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Setting The Stage
The War Of 1812

The Battles
at Frenchtown

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Lacroixs Company
1812 History

Lacroix's Company
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Artillery and Weapons
of the River Raisin Battle

River Raisin Battlefield
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BATTLEFIELD BIOGRAPHIES
(Participants at the Battle of the River Raisin)
by Ralph Naveaux 

River Raisin Battlefield - Remember the Raisin

SELECTED AMERICAN LEADERS

Allen ATHERTON BALLARD BOWER
CHARLAND COUTURE DUDLEY DUROCHER
EDMONSON GARRARD GRAVES HARRISON
HART HICKMAN Hull KNAGGS
LACROIX LEBEAU LEWIS MADISON
McCALLA McCLENAHAN McCRACKEN MEADE
NAVARRE PRICE SIMPSON TODD
MONROE WELLS WINCHESTER WOOLFOLK
 

SELECTED BRITISH & INDIAN LEADERS

BABY BLACK HAWK BLUE JACKET BRANDY
BROCK BROWN CALDWELL ELLIOTT
FAULKNER IRVINE KITSON LUMPEY
MOCKLER OTUSSA PROCTER REYNOLDS
RICHARDSON ROLETTE ROUNDHEAD ST. GEORGE
SPLIT LOG TALLON TECUMSEH TROUGHTEN
WALK-IN-THE-WATER WAINDAWGAY    

 

SELECTED AMERICAN LEADERS

ALLEN:
Lt. Col. John Allen was born in Virginia in 1771 and was eight years old when his family moved to Kentucky.  As an adult, he became a lawyer and politician.  Allen lost the race for governor of Kentucky in 1808, but was elected to the U.S. Congress.

At the start of hostilities in 1812, Allen raised and commanded Kentucky’s 1st Rifle Regiment.  He led the American right wing at the Battle of French Town on January 18, 1813, and was in charge of the American center, which was ordered to bolster the retreating right wing on the 22nd.  Allen was killed during the retreat, becoming the senior American officer to die at the Battle of the River Raisin.  Allen County, Kentucky, was named in his honor.

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ATHERTON:
William Atherton was a private in Captain John Simpson’s company of the 1st Rifle Regiment.  He wrote a book about his service entitled a Narrative of the Suffering and Defeat of the North-Western Army under General Winchester.

The work chronicled the march of the Kentuckians, the Battle of the River Raisin, and the 16 months Atherton spent as a captive of the Indians and the British.  During this time, he came to respect Native Americans but could not accept their life style.  As he wrote, “They are a brave, generous, hospitable, kind, and among themselves, an honest people; and when they intend to save the life of a prisoner they will do it, if it should be at the risk of their own.  But after all this is said, no one can form any adequate idea of what a man must suffer, who spends a winter with them in the snows of Michigan.”

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BALLARD:
Captain Bland Williams Ballard was born in Virginia in 1759 and came to Kentucky in 1779 with his father, who was killed by the Indians in the Ballard Massacre of 1788.  He saw service against the Indians under Colonel Bowman in 1779 and with George Rogers Clark in 1780, when he was wounded seriously in the hip in the expedition against the Piqua Towns.  He served again with General Clark in 1782 and 1786 and was with Mad Anthony Wayne at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794.

In 1812, he joined Allen’s 1st Rifle Regiment and led the advance guard at the assault on French Town on January 18, 1813, where he was wounded slightly.  He was wounded once again by a spent bullet on January 22, but made the march to Amherstburg and then on to Fort George with the able bodied prisoners.

Although uneducated, Ballard became a popular figure in Kentucky after the war, telling tales of fighting Indians and of his adventures in the wilderness.  He was elected to the state legislature from Shelby County, where he resided until his death in 1853 at the age of 95.  At that time a county was named for him.  Of the nine Kentucky counties created to honor participants of the Battle of the River Raisin, Ballard County is the only one named after a survivor.

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BOWER:
Dr. Gustavus Miller Bower was born in Virginia in 1790 and studied in Philadelphia before moving to Kentucky to practice medicine.  In 1812, he was commissioned as a surgeon’s mate in the 5th Kentucky Volunteer Regiment.

Bower wrote a short account of his trials in caring for the wounded after the Battle of the River Raisin.  He was taken away by the Indians, but ransomed at Detroit.

When the war ended, he moved to Frankfort Kentucky, but about 1832, he moved to Monroe County, Missouri, where he combined medicine with agricultural pursuits.  He was elected to the 28th Congress in 1845 and finally retired to Paris, Missouri, where he died in 1864.

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CHARLAND:
Ambrose Charland was born in Quebec and migrated to the River Raisin Country where he married Angelique Martin in 1810. 

In 1812, Lt. Charland commanded the garrison of a small stockade at the Widow Robidoux’s farm on Otter Creek until Hull’s surrender that August.  When Lewis’ detachment arrived to liberate French Town on January 18, 1813, Charland organized a group of local militiamen to assist in the assault.  He was captured by Indians on the 22nd, but soon released.

His wife, Angelique hid a Kentuckian fleeing the Indians during the Battle of the River Raisin on January 22, and helped him escape.  The family became refugees and fled to Detroit where they were forced to beg for food.

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COUTURE:
Captain Jean-Baptiste Couture’s home was used as shelter for U.S. troops during the Battle of the River Raisin on January 22, 1813.  When the right wing gave way, he and his son, Medard, rushed out to assist them, but were driven across the river.  Captain Couture was killed near the home of Joseph Robert, and his son carried the body back to their property to hide it from the Indians.

