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172 MILITARY HISTORY OF CANADA

 

promising that, at an advantageous position along the Thames, he would make a stand against the invaders.

It was nearly two weeks before Commodore Perry and General Harrison were ready to transport the American army to the Canadian shore. Harrison had now an important addition to hilt force. In the spring, Richard M. Johnson had organized a regiment of rough riders—mounted troops armed with muskets, tomahawks, and knives,—and for four months these troops had been operating in the wide region between Fort Wayne and the river Raisin. Harrison, knowing the weak state of Procter's army, expected that the British commander would retreat, and sent for Johnson to aid him in the pursuit. Johnson eagerly responded, and, on September 27th, while Harrison's troops were being transported across to Amherstburg in Perry's fleet, Johnson with 1,200 experienced cavalry marched overland to Detroit, from which the British garrison had been withdrawn, and then joined Harrison.

Procter, who had apparently wasted a fortnight, left Amherstburg on September 24th, and began his retreat from Sandwich on the 26th or 27th, but it was not until October 2nd that the pursuit began in earnest. Procter had a week's start, but he was encumbered with heavy baggage, whereas Harrison went light, moving most of his baggage and supplies up the Thames in three of Perry's gun-boats. He had with him about 4,000 men, including Johnson's mounted force, and nearly 300 Indians—Wyandots, Shawnees, and Senecas.

Procter did not adopt any systematic plan in his retreat. Between Sandwich and Moravian Town there were a number of small rivers and creeks to be crossed. In his flight he left the bridges standing, only on two occasions making any attempt to destroy them. On the first occasion Harrison succeeded in capturing a lieutenant and eleven dragoons; on the second, a body of Indians man-aged to destroy the bridge, and for a time held the Americans in check. But Harrison brought up three


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