Re: Sannford was Re: 1812 Dragoon kit
- Right you are Ed!
I had a long exchange about this about a year ago and went into it in great
detail and was sent the quote from the book that mentions the Sanford
There are many problems here, firstly the reference of the Sanford book
mentions that it was published in 1817, but no one who quotes the reference
has ever seen the Sanford book, to my knowledge no library or museum has a
copy of the book in their stacks, this includes the Williams Research Center
of THNOC, the Anne S K Brown Collection and the British Library. I had
friends in the museum service both in the US and UK check the title, author and
publication date in the national museum data bases and nothing at all came
up. My take on this is that, if the account actually existed, it was never
actually published. Of course we cannot be sure that IF the book ever did
exist in published form it was published in London 'England'!
My reason for speculating that the individual was a deserter (IF he existed
and IF he wrote an account) is that the local historian who quotes the
book seems to say that Sanford took up residence in Maryland after the war of
1812; certainly there were some desertions during the campaign, if he
didn't desert it is certainly curious that he ends up a well known member of the
community where the army of which he was once a membe, was merrily raiding
and burning property.
On the regiment; here I think that 2+2 may have been made to add up to 5.
In the quoted account the regiment is referred to as the 'Enniskillen', as
you know there are two ways in which this name of the famous Irish town can
be spelt, as above and 'Inniskilling', those these two spellings now seem
to be almost interchangeable at the time they were not, and were not for a
reason. the former spelling is the regimental title of the 27th Foot, and
the second that of the 6th Dragoons. Some people seem to have taken the
statement that Sanford was a courier to mean that he was a cavalryman which,
though logical, is an enormous leap of faith and in my opinion, a mistake.
While the occasional cavalryman was detached to act as a courier to a
general officer there is no record of this being the case with Ross, indeed the
Glieg account (which is also quoted at times) specifically states that it
was the lack of cavalry that caused Ross to grab men from wherever he could
get them to act a couriers. Also the Sanford account of the death of Ross
does not match with the official reports of his death and, to me at least,
reads like something that was made up by someone who only got half the
story. Certainly in parts it sounds like the gunfight at the OK coral!
There is no account, or mention in any of the contemporary histories, that
any British cavalry was with Ross, not only that there is no account in
regimental histories or records of any of the Inniskillings being in the war
of 1812 in any capacity whatsoever. The idea that a party of British heavy
cavalry was on detached duty in Chesapeake region is flat out mistaken, the
idea that a sergeant and a few troopers would be sent off without an
officer to serve on Ross' staff is just absurd in the context of the period. Is
it possible that an ex cavalryman now serving in the infantry was pressed
into service as a courier? Yes, but the idea that he, or anyone else was
dressed in heavy cavalry uniform doesn't work; it's just plain wrong, sorry.
In a message dated 1/27/2010 3:06:57 PM Central Standard Time,
I'm assuming you're talking about Sgt William Sannford and his pack of
couriers supposedly being at North Point.
Logic would dictate that if they are at North Point, then they should be
at Bladensburg and New Orleans also. Yet they don't seem to be listed
anywhere. But then again neither is the 6th West Indies Regt and they are listed
as having casualties at Bladensburg.
The good Sergeant's book is listed as being published in London in 1817,
herdly a place for a deserter to find a publisher. An alias, perhaps?
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