OTD: Tecumseh attacks thousands of U.S. reinforcements, killing hundreds with minimal losses

On today’s date in 1813, British Major General Henry Procter and Shawnee warrior Chief Tecumseh attacked 1,200 U.S. reinforcements attempting to end a five-day siege at Fort Meigs, Ohio.

More than 400 U.S. soldiers commanded by William Henry Harrison were killed, but British losses only amounted to about 15 deaths in what was known as the “Battle of the Miami” (for its proximity to the Miami du Lac River, now known as the Maumee River).

Throughout the War of 1812, Tecumseh led more than 2,000 warriors and fought at the sieges of Fort Meigs and Fort Stephenson. His support for Major-General Sir Isaac Brock at the capture of Detroit was decisive.


In 2012, the Royal Canadian Mint honoured Tecumseh’s bravery during the War of 1812, where he became one of Canada’s most well-known war heroes.

His likeness was featured on both a $4 Fine silver coin and a 25-cent circulation coin unveiled in 2012 at Fort Malden National Historic site in Amherstburg, Ont. It was the second of four circulation coins to commemorate key historical figures who influenced the fight for Canada from 1812-14.

“Canada could not have been defended without the dedication of all the forces united against American invasion and our government is pleased to commemorate Tecumseh, whose legendary role in the War of 1812 is a testament to the bravery and the loyalty of all First Nations and Métis people involved in that historic conflict,” said Jeff Watson, MP for Essex, Ont.


While both events are defining moments in Canada’s history, the War of 1812 was a catalyst for Canadian Confederation.

Throughout the 32-month war, British regular forces, English and French-speaking militia and First Nations and Métis allies joined together to defend the country’s borders from encroaching U.S. influences.

Without their courage and sacrifice, Canada as we know it would not exist, according to Ian Bennett, then president and CEO of the Mint.

“The Royal Canadian Mint is committed to preserving memories of the people, places and events which tell the story of the Canadian experience and the remembrance of the heroes of the War of 1812, including Tecumseh, is a unique way to celebrate our proud values.”

Tecumseh ultimately died in 1813 during the Battle of the Thames in Chatham, Ont.

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