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Fundamental Documents of Ohio






The War of 1812 in the Northwest

1812--WINCHESTER'S CAMPAIGN, September 22-October 1

1812, September 22. General Winchester begins his march down the Maumee following generally Anthony Wayne's course. His destination is Ft. Defiance. He marches only 5 or 6 miles per day.

1812, September 25. Ensign Liggett with a detachment is sent ahead of the army to Ft. Defiance. He has four men with him. A Frenchman with eight Indians creeps up on them and demands them to surrender. They do but work on a plan to kill the Indians, However, the Indians kill them first. Captain Ballard finds them the next day, but retreats when he finds a party of 200 Indians nearby.

1812, September 26. Captain Harris Hickman and Riddle, a spy, are sent ahead of Winchester's army. They cross the Maumee to the south side, then go cross country to the Auglaize River; then down that river to the Maumee. They continue 2 miles down the Maumee from Ft. Defiance and then return to the army. In this route they have surrounded the enemy without discovering him. However, from signs they have seen, they know a large body of Indians is nearby.

1812, September 27. Captain Ballard and a detachment is sent ahead with Major Woolfor (aide to Winchester) to bury the dead of Liggett's party. The Indians involved were an advance group of Major Adam Muir's party. This British force consisted of 200 regulars and 1000 Indians with four pieces of artillery. They had brought their baggage and artillery by water to Ft. Defiance and were advancing on the south side of the Maumee toward Ft. Wayne. They had taken a Quartermaster Sergeant of Winchester's army prisoner. The sergeant exaggerated the size of Win- chester's army and Muir retreated 12 miles on the 27th to Ft. Defiance. On the 28th about 3/4 of Muir's Indians deserted and he was forced to retreat another 20 miles down the river.

1812, September 28. The march of Winchester's army is resumed following the return of the Hickman-Riddle mission. The forward elements of Winchester's and Muir's forces meet, but there is only a short skirmish. Winchester's army then crosses to the south side of the Maumee at a ford and encamps. Spies are sent out, but find no Indians. They report, however, that the brush is so thick that it is unsafe for spies on foot to penetrate to Ft. Defiance. Winchester holds a council of war and decides to send out parties to look for Major Muir. Supplies are about exhausted and an express is sent to Harrison to inform him of the condition of the army.

1812, September 30. Harrison receives news that Winchester is heading toward a large force of British and Indians. All the forces at St. Mary's, about 3,000 men, are ordered to Winchester's relief. Mean- while, Winchester moves his army down the river to within a mile of Ft. Defiance and stays there for several days.

1812, October 1. Colonel William Lewis is sent from Winchester's army with 380 men to discover for sure the disposition of Major Muir's force. The detachment crosses the Auglaize, then goes down the south side of the Maumee for 7 or 8 miles, then crosses to the north side, where signs are discovered which show that Muir's force is completely gone.

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