200 years ago today -- June, 18, 1812 -- the United States declared war on Great Britain, beginning what is now known as the War of 1812 or the "Second War of Independence." Kentuckians eagerly joined the fight with almost 26,000 volunteers. By war's end much Kentucky blood had been shed, especially at the humiliating defeat at the Battle of the River Raisin in January of 1813.
MCHS recently hosted speaker John Trowbridge, who is highly knowledgeable about Kentucky and the War of 1812. His talk and the discussion that followed gave members a deeper understanding of the sacrifices made by Kentuckians in this war. The June/July issue of Kentucky Monthly includes an article by Ron Soodalter entitled, "Remembering the Raisin: Kentucky's Role in the War of 1812." A thoughtful essay about the war is found in June's Smithsonian. This article, by Tony Horwitz, also refers to this horrific battle in its title -- "The War of 1812: Remember the Raisin." Let us remember the Kentuckians who fought in this war as well as the lessons learned during this conflict.