, was read the third time, and passed.
Ordered, That the title be, "An act to continue in force an act to raise ten additional companies of rangers;" and that the Clerk do carry the said bill to the Senate, and desire their concurrence therein.
Senate Journal --MONDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 1814.

Mr. President: The House of Representatives have passed a bill, entitled "An act to continue in force 'An act to raise ten additional companies of rangers," in which they request the concurrence of the Senate. And he withdrew.
The bill last mentioned was read.
Ordered, That it pass to the second reading.
Senate Journal --TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 1814.
The bill, entitled "An act to continue in force the ' Act to raise ten additional companies of rangers," was read the second time.
Senate Journal --THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 1814.
The bill, entitled "An act to continue in force an act to raise ten additional companies of rangers," was read a third time.
Resolved, That this bill pass.
Ordered, That the Secretary notify the House of Representatives accordingly.
House Journal --THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 1814 
Mr. Speaker: The Senate have passed the bill "to continue in force an act to raise ten additional companies of Rangers."
House Journal --TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 1814.
Mr. Skinner also reported that the committee had examined an enrolled bill."to authorize the President to receive into service certain volunteer corps;" and an enrolled bill "to continue in force an act to raise ten additional companies of rangers;" and had found the same to be truly enrolled: When, The Speaker signed the said bills.
Senate Journal --WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 1814.

Mr. Bledsoe reported, from the committee, that they had examined and found duly enrolled the bill, entitled "An act to continue in force 'An act to raise ten additional companies of rangers;" also, the bill, entitled "An act to authorize the President to receive into service certain volunteer corps."
House Journal --SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 1814.
Mr. Skinner, from the Joint Committee for Enrolled Bills, reported that the Committee did, on Thursday last, present to the President of the United States for his approbation, an enrolled bill "to authorize the President to receive into service certain volunteer corps;" also, an enrolled bill "to continue in force an act to raise ten additional companies of Rangers."
Senate Journal --MONDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 1814.  
The President of the United States, on the 19th instant, approved and signed a resolution directing...on the 24th instant, "An act to authorize the President to receive into service certain volunteer corps;" also, "An act to continue in force an act to raise ten additional companies of rangers." And he withdrew...        


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an act companies of rangers 





1Bills and Resolutions, House of Representatives, 13th Congress, 3rd Session, Read the first and second time and committed to a committee of the whole house on Monday next. A Bill Entitled ''An act to authorize the president to raise certain companies of rangers for the defence of the frontiers of the United States, and to repeal certain acts now in force for this purpose.''
2Senate Journal --FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 1812.
3House Journal --TUESDAY, JULY 27, 1813.
4House Journal --SATURDAY, JUNE 27, 1812.
5House Journal --SATURDAY, JUNE 13, 1812.
6House Journal --MONDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 1814.
7Senate Journal --THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 1814.
8Senate Journal --WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17, 1812.
9Senate Journal --FRIDAY, JUNE 19, 1812.
10House Journal --MONDAY, AUGUST 2, 1813.
11Senate Journal --THURSDAY, JANUARY 2, 1812.
12House Journal --SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 1814.
13House Journal --FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23, 1814.
14Senate Journal --WEDNESDAY, JULY 28, 1813.
15Senate Journal --MONDAY, JUNE 15, 1812.
16Senate Journal --SATURDAY, JUNE 20, 1812.
17Senate Journal --WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 1814.
18House Journal --THURSDAY, JULY 22, 1813.
19Senate Journal --TUESDAY, JANUARY 17, 1815.
20Senate Journal --FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 1812.


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Search Descriptive Information
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rangers




1American State Papers, House of Representatives, 22nd Congress, 2nd Session
Military Affairs: Volume 5, Page 126, No. 538. On converting the corps of mounted rangers into a regiment of Dragoons.
2American State Papers, Senate, 19th Congress, 1st Session
Military Affairs: Volume 3, Pages 231 through 233, No. 308. On the claim of Captain James Bigger's company of rangers for compensation for their services.
3American State Papers, 24th Congress, 1st Session
Military Affairs: Volume 6, Page 94, No. 643. On the subject of establishing an arsenal of construction at Charleston, South Carolina.~No. 644. Application of Indiana that United States Rangers be paid for horses lost in the service of the United States.
4Annals of Congress, House of Representatives, 12th Congress, 2nd Session, Pages 647 through 648, Mounted Rangers
5Bills and Resolutions, House of Representatives, 15th Congress, 1st Session, Read twice, and committed to a committee of the whole House, to-morrow. A Bill For the relief of a company of Rangers.
6Senate Executive Journal --FRIDAY, June 5, 1812.
7Bills and Resolutions, House of Representatives, 15th Congress, 1st Session, Read twice and committed to a committee of the whole House on the ''Bill for the relief of a company of Rangers.'' A Bill For the relief of a company of Volunteer mounted Cavalry.
8Bills and Resolutions, Senate, 19th Congress, 1st Session, Mr. Harrison, from the Committee on Military Affairs, reported the following bill; which was read, and passed to a second reading: A Bill For the relief of a company of Rangers, under the command of Captain James Bigger.
9Bills and Resolutions, House of Representatives, 13th Congress, 2nd Session, Read the first and second time and committed to a committee of the whole house on Friday next. A Bill Making provision for the pay of two companies of rangers organized for the defence of the frontier of the United States.
10Bills and Resolutions, Senate, 18th Congress, 2nd Session, Mr. Johnson, of Kentucky, from the Committee on Military Affairs, to whom the subject was referred, reported the following Bill, which was read, and passed to a second reading: A Bill For the relief of the Companies of Mounted Rangers, commanded by Captains Boyle and McGirth.
11Bills and Resolutions, House of Representatives, 13th Congress, 3rd Session, Read the first and second time and committed to a committee of the whole house on Monday next. A Bill Entitled ''An act to authorize the president to raise certain companies of rangers for the defence of the frontiers of the United States, and to repeal certain acts now in force for this purpose.''
12Bills and Resolutions, House of Representatives, 24th Congress, 1st Session, Read twice and committed to a Committee of the Whole House to-morrow. Mr. Casey, from the Committee on the Public Lands, reported the following bill: A Bill Granting a bounty, in land, to the organized militia men, mounted militia men, volunteers, and rangers, who defended the county during the late war with Great Britain.
13Bills and Resolutions, House of Representatives, 25th Congress, 2nd Session, (Rep. No. 756.) Read twice, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House to-morrow. Mr. Casey, from the Committee on the Public Lands, reported the following bill: A Bill Granting a bounty in land to the organized militiamen, mounted militiamen, volunteers, and rangers, who defended the country during the late ware with Great Britain.
14Letters of Delegates to Congress: Volume 2 September 1775 - December 1775 -- Richard Smith's Diary
15Senate Executive Journal --MONDAY, February 21, 1834.
16Senate Executive Journal --SATURDAY, July 10, 1813.
17Senate Executive Journal --MONDAY, July 6, 1812.
18Senate Executive Journal --FRIDAY, May 8, 1812.
19Journals of the Continental Congress --WEDNESDAY, JULY 24, 1776
20Senate Journal --FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 1812.

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