Medard Couture stayed to help the American wounded and was nearly killed himself on January 23, but Waugon, an Ottawa who knew the family, saved him by throwing a blanket over him and proclaiming to his warriors, “Take care of him…  His father lies dead in the yard, and I am now his father.”

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DUDLEY:
The Reverend Thomas Parker Dudley was a private in Captain Paschal Hickman’s company of the 1st Rifle Regiment.  He was wounded in the Battle of the River Raisin on January 22, 1813, and survived the massacre of the Kentucky wounded the following day.  Many years later, he wrote an account of his experiences, which he entitled “The Battle and Massacre at French town, Michigan, January, 1813.”

On January 23, the Indians took him to Detroit, where he was ransomed by Captain Muir of the British 41st Regiment for a broken down packhorse and a keg of whisky. 

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DUROCHER:
Laurent Durocher was born in Ste Geneviève, Missouri, in 1786 and was educated in Montreal. He settled in French Town in 1805 and served in the Michigan militia under General Hull until the army surrendered in 1812.  Durocher was an eye-witness and wrote a description of the Battle of the River Raisin.  He was among those local residents who tried to warn General Winchester that the redcoats were coming, but to no avail.

The bulk of his career came after the war as he held the positions of Monroe County clerk, circuit court clerk, probate judge, Justice of the Peace, and Monroe City clerk at various times.  Durocher also served in Michigan’s territorial legislature, the first state constitutional convention, and the state legislature.  He died in 1861.

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EDMONSON:
Captain John Montgomery Edmiston (Edmondson, Edmonson) was born in Virginia in 1764.  He fought alongside his father at the Battle of King’s Mountain during the Revolutionary War.  After marrying his cousin and serving as a Clerk of the Court at Abingdon, Virginia, he relocated to Fayette County, Kentucky, where he became a prosperous landowner.

In 1812, he organized a company for Allen’s 1st Rifle Regiment and was elected its captain, but resigned in favor of his lieutenant, Richard Bledsoe.  Continuing as a private in the company he formerly commanded, he was killed at the Battle of the River Raisin on January 22, 1813.  A county in Kentucky was named after him in 1825.

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GARRARD:
Major James Garrard was born in Virginia in 1773 and brought to Bourbon County, Kentucky at the age of ten by his father, Governor James Garrard.  He became a prosperous farmer and served in the militia and the legislature.

Garrard was commissioned as Brigade Inspector of the 2nd Brigade of the Raisin Force.  On January 22, he commanded the eastern section of the northern fence line at French Town until the surrender of the American army.

After his release from British captivity, Garrard returned to Fairfield, his Bourbon County plantation, where he pioneered in breeding livestock.  He died in 1838.

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GRAVES:
Major Benjamin Franklin Graves was born in Virginia in 1771 and came to Fayette County, Kentucky, with his family in 1791.  Essentially a farmer, Graves did get elected to represent his county in the lower house of the Kentucky General Assembly.

As a major in the 2nd Battalion of the 5th Kentucky Volunteer Regiment, Graves commanded the western wall of the American position behind the French Town fences on January 22, 1813.  He was wounded while passing out ammunition to his men and was left behind with other American wounded after the battle ended.  His youngest brother, Thomas, was killed during the battle.

On January 23, Graves was taken away by some Potawatomies and was reported to have been seen in a sleigh near the River Rouge a couple days later.  Timothy Mallory and Sam Gano saw him in captivity before they made their own escape.  No further knowledge of his fate has ever come to light.  Graves County, Kentucky, was named in his memory.

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HARRISON:
Major General William Henry Harrison was born in Virginia in 1773.  He gained valuable experience as an aid to General Wayne in the Fallen Timbers campaign and was among the signers of the Treaty of Greenville in 1795 and later served as secretary of the Northwest Territory and its delegate to Congress.  By the age of 27, he had become governor of Indiana Territory and was busily signing treaties to extinguish the Native claim to their lands, which brought him into conflict with Tecumseh.  Harrison defeated Tenskwatawa, Tecumseh’s brother, at Tippecanoe in 1811 and destroyed the Prophet’s village.

Harrison was promoted above Brigadier General Winchester to command of the Northwestern Theater shortly after the War of 1812 began.  After Winchester’s defeat at the River Raisin, Harrison built Fort Meigs and strengthened the defenses of Ohio.  After Perry’s victory over the British fleet on Lake Erie, Harrison invaded Canada.  At the Battle of the Thames, in October of 1813, he defeated the main British & Indian force in the West under Procter and Tecumseh.  Tecumseh died in the battle.

Harrison resigned in 1814 in a dispute with the John Armstrong, the Secretary of War.  His popularity led him to continue in politics after the war.  He was elected President of the United States in 1840, but died of an illness a few months after his inauguration.

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HART:
Captain Nathaniel Gray Smith Hart was born in Maryland in 1785, but his family moved to Lexington, Kentucky in 1794.  He continued his father’s rope business after the latter’s death and became wealthy and politically well connected with Henry Clay, who married his sister.

Hart was appointed Deputy Inspector of the Left Wing of the Northwestern Army, and was therefore not technically in command of his company when he was wounded during the Battle of the River Raisin.  On January 23, 1813, he was killed by the Indians while being transported to Detroit.  Hart County in Kentucky was named after him.

