News of Pennsylvania in the War of 1812

Transcribed by Nancy Piper

The Centinel, Gettysburg, Pa , May 27, 1812


To the Respective Brigade Inspectors throughout the State.

I have it in charge from the Governor to express the pleasure and high gratification he has already experienced and which he feels in the anticipation of a further voluntary tender of service from the militia of Pennsylvania to meet the requisition made by the President of the United States - that the spirit of '76 still exits and that Pennsylvania will sustain the high character she acquired at the time that tried men's souls - that, while despots fill their armies by conscriptions and impressments to carry on their wars of interest and ambition, the freemen of Pennsylvania will vie with each other in flocking around the standard of their country to defend its honor and its rights. It is expected that any tender of service by volunteer corps or flank companies, in substitution of the required draft, from any regiment, will be made through the medium of the brigade inspectors. The officers of companies offering their services will at the same time furnish their brigade inspectors with muster rolls to be promptly forwarded to

William Reed, Adjt. Gen.

The Centinel, Gettysburg, Pa , JULY 8, 1812

Individual and Commercial Patriotism

The merchants of Philadelphia having it under consideration to build a Ship of War, and loan her to the United States, have appointed a committee to receive subscriptions for that purpose. The first person applied to was Mr. Jacob Gerard Koch, a gentleman who has underwritten largely, and is personally deeply interested in the return of many vessels now at sea. What think you was the answer of this right worthy citizen? Why truly he subscribed Five Thousand Dollars, and then said "This I subscribe as a gift, but if it is intended to loan the ship, I will build a ship of war myself for the government." -- Demo. Press.

The Centinel, Gettysburg, Pa , JULY 29, 1812

Harrisburg, July 21, 1812

On Tuesday the 14th inst., the Governor received by express an application from Brigadier General Kelso of the town of Erie (made at the instance of a number of the inhabitants of that town and its vicinity, as well as on account of the exposed situation of the place) requesting his Excellency to order a draft from the militia, or to authorize the acceptance of the service of volunteers for the defense of the town and the frontier bordering on the lake.

The Governor, impelled by the exigency of the case, has ordered a portion of the 16th division of militia (or such volunteer companies as may offer their services in substitution) to be held in readiness and called into service as occasion may require. Two wagons, loaded with 500 muskets and a quantity of powder, lead and flints, will leave town today for Erie. The Brigade Inspector is authorized, if necessary, to procure a further supply of the last mentioned articles on the credit of the state.

Considerable alarm appeared to be felt at Erie and amongst the inhabitants along the lake, insomuch that Gen. K. had embodied 3 companies of militia, including the Erie light infantry company, for the purposes of protection and defense. We trust, however, that the vigilance of the citizens, together with the prompt and active measures taken by the Executive, will dispel these apprehensions and preserve tranquility in this most vulnerable part of the commonwealth.

The Centinel, Gettysburg, Pa , August 5, 1812

Our Frontiers

On the 14th inst., at noon an express arrived at Harrisburg with a letter to Governor Snyder from General John Kelso, dated Erie, July 6, informing the Gov. that the British were masters of the lake, that the suspicious and hostile movements of the Indians on the Canada side; the invitations and lures held out to those on this side the Lake and the removal into Canada of the Sandusky tribe (300) had excited so much apprehension that he, The General, had embodied three companies of Militia including the Erie Light Infantry company, and that Gen. Lacock having written that the President of the United States, in answer to a memorial from Erie, had declared his inability to furnish arms, &c. for the Militia, it was hoped the Governor of Pennsylvania would take the necessary responsibility an disuse the necessary orders to enable the Militia to defend their homes and firesides.

On the morning of th 15th, the Governor dispatched the Express to Erie with "General Orders" to the Inspector of the Brigade, including Erie, (Wm. Clark, Esq.) and a letter to General Kelso.

In the general Orders the Governor directs the Brigade Inspector to have in immediate readiness for field duty two classes of the Militia of his Brigade, (not before drafted) to be officered according to law and put under the command of Brigadier General Kelso. The Governor authorizes the Brigade Inspector to purchase sufficient lead for Ball and any quantity of Gunpowder not exceeding one thousand weight, to be paid for out of the Militia state fund.

In the letter of Governor Snyder to General Kelso he regrets that the Militia on the Lakes had not provided themselves with arms under the same regulations imposed by law upon the other Militia of the state, but that regarding the necessary of the chase and relying on the liberality of the legislature; he had ordered the State muskets from Lancaster to Harrisburg to be put in thorough repair and would forth with forward 500 of them to the Brigade Inspector (Clark) and also six casks of Gunpowder, two hundred weight of lead and 1000 flints.

The Centinel, Gettysburg, Pa , August 26 1812

On Thursday last two volunteer companies, one commanded by Capt. Butler and the other commanded by Capt. Shepherd, arrived in this place from Gallipolis. Another company, commanded by Capt. Gregory arrived the same day from Athens. They are a set of fine hardy looking men and we have no doubt will do honor to their country. In a few days they will march for Urbana. These troops compose a part of the 900 men ordered out last week agreeably to the request of Gen. Hull. The whole are to rendezvous at Urbana on the 20th from which place they will immediately march for Detroit, under the command of Gen. Tupper.

The Centinel, Gettysburg, Pa , August 26 1812

The Oracle of Dauphin printed at Harrisburg, Aug. 22 says: "A requisition from General Dearborn, commander in chief of the northern army for 2000 additional troops was received at the seat of government at this place, on Thursday last. The Governor being at his residence at Selin's Grove an express was immediately dispatched to him with the important information and it is expected that the patriotic gentlemen who have tendered their services to his Excellency will in a day or two receive marching orders."

The Centinel, Gettysburg, Pa , September 16, 1812

Meadville, Aug. 29

When the alarm mentioned in our last, was given about 3 o'clock P.M. of Tuesday the 25th inst., the court then sitting, after receiving the presentments of the grand jury, immediately continued the business pending, discharged all the jurors, and adjourned; in order that all capable of bearing arms, might instantly march to oppose the enemy. In about three hours afterwards, the volunteer infantry and the other militia companies of this town and neighborhood marched to join the troops at Erie. People of all parties instantly volunteered their services. Such was the zeal displayed in this town, that without associating some boys with the few men left at home, a sufficient number could not be collected to from a nightly patrol, established to guard the families and property of those who turned out to defend their country. During these three days past, several companies from Mercer, Crawford, and one from Venango have marched to the place of expected danger. The alacrity and spirit general manifested by the people cannot be too highly applauded - old and young have turned out. They do not seem to consider whether they are by law exempted from the militia, but whether they ought to defend their country. Of course the dictates of duty have very generally been promptly and honorably obeyed. It is stated that there are not assembled at Erie more than 1500 troops.

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