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Greensburg Riflemen volunteered for service in War of 1812
There were several companies formed here a few years before the war, when trouble was brewing and war clouds were overhanging America. The most prominent one of these companies was a rifle company in Greensburg, of which John B. Alexander was the leading spirit as well as the captain. This company was organized by authority of Thomas McKean, governor of Pennsylvania, in 1807, and was enlisted for four years. In 1811 their time had expired, and another commission was issued by Governor Simon Snyder, authorizing Alexander to raise another company. The second was largely composed of re-enlistments from the first. Alexander himself had been brought up in the military town of Carlisle, where from long before the Revolution the -government had continuously kept a barracks. He had therefore from boyhood imbibed a martial spirit. In four years he had drilled his company most completely, so that when the war at last came he had ready for the field a company of thoroughly drilled men. Alexander himself was a lawyer of high standing at the Westmoreland bar. Some have thought proper to write him as the ablest lawyer who has yet practiced regularly before the Westmoreland courts. Being only about eight years at the bar before the war of 1812, his great prominence as a lawyer was achieved mostly after its close.
On June 6, 1812, in conformity with a resolution passed by the company, Alexander tendered his company of riflemen to William Eustis, Secretary of War under President 'Madison. In this letter he says the company consists of one captain, two lieutenants, four sergeants, two corporals, two musicians and forty-five rank and filemen. He further says they are all uniformed and equipped for service except that their rifles were of various lengths, weight and calibre, such as are in general use in the country, and suggests that uniform ones be furnished them. This letter is endorsed as "Sent copy to Sec'y, enclosed to Wm. Findley. Esq."
Text from History of Westmoreland County, Vol. 1. Chap. 17 - The Westmoreland Soldiers in the War of 1812.