Ohio History Journal



Archaeological and Historical








It was not bad usage of the old Romans to bring down from

its niche the waxen image of an eminent ancestor on the anni-

versary of his natal day, to recall his

features and achievements to their

own minds and impress them upon

the younger generation.   A   like

tribute the patriotic citizens of Fre-

mont, Ohio, pay from time to time

to their local hero, Major George

Croghan, on the anniversary of that

notable second of August, 1813, when

with his little band of soldiers he

defeated a foe overwhelming in

numbers under the British General

Proctor and the Indian Chief Tecum-

seh. It was not only a feat of incom-

parable bravery, but it marked the

turning of the tide in the War of 1812, which up to that time

had been a series of disasters to the American arms.

The first formal observance of the anniversary of Croghan's

Victory occurred in 1839, at which time messages from Croghan

himself were received. Since that date every decade has wit-

nessed one or more celebrations, notable among which were those

of 1852, when "Old Betsy" was brought back to the scene of

Vol. XVI-1.             (1)

2 Ohio Arch

2         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


her great triumph; 1860, presaging the Civil War, when Cassius

M. Clay was the orator of the day; and 1885, when the Monu-

ment on the fort was unveiled in the presence of the President of

the United States and many other distinguished soldiers and


The celebration of August 2d, 1906, was, however, more

notable and imposing than any of its predecessors, since on that

date the remains of Croghan were interred at the base of the

monument erected to the memory of himself and the brave men

of his command, on the very spot they had so gallantly defended

ninety-three years before.

Following the defense of Fort Stephenson Croghan figured

conspicuously in the closing events of the War of 1812. His sub-

sequent career as Colonel Inspector General, United States Army,

during the Mexican War and until his death, will be noted in the

pages following. He died of cholera, in New Orleans, January

8, 1849, his spirit taking flight just as the last gun of the national

salute commemorating the 34th anniversary of Jackson's victory,

was fired.

For many years past it was the general supposition that the

remains of this hero lay in one of the numerous cemeteries of

New Orleans. Colonel Webb C. Hayes, imbued with patriotic

sentiment and historic spirit, began several years ago the search

for the grave of Croghan. Through Colonel Hayes' efforts the

Quartermaster General at Washington took up the matter and

made diligent investigation in New Orleans, but finally was

compelled to abandon the search as fruitless. Colonel Hayes

persevered and in February, 1906, received a letter from Mrs.

Elizabeth Croghan Kennedy, grand daughter of George Cro-

ghan and wife of the late Captain Kennedy, U. S. N., which

gave the information leading to the coveted discovery of the re-

mains in the family burial plot in the beautiful old Croghan

estate, Locust Grove, on the Ohio river, several miles from Louis-

ville, Kentucky.

Col. Hayes, in company with R. C. Ballard-Thruston and

S. Thruston-Ballard, of the Kentucky Historical Society, pro-

ceeded to the old estate, now owned by J. S. Waters, and located

the burial plot about 300 yards from the mansion. Thickly over-

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                3


grown with beautiful myrtle were the moss-covered tombstones of

Major William Croghan and wife, the parents of George Croghan,

his brothers, Dr. John and N. Croghan, and one sister, Elizabeth.

In one corner lay an overturned headstone on which appeared the

inscription, Col. G. C., marking the long-sought resting place.

General George Rogers Clark, brother of Lucy Clark Cro-

ghan and uncle of George Croghan, died at the Croghan home-

stead and was buried in the Croghan family burying ground at

Locust Grove, Ky. In 1869 the State of Kentucky authorized the

removal of the remains to Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Ky.,

where a beautiful and imposing monument was erected in his


Arrangements were at once made for the disinterment by

Messrs. Ballard and Thruston who, with their wives and Miss

Mary Clark, of St. Louis, were present, all being related to Col.

Croghan through his mother, of the great Clark family.

The mahogany casket, found at a depth of six feet, was

badly decomposed, but the leaden casket within was intact, being

six and one-half feet in length, 20 inches wide and eight inches

deep. It was immediately boxed and taken to Louisville and

thence directly to Fremont.

The remains arrived in Fremont Monday evening, June 11th,

1906, and were conveyed to the city hall on the fort. The room

had been beautifully decorated by the George Croghan Chap-

ter, D. A. R., with flowers and evergreen, and myrtle from the

Kentucky grave. A detail from Company K stood at the head and

foot of the casket as the remains lay in state. On the afternoon

of the 13th, the flag-draped casket was lifted to the shoulders

of six members of Company K, who were preceded by the com-

pany's trumpeter, and followed by the five local veterans of the

Mexican War who had served in that campaign under Croghan.

These veterans acted as honorary pall-bearers. The ladies of the

D. A. R. and many citizens followed. The procession passed out

in front of the Soldiers' Monument, where it was photographed,

and then proceeded to Oakwood Cemetery, marching over the

Harrison trail through Spiegel Grove. At Oakwood the re-

mains were placed in the vault, a song was sung by the D. A. R.,

and the trumpeter sounded taps.

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4          Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

The.surviving members of the Croghan family graciously ac-

quiesced in Col. Hayes' action and gave all assistance in their

power. The following letter, from a nephew of Colonel Croghan,

Mr. R. C. Ballard-Thruston, tells the story of the discovery, to-

gether with other important facts regarding the distinguished

family to which our hero belonged. We give the letter entire:


LOUISVILLE, KY., June 13, 1906.


My Dear Colonel: As per my letter of a few days ago I now take

pleasure in writing you of certain data regarding the Clark family, which

you desired and, in addition thereto, the facts regarding the location of

the grave of Col. George Croghan and the exhuming and forwarding of

his remains to you.

Major William  Croghan and wife Lucy, lived about five or six

miles east or northeast of the court house of Louisville, Ky., and probably

something over a mile from the Ohio river, at a place which was called

Locust Grove, now owned by J. S. Waters. What was formerly the rear

of the house is now the front. An illustration of the house with the

present front is shown in Gov. English's work, vol. II, page 887. And it is

north of this house about 300 yards that their family burying ground

is located. A description of this and what we found there will follow

later. Quite an account of them is given by Gov. English in his work,

vol. II, page 1002 et seq., in which there are a few errors that should

be corrected as follows: Page 1003, first line, "1767" should be "1765."

Page 1004, line four, "seventy-first" should be "seventy-third." And on

line 3, after the word "marriage" should be inserted the words "License

issued July 13, 1789-no return made." In the next paragraph on that

page is a list of the children of Major William Croghan and wife, which

I notice does not include "Serina E," mentioned in the foot note on that

page. I think she was Serena Livingston, wife of George Croghan, and

therefore a daughter-in-law.

I have no list of the dates of the births of these Croghan children.

Their names as given in Gov. English's work, page 1004, are correct.

From an original letter which I have, written about the early part of last

century, John, George and Nicholas were among the eldest of the chil-

dren and I have a newspaper clipping giving the death of Nicholas

Croghan in 1825.

The marriage records of this county show that a marriage license

for George Hancock and Elizabeth Croghan, daughter of Major William

Croghan, was issued September 29, 1819, and return made by the Rev.

D. C. Banks on the same day. A marriage license for Gen. Thomas

Jessup with Ann Croghan, daughter of Maj. William Croghan, was is-

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                       5


sued May 15, 1832. Return made two days later by the Rev. Daniel

Smith. My notes on this subject were made some years ago and I fail

to find among them the marriage records of any other of these Croghan


As to the family burying ground at Locust Grove. It lies about

three hundred yards north of the dwelling surrounded by a stone wall

eighteen inches thick and from three to five feet high, the sides facing the

cardinal points, and the entrance six feet wide in the center of the

southern wall. It, however, has since been filled in with stone, making a

north and south walls which are each 48 feet long on the outside, the east

and west walls being 47 feet. There are quite a number of trees within

the enclosure, the most prominent of which is a five-pronged elm. We

also found two red elms, four hackberries, two cherries and two locusts.

Almost the entire space is covered with myrtle and some underbrush.

The walls are largely overgrown with Virginia creeper and poison ivy

or oak. The graveyard seems to have been designed with four parallel

rows of graves running from north to south, in each case the grave

facing the east. The eastern one of these rows apparently was not

used, as we saw neither headstone nor evidence of a grave on that row.

On the next row, five feet from the north wall, we found a headstone

marked "McS."    I am at a loss to know whose grave this could be.

Fourteen feet from the north wall on this line is the center of a one-

foot space between two large marble slabs, each being three feet wide

and six feet long with ornate edges. The northern one of these seems

to have rested on four pedestals, one at each corner. They have since

fallen and the slab is now resting on the ground and covers the remains

of Mary Carson O'Hara, wife of William Croghan, Jr. The inscription

on this slab is as follows:


Beneath this slab

are deposited the remains of

Mrs. Mary Carson Croghan

(late of Pittsburgh)

who departed this life

October 15th, A. D. 1827,

In the 24th year of her age.



her infant daughter

Mary O'Hara,

who expired July 18, 1826,

in the ninth month of her age.

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Slab B rests on four slabs, each of which is ornately carved. The

inscription being:


youngest daughter of

William and Lucy Croghan,

born April 9th, 1801,

married George Hancock Sept., 1819,

died July 12th, 1833.


The next headstone was twenty feet from the north wall and was

marked "Mrs. L. C." The next headstone, twenty-three feet from the

north wall, was marked "Maj. W. C." These were evidently the graves

of Major and Mrs. William Croghan, the parents of Colonel George

Croghan. On this same row south of Major Croghan's grave was quite

a sunken space, which probably marks the spot from which the remains

of Gen. George Rogers Clark were removed in 1869. On the next row

of graves west of the last and fourteen feet from the north wall is a

headstone marked "E. C." This is probably Edmund Croghan's grave.

