Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2021


Research on The War of 1812 has been sporadic over the last two hundred years. In spite of the two centuries which have passed, significant gaps in the scholarship remain. Most individuals recognize that Kentucky troops played a major role in the war, but their participation and the number of casualties they suffered remains speculative. American newspaper accounts of the period, written with an eye to sell more copies, may not be accurate as they historically over inflated the number of dead. At the same time, British accounts have a tendency to downplay the numbers of American troops involved for their own political reasons. Working with Dr. Adrian Mandzy on an ongoing research project about the War of 1812, we focused our attention on the number of Kentucky troops involved in the January 1813 River Raisin Massacre and the October 1813 Battle of the Thames. Using pension requests, the published 1891 Kentucky National Guard Adjutant Generals Report, and a document found within the Draper Manuscript Collection (documents collected by Lyman Draper in the mid-19th century), we were able to calculate the approximate numbers of Kentuckians who fought and died at this engagement. Once we complete our research, we hope to publish our findings in the Journal of America’s Military Past.