* British abandon siege
COMMANDERS AND LEADERS
1,250 Native Americans 433 regulars 462 Canadian militia 1,200 regulars 1,600 militia
CASUALTIES AND LOSSES
BRITISH 14 killed 47 wounded 41 captured INDIANS 19 killed and wounded TOTAL 121 160 killed 190 wounded 100 wounded prisoners 530 captured 6 missing TOTAL 986
* v * t * e
* Fort Mackinac (1812)
* Fort Dearborn
The SIEGE OF FORT MEIGS took place during the
War of 1812
* 1 Background * 2 The Siege begins
* 3 Battle of the Miami
* 3.1 Aftermath * 3.2 Casualties
* 4 End of the Siege * 5 Order of battle * 6 Second Siege * 7 Notes * 8 References * 9 External links
In the early days of the War of 1812, an American Army under
Harrison's advance was hampered by bad weather and shortage of
supplies. On 22 January 1813, the leading detachment of his army
(commanded by Winchester) was defeated at the
Battle of Frenchtown
Harrison descended the Maumee to the site of
Fort Meigs with an army
which ultimately numbered 4,000 men (mainly militia) and began
construction of the fort on 1 February 1813. He contemplated making a
hit-and-run attack across the frozen
As the enlistments of Harrison's
The fort was on the south bank of the Maumee, near the Miami Rapids.
Across the river were the ruins of the old British Fort Miami and the
site of the 1794
Battle of Fallen Timbers
The poor weather of early spring prevented a British attack while the
fort was still vulnerable. The British commander on the Detroit
frontier, Major General Henry Procter , had been urged to attack
Presque Isle (present day
THE SIEGE BEGINS
Artillery at Fort Meigs
Procter's force disembarked at the mouth of the Maumee on 26 April.
His force consisted of 31 men of the
It took several days for the British force to move up the Maumee and set up batteries. Most of these were on the north side of the river, but one was set up on the south side. Most of the Natives also were on the south side of the river, loosely investing the fort. As the British established their batteries, Harrison ordered "traverses", embankments 12 feet (3.7 m) high, to be hastily thrown up within the fort. The British batteries opened fire on 1 May, but most of the cannon shot fired sank harmlessly into the wet earth of the traverses and embankments.
BATTLE OF THE MIAMI
Plan of the Battle of 5 May, from Benson J. Lossing's Pictorial
Field Book of the
War of 1812
On 2 May, Harrison sent a courier to Clay's force, with orders for part of them to spike the British guns on the north bank and then withdraw into the fort, while a sortie from the fort attacked the battery on the south bank.
The Indians had seemingly not guarded the river properly and the Kentuckians gained complete surprise. Early on the morning of 5 May, a detachment from Clay's brigade under Colonel William Dudley landed from boats on the north bank of the river. Dudley's command comprised 761 of his own 10th Kentucky Detached Regiment of Militia, 60 of the 13th Kentucky Detached Regiment of Militia and 45 U.S. Army regular troops. This force stormed the batteries on the north bank and spiked the guns but used ramrods for the spiking instead of handspikes, which meant that the cannon were only temporarily disabled. Dudley then lost control of some of his men. Coming under fire from Natives in the woods, part of the Kentuckian force pursued Tecumseh's men, who led them deeper into the forest. Dudley followed in an attempt to bring them back, leaving Major James Shelby in command at the battery. Major Adam Muir led three companies of the 41st Foot and one of Canadian militia from the British camp and stormed the battery, killing many of the Kentuckians and forcing Shelby to surrender. In the woods, the disorganised Kentuckians were decimated in confused fighting against the Natives. Of Dudley's 866 officers and men, only 150 escaped to the fort. This became known as "Dudley's Massacre" or "Dudley's Defeat". The rest of Clay's force, which had not been involved in the attack on the batteries, reached the fort safely to reinforce the garrison.
On the south bank, the American sortie against the British battery was partially successful. Colonel John Miller , at the head of 350 regulars and volunteers, captured the battery and took 41 prisoners. However, Captain Richard Bullock, with the flank companies of the 1/41st Foot, two companies of militia and 300 Indians, counterattacked and, in hard fighting, drove Miller's detachment back into the fort with heavy casualties.
After the battle, the prisoners from Dudley's command were taken for
confinement to the ruined Fort Miami near the British camp. Here, some
of the Native warriors began massacring the prisoners and several
Americans were killed before Tecumseh, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew
Elliott and Captain Thomas McKee of the Indian Department persuaded
the warriors to stop.
The battle of 5 May was known to the British as "the Battle of the Miami", having taken place beside the Miami du Lac River (now known as the Maumee River). The 41st Regiment, whose successor in the British Army is the Royal Welsh Regiment , was awarded the battle honour, "Miami", in commemoration of its successful action during the battle.
