I have been researching the Ohio militia for 20 years and am particularly interested in the Battle of Marblehead Peninsula. I have been through the militia records at both the Western Reserve and at the Ohio Historical Society a number of times doing research for my articles and speeches on the War of 1812.
At this point, there are no existing militia roster(s) for either Barrett’s or Quigley’s militia companies. There would be no roster for the temporary company that Quigley and Barrett created during August of 1812. This company only lasted a few weeks until it was dismissed by Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hayes and the men were ordered to returned to their families.
Once war was declared, the settlers all across Ohio’s frontier started to leave. After Hull surrendered the American Army at Detroit, the settlers left in mass. A few remained. Towns all across Ohio’s frontier wrote to Governor Meigs requesting militia companies to help defend their towns. The Township of Danbury was no exception. The governor did call out the militia to defend the frontier towns.
There was a complete breakdown of both civil and military organizations in these areas. Quigley and Barrett banned together what was left of their companies in order to defend Huron County until help arrived.
Huron County was attached to Cuyahoga County after it was created. It was a working county, collecting taxes, issuing licenses and recording deeds. All of these documents, however, were sent to Cleveland. I have been to the Recorder’s Office in Cleveland researching the deeds of those families in Danbury.
Barrett’s and Quigley’s peacetime companies were legal militia companies attached to the Geauga County militia regiment. It would not be until 1814 that Cuyahoga and Huron Counties would have their own combined regiment. I have a copy of the 4th Division’s Return from either 1811 or 1812 and there were only 13 regiments in this division, organized into four brigades.
I have not come across any documents stating that Cuyahoga or Huron Counties had an Odd Battalion. They should have had one. Portage County had an Odd Battalion. I have tracked down six companies that existed in 1812 from Cuyahoga and Huron Counties. I have the musters of four of them.
Below are passages from Ohio’s militia acts, by year, chapter and section, concerning Odd Battalions.
1805 - Chapter XLIV - Section 1 If there isn’t a sufficient number of militia companies in any one county in this state to form a regiment, the major general or commanding officer of the brigade, may form the whole of the companies within that county into one battalion and to continue as such until their numbers will entitle them to form a regiment. The major of this battalion can appoint an adjutant, pro tempore, and the other staff officers, to make return and to proceed in every respect, in the same manner as directed by law for the commanding officer of regiment.
1811 - Chapter XL - Section 1 Each odd battalion shall be allowed a staff similar to a regiment’s.
1809 – Chapter I – Section 15 Odd battalions will muster of the second Tuesday of April.
Musters 1813 – Chapter XXXIX – Section 18 Musters would be conducted in April and September for the following units:
1809 – Chapter I – Section 15 Company musters would occur on the first Saturday’s of April and September. The men would meet at a predestinated location with their weapons and equipment. At 11 a.m. a roll call would occur and those men not present would be listed. After roll call an inspection of equipment would be conducted. The men must have with them a weapon, a bayonet, a cartridge box, a powder horn and a pouch. Any man missing from the muster or any man not having all of his required equipment would be fined. The 1st Battalion of the 1st Regiment met on the second Tuesday of April while the 2nd Battalion of the 1st Regiment met on the second Thursday of April. The 1st Battalion of the 2nd Regiment met on the second Saturday of April while the 2nd Battalion of the 2nd Regiment met on the third Tuesday of April. Regiments, brigades and division could conduct musters as needed.
Companies mustered on Saturday until 1813, and then they mustered on Friday.
I have the complete set of Ohio militia laws between 1803 and 1815. By biggest surprise with the officers of the Ohio militia is that (with few exceptions) they did obey the militia laws.
Old Battalions were commanded by a major. Regiments were commanded by lieutenant colonels (although the governor could and did appointed colonels to command regiments). Researchers need to be aware that there is a difference between the rank of colonel and the title of colonel.
Finally, when Governor Meigs called for the formation of an Ohio brigade for General Hull, each brigade in the Ohio militia sent one company to Urbana, Ohio. The 4th Division created four companies. There were to march across northern Ohio and meet the rest of the army at Detroit. Only two companies made it to Michigan Territory before returning. I have the rosters of all four companies.
Eric E. Johnson Lieutenant Colonel, USAF (Retired)