It was the fall of the year when the call for volunteers went out at the outbreak of the War of 1812. There was no question that residents of Stocktons Valley, later known as Albany, would be first in line. They were, after all, veterans, or sons of veterans, who had fought the British in the American Revolution, and would eagerly take up arms to defend their country...once again.
In the latter part of July, Kentucky Governor Isaac Shelby issued a proclamation calling for 2,000 mounted riflemen to meet him at Newport within thirty days. The soldiers would march to Lake Erie to assist General William H. Harrison in a fight with British troops and their Indian allies, including the great Shawnee Chief, Tecumseh. On August 31st, Company 53, led by William Wood of Stocktons Valley, reached Newport, and the company's 47 men, including 36 rank and file, 11 commissioned officers and nine rifles, prepared for battle.
On the appointed day, 4,000 men, double the number Governor Shelby had asked for, assembled at Newport. With the Governor leading the way, the Kentuckians crossed the Ohio River at Cincinnati, and headed for Lake Erie. On October 5, 1813, General Harrison and his forces crossed over into Canada where they fought and won the decisive Battle of the Thames. It is said William Wood was present when Richard M. Johnson killed Tecumseh.
The soldiers of Stockton Valley returned to their settlement on November 13th. They had left their home and families to defend their country, and had returned as heroes.
As we celebrate Veterans Day 2009, remember the many who fought - those who returned, and those who did not.
God Bless America and God Bless our Veterans!
* This story was originally written in July of 2008 by The Notorious Meddler as Soldiers of Stocktons Valley.
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