June 23, 2012
War of 1812 Bicentennial Monument
Erected in Evergreen Washelli Cemetery
by the Washington State Society United States Daughters of 1812
and Dedicated on June 23, 2012
The War of 1812 Bicentennial Monument Honors Veterans of the War of 1812 Who Died in Washington Territory. The project was sponsored by the Washington State Society United States Daughters of 1812 and was spearheaded by Mrs. Linda Rae Lind (John) who served as Washington State President, from 2006-2012 and as Washington State Historian from 2012-2015. Mrs. Lind holds a B.A. Degree in General Speech Communication from Western Washington University and has been a resident of Kitsap County since 1978. She has been an avid genealogist for over 25 years and belongs to numerous patriotic heritage societies.
What happened to the Veterans of the War of 1812 Who Died in Washington Territory?
In 2006 the National Society U.S.D. 1812 challenged all of the state societies to choose a special project for the upcoming Bicentennial of the War of 1812 (in 2012) and host a commemorative event. Since no battles of that war occurred in Washington, the only realistic project was to identify veterans of that war who died here and honor them in some way. However, there was no existing list indicating who those veterans were or where they had died.
Who were the Veterans of the War of 1812 who died in Washington?
Linda directed this question to the Washington State Department of Veteran Affairs and they had no record of Veterans of the War of 1812 who died in our state. Nevertheless, they did want a copy of the list should one be created. Next she wrote to the Washington Secretary of State's Office in Olympia and requested that a Commission be established to identify these veterans and honor them. The reply from the Secretary of State's Office stated that since Washington was not even a territory during the War of 1812 there were no reasonable grounds to establish a commission. However, they did offer the assistance of the State Archives for research purposes. They also referred the researchers to the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma but a similar rebuff was received from them. It became apparent that it was up to the members of the U.S.D. 1812 to do the research and host a Bicentennial event without the participation of the State of Washington. With the help of member, Marilyn Morrison, and her husband, Homer, both seasoned researchers, they began looking for the veterans.
Their first plan was to place U.S.D. 1812 bronze veteran's markers on the graves of the 1812ers. Not long into their research they discovered that many of the graves had been lost to time. It was decided that they should erect a single monument naming these veterans, their units of service and the counties where they died.
Where did they start looking?
The research team started with what they had which was a few records from the U.S.D. 1812 National Society Library in Washington, DC. William Rutledge of Tumwater had been marked by the State Society in 1977 and they had his data. They asked the Librarian National for records on any other veterans known to be buried in Washington State. While waiting for that reply the Morrison's found John Denny and Asa Coombs, dovetailing with records which later arrived from the U.S.D. 1812 Library. Marilyn had stumbled (literally) onto the headstone of Asa Coombs, which had inscribed on it, "War of 1812". Hutson Martin's record was also found in the U.S.D. 1812 Library.
How did the researchers create a systematic search?
They knew that Washington Territory (originally part of Oregon Territory) was opened to settlement around 1840. They also knew that they were looking for pioneers born before 1800 to have been of the right age to have served in the War of 1812. So they set out to create a list of pioneer men with the life spans ranging from 1775 to 1885 and to check them against military, pension and bounty land records. Oregon Trail rosters, county and local histories as well as genealogical websites became resource targets for collecting the names.
Who made the list?
Homer Morrison searched The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft and found Jacob Ebey, Walter Crockett, and Turner R. Roundtree noted as veterans of the War of 1812. Finding their actual service records, however, turned out to be very difficult. In the end, Bounty Land Records verified Ebey and Roundtree. Walter Crockett's name was misspelled as Walton Crockett on his military record which was eventually found by searching in the unit listed by Bancroft (Floyd's of Virginia). Jacob Ebey had a distant cousin of the same name who served from Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Their Jacob Ebey was living in Franklin County, Ohio, during the war. Ebey also had variant spellings. A volunteer researcher at NARA in Washington, DC, Harold McClendon finally located the rightful record in the Un-indexed Bounty Land Applications along with a letter from the Treasury Department explaining the various spellings of Ebey's name. This was re-confirmed on a Bounty Land record found at the Bureau of Land Management.
The Clark County Genealogical Society noted in their book, Clark County Pioneers, A Centennial Salute, those early pioneers who served in the War of 1812. They listed Butler Emery Marble, Hutson Martin, and Peter J. Stice. Marble's descendant, Brad DeCody Marble, placed much useful military information about his ancestor on findagrave.com . The graves of these three veterans have not yet been found.
After Marilyn introduced Linda to the abstracts of the Washington Territory Donation Land Claims (DLC's), she noted all the men born before 1800 and checked them against various online military records. Marilyn also checked these names against the Index to War of 1812 Pension Files, transcribed by Virgil D. White and found entries for Levi Gates along with Jeremiah Mabie. Squire Bozorth had a DLC and his service record was found in the Report of the Adjutant General, Kentucky Soldiers in the War of 1812 on donslist.net . Homer checked many online obituaries posted on the Washington State Library site and found that Henry Harmon's obituary related his service in the War of 1812, as well as John Denny's. Linda located a service record for Harmon in the U.S. Army Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914 on ancestry.com. Marilyn spent much time trying to locate the grave of Henry Harmon whose body had been moved twice due to the expansion of Seattle. His headstone was finally located by a volunteer who probed the Harmon plot at Lake View Cemetery. William M. Stewart was found in the List of Pensioners on the Rolls, Jan. 1, 1883 and then reconfirmed by a member (Sabra White) whose late husband descended from him. Sabra also provided additional family information about William M. Stewart.
