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Anthony McParland
Fictional Character
Trail of Glory
POD: March 27, 1814
Appearance(s): 1812: The Rivers of War
1824: The Arkansas War
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: Confederacy of the Arkansas (born in the United States)
Date of Birth: 1797
Occupation: Soldier

Anthony McParland (b. 1797) was an American-born soldier and politician. He was a former subordinate and close associate of Patrick Driscol, and with time, played an important role in the Arkansas Chiefdom and the Confederacy of the Arkansas generally.

The War of 1812[]

Meeting Patrick Driscol[]

McParland was from an Irish immigrant farming family in Dansville. He joined the United States Army during the War of 1812. In 1814, he was part of the Army of the Niagara. In June, just two weeks after turning seventeen, the homesick McParland attempted to desert, along with five other men. The normal penalty for desertion was death, and if McParland's sergeant, Patrick Driscol, had had his way, McParland would have been executed.

However, the Army of Niagara's commanding officer, Brigadier Winfield Scott, thought McParland could be salvaged. McParland and four other deserters were led out blindfolded to an isolated spot. The firing squad discharged their muskets, but McParland was not killed along with the others. Driscol, disgusted with the sobbing McParland, informed McParland that he'd been spared. That night, Driscol further confirmed that Scott had ordered Driscol to oversee McParland's training going forward.

Battle of Chippewa[]

McParland acquitted himself well during the subsequent Battle of Chippewa on July 5, 1814. During the battle, he rendered aid to Driscol, who'd received a musket ball to the left arm. Driscol's arm was amputated in short order. When Scott transferred Driscol to Washington for further care. McParland offered to take Driscol to his family's farm to allow the sergeant recuperate before making the final journey.

McParland was honest as to how he met Driscol. While both of his parents were initially upset, Driscol informed them how well McParland had done at Chippewa, and that McParland had not deserted out of cowardice.

The Road to Washington[]

On August 24, 1814, Driscol and McParland was residing in a Baltimore boarding house owned by a Mrs. Young. When Driscol learned that General William Winder would be in overall command of the defense of Washington from the invading British, he immediately concluded that the incompetent Winder would let the capital fall.

Initially content to stay put in Baltimore, Driscol decided help defend Washington after Dr. Jeremy Boulder arrived in the boarding house. Fearful of the treatments he'd be subject to, Driscol claimed he and McParland had been called Washington. They immediately fled, and were able to commandeer a wagon driven by freedman Henry Crowell, and made their way to Washington. Half-way there, they collected a group of militiamen led by Corporal John Pendleton. Pendleton's men were part of General Tobias Stansbury's Fifth Regiment, but had been unable to find the Fifth Regiment. Driscol immediately ordered them as an escort, formally making them part of Scott's First Brigade, which heartened the militia.

When they reached Washington, they found it a ghost town. Driscol was able to learn that the Battle of Bladensburg had already taken place, that the Americans under Winder had been routed, and that the British were marching on the city. Driscol took his ragtag group to the executive mansion. Here they met Sam Houston and his group, also recently arrived. Houston and Driscol decided to fortify the Capitol

Battle of the Mississippi[]

McParland acquitted himself well during what became the Battle of the Capitol. He was promoted, and joined Houston and Driscol's expedition to Louisiana. As part of Driscol's Iron Battalion, he fought at the Battle of the Mississippi. He was tasked with lighting a flare on the early morning of January 8, 1815, which notified Houston of approaching British forces.[1]

Literary Comment[]

The incident involving a young deserter spared execution is historical. However, that young deserters name is unrecorded.