previous next

Maguaga, battle of.

After the evacuation of Canada in 1812, General Hull sent 600 men, under Lieutenant-Colonel Miller, to repair the misfortunes of Van Horne and afford a competent escort for Captain Brush and the army supplies under his charge at the Raisin River.

Maguaga battle-ground.

When the troops were placed in marching order, Lieutenant-Colonel Miller said to the Ohio militia: “Soldiers, we are now going to meet the enemy and beat them. The reverses of the 5th must be repaired. The blood of our brethren, spilt by the savages, must be avenged. I shall lead you. You shall not disgrace yourselves nor me. Every man who shall leave the ranks or fall back, without orders, shall [74] be instantly put to death. I charge the officers to execute this order.” Turning to the veterans of the 4th Regiment of Regulars, he said: “My brave soldiers, you will add another victory to that of Tippecanoe—another laurel to that gained on the Wabash last fall. If there is now any man in the ranks of the detachment who fears to meet the enemy, let him fall out and stay behind!” They all cried out, “I'll not stay! I'll not stay!” and, led by Miller, they pressed southward, in an order ready for battle at any moment, until, about 4 A. M. on Aug. 9, they reached the vicinity of Maguaga, 14 miles below Detroit. Spies had led the way, under Major Maxwell, followed by a vanguard of forty men, under Captain Snelling, of the 4th Regiment. The infantry moved in two columns, about 200 yards apart. The cavalry kept the road in the centre, in double file; the artillery followed, and flank guards of riflemen marched at proper distances. In the Oak Woods, at Maguaga, near the banks of the Detroit, they received from an ambush of British and Indians, under Major Muir and Tecumseh, a terrible volley. This was a detachment sent over from Fort Malden by General Proctor to repeat the tragedy at Brownstown, cut off the communication between the Raisin and Detroit, and capture Brush and his stores. Snelling, in the advance, returned the fire and maintained his position until Miller came up with the main body. These were instantly formed in battle order, and, with a shout, the gallant young commander and his men fell upon the foe. At the same time, a 6-pounder poured in a storm of grape-shot that made sad havoc. The battle soon became general, when, closely pressed in front and rear, the British and Canadians fled, leaving Tecumseh and his warriors to bear the brunt of battle. The white men gained their boats as quickly as possible and sped across the river to Fort Malden. The Indians soon broke and fled also, pursued by the impetuous Snelling more than 2 miles, on a powerful horse, with a few of the cavalry. The rout and victory were complete. The Americans lost eighteen killed and fifty-seven wounded. Miller, though injured by a fall from his horse, wished to push on to the Raisin, but Hull sent a peremptory order for the whole detachment to return to Detroit. The British were gathering in force at Sandwich, and threatening the fort and village of Detroit.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1812 AD (1)
August 9th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: