During the first siege of Fort Meigs, as reinforcements from Kentucky arrived in the area they were ordered to attack British batteries across from Fort Meigs. Their objective was to spike the cannons, and then proceed to the fort. However, after accomplishing this task, the new recruits refused to pay heed to the orders and continued with the attack.
They were drawn into an ambush where the British and Indians counterattacked. Of the 800 or so in the initial attack on the batteries, only about 200 made it to the safety of Fort Meigs, the rest being killed or captured. The historical marker above (located at the First Presbyterian Church in Maumee, Ohio) states that, "A British gun battery stood on the site in the War of 1812."
The British had constructed Fort Miamis in 1794. So formidable was the garrison, that "Mad" Anthony Wayne did not even make an attempt on it after the Battle of Fallen Timbers. By the time of the War of 1812, the fort had fallen into ruins. Still, what was left of the garrison was used by the British and their Indian allies as a staging area. And it was here that the Kentucky prisoners were removed to after Dudley's Defeat. And what transpired next is why the incident is sometimes referred to as Dudley's Massacre. As Kentuckian Lt. Joseph R. Underwood described it . . .
On our way to the garrison, we were stripped of the principle part of our clothing and valuables. As we neared the garrison at Ft. Miami, the Indians formed a line to the left of the road . . . Here we were obliged to run the gauntlet into the fort, the Indians whipping, shooting and tomahawking their prisoners as they passed. I escaped with the exception of some severe strokes over the back with their ramrods.
. . . Tecumseh was seen coming with all the rapidity his horse could carry him. Drawing near to where two Indians were in the act of killing one of the prisoners, he sprang from his horse, caught one by the throat and the other by the breast and threw them to the ground; drawing his tomahawk and scalping knife, he ran between the Americans and Indians, brandishing them with the fury of a madman, and daring any of the hundreds who surrounded him to attempt to murder another prisoner.Asking the British commander Maj. Gen. Henry Procter why he had not prevented the massacre, Procter responded that he could not control them. Tecumseh's response was on par with the famous N.B. Forrest quote,"if you were any part of a man, I would slap your jaws and force you to resent it." Tecumseh scolded Procter, "Begone! You are unfit to command; go and put on petticoats."
Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry . . . a copy of one created for the city of Cleveland in 1860.
Erected 1934. These cannon are from the frigate USS Consitution and were brought here by patriotic citizens of Perrysburg. They are dedicated to the memory of Commodore Perry who drove the enemy off Lake Erie.Fort Meigs, Perrysburg, Ohio. Rebuilt on its original location, Ft. Meigs is the largest wooden walled fortification in North America. The monument at Ft. Meigs was erected in 1908 by the Grand Army of the Republic.
Ft. Meigs and the War of 1812 in general. Even if your interest level is somewhat less than ours, I daresay this would be a worthwhile stop if you happen to be in the Toledo area.
A 5.5 inch howitzer . . .
Fort Stephenson . . . Fremont, Ohio. After the two failed attempts to take Ft. Meigs, British commander Henry Procter switched his attention to the supply base of Fort Stephenson. Not wanting to lay siege as he did at Ft. Meigs, Procter ordered a frontal assault by his infantry.
However, the commander of the fort, Kentuckian George Croghan, realized his men could withstand the attack. Earlier, Harrison had ordered Croghan to withdraw to another supply base to which Croghan replied, "We have determined to maintain this place, and, by heavens, we can." With the assistance of the above 18th-century French 6-pounder naval cannon named "Old Betsy," Croghan's men not only weathered the attack, but actually repelled the British who sustained high casualties.