On this row, seventeen feet from the north wall, is a headstone marked

"N. C.," or Nicholas Croghan, a brother of Col. George Croghan, who

died in 1825. At ten feet from the south wall on this same row is a

headstone marked "Dr. J. C.," Dr. John Croghan, who lived at Locust

Grove after the death of his parents and at whose home my mother was

a frequent visitor in her younger days. As there were no other head-

stones found between those of Dr. John Croghan and Nicholas Croghan,

the probabilities are that other members of the family were buried within

this enclosure whose headstones have since been lost, or whose graves

were not properly marked.

Near the southwest corner in the most western one of these rows,

we found but one headstone, four feet from the western wall and five

feet from the southern wall. It was lying on its face entirely covered

with myrtle and upon investigation bore the marks of "Col. G. C." mark-

ing the grave of Col. George Croghan, which you were searching for,

and whose remains you desired to remove to Fremont, Ohio, having ob-

tained permission of his daughter and other descendants.

When this grave was found, on Thursday, June 7, there were

present yourself, my brother, S. Thruston Ballard, Mr. J. S. Waters

and myself. After definitely locating and identifying the grave, my

brother sent to his country place for two negro hands (John Bradford

and Alex Howard) and after lunch we proceeded to open the grave. At

nearly five feet below the surface we found fragments of a mahogany

casket, now almost entirely decayed, and a leaden case which con-

tained the remains. This latter was broken in several places, and as

would naturally be expected, its top was resting upon the skeleton.

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                    7


This leaden case containing the remains, the headstone above mentioned,

a footstone marked "G. C." which we also found at the foot of the

grave, and some myrtle which was growing over the grave, which you

desired, were carefully taken to my brother's place, and the following

morning brought into Louisville, where I had them properly boxed (the

leaden case being covered with a United States flag) and the following

day, June 9, expressed them to you at Fremont, Ohio, and I hope, before

this, have reached you in pro-

per shape.

In addition to those pre-

sent at the finding of the grave

of Colonel George Croghan,

above mentioned, there were

present at the exhuming of

his remains, my sister-in-law,

Mrs.   S. Thurston   Ballard,

Miss Mary Clark, of St. Louis,

Mrs. J. S. Waters, four of the

Waters' children, my little

nephew Rogers Clark Ballard,

and one or two servants of Mr.


My brother carried a

kodak with him and made sev-

eral attempts to get kodaks

of the old Croghan residence

and family burying ground,

copies of which will be sent

you as soon as they are


With sincerest regards, I

am yours very truly,


Member of the Filson Club, Virginia Historical Society.


George Croghan himself left three children; a son, Col. St.

George Croghan, a brave soldier on the Confederate side, killed

in Virginia, in one of the early battles of the Civil War; Mrs.

Mary Croghan Wyatt, who died in California in February, 1906;

and the youngest and only surviving child, Mrs. Serena Livings-

ton Rodgers, wife of Augustus F. Rodgers, U. S. N. Mrs.

Rodgers lives in San Francisco, and is now 86 years of age.

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8         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

Col. St. George Croghan left two children, both living, a

son, George, and a daughter, Elizabeth Croghan, now the widow

of Capt. Duncan Kennedy, U. S. N., who has one son.

Mrs. Rodgers has a daughter, and Mrs. Wyatt a son,

Judge Wyatt, of New York. All living descendants of Croghan

were invited to be present at the re-interment of the remains of

their famous father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

On the occasion of the unveiling of a tablet to Croghan, on

Fort Stephenson Park, by the D. A. R., Mrs. Wyatt, to whom

an invitation to be present had been sent, wrote, under date of

July 14, 1903:

"My Dear Miss Keeler: It was indeed most gratifying to receive

your invitation to be with you when the Croghan tablet will be unveiled.

If would indeed be a delight to me to be present when such honor was

paid to my dear father, but with sorrow I must decline. My journeyings

in this world are pretty much over. I have lately injured my knee and

walk with difficulty. * * *           Sincerely,




The name Croghan is an illustrious one in the early annals

of our country, especially in the Western annals preceding the

establishment of the Republic.

On the paternal side George Croghan came of fighting blood.

He belonged to the race of "the Kellys, the Burkes and the

Sheas," who always "smell the battle afar off." The first Cro-

ghan we hear of in this country was Major George Croghan, who

was born in Ireland and educated at Dublin University. Just

when he came to America we do not know. He established him-

self near Harrisburg, and was an Indian trader there as early as

1746. He learned the language of the aborigines and won their

confidence. He served as a captain in Braddock's expedition in

1755, and in the defense of the western frontier in the following

year. The famous Sir William Johnson, of New York, who was

so efficient in dealing with the natives and whom George II had

commissioned "Colonel, agent and sole superintendent of the

affairs of the Six Nations and other northern Indians," came to

recognize Croghan's worth, and made him deputy Indian agent

for the Pennsylvania and Ohio Indians. In 1763 Sir William

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.               9


sent him to England to confer with the ministry in regard to

some Indian boundary line. He traveled widely through the In-

dian country which is now the Central West. While on a mis-

sion in 1765 to pacify the Illinois Indians he was attacked,

wounded and taken to Vincennes. But he was soon released and

accomplished his mission. He was deeply impressed with the

great possibilities of this western country and urged upon Sir

William Johnson the importance of securing this region to the

English colonies. It is a singular coincidence that this first

Major George Croghan was pitted against Pontiac in much the

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same way that Major George Croghan the second was pitted

against Tecumseh. In May, 1766, he fixed his abode near Fort

Pitt, using his good offices and influence in pacifying the Indians

and conciliating them to British interests. He died about 1782.

It is altogether probable that his reports regarding the northwest-

ern country had something to do with impressing George Rogers

Clark with its importance.

The similarity of name and title makes this reference to the

first George Croghan pertinent, although his kinship with the

second George Croghan was but collateral. The father of our

hero of Ft. Stephenson was William Croghan, born in Ireland

in 1752. Just when he came to this country it has been impossible

to ascertain. At any rate the young man was well established

here at the time of the Declaration of Independence.   He

promptly volunteered his services, becoming a captain of a Vir-

ginia company. He served to the end of the war, being mustered

out the senior Major of the Virginia line. He took part in the

battles of Brandywine, Monmouth and Germantown; and he was

with the army that bitter winter at Valley Forge. In 1780 his

regiment was ordered South and he was made prisoner at the

surrender of Charleston. He was present at Yorktown, when the

last great battle of the war was fought, though he could not share

in the fighting, as he was on parole. He served for a time on the

staff of Baron Steuben, and he was one of the officers present at

the Verplanck mansion on the Hudson in May, 1783, when the

Society of Cincinnati was instituted. Shortly after the war Cro-

ghan joined the increasing drift of Virginians over the moun-

tains into the new land of Kentucky and found a home near the

Falls of the Ohio.

There, presumably, he won and wed his wife. She, too,

came of valorous stock. Her name was Lucy Clark, daugh-

ter of John Clark, recently come to Kentucky from Virginia.

She had five brothers, four of whom served in the Revolu-

tionary War. The most distinguished of these was George

Rogers Clark, to whose great and heroic campaign through

the wilderness to Vincennes we owe the winning of the North-

west Territory. It was to this George Rogers Clark, uncle of

Croghan, that Harrison referred in his official report of the

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.              11


battle when he said with evident gratification: "It will not be

among the least of General Proctor's mortifications to know

that he has been baffled by a youth who has just passed his

twenty-first year. He is, however, a hero worthy of his gallant

uncle, Gen. G. R. Clark, and I bless my good fortune in having

first introduced this promising shoot of a distinguished family

to the notice of the government." Another brother, William,

who was too young to participate in the Revolution, was the

Clark who, with Captain Lewis, made the famous expedition of

exploration across the continent. He was appointed in 1813 by

President Madison Governor of Missouri Territory.

To William Croghan and his wife, Lucy, at Locust Grove,

Ky., November 15, 1791, was born the boy that was destined to

make the family name illustrious. He was christened George, in

honor of the mother's brother, whose great and daring achieve-

ment had given his name vast renown. We know practically

nothing of George Croghan's boyhood. Doubtless it was like

that of the ordinary Virginia boy of the period, who was the

son of a well-to-do planter, modified by the exigencies of frontier


Our boy had books to read, and lessons to learn; and there

were always his father's and his uncles' tales of the recent Revo-

lutionary War and of the untamed country through which they

had traveled; as well as of the Dublin kindred and society.

George was ready for college at an early age, and went to

William and Mary, in Virginia, next to Harvard the oldest col-

lege in the land. From it graduated four presidents of the

United States, Jefferson, Monroe, Tyler and Harrison, beside

Chief Justice Marshall and Gen. Winfield Scott. After Croghan's

graduation he took up the study of law. War was in the air,

however, as well as in his blood, and in 1811 the youth enlisted

as a private in the volunteer army under Harrison. His hand-

some face, alight with intelligence, won him speedy notice from

the officers, a good impression which was strengthened by his

conduct and ability. He was soon appointed aide-de-camp to Gen.

Boyd, second in command. At the battle of Tippecanoe, shortly

after, his zeal and courage induced Gen. Harrison to recommend

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the lad's appointment to the regular army, and he was made cap-

tain of the 17th U. S. Infantry.