Early in their research they found secondary sources naming George Bush as a veteran of the War of 1812. A service record was finally located by using the Military Records Search Request form from the State of Tennessee and from that query they received a copy of Tennesseans in the War of 1812, p. 104, for George Bush. This information was then shared with Bob Moore of the National Park Service that hosts a site about George Washington Bush. Mr. Moore agreed that this may be the proof of Bush's service as a "waiter" which was a common title for a person of color during the time period. Additional records were obtained from NARA using Form 86 Military Service Records, via the online site eservices.archives.gov/orderonline.
Finally there was the "Grave in the Middle of the Road." Even though he was one of the first finds he stands as a reminder that sometimes the Hand of Providence guides us in unusual ways. While looking for the grave of a deceased classmate from Longview on usgenweb.org for Cowlitz County, Linda found the grave of Abel Ostrander whose life span was 1777-1859. She noticed that he was from Ulster County, NY, where some of her ancestors once lived and her interest was piqued. She checked the U.S. Census records for 1810 and 1820 and there was only one Abel Ostrander listed in that place. A county history of Ulster County also confirmed that. After trying other military records, through Heritage Quest Online hosted by her local public library, she found Abel Ostrander listed in the book Military Minutes of the Council of Appointment of the State of New York, 1783-1821, Vol II, p.1517 as having served in 1814 as a Lieutenant in the New York militia. His grave remains in the middle of a driveway off of Pleasant Hill Road in Kelso, WA.
Who didn't make the cut?
About 100 pioneers were checked on the Washington State Digital Archives site to determine their ages and about 40 of those required serious study. Nine notebooks of research and hundreds of hours of labor have resulted in the list of 16 men placed on the Bicentennial Monument which was erected in Evergreen Washelli Cemetery in Seattle and dedicated on June 23, 2012. Space was left for two more names just in case additional War of 1812 veterans were identified in the future.
Places they could not erect the monument:
The research team looked at numerous possible sites to place the monument, i.e., the Veterans Memorial Museum in Chehalis, the Tacoma War Memorial Park, Tahoma National Cemetery, and the Washington State Capitol Campus. All of these sites had unique complications. However, they were very grateful to the Evergreen Washelli Cemetery staff that did allow the society to place the monument in their Veterans Memorial Cemetery.
Besides the Internet, where did they look while researching the veterans?
They visited public libraries in Seattle, Bremerton, Poulsbo, Tacoma, and Olympia; The Fiske Library, Seattle; The Seattle Genealogical Society Library; NARA Seattle Branch; Washington State Archives and the Puget Sound Regional Branch in Bellevue; Washington State Library, the UW Library; Yakima Valley Genealogical Society Library; and numerous cemeteries. Also, Harold McClendon, a volunteer researcher at National Archives in Washington, DC, copied and sent many service records to the team.
Who is the newest name on the monument?
In March 2015, society member Judith Emry of the Spokane House Chapter in Spokane, WA, emailed Linda that she had identified a new veteran for the Bicentennial Monument, that of Walter Marsh, a victim of the Whitman Mission Massacre in 1847. He had served in the Vermont Militia during the War of 1812 and was buried at the Whitman Mission National Historic Site. His named was added to the Bicentennial Monument July 31, 2015. Space remains for one more name on the monument.
Alphabetical List of the Veterans of the War of 1812 Who Died in Washington Territory
Veteran - Cemetery/Town or County - Life Span - Military Service
Bozorth, Squire - IOOF, Woodland - 1792-1853 - KY Militia
Bush, George - Bush/Union, Tumwater - 1789/90-1863 - TN Militia
Coombs, Asa - Lake View, Seattle - 1796-1888 - MA Militia
Crockett, Walter - Sunnyside, Coupeville - 1786-1869 - VA Militia
Denny, John - Lake View, Seattle - 1793-1875 - KY Militia
Ebey, Jacob - Sunnyside, Coupeville - 1793-1862 - OH Militia
Gates, Levi - Body not found - Probate Lewis County - 1790-1879 - MA Militia
Harmon, Henry - Lake View, Seattle - 1791-1866 - U.S. Army
Mabie, Jeremiah - Masonic, Tumwater - 1795-1875 - NY Militia
Marble, Butler Emery - Ft. Vancouver Military Cemetery - 1794-1866 - U.S. Army
Martin, Hutson - Unknown, Probate Clark Co. - 1783-1862 - OH Militia
Ostrander, Abel - Pleasant Hill Road, Kelso - 1777-1859 - NY Militia
Roundtree, Turner R. - Original Boistfort Cemetery, Boistfort - 1795-1868 - KY Militia
Rutledge, William - Bush/Union, Tumwater - 1794-1872 - PA Militia
Stewart, William M. - Woodlawn Abbey, Sumner - 1794-1885 - OH Militia
Stice, Peter J., Sr. - Washougal Memorial Cemetery - 1787-1877 - U.S. Army
NEW as of 2015 Marsh, Walter - Whitman Mission National Historic Site, Walla Walla - 1794 - 1847 - VT Militia