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United States Rangers in the War of 1812

United States Rangers were originally raised for Tecumseh's War, but they continued to serve against hostile Indians after the United States declaration of war against Great Britain. A total of 17 independent companies were authorized from Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. The Rangers were not militia, but formed part of the war establishment of the United States Army.

United States Rangers
Active1812-1815
CountryFlag of the United States (1822-1836).svg
United States
AllegianceFlag of the United States (1822-1836).svg
United States Army
BranchCavalry
TypeLight cavalry
RoleReconnaissance
Size17 companies authorized
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Captain Nathan Boone

FormationEdit

In readiness for possible Indian depredations after the Battle of Tippecanoe, the United States Congress established the United States Rangers, January 2, 1812.[1] The act was renewed in 1813, and the number of ranger companies increased several times during the War of 1812. The President of the United States selected which state or territory should have the benefit of raising ranger companies. The Rangers were not militia, but formed part of the war establishment of the United States Army.[2]

OrganizationEdit

The 1812 Act authorized the President to raise up to six companies of rangers, either volunteers or men enlisted for a one-year period.[3] Two companies from Ohio, the rest from Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois.[1] In June, the secretary of war, William Eustis, reported that he had deployed the six companies at the frontiers of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Louisiana.[4] In July an additional company was authorized, and in February 1813 ten additional companies.[3] [5] [6] Four of the new companies to be raised in Indiana, three in Illinois, and three in Missouri.[7] Each company would consist of 1 captain, 1 first lieutenant, 1 second lieutenant, 1 ensign, 4 sergeants, 4 corporals, and 60 privates; the officers to be paid the same as the same grade in the army, the men $ 1 a day if furnishing a horse, otherwise $ 0.75.[3] No field officers were authorized or appointed.[8]

Rangers from Indiana, Illinois and Missouri
Date Officers Non-commissioned officers Soldiers
Feb. 1, 1813 4 8 61
Jan. 13, 1814 4 11 91
July 23, 1813 4 11 104
May 15, 1815 13 28 271
Oct. 20, 1815 5 11 81
Source: [9]

In 1813, the Congress decided that each of the ten companies organized under the 1813 Act would consist of 1 captain, 1 first lieutenant, 1 second lieutenant, 1 third lieutenant, 1 ensign, 5 sergeants, 8 corporals, and 90 privates.[10]

 
Ranger Officers 1813.
Rangers Officers 1813
Captains First Lieutenants Second Lieutenants Third Lieutenants Ensigns
12 11 11 8 10
Source: [11]

OperationsEdit

The rangers were established with the expressed mission of protecting the frontier from the Indians. They should be organized, armed and equipped in such a manner as the nature of the service required.[3] The rangers scouted the frontier, and should disperse any hostile Indian war parties encountered. Rangers operated in Ohio, Illinois Territory, Indiana Territory, and Missouri Territory. The Ohio, Illinois and Indiana Rangers came under the operational control of Colonel William Russell of the 7th U.S. Infantry, while governor Benjamin Howard controlled the operations of the Missouri Rangers.[2]

DisbandmentEdit

The United States Rangers were retained in service until June 15, 1815 when they were disbanded.[8]

ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b Urwin 1983, p. 40.
  2. ^ a b Tucker 2012, p. 614.
  3. ^ a b c d Acts of the Twelfth Congress, p. 670.
  4. ^ American state papers, vol. 1, p. 319.
  5. ^ Acts of the Twelfth Congress, p. 774.
  6. ^ Acts of the Twelfth Congress, p. 804.
  7. ^ Alvord 1922, p. 451.
  8. ^ a b Heitman 1903, vol. 1, p. 141.
  9. ^ American State Papers. Military Affairs, vol. 6, pp. 959-960.
  10. ^ Acts of the Thirteenth Congress, p. 64.
  11. ^ American State Papers. Military Affairs, vol. 1, p. 421

Cited literatureEdit

  • Acts of the Thirteenth Congress of the United States. Washington, DC.
  • Acts of the Twelfth Congress of the United States. Washington, DC.
  • Alvord, Clarence Walworth (1922). The Illinois Country 1673-1818. Chicago.
  • American state papers: documents, legislative and executive, of the Congress of the United States. Military Affairs. Gales and Seaton, 1832-61.
  • Heitman, Francis B. (1903). Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army. Washington, D.C.
  • Tucker, Spencer C. (2012). The Encyclopedia Of the War Of 1812. ABC-CLIO.
  • Urwin, Gregory J.W. (1983). The United States Cavalry. University of Oklahoma Press.