The New Nation Birthstone of the Nation War of 1812

War of 1812

In 1814, during the War of 1812, the British came to Washington, D.C. and burned both the U.S. Capitol and White House.  During this time, the Aquia stone of both buildings got extremely hot, only to be cooled by a violent rainstorm.

Stafford historian Homer Musselman identified 153 Staffordians, almost all in the 45th Virginia Militia Regiment, who served in the War of 1812. Subsequent research by Mike and Marty Lyman indicates that as many as 1,000 Staffordians participated in the War of 1812.

The war left Stafford untouched except for British soldiers who burned down the Potomac Church in the Brooke area and also the home, Richland, located next to the Potomac River in Widewater. Fears were the British might also destroy Aquia Church. The church’s communion silver was therefore buried to save it from being stolen.

Research done in 2002 sheds light on Staffordians during the War. In June to July of 1813, Lt. Col. Peyton’s 45 Militia Regiment was activated in Stafford and deployed for local defense of Potomac River sectors. A small regular army unit of thirteen men was also assigned to Aquia during the fall of 1813. Captain Edrington’s Company of Stafford was called up and stationed in the Norfolk area. (January to April, 1814)

Throughout the rest of the war, Stafford militia served in the town of Fredericksburg as well as in Westmorland and Stafford counties.

The Lymans have identified 887 men who served in the 45th Militia Regiment. The Lymans and Mr. Musselman have identified twenty-eight War of 1812 veterans’ burial sites in Stafford.