Family Members Who Served in the War of 1812

By William H. McNitt

Several of the Warner brothers of Pittsford, Vermont served in the War of 1812, as did the spouses of some of their sisters.  Two of these brothers-in-law were key players in the move of the three families from Vermont to New York to Michigan - Joseph Bullen and Edward Wheeler.  Both were in their twenties in age and neither was married at the time of the war.

Edward Wheeler
He enlisted on April 24, 1813 for one year in Captain Simeon Wright's Company of the U.S. Infantry 30th Regiment.  This regiment was raised entirely in Vermont.  After the war, he married Abigail Warner.

Joseph Bullen
He was a native of central New York and served in the New York Militia.  Many militia members served only short terms such as a couple of weeks or served as needed, but Joseph served two three-month terms with only a slight break between them for a total of 192 days.  He originally volunteered to serve as a substitute for someone who had been drafted and served from September 9 until December 16, 1813.  He was paid a total of $26.12 for this term and was discharged at either Fort George or Fort Niagara (they were on opposite sides of the Niagara River).  A few weeks later Joseph was drafted and served in a different company from January 10 to April 10, 1814.  After the war, he married Mary Warner.

Samuel Hawkins
He was the husband of Betsey Warner (they had married in 1806) and lived in Moriah, Essex County, New York (a little over 50 miles northwest of Pittsford, Vermont).  He enlisted in Captain Thomas Winslow's Company in the regiment commanded by Colonel Marion Joiner in the New York Militia in September 1813 at Moriah and was honorably discharged at Elizabethtown, Essex County, New York on 10 Oct 1813 after 15 days of service.  He was called again about the last of October and served until November 18, 1813. was wounded in the Plattsburgh battle, and served about 21 days.  He was called out again from about June 15, 1814 until about July 10, 1814 - about 20 days.  Another time he was called out under the same officers at the battle of French Hills and served about 16 days and was also out for other short service. 

Peter and Japheth Warner
Both volunteered to go to Plattsburgh in September 1814, and served 8 days in Captain Caleb Hendee's Company in the Vermont Militia.

Pensions and Bounty Land

Immediately after the war, pensions and/or bounty land warrants were granted to soldiers who were disabled while in the service and to heirs of soldiers who died during the war. These provisions applied to those who had served in national regiments and not those with state militia service.  As more time passed and the War of 1812 veterans began aging, benefits were broadened to cover those who had served without significant injury and those who had served in state militias.  Joseph Bullen received 80 acres of land under the 1851 law and another 80 acres under the 1855 law.  We also know that Samuel Hawkins received 160 acres.

The first pension act that covered militia members and was based on service rather than disability or death was not passed until 1871.  Edward Wheeler received a pension, although I do not know the exact details of it yet.  Joseph Bullen received a pension of $8 per month for the last several years of his life and this was continued as a widow's pension for his second wife Hannah.  Samuel Hawkins applied for a pension in 1871, but the Pension Office was still awaiting additional information from him at the time of his death in 1872. Japheth Warner's widow Fila received a pension based on his service.  

Around 1860, the state of New York decided to retroactively reimburse War of 1812 militia members for the cost of arms and clothing that they had brought from home.  Joseph Bullen filed a claim for $58.50 and Samuel Hawkins filed one for $12.

Joseph Bullen Pension Summary Card  Edward Wheeler Pension Summary Card  Samuel Hawkins Pension Summary Card  Japheth Warner Pension Summary Card
Pension summary cards for Joseph Bullen, Edward Wheeler, Samuel Hawkins, and Japheth Warner


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