Sandusky County



Page 520


SANDUSKY COUNTY was formed from old an Indian territory, April 1, 1820. The soil is fertile, and the surface is generally level.  The Black Swamp tract covers the western part.  Its first settlers were principally of New England origin, since which many have moved in from Pennsylvania and Germany.  The principal productions are Indian corn, wheat, oats, potatoes and pork.  Area about 440 square miles.  In 1887 the acres cultivated were 143,122; in pasture, 19,884; woodland, 37,797; lying waste, 3,917; produced in wheat, 732,798 bushels; rye, 20,464; buckwheat, 981; oats, 552,467; barley, 11,756; corn, 1,184,723; broom corn, 300 lbs. brush; meadow hay, 18,445 tons;  clover hay, 12,077; potatoes, 120,055 bushels; butter, 710,754 lbs.; cheese, 53,200; sorghum, 1,878 gallons; maple syrup, 3,105 gallons; honey, 4,296 lbs.; eggs, 508,110 dozen; grapes, 37,540 lbs.; wine, 593 gallons; sweet potatoes, 655 bushels; apples, 52,203; peaches, 6,146; pears, 1,507; wool, 148,219 lbs.; milch cows owned, 5,481.  Ohio Mining Statistics, 1888.–Limestone, 18,600 tons burned for lime, 8,250 cubic feet of dimension stone, 3,526 cubic yards of building stone, 6,353 cubic yards of ballast or macadam.  School census, 1888, 9,446; teachers, 287.  Miles of railroad track, 141.


Township And




Township And




Township And













Fremont (City)









Green Creek





























Population of Sandusky in 1830, 2,851; 1840, 10,184; 1860, 21,429; 1880, 32,057; of whom 22,312 were born in Ohio; 2,247 Pennsylvania; 1,474 New York; 181 Indiana; 140 Virginia; 42 Kentucky; 2,653 German Empire; 569 Ireland; 373 England and Wales; 207 British America; 197 France; 34 Scotland, and 5 Norway and Sweden.  Census, 1890, 30,617.


The significance of the name of this county has frequently been a matter of dispute.  John H. JAMES, Esq., the American Pioneer, truly says:


I have a note of a conversation with William WALKER at Columbus, in 1835-6, at which time he was principal chief of the Wyandots at Upper Sandusky, in which I asked the meaning of the word Sandusky.  He said it meant “at the cold water,” and should be sounded San-doos-tee.  He said it “carried with it the force of a preposition.”  The Upper Cold Water and the Lower Cold Water, then, were descriptive Indian names, given long before the presence of the trader SOWDOWSKY.  In the vocabulary of Wyandot words, given by John JOHNSTON, Esq., formerly Indian agent in Ohio, as printed in Archaelogia Americana, vol. i., page 295, the word water is given as Sa, undustee, or water within water pools.


This region of country was once a favorite residence of the Indians.  Hon. Lewis CASS, in his discourse before the Historical Society of Michigan, delivered September 18, 1829, gives some interesting statements respecting a tribe called “the Neutral Nation.”



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Designed and Engraved in 1846 by A. H. Ritchie for 1st Edition Ohio Historical Collection.




“COL. SHORT, commanding the regulars composing the forlorn hope, was ordering his met to leap the ditch, hoisted his handkerchief on the end of his sword, and begged for that mercy which he had the moment before ordered should be denied to his enemy.”



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Upon the Sandusky river, and near where the town of Lower Sandusky now stands, lived a band of Wyandots, called the Neutral Nation.  They occupied two villages, which were cities of refuge, where those who sought safety never failed to find it.  During the long and disastrous contests which preceded and followed the arrival of the Europeans, in which the Iroquois contended for victory, and their enemies for existence, this little band preserved the integrity of their territories and the sacred character of peace-makers.  All who met upon their threshold met as friends, for the ground on which they stood was holy.  It was a beautiful institution, a calm and peaceful island looking out upon a world of waves and tempests.


This annexed is a note from the above.


