"He who relies on militia leans upon a broken cane." (George Washington)
Osprey's survey of militiamen of the War of 1812. The great military effectiveness of semi-trained local militia is one of the enduring myths of American military history. In this book Ed Gilbert reveals the truth behind this myth. Quoting from memoirs of men like Sam Dale, Sam Houston, and rare histories, he sheds light on who these frontier men actually were. He chronicles how militiamen, ranging from hard-working farmers to politicians like Davy Crockett, were transformed through hard campaigning, fierce combat, and Andrew Jackson's equally fierce discipline, into a formidable fighting force.
Contemporary illustrations and artwork depict the rough life on campaign and the uniforms worn by the militia. He details how they fought and won the crucial battle of Horseshoe Bend, and how finally on the swampy Plains of Chalmette a scratch force of State Militias, Federal Regulars, US Marines, and Jean Lafitte's mercenary pirates inflicted a stunning defeat on General Pakenham's forces, opening up the western frontier for the new nation.