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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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George Izard

 A Stan Klos Biography

IZARD, George, soldier, born in London, England, 21 October, 1776; died in Little Rock, Arkansas, 22 October, 1828. He was a son of Ralph Izard (vol. iii, p. 372). He came to this country, and, after residing with his family in Charleston, graduated at the College of Philadelphia (now University of Pennsylvania) in 1792, was sent by his father to a military school near London and then to one at Marburg in Hesse-Cassel. Subsequently, through the agency of James Monroe, he spent two years in the French government school for engineers of the army at Metz. While there he was commissioned lieutenant in the United States corps of artillerists and engineers.

 

 Returning, he was ordered to Charleston as engineer of Fort Pinckney, then served as aide-de-camp to Alexander Hamilton during the threat of the French war, and was then allowed to accept the place of secretary of legation at Lisbon. In 1803 he resigned from the army on account of the secretary's having assigned him to the artillery instead of the engineers in the reduction of the army under Jefferson. Early in 1812 he was appointed colonel of the 2nd artillery, and commanded the Department of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware.

 

In February, 1813, he commanded District No. 3, with New York as headquarters, and was promoted brigadier-general. In August of that year, the English fleet having left the vicinity of New York, he was ordered to command one of the brigades under General Wade Hampton, holding the line of Chateaugay River near Lake Champlain. In Hampton's defeat of 26 October he handled his brigade with ability, and conducted the retreat in an orderly manner.

 

He was promoted major-general in March, 1814, and on 4 May took command of the division of the right with headquarters at Plattsburgh. There he found only 2,000 badly-equipped and half-disciplined men, which number was increased by August to 7,000 all raw recruits. Izard was unremitting in their instruction and active in fortifying the post. He constructed Fort Izard, July 1814, on Cumberland Head, a peninsula northeast of Plattsburgh in Lake Champlain. It was a heavy battery position containing 4 - 18 pounders with a redoubt to the rear. The fort was occupied for a few weeks, but not used, and vacated for defenses constructed at Plattsburgh.  The arrivals on the British side in the mean time amounted to more than 30,000 men, all regulars, and mainly Wellington's veterans.

 

Late in August he was ordered to Sackett's Harbor and Niagara with 4,000 men, leaving Plattsburgh in condition successfully to resist Prevost's attack. After an arduous march of 400 miles over bad roads he marshalled his troops, with those of General Jacob Brown, on the Canada side of Niagara River, and found the British general, Drummond, intrenched behind Chippewa River. His carefully considered opinion was that he outnumbered the enemy but by a few hundred men.

He offered battle in the open, but it was declined, and, being deficient in artillery, and winter weather being at hand, he decided not to attempt to turn Drummond's position. His entire evacuation of the peninsula, including the destruction of Fort Erie, which followed, was approved by the president and secretary of war.

 

General Izard was the only officer of the war of 1812 who had been completely educated in the schools. The war was undertaken without an adequate military establishment, and when, after repeated disasters, an officer with a complete education and good record was placed in command, he was paralyzed in his efforts by the overwhelming odds against him.

 

Izard's military judgment seems to have been correct, and in reading the severe strictures against him by Ingersoll and Armstrong, not only the conditions surrounding him should be taken into account, but the competency of his judges as military critics should also be considered. General Izard resigned from the army in January, 1815, and was appointed governor of Arkansas in 1825.

 

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia by John Looby, Copyright © 2001 StanKlos.comTM

IZARD, George, soldier, born in London, England, 21 October, 1776 ; died in Little Rock, Arkansas, 22 October, 1828. He was a son of Ralph Izard (vol. iii., p. 372). He came to this country, and, after residing with his family in Charleston, graduated at the College of Philadelphia (now University of Pennsylvania) in 1792, was sent by his father to a military school near London and then to one at Marburg in Hesse-Cassel. Subsequently, through the agency of James Monroe, he spent two years in the French government school for engineers of the army at Metz. While there he was commissioned lieutenant in the United States corps of artillerists and engineers. Returning, he was ordered to Charleston as engineer of Fort Pinckney, then served as aide-de-camp to Alexander Hamilton during the threat of the French war, and was then allowed to accept the place of secretary of legation at Lisbon. In 1803 he resigned from the army on account of the secretary's having assigned him to the artillery instead of the engineers in the reduction of the army under Jefferson. Early in 1812 he was appointed colonel of the 2d artillery, and commanded the Department of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware. In February, 1813, he commanded District No. 3, with New York as headquarters, and was promoted brigadier-general. In August of that year, the English fleet having left the vicinity of New York, he was ordered to command one of the brigades under General Wade Hampton, holding the line of Chateaugay river near Lake Champlain. In Hampton's defeat of 26 October he handled his brigade with ability, and conducted the retreat in an orderly manner. He was promoted major-general in March, 1814, and on 4 May took command of the division of the right with headquarters at Plattsburg. There he found only 2,000 badly-equipped and half-disciplined men, which number was increased by August to 7,000 all raw recruits. Izard was unremitting in their instruction and active in fortifying the post. The arrivals on the British side in the mean time amounted to more than 30,000 men, all regulars, and mainly Wellington's veterans Late in August he was ordered to Sackett's Harbor and Niagara with 4,000 men, leaving Plattsburg in condition successfully to resist Prevost's attack. After an arduous marchof400miles over bad roads he marshalled his troops, with those of General Jacob 1 town, on the Canada side of Niagara river, and found the British general, Drummond, intrenched behind Chippewa river. His carefully considered opinion was that he outnumbered the enemy but by a few hundred men. He offered battle in the open, but it was declined, and, being deficient in artillery, and winter weather being at hand, he decided not to attempt to turn Drummond's position. His entire evacuation of the peninsula., including the destruction of Fort Erie, which followed, was approved by the president and secretary of war. General Izard was the only officer of the war of 1812 who had been completely educated in the schools. Tile war was undertaken without an adequate military establishment, and when, after repeated disasters, an officer with a complete education and good record was placed in command, he was paralyzed in his efforts by the overwhelming odds against him. Izard's military judgment seems to have been correct, and in reading the severe strictures against him by Ingersoll and Armstrong, not only the conditions surrounding him should be taken into account, but the competency of his judges as military critics should also be considered. General Izard resigned from the army in January, 1815, and was appointed governor of Arkansas in 1825.

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM

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