This Neutral Nation, so-called by Father SEGUARD, was still in existence two centuries ago, when the French missionaries first reached the upper lakes.  The details of their history, and of their character and privileges, are meagre and unsatisfactory; and this is the more to be regretted, as such a sanctuary among the barbarous tribes is not only a singular institution, but altogether at variance with that reckless spirit of cruelty with which their wars are usually prosecuted.  The Wyandot tradition represents them as having separated from the parent stock during the bloody wars between their own tribe and the Iroquois, and having fled to the Sandusky river for safety.  That they here erected two forts, within a short distance of each other, and assigned one to the Iroquois and the other to the Wyandotts and their allies, where their war parties might find security and hospitality, whenever they entered their country.  Why so unusual a proposition was made and acceded to, tradition does not tell.  It is probable, however, that superstition lent its aid to the institution, and that it may have been indebted for its origin to the feasts and dreams and juggling ceremonies which constituted the religion of the aborigines.  No other motive was sufficiently powerful to restrain the hand of violence and to counteract the threat of vengeance.


An intestine feud finally arose in this Neutral Nation, one party espousing the cause of the Iroquois and the other of their enemies; and like most civil wars, this was prosecuted with relentless fury.  Our informant says that, since his recollection, the remains of a red cedar post were yet to be seen, where the prisoners were tied previously to being burned.


The informant above alluded to by Gov. CASS we have reason to believe was Major B. F. STICKNEY, of Toledo, long an Indian agent in this region.  That there may have been such a tradition among the Indians we are unable to gainsay, but of its truth we have doubts.  Major STICKNEY, in a lecture (as yet unpublished), delivered Feb. 28, 1845, before the Young Men’s Association, of Toledo, says:


“The remains of extensive works of defence are now to be seen near Lower Sandusky.  The Wyandotts have given me this account of them.  At a period of two centuries and a half since, or more, all the Indians west of this point were at war with all the Indians east.  Two walled towns were built near each other, and each was inhabited by those of Wyandott origin.  They assumed a neutral character, and the Indians at war recognized that character.  They might be called two neutral cities.  All of the west might enter the western city, and all of the east the eastern.  The inhabitants of one city might inform those of the other that war parties were there or had been there; but who they were or whence they came, or any thing more, must not be mentioned.  The war parties might remain there in security, taking their own time for departure.  At the western town they suffered the warriors to burn their prisoners near it; but the eastern would not. (An old Wyandott informed me that he recollected seeing, when a boy, the remains of a cedar-post or stake, at which they used to burn prisoners.)  The French historians tell us that these neutral cities were inhabited and their neutral character respected, when they first came here.  At length a quarrel arose between the two cities, and one destroyed the inhabitants of the other.  This put an end to all neutrality.”


Fremont in 1846.—Lower Sandusky [now Fremont], the county-seat, is twenty-four miles southwesterly from Sandusky city, and 105 west of north from Columbus.  The annexed engraving shows the town as it appears from a hill northeast of it, on the opposite side of the river, near the residence of Mr. Jasper SMITH, seen in front.  On the left the bridge across the Sandusky river partially appears, and a little to the right of it WHYLER’s hotel.  On the hill are shown the court-house, and the Episcopal, Presbyterian and Catholic churches.


The town stands at the head of navigation on the Sandusky, at the lower rapids, where the Indians had a reservation of two miles square, granted to them by the treaty of Greenville.  It is said that at an early day the French had a trading-station at this point.  Lower Sandusky contains 1 Episcopal, 1 Presbyterian, 1 Baptist, 1 Methodist and 1 Catholic church, 2 newspaper printing-offices, 8 grocery and 11 dry goods stores, 1 woollen factory, 1 foundry, and had, in 1840, 1,117 inhabitants, and now has near 2,000.  It is a thriving town, and consider-


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able business is carried on.  Its commerce is increasing.  Small steamers and sail vessels constantly ply from here.  The principal articles of export in 1846 were of wheat 90,000 bushels; pork, 560 barrels; ashes, 558 casks; flour, 1,010 barrels; corn, 18,400 bushels; staves, 1,100,000; imports, 1,480 barrels of salt and 250 tons of merchandize.  Immediately opposite Lower Sandusky, on the east bank of the river, is the small village of Croghansville, laid out in 1817, which in a general description would be included in the former.—Old Edition.




