Coordinates : 42°33′45″N 81°55′53″W / 42.56250°N 81.93139°W / 42.56250; -81.93139
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BATTLE OF THE THAMES
Part of Tecumseh\'s War and the
War of 1812
An artist's depiction of the battle and the death of
DATE October 5, 1813
* Death of Tecumseh
* Fall of the
COMMANDERS AND LEADERS
500 -1,000 natives
600 -800 regulars
* 2,381 militia
* 1,000 volunteer mounted troops
* 120 regulars
* 260 natives
* Unknown number of US Navy forces in
CASUALTIES AND LOSSES
NATIVE AMERICANS: 16-33 killed Unknown wounded and captured BRITISH: 12-18 killed 22-35 wounded prisoners 566-579 captured 10-27 killed 17-57 wounded
* v * t * e
* Fort Mackinac (1812)
* Fort Dearborn
The BATTLE OF THE THAMES, also known as the BATTLE OF MORAVIANTOWN,
British troops under Major General Henry Procter had occupied Detroit
until the U.S. Navy gained control of Lake Erie, depriving them of
their supplies. Procter was forced to retreat north up the river
Thames to Moraviantown, where his allies, the tribal confederacy under
* 1 Background
* 1.1 Procter\'s retreat
* 2 Forces * 3 Battle * 4 Casualties
* 5 Aftermath
* 5.1 Procter\'s court-martial
* 6 Notes * 7 References
During the last months of 1812 and for much of 1813, the American
Army of the Northwest under
William Henry Harrison
The British position depended on maintaining command of
From the start of the war to the end of July 1813, the British ships,
which since May 5, 1813 were led by Commander
Robert Heriot Barclay ,
had maintained control of the lake. They contained the American
squadron under Master Commandant
Oliver Hazard Perry
Once it was fully armed and manned, Perry's superior squadron instituted a counter-blockade of Amherstburg, and supplies of food there rapidly ran short. Finally, with supplies almost exhausted, Barclay put out to seek battle with Perry. On September 10, Perry gained a complete victory in the Battle of Lake Erie , after a hard-fought battle. On receiving Perry's hastily written note that "We have met the enemy and they are ours", Harrison knew that Procter would be forced to retreat, and ordered an advance. One thousand mounted troops began advancing along the lake shore to Detroit, and 2,500 foot soldiers were carried there and to Amherstburg by Perry's ships once the damage they had received in the battle had been repaired.
Even before he received news of Barclay's defeat, Procter had made
preparations to fall back to the British position at Burlington
Heights at the western end of Lake
Our fleet has gone out, we know they have fought; we have heard the great guns but know nothing of what has happened to our Father with one Arm . Our ships have gone one way, and we are much astonished to see our Father tying up everything and preparing to run the other, without letting his red children know what his intentions are ... We must compare our Father's conduct to a fat animal that carries its tail upon its back; but when affrighted, it drops it between its legs and runs off.
Nevertheless, Procter could not defend Fort Amherstburg. Not only was
there no food, but the guns had been removed from the fort to be
mounted on Barclay's ships. Procter began to retreat up the Thames
River on September 27.
The British retreat was badly managed, and the soldiers had been reduced to half rations. Procter was alleged to have left the main body of his army under his second-in-command, Colonel Augustus Warburton of the 41st Regiment , without orders, while he led the retreat, accompanied by his wife and family, the other women and dependents, and his personal baggage. The British soldiers were becoming increasingly demoralized, and Tecumseh's warriors grew ever more impatient with Procter for his unwillingness to stop and fight, giving Procter reason to fear a mutiny by the warriors.
The Americans left a brigade under
Duncan McArthur to garrison
William Henry Harrison's force numbered at least 3,500 infantry and
cavalry . He had a small detachment of regulars from the 27th U.S.
Infantry and five brigades of Kentucky militia led by
Procter had about 800 soldiers, mainly from the 41st Regiment. The
veterans of the regiment's 1st Battalion had been serving in Upper
Canada since the start of the war, and had suffered heavy casualties
in several engagements in 1813 (including the Battle of Lake Erie,
where more than 150 of its men had served aboard Barclay's ships.)
They had been reinforced by the young soldiers of the 2nd Battalion.
Most of the regiment's officers were dissatisfied with Procter's
leadership, but Colonel Warburton, the next in seniority, refused to
countenance any move to remove Procter from command.
Diagram by Bennett H. Young of the forces arrayed in the battle
Shortly after daybreak on October 5, after ordering his troops to
abandon their half-cooked breakfast and retreat a further two miles,
Procter formed the British regulars in line of battle with a single
6-pounder cannon. He planned to trap Harrison on the banks of the
Thames, driving the Americans off the road with cannon fire. However,
he had made no attempt to fortify the position (e.g. by creating
abatis or throwing up earthworks), and the ground presented no
obstacle to the American horsemen, while scattered trees masked the
British fire. Tecumseh's warriors formed a line in a black ash swamp
on the British right to flank the Americans.