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HICKMAN:
Captain Paschal Hickman was the son of a well-known reverend who settled in Franklin County, Kentucky in 1784.  He served in several Indian campaigns and was a scout for General Wayne in 1794.  He also managed to acquire almost 6,000 acres scattered over several counties, along with about $10,000 worth of personal property and slaves.  Considered a popular and handsome man, he was 6’2” tall and weighed 220 pounds.  Hickman was the Franklin County Jailor when he recruited a company for Allen’s 1st Rifle Regiment in 1812.

Hickman was badly wounded in the Battle of French Town on January 18, 1813, and was considered hors de combat for the Battle of the River Raisin on January 22.  He was among the wounded tomahawked to death on January 23. 

Hickman County, Kentucky, was created and named in his honor in 1821.

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HULL:
William Hull was born on June 24, 1753, graduated from Yale College, and gained extensive military experience in the Revolutionary War, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. In 1805, President Jefferson appointed him governor of the Michigan Territory.

At the start of the War of 1812, Hull called for a large land and naval force to defend Detroit.  He was made a brigadier general and given command the North West Army, consisting of 3 Ohio militia regiments and the 4th U.S. Infantry.  Hull built a road through the Black Swamp to bring his 2,000-man army to Detroit.  From there, he launched an invasion of Canada, but failed to capture the British base at Fort Malden in Amherstburg.  Hull eventually pulled his forces back to Detroit, where he found himself cut off by British, Canadian, and allied Indian nations under General Isaac Brock and Tecumseh.  Unsuccessful efforts to open a supply line to French Town on the River Raisin resulted in battles at Brownstown and Monguagon.  On August 16, 1812, he surrendered Detroit and the remaining American troops in Michigan Territory.

The Ohio and Michigan militiamen were released on parole, but General Hull and the American regulars were sent to Quebec as prisoners of war.  Upon his release, Hull was court-martialed and sentenced to death, but the sentence was commuted.  He retired to Newton, Massachusetts and died in 1825.

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KNAGGS:
Rachel Knaggs was a widow who ran a fur trading business on the Maumee River and the River Raisin.  Her son-in-law, Colonel John Anderson, commanded the 2nd Michigan Territorial Militia Regiment at the beginning of the War of 1812 but was forced to flee the settlement when the Indians threatened to kill him after the surrender of Detroit.  His wife, Elizabeth Knaggs Anderson, remained to run the family trading business.  When some marauding Indians invaded her home, she stubbornly held her baby and refused to get up off a chest containing the family savings.

The sons of Rachel Knaggs ignored the terms of Hull’s surrender and continued to fight the British.  James Knaggs fled the territory with Isaac Lee’s detachment of Michigan militia and fought at the Battle of Mississinewa.  Whitmore Knaggs accompanied General Winchester and was captured with him at the Battle of the River Raisin on January 22, 1813.  He spent the rest of the war in a Quebec prison.

80-year-old Rachel Knaggs was ordered out of town after the battle and reached Detroit after an arduous journey through the cold.  When asked how she made it, she replied, “My spunk kept me warm!”

She continued in the fur business after the war and died while on a trading expedition to Green Bay.

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LACROIX :
Captain Hubert Lacroix was born in Montreal and came to French Town around 1800.  He was the first man on the River Raisin to volunteer for duty in the War of1812.  The Michigan militia companies between from the River Huron south to the Maumee were organized as the 2nd Regiment, but Lacroix’s volunteers were attached separately to the Michigan Legionary Corps.  At the beginning of the war, detachments from Lacroix’s company worked on Hull’s Road, escorted the mails, and were present at the Battles of Brownstown and Monguagon.  Lacroix was at Detroit and became a prisoner when Hull surrendered.

Lacroix became a prisoner for a second time after the Battle of the River Raisin on January 22, 1813, and was sent to Quebec for the duration of the conflict.  He returned after the war and was appointed Colonel of the militia and became the first sheriff of Monroe County, which was created in 1817.  Lacroix died in 1827 at the age of 48.

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LEBEAU :
René Achan LeBeau was a settler on Sandy Creek about 2 miles north of French Town.  On the night of January 18, as the Battle of French Town faded into darkness, he opened the door to find his son-in-law, Baptiste Soleau, mortally wounded.  A shot rang out, and LeBeau died as well.  The LeBeau children escaped, running barefoot through the snow to French Town.

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LEWIS:
Lt. Col. William Lewis was born in Virginia in 1767 and migrated to Jessamine County, Kentucky.  As a captain, he survived Arthur St. Clair’s 1791 defeat by the Indians in Ohio.  In 1812, he was appointed to command the 5th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry Regiment, which made up part of Winchester’s force.  He led the detachment that drove the British and Indians out of French Town on January 18, 1813.   In the subsequent battle on January 22, Lewis attempted to assist General Winchester in rallying the retreating American right wing, but was captured.  He was imprisoned in Quebec for a year before being exchanged.

After the war, Lewis moved to Arkansas, where he died in 1825.

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MADISON:
Major George Madison was born in Virginia in 1763 and was distantly related to President James Madison.  A Revolutionary War soldier in his teens and veteran of St. Clair’s defeat, where he was seriously wounded while leading his company, Madison rose to the rank of major before retiring to accept the post of Kentucky’s Auditor of Public Accounts.

At the urging of his old Indian fighting buddies, Paschal Hickman and Bland Ballard, Madison became the 2nd battalion major in John Allen’s 1st Rifle Regiment.  At the Battle of the River Raisin, Madison was posted along the eastern half of the northern fence line of French Town.  After the elimination of the higher ranking officers, command of the remaining American force fell on him.  Presented with the captured Winchester’s note advising surrender, Madison negotiated terms with Colonel Procter, including protection of the wounded and restitution of the officers’ personal side arms.

