02 May 2016

Military Monday: A glimpse at the Still men who served Pennsylvania in the War of 1812

The War of 1812 is, in my opinion, an often overlooked war. Schools just kind of gloss over it. The Revolutionary War was the war for America’s independence from England. The Civil War was the brother fought against brother, literally in some cases. But the War of 1812 … what was it even about?

Philadelphia Gazette, 29 July 1812
Britain tried to enact trade restrictions on the United States. Britain also tried to limit our young nation’s expansion. On 18 June 1812, our Congress finally declared war against Britain. In August 1914, Britain captured and burned our Washington DC capital. New York, New Orleans and Baltimore were able to stand up to British forces. Our young nation once again found herself fighting for independence. The War of 1812 ended on 17 February 1815 with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent.

Ancestry.com recently added a database titled, “Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of 1812” My Still family was already well established in Chester County by 1812 so I was not surprised when a quick search revealed four entries, using just Still as a search element. There was a Private Aaron Still, Lieutenant Charles Still, Ensign Charles Still, and Private Nicholas Still. The database, unfortunately, is only an index, meaning it only provides the name and rank of the Pennsylvania soldier. It does not even specify a county.

Aaron Still served as a Private in the 2nd Regiment (Lotz’s) of the Pennsylvania Militia. Lieutenant Charles Still served in the 1st Regiment (Kennedy’s) of the Pennsylvania Militia. A Robert Still served as a Private in the 137th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Militia. The US, War of 1812 Service Records database (on Ancestry.com) also shows Stills from Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

Sadly, I can find little on these men. I do have a Charles in my family – a couple actually. My 5x great grandfather was a Charles Still. Born in 1760, he would have been 52 in 1812. It is feasible that he could have fought. I have no proof either way. He also had a son Charles. Charles Jr. was born in 1779 and therefore would have been just 33 in 1812. He would have been the more likely of the two men to have taken up arms. However I have no indication that he served either.

Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Volunteers in the War of 1812 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 1998.

National Archives and Records Administration. Index to the Compiled Military Service Records for the Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During the War of 1812. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M602, 234 rolls.

Philadelphia Gazette, Philadelphia, PA, 29 July 1812, p. 1.

“The War of 1812” PBS.org http://www.pbs.org/wned/war-of-1812/home/

Military Monday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers. 

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2016

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Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.