A young man said to me on my original tour, in one of the interior towns, “There is an odd character here you ought to see.  He writes humorous verses, is much of a wit, and is deserving of a place in your book.”  I replied, “Ohio has a good many odd people, and I have not time to give them all a call.”  The young man eventually moved to Cincinnati, became a member of it literary club, and I was associated with him for years, and learned to love and respect him.  He was one of its most popular members, overflowing with good fellowship, cheery, fond of the humorous, and never known to get angry except in indignation at some vile project in view, or some oppressive act committed upon the weak and helpless. In those days there was nobody around to tell him that he was to become three times Governor of Ohio and then President of the United States—RUTHERFORD B. HAYES.


I now regret that I did not see that shrewd character, Judge Elisha W. HOWLAND, that he wanted me to call upon; but I here, at this late day, pay my respects to his memory.


Two or three years after my visit the name of the town was changed from Lower Sandusky to Fremont, in honor not of a then political character, but of the great Path Finder over “the Rockies.”  Mr. HAYES, as the lawyer for the petition, presented it to court, and finished by offering the only remonstrance against the change.  This was in the form of humorous versification, consisting of seven verses from Judge HOWLAND, which Mr. Hayes read to the court, and I have no doubt with a gusto.


A REMONSTRANCE against a Petition to the County Court of Sandusky to alter the name of Lower Sandusky to that of Fremont, as read to the Court by MR. R. B. HAYES, Attorney for the Petition.



There is a prayer now going round

   Which I dislike to hear,

To change the name of this old town

   I hold very dear.


They pray the court to alter it,

   I pray to God they wont;

And let it stand Sandusky yet

   And not John C. Fremont.


Sandusky is a pleasant name;

Tis short and easy spoken;

Descending to us by a chain

   That never should be broken.


Then let us hand it down the stream

    Of Time to after ages,

And Sandusky be the theme

    Of future bards and sages.


Wont the old honest SAGUMS’ rise,

     And say to us pale faces,

“Do you our ancient name despise,

    And change our resting-places?


“Our fathers slumbered here;

    Their spirits cry, “Oh, don’t

Alter the name to us so dear

    And substitute Fremont!’”



            Therefore my prayer shall still remain,

  Until my voice grows husky:

Oh, change the PEOPLE, not the name

  Of my old home, Sandusky!





Fort Stevenson or Sandusky, so gallantly defended by Col. CROGHAN, on the 2d of August, 1813, against an overwhelming force of British and Indians, was within the present limits of the place.  Its site is indicated by the flag on the left



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Top Picture

Drawn by Henry Howe in 1846


Bottom Picture


On the site of Fort Stephenson, Fremont.


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in the engraving, which is about thirty rods southeast of the court-house, on high ground, much elevated above the river.  The fort enclosed about an acre of ground, and the picketing was in good preservation as late as 1834.  We annex a narration of the assault on the fort from a published source.


British Manoeuvres.—Having raised the siege of Camp Meigs, the British sailed round into Sandusky bay, while a competent number of their savage allies marched across through the swamps of Portage river, to cooperate in a combined attack on Lower Sandusky, expecting, no doubt, that Gen. Harrison’s attention would be chiefly directed to Forts Winchester and Meigs.  The general, however, had calculated on their taking this course, and had been careful to keep patrols down the bay, opposite the mouth of Portage, where he supposed their forces would debark.


