In 1995 Gwen Hubbard posted a helpful calendar/chart which helps researchers figure out which war an ancestor may have fought in. I'm reproducing the chart here for your information.
Occasionally you may find an ancestor who lied about his age who doesn't fit exactly into the dates, but that's the exception rather than the rule.
Other helpful calendars or dated charts links may be found at www.cyndislist.
com/calendar.htm. Here you will find general (calendar) resource sites, Chinese and French Republic calendars, perpetual and religious calendars, and the aforementioned birthdate calendars and calculators.
If you find that an ancestor fought in one of the lesser- known wars, here's where you can find out more about them.
Bacon's Rebellion. A brief, three-month clash between the Governor of Virginia, Sir William Berkeley, and his young cousin by marriage, Nathaniel Bacon, Jr. See www.nps.gov/colo/Jthanout/
BacRebel.html for the details.
Pontiac's Rebellion. A three-year revolt by Native Americans against British rule. It is named after one of its major leaders, Chief Pontiac, and was underway from 1763 to 1766. See http://en.wiki
pedia.org/wiki/Pontiac's Rebellion for more info.
War of 1812. Sam Allis of The Boston Globe says to "Rank it [the War of 1812] somewhere slightly above the Missouri Compromise in our national consciousness." Actually it was our second war of independence. Read more about it at www.boston.
Black Hawk War. Under the leadership of Black Hawk, Sac and Fox Indians left the Iowa territory in May of 1832 and returned to their homes across the Mississippi River in northern Illinois. Illinois Governor Reynolds quickly called up the militia, which included a young Abraham Lincoln, responding to widespread panic among white settlers. Read more at the http://
Mexican War. Often confused with the Texas Revolution (1835-1836), the U.S.-Mexican War was fought to allow the citizens of the Republic of Texas to join the U.S., which the government of Mexico was very much against. See www.dmwv.org/mexwar/ for additional details.
Spanish-American War. Urged to protect the significant business and land interests of U.S. citizens in Cuba, Congress passed a joint resolution on April 19, 1898, proclaiming Cuba "free and independent."
When President McKinley signed it, the resolution effectively amounted to a declaration of war. Remembered primarily for Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders, the "Remember the Maine" slogan, and the institution of "yellow journalism," the actual issues of this war are much less well known. You can become more educated on the Spanish-American War at www.zpub.
To end this column on a less somber note, here's an amusing obituary:
With all the sadness and trauma going on in the world at the moment, it is worth reflecting on the death of a very important person that almost went unnoticed last week. Larry La Prise, the man who wrote "The Hokey Pokey," died peacefully at age 93.
The most traumatic part for his family was getting him into the coffin. They put his left leg in. And then the trouble started. . . .