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164 MILITARY HISTORY OF CANADA

 

victory, obtained control of Lake Erie and had organized and trained Johnson's cavalry, that they dared attempt a second attack on the Detroit frontier.

Towards the close of April, Procter, now a brigadier-general, proceeded up the Miami river and attacked Fort Meigs, where Harrison was then stationed. He had with him 400 of the 41st Regiment, about 600 militia, and some 1,200 Indians under Tecumseh, attended by two gun-boats. After the siege had been in progress for four days, General Green Clay arrived with a reinforcement of 1,500 men. Clay detached about 800 men under Colonel Dudleytto relieve Harrison, but these were skilfully defeated, between 400 and 500 being taken prisoners. But Fort Meigs still held out, and, sickness having broken out among his troops, the Indians, with the exception of Tecumseh and some twenty chiefs and warriors, having returned to their villages, and the militia being anxious to return to their farms, General Procter raised the siege on May 9th and returned to his base.

Late in July, at Tecumseh's request, a second expedition was sent against Fort Meigs, but it came to nothing. The troops were diverted to Fort Stephenson, on the Sandusky river, whose defenders greatly outnumbered the attacking force. On August 1st, an attempt was made to carry that place, but without success, the troops returning to Amherstburg with a loss of 26 killed, 41 wounded, and 29 missing.

Brock's work in the autumn of 1812 had won a vast province from the United States, and the struggle of 1813 in the west was really a battle for lost ground. General Harrison was eager to invade Canada, but the British still held control of Lake Erie, and Detroit, the first objective, could not be won while this condition lasted. But if the Americans could drive the British from Lake Erie, Detroit must be evacuated and Harrison could overrun the western part of Upper Canada. Never was the importance of Sea Power more in evidence than in the struggle which took place in September, 1813.


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