Madison was sent to Quebec before being exchanged and allowed to return home.  In 1816, he was elected governor of Kentucky, but died of tuberculosis shortly after taking office.

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McCALLA:
Captain John Moore McCalla studied law at Transylvania University until the outbreak of the War of 1812, when he was commissioned as Adjutant of the 5th Kentucky Volunteer Regiment.  In letters home, he wrote a vivid account of Winchester’s march and the Battle of French Town on January 18, 1813.  His letters ceased on the eve of the Battle of the River Raisin, where he was taken prisoner on January 22. 

 After the war, McCalla became a lawyer, U.S. Marshal, and Grand Master of the Masonic Lodge in Lexington.  He was appointed Second Auditor of the U.S. Treasury in 1845.  He died in Washington, D.C., in 1873.

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McCLENAHAN:
Major Elijah McClenahan was born in Pennsylvania in 1770 and came to Bourbon County, Kentucky, with his father in 1785.  Trained to fight Indians from his youth, he participated in Harmar’s disastrous expedition in 1790.  A tanner by trade, he also became a justice of the peace and a member of the state legislature after moving to Pendleton County. 

Commissioned major of the 2nd battalion in Scott’s 1st Kentucky Volunteer Regiment, he came up to the River Raisin with the reinforcements sent after the Battle of January 18, 1813.  Due to the departure of Colonel Wells, McClenahan suddenly found himself in command of the battalion of U.S. regulars forming the right wing in the open ground to the east of the French Town fences when the British attacked on January 22.

Assailed by artillery and Canadians in front and by Indians on their flank, the right wing collapsed and fled south in confusion.  Thanks to his horse, Mclenahan was able to outdistance his pursuers, becoming the highest ranking officer and one of just a few dozen Americans to escape the enemy that day.

After the war, he farmed and continued to serve in the legislature until 1826, when he moved to Ohio, and a few years later, to Illinois. 

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McCRACKEN:
Captain Virgil McCracken was from Woodford County, Kentucky, and represented that county in the Kentucky legislature.  In 1812, he raised a company for service in Allen’s 1st Rifle Regiment.

McCracken was in Colonel Allen’s right wing during the attack on French Town on January 18, 1813.  At the Battle of the River Raisin on January 22, McCracken and Glaves led their companies outside the protective fence line to form the center under Colonel Allen and cover the retreat of the McClenahan & the American right wing.  They too were broken and forced to retreat.

Left behind with the wounded after the Battle of the River Raisin, McCracken was carried away by the Indians on January 23, 1813.  On February 10, an Indian brought McCracken’s blood-spattered commission paper in to Sandwich and said that he had killed the captain after finding an Indian scalp hidden in his clothing.

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MEADE:
Captain James Meade was a veteran of Tippecanoe and lived in Fayette County, Kentucky.  In 1812, he received a commission in the 17th U.S. Infantry Regiment under Colonel Wells. 

Stationed in an exposed position on the right flank of the American army at the Battle of the River Raisin on January 22, 1813, the regulars were force to retreat to the river bank.  There, Meade was killed while urging his men to counterattack the enemy.

In 1823, a Kentucky county was designated in his name.

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MONROE:
James Monroe was born in Virginia in 1758, participated in the Revolutionary War, and eventually became a U.S. Senator.  As a protégé of Washington and Jefferson, he served as Ambassador to France, Governor of Virginia, and Minister to England, negotiating such things as the Louisiana Purchase and the Monroe-Pinkney Treaty.

Monroe was Secretary of State at the start of the War of 1812, and also filled in as acting Secretary of War between the resignation of William Eustis and the appointment of John Armstrong.  He again acted as Secretary of War when Armstrong was fired for failing to adequately protect Washington, D.C., from a British invasion force. 

James Monroe was elected President of the United States in 1816 and is most noted for his pronouncement of the Monroe Doctrine, which was aimed against European intervention in the Western Hemisphere.  Monroe County, Michigan, site of French Town and the Battle of the River Raisin, was named after him in 1817.

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NAVARRE:
Lt. Col. Francois Navarre was born in Detroit about 1763 and came to the River Raisin in the 1780’s, where he received lands from the Potawatomies and Ottawas.  Generally considered the founder of the French Town settlement along the River Raisin, Navarre was instrumental in easing the transition from British to American rule in the 1790’s.  With the departure of Colonel John Anderson in the summer of 1812, Navarre was left in nominal command of the local militia, who, by the terms of Hull’s capitulation, were disarmed and placed on parole as prisoners of war.

During the brief liberation of French Town in January of 1813, Navarre acted as the liaison between the local population and the American army.  General Winchester established his headquarters at Navarre’s house, although it was almost a mile away from his main camp.  After the war, Navarre continued to be a prominent civic leader until his death in 1826. 

About 30 members of the extended Navarre family served in the War of 1812.  Most famous as a scout for the American army was Peter Navarre, who resided along the River Raisin, but moved to the Maumee with his family about 1807.

Peter Navarre helped guide the detachment under Lt. Col. Lewis to French Town on January 18, 1813, and participated in the battle to liberate the town from an occupation force of British militia and Indians.  He and his brothers also fought in the Battle of the River Raisin on January 22, escaping through the surrounding Indians just as the Kentuckians were surrendering.  He spent the rest of the war as a courier and scout for General Harrison.  Considered the founder of Toledo (or at least East Toledo), he died in 1874.