Retreat Ordered.—Several days before the British had invested Fort Meigs, Gen. Harrison, with Major CROGHAN and some other officers, had examined the heights which surround Fort Stevenson: and as the hill on the opposite or southeast side of the river was found to be the most commanding eminence, the general had some thoughts of removing the fort to that place, and Major CROGHAN declared his readiness to undertake the work.  But the general did not authorize him to do it, as he believed that if the enemy intended to invade our territory again, they would do it before the removal could be com-



[References to the Environs.—a—British gun-boats at their place of landing.

b—Cannon, a six-pounder. c—Mortar. D—Batteries e—Graves of Lieut-Col.

Short and Lieut. Gordon, who fell in the ditch. f—Road to Upper Sandusky.

g—Advance of the enemy to the fatal ditch. iHead of navigation.





References to the Fort.—Line 1—Pickets. Line

2—Embankments from the ditch to and against

the pickets.  Line –Dry ditch, nine feet wide by

six deep.  A.—Block-house first attached by can-

one, b. b—Bastion from which the ditch was

raked by Croghan’s artillery.  C.—Guard block-

house, in the lower left corner.  D—Hospital

during the attack. EEE—Military store-houses,

F—Commissary’s store-house.  G—Magazine.

H—Fort gate. K K K—Wicker gates. L—Par-

tition page.




pleted.  It was finally concluded that the fort, which was calculated for a garrison of only 200 men, could not be defended against the heavy artillery of the enemy; and that if the British should approach it by water, artillery, the fort must be abandoned and burnt, provided a retreat could be effected with safety.  In the orders left with Major CROGHAN it was stated, “Should the British troops approach you in force with cannon, and you can discover them in time to effect a retreat, you will do so immediately, destroying all the public stores.”


“You must be aware that the attempt to retreat in the face of an Indian force would be vain.  Against such an enemy your garri-



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son would be safe, however great the number.”


A Counsel of War.—On the evening of the 29th Gen. Harrison received intelligence, by express, from Gen. Clay, that the enemy had abandoned the siege of Fort Meigs; and as the Indians on that day had swarmed in the woods round his camp, he entertained no doubt but that an immediate attack was intended either on Sandusky or Seneca.  He therefore immediately called a council of war, consisting of McArthur, Cass, Ball, Paul, Wood, Hukill, Holmes and Graham, who were unanimously of the opinion that Fort Stephenson was untenable against heavy artillery, and that as the enemy could bring with facility any quantity of battering cannon against it, by which it must inevitably fall, and as it was an unimportant post, containing nothing the loss of which would be felt by us, that the garrison should therefore not be reinforced but withdrawn, and the place destroyed.


A Retreat Unsafe.—In the pursuance of this decision the general immediately despatched the order to Major CROGHAN, directing him immediately to abandon Fort Stephenson, to set it on fire and repair with his command to headquarters—cross the river and come up on the opposite side, and if he should find it impracticable to reach the general’s quarters, to take the road to Huron, and pursue it with the utmost circumspection and despatch.  This order was sent by Mr. CONNER and two Indians, who lost their way in the dark, and did not reach Fort Stephenson till eleven o’clock the next day.  When Maj. CROGHAN received it, he was of the opinion that he could not then retreat with safety, as the Indians were hovering round the fort in considerable force.  He called a council of his officers, a majority of whom coincided with him in the opinion that a retreat would be unsafe, and that the post could be maintained against the enemy, at least until further instructions could be received from headquarters.  The major therefore immediately returned the following answer: “Sir, I have just received yours of yesterday, 10 o’clock P.M., ordering me to destroy this place and make good my retreat, which was received too late to be carried into execution.  We have determined to maintain this place, and by heavens we can.”


In writing this note, Major CROGHAN had a view to the probability of its falling into the hands of the enemy, and on that account made use of stronger language than would have been consistent with propriety.  It reached the general on the same day, who did not fully understand the circumstances and motives under which it had been dictated.  The following order was therefore immediately prepared, and sent with Col. Wells in the morning, escorted by Col. Ball, with his corps of dragoons:


“July 30, 1813.

