The Best Books On The War Of 1812

Donald R. Hickey Author Of The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict
By Donald R. Hickey

The Books I Picked & Why

The Incredible War of 1812: A Military History

By J. MacKay Hitsman

The Incredible War of 1812: A Military History

Why this book?

If you want to know how the British and Canadians view the war, this is the book for you. The original edition was published in 1965 but lacked documentation. For the revised edition, a team of Canadian scholars headed by Donald E. Graves added a host of appendices with new material and tracked down sources to give the volume appropriate documentation. 


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The Pictorial Field-Book of the War of 1812 V1

By Benson J. Lossing

The Pictorial Field-Book of the War of 1812 V1

Why this book?

Lossing was an accomplished sketch artist and antiquarian who traveled 10,000 miles in the 1850s and 1860s, visiting battle sites and interviewing survivors of the war. The result of his labors was this compendium that includes songs, poems, battle maps, and illustrations. Lossing treatment of almost every subject yields fascinating gems.


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History of the Late War in the Western Country

By Robert B. McAfee

History of the Late War in the Western Country

Why this book?

Part memoir and part history, McAfee was a Kentuckian who participated in some of the campaigns of the war in the West and knew many of the participants personally. Hence, his treatment of the conflict goes beyond the usual memoir in that it presents a comprehensive history of the western phase of the conflict from the perspective of an insider. 


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Where Right and Glory Lead!: The Battle of Lundy's Lane, 1814

By Donald E. Graves

Where Right and Glory Lead!: The Battle of Lundy's Lane, 1814

Why this book?

Canadian Don Graves is the preeminent military historian of the war. No one is better at examining the documentary record and the geographical setting of a battle and reconstructing what happened and presenting it in a coherent and compelling narrative. Graves has written first-class accounts of many of the major battles, but his treatment of the bloody Battle of Lundy’s Lane is perhaps his best work.


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Tecumseh and the Quest for Indian Leadership (Library of American Biography Series)

By R. David Edmunds

Tecumseh and the Quest for Indian Leadership (Library of American Biography Series)

Why this book?

Indians fought on both sides in this war, but for the British, who were tied up in the Napoleonic Wars, they played a central role in saving Canada. The preeminent Native leader was the Shawnee war chief Tecumseh, who built an Indian confederacy allied to the British and was killed in 1813 in the Battle of the Thames. Dave Edmunds does a superb job of ferreting out the details of the life of the man who was arguably North America’s greatest war chief.


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