Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Battle of Fort Stephenson


Shortly after the War of 1812 began, twenty two year old Major George Croghan became commander of Fort Stephenson, Located on the Sandusky River. (Fremont, Ohio)

Major George Croghan

The fort consisted of three blockhouses inside a rectangular stockade. Croghan worked hard to increase the fort's defensive capabilities. General William Henry Harrison believed that the fort was located at a difficult place to defend and ordered Croghan to abandon it. But Croghan argued that, if his forces withdrew, American Indians would cut his men off from the rest of the army. Before the two men could resolve their differences, the British troops arrived at the fort.
Major General Henry Proctor with 1,000 British regulars and Indians attacked the fort on August 2, 1813. Procter ordered a frontal infantry assault. Croghan had only 160 troops under his command and ordered the defenders to hold fire until the attackers were within close range. Once within range, the garrison opened fired along with the fort's artillery. The attack fell back, Procter tried and failed several times. Finally realizing that the attackers could do very little against the fort, Procter called off the attack. Croghan's men were so successful that they crippled the British forces -- not one officer was left standing, and one-fifth of the British force was either killed, wounded, or missing in action. The Americans forced the enemy to withdraw from the area.

“Men of the 41st falling at Fort Stephenson”
The uniforms of the 41st as depicted are slightly inaccurate.

The victory at Fort Stephenson came at an important time during the war, as the United States had few military successes.



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