Jacob Foreman – The War of 1812 – 200 Years Ago

From Public Broadcasting System:
The Napoleonic Wars are raging in Europe. British manpower is stretched to its breaking point. Nearly 6,000 American sailors are taken against their will under the policy of impressment and forced into service in the British Navy. Trade restrictions are imposed on America that impedes trade with France. America responds with embargoes that hurt the US more than Britain.

On June 18, 1812, America, for the first time, declares war on another nation—the United Kingdom. The congressional vote is the closest vote to declare war in American history. The War of 1812 begins and the young democracy is put to the test.

Go to this site http://www.pbs.org/wned/war-of-1812/the-film/ to watch the film on your computer.

Jacob Foreman was born March 18, 1793 in Mercer County, Kentucky. He was the third son of David and Elizabeth (Eli) Foreman the immigrant ancestors. David Foreman died in 1811 in Mercer County, Kentucky. This Jacob Foreman is my 3rd great grandfather, not to be confused with his son, Jacob Foreman my 2nd great grandfather who is the subject of my Civil War Blog.

On November 10, 1814, Jacob Foreman joined George McAfee’s Company of the Kentucky Detached Militia under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Gabriel Slaughter. The company marched south to Louisiana to fight in the Battle of New Orleans.
Source – Report of the Adjutant General of the
State of Kentucky – Soldiers of the War of 1812.

Roll of Captain George McAfee’s Company, Kentucky detached militia –
Commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Gabriel Slaughter
Foreman, Jacob (age 19)
Date of Appointment or Enlistment November 10, 1814
To what time engaged or Enlisted – May 10, 1815

From my research on the War of 1812 and the history of George McAfee’s Company I have copied several articles of interest that reflect the conditions and times that Jacob Foreman served.

From the website hosted and edited by Jenny Tenlen – The McAfee’s: Kentucky Pioneers (jtenlen.drizzlehosting.com/mcafee/warof1812.html) below is a report of Capt. George McAfee’s Company of Kentucky Detached Militia who enlisted November 10, 1814 for a 4 month period written by Luther Davenport

“On October 14th, 1814, Governor Shelby issued a call for men for the New Orleans campaign, and in response, Col. Gabriel Slaughter began assembling men to form a regiment for duty, which was mustered into service Nov. 14, 1814. Along with the call for men, came a promise from the U.S. Quarter master of arms, munitions, and transportation down river, but these supplies were slow to materialize. Believing that the promised supplies would catch up, the Kentuckians departed with half rations, few blankets and tents, and no pay, on board boats that were mostly unfit to carry men across the river let alone fifteen hundred miles downstream. The supplies never came, and on January 4, 1815, the Kentucky troops arrived at New Orleans almost destitute of clothing, blankets, and munitions of war. The winter weather of 1814/15 was unusually severe with daily downpours of rain. They entered into camp without tents, blankets, or straw for bedding, on open, miry ground as the temperatures hovered near freezing. The Louisiana legislature and the citizens of New Orleans quickly answered the call and furnished what supplies that could be spared. Nonetheless, just over half the Kentuckians could be adequately armed, and as a result those without arms remained in a reserve position during the battle. About eleven hundred Kentucky boys secured arms and Slaughter’s regiment took it’s place among them on the firing line to await the British advance. The details of the battle of January 8, 1815 are well documented and will not be repeated here, but it should not be forgotten that these men from Kentucky who bore the brunt of the assault, were not professional soldiers. They were family men, farmers, and tradesmen whose pride in country had called them away from a plow to travel fifteen hundred miles from home and hearth to confront an enemy army covered in glory from European battlefields of the Napoleonic Wars. After the battle the troops remained at New Orleans until March 18, 1815. On this date the militias of Kentucky and Tennessee were released to return home. It was a long hard journey along the Natchez Trail, and the sufferings of disease and hardships claimed more men than the battle itself. They arrived back in Central Kentucky about May 1, 1815.”

Also from Luther Davenport in an e-mail message to me on June 11, 2012:


I have an account written by a captured British officer. The portion of the line that he faced was manned by the militia forces of Kentucky.

As the troops advanced on the American line, I with several of my peers of equal or lesser rank, stood upon a small rise on the field watching the men move forward. Observing the American defenses we saw a tall slender man standing alone atop the parapet. He was dressed in buckskin attire, with a wide brimmed hat that hid his face. Still beyond the range of our most forward ranks, he stood there fully exposed without fear, accessing the field. Finally, he pushed his back off of his head and raised his weapon to the firing position, and pointed in our general direction. This action initiated a laugh from our group as the distance was so great the result could only be a fruitless waste of powder. A plum of smoke exhaled from the rifle barrel. Seconds passed and our laughter continued until a thud was heard over the chuckles. Looking around at my companions, it was noticed that a young Lt. to my immediate left was shot through the chest, and slowly crumpled to the ground. All eyes turned back to the hunter, only to see him obscured by another plume of smoke, and just as soon another of our number fell. We looked for cover, but the ground was devoid of any, and in the few seconds it took to realize this fact another of my peers was down. Our only action was to mingle with the advancing forces, and in all my years as a soldier, I had never welcome the danger of battle, as the smoke and dust hid me from the view of that frontier hunter.

