| American History Stories, Volume III|
|by Mara L. Pratt|
|Anecdotes from the time Washington became president through the War of 1812, the rise of Andrew Jackson, and the sectional differences leading to the Civil War. Numerous black and white illustrations complement the text. Ages 8-12 |
"REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN"
But during this time of success on water, terrible things
were happening on land. Tecumseh, the Indian chief who
had sworn to have his revenge on the pale-faces, had
leagued himself and his men with Proctor, a British
general, and most brutal Indian slaughters had
No British commander was ever more hated by the
American people than this Gen. Proctor. He had taken
the Indians as his allies, and had encouraged and
 them on in their bloody work. He offered presents to
the Indians for bringing to him American scalps,
allowed the Indians to brutally murder Americans after
a battle, even when they had surrendered and had begged
But of all his brutal deeds, none were more brutal than
the slaughter at Frenchtown, a little town upon the
The villagers, having heard of Gen. Hull's surrender,
and knowing that now all that part of the country was
in danger, had asked that Gen. Harrison, the hero of
Tippecanoe, should send troops to protect them. He
had, accordingly, sent a small body of soldiers, and
these were now guarding the town. Gen. Winchester,
too, was marching towards the town with more troops,
when he was met by Proctor himself. With threats of
Indian massacre with all its horrors, Proctor forced
Winchester to write an order to the troops within the
town, telling them to surrender to Proctor.
The troops, when Proctor appeared, bearing with him
this order to surrender, very unwillingly yielded.
They more than half doubted that Proctor had ever been
given any such orders; but as there seemed little else
to do, they at last threw down their arms, but only on
condition that if they yielded themselves up thus,
their wounded men in the town should be well cared for.
Proctor promised that everything should be as they
 wished, and then went away, taking with him the
surrendered troops; but in less than twenty-four hours
the yelling, war-painted savages rushed into the
their tomahawks, driving the
people from their homes, scalping and murdering their
victims with the cruelty of demons.
When at last these savages had done their worst, had
butchered all,—men, women and
children,—except perhaps for a few who may have escaped
into the forests, then they wound up their inhuman
performance by piling up the dead and wounded in their
homes where they had been slain, and, setting fire to
the houses, danced, and drank, and howled the night
away, around these terrible funeral pyres.
Proctor declared he had known nothing of the horrible
intentions of the Indians, and so was not responsible
for what they had done. Perhaps this may have been
true; but these very scalps torn from the heads of the
murdered villagers were carried into Proctor's camp;
and, since the English general received them, and the
Indians went on with the same terrible slaughter
whenever opportunity came, we can but think that
General Proctor was not very much displeased with the
behavior of the savages.
The anger of the people all over the country was
aroused and hundreds of men hastened to join Harrison's
army, eager to march against the hated Proctor and his
Now, at the time of Perry's battle, General Harrison
 eight thousand men were encamped on the shore awaiting
the result. No sooner had the news of the defeat of
this English fleet, which was on its way to join
Proctor, reached the eager army, than Harrison marched
his men on to Detroit, where Proctor and his Indians
held the city.
Proctor, too, had heard of the defeat of the English;
and when he learned that Harrison, with his eight
thousand, was marching upon him, he set fire to the
stores of powder and arms and fled up the river.
On reaching the deserted city, Harrison was joined by a
thousand mounted soldiers; and without stopping to
rest, all together they pushed on up the river in
They overtook the army on the Thames river—eighty
miles from the city. A more hungry, tired army never
was, than this of Harrison's, after their long march;
but throughout the march, when it seemed as if some
must fall exhausted by the wayside, the cry of
"Remember the River Raisin!" had always urged them on.
After a good night's rest, in which the army slept like
children, they arose refreshed and ready for battle.
The mounted Kentuckians, with the war cry of "Remember
the River Raisin!" made the first onset.
A hot and terrible charge they made, spurred on by the
thought that their dead at Frenchtown were thus
Proctor took to flight when he saw the battle turn
against him. Tecumseh, burning with rage, and the
 avenge his tribe, fought on, face to face, amid the
balls which rained about him, wounded though he was
time and time again, until, exhausted, he fell dead
upon the field.
Then his warriors, finding their leader killed, with
great yells and howls of grief, fled wildly into the
forests. And thus ended the battle of the
Thames—a complete though terrible victory
for the American side.
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