Battle of Frenchtown
"...We marched to the enemy, and attacked him at break of day on the 22nd instant, and after suffering, for our numbers, a considerable loss, the enemy's force... at length surrendered at discretion."
"A destructive fire was sustained for some time; at length borne down by numbers, the of us that remained with the party retired from the lines, and submitted."
Military action in the beginning of 1813 started to the west of Lake Erie. Brigadier General William Harrison, whose victory at Tippecanoe won him much respect, and Brigadier General James Winchester, shared command of the United States North Western Army. General Harrison planned to re-capture the city of Detroit, which fell to General Isaac Brock on August 16 the previous year. This would allow the American forces to invade Upper Canada on that front.
In January 1813, General Harrison's army of over 6,000 men marched north towards Detroit. General Winchester traveled ahead of the main force with an advance guard. The taking of Frenchtown on the River Raisin proved to be easy for the American soldiers. However, General Winchester made a serious mistake in not preparing for a counter-attack.
Before sunrise on January 22, 1813, British Major General Henry Proctor attacked the American troops with over 500 regulars and militia, and 600 Amerindians. About 500 hundred Americans, including General Winchester, were captured, and almost 400 were killed. Because of the poor state of readiness of the American troops, they suffered such vast losses, and thus the battle is also known as the River Raisin Massacre.
General Harrison retreated up the Maumee River, but when he learned that the British did not pursue, he returned to the shore of Lake Erie and built a fort which he named Fort Meigs.