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Tecumseh of the Shawnees 1813

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Dominion Stories



War of 1813


"Procter and Tecumseh,

after a deep,

 but unsuccessful, 

offensive into the Ohio Territory,

were forced back to Amherstburg.

Even this position soon proved untenable as the British supply lines depended on their naval control of Lake Erie.

The Americans had been feverishly constructing a squadron of warships at Presque’ Isle,

on the southern shore of that lake to mount a challenge.

In early September,

they managed to wrest control of the Lake after sinking or capturing the British squadron in battle.

When news of this disaster reached Procter,

he decided to retreat toward Burlington Bay (now Hamilton Harbour).

He neglected,


to inform Tecumseh or the thousands of warriors and their families camped in and around Amherstburg.

Their suspicions became aroused,


when they saw the British dismantling the fortifications of the post and loading supplies and ammunition into wagons for a retreat.

At a council between Procter,

his officers and the Aboriginal leaders,

held on 18 September 1813,

Tecumseh delivered a stinging rebuke to his British ally that summarized the disappointments and disasters that regularly occurred when Aboriginal peoples became involved in European conflicts.

In what later became known as the ‘yellow dog’ speech,

Tecumseh castigated Proctor by likening him to ‘a fat animal that carries its tail upon its back; but when affrighted, it drops it between its legs and runs off.’


Procter’s mind was made up,


and in late September his small army commenced a retreat towards Lake Ontario,

accompanied by the reluctant Tecumseh and those of his followers who had not gone home in disgust at what they saw as another British betrayal.

On 5 October,

Tecumseh’s old opponent,

Major-General William Henry Harrison,

caught up with them near the Moraviantown mission on the Thames River.

Procter deployed his regular infantry badly and they were run down by Harrison’s mounted troops,

at which point the British general fled the battle.

Tecumseh and his warriors fought well enough to let many of their British allies escape before they stubbornly retired through the woods.

Tecumseh was not with them – killed during the battle,

his body was spirited away by his warriors to be placed in an unknown grave.

Harrison’s victorious troops included many Kentucky frontiersmen who displayed ‘peculiar Cruelty to the Families of the Indians who had not Time to escape,

or conceal Themselves.' "




"...There is little doubt that the Aboriginal peoples contemplated by the authors of this draft article were those residing on American territory,

particularly those Northwest nations of Tecumseh’s Confederacy.

The specific reference to the year 1811,

when conflict broke out in the northwest,

and not 1812 when the United States had declared war on Britain,

makes this clear"


(All of the above information found at the Government of Canada Website.

National Defence and Canadian Forces )


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