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

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

More than 400 U.S. soldiers were killed, but British losses only amounted to about 15 deaths in this Battle of the Miami. 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.

2012 TECUMSEH COIN

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 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, member of parliament for Essex, Ont.

SPURRING ON CONFEDERATION

The War of 1812 was a catalyst for Canadian Confederation – both defining moments in Canada’s history – and saw British regular forces, English and French-speaking militia as well as First Nations and Métis allies join together to defend the country’s borders from encroaching U.S. influences.

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

“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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