This is the first summary of how archaeology has contributed to our understanding of the War of 1812. The contributors of original papers discuss recent excavations and field surveys that present an archaeological perspective that enriches,—and often conflicts with, received historical narratives. The studies cover fortifications, encampments, landscapes, shipwrecks, and battles in the midwestern, southern, mid-atlantic, and northeastern regions of the United States and in Canada. In addition to archaeologists, this volume will appeal to military history specialists and other historians.
Table of Contents
1. Alarum in North America: An Overview of the War of 1812 and a Context to the Archaeological Studies in this Book
The Great Lakes Region: 1812
2. A 40-Year Fascination with Fort York
3. “I Wish You Could See the Style in Which We Live:” Archaeology of a Soldier’s Cabin at Cantonment Saranac, Plattsburgh, New York
4. The War of 1812 at Old Fort Niagara, Youngstown, New York
The Chesapeake Campaign: 1814
5. A Deserted Garrison Village: Nottingham, Maryland, and the War of 1812
6. Archaeology of the Chesapeake Bay Naval Flotilla
7. Archaeological Investigations at the Bladensburg Battlefield Site
8. The Archaeology of the Battle of the White House on the Potomac
9. Reconstructing the Battle of Caulk’s Field, Maryland
10. American Fortification Strategy and Military Tactics at Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Maryland
The Western Frontier: 1814
11. Landscape of Battle: Military Terrain Analysis of the Battle of Credit Island
12. The War of 1812 on the Missouri Frontier: The Search for Fort Osage and Sibley’s Fort
The South at War’s End: 1815
13. Forgotten Invasion: Archaeological Excavations at Point Peter, Georgia
14. Chalmette: A GIS and Archaeological Study of the Battle of New Orleans
15. Concluding Thoughts
Michael T. Lucas is Curator of Historical Archaeology at the New York State Museum.
Julie M. Schablitsky is the Chief Archaeologist and leads the cultural resources section at the Maryland State Highway Administration.
“This is the first collection on the archaeology of the War of 1812 that provides the variety of military sites from throughout eastern North America, and in the context of the history of the events that occurred there. A must read for those interested in the archaeology of military sites. … Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.”
—J. B. Richardson III, Carnegie Museum of Natural History (emeritus)
"A significant benefit of this collection—and part of its wider appeal—is its range of methodological approaches. (...) Archaeology of the War of 1812 could easily serve as a manual for how to investigate different site types, from the ephemeral battlefields and military camps, to the complicated stratigraphy of permanent fortifications."
- Henry C. Cary, Department of Anthropology, Saint Mary’s University