In August, 1812, his command accompanied the detachment

under Gen. Winchester, which marched from Kentucky to the

relief of Gen. Hull at Detroit. Hull's disgraceful surrender made

a change of plan necessary, and Winchester's men marched

through the wilderness to assist Gen. Harrison at Fort Wayne,

and then down the Maumee to Fort Defiance, in September,

1812. Here, in spite of his extreme youth, Croghan was left

in command by Harrison. So successful was he in this trying

ordeal that Winchester left him in command of Fort Defiance,

while he himself marched on to the River Raisin. All know the

frightful massacre which followed, Croghan owing his escape to

his duty at Defiance.

Capt. Croghan then joined Gen. Harrison at the newly con-

structed Fort Meigs on the Maumee, taking gallant part in its

defense during the seige. Here the famous pair, Proctor and

Tecumseh, the one with a thousand British regulars and the

other with twice that number of Indians, were the besieging

leaders. The siege continued during thirteen days of that May,

and included one direful incident. Col. Dudley, with his Ken-

tucky troops, came to the relief of the fort, but owing to an am-

buscade arranged by Tecumseh, Dudley's forces were surrounded

and 650 of the 800 soldiers were killed, wounded or taken


In a sortie made to save these unfortunate troops, Capt.

Croghan so distinguished himself by the vigor and bravery of his

assault on a battery, that Gen. Harrison recommended him for

further promotion. He was soon afterward commissioned major

in the 17th U. S. Infantry. In July of that year he and his

command appeared at Fort Stephenson, the wretched little stock-

ade in Lower Sandusky. When they left this place three weeks

later, they were the heroes of the whole country.

The story of the battle of Fort Stephenson, the hurried prep-

aration therefor, and its results in the War of 1812 are given on

a later page in the words of a contemporary. For this notable

victory Croghan was brevetted lieutenant colonel by the president

of the United States; Congress awarded him a medal, and the

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.             13


ladies of Chillicothe, then the capital of Ohio, presented him with

a beautiful sword. The famous repulse of August 2, 1813, marks

the turning point in the war that ended in sweeping the haughty

British navy from our Lakes, and hurling their army from our


Croghan remained in the army after the close of the war

till March, 1817, when he resigned. In May, 1816, he mar-

ried Serena Livingston, daughter of John R. Livingston, of New

York, and niece of Chancellor Robert Livingston, famous as

jurist and diplomat, who administered the oath of office to Wash-

ington when he first became president of the United States, and

who as minister to France negotiated

with Bonaparte the Louisiana pur-

chase. She was also a niece of the

widow of Gen. Montgomery, of Que-

bec fame.

After resigning from the army

Croghan took up his residence in

New Orleans and was postmaster of

that city in 1824. The following year

he returned to the army as inspector

general with rank of colonel and

served as such with Gen. Taylor

during the Mexican War, 1846-47.

With such an ancestry and such

an early environment it is slight

wonder that the flame of patriotism burned intensely in the veins

of Croghan.

There was much of the Irish in our hero, as his impulsive

speeches, which sometimes got him into trouble, easily testify;

and like well-born Irish everywhere, he was proud of his good

blood, proud of his forebears, and determined not to bring dis-

credit on their name. It is the best heritage any man can have,

and Croghan, for one, knew it.

Just before the attack on Fort Stephenson Croghan wrote a


"The enemy are not far distant. I expect an attack. I will

defend this post to the last extremity. I have just sent away the

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14       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


women and children, with the sick of the garrison, that I may

be able to act without incumbrance. Be satisfied. I shall, I hope,

do my duty. The example set me by my Revolutionary kindred

is before me. Let me die rather than prove unworthy of their



Thursday, August 2, 1906, dawned auspiciously on the his-

toric city of Fremont. The Toledo battery which had arrived

the night before and was stationed in Fort Stephenson aroused

the people at sunrise with a salute of twenty-one guns, announc-

ing that the events of the day had begun. Thousands of visitors

from far and near, including many prominent officials of state and

nation, made pilgrimage to the historic shrine of Fort Stephenson.

The city was appropriately decorated and every hospitality and

courtesy possible was extended by the citizens to their guests.

At eight o'clock the casket of Major Croghan, which had been

temporarily placed in the vault at Oakwood, was taken therefrom

and borne to the city, with military honors of music and soldiery

escort. The line of march was over the old Harrison trail,

through Spiegel Grove, down Buckland and Birchard avenues

to Park avenue and then to the high school building where, in

the hallway, the casket, draped with flags, was placed. Guarded

by a detachment of state troops the remains lay in state until the

big parade of the day passed the school house, when the casket,

borne on the shoulders of six stalwart members of the National

Guard, was tenderly escorted to Fort Stephenson Park. The

civic and military parade, which was the feature of the forenoon,

was an imposing spectacle. It was headed by the city police force

and fire department, followed by a provisional Brigade of the

Ohio National Guard commanded by Brigadier General W. V.

McMaken, O. N. G. the local and visiting posts of the Grand

Army of the Republic, Spanish War Veterans, Masons, Wood-

men of the World and secret orders, German musical socie-

ties, commercial organizations and school children waving the

American emblem and singing patriotic songs. An interesting

link in the procession brought the present event in close touch

with the historic past, for in a spacious carryall were Fremont's

five Mexican War veterans, Captain Andrew Kline, his brother

Thc Croghan Celebration

Thc Croghan Celebration.             15


Louis Kline, Grant Forgerson, Martin Zeigler and Jacob Faller.

They had all personally known Croghan. The parade passed in

review before the handsomely decorated stand at Croghan street

and Park avenue, on which stood Vice President Fairbanks, Gov-

ernor Harris, Mayor Tunnington, General Chance, Congressman

Mouser, Hon. J. F. Laning and Hon. A. H. Jackson; behind them

the governor's staff, Col. Kautzman, Col. Weybrecht, Major Hall,

Captain Williams, Capt. Knox, Capt. Garner, Capt. Wood and

Lieut. Moulton. Vice President Fairbanks stood up in his auto-

mobile almost the entire length of Front street, and with his hat

in hand acknowledged the cheers and applause of the crowds,

while Governor Harris kept bowing to people on both sides of

the street in response to the cheers with which he was greeted.

At the high school the procession halted and the Croghan remains

were escorted from their resting place at the base of the monu-

ment by the George Croghan Chapter of the D. A. R., the mem-

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16         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


bers of which had charge of the final interment. The children

scattered flowers in the grave, a salute was fired, taps were

sounded, and the honored dust of the gallant George Croghan

was consigned to its final resting place on the spot and in the

sacred soil he had so bravely and loyally defended ninety-three

years before. The grave was covered with a large block of

Quincy granite bearing this inscription:

George Croghan

Major 17th U. S. Infantry,

Defender of Fort Stephenson,

August 1st and 2d, 1813.

Born Locust Grove, Ky., Nov. 15, 1781.

Died New Orleans, La., Jan. 8, 1849,

Colonel Inspector General

United States Army.

Remains removed from

Croghan Family Burying Ground,

Locust Grove, Ky.,

August 2, 1906.

The oratorical exercises were held in

the afternoon in the open air within the

precincts of the fort. Vast crowds gathered

and listened intently to addresses. General

Jesse C. Chance, of Fremont, was president

of the day and introduced the speakers,

after the assembly had been called to order

by Mayor C. C. Tunnington. The speeches

were interspersed with patriotic songs by

the school children and martial strains by

the Light Guard Band.





God of our fathers, we praise and worship Thee! Assembled on

historic ground, which has been consecrated by heroes' blood, we not only

hold in glad and grateful remembrance the noble deeds of valiant men,

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                    17


but we proclaim Thy great glory, O Lord of hosts; for Thou art the

God of battles, and right and truth triumph by Thy blessing. And whilst

we thank Thee for the brave men of that older day who fought so nobly

in freedom's holy cause, we give Thee laud and honor for the pa-

tience, the skill, the industry, through which were won those notable

victories of peace, no less renowned than those of war, that made the

wilderness to blossom as the rose and laid the foundations for the

splendid material prosperity which to-day is our portion. For health,

and peace, and plenty, for home, good government, for our great educa-

tional system, we give Thee thanks, 0 God. And richer gifts than these

have flowed to us from Thy bounteous hand. Thou hast revealed to us

Thy dear son, Jesus Christ, and hast made Him to be our Savior from

the bondage of sin and from eternal death; and in Thy precious word

Thou hast conveyed to us Thy saving grace and power. Eternal praise be

to Thee for these, Thy choicest gifts!

We pray Thee to continue to us Thy favor. To this end bless

with repentance and faith; help us to renounce all sin and error, to love

and to follow truth and righteousness, that we may hold fast what

Thou hast in mercy given. Instil more and more into our hearts love

of country. Do Thou use the exercises of this day to impress on our

mind the responsibilities of citizenship. Awaken and quicken within us

civic spirit. And thus let this memorable day on which we stand before

Thy holy throne, result in countless blessings, for time and eternity, to us

and to our children.


"Our God, our help in ages past,

Our hope for years to come,

Our shelter from the stormy blast,

And our eternal home!


"Under the shadow of Thy throne

Thy saints have dwelt secure:

Sufficient is Thine arm alone,

And our defence is sure.


"Before the hills in order stood,

Or earth received her frame,

From everlasting Thou art God,

For aye wilt be the same.


"A thousand ages in Thy sight

Are like an evening gone;

Swift as the watch that ends the night

Before the rising sun.

Vol. XVI-2.

18 Ohio Arch

18         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


Time, like an ever-rolling stream,

Bears all its sons away:

They fly, forgotten, as a dream

Dies at the opening day.


"0 God, our help in ages past,

Our hope for years to come,

Be Thou our Guard while troubles last,

And our eternal home!"


