The War of 1812, which pitted the fledgling United States against Great Britain, greatly impacted Kentucky. Approximately sixty percent of the war's total casualties were Kentuckians, meaning that the Bluegrass State suffered more casualties than all other states combined. Furthermore, nearly 25,000 Kentuckians--about one in six--had some type of military service during the war, which impacted the Kentucky home front.
The War of 1812 was a political proving ground for many of the state's future political leaders, and military experience helped multiple governors, legislators, and other leaders attain higher office. As the war was the first major event after Kentucky achieved statehood, the conflict coalesced Kentucky's identity and placed a national focus on Kentuckians, who were influential soldiers and political leaders during the conflict.
Today, more than thirty Kentucky counties are named after War of 1812 veterans and casualties. Through "Explore Kentucky History," you can experience how the people and places of Kentucky were affected by the conflict that has been called "America’s Second Revolution."
The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) is the administrator of the Kentucky War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission. This KHS curated tour takes information from many of our War of 1812 related historical markers, adds artifacts and items from our digital collections and combines them to paint a more complete picture of the War of 1812 in our Commonwealth.