The War of 1812 gave me a home

James H Marshall Jr

James H Marshall Jr – Son of Land Recipient

The War of 1812 is sometimes called the “second war of independence” for our country. It turned out to be a life changing event in one line of my family.

First, lets take a quick look at this war, (I need this refresher more for myself, than for you reading this) and set the world stage. Britain and France are at war. They’re bitter enemies. Both countries tried to block U.S. trade with either country in the hopes of cutting off supplies. The U.S. in turn implemented the Embargo Act which did little since our goods were already being blocked by the warring countries. The British Royal Navy even had the nerve to remove men from U.S. ships and force them into fighting for the British against France.

Napoleon being the savvy rascal he was, rumored he would lift his trade restrictions. So President James Madison repealed the Embargo Act and blocked all U.S. trade with Great Britain. Now you know where this is going. Britain is helping along the growing turmoil between the U.S. and Native Americans over westward expansion. They are also stirring the pot over the boundary with the U.S. and Canada, a British colony.

Eventually all hell breaks loose and it’s called the War of 1812. The British beat the French so they can put all their efforts into fighting on U.S. soil. There are lots of highs and lows. Ft. McHenry near Baltimore is bombed for more than 25 hours and our national anthem is born. Dolly Madison runs out of a burning White House with a painting – right into out history books. Eventually U.S. bravery and perseverance prevail as the Treaty of Ghent signed in December 1814 ended the war.

Now the war of course was much more involved than this but what’s my point other than a micro-history lesson?

My 3x great-grandfather James Hayes Marshall (Sr) fought in the war at the young and innocent age of 19. He was in the 138th Reg’t Pennsylvania Militia in David Clark’s Company. He fought from 23 Feb 1814 to 20 Mar 1814. That’s a whole 26 days! Those 26 days made James Hayes Marshall (Sr) eligible for Bounty Land Warrants and enabled him to secure land for his sons in Allen County, Ohio.

The War of 1812 did have a life changing effect on my family. James Hayes Marshall Sr still has descendants living in Allen County because of those land grants. I happen to be one of them.


  1. Thanks for this post, Cindy! There is a DAR meeting Sunday (I’m invited tho my application is pending) with speeches about the War of 1812, and your comments help me feel oriented. I like your description of the cause and effect connection: War of 1812, military service in PA, land grants used in OH. In our family it was Revolutionary War, military service in NC, land grants used in SC. Some mixture of fate and choice!

    • Mariann ~ Good luck with your DAR application! I know you’ll enjoy being a member! It is just a twist of fate as to what part of the country our ancestors ventured to, isn’t it! My Vanmeter line originally settled in New Jersey then migrated to Virginia. One son then moved to Ohio. Had he stayed in Virginia with the rest of the family I’d be writing about my Confederate Civil War ancestors instead of Union soldiers. Sometimes makes me wonder what decision(s) I’ve made today that will impact my g-g-g-children!
      Thank you for stopping by!

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