Thou, who hearest prayer, for Jesus' sake give ear to these our

prayers and praises, which we sum up in the words of our Lord:

Our Father, Who art in heaven; Hallowed be Thy name; Thy

kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven; Give us

this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive

those who trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, but

deliver us from evil; For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the

glory, forever and ever. Amen!



When your fellow citizen, Col. Webb C. Hayes, asked me to ad-

dress you upon this occasion, and I accepted the invitation, I did so

with the full appreciation that I should be

able to add nothing to the historical in-

formation which you citizens of Sandusky

County possessed, I should be able to say

no word which could in any way increase

your admiration for the distinguished

youth, who, almost a century ago, stood

near this spot, and with one gun and a

few brave soldiers routed the British

forces and their Indian allies.

You citizens of Sandusky County have

studied your histories well; you have

shown full appreciation for the courage

displayed on that occasion and you have

honored many times the memory and

deeds of the distinguished Soldier. Stu-

dents of American history have related to

you the causes that led up to the War of

1812; eminent writers have described to you the campaign preceding the

attack on Fort Stephenson; and distinguished orators, with brilliant

phrases, have pictured to you the handsome youth standing upon the ram-

parts of Fort Stephenson, and amid the yells of savages and the fierce at-

tacks of the veterans of Wellington urging his little band to deeds of hero-

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                    19


ism. The life and deeds of George Croghan are familiar tales in every

household of this historic neighborhood. Your fellow townswoman, Miss

Julia M. Haynes, in her admirable paper, "Fremont in History," read to

you a few years ago, has given us a clear, concise and eloquent statement

of the events which have made your city famous. Dr. Charles R. Williams,

in his public address delivered at Spiegel Grove, a few years since, has

added to the historical literature of Fremont a brilliant and polished essay,

and other distinguished men and women have placed before you the

geography, history, and traditions of your town in pamphlet and speech.

You have listened to the thrilling eloquence of General Gibson and the

polished sentences of Governor Jacob D. Cox, and at that memorable

meeting when you dedicated this handsome monument, a meeting pre-

sided over by your distinguished citizen, Rutherford B. Hayes, you lis-

tened to the voices of Sherman, Foraker, Henry B. Payne and others.

That I could add anything to what has been said and written concerning

these historical events, I have not for a moment dared to hope, but per-

haps a personal allusion, if I may be allowed, will partially explain my

presumption and willingness to accept this invitation.

On July 9th, 1813, there was born in my grandfather's house in

Cleveland, a son, and for several weeks no agreement could be reached

as to the name he was to bear. Less than a month after the child's

birth, from every hill top to every valley, from settlement to settlement

of pioneers along shores of Lake Erie came the news that Major George

Croghan, a young man, had put to rout the English and Indians and

saved Fort Stephenson, and my grandfather's family had found a name

for their son, and to-day there is a grave in Lake View cemetery in

Cleveland and at its head a simple granite monument with the inscription

George Croghan Dodge, born July 9th, 1813, died June 6th, 1883; and

so I regard it as a privilege to pay a simple tribute to-day to a man

whose name my father bore, the story of whose achievement told me in

my boyhood was a narrative to which no tale of giants or fairies could


Fifty years before the defense of Ft. Stephenson or "Sandusky," as

the name was engraved on the gold medal presented by congress to the

peerless Croghan, this historic neighborhood had been the scene of the

capture and utter destruction at the outbreak of Pontiac's gigantic con-

spiracy of old Fort Sandusky, built in 1745 on the left or west side

of Sandusky bay and river on the Marblehead peninsula.

"The storm burst early in May of 1763. *  * *Nine British forts

yielded instantly and the savages drank, scooped up in the hollow of

joined hands, the blood of many a Briton. * * * Sandusky was the

first of the forts to fall, May 16th. Ensign Paully * * * was seized,

carried to Detroit, adopted, and married to a squaw, who had lost her

husband, the remainder of the garrison were massacreed and the fort


20 Ohio Arch

20         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


Fort Sandusky, the first fort established in Ohio, was built in 1745 by

British traders from Pennsylvania and Virginia under the instruction, it

is said, of George Croghan, later deputy Indian Commissioner to Sir.

Wm. Johnston. It was located on the Marblehead peninsula on the

left or west side of the Sandusky river and bay at the portage where

Indians and trappers coming from Detroit, in their course skirting

the chain of islands in Lake Erie, would land to carry their canoes

across to the Sandusky river on their way to the Scioto and Ohio.

The French, resenting this intrusion, "usurped F. Sandoski" and in 1754

built another fort, "Junundat," on the east or right side of the Sandusky

river and bay. The maps of John Mitchell and Lewis Evans, both pub-

lished in 1775, clearly show the location of these two forts.

Mitchell's map shows the fort on the west side of the river and

bay with the notation "Sandoski usurped by the French, 1751," while

Evans' map has "F Sandoski" on the west side and also "F Junundat

built in 1754" on the east side of the river and bay and diagonally across

from "Sandoski."

"Sandusky was afterward evacuated and on the 8th of September,

1760, the French governor, Vandreueil surrendered Canada to the Eng-

lish" and then ended French dominion in America. "Major Robert Rogers,

a native of New Hampshire, was directed to take possession of the west-

ern forts. He left Montreal on the 13th of September, 1760, with two

hundred rangers. * * * Proceeding west, he visited Sandusky * * *

after securing the fort at Detroit returned by land via Sandusky and

and Tuscarawas trail to Fort Pitt."

Soon after Major Rogers took possession of the western forts for

the British, Ensign Paully was placed in command of Fort Sandusky and

so remained until his capture, and the massacre of his garrison and the

utter destruction of the fort on May 16, 1763, at the outbreak of Pon-

tiac's conspiracy. As soon as the news of the capture of the nine British

forts reached the British authorities, Detroit and Fort Pitt alone escap-

ing capture, expeditions were sent to relieve the latter and to re-establish

British supremacy in the northwest. Captain Dalyell arrived at the

ruins of old Fort Sandusky in the fall of 1763 and then proceeded up

the Sandusky river to the village of the Hurons and Wyandots at the

lower rapids of the Sandusky river (now Fremont) and utterly destroyed

the Indian villages located there.

In 1764, twelve years before the declaration of Independence, Col.

John Bradstreet started from Albany to relieve Major Gladwyn at De-

troit. Pontiac, the crafty, powerful and ambitious chief of the Ottawa

Indians, the year before, had sent his red-stained tomahawk and his

war belts to the various Indian tribes between the Allegheny mountains

and the Mississippi river, stirring the hearts of the red men against the

pioneers, and was preparing to continue his attacks upon the various

western forts, and in his hatred toward the whites was determined

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                   21


to accomplish by force what he could not accomplish by treachery. He

had returned from Detroit in November, 1763, and it was evident that

he was preparing for a more complete siege of that important military

post. It was then that General Thomas Gage wrote the Colonies and

asked for troops to suppress the growing insurrection of the Indian na-

tions; and Colonel Bradstreet set forth from Albany with his army of

1180 men, 766 being provincial troops from New York, New Jersey and

Connecticut under Israel Putnam. Along they came to Lake Ontario

and with two vessels, 75 whale boats, and numberless canoes, issued

forth and steered westward. Remaining a while at Fort Niagara, passing

on and founding Fort Erie, they pushed on to Detroit after making

short encampments on the banks of the Cuyahoga river, on the present

site of Cleveland, and at the ruins of old Fort Sandusky. All along the

journey Indians had been sent to treat for peace, but knowing from

experience the treacherous character of the Indians, Bradstreet was warned

against putting trust in the overtures of the savages. Yet notwithstanding

the protests of his followers, Bradstreet promised to refrain from march-

ing against the Delawares, Shawanese and other tribes, if within twenty-

five days the representatives of the tribes would meet him at Fort San-

dusky for the purpose of giving up prisoners and concluding a definite

treaty. Bradstreet had, however, been ordered to give to the Wyandots,

Ottawas and Miamis a thorough chastisement, but on the approach of

the English commander these three tribes sent deputies to meet him

and promised to follow him to Detroit and make a treaty there, if he

would abandon the hostile plan against them. It was with this expecta-

tion that he reached Detroit, only to learn that the Indians whom he

had expected to meet on his return to Fort Sandusky for the purpose

of making a treaty, had assembled there to oppose the disembarkment

of the English soldiers. So Bradstreet started with sixty long boats and

one barge and glided down the Detroit river out upon the bosom of

Lake Erie. All expected to engage in a fierce combat with the savage

foe, but Bradstreet soon received better news. With this expedition of

Bradstreet was one Lieutenant Montresor, who kept a journal, and this

journal has been preserved among the collections of the New York

Historical Society. From the journal we learn that "news soon arrived

that the Delawares and Shawanese are assembled at Sandusky where the

old fort stood in order to treat with us for peace." With this information

Bradstreet's "troops entered Sandusky lake or bay" September 18, 1764,

and "encamped on a good clay bank half a mile west of the spot where

sixteen months before Pontiac had butchered the English garrison and

burned the fort." Indians soon appeared and pledged if he would not at-

tack the Indian village they would conclude a definite treaty and surrender

all prisoners they had. Bradstreet did not attack them. After waiting

seven days "Col. Bradstreet then proceeded up Sandusky river to the

village of the Hurons and Wyandots, which had been destroyed by Cap-

22 Ohio Arch

22         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


tain Dalyell the preceding year." Montresor in his journal says "Brad-

street's whole force proceeded and encamped one mile below the rapids

of the Sandusky River, and here at this camp near the Huron village

on Sandusky river, Major Israel Putnam served as Field Officer for the

picket and presided at a General Court Martial at his own tent to try

all prisoners brought before him."*  So to this very spot, now Fort

Stephenson Park, Fremont, Ohio, fresh with the laurels won while in

command of Provincial troops in the siege of Havana, Cuba, with this

expedition came Israel Putnam, who afterwards became Senior Major

General in the army of the United States of America, one of the heroes

of Bunker Hill, an indomitable soldier, a man of generous soul and

sterling patriotism, and of whom his biographer, Col. David Humphreys,

says, "He seems to have been formed on purpose for the age in which

he lived. His native courage, unshaken integrity, and established repu-

tation as a soldier gave unbounded confidence to our troops in their first

conflict in the field of battle."