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PRICE:
Captain James Price was born in Virginia in 1779.  In 1787, his father moved Jessamine County, Kentucky, where he had received bounty lands for his revolutionary military service.  It is thought Price’s company was ordered out to rescue the wounded and bring in the bodies left behind as the American right wing retreated during the Battle of the River Raisin on January 22, 1813.  They fell into an Indian ambush and the survivors retreated along with General Winchester and his men.  The body of Captain Price was never found or identified.

SIMPSON:
Captain John Simpson came to Lincoln County, Kentucky, from Virginia.  A veteran of the Battle of Fallen Timbers, the 6’7” tall lawyer moved to Shelby County and was elected to the House of Representatives.

Simpson had just been elected U.S. Representative to the 13th Congress when the war broke out and he joined the 1st Rifle Regiment. 

Captain Simpson was apparently killed during the retreat of the American right wing at the Battle of the River Raisin on January 22, 1813.

Simpson County, Kentucky, was formed in 1819.  Simpsonville in Shelby County is also named for him. 

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TODD:
Dr. John Todd was born near Lexington Kentucky in 1787.  He became surgeon of the 5th Kentucky Volunteer Regiment in 1812 and stayed behind to take care of the wounded after the Battle of the River Raisin.

At the British hospital on Stony Creek on January 23, 1813, Todd urged the British to return to French Town to rescue the wounded who were being killed by the Indians, but to no avail.

After the war, Todd practiced medicine in Lexington, then moved to Illinois.  His niece, Mary Todd, would become the wife of Abraham Lincoln.  Dr. John Todd was a Ruling Elder of the 1st Presbyterian Church in Springfield at the time of his death in 1865.

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WELLS:
Samuel Wells was born in Virginia in 1754 and moved to Jefferson County, Kentucky, with his family just before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War.  Both he and his father joined the military, and his father was killed.

Wells was active in politics and the militia, acting as Justice of the Peace, serving in the Kentucky House, and holding high positions in the Kentucky Militia.  He was also a veteran of the Battle of Tippecanoe, where he performed exceptionally well as a major under William Henry Harrison.  At the start of the War of 1812, President Madison bestowed on him the regular army rank of Colonel in command of the 17th U.S. Infantry Regiment.

Colonel Wells was not enthusiastic about Winchester sending a detachment to French Town, considering it too exposed to a counterattack from the British base at Amherstburg.  On the eve of the Battle of the River Raisin, he received permission to leave camp and report to General Harrison on the condition and disposition of Winchester’s troops.

The 17th U.S. Infantry thus fought the battle on January 22, 1813, without their commander.  The result was a total defeat and the elimination of Winchester’s army as a fighting force.  Well’s son, Levi, was killed in the fighting.

 After the war, Wells moved to Missouri where he acquired thousands of acres of farmland and where he died around 1830 or 1835. 

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WINCHESTER:
Born in Maryland in 1752, Brigadier General JamesWinchester started out as a captain in the Revolutionary War and was twice captured by the British.  After the war, he moved to Tennessee to engage in farming, militia service, and politics.

At the beginning of the War of 1812, Winchester was commissioned a brigadier general in the U.S. Army and was ordered to Kentucky to build an army to relieve Detroit.  Unpopular with his troops for being too refined and disciplined, he lost his bid to command the entire Northwestern Army to William Henry Harrison.

In command of Harrison’s Left Wing, Winchester advanced down the Maumee River, arriving at the Rapids in January of 1813, just in time to answer pleas for help from the citizens French Town on the River Raisin, which was being occupied and pillaged by the British & Indians.  Winchester dispatched a force to liberate the settlement on January 18, and personally led reinforcements, only to be overwhelmed by a British & Indian counterattack on January 22.

After a year in captivity, Winchester was exchanged and assigned to a quiet sector near Mobile, Alabama.  In January of 1815, he almost found himself in hot water again, when the British took nearby Fort Bowyer in the final months of the war. 

After the war, he disputed criticism of his military record.  In 1819, he ran the Chickasaw Boundary Line between Tennessee and Mississippi.    After retiring to his plantation at Cragfont, he played an important role in the founding of the city of Memphis.  He died July 26, 1826.

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WOOLFOLK:
Captain John H. Woolfolk’s family moved from Virginia to Woodford County, Kentucky, shortly after the Revolutionary War.  In 1812, General Winchester appointed him to be his personal secretary.

Woolfolk was wounded during the Battle of the River Raisin on January 22, 1813, and was left behind with the wounded.  During the killing of the prisoners on January 23, he offered a thousand dollars to anyone who would take him safely to Detroit.  An Indian escorted him upriver, where he negotiated with some of the settlers to ransom him.  Unfortunately, he was assassinated by other Indians. 

Many of the local inhabitants in later years mistook him for Captain Hart, who was murdered under similar circumstances.  The stories of the demise of the two captains have become somewhat intermingled over the years.

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SELECTED BRITISH & INDIAN LEADERS

BABY:
Francois Baby (Baubie) was born in Detroit in 1768 and belonged to one of the most influential and pro-British families in Upper Canada and was active in politics and the militia.  At the start of the War of 1812, he was assistant quartermaster general for the militia.

During Hull’s invasion of Canada, he made his headquarters at the Baby house in Sandwich.  Baby participated in the battles at Detroit, French Town, and Fort Meigs.  He was with Procter during his retreat from Amherstburg in 1814 and later testified at this court-martial.  In January of 1814, he was captured by an American raiding party, which treated him roughly and almost hanged him as a traitor (since he had been born in Detroit.)  Eventually, however, the British government secured his release.