This is not word for word, but written for you as I remember the story

Luther D.

In addition here is information from another reference:
(When speaking of Jackson they mean Andrew Jackson “Old Hickory”)

From: Kentucky in the War of 1812, Ch. 10, pp. 134-149, “The Battle of New Orleans,”
Author: Quisenberry, Anderson Chenault
Publication: Baltimore [Maryland]: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1969
Repository: Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah Call Number: 976.9 M25q
Note: Originally published in book form by The Kentucky Historical Society, Frankfort, 1915.

“After the arrival of the Kentucky militia, Jackson’s forces for the defense of New Orleans were as follows:
Seventh Regiment, United States Infantry………………….465
Forty-fourth Regiment, United States Infantry………………331
Detachment of artillery, regulars………………………………….22
Marines, United States Navy……………………………………..66
Plauche’s Battalion, New Orleans Militia…………………….287
Beal’s Orleans Rifle Company…………………………………… 62
Lafitte’s Baratarians (Artillerists) Captains You
and Beluche……………………………………………………….300
D’Aquin’s Battalion San Domingo Free Men of Color…….210
Choctaw Indians, Captain Jugeant……………………………..18
Tennessee Volunteers and Militia…………………………..1,063
Kentucky Detached Militia…………………………………….2,256
Hind’s Mississippi Dragoons……………………………………..107
Louisiana Militia (in addition to those noted above)……1,317
Total 6, 504

“Of this little force all but the eight hundred and eighty-four regulars were raw militia. Opposed to them, altogether, stood about eighteen thousand men, nearly all of whom were regulars of the British army, or marines of the British navy — the best trained troops then on the globe.

“…The Kentuckians who bore so distinguished a part in this brilliant victory [the great Battle of New Orleans, on the left bank of the Mississippi] were Colonel Gabriel Slaughter’s regiment of seven hundred men, and Major Reuben Harrison’s battalion of three hundred and five men from Mitchusson’s regiment, all under the command of Brigadier-General John Adair. These were all of the Kentuckians for whom arms could be found, except the small detachment that went across the river. In the rear entrenchments stood at least a thousand other Kentuckians who could not go into the battle because arms were not furnished for them… ‘They also serve who only stand and wait’.”

The ironic twist to this battle of New Orleans is the Treaty of Ghent, ending the war, was signed two weeks before this battle. The battle of New Orleans lasted about 25 minutes.

Shortly after Jacob Foreman returned home in 1815 his mother the widow Elizabeth Foreman inherited land in Highland County Ohio from her brother George Horine. Elizabeth and seven sons with their families left Mercer County, Kentucky for Highland County, Ohio. Her daughters and their families stayed in Kentucky.

Jacob Foreman married Margaret Briggs in Buford, Highland County Ohio, and by 1851 Jacob and Margaret settled in Time, Pike County, Illinois along with several of his brothers including older brother David Foreman who also served in the war of 1812. David Foreman and his mother Eli Foreman are buried in the Blue River cemetery in Detroit, Pike County, Illinois.

Margaret Briggs Foreman died November 30, 1857 and Jacob Foreman died February 8, 1871. Both are buried in the Time cemetery along with their son George, daughter Elizabeth and young son Alexander. When I visited the Time cemetery I couldn’t find their headstone but Kathy Robinson a Pike County genealogist was kind enough to send me the picture of the headstone posted above when she was searching the cemetery for veterans of the War of 1812.

In 1878, Jacob and Margaret Briggs Foreman’s son Jacob and his wife Sarah Elizabeth Watt with 5 children, Mary Belle, Robert Sidney, Nora Kate, Arte Mesa and Martha Jane left Time, Illinois, traveled to Kansas and unable to find a home there settled in Coloma, Carroll County, Missouri. Martha Jane died in 1879 in Kansas. She was 2 years old. In 1887 the family, including William Turner, John Everette and George Edwin who were born in Missouri, moved west to Vernon, Colorado, just 10 miles south of Wray in what was Arapahoe County and is now Yuma County.

Remember the Johnnie Horton song – The Battle of New Orleans?
“In 1814 we took a little trip
Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip
We took a little bacon and we took a little beans
And we caught the bloody British in the town of New Orleans . . .