“Sir—The general has just received your letter of this date, informing him that you had thought proper to disobey the order issued from this office, and delivered to you this morning.  It appears tat the information which dictated the order was incorrect; and as you did not receive it in the night, as was expected, it might have been proper that you should have reported the circumstance and your situation before you proceeded to its execution.  This might have been passed over; but I am directed to say to you, that an officer who presumes to aver that he has made his resolution, and that he will act in direct opposition to the orders of his general, can no longer be entrusted with a separate command.  Colonel Wells is sent to relieve you.  You will deliver the command to him, and repair with Colonel Ball’s squadron to this place.  By command, &


“Assistant Adjutant General.”


Colonel Wells being left in the command of Fort Stevenson, Major Croghan returned with his squadron to headquarters.  He there explained his motives for writing such a note, which were deemed satisfactory; and having remained all night with the general, who treated him politely, he was permitted to return to his command in the morning, with written orders similar to those he had received before.


Refusal to Surrender.—A reconnoitering party which had been sent from headquarters to the shore of the lake, about twenty miles distant from Fort Stephenson, discovered the approach of the enemy, by water, on the evening of the 31st of July.  They returned by the fort after 12 o’clock the next day, and had passed it but a few hours when the enemy made their appearance before it.  The Indians showed themselves first on the hill over the river, and were saluted by a six-pounder, the only piece of artillery in the fort, which soon caused them to retire.  In half an hour the British gun-boats came in sight, and the Indian forces displayed themselves in every direction, with a view to intercept the garrison, should a retreat be attempted.  The six-pounder was fired a few times at the gun-boats, which was returned by the artillery of the enemy.  A landing of their troops with a five-and-a- half-inch howitzer was effected about a mile below the fort; and Major Chambers, accompanied by Dickson, was dispatched towards the fort with a flag, and was met on the part of Major Croghan by Ensign Shipp, of the 17th regiment.  After the usual ceremonies, Major Chambers observed to Ensign Shipp, that he was instructed by General Proctor to demand the surrender of the fort, as he was anxious to spare the effusion of human blood, which he could not do, should he be under the necessity of reducing it, by the powerful force of artillery, regulars and Indians under his command.  Shipp replied, that the commandant of the fort and its garrison were determined to defend it to the last extremity; that no force however great could induce them to surrender, as they were resolved to maintain their post, or to bury themselves in its ruins.  Dickson then


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said that their immense body of Indians could not be restrained from murdering the whole garrison in case of success, of which we have no doubt, rejoined Chambers, as we are amply prepared.  Dickson then proceeded to remark that it was a great pity so fine a young man should fall into the hands of the savages—Sir, for God’s sake, surrender, and prevent the dreadful massacre that will be caused by your resistance.  It will not be given up while a man is able to resist.  An Indian at this moment came out of an adjoining ravine, and advancing to the ensign, took hold of his sword and attempted to wrest it from him.  Dickson interfered, and having restrained the Indian, affected great anxiety to get him safe into the fort.


The Enemy Open Fire. –The enemy now opened their fire from their six-pounders in the gun-boats and the howitzer on shore, which they continued through the night with but little intermission and very little effect.  The forces of the enemy consisted of 500 regulars, and about 800 Indians, commanded by Dickson, the whole being commanded by General Proctor in person.  Tecumseh was stationed on the road to Fort Meigs with a body of 2000 Indians, expecting to intercept a reinforcement on that route.


Major Croghan through the evening occasionally fired his six-pounder, at the same time changing its place occasionally to induce a belief that he had more than one piece.  As it produced very little execution on the enemy, and he was desirous of saving his ammunition, he soon discontinued his fire.  The enemy had directed their fire against the northwestern angle of the fort which induced the commander to believe that an attempt to storm his works would be made at that point.  In the night, Captain Hunter was directed to remove the six-pounder to a block-house, from which it would rake that angle.  By great industry and personal exertion, Captain Hunter soon accomplished this object in secrecy.  The embrasure was masked, and the piece loaded with a half-charge of powder, and double charge of slugs and grapeshot.  Early in the morning of the 2d, the enemy opened their fire from their howitzer and three six-pounders, which they had landed in the night, and planted in a point of woods, about 250 yards from the fort.  In the evening, about 4 o’clock, they concentrated the fire of all their guns on their northwest angle, which convinced Major Croghan that they would endeavor to make a breach and storm the works at that point; he therefore immediately had that place strengthened as much as possible with bags of flour and sand, which were so effectual that the picketing in that place sustained no material injury.  Sergeant Weaver, with five or six gentlemen of the Petersburgh volunteers and Pittburgh blues, who happened to be in the fort, was intrusted with the management of the six-pounder.


Assault and Repulse of the British.—Late in the evening, when the smoke of the firing had completely enveloped the fort, the enemy proceeded to make the assault.  Two feints were made towards the southern angle, where Captain Hunter’s lines were formed; and at the same time a column of 350 men was discovered advancing through the smoke, within twenty paces of the northwestern angle.  A heavy galling fire of musketry was now opened upon them from the fort, which threw them into some confusion.  Colonel Short, who headed the principal column, soon rallied his men, and led them with great bravery to the brink of the ditch.  After a momentary pause he leaped into the ditch, calling to his men to follow him, and in a  few minutes it was full.  The masked port-hole was now opened, and the six-pounder, at a distance of thirty feet, poured such destruction among them that but a few who entered the ditch were fortunate enough to escape.  A precipitate and confused retreat was the immediate consequence, although some of the offices attempted to rally their men.  The other column, which was led by Colonel Warburton and Major Cambers, was also routed in confusion by a descructive fire from the line commanded by Captain Hunter.  The whole of them fled into the adjoining wood, beyond the reach of our fire-arms.  During the assault, which lasted half an hour, the enemy kept up an incessant fire from their howitzer and five six-pounders.  They left Colonel Short,* a lieutenant and twenty five privates dead in the ditch; and the total number of prisoners taken was twenty-six, most of them badly wounded.  Major Muir was knocked down in the ditch, and lay among the dead, til the darkness of night enabled him to escape in safety.  The loss of the garrison was one killed and seven slightly wounded.  The total loss of the enemy could not be less than 150 killed and wounded.


Retreat of the British.—When night came on, which was soon after the assault, the wounded in the ditch were in a desparate situation.  Complete relief could not be brought to them by either side with any degree of safety.  Major Croghan, however, relieved them as much as possible—he contrived to convey them water over the picketing in buckets, and a ditch was opened under the pickets, through which those who were able and willing, were encouraged to crawl into the fort.  All who were able, preferred, of course, to follow their defeated comrades, and many others were carried from the vicinity of the fort by the Indians, particularly their own killed and wounded; and in the night, about three o’clock, the whole British and Indian


* “Col. Short, who commanded the regulars composing the forlorn hope, was ordering his men to leap the ditch, cut down the pickets, and give the Americans no quarter, when he fell mortally wounded into the ditch, hoisted his white handkerchief on the end of his sword, and begged for that mercy which he had a moment before ordered to be denied to his enemy.”


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force commenced a disorderly retreat.  So great was their precipitation that they left a sail-boat containing some clothing and a considerable quantity of military stores: and on the next day, seventy stand of arms and some braces of pistols were picked up around the fort.  Their hurry and confusion were caused by the apprehension of an attack from Gen. Harrison, of whose position and force they had probably received an exaggerated account.


Gen. Harrison’s Movements.It was the intention of General Harrison, should the enemy succeed against Fort Stephenson, or should they endeavor to turn his left and fall on Upper Sandusky, to leave his camp at Seneca and fall back for the protection of that place.  But he discovered by the firing on the evening of the 1st, that the enemy had nothing but light artillery, which could make no impression on the fort; and he knew that an attempt to storm it without making a breach, could be successfully repelled by the garrison; he therefore determined to wait for the arrival of 250 mounted volunteers under Colonel Rennick, being the advance of 700 who were approaching by the way of the Upper Sandusky, and then to march against the enemy and raise the siege, if their force was not still too great for his.  On the 2d, he sent several scouts to ascertain their situation and force; but the woods were so infested with Indians, that none of them could proceed sufficiently near the fort to make the necessary discoveries.  In the night the messenger arrived at headquarters with intelligence that the enemy were preparing to retreat.  About 9 o’clock, Major Croghan had ascertained from their collecting about their boats, that they were preparing to embark, and had immediately sent an express to the commander-in-chief with this information.  The General now determined to wait no longer for the reinforcements, and immediately set out with the dragoons, with which he reached the fort early in the morning, having ordered Generals M’Arthur and Cass, who had arrived at Seneca several days before, to follow him with all the disposable infantry at that place, and which at this time was about 700 men, after the numerous sick, and the force necessary to maintain the position, were left behind.  Finding that the enemy had fled entirely from the fort, so as not to be reached by him, and learning that Tecumseh was somewhere in the direction of Fort Meigs, with 2,000 warriors, he immediately ordered the infantry to fall back to Seneca, lest Tecumseh should make an attack on that place, or intercept the small reinforcements advancing from Ohio.


Gallant Soldiers.In his official report of this affair, General Harrison observes that—“It will not be among the least of General Proctor’s mortifications that he has been baffled by a youth who had just passed his twenty-first year.  He is, however, a hero worthy of his gallant uncle, Gen. George R. Clarke.”


Captain Hunter, of the 17th regiment, the second in command, conducted himself with great propriety: and never was there a set of finer young fellows than the subalterns, viz.: Lieutenants Johnson and Baylor of the 17th, Meeks of the 7th, and Ensigns Shipp and Duncan of the 17th.


Lieutenant Anderson of the 24th, was also noticed for his good conduct.  Being without a command, he solicited Major Croghan for a musket and a post to fight at, which he did with the greatest bravery.


“Too much praise,” says Major Croghan, “cannot be bestowed on the officers, non-commissioned officers and privates under my command, for their gallantry and good conduct during the siege.”


The brevet rant of lieutenant-colonel was immediately conferred on Major Croghan, by the president of the United States, for his gallant conduct on this occasion.  The ladies of Chilicothe also presented him an elegant sword, accompanied by a suitable address.


We take the above from Dawson’s “Life of Harrison,” where it is quoted from some other source.  In defending Gen. Harrison from the charges of cowardice and incompetency in not marching to the aid of the garrison precious to the attack, Dawson says;


Unjust Criticism of General Harrison.The conduct of the gallant Croghan and his garrison received from every quarter the plaudits of their countrymen.  This was what they most richly deserved.  There was, however, some jealous spirits, who took it into their heads to be dissatisfied with the course pursued by the commanding general.  The order which was given to Colonel Croghan to evacuate and destroy the garrison previously to the attack, was loudly condemned, as well as the decision of the council of war, to fall back with the troops then at Seneca, to a position twelve miles in the rear.  Both these measures, it has been said, were detirmined on by the unanimous advice of the council of war.  It is not to be presumed that such men as composed that board, would have given advice which was in any way derogatory to the honor of the American arms.  Every individual among them either had, before or afterwards, distinguished himself by acts of daring courage and intrepidity.  We do not profess to be much acquainted with military matters, but the subject appears to us so plain as only to require a small portion of common sense perfectly to comprehend it.  At the time that the determination was made to withdraw the garrison from Sandusky, it must be recollected that the general had only with him at Seneca about 400 infantry and 130 or 140 dragoons.  The enemy, as he was informed by General



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Clay in the letter brought by Captain M’Cune, amounted to at least 5,000.  With such a disparity of force, would it have been proper to have risked an action to preserve the post of Lower Sandusky, which of itself was of little or no importance, and which, the garrison being withdrawn, contained nothing of any value?


