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

On today’s date in 1813, Major General Henry Procter and Tecumseh attacked 1,200 U.S. reinforcements who were coming up 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 in this Battle of the Miami.

In 2012, the Royal Canadian Mint honoured the bravery of Shawnee Chief Tecumseh 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 to 1814.

“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.

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

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,” said Bennett.

Over the course of the War of 1812, Tecumseh led over 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 though he ultimately fell at the Battle of the Thames at Chatham, Ont. in 1813.

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