At end of the war, Baby retained his political and social influence.  During the Patriot Rebellion of 1838, the Baby orchard was again briefly invaded by an American raiding party.  In the 1840’s he ran an inn and ferry service to Detroit.  He died in 1852.

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BLACK HAWK:
Black Hawk (Mkataimeshiekiakiak) was born near Kaskaskia, Illinois, in 1767 and rose to be head of the Sauk and Fox.  He refused to recognize the 1804 Treaty of St. Louis by which the Sauk gave up their lands east of the Mississippi River. During the War of 1812, he joined Tecumseh and the British and fought at the River Raisin, Fort Meigs, Fort Stephenson, possibly the Thames, Prairie du Chien, and the Sink Hole. 

After the war, Black Hawk’s band attempted t remain in Illinois, but were forced to migrate to Iowa to join others of their tribe.  In 1832, Black Hawk led 200 warriors and their families back across the Mississippi, but they were chased down by militia forces (among whose ranks was the young Abraham Lincoln.)  The Black Hawk War was the last major Indian uprising east of the Mississippi River.

He died in Iowa in 1838.

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BLUE JACKET:
Blue Jacket (Weyapiersenwah) was a Shawnee chief who joined Little Turtle of the Miamies in resisting American advances into northwestern Ohio in the 1790’s.  He led the Indians at the Battle of Fallen Timbers after Little Turtle declined to fight against General Wayne’s army.  After his defeat, he signed the Treaty of Greenville in 1795 and the Treaty of Fort Industry in 1805, surrendering the Indian title to millions of acres.  He relocated to the area of Brownstown in Michigan Territory, where he died prior to the War of 1812.

His daughter married Jocko Lasselle, who spied out the American positions at French Town just prior to the Battle of the River Raisin.  Two of his sons fought in the battle on January 22, 1813, and participated in the capture of General Winchester.  Jim Bluejacket took many scalps. George Bluejacket took Lasselle’s warning to Procter and also helped save Whitmore Knaggs from being killed after his capture.

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BRANDY:
Jack Brandy (also known as Te-Zhau-Taah or Samuel Rankin) was born about 1780 and resided in the Wyandot village near Brownstown.  He was respected around Detroit, but had a drinking problem, for which his otherwise loving wife left him.

At the Battle of the River Raisin on January 22, 1813, Brandy led a party of 20 of Roundhead’s band and helped capture General Winchester and Whitmore Knaggs.  On January 22, he saved one of the wounded Kentucky prisoners by dragging him out of a burning house and taking him to Detroit.

Brandy died about 1847.

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BROCK
Isaac Brock was born at Gurnsey in 1796 and rose through the ranks of several British regiments, seeing action in Denmark and Holland.    In 1811, he became Lt. Governor of Upper Canada and commander of all British troops in that colony and worked to rally both Canadians and Indians to the British cause at the start of the War of 1812.

Major General Brock struck first in the West, capturing Detroit in August of 1812 and subjugating Michigan Territory, for which he received a knighthood and lasting fame as the "hero of Upper Canada."  He then turned to the defense of the Niagara Penninsula, but in October, he was killed leading a charge against the American positions at Queenston Heights.

Upon his departure from Detroit, command of the British and Indians on the Northwest Frontier was placed in the hands of Colonel (later General) Henry Procter.

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BROWN:
Adam Brown, Sr., was born in 1742 and was captured as a child by the Wyandots.  He married the daughter of Half-King and was adopted into the Deer Clan about 1755. 

At the Battle of the River Raisin on January 22, 1813, Adam Brown was with Lt. Col. Elliott when he was shot through the body.  He survived the battle and died in 1817.

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CALDWELL:
Captain Billy Caldwell was the son of a Shawnee mother and a loyalist father who had led partisan rangers and Indians in the Revolutionary War, including at defeat of the Ohio militia near Sandusky, where their leader, Col. Crawford was afterward burned at the stake.

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ELLIOTT:
Lt. Col. Matthew Elliott was born in County Donegal, Ireland, around 1739 and migrated to Western Pennsylvania towards the end of the French & Indian War.  He fled the American patriots during the Revolution and became a British Indian agent, settling at Amherstburg.  As Superintendent of the British Indian Department, he directed and supplied Tecumseh and his Native allies during the War of 1812.  Although in his 70’s, he participated in the Detroit Campaign, Muir’s Expedition, the River Raisin Battle, the sieges of Fort Meigs and Fort Stephenson and the Battle of the Thames. 

As a militia officer familiar with wilderness warfare, he often quarreled with the regulars, especially Col. Procter.  Age, illness, and exile from his home finally did him in on May 7, 1814.

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FAULKNER:
William Faulkner was stationed in Amherstburg as Assistant Surgeon for the 41st Regiment from 1810 through early years of the War of 1812.  At the Battle of the River Raisin on January 22, 1813, he established an aid station about 400 yards behind the British lines, where he attended to the British wounded. 

He was with Procter on the retreat from Amherstburg and escaped the capture of most of the 41st Regiment at the Battle of the Thames in October of 1813.  Dogged by poor health, which he blamed on his service in Canada, he left the army in 1816, took up private practice in England, and died in 1823. 

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IRVINE:
Robert Irvine was a lieutenant in the Canadian Provincial Marine in charge of an artillery piece at the Battle of the River Raisin on January 22, 1813.  Although wounded in the heel, he managed to haul an abandoned cannon back within the British lines before it could be captured by the Americans.

