Ohio History Journal

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414      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave

the last full measure of their devotion." It remains for us to

take up the full burden of citizenship and to consecrate our lives

to the task of making our country worthy of the sacrifices that

have been made by those who in countless numbers have given

their lives for its establishment and its preservation. With a great

price have our privileges of citizenship been purchased. Woe

be to him who is recreant to this trust, and who in the presence

of those who have laid down their lives for their country shall

use the privileges thus secured for them for selfish gains regard-

less of the public good.




Madam Regent, Daughters of the American Revolution

and Friends:

I bring greeting to you today from the National Society, Uni-

ted States Daughters of the War of 1812, and congratulations

to the members of Fort McArthur Chapter, that the long de-

sired marking of this historic site has been accomplished. Over

one hundred years have past since this nation, then young, was

plunged into war the second time with the mother country.

That war grew out of a long series of aggressions. Our ships

were searched on the high seas and our men impressed into

the English service, and in violation of former treaties, Great

Britain maintained forts and posts on American soil, inciting

the Indians to bloody outbreaks, even paying the savages for

American scalps.

England had so long and so wantonly vexed our commerce

by restrictions and confiscations, that the patience of the young

nation was completely exhausted, and on June 18th, 1812, war

was declared. That war was to completely sever this country for

all time from Great Britain. In this second struggle for inde-

pendence, this nation was not well equipped when war was de-

clared. General Hull was Governor of the Michigan territory,

having been appointed by President Jackson in 1805. He was

a Revolutionary soldier, having fought in the battles of White

Plains, Trenton, Princeton, Stillwater, Saratoga, Fort Stanwix,

Monmouth and Stony Point, and commanded the expedition

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Fort   McArthur Memorial Tablet.        415


against Morrissania, for which he received the thanks of Wash-

ington and Congress. While Governor of Michigan territory

he had repeatedly urged upon the government, the importance

of building a fleet on Lake Erie, as the only means of maintain-

ing Detroit, which was 300 mi. from any magazine of provisions,

munitions of war or re-enforcements, and also a protection to

Forts Mackinac and Dearborn. He urged also that a large

force be maintained at Niagara to co-operate with any force that

might invade Canada from Detroit.

These communications were made while he was Governor,

and also after he took command of the army of the northwest,

but the government did not comply with any of these requests.

He was made commander of the army of the northwest and on

the 25th of May, 1812, proceeded to Dayton where Governor

Meigs turned over to him the command of the Ohio troops as

directed by the Secretary of War. General Hull addressed the

troops in an eloquent and dignified way, and with his soldier-

like bearing, he inspired confidence. The little army began their

northward journey with every assurance of success. From Day-

ton they marched to Manary's Block House now Bellefontaine,

over a wagon road.

This was the most northernly settlement in Ohio. From

Manary's Block House to Detroit was an unbroken wilderness,

with only a foot-path part of the way. As the government had

made no provision for the army, they were compelled to carry

their subsistence and forage in wagons and to literally cut their

way through the thick woods and swamps. Bridges had to be

constructed over streams and marshes and spongy ground where

none but the solitary red or white hunter, or Indian trader with

his Canadian ponies had ever passed. From this point north, a

road had to be constructed. This work was done by Colonel

McArthur and his regiment. He was Major General of the

state militia, and at the call of the President for volunteers, he

ordered his division to assemble by regiments to see how many

would enroll themselves to defend their country. These men

were organized into companies and McArthur was made Colonel

of the first regiment of Ohio volunteers on the 7th of May, 1812.

