At the Union Historical Society’s Old Town House on Town House Road on Wednesday, July 6 at 7:30 p.m., author James H. Ellis will talk about the War of 1812, also known as the Second War of Independence, using material from his 2009 book “A Ruinous and Unhappy War: New England and the War of 1812.”

Drawing from period sources such as diaries, journals, logs, letters, government documents and newspapers, Ellis presents tales of ordinary New Englanders caught up in an unwanted conflict. When the American declaration of war tweaked the tail of the British lion, a British blockade of the Atlantic seaboard was put in place, causing great suffering to New England. Nevertheless, and in spite of the strong anti-war opposition of many, the support of New England to the war effort was significant and critical. Copies of Ellis’ book will be available for purchase at the meeting.

Ellis, of West Barnstable, Mass., says that he followed the advice of E.B. White, and spent “the first 40 years of his life doing something else” before turning to writing. Ellis served in the Air Force during the Korean War, and graduated from the Honors College, Michigan State University. He headed the Crime Analysis Unit of the St. Louis Police Department, worked as a senior researcher for good government organizations in Hartford and Boston and headed the Planning Bureau of the Massachusetts State Police. He also worked in management positions with the U.S. Justice, Treasury and Labor departments, and was appointed a New England regional director of the Department of the Interior. His career helped develop his research skills as well as a deep appreciation of the history and lore of New England, themes that run through his writing.

After the meeting refreshments will be served by hostesses Bonnie Packard and Kali and Emma Mitchell. All meetings of Union Historical Society are free and open to the public. Union Historical Society owns and maintains the Robbins House on Union Common, the Cobb’s Ledge historic site on Town House Road, and the Old Town House, also located on Town House Road and available to rent for functions. Membership is $5 per year. For more information, call 785-5444 and leave a message, or visit>