Merry Hearts Make Light Days: The War of 1812 Journal of Lieutenant John Le Couteur, 104th Foot by Donald E. GravesMerry Hearts Make Light Days: The War of 1812 Journal of Lieutenant John Le Couteur, 104th Foot by Donald E. Graves

Merry Hearts Make Light Days: The War of 1812 Journal of Lieutenant John Le Couteur, 104th Foot

EditorDonald E. Graves

Paperback | April 15, 2012

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In June 1812, seventeen-year-old John Le Couteur, an officer in a Canadian regiment of the British army, arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to learn that war had broken out between the United States and Great Britain. For the next three years Le Couteur campaigned from Halifax to Fort Erie, and he left an entertaining memoir of his experiences full of tales of storm-tossed voyages, arduous winter marches, battles on land and water, the perils of courtship, Canadian high and low society – and the occasional ghost story – played out against the splendid landscapes of North America.<_o3a_p>

Though young by today’s standards, John Le Couteur was a brave and capable leader respected by the men he commanded, not least because he detested the punishment by flogging so common in the army of his time. Off duty, he was a charming young man who enjoyed a good prank, was a popular guest at parties, loved dancing and fancied himself in love with almost every pretty girl he met. Engagingly soft-hearted, he recalls how he nursed back to health a sick and wounded kitten. <_o3a_p>

His journal includes the epic fifty-day overland march he and his regiment made from New Brunswick to Kingston, Ontario, in the dead of winter, when reinforcements were direly needed in Upper Canada. When news arrived in 1814 that the war was over, he and his fellow officers entertained their American counterparts to dinner, and later Le Couteur travelled through New York State on his way back to England, recording his memorable impressions of his trip down the Hudson Valley.<_o3a_p>

A man of the Regency period (a time of public manners and private passions), Le Couteur recounts his true-life adventures with drama and action, laughter and love in an easy style that reads more like a novel than a historical memoir. Not only do many recent books on the War of 1812 quote his colourful journal, but Johnny himself appeared as a major character in the recent television documentary on “The War of 1812.”<_o3a_p>

Donald E. Graves, one of Canada's best known military historians, is the author, co-author or editor of 18 full-length books dealing primarily with the War of 1812 and the Second World War. His detailed studies on the battles of Lundy's Lane (Where Right and Glory Lead!) and Crysler's Farm (Field of Glory) are classics of musket-period...
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Title:Merry Hearts Make Light Days: The War of 1812 Journal of Lieutenant John Le Couteur, 104th FootFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:April 15, 2012Publisher:Robin Brass StudioLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1896941664

ISBN - 13:9781896941660

Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“… the most valuable book on the War of 1812 to surface in years. A young and gallant officer who did his duty, and a little more, but remained high-hearted throughout, speaks … in words … as exciting as the deeds they describe.” Colonel John Elting, author of Amateurs to Arms: A Military History of the War of 1812In an article in the Wall Street Journal, Alan Taylor, author of The Civil War of 1812, named Merry Hearts Make Light Days one of the five best books on the War of 1812: “Superbly edited by a leading Canadian military historian, this journal introduces readers to the good company of a British officer, Lt. John Le Couteur, a humane and gregarious man caught up in the miseries of war.’