The colonial records of Connecticut for March, 1764, says this as-

sembly doth appoint Israel Putnam, Esq., to be major of the forces now

ordered raised in this colony for his Majesty's service against the In-

dian Nations who have been guilty of perfidious and cruel massacres of

the English.

Thus to the long list of patriots and statesmen and pioneers, who

in the early days wandered through the densely wooded trails, over these

plains which smiled to the sun in grass and flowers, and along the banks

of this historic river; to the names of Daniel Boone, Simon Kenton,

William Henry Harrison, George Croghan and a host of others we can

add the immortal name of Israel Putnam.

The fifty odd years between the campaign of Bradstreet and the

War of 1812, the years preceding and following the Revolutionary War

are filled with the stirring events of pioneer history. Northern Ohio was

the scene of border wars and Indian outrages. The massacre of the Mo-

ravians, Crawford's Expedition, the destruction of St. Clair's army, and

the victory of General Wayne at Fallen Timbers are a few of the many

important events that go to make up the history of the region around

the Maumee and Sandusky rivers. The disasters to the American arms

incident to the opening of the campaign of the War of 1812 in the north-

west-the disgraceful surrender of Hull at Detroit, the massacre of Win-

chester's men at the River Raisin, and Dudley's massacre, so-called, in the

otherwise successful defence of Fort Meigs culminated, however, on

August 2, 1813, in the unparalleled discomfiture of the British and In-

dians by a young Kentucky major. This defense, so brilliant and com-

plete, followed by Perry's Victory on Lake Erie and General Harrison's

triumph at the battle of the Thames practically closed the campaign.


* Livingstone's Life of Israel Putnam, p. 139.

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                    23


The war of 1812 only supplemented the Revolutionary War. We

had become at once independent and feeble. Articles of confederation

bound us loosely together, and we had not yet fully won our place

among the nations of the earth. Other nations looked upon us as an

easy prey-they could seize our ships and imprison our seamen, but these

results were only incidents which gave rise to the conflict for which the

time was ripe and for which there was and could be no postponement.

This war must be had. We must consolidate and finish the work of

independence. It must be a reality and not a name, England must ac-

knowledge us as a distinct member of the family of nations, and this is

what we accomplished by the contest of 1812 and 1813. When that war

broke out the Indians were banded together in this Northwestern quar-

ter of the state under the leadership of Tecumseh, to whom the English

had given the rank of a general in their army. There was no city of

Fremont. The spot called Lower Sandusky was a military reservation two

miles square, established by treaty in 1785. Here was built Fort Stephen-

son-one of the many outposts in the midst of this hostile country. Built

to protect the communications of the army with the more distant posts

at Chicago and Detroit; built perhaps that a crossing at this point of this

then important river might be made in safety. Up this Sandusky river

from the lake came all who wished to reach the Ohio river on their way

from Canada to Mississippi for, with a short portage, they could enter

the Scioto and then on down to the great rivers beyond. It was an im-

portant place then for a growing settlement, a vigorous colony might

be started here and Major Croghan appreciated its importance even if

Harrison did not. The English had made allies of the Indians. Te-

cumseh was made a general. British emissaries were busy among the

Northwest tribes stirring them up to war upon the Americans. Gen-

eral Proctor, with his savage allies had failed to capture Fort Meigs,

and Proctor had withdrawn to his old encampment and there he re-

mained until on July 28th, 1813, the British embarked with their stores

and started for Sandusky bay and river for the purpose of attacking

Fort Stephenson. Again and again have you heard the story of this

fight. How General Harrison had sent word to Major Croghan that

if the British approached with force and cannon and he could discover

them in time to retreat, that he must do so. How Harrison in council

with his other Generals had decided that the fort was untenable and

ordered him to abandon it. How the messenger lost his way, and when

he did arrive Croghan sent back word to Harrison the memorable mes-

sage, "We have determined to maintain this place, and by heavens we

can."  The natural anger of General Harrison at this seeming diso-

bedience to his order and the summoning of Croghan to come to Fort

Seneca and the placing of another in command until the gallant boy

had explained and appeased the wrath of his superior and was sent back to

his post, are familiar facts of history. On the afternoon of August 1st,

24 Ohio Arch

24         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


1813, we find the young hero back in command and with 160 men and

"Old Betsy," sending back to Proctor with his 700 veterans, 2,000 In-

dians and Barclay's gunboats in the river, a defiant refusal to his summons

to surrender.

General Harrison, in his report to the Secretary of War, thus de-

scribes the battle. "Their troops were formed into two columns, one led

by Lieut.-Colonel Short, headed the principal one. He conducted his men

to the brink of the ditch under a galling fire from the garrison, and

by Lieut.-Colonel Shortt headed the principal one. He conducted his men

and the light infantry. At this moment a masked porthole was sud-

denly opened and the six-pounder, with a half-load of powder and a

double charge of leaden slugs, at a distance of thirty feet, poured destruc-

tion upon them, and killed or wounded every man who entered the ditch.

In vain did the British officers try to lead on the balance of the column.

It retired under a shower of shot, and sought safety in the adjoining


And who was this young man who defended this place against a

force of British and Indians and drove them discomfited from the field

of battle. We seem to see him now as he stood there a model of manly

beauty in his youthful prime, "a man in all that makes a man ere man-

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                  25


hood's years have been fulfilled"; standing on the threshold of his

career. This young, accomplished, handsome youth was born at Locust

Grove, Ky., November 15, 1791. His mother was Lucy Clark. Of

uncles he had upon his mother's side, George Rogers Clark, whose great

campaign through the wilderness won for us the Northwest Territory

was one; and William Clark, who with Captain Lewis made the famous

Lewis and Clark expedition of exploration across the continent, was

another. His father, William Croghan, was born in Ireland in 1752,

was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and fought at Brandywine,

Monmouth and Germantown, and when young George had finished

his preliminary schooling he entered at the age of 17 the College of

William and Mary and graduated two years later with the degree of

Bachelor of Arts. His purpose was to become a lawyer, but when the

governor of Indiana, William Henry Harrison, called for volunteers to

strike at Tecumseh and his stirring red men, Croghan joined the little

army as a private and began his life as a soldier at the battle of


From that day until General Harrison sent him to this place, the

spirit of the soldier in him had met every test of skill and bravery, and

he took command of Fort Stephenson with the confidence of his su-

periors and with the love and admiration of his soldiers. In a report

of this battle by an English historian occurs this sentence: "The first

division were so near the enemy that they could distinctly hear the various

orders given in the fort and the faint voices of the wounded and dying

in the ditch, calling out for water, which the enemy had the humanity

to lower to them on the instant."

Over in that beautiful cemetery at Clyde, on its sunkissed slopes,

bright with the foliage of this August day, rests one who, fifty years

after the defense of Fort Stephenson, honored this country, his state and

his country by his conduct upon the field of battle-General James B. Mc-

Pherson, as good a soldier, as chivalrous a leader, as gallant a gentle-

man, as pure a man as ever fell upon the field of battle. General Sher-

man says of him "History tells us of but few who so blended the grace

and gentleness of the friend with the dignity, courage, faith and man-

liness of the soldier."  Now Sandusky County has gathered to herself

all that remains of another hero, her first if not her greatest. Here under

the shadow of this monument among the people who love to do him honor,

on the very spot he so gallantly defended, will he lie


Till mouldering worlds and tumbling systems burst;

When the last trump shall renovate his dust.

Till by the mandate of eternal truth,

His soul will flourish in immortal youth.


Such names as Croghan and McPherson are like the sound of a

26 Ohio Arch

26         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


trumpet. They are the precious jewels of our nation's history, to be

gathered up among the treasures of the nation and kept immaculate from

the tarnishing breath of the cynic and the doubter.

My Friends; Wars are cruel. They crush with bloody heel all

justice, all happiness, all that is God-like in Man. We have but to

read the History of Nations to discern the hideous slaughters which

have marked their progress, and yet man is such a savage that until

the present generation he has insisted that the only way to settle things

is by the gage of battle. He has covered a hundred battle fields with

men and horses; with the groans of the wounded and the dying. He

has covered the pages of our history with gore, and if history, such

history as you have learned here on the banks of this gentle flowing

river that for a half a century had been the scene of strife and battle,

if such history I say, cannot cultivate out of man the brutal spirit of

war, teach him the wisdom of diplomacy and the need of arbitration,

then has the lesson been lost and he has failed to taste the fruit or

imbibe the philosophy of humanity. It is for us to substitute law for

war, reason for force, courts of reason for the settlement of contro-

versies among nations following up the maintenance of the law with the

vitalizing forces of civilization until all nations are molded into one

International Brotherhood, yielding to reason and conscience. Then can

we draw the sword from its sheath and fling it into the sea rejoicing

that it has gone forever. Let us recognize this truth and today on this

anniversary we will lay a new stone in the temple of Universal Peace.

