In the earliest days of the War of 1812, New Jersey Governor, Joseph Bloomfield, resigned his office to accept a commission as Brigadier General in command of the 3rd Military District. Though nearly 60 at the time, Bloomfield organized and trained new troops near New York City, then marched a column of 8,000 to the scene of action at Plattsburg, N.Y. Later in the war, he was instrumental in the defense of Philadelphia.
For Zebulon Pike the war was an opportunity to repair his somewhat tarnished reputation. As a hero for his role in leading an exploring expedition into the West in 1805-1807, Pike had been accused of complicity in Aaron Burr's treasonous scheme for a Southwest empire. Formally exonerated, he was promoted to Brigadier General early in 1813 and assigned to the northern theater. Charged with leading American forces in the assault on York (now Toronto) in April, 1813, Pike organized an effective campaign that resulted in a major victory. During the assault of April 27th, however, he was killed in an explosion of the enemy's powder magazine.