In September of 1813, Irvine took over command of the Queen Charlotte when his superiors were knocked out of action during the Battle of Lake Erie. 

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KITSON:
Bombardier Kitson was in charge of the single British artillery piece at the Battle of French Town on January 18, 1813, on which occasion, he received official praise for his handling of the gun during the British retreat.  He was mortally wounded during the Battle of the River Raisin on January 22.

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LUMPEY:
Lumpey (Lump-on-the-Head) was born in 1791, a member of the Deer Clan of Wyandots.  He was living in the Wyandot village near Brownstown when the British impressed him into service early in the War of 1812.

At the Battle of the River Raisin, he was the first to catch up to the fleeing Winchester.  After the war, he became a farmer at Sandusky, where he died in 1842.

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MOCKLER:
Rober Mockler was captain in charge of two small companies of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment who had been detailed to serve as marines aboard the British ships stationed at Amherstburg.  They were assigned as the artillery escort for the campaign against French Town, where they seem to have been concentrated against the center and right flank of the American positions.

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OTUSSA:
A descendant of Pontiac, Otussa was born in 1768 and resided at Presqu’isle near the mouth of the Maumee River.  The Ottawas there lived in cabins much like their French neighbors.  His cousin, Meskema, had been chief orator of a village on the north side of the river and at the Bay Settlement until his death at the Battle of Fallen Timbers.

Both Otussa and his son, Waseonquet (Distant Clouds) fought at the Raisin where they captured a Kentuckian at Plum Creek and took him safely to Detroit.  Otussa was poisoned in 1828 by another Indian who bore him a gruge.

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PROCTER:
Colonel Henry Procter was born in Ireland in 1763, the son of a British army surgeon who fought at Bunker Hill.  As a young lieutenant, he saw service towards the close of the same war.  He rose through the ranks, transferring into the 41st Regiment of Foot and joining it in Canada as its lieutenant colonel. 

 Procter took command of Amherstburg shortly after the start of the War of 1812, sending forces to cut off General Hull in Detroit.  He served under General Brock at the capture of Detroit and was left in command of the area after Brock departed.

Upon learning that the Americans had taken and occupied French Town, Procter launched a counterattack on January 22, 1813, resulting in the Battle of the River Raisin and the destruction of General Winchester’s army.  Although accused by the Americans of failing to prevent the massacre of some of their wounded, Procter was promoted to brigadier general for his victory at the Raisin, and then to the rank of major general.

Procter’s subsequent attempts to capture Fort Meigs and Fort Stephenson failed, and, after the British fleet was captured at the Battle of Lake Erie, Procter abandoned Amherstburg and the Detroit area.  General William Henry Harrison’s troops pursued the retreating British and Indians, inflicting a decisive defeat on Procter’s forces at the Battle of the Thames in October of 1813.

Procter was officially reprimanded for his defeat, which effectively ended his career.  He returned to England in 1815 and lived in semi-retirement until his death in 1822.

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REYNOLDS
Major Ebenezer Reynolds commanded the British and Indian force occupying French Town when the American detachment under Lt. Col. Lewis attacked at 3pm on January 18, 1813.  He was probably in charge of the flank companies of the 1st and 2nd Essex Militia Regiment at the Battle of the River Raisin on January 22.

Reynolds received commendations for his efforts at Detroit and the River Raisin and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on September 21, 1813.  After the war, he became sheriff of Kent County.

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RICHARDSON:
John Richardson was born at Fort George in 1796 and was only 15 when he joined the 41st Foot as a “gentleman volunteer” at the start of the War of 1812.  He was in several battles, including Monguagon and the River Raisin before he was captured at the Thames and sent as a prisoner to Kentucky in October of 1813.

Released in 1814, he rejoined the army and was sent to Europe, arriving just too late to fight at the Battle of Waterloo.  Continuing in the military, he live in London and Paris, while trying his hand at writing novels.  He also wrote one of the best British accounts of the Battle of the River Raisin.  Later, Richardson served with the British Legion in Spain, where he earned a court-martial and a knighthood. 

In 1838, he returned to Canada as a journalist and later was appointed superintendent of police on the Welland Canal.  In 1849, Richardson moved to New York City, where he died in 1852.

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ROLETTE:
Frédéric Rolette was born in Quebec in 1785.  He saw action in the Royal Navy under Horatio Nelson at the Battles of the Nile (where he was wounded 5 times) and Trafalgar. 

As a 2nd lieutenant in the Canadian Provincial Marine in charge of the brig Hunter at the beginning of the War of 1812, he led the boarding party that captured the Cayauga with General Hull’s baggage and papers.  This was the first of 18 prizes he would capture during the war.

On January 22, 1813, Rolette was in charge of an artillery piece out in front of the British lines at the Battle of the River Raisin.  He was wounded when a spent musket ball fired from his own side hit him in the back of the head.

Nine months later, Rolette was wounded again and burned by a powder explosion on board the Lady Prevost at the Battle of Lake Erie.  In 1814, his ship, the Detroit, was surprised and captured by the Americans. 

Rolette survived the war, but died in 1831 at the age of 48 from the cumulative effect of his wounds.

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ROUNDHEAD:
Roundhead (Stayeghtha, or Bark Carrier) was born at the Sandusky River around 1760, becoming a Wyandot chief of the Porcupine Clan.  Before the War of 1812, he had fought against the American generals Harmar and St. Clair.  In the summer of 1812, he relocated to Brownstown.