This temple which shall rise to the very firmament and be as broad as

the ends of the earth. May such occasions as this lead us away from

an era of wars and battleships and new navies and bring us to a time

when Patriotism and Humanity can be compatible one with another and

to a time

When navies are forgotten

And fleets are useless things,

When the dove shall warm her bosom

Beneath the eagle's wings.


When memory of battles.

At last is strange and old,

When nations have one banner

And creeds have found one fold.


Then Hate's last note of discord

In all God's world shall cease,

In the conquest which is service

In the victory which is peace!

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                   27






I am gratified, indeed, to be present and participate with you for

a brief while upon this historic occasion. I have not come to make a

formal speech, nor did I come to make you a speech at all. According

to the programme, I am to indulge only in a few "remarks."

What I shall say to you shall be born of the moment. I have

brought with me no well-turned phrases. I have come simply to join

with you in paying tribute to the memory of men who did valiant service

in the cause of the Republic in the long


The spot whereon we stand is sacred

ground, for wherever men have fought in

the cause of American liberty, that ground

is sacred and ever will be held so.

George Croghan is a name that is in-

delibly written in the history of the Re-

public, and this great community honors

itself when it brings back his remains

from the sunny South and gives them

sepulcher in the soil hallowed by his

genius and valor.

We bring to-day beneath this beautiful

summer sky a tribute of our gratitude

for what he did for us and for our suc-

cessors in the centuries which stretch be-

fore us with so much promise. We lay the

remains of this brave soldier to their everlasting sleep beneath the shade

of yonder monument.

I wish we knew the names of the hundred and sixty men who stood

with him August 2, 1813, that we might call the roll of them here to-

day and pay to them the tribute of our gratitude and our admiration.

The brave commander who rendered illustrious service here in a critical

period of the war of 1812, is known to us and his name is upon our

lips and it will be sung by our children in days to come, but his brave

compatriots are unknown. The one hundred and sixty men who stood

here--as brave men as ever placed their lives upon the sacrificial altar

of their country--are known, for God Almighty knows men who go

down to the battle field to preserve American institutions for ages to


There is one brave young man, who stood with Croghan, whose

name we cannot forget, and which we recall with pride and satisfaction,

and that is the name of Ensign Shipp. When the British General Proctor

28 Ohio Arch

28         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


came bearing a flag of truce, supported by an army trained in the art

of arms -five hundred British, eight hundred savages, I believe, twelve

hundred in all, -against an hundred and sixty-one, commander and

soldiery, it was believed that the flag of truce would win a complete

surrender of the small garrison. But the British commander knew little

of the metal that was in George Croghan and Ensign Shipp and the

hundred and fifty-nine others who shared with them the fortunes of

war. The young commander who had barely reached his majority sent

to meet the officers bearing the flag of truce, this young Ensign, younger

still than himself. The British officer demanded the surrender of the

garrison. The Ensign answered--and history can never forget his an-

swer: "My commandant and the garrison," said he, "are determined

to defend the post to the last extremity and bury ourselves in its ruins

rather than surrender to any force whatever."

It was pointed out by the British commander that resistance would

probably result in massacre by the savages. To this suggestion the

Ensign defiantly replied: "When the fort shall be taken there will be

none to massacre. It will not be given up while a man is able to


This was the note of sublime heroism. It was essentially the

answer of a brave American patriot. It was a sentiment kindred to

one uttered by General Grant during the Civil War. The great General,

as I remember, in one of his campaigns, crossed a river and sought an

engagement with the enemy with the river in his rear, and with only

one transport. When it was suggested that this was, perhaps, inade-

quate provision in the event of the necessity of a retreat, the great

captain of our armies made the laconic reply that if he was obliged to

retreat, one transport would be sufficient.

As Shipp made his way back to the fort, Major Croghan awaited

him. The latter knew the British would demand surrender and that

the brave Ensign would decline to accede to his demand. As the fort

opened for the Ensign's return, Croghan said: "Come in Shipp and

we will blow them all to Hell." That was a naughty word. (A voice:

"But it was the right one under the circumstances.") Yes, you are

right. If it was ever to be used, then was the occasion to use it, and

I think that a word like that, used in the cause of liberty, is a dis-

infected word.

(The Vice-President indicated he was about to close. Several

voices: "Go on! Go on!")

I do not want to talk longer than it took George Croghan to lick

the British and the savages here. He illustrated better than any man

can that it is not words which win victories, but it is deeds that accom-

plish them.

Fellow citizens, American liberty has cost something. It is a

singular fact that those great blessings to the human race which it

most longs for, which it most prays for, always come at the greatest

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                     29


cost. Humanity, in all her march, back from the early mist of history,

down to this present hour, has won her victories for liberty mainly

upon the battle field. We who are here to-day are in the enjoyment

of liberty which was won upon the field of battle. We are a great,

happy, contented nation of eighty millions. We look out across the sea

to the Empire of Russia, with her one hundred and forty millions

struggling with the great problems of human liberty. We see their wars,

we see their massacres, we see their bloodshed unspeakable. We each

and every one wish that those people could come out of the bondage

of iron rule into the glad sunshine of liberty.

America has had five wars: the War of the American Revolution;

the War of 1812 which made us forever secure against the efforts of

Great Britain to wrest liberty from us - the liberty fought for by our

continental fathers; the war with Mexico was the third, and I am glad

to see here to-day and take by the hand several of the survivors of the

war with Mexico. Their presence is an inspiration. It is a curious

coincidence that there is now present a man who knew Croghan in the

Mexican War. It seems to carry us back from the present to the very

presence of the hero of Fort Stephenson. Then the war of the great

Rebellion-the mightiest war in the history of man. There are here

to-day scores of men bearing upon their breasts the evidence of their

loyalty to the Union in the hour of its supremest exigency. And later

came the war with Spain.

These five wars were fought by the people of the United States,

30 Ohio Arch

30         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


not to enslave men but to make men free, to enlarge in a vast degree

the zone of Republican government.

All honor to George Croghan and his heroic band. All honor

to the soldiers of the revolution. All honor to the soldiers of the

Mexican war. All honor to the soldiers of the Union. All honor to

the soldiers of the Spanish-American war. The American people honor

them. They honor them each and all. They hold them forever within

the embrace of their fondest memory.

Fellow citizens, it would be impossible for me to close these few

words without expressing that appreciation to Col. Webb C. Hayes

which is in the hearts of all of us here to-day. It is a happy circum-

stance that he, a soldier himself, and a son of one of the brave defenders

of the Union in the Civil War, should thoughtfully and generously bring

back from the soil of Kentucky where he was sleeping his everlasting

sleep the remains of this brave, fearless leader, in order that they might

rest here amid the theater of his immortal achievements.

All honor to Colonel Hayes for what he has so splendidly done,

and all honor to the community which respects and preserves the memory

of those who have served so well in the cause of their country.

I will leave you, my friends, and I leave you with regret. I leave

you, however, with the confident hope that you will go forward in the

enjoyment of peace and happiness which are the legitimate fruits of

those who fought here and elsewhere for Republican government.





The chairman has stated that I will make a few remarks, and this

is truly said. When your committee came to Columbus to invite me to

participate on this occasion I frankly told them that it would be im-

possible for me to make any preparation, but that I could come provid-

ing no speech was expected of me, and, fellow citizens, Col. Hayes

gladly accepted the promise, and it was with that understanding that I

am here to-day, for the purpose of participating with you in my pres-

ence more than by words or speech on this memorable occasion.

I sometimes think that we have never given sufficient importance

in history to the gallant deeds that were performed here in 1813. You

remember that up to that time the results of the war seemed against us.

We had met many reverses, but it was Col. Croghan and his 160 men

who won one of the most important victories, according to the numbers

engaged on our side and the numbers of the enemy, that is recorded

in American history. It was from this moment that the tide of the

battle turned in our favor. From that time victory after victory followed

until in a few months' time the war was ended, and victory seemed

vouchsafed to us so far as the mother country was concerned, the

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                    31


liberty that we are enjoying to-day, and I wish to say that upon this

spot, this historic spot that the tide turned in favor of the American

nation, in the war of 1812-13. How unfortunate you are to have within

your corporate limits the most historic spot in the United States of

America. I never stood upon this ground, upon this battlefield until to-

day. My mind turns back to my youthful days, when I read of the

bravery of Croghan and his 160 men, and I

often thought it was a miracle, he being a

mere youth and only 160 men, and de-

fending the fort against so many British

and Indians. But it was done, and from

that day to this, this spot has been a his-

toric spot, a spot that is dear in the minds

of our American citizens.

Now, there are others to make a few

remarks, and I want to give them a chance

to make them, and I only want to say in

conclusion that I congratulate the city of

Fremont in the respect and love that it has

shown for this spot, and its great defender.

I want to congratulate the city of Fremont

for having in your midst a young soldier

who is aiding to keep this a historic spot,

dearer and dearer each year in the mem-

ory of the American people, in the person of Col. Webb C. Hayes.

I thank you for your attention for you must be getting tired and I

will leave you, saying that I am glad it was my privilege to be with

you to-day, and I will ever remember this meeting as long as I live.

This day will be deep in my memory.





The only apology I have for the honor of appearing before you on

this interesting occasion is that my college friend of years ago, your

splendid, patriotic and enterprising fellow-citizen, Colonel Webb. C.

