War of 1812 Military Records

On June 1, 1812, President James Madison gave a speech to the U.S. Congress, recounting American grievances against Great Britain, though not specifically calling for a declaration of war. After Madison’s speech, the House of Representatives quickly voted (79 to 49) to declare war, and the Senate by 19 to 13. The conflict formally began on June 18, 1812 when Madison signed the measure into law. This was the first time that the United States had declared war on another nation, and the Congressional vote would prove to be the closest vote to declare war in American history. None of the 39 Federalists in Congress voted in favor of the war; critics of war subsequently referred to it as “Mr. Madison’s War.”

The declaration of war was passed by the smallest margin recorded on a war vote in the United States Congress. On May 11, Prime Minister Spencer Perceval was shot and killed by an assassin, resulting in a change of the British government, putting Lord Liverpool in power. Liverpool wanted a more practical relationship with the United States. He issued a repeal of the Orders in Council, but the U.S. was unaware of this, as it took three weeks for the news to cross the Atlantic.

1812 – 1814

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1 thought on “War of 1812 Military Records”

  1. I have very recently begun to look into this war because I happened upon a document that is the singular evidence of my GrGrGr Grandparents, John and Deborah Nunn. It is the index document for the widow war pension application. This morning I have filed my online request to the National Archives for a copy of that application and now I’m trying to learn more about the service of John Nunn. The certificate says Soldier: John Nunn, Widow: Deborah Nunn, Service: Capt John Stattons Co Va Mil. Can anyone shed some light on this militia company or my ancestor? John Nunn was supposed to be from Washington county. By 1840 we believe he was gone and Deborah Nunn lives in Wythe county with 4 children. No adult white males in the household but I’ve read that in some cases the white males were not always accurately accounted for in the census of this time.

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