Saturday, May 26, 2012

Capt. Josiah Lockhart in the War of 1812

Taken from the Autobiography of Allen Trimble, published in The "Old Northwest" Genealogical Quarterly, Volume 10, Number 1, January 1907, published in Columbus, Ohio by The "Old Northwest" Genealogical Society:

"Brother William went to Dayton, Ohio, as a private soldier.
I accompanied him. There he met General McArthur and other
acquaintances, and friends. The two companies from Highland
County, one from Adams, under the command of Captain
Lockhart, and one from Franklin, under Captain Kinny, and one
from Green County, united into one battalion, and elected
Wm. A. Trimble to command it."


The Captain Lockhart mentioned is my ancestor, Josiah Lockhart, who was later made a Brigadier General during this war. So, Allen Trimble's younger brother William A. Trimble commanded the battalion Josiah was in. They were all in the regiment commanded by General Duncan McArthur. This was at the start of the war of 1812. Gen. McArthur's regiment was part of the army commanded by General Hull in Ohio (famous for his surrender to the British of Detroit, which included Duncan McArthur and his men.

Here is a description of how William Trimble and his officers (which would include Capt. Lockhart) responded when they were told their General (Hull) had surrendered his forces to the British officer Isaac Brock:

" I have often heard William A. Trimble, who commanded a
battalion of Gen. McArthur's regiment, and was present, (have
heard him, say, that on the first announcement of the surrender
the whole detachment—officers and soldiers—expressed their
determination to disobey the order to return and surrender as
prisoners of war."

The need to return to surrender is because Hull had sent McArthur and his men away and it is theorized that this is because had McArthur and some others been present when he was offering the surrender, they would not have gone along with it and tried to dissuade him. They were sent on a small mission, then required to return and be surrendered to the British. It is famously told how Duncan McArthur broke his sword out of anger at this turn of events.

Allen Trimble, from whose autobiography I have taken the above quotes, ran into some difficulty with Josiah. Allen Trimble had brought charges against another officer that for a few different reasons did not result in any action being taken against the man. That man then brought charges against Trimble, and Josiah was the commander of the brigade at this time, and a general, and organized the court to hear the charges against Trimble. Here is how Allen Trimble describes my ancestor:

"Josiah Lockhart the Commandant of the Brigade has appointed a Court a large majority of whom have partaken in the prejudices which Edwards and those who returned with him have excited against me and has appointed the place of trial in the County of Adams in the immediate neighborhood of those persons who so shamefully left Fort Wayne and whose prejudices against me know no bounds. General Lockhart' has very improperly taken prejudice at me from the circumstance of my opposing him for the Command of the Brigade; this is evident from the circumstance of his appointing Colonel Stevenson to preside on my trial, a man who refused to arrest Major Edwards on the charges I preferred for no other reason that I know of only that my Brother had been chosen in preference to him (Stevenson) to the command of a Battallion of Hull's Army, which appeared to not only to mortify Stevenson but excite his resentment against the family which spirit he has 1 believe not only cultivated ever since General Lockhart has been very industrious to make improper impressions in the minds of some of the officers who are on the Courts (as I have been informed). I am therefore from all these circumstances convinced that it will be impossible for me to have a fair and impartial trial."

Here is a letter Trimble was sent regarding the election for leader of the Brigade (he refers to this above as the reason Josiah Lockhart was prejudiced against him.

 "In pursuance to instructions, from His Excellency, the Governor of this State—the commissioned officers of the Regt in the first Big'd, 2d Division, are notified to meet at the on the Day of engagement for the purpose of electing a Bigd. Gen'l to command said Bigd."
July 22, 1813.                                                                                     Jos. Foos, Bigd. Genl


                                                                                                         




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