Winner of the Army Historical Foundation Book Award
During the War of 1812, state militias were intended to be the primary fighting force. Unfortunately, while militiamen showed willingness to fight, they were untrained, undisciplined, and ill-equipped. These raw volunteers had no muskets, and many did not know how to use the weapons once they had been issued. Though established by the Constitution, state militias found themselves wholly unprepared for war. The federal government was empowered to use these militias to "execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions;" but in a system of divided responsibility, it was the states' job to appoint officers and to train the soldiers. Edward Skeen reveals states' responses to federal requests for troops and provides in-depth descriptions of the conditions, morale, and experiences of the militia in camp and in battle. Skeen documents the failures and successes of the militias, concluding that the key lay in strong leadership. He also explores public perception of the force, both before and after the war, and examines how the militias changed in response to their performance in the War of 1812. After that time, the federal government increasingly neglected the militias in favor of a regular professional army.
Table of Contents
You are viewing the table of contents
You do not have access to this
on JSTOR. Try logging in through your institution for access.