Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Battle of Monguagon

On August 9, 1812, American Lieutenant-Colonel James Miller’s command, comprised of 280 regulars and more than 330 Ohio Volunteer troops, was sent to escort a supply train to Detroit.

Image result for Battle of Maguaga
Battle of Monguagon by J.C.H. Forster
At Monguagon (Trenton, MI), Miller came upon British Captain Adam Muir, with 205 British regulars, Canadian militia and Native American. As the Americans advanced a skirmish broke out and things started to go wrong for the British.
Noticing some men creeping through the woods on their right, some of the British thought it was the enemy trying to outflank them and opened fire on them. The "enemy" turned out to be allied Potawatomi warriors, who immediately thought that the people firing at them must be Americans. Both returned fire until the Potawatomi realized that they were fighting their own side and withdrew into the woods to the rear.
At about that same time, seeing the American advance waiver, Muir ordered the bugler of the light infantry company to sound the charge.
In the British Army, only the light infantry used the bugle; the rest of the infantry communicated using drumbeats. The officer commanding one of the other companies thought that the bugle was sounding the "recall" and ordered his men to fall back.
Before Muir knew what was happening, his whole force was streaming off to the rear.
The Americans, who thought that the British were running from them, took heart and advanced over Muir's vacated position in pursuit of an enemy they thought they had routed. Miller advanced a good distance only to find that Muir had regrouped and was standing, awaiting Miller to attack. Miller, satisfied with his "victory", decided not to renew his assault and withdrew.

Lieutenant-Colonel James Miller