Ohio History Journal

The Harrison Table Rock and Ball's Battlefield

The Harrison Table Rock and Ball's Battlefield.        363


No other county in the state is so rich in early history as Sandusky.

A British post was established here during the Revolutionary War. Here

the first permanent white settlers located and the first marriage between

whites was performed. Especially during the War of 1812 was it a

famous battleground.

In marking, one by one, these historical places, we, as an organi-

zation, are not only showing patriotism in one of the truest forms--

reverencing the memory and brave deeds of our heroes--but we are

reminding the present and future generations of our dearly won liberties,

for very truly has some one said: "Every spot in a land that marks

the achievement of an heroic deed is to that land a perpetual fountain

from which flows influences to strengthen the patriotism of its people."

In imagination we can see Major Ball's dragons gallantly riding

down this road. They obeyed the order to charge with bayonets when-

ever smoke was seen and thus in a hand-to-hand encounter killed

seventeen of the eighteen Indians.

Bravery in battle requires the same courage, whether the fighting

is on Ball's battlefield with a small squadron, at Fort Stephenson with

160 men defending the fort, or with the thousands at Gettysburg. So

today we honor the memory of the men who won the battle which pre-

ceded Croghan's victory by two days.

From here we will go on to the Harrison Mess Rock located on

Harrison Trail. It is well known in this part of the state on account

of its great size and because the general and his staff lunched from its

spacious board.

As your state regent, I am delighted to congratulate you on the

placing of these markers, for as the Fort Kearney Chapter in Nebraska

was the first to erect a tablet on the Old Oregon Trail in that state,

so you, members of my own chapter, are the first to place markers on the

General Harrison Military Trail in Ohio.

Mrs. John T. Mack, of Sandusky, state chairman of the his-

torical sites committee, was next introduced by the local regent

and gave an interesting account of what has been done through-

out the state in the marking and commemoration of historic sites.

A part of her paper was as follows:




The committee on historic sites of the Daughters of the American

Revolution of Ohio wish to congratulate the Colonel Croghan Chapter

upon the unveiling of two more tablets, thus adding more laurels to the

wreath you have won in the marking of historic spots. It was in the year

of 1901-02, under the state regency of Mrs. John A. Murphy that the

committee on marking Revolutionary soldiers' graves was formed. A

364 Ohio Arch

364        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Publications.


little later, locating and marking historic sites was added to the work of

this committee. At that time we were uncertain just how to proceed to

locate such graves. The committee realized that absolute accuracy was

essential and our early historic sites seemed few. We did not know how

rich Ohio is in historic associations. We know now that this beloved

commonwealth, dear to us all, is exceedingly rich in her history, not only

of the mound builders, her Indian wars, Revolutionary War and the

War of 1812, in her portages and trails, but also is she rich in her colonial

history brought forcibly to mind by old Fort Sandusky, but recently

located, which was built in 1745 on the northern bank of Sandusky Bay

and destroyed in 1764, long before Fort Laurens was built in 1778.

It is said that Lord Dunmore's war was the first struggle in the

War of the Revolution. Lord Dunmore with his army came from

Fort Pitt down the Ohio to the mouth of the Hock-Hocking River,

where he built Fort Gower. From thence he came to the Scioto River

to an Indian camp called Camp Charlotte, now in Pickaway County near

Circleville. It was about this time that the battle of Point Pleasant was

fought and the Indians were defeated by General Andrew Lewis. A

peace conference followed, the Indians surrendering their claims to

the lands south of the Ohio River. It was this event which inspired

Chief Logan's famous speech and the elm tree still stands under which

he uttered those eloquent words that will be read while American history

is written. The conflicts under General George Rogers Clark in 1780-82,

against the Shawnees were successful. To commemorate Clark's victory,

Simon Kenton, having successfully run the gauntlet there, the Catherine

Green Chapter of Xenia on June 14, 1906, unveiled a granite boulder on

the site of that old Indian village. One of the first chapters to mark

a historic site in Ohio was the Nathaniel Massie Chapter, of Chillicothe,

which joined with the women's clubs and placed upon a pilaster of the

court house in Chillicothe a bronze tablet commemorative of the fact

that upon this site stood the first state house of Ohio, wherein was

adopted the original constitution of the commonwealth. This tablet

was unveiled on the 100th anniversary of the settlement of Chillicothe.

The D. A. R. of Cincinnati with other patriotic societies, erected a mon-

ument to mark the location of Fort Washington, one of the earliest

historic spots in the Northwest Territory.

Twenty-five miles up the Miami River General St. Clair built a

fort which he named after Alexander Hamilton. A powder magazine

was erected at the south end of the fort. The building on the fort

was presented by the estate of John Milliken to the John Reily Chapter,

D. A. R.

The Columbus Chapter has celebrated the marking of a historic

spot by placing a boulder in Martin Avenue, on which a bronze tablet

tells its own story: "Near this spot, June 21, 1813, was held a council

between General William Henry Harrison and the Indian tribes com-

The Harrison Table Rock and Ball's Battlefield

The Harrison Table Rock and Ball's Battlefield.        365


prising the Wyandots, Delawares, Shawnees and Senecas, with Tarhe,

the Crane, as spokesman, resulting in the permanent peace with the

Indians of Ohio."

The Dolly Todd Madison Chapter of Tiffin, on October 21, 1906,

placed a tablet commemorative of Fort Ball which was built by General

Harrison in 1812, as a small stockade and was used as a depot for


In 1899 the Piqua Chapter bought a triangle of ground on which

they erected a monument in commemoration of one of the French and

Indian wars. On Flag day, 1906, the Piqua Chapter unveiled a tablet of

bronze on the house, known as the Colonel Johnston Indian Agency


On June 25, 1909, the New Connecticut Chapter of Painesville

unveiled two bronze tablets on the new court house there. One to the

memory of President James A. Garfield, who was a citizen of Lake

County, and one to Samuel Huntington, Governor of Ohio in 1808,

whose early home in Painesville Township is still standing.

The Old Northwest Chapter at Ravenna has marked the spot

where Captain Samuel Brady immortalized the little lake which bears

his name, by erecting a granite marker there.

Last fall at the conference, when it was suggested that the D. A. R.

of Ohio, mark historic trails through the state, especially the old Indian

trail along the Sandusky and Scioto Rivers from the lake to the Ohio,

and that they place a tablet on a monument to be erected at Port Clinton

on the north side of the peninsula on the shore of Lake Erie, to

commemorate the embarkation of General Harrison and his army for

Maiden and Detroit, and the battle of the Thames, the Daughters were

enthusiastic over the suggestion and the money for such a tablet was

pledged then and there. And now, Daughters of the Colonel George

Croghan Chapter, you have the satisfaction and the high honor of erecting

the first monument and the first tablet on this famous trail. I indeed

congratulate you for having accomplished the most work of any of our

chapters in this direction.

Following the formal presentation of the tablet to the

county by Mrs. Dickinson, the flag veiling the tablet was re-

moved by several children under the direction of Miss Char-

lotte Dillon, secretary of the local chapter, and Miss Nelle

Gast, state secretary of the D. A. R., and the firing of the

national salute by the Co. K squad completed the formal un-

veiling exercises.

Capt. E. C. Sayles, in behalf of the county, accepted the

tablet and his remarks were most appropriate. He congratu-

lated especially the D. A. R. in their efforts to perpetuate the