It's time to remember that this is the Bicentennial of one of our country's more forgotten wars -- one that produced it's own crop of veterans. The War of 1812 inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner" after soldiers at Fort McHenry in Baltimore raised an American flag to mark a victory over the British on Sept. 14, 1814.
It also inspired Revolutionary War veterans such as Governor Joseph Bloomfield to reactivate their active military status to serve in the War of 1812. Govermor Bloomfield was commissioned a Brigadier General in the U.S. Army in the spring of 1812, but it was in his role as governor that he issued orders that activated N.J. militia companies. He left New Jersey to serve in the Army at the Canadian border until after the end of the war in 1815. Sketchy historical records suggest that there were approximately two dozen Essex County militia companies in Essex County that were activated for this conflict.