Mars in the Wilderness

Weapons and Tactics of the War of 1812

Authored by: Douglas W. DeCroix

The Routledge Handbook of the War of 1812

Print publication date:  October  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138017719
eBook ISBN: 9781315780269
Adobe ISBN: 9781317701989

10.4324/9781315780269.ch9

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Abstract

No treatment of the wars of the early nineteenth century would be complete without at least a cursory examination of the weapons technology of the time, along with the ways in which it was utilized on the battlefield. Such a treatment is particularly important in an age of warfare two centuries removed from the struggles of 1812–15. Understanding the array of weapons available to the antagonists, along with how each side attempted to wield them to greatest advantage, gives greater perspective to any study of the campaigns, strategies, and leadership of this important period. A close reexamination of the tactics described in the many primary sources available to the modern student also helps to clear away the clouds of myth and misinterpretation perpetuated by some of the Napoleonic era’s most prolific scholars of a century ago—interpretations that, in some cases, have managed to survive to the present. Therefore, to better place the events of North America during this period of conflict into perspective, a general introduction to the weapons and tactics of the War of 1812 is in order.

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