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The Pig War! pigcuts.gif (3301 bytes)
The Pig War by the National Park Service SJNP   OK, so Rufus may have only supplied his friend, George Pickett, during this obscure but important international incident. He may have also tried to get the commander (who was pig-headed) to be more rational too.   I love the name of the war and the fact that only a pig died   So the war gets it's own page.

Seriously, the 'San Juan Affair' was far too close to a genuine war.  The local military commander appears to have grossly overstepped his authority.  General Harney, commander of the Department of Oregon, was going to assert the US claim to the San Juan Islands (off Vancouver Island, which should not be confused with Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River) without instruction from Washington.  His Anti-British stance caused all kinds of problems.  There is a possibility that the level-headed Ingalls was involved in the negotiations. 

There are two very interesting bits of trivia come out of this war.  One is that the only casualty was the pig.    The other is that it was the 'settlement' or truce was brought about by General Winfield Scott.  The same person that settled the Aroostook War in 1838-1839.   The Webster-Ashburton treaty of 1842 settled the northeast boundary of the state of Maine.

So, the same person was responsible for settling both of these casualty-free wars that defined the northernmost corners of the continental US.

To see if you are paying attention, I have ridden my snowmobile up the north-south line that is the boundary of the Maine and New Brunswick.  There are little Washington Monuments everywhere. It is actually an official trail. (near Grand Falls N.B.)

Civil War Connections at the SJNP With write-up about Ingalls  
Map of the San Juan Islands pdf_b.gif (96 bytes)

Includes the British and American boundaries.  Requires Adobe Acrobat.

 
   
Write up from Britannica.com.  
Article from MilitaryHistory.com  

They should have brought a real pig!.

 

The Aroostook War

 

Article by Elizabeth Gordon

 
4th Infantry in Washington with story of the Pig War as the last portion.  
   
   
   

Rufus Ingalls Home

Updated March 21, 2001 L.R. Davis