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38894Re: 1812 1816 shakeup of US army

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  • richard lytle
    Jan 6, 2009
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      Hello, James. Hope you are recovering from the holidays.
      Right now I am in the process of researching and writing a book covering the use of U.S. Military ground forces from between 1789 and 1815. One of the reasons that I am monitoring this listserv, bye the way. Anyway, the answer to your question is relatively simple if you consider the standard practice of that time. Typically, the original records of the late 1790s and early 1800s that I have seen numbered the regiments but the companies were designated by their commanding officers even though they were given numbers one through twelve within the regiment. Therefore,the reorganized regiments were re-numbered in 1815 "ACCORDING TO THE SENIORITY OF SERVICE OF THEIR COMMANDING OFFICERS."
      At least, that is the "official version" currently available in any known documents. Un-officially, there is the problem of most of the old First Infantry having been surrendered by Hull at Detroit in 1812 (and no one knows where the regimental colors went) and most of the old Second Infantry having been surrendered by Major (bvt. Lt. Col.) Lawrence which concluded the seige of Fort Bowyer located at Mobile Point in February, 1815. Those regimental colors went to England and are still in the possession of the War Museum in the old Chelsea Royal Hospital where I am told, very recently, the originals are in archival storage and replicas hang in the Great Hall in their place. Therefore, I believe that the plan to renumber as well as reorganize the regiments was concocted to erase those surrenders (even though they were not the fault of the men in those regiments) and restart the heritage from scratch. No proof, though!
      Richard lytle

      --- On Tue, 1/6/09, James Yaworsky <yawors1@...> wrote:

      From: James Yaworsky <yawors1@...>
      Subject: 1812 1816 shakeup of US army
      To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Tuesday, January 6, 2009, 2:26 PM

      --- In WarOf1812@yahoogrou ps.com, richard lytle <richard6616@ ...> wrote:
      > The "purge" you mentioned was yet another reorganizing and
      restructuring of the Army that was conducted effective May 15, 1815,
      and the entire U.S. land forces went through a complete shaking up.
      The First Infantry became the Third Infantry, the Second Infantry
      became the First Infantry, the Sixth Infantry became the new Second
      Infantry, etc, etc.

      You've got me curious, Richard. What was the reason for the 1st
      becoming the 3rd, the 2nd the 1st, the 6th the new 2nd, etc? To those
      of us not in the know, it sounds rather like a pointless random
      shuffle, or the results of a game of musical chairs!

      Jim Yaworsky

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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