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Book Reviews, Releases
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We attempt to uncover books which show a high concern for accuracy and enjoyment.  Scroll down often to see what we have added.

Suggested Books

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And All Their Glory Past: Fort Erie, Plattsbrugh and the Final Battles in the North, 1814

This supposedly the final book of Donald Graves on the War of 1812.  He has tried to complete the story started with his book on Lundy's Lane.  While the story of Plattsburgh and Fort Erie are hard to weave together, this talented "face of battle" author makes a good attempt at it.  However the battles themselves are brilliantly told with the feeling that you are there.  Good read. 

   

A Matter of Honour: The Life, Campaigns, and Generalship of Isaac Brock

This is by far the best book on the market on Isaac Brock.  Written by a British General on a British General, the reader is offered a unique perspective through the eyes of an experienced officer: Lt General Jonathon Riley.

 

The Incredible War of 1812 by J.M. Hitsman, Updated by Don Graves.  The problem with many 1812 general histories is there seems to be a nationalism spin in them. Hitsman seems to have done the best job at finding a path up the middle.  With the updates, footnotes and editing by Don Graves, it is a worthy addition to any 1812 enthusiast's library.

   
Burning of Washington: The British Invasion of 1814 by Anthony S. Pitch. After extensive research, this author has painstakingly recreated the events of 1814 around the US capital with the excitement and drama of a novel. Very enjoyable. 
   
The Iroquois in the War of 1812.  by Carl Benn.  Thoroughly researched, this book represents one of the best works so far on the Indian participation in the war.  One definitely for the bookshelf. Hopefully more will follow to further tell their story.
   
Lords of the Lake: The Naval War on Lake Ontario, 1812-1814.  by Robert Malcomson.  To make things simple, this is the definitive work on the subject!  If your interest is in the navy during the War you need this one.  The North American Society for Oceanic History presented Lords of the Lake with the John Lyman Book Prize as "The Best Work in Canadian Naval and Maritime History" published during 1998. 
   

Exciting excerpt from "Field of Glory" The Battle of Crysler's Farm, 1813    An incredible battle history book on the US attempt ot capture Montreal.  See also "Field of Glory" The Battle of Crysler's Farm, 1813 by Donald E. Graves

   
The Battle of Baltimore, 1814 reviewed by Peter Twist
   
Release Notes: "Where Right and Glory Lead!" The Battle of Lundy's Lane, 1814 by Donald E. Graves  This is a ground breaking approach to telling the battle histories of the War of 1812.  It tastes like you are there.  
   
A Wampum Denied: Procter's War of 1812. by Sandy Antal.  Everyone has heard of Tecumseh.  Well Procter commanded the British forces Tecumseh worked with on the Detroit frontier. He commanded at River Raisin, seiges of Forts Miegs and Stephenson, and at the Battle of the Thames where Tecumseh fell.  It fills a hole in the various theatres of the war.  However it lacks the Keegan style "Face of Battle" storytelling of events.  Still a good read.
   
Merry Hearts Make Light Days: The War of 1812 Journal of Lieutenant John Le Couteur, 104th Foot Ed. by Donald E. Graves. Arguably the best personal account of the War of 1812. Life of a subaltern officer is superbly captured with the quill of John Le Couteur.  His account takes across the Province of New Brunswick on snowshoes and through the most hotly contested battles of the war.
   
A Very Brilliant Affair:  The Battle of Queenston Heights, 1812 by Robert Malcomson.. Another fine read by Robert Malcomson.  After developing a place as one of the lead historians in 1812 Naval history, he has wandered unto land good style with this work.  Attention to detail is his strength.
   
Fix Bayonets!  A Royal Welsh Fusilier at War 1796-1815. by Donald Graves This is a fascinating story of Thomas Pearson, one of this editor's favourite characters in the War of 1812.  Lt Col Pearson is the poster boy for what every field officer should strive to be. Excellent battle play-by-plays that Graves has become famous for.   Here is the publisher's note: " Thomas Pearson, a Somerset country parson's son, was commissioned in the 23rd Foot, Royal Welch Fusiliers, in late 1796. In a fascinating military career that spanned nearly 47 years he fought on three continents, was wounded five times, received two battlefield promotions and achieved the rank of general."
   
Guide Book to the Historic Sites of the War of 1812. by Gilbert M. Collins.  This summer take a tour of the various War of 1812 historic sites.  And when you do, take this book along.   If you can't go.  Get this book and find out just how many you will be missing! 
   
British Forces in North America 1793-1815  by René Chartrand  Nice overview of the various units raised in British North America (Canada), along with details on their uniforms. The rumour on the grape vine is René Chartrand is writing a complete study of British dress and equipment in the war.  This brief Osprey book will have to suffice until then.  
   
British Generals in the War of 1812: High Command in the Canadas by Wesley B. Turner. Great premise.  Who was the best British leader during the War of 1812?  Individual chapters are devoted to Brock, Prevost, Sheaffe, de Rottenburg, and Drummond and a criteria for what makes a good general is established. With a 1/4 of the book devoted to endnotes, to say Professor Turner is thorough is an understatement. 

 

Personal Accounts and Documents

Select British Documents of the Canadian War of 1812 by William C. Wood  (Vol. 1 to 4) - Not visiting the Library and Archives of Canada that often.  This volume series is the next best choice.  In the 1960s Mr Wood compiled many of the most important documents on the War of 1812 as well as lesser ones.  Capitulations, General Orders, Regimental Orders, Court Martials, Personal Accounts, concerning battles, training, governing, stores, women, clothing, Indians.... are all in here.  Anyone writing about the war consults this series.  The volumes at Barnes and Noble are listed as Vol. 13, 14, 15, & 17.  This is because they were published as part of works of the Champlain Historical Society. 

Medical Topography of Upper Canada by John E. Douglas. As an assistant surgeon of the 8th Regiment, Douglas served throughout the war and provided a detailed study of the diseases and conditions the British soldiers laboured under.  Though written for a contemporary medical audience, it provides important details to the understanding of life during the War of 1812.

Soldiers of 1814: American Enlisted Men's Memoirs of the Niagara Campaign. Ed by Donald E. Graves.     Experiences of the common soldier are difficult to come across.  However Mr Graves have brought some to the main stream.

 


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