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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1812

Vol. I

(Born Mas.)

Alexander C. W. Fanning

(Ap'd Mas.)

Military History. — Cadet of the Military Academy, Apr. 14, 1809, to Mar. 12, 1812, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

First Lieut., 3d Artillery, July 6, 1812.

Served: in the War of 1812‑15 with Great Britain, on the Niagara

(Captain, 3d Artillery, Mar. 13, 1813)

Frontier, 1812‑13, on the St. Lawrence, 1813‑14, and Campaign of 1814 on the Niagara Frontier, being engaged in the Capture of York (now Toronto), U. C., Apr. 27, 1813, where he was severely wounded by the explosion of the enemy's magazine, Defense of Sackett's Harbor, May 29, 1813, — Repulse of British Flotilla at the mouth of French Creek, U. C., Nov. 1‑2, 1813, — Capture of Ft. Erie, U. C., July 3, 1814, and Defense of Ft. Erie, U. C., Aug. 3‑Sep. 17, 1814, including its Bombardment, Aug. 13‑15, Repulse of the enemy's Assault, Aug. 15, and Sortie from it,

(Bvt. Major, Aug. 15, 1814, for Gallant Conduct in the Defense of Ft. Erie, U. C.)

Sep. 17, 1814, which compelled the raising of the siege; on the Florida Frontier, 1815‑19, participating in Major-General Jackson's Campaign of 1817‑18 against the Seminole Indians, and Capture of St. Marks, Fla., Apr. 7, 1818, and was the Provost Marshal at the execution of Arbuthnot and Ambrister, British subjects, Apr. 29, 1818; in command of Ft. St. Marks, Fla., 1819‑20, — and Ft. Gadsden, Fla., 1820‑22; in garrison,

(Captain, 2d Artillery,
in Re-organization of Army, June 1, 1821)

at Detroit, Mich., 1822‑23, — Ft. Mackinac, Mich., 1823, — Ft. Columbus, N. Y., 1823‑24, — Ft. Monroe, Va. (Acting Major of the Artillery

(Bvt. Lieut.‑Colonel, Aug. 15, 1824, for Faithful Service Ten Years in one Grade)

School for Practice), 1824‑1825, — Ft. Delaware, Del., 1825‑27,  p108 Augusta Arsenal, Ga., 1827‑32, — Ft. Columbus, N. Y., 1833‑34, — Ft.

(Major, 4th Artillery, Nov. 3, 1832)

Monroe, Va., 1834‑35, — and Ft. King, Fla., 1835; in the Florida War, 1835‑36, against the Seminole Indians, being engaged in command at the Combat of Withlacoochee, Dec. 31, 1835; in garrison at Ft. Trumbull, Ct., 1836; in the Florida War, 1836‑38, against the Seminole Indians, being engaged in the Defense of Ft. Mellon, Feb. 8, 1837; in garrison

(Bvt. Colonel, Dec. 31, 1835,
for Gallant and Meritorious Conduct in the Battle near the Withlacoochee, under General Clinch; and in the Defense of Ft. Mellon, Fla.)

at Ft. Columbus, N. Y., 1838; in the Florida War, 1838‑39; in garrison

(Lieut.‑Colonel 4th Artillery, Sep. 16, 1838)

at Ft. Columbus, N. Y., 1839; at the Camp of Instruction, near Trenton, N. J., 1839; on the Northern Frontier, 1840‑41, during Canada

(Transferred to 2d Artillery, May 24, 1841)

Border disturbances, at Detroit, Mich., 1840‑41, and Buffalo, 1841; in garrison at Ft. Monroe, Va., 1841, — Ft. Columbus, N. Y., 1841‑42, — Ft. Adams, R. I., 1842‑43, — Ft. Hamilton, N. Y., 1843, 1844, and 1845; and as Superintendent on Recruiting Service, Western Department, May 26 to Aug. 12,​a 1846.

Died, Aug. 18, 1846, at Cincinnati, O.: Aged 58.

Biographical Sketch.

Bvt. Colonel Alexander C. W. Fanning was born, 1788, in Massachusetts. Soon after his graduation, Mar. 12, 1812, at the Military Academy, he was called to the field to participate in the War against Great Britain, in which contest, though of junior rank, he took a conspicuous part, being engaged in the Capture of York, U. C., where he was severely wounded by the explosion of the enemy's magazine, — Defense of Sackett's Harbor, — Repulse of a British Flotilla at the mouth of French Creek, U. C., — Capture of Ft. Erie, — and Defense of Ft. Erie, including its bombardment, assault, and the success­ful sortie from it which compelled the raising of the siege. For his "gallant conduct" in this war he received the brevet of Major, Aug. 15, 1814.

Scarcely had this war terminated, when Fanning was ordered to the frontier of Florida, then a Spanish possession. Notwithstanding the Treaty of 1795, Spain had utterly failed to fulfill her engagements to restrain the Seminole Indians from making raids into the United States, which became so frequent and destructive that Major-General Andrew Jackson was ordered to the theatre of disturbance. With his usual promptitude, and taking the responsibility, he crossed the frontier, and attacked Fort St. Marks, the refuge of hostile savages and asylum of British emissaries. Two of the latter — Arbuthnot and Ambrister — were captured, tried, and put to death, Fanning being the Provost Marshal at their execution. He was then placed in command of the captured work, and subsequently of Fort Gadsden, till Florida was ceded to the United States.

After many years of garrison duty, Fanning was again ordered to Florida, where he participated in several campaigns against the Seminole Indians, being engaged in the Combat of Withlacoochee and Defense of Fort Mellon; for his "gallant conduct" in these actions being brevetted Colonel, Dec. 31, 1835.

During the Canada border disturbances, in 1840‑41, he was on the  p109 Northern Frontier, and subsequently on garrison and recruiting service til his death, Aug. 18, 1846, at Cincinnati, Ohio.

Thayer's Note:

a The Register does give the last date of Fanning's army service as August 12, and the date of his death as August 18; when usually the date of last service for a man still in the Army is given as coinciding with his death. I haven't discovered whether the present exception means something, or is merely a typographical error (and if so, in which date).

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Page updated: 5 Jan 14