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The following article appeared in the Clermont Sun, 07 Apr 1886, page 8, column 4.

For more information contact  Jamie Burnett

Interesting Reminiscences of Nathaniel Poland, a Soldier of 1812, who Resides In Miami Tp.

The actors of the old battle fields of the war of 1812 are rapidly passing away and the grand events of that period of American history will soon be but a collection of isolated facts. Mr. Poland, a survivor and pensioner of the war, who in now one hundred and one years old, and who retains his mental faculties, delights in relating the history of his early life, and particularly that part of it connected with the events of the war of 1812.Surname

He was born In Ipswich, near Boston, Mass., Feb. 11, 1785. He early learned the trade of trimming carriages at Newburyport, near Fort Henry, with a Mr. Bailey. In his fondness for adventure he traveled [sic] from Boston to Newport, R. I., by sea three times. Once while going around Cape Cod the vessel was caught in a storm of snow and sleet which froze to the rigging and made it so heavy that the boat was capsized and lay on its side for three days until the snow melted off before it could be righted so as to proceed on their voyage. This he regards as a wonderful escape from the monsters of the deep.


After completing his trade he went to Georgetown, D.C., where he carried on the carriage business for a number of years. From there he moved to Washington, D. C., where he carried on the same business until Washington was threatened by the British, when he entered the army on the call for a thousand regular troops to be placed under the command of General Winder. They marched to Bladensburg, six miles below Washington, in August 1814, where our army was overpowered and -defeated, the troops bravely defending themselves but not equal to the contest in numbers, experience or discipline. After the defeat they fell back to Washington, where he witnessed the burning of the bridge over the Potomac, the navy and arsenal buildings, the President's house, the Capitol, with its valuable library and handsome furniture, every room of which could be seen by the firelight as this vast amount of treasure disappeared with the flames. 

Mr. Poland came West in a few years after the burning of the city and married Miss Elenor McChesney of Cincinnati, Jan. 1,1818. William McChesney, her father, fought through the Revolutionary war and when the news came that another war was declared with Britain he took his old revolutionary musket and three of his sons and entered the army, where they remained through the entire war. 

In 1822 Mr. Poland bought a farm in Miami township, this county, and there his family have lived. As he was a complete workman he worked in various places where business called him. In 1824, when General La Fayette made a visit to America, Mr. Poland states that General Washington's carriage was presented to La Fayette that he might travel and view the principal cities of the United States. La Fayette traveled from Washington to New Orleans and back as far as Louisville, when the old carriage broke down and had to be repaired. At this time Mr. Poland was working in Louisville. La Fayette had new spokes and felloes put in some of the wheels and new lamps replaced the old ones of the carriage and then, proceeded on his journey through the States of the Union, where he was received with great demonstrations of love and affection. Mr. Poland asked his employer if he would give him one of the old lamps that they took off the carriage. It was given him and he has it today. A highly prized gift. The lamp that lighted the carriage of George Washington.  

Mr. Poland used to trim all the buggies and carriages of the late Samuel Perin, of Perintown. He was from February 11 to February 23 older than Mr. Perin. A peculiarity of Mr. Poland, remembered by those who were children when he worked in the town, was his always wearing a silk hat and keeping his gloves on when at work. He has always been a very positive man — one of the good, old-styled men, who could say yes, if he meant yes, and no, if he meant no. The hopes and aspirations of this old soldier are now fading away, and he feels by his weakened nerves that he must soon go to his resting place in the bosom of earth and sleep with the buried heroes of the past. 

Perin’s Mills, Ohio, March 15, 1886 

[Note: Nathaniel Poland died weeks later on 01 Apr 1886.]
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