To his men fell the work of building the first 30 miles of road

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for the march. Guides went forward and blazed the trees with

tomahawks, then the soldiers followed with axes, grubbing hoes,

spades and shovels. They went to work with spirit and the road

was built in two days. A fort was constructed on the Scioto

River and named Fort McArthur, after the man of indomitable

spirit, a man who did not hesitate to put his hand to the spade,

and success crowned his efforts. Then Colonel McArthur's reg-

iment was relieved and other regiments took up the work of

road construction for the army until he reached the foot of the

rapids of the Maumee, and from there they marched to Detroit,

arriving on July 5th, where they found the worst possible con-

ditions. Gun carriages were old and decayed, unfit for action,

and had to be repaired before the cannon could be used. This

made the field officers restless and impatient of delay. General

McArthur and the other officers repeatedly urged Gen. Hull to

cross the river and attack Fort Malden without delay. Several

attempts to do this were made, but no real attack followed. It

is believed had this been done at once, Fort Malden would have

fallen. But General Hull had received intelligence that General

Dearborn, who then commanded the northern frontier from

Niagara down to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence had agreed

to a cessation of arms along the whole length of his command

for forty days, commencing on the first clay of August.

This left the English army free to concentrate their forces

around Detroit. The Indians also were gathering there. Food

and ammunition for our men were getting scarce. Expeditions

sent out by General Hull failed to secure them. Forts Dear-

born and Mackinac had fallen into the hands of the British, so

that when General Brock, the British commander demanded the

surrender of the American army, General Hull without consult-

ing his officers, surrendered. For this act, he was court mar-

tialed and found guilty of cowardice, and sentenced to be shot,

but was told to go home to Newton, Mass., and await his execu-

tion, which never occurred. Lossing, in his history calls Gen.

Hull's trial disgraceful, the sentence unjust, and says the court

was evidently constituted in order to offer Hull as a sacrifice to

save the government from disgrace and contempt.

Thus closed the disastrous expedition under the command

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of General Hull, Colonel McArthur returned to his home at Chil-

licothe, a prisoner on parole, and in the fall of 1812 he was

elected to a seat in the House of Representatives, and during the

session 1812-13 he was oppointed by the President, Colonel

of the 26th Regiment United States Infantry, and the Senate

confirmed the appointment. On the 23rd of March, 1813, he

was appointed Brigadier General in the regular army. After

the fall of Detroit, the whole lake country was exposed to the

enemy, and they were preparing to attack Fort Meigs and Fort

Stephenson. General Harrison having been appointed to com-

mand the army of the northwest had a critical and responsible

task to perform. General McArthur was second in command.

The troops were concentrated at Fort Meigs under McArthur, and

General Harrison marched his division over the now famous

Harrison trail, from Franklinton to Fort Seneca, through Dela-

ware where last February, the Chapter there unveiled a tablet,

marking the old tavern where General Harrison had his head-

quarters and from where they marched to Marion, Upper San-

dusky and Fort Seneca, where on June 14th, 1913, Flag Day,

the Dolly Todd Madison Chapter D. A. R. unveiled a tablet to

mark both the Harrison trail and Fort Seneca. Old Glory was

raised to the breeze by two grand children of a woman who was

born in the log house inside of Fort Seneca. On the 30th of

May, 1912, last year, Memorial Day, a tablet was unveiled at

Port Clinton where General McArthur, with his troops from

Fort Meigs, joined General Harrison and embarked on board

the boats captured by Commodore Perry at the battle of Lake

Erie, for Put-in-Bay, Malden, Detroit and the battle of the


This day, July 4th, 1913, a large concourse of people are

gathered at Put-in-Bay, to lay the corner stone of a monument

which is to stand for all time, as a reminder, not only of a battle

fought and won on the waters of Lake Erie, but as a memo-

rial of one hundred years of peace between the daughter and the

mother country.

It is especially fitting that you have erected here these mem-

orials to mark Hull's trail, and Fort McArthur and in memory

of those brave pioneer patriots of the war of 1812 whose dust

Vol. XXII- 27.

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418       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

reposes here. Your patriotic endeavor is in the nature of a com-

pletion of the historic markings, to which I have briefly called

attention. It is a loyal sacrifice and will contribute to perpetua-

ting, not only memory of deeds fought with so much interest to

the young Republic we love, but that spirit of patriotism and

reverence to the flag so essential to our national life. If we are

to continue in the forefront of the great onward march of na-

tions, we must inculcate in our children and in our children's

children, an abiding love of the flag, and faith in all that it

stands for.