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Engineers , Sappers & Pioneers in the War of 1812

Prior to the war of 1812, the federal government lacked the financial support of both the government and the population of the new nation to maintain a large standing military. For this reason, the corps of engineers was reduced to just several officers, most of whom taught military engineering at the newly formed military academy at West Point.


       Corps of Engineers. company of bombardiers, sappers, and miners

Lieutenant  & Drum Major


It was required that an enlisted body of troops help the cadets in practical field application outside of the classrooms. The company of miners sappers and bombardiers was created for such a purpose under the Jefferson administration. Though the company lacked large numbers, they were highly skilled in their profession and upon the commencement of war with Great Britain in 1812, half the company, along with its musicians, were sent to serve on the northwestern frontier. The troops arrived in time for the campaign of 1814 and served as both engineers and artillerists at fort Erie, Chippewa, lundy's Lane, Fort George, and manned the battery they constructed (Douglass battery) during the August-September siege.


  Sapper working on a Lifting Gin, Engineer officers where responsible for the reconnaissance and mapping of unknown territories. As well laying out fortifications and planning sieges.


When the war ended they returned to West Point where they continued to instruct cadets until formally disbanded in 1823. However, the musicians of the company were amalgamated into the nucleus of the present day West Point band. The band still carries the Battle streamers from the aforementioned battles on their colors in honor of the actions of the company during the war of 1812.