Roundhead was second only to Tecumseh amongst Colonel Procter’s force of Native Americans allied with the British.  He participated in the Battle of Monguagon and the Detroit campaign, where Tecumseh gave Roundhead the sash presented to him by General Brock, claiming it should go to an older and abler warrior than himself.

The 6’ tall Roundhead led the Indians on Muir’s expedition and at the Raisin.  He was also with Tecumseh at Brownstown, Monguagon, and Fort Meigs, where his brother Jean-Baptiste was killed.  Roundhead died sometime during the month of October, 1813.

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ST. GEORGE:
Lt. Col. Thomas Bligh St. George was born in England in 1765.  In the British army, he served in France, Portugal, Corsica, and the Mediterranean.  By 1809, he was in Upper Canada, where he was appointed inspecting field officer of the militia. 

When Hull’s army invaded Canada early in the War of 1812, St. George successfully defended his post at Amherstburg.  He participated in the Detroit Campaign, but his military career almost ended at the River Raisin where he was wounded 4 times and left for dead.  Fortunately, a British team on sleighs arrived to rescue him early in the evening. 

After the war, St. George rose to the rank of Major General and was eventually knighted, becoming a Knight of the Bath in 1835.

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SPLIT LOG:
Split Log (Sou-veh-hoo-wah, or Split Log Racer) was born in 1765.  He was a Huron chief who fought at Monguagon, participated in Muir’s expedition and was in the Battle of the River Raisin.  He also was at Fort Meigs, Fort Stephenson, the Thames, and Estee’s Fight. 

Of medium build and possessing great stamina, he had less genius than Roundhead.  He professed neutrality after the Americans reoccupied Detroit in the fall of 1813, but then helped defeat McArthur at Grand River in October of 1814.

Split Log died near Fort Malden in 1825.

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TALLON:
Captain Joseph Tallon was a somewhat frail, but brave officer of the 41st Regiment of Foot, who served as a brigade major in the Detroit Campaign and was in charge of the right wing of the British line at the Battle of the River Raisin on January 22, 1813.  Between a half hour to an hour after the start of the battle, he was wounded, relinquished command of the wing to Lt. Benoit Bender, and retired to the British aid station in the rear.

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Shawnee Chief Tecumseh
Tecumseh was born among the Shawnees in Ohio around the year 1768.  He and his brother, Tenskwatawa (also called the Prophet) rose to prominence for their efforts to promote Native American culture and their resistance to the encroachment of American settlers onto native lands.

As a young man, Tecumseh participated in the defeat of St. Clair's army in 1791 and the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794.  The brothers' influence spread rapidly after 1805, when the Prophet began a religious revival, and Tecumseh turned to organizing a coalition of Indian nations with British support.

Tensions grew until they reached the boiling point in 1811.  On November 7, William Henry Harrison defeated the Indians and destroyed Prophet's Town on the Tippecanoe River in Indiana.  Tecumseh, who was absent on a recruiting mission in the South, returned to rebuild his confederacy.  By the time the United States declared war against Great Britain in 1812, Tecumseh's forces had already joined the British at Fort Malden in Amherstburg.

 As allies of the British, Tecumseh's warriors performed valuable services in the Detroit campaign, the Battles of Brownstown, Monguagon, and the River Raisin, and the Sieges of Fort Meigs and Fort Stephenson.  They made the northwest frontier insecure for American troops and settlers. 

Unfortunately, their activities also invited American retaliation against native villages.  Many villages were burned or forced to relocate deeper into British or American controlled territory where they could find protection and food or maintain some sort of neutrality. Those opposed to Tecumseh, including some members of his own tribe, even provided scouts and warriors to fight for the Americans.

Personally, Tecumseh was greatly respected by both his friends and his enemies.  He prevented the killing of prisoners after Dudley's defeat during the Siege of Fort Meigs, and he probably would have done the same had he been present at the River Raisin. 

After Commodore Perry's capture of the British fleet on Lake Erie in September of 1813, the British under Colonel Procter abandoned Amherstburg and Detroit, retreating into the interior of Upper Canada.  Rather than abandon his homeland, Tecumseh urged Procter to stay and fight.  At the Battle of the Thames in October, the British and Indians were defeated, and Tecumseh killed.  His brother Tenskwatawa survived the war and died in Kansas in 1836.

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TROUGHTEN:
Lt. Felix Troughten was in charge of the Royal Artillery in the Detroit Campaign in August of 1812 and at the Battle of the River Raisin on January 22, 1813, where he was wounded.

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WALK-IN-THE-WATER:
Walk-in-the-Water (Myeerah) was a leader of the Brownstown Wyandot who offered his services to the Americans at the start of the War of 1812.  Following government policy, General Hull rejected the offer, telling the Wyandots to stay out of the fight or face the consequences.

Tecumseh and the British soon forced Walk-in-the-Water and his people to relocate to Amherstburg, where they became allies of the British.  He fought at Monguagon, Detroit, and the River Raisin.  When Procter evacuated the area in the fall of 1813, Walk-in-the-Water broke away and sued for a separate peace with the Americans.

In 1815, Walk-in-the-Water signed the Treaty of Springwells.  He died in 1817.

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WAINDAWGAY:
Waindawgay was a Potawatomi spokesman from the St. Joseph area who fought at Chicago, Detroit, River Raisin, Defiance, and Fort Meigs.  He claimed the Potawatomies formed the right wing of Procter’s force at the Raisin and destroyed an American flanking force of 300 men.

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