War of 1812 | Gilliams of Virginia

War of 1812
Updated March 3, 2016

Overview
The War of 1812 was fought between the United States and Great Britain from June 1812 to the spring of 1815, although the peace treaty ending the war was signed in Europe in December 1814. The main land fighting of the war occurred along the Canadian border, in the Chesapeake Bay region, and along the Gulf of Mexico; extensive action also took place at sea.

Background
From the end of the American Revolution in 1783, the United States had been irritated by the failure of the British to withdraw from American territory along the Great Lakes; their backing of the Indians on America's frontiers; and their unwillingness to sign commercial agreements favorable to the United States. American resentment grew during the French Revolutionary Wars (1792-1802) and the Napoleonic Wars (1803-15), in which Britain and France were the main combatants. In time, France came to dominate much of the continent of Europe, while Britain remained supreme on the seas. The two powers also fought each other commercially: Britain attempted to blockade the continent of Europe, and France tried to prevent the sale of British goods in French possessions.

During the 1790s, French and British maritime policies produced several crises with the United States, but after 1803 the difficulties became much more serious. The British Orders in Council of 1807 tried to channel all neutral trade to continental Europe through Great Britain, and France's Berlin and Milan decrees of 1806 and 1807 declared Britain in a state of blockade and condemned neutral shipping that obeyed British regulations. The United States believed its rights on the seas as a neutral were being violated by both nations, but British maritime policies were resented more because Britain dominated the seas. Also, the British claimed the right to take from American merchant ships any British sailors who were serving on them. Frequently, they also took Americans. This practice of impressment became a major grievance.

The United States at first attempted to change the policies of the European powers by economic means. In 1807, after the British ship Leopard fired on the American frigate Chesapeake, President Thomas Jefferson urged and Congress passed an Embargo Act banning all American ships from foreign trade. The embargo failed to change British and French policies but devastated New England shipping. Later and weaker economic measures were also unsuccessful.

Failing in peaceful efforts and facing an economic depression, some Americans began to argue for a declaration of war to redeem the national honor. The Congress that was elected in 1810 and met in November 1811 included a group known as the War Hawks who demanded war against Great Britain. These men were all Democratic-Republicans and mostly from the West and South. Among their leaders were John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, Henry Clay of Kentucky, and Felix Grundy of Tennessee. They argued that American honor could be saved and British policies changed by an invasion of Canada. The Federalist Party, representing New England shippers who foresaw the ruination of their trade, opposed war. Napoleon's announcement in 1810 of the revocation of his decrees was followed by British refusals to repeal their orders, and pressures for war increased. On June 18, 1812, President James Madison signed a declaration of war that Congress—with substantial opposition—had passed at his request. Unknown to Americans, Britain had finally, two days earlier, announced that it would revoke its orders.


Sorted by Unit

Name Unit Date Rank at Enlistment
Walter Gilliam 1 Corps D'Elite (Randolph's)   Private
Burwill Gilliam 1 Regiment (Allen's)   Private
Drury Gilliam 1 Regiment (Allen's)   Private
James Gilliam 1 Regiment (Allen's)   Private
Nicholas Gilliam 1 Regiment (Allen's)   Private
Robert Gillum 1 Regiment (Allen's)   Private
Thomas Gilham 1 Regiment (Taylor's)   Private
James Gilliam 1 Regiment (Yancey's)   Private
William Gillum 1 Regiment (Yancey's)   Private
John Gilliam 1 Regiment Artillery   Private
Michael H. Gilliam 19 Regiment (Ambler's)   Private
Thomas Gilliam 19 Regiment (Ambler's)   Private
Peter Gilham 2 Regiment   Private
Archelaus Gilliam 20 Regiment (Mar-Aug 1813) Private
Patterson Gilliam 3 Regiment (Dickinson's)   Private
Archer Gilliam 30 Regiment (Mar-Aug 1813) Private
Richard C. Gilliam 33 Regiment (Aug-Oct 1814) Lieut
Richard C. Gilliam 33 Regiment (Mayo's)   Private
James S. Gilliam 39 Regiment   Private
John Gilliam 39 Regiment   Surgeon Mate
Jesse Gillam 4 Regiment   Private
Levi C Gilham 4 Regiment   Private
Samuel Gilliam 4 Regiment   Private
Charles Gilliam 4 Regiment (Beatty's)   Drummer
Hartwell Gilliam 4 Regiment (Beatty's)   Private
Henry R. Gilliam 4 Regiment (Beatty's)   Ensign
John Gilliam 4 Regiment (Beatty's)   Private
Reuben Gilliam 4 Regiment (Beatty's)   Private
John Gilliam 4 Regiment (Washington's)   Private
George Guilliams 5 Regiment   Private
John Gilliam 5 Regiment   Private
Richard Guilliams 5 Regiment   Corporal
Thomas Gilliam 52 Regiment (Christian's)   Q Master
John M. Gilliam 6 Regiment (Sharp's)   Sergeant
Robert Gilliam 65 Regiment (Aug-Oct 1814) Private
Drewry Gilliam 65 Regiment (Blow's)   Private
Robert Gilliam 65 Regiment (Blow's)   Private
William Gilliam 68 Regiment   Ensign
John Gilliam 7 Regiment (Gray's)   Private
Robert Guilliams 7 Regiment (Saunders')   Private
William Guilliams 75 Regiment (Feb 1815) Private
Isam/Isham Gillam 8 Regiment (Wall's)   Private
James Gilliam 8 Regiment (Wall's)   Private
John Gillum 8 Regiment (Wall's)   Private
William Gilliam 8 Regiment (Wall's)   Private
Meriweather S. Gilliam 83 Regiment (Scott's)   Private
Charles Gilliam 9 Regiment (Sharp's)   Private
Hartwell Gilliam 9 Regiment (Sharp's)   Private
Moses L Gilliam 9 Regiment (Sharp's)   Private
James Gilliam 90 Regiment (Mar-Aug 1813) Private
John M. Gilliam 98 Regiment (Green's)   Sergeant
John Gillam Battalion Of Art'y (1813-14) Private
Levi C Gilham Flying Camp (McDowell's)   Private


Sorted by Given Name

Name Unit Date Rank at Enlistment
Archelaus Gilliam 20 Regiment (Mar-Aug 1813) Private
Archer Gilliam 30 Regiment (Mar-Aug 1813) Private
Burwill Gilliam 1 Regiment (Allen's)   Private
Charles Gilliam 4 Regiment (Beatty's)   Drummer
Charles Gilliam 9 Regiment (Sharp's)   Private
Drewry Gilliam 65 Regiment (Blow's)   Private
Drury Gilliam 1 Regiment (Allen's)   Private
George Guilliams 5 Regiment   Private
Hartwell Gilliam 4 Regiment (Beatty's)   Private
Hartwell Gilliam 9 Regiment (Sharp's)   Private
Henry R. Gilliam 4 Regiment (Beatty's)   Ensign
Isam/Isham Gillam 8 Regiment (Wall's)   Private
James Gilliam 1 Regiment (Allen's)   Private
James Gilliam 1 Regiment (Yancey's)   Private
James Gilliam 8 Regiment (Wall's)   Private
James Gilliam 90 Regiment (Mar-Aug 1813) Private
James S. Gilliam 39 Regiment   Private
Jesse Gillam 4 Regiment   Private
John Gillam Battalion Of Art'y (1813-14) Private
John Gilliam 1 Regiment Artillery   Private
John Gilliam 39 Regiment   Surgeon Mate
John Gilliam 4 Regiment (Beatty's)   Private
John Gilliam 4 Regiment (Washington's)   Private
John Gilliam 5 Regiment   Private
John Gilliam 7 Regiment (Gray's)   Private
John Gillum 8 Regiment (Wall's)   Private
John M. Gilliam 6 Regiment (Sharp's)   Sergeant
John M. Gilliam 98 Regiment (Green's)   Sergeant
Levi C Gilham 4 Regiment   Private
Levi C Gilham Flying Camp (McDowell's)   Private
Meriweather S. Gilliam 83 Regiment (Scott's)   Private
Michael H. Gilliam 19 Regiment (Ambler's)   Private
Moses L Gilliam 9 Regiment (Sharp's)   Private
Nicholas Gilliam 1 Regiment (Allen's)   Private
Patterson Gilliam 3 Regiment (Dickinson's)   Private
Peter Gilham 2 Regiment   Private
Reuben Gilliam 4 Regiment (Beatty's)   Private
Richard C. Gilliam 33 Regiment (Aug-Oct 1814) Lieut
Richard C. Gilliam 33 Regiment (Mayo's)   Private
Richard Guilliams 5 Regiment   Corporal
Robert Gilliam 65 Regiment (Aug-Oct 1814) Private
Robert Gilliam 65 Regiment (Blow's)   Private
Robert Gillum 1 Regiment (Allen's)   Private
Robert Guilliams 7 Regiment (Saunders')   Private
Samuel Gilliam 4 Regiment   Private
Thomas Gilham 1 Regiment (Taylor's)   Private
Thomas Gilliam 19 Regiment (Ambler's)   Private
Thomas Gilliam 52 Regiment (Christian's)   Q Master
Walter Gilliam 1 Corps D'Elite (Randolph's)   Private
William Gilliam 68 Regiment   Ensign
William Gilliam 8 Regiment (Wall's)   Private
William Gillum 1 Regiment (Yancey's)   Private
William Guilliams 75 Regiment (Feb 1815) Private


Sources
  • Ancestry.com. Direct Data Capture, comp. War of 1812 Service Records [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 1999. Original data: 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.