Five active regular battalions of the
The British official casualty return gave 14 killed, 47 wounded and 40 captured. It was headed as being for May 5 but it appears to have been for the entire siege up to and including May 5, since it included among the wounded Captain Laurent Bondy of the Canadian militia, who is known to have received his (ultimately fatal) wound from artillery fire on May 3. The Native Americans allied to the British had 19 men killed and wounded.
Harrison reported the casualties sustained by his garrison in the entire siege, from 28 April to 9 May, as 80 killed and 190 wounded, of whom 12 were killed and 20 wounded by artillery fire. This would indicate 68 killed and 170 wounded during the engagement on 5 May. An official British return of prisoners details 547 captured Americans but a note from Procter states that "since the above return was made out more than eighty prisoners have been brought by the Indians". This would give a total of about 630 Americans captured at the battle. Harrison reported no men missing or captured from his garrison, so all of the prisoners taken on 5 May must have been from Dudley's troops on the north bank of the river. The official casualty report for Dudley's command, compiled after the Kentucky Militia prisoners were paroled, details 80 men killed and 100 wounded (all of whom had been captured). This gives total casualties for Dudley's 866-strong detachment of 80 killed, 100 wounded prisoners, 530 unwounded prisoners and 6 missing; and an overall American loss on May 5 of 148 killed, 170 wounded, 100 wounded prisoners, 530 unwounded prisoners and 6 missing.
END OF THE SIEGE
On 7 May, terms were arranged providing for the mutual exchange of all regular prisoners and the parole of the Kentucky Militia prisoners, who were convoyed to Sandusky under pledge of performing no further military service until formally exchanged for British prisoners. On the same day, Procter's artillery resumed fire, but most of the Natives had abandoned the army and the Canadian militia were anxious to get back to their farms. The renewed bombardment had little effect, and the garrison of the fort now outnumbered the besiegers. Procter abandoned the siege on 9 May. The total American loss in the siege came to 160 killed, 190 wounded, 100 wounded prisoners, 530 other prisoners and 6 missing: 986 in all. John Sugden says that 14 killed, 47 wounded and 41 captured were Procter's entire (non-Indian) casualties for the siege, which indicates that 1 man was captured after 5 May.
ORDER OF BATTLE
BRITISH/NATIVE AMERICAN ORDER OF BATTLE AMERICAN ORDER OF BATTLE
BRITISH ARMY: Brigadier General Henry Procter
* Royal Artillery * 41st Regiment of Foot * Royal Newfoundland Regiment
CANADIAN MILITIA, including:
* The Western Rangers (Caldwell\'s Rangers ); * 1st and 2nd Regiments of Essex Militia; and * 1st Regiment of Kent Militia
ARMY OF THE NORTHWEST : Major General
William Henry Harrison
* 17th and 19th U.S. Infantry detachments: Colonel James Miller
* Bradford's Company: Captain William Bradford * Croghan's Company: Captain George Croghan * Elliott's Company: Captain Wilson Eliott * Langham's Company: Captain Angus L. Langham * Nehring's Company: Captain Abel Nehring * Gwynne's Company: Captain David Gwynne
* 10th Kentucky Militia, detachment: Captain Sebree
* Pennsylvania Militia Battalion: Major John B. Alexander
* Pittsburgh Blues: Captain James Butler * Petersburg Company: Lieutenant Tisdale
* Kentucky Militia Brigade: Brigadier General
* 10th Kentucky "Light" Militia: Colonel William E. Boswell * 13th Kentucky Militia: Colonel William Dudley , killed * U.S. Infantry detachment
Once the British had departed, Harrison left Clay in command of the
fort with about 100 militiamen.
War of 1812
* Antal, Sandy (1997). A Wampum Denied: Proctr's War of 1812.
Carleton University Press. ISBN 0-87013-443-4 .
* Berton, Pierre (2001). Flames Across the Border. Anchor Canada.
ISBN 978-0-385-65838-6 .
* Cruikshank, Ernest (1971) . The Documentary History of the
Campaign upon the Niagara Frontier in the Year 1813. Part I: January
to June, 1813. New York: Arno Press (reprint edition). ISBN
* Eaton, Joseph H. (2000). Returns of Killed and Wounded in Battles
or Engagements with Indians and British and Mexican Troops, 1790-1848,
Compiled by Lt. Col J. H. Eaton (Eaton’s Compilation). Washington,
D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration Microfilm
* Elting, John R. (1995). Amateurs to Arms: A military history of
the War of 1812. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80653-3 .
* Gilpin, Alec R. (1958 (1968 reprint edition)). The
War of 1812