When this volume first was published in 1988, it quickly became a definitive study on the role played by the Virginia militia in defense of both the state and the nation in the Anglo-British conflict. The author of the volume spent his career with the National Archives and Records Administration in the Old Military and Civil Branch Records, where he specialized in early American military records. Since his retirement, Mr. Butler has continued his research in the area of the War of 1812, and with the upcoming bicentennial of the conflict, the product of this expanded research is presented in this new work. The primary sources of information for this enlarged volume are found among the massive holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, DC. In addition, materials have been drawn from numerous other state and local archival collections to present a balanced, scholarly account of the Virginia militia and its role in this war. This book is as complete a guide to the militia units raised in Virginia as records permit.
The book is divided into three parts: Part I describes the organization of the Virginia militia, i.e., its regiments, battalions, and companies, and explains in what manner it was to be called up during an emergency. Part II frames an expanded history of the role played by the Virginia militia during this conflict. Part III, the largest portion, is a county-by-county listing of the units, with the naming of the regimental commanders, company commanders, and the known action and movements of the unit during the war. The book includes the name of the company or unit commander, not every soldier who served within that unit. Researchers who have secured copies of CMSRs [compiled military service records] from the National Archives or other sources will be able to determine the unit in which a soldier served, where and when that unit operated, and, in most instances, ascertain the soldier's county of origin. A complete index of unit commanders completes this standard reference work. What is presented here is a distillation of a life's research by the premier scholar in the field of the War of 1812.
Stuart Lee Butler
(1988), 2011, second edition, revised and expanded, 8 x 10, xvi, index, maps, photos, 270 pp.