Leadership and Tactics during the Northern Campaign of the War of 1812
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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American military historians have identified a trend in the US Army to start wars unprepared and ultimately emerge victorious having improved along the way. The War of 1812 set the standard in showing up unprepared, learning in early defeat, and emerging with a valid claim of martial competence. Historians tend to focus on the popular wars such as the Civil War and the World Wars, and forget the War of 1812. This forgotten war took place in the midst of profound changes in western military affairs. As the wars in Europe and North America ended, warfare once again stood at the precipice of change. This thesis identifies the ways in which these concepts improved, why they improved, and how leaders made the changes. It uses the evidence available to show that the Army learned from its mistakes and implemented changes. Leaders at all levels identified failures and made changes without any senior leader taking full ownership of any of the mistakes, mostly blaming circumstances or other leaders. During the northern campaigns, from the Niagara to Lake Champlain between 1812 and 1814, the Madison administration made annual changes to the force leadership and logistics systems hoping to improve the fighting force.
- Government and Political Science
- Humanities and History
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics