This weekend is the 200th anniversary of The Battle of the Thames, the battle that most likely, more than any other (aside perhaps from The Battle on Lake Erie), marked a turning point in the war. The British were routed, Tecumseh was killed, the Indian confederation was left in a shambles. And in the end, the US received British acquiesence in its conquering of the Indian lands in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin (then known as The Northwest Territory).
I knew of Tecumseh as youngster, mostly because I had obtained one of his Look-n-See bubble gum cards. I knew he had been a fierce warrior who had led the battle to take Fort Detroit, and I knew he had been highly regarded by the US military for his abilities. And for some inexplicable reason, I never quite thought of him as "the enemy" even though I grew up in Michigan.
Recently, historian Allan Gregg has written a lengthy tribute to Tecumseh [ht Butch].
The information and the analysis provided by Gregg is a nice complement to the Wikipaedia entries for Tecumseh and for The Battle of the Thames. This weekend, if you do nothing else, read the brief introductions there. But Gregg's tribute is highly recommended as well.
Tecumseh (/tɛˈkʌmsə/; March 1768 – October 5, 1813) was a Native American leader of the Shawnee and a large tribal confederacy (known asTecumseh's Confederacy) which opposed the United States during Tecumseh's War and the War of 1812. Tecumseh has become an iconic folk hero in American, Aboriginal and Canadian history.
Tecumseh grew up in the Ohio Country during the American Revolutionary War and the Northwest Indian War, where he was constantly exposed to warfare. With Americans continuing to encroach on Indian territory after the British ceded the Ohio Valley to the new United States in 1783, the Shawnee moved farther northwest. In 1808, they settled Prophetstown in present-day Indiana. With a vision of establishing an independent Native American nation east of the Mississippi under British protection, Tecumseh worked to recruit additional tribes to the confederacy from the southern United States.
During the War of 1812, Tecumseh's confederacy allied with the British in The Canadas (the collective name for the colonies of Upper Canada andLower Canada), and helped in the capture of Fort Detroit. American forces killed Tecumseh in the Battle of the Thames, in October 1813. His confederation fell apart, the British deserted their Indian allies at the peace conference that ended the War of 1812, the dream of an independent Indian state in the Midwest vanished, and American settlers took possession of all the territory south of the Great Lakes, driving the Indians west or into reservations.
And another from Wikipaedia, this about The Battle of the Thames:
The Battle of the Thames, also known as the Battle of Moraviantown, was a decisive United States victory in the War of 1812 against Great Britain. It took place on October 5, 1813, near present-day Chatham, Ontario in Upper Canada. It resulted in the death of theShawnee chief Tecumseh, and the destruction of the Native American coalition which he led.