This was the last day of this War of 1812 trip, but we crammed so much into it that we are splitting it up into two entries. This entry will focus on the battles of Longwoods and Thames. The final entry will deal with Canadian sites near Detroit. Lastly, in the next week or two, there will be a couple of entries for sites we saw on the trip that did not pertain to the War of 1812 (I had to make a few concessions to appease Dr. J).
A combined force of 240 British troops were joined with 28 native Indians. On March 4, at about 5:00pm Captain Basden led a frontal assault against the American forces, who had meanwhile established a defensive position at the top of a steep hill. The Americans had a force of only about 160 men, but decimated the British forces with unrelenting fire as they attempted the steep climb with minimal coverage. After less than two hours fighting the British retreated and returned to Delaware, having suffered 14 killed and fifty-two wounded. The American troops suffered only 7 wounded, but retreated back to Detroit expecting another attack from the Britishtyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyfvvvvvvvvcv*Ignore that last bit, the cat decided to weigh in on the subject and I am not sure her contribution adds to the discussion.
The plaque on the cenotaph reads, "Here was fought the Battle of the Longwoods, 4th March, 1814. United States troops were entrenched on this hill. The British losses were Captain D. Johnson and Lieutenant P. Graeme and twelve men of the Royal Scots Light Company and 89th Light Company killed, fifty-two officers and men of these companies and of the Loyal Kent Volunteers, wounded."
link for the informative text of the "new" monument (it was installed in June, 2013, but the dedication will be on the 200th anniversary of the battle this March, 4). The ravine is behind the monument in the treeline.
Battle of the Thames, also known as the Battle of Moraviantown, October 5, 1813. "Remember the River Raisin!" was the battle cry of the Kentuckians seeking retribution for the massacre perpetrated earlier that year. A charge by mounted infantry under the command of Richard Mentor Johnson (later ninth Vice-President in the Van Buren administration) routed British forces. In fact, Harrison reported that all of his casualties were due to the First Americans under the command of Tecumseh. This wasn't one of the better efforts put forth by British soldiers. I daresay, much of the blame is rightly attributed to Major General Henry Procter. By the way, Johnson is an interesting character and worth further investigation, for as he rose to prominence in politics he was very open about his relationship with his common law wife Julia Chinn . . . one of his slaves! Apart from the ethical ramifications of this relationship, imagine the scandal of it all during this time period. The plaque on the Tecumseh monument above reads:
Born in a Shawnee village in what is now Ohio, Tecumseh became in the 1770s co-leader with his brother, the Prophet, of a movement to restore and preserve traditional Indian values. He believed a union of all the western tribes to drive back white settlement to be the one hope for Indian survival and spread this idea the length of the frontier. Seeing the Americans as the immediate threat, he allied himself with the British in 1812, assisted in the capture of Detroit and was killed near here at the Battle of the Thames on 5 October 1813, while retreating with General Proctor from Amherstburg.
Thus Fell Tecumseh by F. Kuron)
mascot for the Midshipmen at the Naval Academy. I suppose this really isn't all that odd given the propensity of our military to honor enemies . . . I am thinking of all of the military installations named after Confederate generals. The trees above are situated in the general area of the attack of the mounted Kentuckians.
plaque reads, "Here stood the village of Fairfield, destroyed by invading American forces following the Battle of the Thames, 5th October, 1813. Its inhabitants, Delaware Indian exiles brought from Ohio to Canada in 1792 by Moravian missionaries, were re-established on the opposite bank of the river after the Peace of 1814."
Following the defeat of the British at the Battle of the Thames on October 5, 1813, American forces controlled the Thames Valley west of Moraviantown. In early December a detachment of 3 officers and 36 men of the American 26th Regiment established a post near here at the house of Thomas McCrae. Before daybreak on December 15, 1813, they were surprised by Lieutenant Henry Medcalf and 32 members from the Norfolk and Middlesex Militia, the Kent Volunteers and the Provincial Dragoons. After a brief resistance the Americans surrendered and were taken prisoner.The house still stands adjacent to the monument.