General Harrison surveyed the battlefield and ordered James Johnson (brother of Richard Mentor Johnson) to make a frontal attack on the British regulars with his mounted riflemen. Despite the Indians' flanking fire, Johnson's Kentuckians broke through, the British cannon not having fired. The exhausted, dispirited and half-starved British regulars fired a single ragged fusillade before retreating. Procter and about 250 of his men fled from the battlefield, while the rest of his soldiers threw down their weapons and surrendered.
Colonel Johnson may have been the one who shot Tecumseh, though the evidence is unclear. William Whitley , a Revolutionary War veteran, is also credited with killing Tecumseh. Whitley, of Crab Orchard, Kentucky , volunteered for the raid on Tecumseh's camp, and was killed during the attack. Before the attack, he had requested that General Harrison have his scalp removed if he died and send it to his wife.
After the battle, American mounted troops moved on and burned Moraviantown (marked today by the Fairfield Museum on Longwoods Road), a settlement of pacifist Christian Munsee of the Moravian Church, who had not participated in the fighting. Because the enlistments of the militia component of Harrison's army were about to expire, the Americans retired to Detroit.
Three currently active regular battalions of the
Harrison reported that the British regulars had 12 killed and 22 wounded prisoners. Lieutenant Richard Bullock of the 41st Regiment, however, said that there were 12 killed and 36 wounded prisoners. More than a year after the battle, British Colonel Augustus Warburton and Lieutenant Colonel William Evans both reported that 18 were killed and 25 wounded. Harrison reported 601 British troops captured, a figure that included the prisoners taken during the retreat leading up to the battle and stragglers captured after it.
The Native Americans recorded their own casualties as 16 killed,
There are conflicting versions of the American loss in the battle.
Harrison stated that 7 were killed outright, 5 died of wounds, and 17
more were wounded. Major
Replica of a cabin at Moraviantown
The American victory led to the re-establishment of American control
over the Northwest frontier . Apart from skirmishes (such as the
Battle of Longwoods ) between raiding parties or other detachments,
and an American mounted raid near the end of 1814 which resulted in
the Battle of Malcolm\'s Mills , the
The death of
Procter later rallied 246 men of the 41st Regiment at the Grand River . Reinforced by some young soldiers of the 2nd battalion who had not been present at the battle, the two battalions were reorganized and merged as the regiment was severely understrength at this point. The experienced survivors of the 1st Battalion were placed in the grenadier and light infantry companies.
The soldiers of the 41st who were taken prisoner at Moraviantown and
Battle of Lake Erie were exchanged or released towards the end of
1814. They had been held in encampments near present-day Sandusky,
Historical marker at the site of the battle
In May 1814, Procter was charged with negligence and improper conduct, though a court martial could not be held until December, when campaigning had ceased for the winter and a suitably senior board of officers could be assembled. They judged that Procter had managed the retreat badly, failing to secure his stores, and also disposed the troops ineffectively at Moraviantown. He was sentenced to be suspended from rank and pay for six months.
* ^ A B C D E * ^ A B C D Sugden (1997), pp. 368-72 * ^ A B Sugden, p. 133 * ^ A B Gilpin, p. 226 * ^ A B C Sugden, p. 127 * ^ A B Antal, p. 347 * ^ A B Sugden, p. 249 * ^ A B Sugden, p. 250, citing Samuel R. Brown’s, ‘Views of the Campaigns of the North-western Army”, W.G. Murphey, Philadelphia, 1815 (first published, 1814), p. 73 * ^ Forester, p.142 * ^ Hitsman, p.339 * ^ Katherine B. Coutts, Thamesville and the Battle of the Thames, in Zaslow, p.116 * ^ Katherine B. Coutts, Thamesville and the Battle of the Thames, in Zaslow, p.117 * ^ A B Hitsman, p.176 * ^ Elting, p.114 * ^ The 41st Regiment and the War of 1812, by Jim Yaworsky * ^ Hitsman, p.344 en
Wikimedia Commons has media related to BATTLE OF THE THAMES .
* Antal, Sandy (1997). A Wampum Denied: Proctor's War of 1812.
Carleton University Press. ISBN 0-87013-443-4 .
* Carter-Edwards, Dennis. "The
War of 1812
* v * t * e
Conflicts of the
War of 1812
Battles of the
War of 1812
Battle of New Orleans
* Battles of
Battle of Burnt Corn
BRITISH NORTH AMERICA
* Battle of the Chateauguay * First Battle of Lacolle Mills * Second Battle of Lacolle Mills
Battle of Beaver Dams
Battle of Chippawa
* Battle of Cook\'s Mills
* Battle of Crysler\'s Farm
Battle of Fort George
* Battle of Frenchman\'s Creek
Battle of Longwoods
* Battle of Lundy\'s Lane
* Battle of Malcolm\'s Mills
Battle of Queenston Heights
Battle of Stoney Creek
* Battle of the Thames
Battle of York
* Battle of Pensacola
Capture of HMS Boxer
* Battle of La Guaira
* Action of 13 December 1814 * Battle of Lake Borgne
* Category *