Hayes, invited me to come; his apology being that I am an official of

the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, whose business it

is to gather, preserve and disseminate the lore, historic and prehistoric

of our great state. The orator of the day, the Hon. Samuel D. Dodge,

has recited to you in graphic terms the history that led up to the

siege of Fort Stephenson and the incomparable bravery and patriotism

with which the youth George Croghan and his gallant little band defended

the crude stockade fort and stemmed the tide that to that moment seemed

against the Americans. The successful repulse of Proctor and the British

32 Ohio Arch

32         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


soldiers and Tecumseh, with his hundreds of braves, was the first real

victory on Ohio soil in the War of 1812. That we may all the more

appreciate the extent and significance of that event, let us for purposes

of comparison look to other parts of the world, and note some of the

stupendous acts that were being performed in the theatre of great

things. In this very month, indeed on this very day and the days fol-

lowing, in August, 1813, Bolivar, known as the Liberator and often called

the Washington of South America, as the head of several hundred vol-

unteer revolutionists, was entering as conqueror, Caracas, the capital of

Venezuela, which country was thus freed from the oppression of Spanish

monarchial rule and became one of the first republics of South America.

In Europe a greater scene was being enacted. The incomparable Napo-

leon was engaged in that series of military movements on the banks

of the Elbe, which were the crowning events of his generalship and the

culmination of his career. At this date (August 1813) Napoleon was

approaching Dresden with an army of 100,000

troups and upon that field he defeated 150,000 of

the allied forces. Two months later on the nearby

famous field of Leipsic with 150,000, the flower of

the French army, he was overwhelmed by the tre-

mendous host of 250,000 soldiers under the com-

bined powers of Europe. It was a crushing defeat

for the sublime rogue of Corsica, the greatest mili-

tary genius of modern times. These stupendous

events shook the foundations of European dynas-

ties, but were contests not for humanity and liberty

so much as for the supremacy of one form of

monarchy over another. Not on the banks of the

Elbe, but here on this picturesque spot, on the banks

of the peaceful little Sandusky, in the wild woods

of the Ohio Valley, devoid of the "pomp and circumstance" of gigantic

war, was being fought the battle for freedom and the best form of demo-

cratic government ever given man. Here, in this little stockade fort George

Croghan, a native American lad, with but 160 men, heroes of struggle and

sacrifice with a might almost miraculous, repelled the forces of the British

under Proctor, with 500 of the weathered veterans of the Peninsula War,

the trained troops of the victorious Wellington and two thousand or more

Indian braves under command of Tecumseh, the most sagacious and

daring leader of his race. How did George Croghan do it? He had

the versatility as well as the valor of the pioneer soldier. He had but

one mounted gun, "Old Betsy," whose venerable presence now stands

guard over the new grave of her old commander,-this one cannon

Croghan so deftly shifted behind the stockade walls, firing a shot now

through one port-hole and then through another, that the enemy were

fooled into the idea that Fort Stephenson was "chuck full" of firing

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                   33


Betsies. The bravery of this American boy and his dauntless band ex-

ceeded in results for the betterment of humanity arid the advance of

civilization all the campaigns combined of Napoleon and his antagonists.

Croghan and his 160 followers were victorious because they were typical

pioneer Americans- Americans, a new type of character in the history

of the world. Someone has said that God sifted four races to produce

the American. Each one of you within the sound of my voice can

vividly recollect how on that magnificent May morning, 1898, Dewey

sailed into the Bay of Manila and almost in the twinkling of an eye sunk

the Spanish fleet, without the loss of a single American sailor and

scarcely the scratching of the paint from any of the American ships.

We thought that that was the most unparalleled event in history and

could never be repeated, but in sixty days thereafter it was encored in

the Bay of Santiago when the fleet of Cervera emerged and on that

July Sunday morning left the bay for the sea to encounter the storm

of fire and shot from the ships of Sampson and Schley. The war cor-

respondent of the London Times, one who for the last forty years had

been an eye-witness of the chief military and naval feats, both in the

old world and the new, gave in his paper a most graphic picture of this

battle of Santiago, which he viewed from the deck of one of the American

vessels. At the close of his vivid description, he made the significant

remark that the behavior of the American sailor was one of the most

marvelous exhibitions of coolness, bravery and accuracy he had ever wit-

nessed. Said he, "I verily believe that had those rival seamen exchanged

places, namely, had the Spanish sailors possessed the modern, thoroughly

equipped American ships and thus emerged from the bay, and had the

American sailors possessed the decrepid and time-worn ships of Spain,

the result would have been the same, namely, that the Americans

would have won the victory, because that victory was won by the char-

acter of the American boy who manned the American ships." The

American boy, Croghan, who defended Fort Stephenson against such tre-

mendous odds was the same type as the sailors of Dewey and Sampson

and Schley and the followers of the generals who led in the Spanish

War. It is related that when the Sultan of Turkey heard of the great

victory of the Americans at Manila and Santiago, he sent for the Amer-

ican ambassador and asked him if the reports of the marvelous feats

of the Americans were true. The ambassador replied that they were,

when the sultan asked if he could buy ships and guns like those which

the Americans employed. The ambassador told him that he supposed

the sultan could get them, they were made in America for money by

great manufacturers. "Then," said the sultan, "I will buy some of them

that I may win great victories." "Oh," said the ambassador, "that you

can do; but you cannot buy the American boys to man them for you."

It is of such men and boys as those who fought the American Revolution,

Vol. XVI- 3.

34 Ohio Arch

34         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


the War of 1812, of 1848, the Rebellion of 61-5 and the Spanish War

that this republic is composed. Your Vice-President and your Governor

have told you in eloquent language of the heroism and patriotism of

the American soldiers in those wars for independence, unity, liberty and

humanity. It is a noble record of a noble people and in that record

Ohio has taken a most conspicuous part. Three thousand Revolutionary

soldiers, scarred and wearied after the battles for independence, came

across the Alleghanies to establish homes for their declining years in the

peaceful and fruitful plains and valleys of Ohio. Their lives had been

dedicated to independence and freedom and their buried bones made

sacred the soil of Ohio. The seed of that Revolutionary patriotism

ripened into an hundred fold in the war for the national Union, for

300,000 loyal recruits went forth from the "Buckeye State" to fight on

the battle-fields of the Sunny South for the preservation of the republic

whose foundation was laid by their revered sires. In the crypt of St.

Paul's Cathedral, London, that splendid temple erected to the faith of

Christianity, lie the remains of its great architect, Christopher Wren.

They repose beneath the floor in which is sunken a simple plate, upon

which is inscribed the name "Christopher Wren," and the Latin inscrip-

tion "si monumentum requiris, circumspice"; if you seek his monument,

look about you. So I say, we may erect monuments, the graven metal

or carved marble, to the heroes of the past, not for them, for they

need them not, but for us that this reminder of their heroic deeds may

lead us to emulate their examples and push on to loftier heights. No,

I would say of George Croghan and the heroes of 1776 and 1812, if you

should ask for their monument, look about you and contemplate the mag-

nificent republic of which they laid the corner-stone, a republic whose

people present the highest of type character and civilization and whose

principles of liberty and humanity are being borne to all the inhabitants

of the earth and the islands of the sea. James A. Garfield, than whom

there was no more exalted example of the American citizen, soldier,

statesman, scholar and orator, a martyred President from Ohio, at the

close of one of his brilliant addresses used these words: "The history

of the worlds is a divine poem; the history of every nation is a canto in

that poem; and the life of every man is a word in that poem. The

harmony of that poem has ever been resounding through the ages and

though its melody has been marred by the roaring of cannon and the

groans of dying men, yet to the Christian philosopher, to you and me,

that poem breathes a prophecy of more happy and halcyon days to

come." What a word was the life of George Croghan in that poem of

universal history--a word that was a clarion note of bravery, heroism

and patriotism, a note that shall ever resound clear and distinct in the

harmony of American history.

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                  35






We have met today on this ground, famous in history, because of

the victorious defence of Fort Stephenson, then standing on this spot,

by Major George Croghan, and the band of he-

roes under his command, ninety-three years

ago,--not only to commemorate that brilliant

achievement, but also to further consecrate and

make sacred the spot by the re-interment of the

remains of its gallant defender.

To Col. Webb C. Hayes great praise is due,

for his patriotic, persistent and successful quest

for the grave of the hero, and in procuring evi-

dence conclusive of the identity of the body,

which, with the casket enclosing the same he

caused to be brought here for interment. His

efforts have been loyally seconded by the ladies

of the George Croghan Chapter, D. A. R., of this

city, who recently dedicated a commemorative

tablet near the spot from which the British cannon bombarded the fort.

The tablet reads as follows:


Near this spot

British cannon from Commodore Barclay's fleet bombarded

Major Croghan in Fort Stephenson August 1, and 2, 1813.

General Proctor attempted to capture the fort by assault with

his Wellington veterans, assisted by Indians under Tecumseh.

Major Croghan with only 160 men and one cannon

"Old Betsy,"repulsed the assault.

The British retreated to their ships with many killed and wounded,

but leaving Lt. Col. Short, Lieut. Gordon

and 25 soldiers of the 41st regiment dead in the ditch.

Commodore Barclay was wounded and with his entire fleet including

the cannon used against Fort Stephenson was captured by

Commodore Perry at the battle of Lake Erie, Sept. 10, 1813.

General Proctor, with his British regulars, was defeated and

Tecumseh with many of his Indians, was killed by

General Harrison at the battle of the Thames, Oct. 5, 1813.

Major Croghan was awarded a gold medal and each

of his officers a sword by the congress of the United States

for gallantry in the defense of Fort Stephenson.

Erected by the George Croghan Chapter, D. A. R.


