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Thames, Battle of the

THAMES, BATTLE OF THE

THAMES, BATTLE OF THE. The American effort to reclaim the upper Great Lakes, lost to the British in August 1812, was led by Gen. William Henry Harrison, who established Fort Meigs (above Toledo) as an advance base, and Capt. Oliver Hazard Perry, who built the fleet that, on 10 September, won the Battle of Lake Erie. Harrison's troops, convoyed by Perry's fleet, pursued British Gen. Henry A. Procter's forces into the interior of Ontario. The Americans engaged and defeated Proctor and his Indian allies, led by Tecumseh, a few miles east of Thamesville on 5 October 1813. Harrison's victory added to the future president's reputation as a military hero and restored American dominance in the Northwest.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Morison, Samuel E. "Old Bruin": Commodore Matthew C. Perry, 1794–1858. Boston: Little, Brown, 1967.

Peterson, Norma Lois. The Presidencies of William Henry Harrison and John Tyler. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1989.

Skaggs, David Curtis. A Signal Victory: The Lake Erie Campaign, 1812–1813. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1997.

Sugden, John. Tecumseh's Last Stand. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1985.

———. Tecumseh: A Life. New York: Holt, 1998.

M. M.Quaife/a. r.

See also"Don't Give Up the Ship" ; Ghent, Treaty of ; Great Lakes Naval Campaigns of 1812 ; Lake Erie, Battle of ; Tecumseh's Crusade ; Tippecanoe, Battle of ; War of 1812 .

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Thames, battle of the

battle of the Thames, engagement fought on the Thames River near Chatham, Ont. (Oct. 5, 1813), in the War of 1812. Gen. William H. Harrison led an American force of about 3,000 against a British army of approximately 400 regulars commanded by Gen. Henry A. Procter, reinforced by 1,000 Native Americans under Tecumseh. After the British were driven from Detroit, Harrison followed their retreating army into Ontario and up the Thames River until General Procter was forced to give battle. A cavalry charge broke the British ranks, and the Native Americans offered the only real resistance. Tecumseh was slain in battle, thus completely destroying the native confederacy he had raised against the United States. By the battle of the Thames, U.S. control in the Northwest was restored.

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