Ohio History Journal

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The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                    87


"PETERSBURG, VA., 4th March, 1880.


According to promise I will now attempt to tell you what little I

know about Croghan and Sandusky. The opening of the spring cam-

paign in 1813 found the garrison of Fort Meigs exceedingly weak.

General Harrison having gone in the states to hasten forward rein-

forcements, leaving General Clay in command. The British and In-

dians in considerable numbers, knowing perhaps of the absence of the

General-in-Chief, and our weakness, as also our expecting succor from

Kentucky, surrounded the fort and engaged in a sham battle, hoping

by this ruse to draw us out. Failing in this they left us, taking the

Military Road in the direction of Fort Stephenson, which was said to

have been forty miles in length, and fell upon Major Croghan and

his little band at Sandusky. The fort at this place was quite small,

covering I should say not more than one English acre of ground. In

form it was quadrilateral, without traverses, but having in front of

curtain on its four sides a broad and deep fosse. At the north-east

angle of the fort was a blockhouse, and just here was mounted the

only cannon (a six pounder) which made such havoc with the red coats

occupying the ditch. My impression is that my old comrade Brown

was the only member of my company present on that occasion; and

that he did not (as has been asserted) command the piece but only

assisted in working it. The captain of the gun was a sergeant either

of the Pittsburg Blues, or Greensburg Blues. However Brown was ter-

ribly burned about the face which disfigured him for life. I forgot to

state that the Fort was short of ammunition of all sorts, having only three

rounds in all for the cannon. You ask if I knew Major Croghan. I an-

swer, Yes, I have seen him oftentimes before and after the glorious fight

at Sandusky. He was a beardless stripling; I should say rather below

the medium size, and did not look more than eighteen years of age.

This is about all I know of Croghan and Sandusky. I might add, though

not exactly pertinent, that our Company was quite largely represented

on the decks of Commodore Perry's ships, when he so gloriously fought

and overcame the British Fleet on Lake Erie.

With great respect,

Your obedient servant,





The first permanent white settlers in Ohio were James

Whitaker and Elizabeth Foulks, who were captured in western

Pennsylvania in 1774 and 1776 respectively, by the Wyandot

Indians, by whom they were adopted and taken to Lower San-