Important Posts.—The posts of Fort Meigs and Upper Sandusky were of the utmost importance; the former was amply provided with the means of defence, and was in no danger; but the latter, weak in its defences, and with a feeble garrison, containing many thousands of barrels of flour and other provisions, the sole resource of the army for the ensuing campaign, was to be preserved at any risk.  The position at Seneeca, was not in the direct line from Fort Meigs to Upper Sandusky.  The enemy, by taking the direct route, would certainly reach it before General Harrison, as several hours must have elapsed before he could have been informed of their movement, even if it had been discovered the moment it had been commenced, a circumstance not very likely to happen.  It therefore became necessary for the security of Upper Sandusky, that a position better adapted to that purpose should be assumed.  There was another and most important reason for this movement: twelve miles in the rear of Seneca, towards Upper Sandusky, the prairie or open country commences.  The infantry which the commander-in-chief had with him were raw recruits; on the contrary, the squadron of dragoons were well disciplined, and had seen much service.  In the country about Seneca, this important corps could have been of little service: in the open country to the rear, they would have defeated five times their number of Indians.  It was for these reasons that it was determined by the council of war, to change the position of the troops at Seneca.  If this movement did take place, the propriety of withdrawing the garrison of Lower Sandusky was obvious.  The place was extremely weak, and in a bad position.  It was not intended originally for a fort.  Before the war it was used as the United States’ Indian factory, and had a small stockade around it, merely for the purpose of keeping out drunken Indians.  It was, moreover, commanded by a hill, within point blank shot, on the opposite side of the river.


“The School of Experience.”—To those who suppose that Gen. Harrison should have advanced upon the enemy the moment he discovered that Sandusky was attacked, we must, in the language of the general and field officers who were present on the occasion, “leave them to correct their opinions in the school of experience.”  General Harrison had been reinforced a day or two before the siege of Sandusky, by the 28th regiment, raised in Kentucky.  After having received this corps he could not have marched more than 800 effective men without risking his stores, and what was still of more consequence, 150 sick at Seneca, to be taken by the smallest party of Indians.  The scouts of the army brought information that the Indians were very numerous in the direction of Fort Meigs.  The general conjectured that a large portion of the Indians were then ready to fall on his flank or rear, or the defenceless camp at Seneca, should he advance.  The information he received from the British prisoners confirmed this opinion; a body of 2,000 being there under the command of Tecumseh.  At the moment of which we are speaking the volunteers of Ohio were rapidly approaching.


Wise Course of Gen. Harrison.—Now, under these circumstances, does any reasonable man believe that Gen. Harrison should have advanced with his 800 raw recruits against a force in front which he knew to be so much superior in numbers, and with the probability of having one equally large hanging on his flank?  What would have been thought of his abilities as a general, even if he had been successful against Gen. Proctor (of which, with his small force, there was little probability), if in his absence Tecumseh, with his 2,000 warriors, had rushed upon Camp Seneca, destroyed his stores, tomahawked his sick soldiers, and pursuing his route towards Upper Sandusky, defeated the Ohio volunteers, scattered as they were in small bodies, and finally ending his career with the destruction of the grand magazine of his army, upon the preservation of which all his hopes of future success depended?  In all human probability this would have been the result had Gen. Harrison advanced to the relief of Fort Stephenson sooner than he did.  It was certainly better to risk for a while the defence of that fort to the talents and vigor of Croghan, and the gallant spirits who were with him, than to jeopardize the whole prospects of the campaign.


About one and a half miles above Lower Sandusky, at the falls of the river, in the manufacturing village of Ballsville, containing one cotton and one woollen factory, two flouring mills, and about thirty dwellings.  It was about half a mile southwest of this village, that Col. Ball had a skirmish with the Indians a day or two previous to the assault of Fort Stephenson.  There is, or was a few years since, an oak tree on the site of the action, on the road to Columbus, with seventeen hacks in it to indicate the number of Indians killed on the occasion.  We have an account of this affair derived from one of the dragoons present.—Old Edition.


The squadron were moving towards the fort when they were suddenly fired upon by the Indians from the west side of the road, whereupon Col. Ball ordered a charge, and he

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