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"A Day in the Life: the 4th Infantry Regiment at Pittsburgh" Topic

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Tango0126 Jul 2021 9:46 p.m. PST

…during the Summer of 1811.

"In May 1811, the War Department ordered the bulk of the 4th United States Regiment of Infantry, a regular army regiment established in New England in 1808, to assemble at the Lazeretto, a large quarantine hospital or barracks outside of Philadelphia. The individual companies, raised mainly from out of work sailors, had been stationed at different seacoast forts and garrisons throughout the Northeast. Their orders were to march overland along Forbes Road across the Allegheny Mountains to Pittsburgh. From there, the common soldiers were not told the ultimate destination. Rumor abounded that the regiment was headed for the swamps of Louisiana, an area notorious for malaria and yellow fever. Desertions increased before Lt. Col. James Miller, a trusted officer, promised the men they were not headed to the deep South. Instead, the regiment was destined for the Indiana frontier at Vincennes, where it would march under Governor William Henry Harrison in the Tippecanoe campaign.

Along the way, the 4th Regiment spent about a month at Pittsburgh. The original Fort Pitt had been torn down in the years since the American Revolution, and a new fort named Fort Lafayette, usually refered to as Fayette, was established. This post never saw a shot fired in anger but from 1795 to 1814 was the main transit point for supplies, equipment and men travelling from the eastern seaboard to any point west along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers…"
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IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP27 Jul 2021 10:30 a.m. PST

A good article T. Thanks. The many articles in the Old Northwest Notebook blog are well worth the read. Mostly they are based on primary research.

It is interesting to see that the American army had its bureaucratic rituals similar to the British army.

Incidentally, LtCol. James Miller's (quoted in the article) experience during this early pre war campaign re-confirms my belief that he was a most underrated American field officer of the War of 1812.

On 8 August he led his six hundred regulars and some volunteers to reestablish communications between Detroit and River Raisin. They were ambushed by warriors led by Tecumseh and Maguaga but Miller ordered a bayonet charge that "swept his strongly posted opponents from the field"
It was the first of rare American victories of 1812 and won Miller a brevet promotion to colonel.

He remained a colonel all though 1812 and 1813 despite outstanding performance while many of his contemporizes like Scott and Ripley were promoted to brigadier-general. Nonetheless, he successfully commanded the 21st Infantry throughout the Niagara Campaign battles of Chippewa, Lundy's Lane and Fort Erie.

He finally received his brevet promotion to brigadier-general in time for the successful Fort Erie sortie of 17 September 1814. Notwithstanding army and congressional neglect of this outstanding field officer, he was one of only two field grade officers to receive a congressional gold medal.

Tango0127 Jul 2021 3:26 p.m. PST

No mention my friend…

Thanks for the info!


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