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The great military effectiveness of semitrained local militia is one of the enduring myths of American military history. In this book Ed Gilbert reveals the truth behind this myth, shedding light on who these frontier men actually were and their role in the war of 1812. He chronicles how untrained and ineffective militia forces were transformed into a formidable fighting force through hard campaigning, fierce combat, and Andrew Jackson's equally fierce discipline. Contemporary illustrations and artwork depict the rough life on campaign, the uniforms worn by the militia, and how they fought and won crucial battles against Creek forces before inflicting a stunning defeat on the British Army in 1815, opening up the frontier for the new nation.