Living through Conflicts

War's effects are never limited simply to soldiers in combat, and the War of 1812 was no different. No sharp line divided combatants from noncombatants or battlefield from home. Even those who desperately wanted to avoid the military struggle altogether found themselves dragged into the war in painful and unforeseen ways.

As the war raged around them, civilians and noncombatants attempted to deal with the effects of the fighting when it spilled into their lives. Villages burned to ashes; wives tried to care for families with husbands gone to war; citizens offered aid to their own armies or tried to maintain a semblance of normalcy even in the midst of violent upheaval. From riots in Baltimore to the declaration of martial law in New Orleans, the experience of living through the war altered lives and communities in ways few had anticipated.

Last updated: March 5, 2015

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