Books on the War of 1812

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Books - War of 1812
US Soldier versus British Soldier – War of 1812, Gregg Adams. A look at three battles on the Canadian front of the war of 1812, showing how the US infantry learnt from its defeats in the first two years of the war to become an effective fighting force, more than capable of hold its own against the small British army in Canada, although not capable of actually conquering Canada (Read Full Review)
The Thames 1813 - The War of 1812 on the Northwest Frontier, John F. Winkler. A rather biased account of the campaign that led to the battle of the Thames of 1813, seen from a rather old fashioned American perspective, especially towards the Native Americans. The campaign and battle accounts are the best part of the book, although still rather unbalanced in the amount of space given to each side, with the bulk of the text looking at the American campaign. On the plus side it gives a very good idea of how difficult it was to campaign in what was then a very remote area, and covers the entire campaign in the area in 1812-13 (especially good as the battle itself isn’t terribly interesting)(Read Full Review)
Tippecanoe 1811 - The Prophet's battle, John F Winkler. Follows the campaign from the pressures on Indian land that helped trigger the fighting, through the rise of the Prophet, and the split that he caused in Indian society, and on to the actual fighting itself, looking at Harrison's careful efforts to reach Prophetstown with his army intact and the battle itself, a night attack on the American camp that failed to achieve its objectives, and ended the rule of the Prophet, but opened the way to the brief dominance of Tecumseh (Read Full Review)
Mad for Glory - A Heart of Darkness in the War of 1812, Robert Booth. Looks at the voyage of Captain David Porter of the US Navy into the Pacific, and his eventual defeat at the hands of Captain James Hillyar of the Royal Navy in the battle of Valparaiso, an isolated naval action on the coast of Chile, that came at the end of a remarkable but controversial voyage. Includes fascinating material on the Chilean revolution, Porter's adventurous if rather misguided voyage across the Pacific, the battle itself and its aftermath [read full review]
In Pursuit of the Essex - Heroism and Hubris on the High Seas in the War of 1812, Ben Hughes. Follows two main participants in one of the more unusual naval duals of the War of 1812, the clash between the Essex and the Phoebe at Valparaiso on the coast of Chile. Follows both of the main participants on their long voyages from home ports into the Pacific, their attempts to find each other, the standoff after they met at Valparaiso and the eventual battle, triggered by an unsuccessful attempt by Porter to escape out to sea [read full review]
Death of an Empire - The Rise and Murderous Fall of Salem, America's Richest City, Robert Booth. Looks at the decline and fall of the wealthy merchant port of Salem, a city that became rich through International Trade, in particular during the long Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, but then like other American ports suffered from the self inflicted wounds of the War of 1812 and the tariffs that followed, before eventually murder and scandal finished off the ports decline. Not directly military history, but a fascinating story, and one that is related to the events of the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812 [read full review]
Broke of the Shannon and the War of 1812, ed. Tim Voelcker. Looks at a wide range of topics related to the battle between the Shannon and the Chesapeake, a naval clash that ended the early string of American victories and restored damaged morale in Britain. Looks at the battle itself, the background to the war, and the long term impact of both the battle and the conflict. [read full review]
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The Jeffersonian Vision, 1801-1815, William Nestor. Looks at the Presidential terms of Thomas Jefferson and his successor and political ally James Madison, a period best known for the Louisiana Purchase and the War of 1812. Focuses on the failure of Jefferson's political theories to adapt to the reality of American power, and Madison's drift to war in 1812. [read full review]
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When Washington Burned: An Illustrated History of the War of 1812, Arnold Blumberg. A good attempt to make some sense of this rather disjoined conflict, well organised and gives some idea of how the many campaigns related to each other (when they did). The text is supported by a good selection of contemporary art works and some useful modern maps, and portrays both the American and British points of view. [read full review]
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Niagara, 1814: The Final Invasion, Jon Latimer. This entry in Osprey's campaign series looks at the largely forgotten Niagara campaign of 1814, the last American offensive during the War of 1812. The campaign is notable for involving the first significant victory of the US army over British regulars during the War of 1812, and the battles are described in some detail [see more].
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The Incredible War of 1812, J. Mackay Hitsman. This is a revised edition of a classic work on the War of 1812, one of the more neglected corners of military history. The author writes from a Canadian perspective, but without distorting his material, and the American side of the war is well represented. This is a good clear account of what can be a somewhat confusing conflict. [see more]
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The Line upon a Wind, Noel Mostert. This is an excellent account of the greatest naval war of the age of sail. Mostert covers a wider range of topics than most books on this subject, while always remaining readable. There is a good section on the rise of American naval power and the War of 1812 [see more]
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The United States Army 1812-1815, James L Kochan. A detailed look at the uniform and equipment of the United States Army during the War of 1812. Supported by some good quality colour plates and a nice selection of pictures of surviving equipment from the period. [see more]
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The American War 1812-1814, Philip Katcher. One of the older entries in the Men at Arms Series, this book starts with a brief history of the war. It then moves on to look at the equipment used by the regular troops of both sides before finishing with a brief look at the militia. As ever the text is supported by a series of full colour plates that illustrate the uniforms worn during the war, in this case eight pages of plates showing twenty four uniforms [see more]
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