Friday, August 7, 2015

Before Moving On

Exploring the military history surrounding the life of one individual—my husband's fourth great grandfather, John Jay Jackson—was edifying for several reasons. While it didn't help me uncover the pressing question I need answered—just how it came to be that John Jackson met up with a gal from Maryland who was living in Ohio, when he had been stationed near Saint Louis—the pursuit has been edifying.

Besides gaining an understanding of the times and customs surrounding military service in what was then the western outposts of the United States, the search armed me with several resources which I can now add to my bibliography of go-to references for that time period.

Two of those resources which I didn't get to use specifically—and thus didn't include the hyperlinks in this recent narrative—I want to mention before we move on with our pursuit of the Jackson-Ijams wedding story.

One of those resources is a handy listing of army personnel, published in 1837—not long after the years in question in my study. Assembled by William A. Gordon of the United States War Department, its title tells all: A Compilation of Registers of the Army of the United States From 1815 to 1837, Inclusive.

Admittedly, this volume makes for dull reading. What it lacks in drama, it makes up for in utility. It is mostly a listing of names of men in their companies, divided by assignments and years. The added bonus is revealed in its subtitle: "A list of officers on whom brevets were conferred by the President of the United States, for gallant conduct or meritorious services during the war with Great Britain." Perhaps the high point of the volume is when you turn to the page which contains the entry on your own ancestor.

The second resource, which I stumbled upon only thanks to Google, was a website—no, actually, it is officially a blog. Prepared by someone who obviously spent a lot of time assembling useful links and anecdotes simply because of personal interest, it is called, in a rather straightforward manner, "My Military History Research Interests."

In a post devoted to the Rifle Regiments—that specific interest which drew me to the website in the first place—the blogger explains,
This is a work in progress based on my curiosity about the more obscure individual riflemen as found on the open web. It is not intended to be an all inclusive or definitive listing....

While I was, of course, disappointed that my Rifle Regiment representative didn't make the cut among this blogger's listing of "more obscure riflemen"—I guess he wasn't "obscure" enough—when I find a neat resource, of course I want to share it.

Now that I've bookmarked those two resources for future reference—and shared it with you, in case you, too, want to pursue further study on your War of 1812 veterans—I can face the next step in pursuit of an answer to my question.

That, however, will once again require a detour. Answering such questions never seems to be quite as easy as we hoped.

Above: "An Indiana Road," 1889 oil on canvas by American Impressionist painter of Indiana landscapes, Theodore Clement Steele; courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain. 


  1. I found your little "trip" through history to be edifying too! This era is certainly largely forgotten in US history!


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