It is not for me, in this paper, to enter into any detailed account

of the engagement, or any description of the fort; nor to enter into

details of the causes or military movements that led up to the attack,

36 Ohio Arch

36          Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


as these have been assigned to others. Reference, however, is made to

the accompanying cut of the plan of the fort and its environs.


"In long years past, on the banks of this river

Whose current so peaceful, flows silently down,

Roamed the race of the red man, with bow and with quiver,

Where stands fair Fremont, our beautiful town."


Here centuries ago, according to tradition, there were two fortified

neutral towns. One on the east and one on the west bank of the river,

remains of which, in the shape of earthworks were visible within the

remembrance of inhabitants now living.

REFERENCE TO THE ENVIRONS.--a--British gunboats 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. i-Head of navigation.


Major B. F. Stickney, for many years Indian agent in this locality

and familiar with its history and traditions, in a lecture in Toledo in

1845, speaking of these towns, said: "The Wyandots have given me

this account of them. At a period of two and a half centuries ago

all the Indians west of this point were at war with those east. Two

walled towns were built near each other, inhabited by those of Wyandot

origin. They assumed a neutral character. All of the west might enter

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                     37


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; but who

they were or whence they came or anything more must not be mentioned."

Gen. Lewis Cass, in an address in 1829 before the Historical Society

of Michigan, alluding to these neutral towns, said: "During the long and

disastrous contest which preceded and followed the arrival of the Euro-

peans, in which the Iroquois contended for victory, and their enemies

for existence, this little band (Wyandots) preserved the integrity of

their tribe and the sacred character of peacemakers. All who met

upon their threshold met as friends. This neutral nation was still in

existence when the French Missionaries reached the upper lakes two

centuries ago. The details of their history and of their character and

privileges are meager and unsatisfactory, and this is the more to be

regretted as such a sanctuary among the barbarous tribes is not only a

REFERENCES TO THE FORT. -Line 1-Pickets. Line 2-Embank-

ment from the ditch to and against the picket. Line 3. Dry ditch, nine

feet wide by six deep. Line 4-Outward embankment or glacis. A-

Blockhouse first attacked by cannon, b. B-Bastion from which the

ditch was raked by Croghan's artillery. C--Guard blockhouse, in the

lower left corner. D- Hospital during the attack. E E E -Military

store-houses.  F-- Commissary's store-house.  G - Magazine.  H-

Fort gate. K K K-Wicker gates. L- Partition gate.


singular institution but altogether at variance with that reckless spirit

of cruelty with which their wars are usually prosecuted." Internal

feuds finally arose, as the tradition goes, and the villages were destroyed.

Here then the Indians for centuries had their homes and swarmed

along the banks and in the forests and plains of the valley of their beloved

river. Large game abounded on every hand, the river teemed with fish,

38 Ohio Arch

38         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


and the marshes were alive with wild fowl. To them it was an ideal

abode and typical of their heaven, the happy hunting ground. They were

mostly of the Wyandot tribe, whose ancestors' home was once on the

north side of the river St. Lawrence, and who, becoming involved in a

war with the Senecas, living on the opposite side, which threatened their

extermination, concluded to leave their country. They settled first in the

vicinity of Greenbay; the Senecas followed them and the war was

renewed with varying fortunes, until finally it came to an end with the

Wyandots victors, but so badly worsted as to be unable to take much

advantage of their victory, and they finally settled here. They were

more civilized than any of the other tribes inhabiting this region, among

whom were Delawares, Shawanees and Ottawas.

The origin of the name of the river has been variously explained.

A map, published in Amsterdam in 1720 founded on a great variety of

Memoirs of Louisiana, represents within the present limits of Erie

county a water called Lac San douske. There is also a map published by

Henry Popple, London in 1733, where the bay is called "Lake Sandoski."

A very probable account of the origin of the name is the tradition of

aged Wyandot warriors given to Gen. Harrison in the friendly chat of

the Wigwam from which it appeared that their conquering tribes in

their conflict with the Senecas, centuries ago, having landed at Maumee,.

followed the lake shore toward the east, passing and giving names to

bays, creeks and rivers until on coming to Cold creek, where it enters.

the bay, they were so charmed with the springs of clear, cold water in

the vicinity that they pitched their tents and engaged in hunting and

fishing, and by them the bay and river was called Sandusky. Meaning

in their language "At the Cold Water." Butterfield gives a conversation

of John M. James, with William Walker, principal chief of the Wyandots

at Upper Sandusky, at Columbus, 1835. He said the meaning of the

word was "at the cold water," and should be pronounced San-doos-tee.

The Lower San-doos-tee (cold water) and Upper San-doos-tee being the

descriptive Wyandot Indian names known as far back as our knowledge

of this tribe extends.

Here at Lower Sandusky was one of the most important Wyandot

villages, named Junque-indundeh, which in the Wyandot language, noted

for its descriptive character, signifies "at the place of the hanging haze

or mist (smoke)," a name applicable and of a poetic tinge when its site

with the surrounding forests, prairies and marshes, and the burning

leaves and grass are considered. Through this village passed one of

the main Indian trails from Detroit to the Ohio River country through

the Ohio wilderness. There was good navigation from here to Detroit

and the upper lakes, and a good waterway for their canoes, with but a

short portage, between the Sandusky river and the Scioto, to the Ohio


For a period of nearly sixty years before the battle of Fort Stephen-

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                    39


son this spot was on the route pursued by military expeditions of France,

Great Britain and our forefathers, and by the war parties of the savage

red man from the St. Lawrence to the Mississippi. The first military ex-

pedition of white men to this place of which we have a record at the pres-

ent time, was that of the French sent out by DeLongueuil, commandant at

Detroit, in 1748, during the conspiracy of Nicolas, the Wyandot chief

who resided at Sandosket, on the north side of the bay of that name,

and who had permitted English traders from Pennsylvania to erect

a large blockhouse at his principal town on the north side of Lake

Sandoski, in 1745, named Fort Sandusky. After the failure of his con-

spiracy, Nicolas resolved to abandon his towns on Sandusky Bay, and

on April 7, 1748, destroyed his villages and forts and with his warriors

and their families moved to the Illinois country.

The French sent another expedition in 1749 under Captain de

Celeron who after passing up the Sandusky river conducted an expe-

dition to the Ohio country, burying engraved leaden plates along the

Ohio river. The first British expedition up the Sandusky was after

the close of the old French War in 1760, when Robert Rogers, a native

of New Hampshire, was directed to take possession of the western forts.

He left Montreal on the 13th of September, 1760, with two hundred Ran-

gers-proceeding west he visited Sandusky--after securing the fort at

Detroit returned by land via Sandusky and Tuscarawas Trail to Fort

Pitt, stopping at the Lower Rapids of the Sandusky, probably on this

very knoll. The succeeding expedition, that of Colonel Bradstreet and

Israel Putnam in 1764, was outlined in the address of Hon. S. D. Dodge.

In May, 1778, the Renegades Alexander McKee, Matthew Elliott

and Simon Girty passed through Lower Sandusky to join the notorious

Lieutenant-Governor Henry Hamilton at Detroit, and lead the savages

in their attack on the settlers. James Girty came from Fort Pitt a few

weeks later to join them. Later in the year 1778 Daniel Boone and

Simon Kenton, then held captive by the Indians, at different times passed

through Lower Sandusky en route to Detroit. Strange to say Simon

Girty saved Simon Kenton's life and sent him to Detroit after he had

been condemned to be burned and tortured.

The next military expedition of which we have knowledge which

stopped at or passed through this place was the British contingent which

served with the Indians in repelling Crawford's expedition which cul-

minated in the terrible scene of Crawford's execution by burning at

the stake. This followed about two months after the passage of the

Moravians through this place on their removal to Detroit.

The pathetic story of the Moravian Indians whose villages were

originally planted on the banks of the Tuscarawas river, in 1772, had a sad

ending some ten years later in the brutal massacre which forms one

of the darkest pages of Revolutionary times. The Moravian missio-

naries and Christian Indians seemed to excite the special enmity of the

40 Ohio Arch

40         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


savages both white and red, British and American. The renegades, Elliott,

Girty and McKee, finally persuaded the British Commandant at Detroit

to order their removal, and sent the bloody Wyandot Indians under

their war chiefs Kuhn of Lower Sandusky, and Snip of Upper Sandusky,

accompanied by the famous Delaware chief Captain Pipe of Upper San-

dusky, to transfer them to the Sandusky villages or to the vicinity of

Detroit. This was carried out in their usual ruthless manner. While

the Indian converts remained at Upper Sandusky, De Peyster, the Com-

mandant of Detroit, through the machinations of Simon Girty, ordered

the missionaries brought before him. Rev. John Heckewelder, one of

the missionaries, afterward wrote, in his "History of the Mission": "On

the morning of the 13th of March, 1782, a Frenchman named Francis

Levallie, from Lower Sandusky, gave us notice that Girty who was to

have taken us to Detroit, having gone with a party of Wyandots to war

against the Americans on the Ohio, had appointed him to take his place

in taking us to Detroit, and that on the next day after tomorrow (the

15th) he would be here again to set out with us. A little conversation

with this man satisfied us that we had fallen into better hands. He

told us: 'Girty had ordered him to drive us before him to Detroit, the

same as if we were cattle, and never make a halt for the purpose of

the women giving suck to their children. That he should take us

around the head of the lake (Erie) and make us foot every step of

the way.' He, however would not do this, but would take us to Lower

Sandusky, and from that place send a runner with a letter to the Com-

mandant at Detroit, representing our situation and taking further orders

from him respecting us."

Notwithstanding Girty's hard order, the kind-hearted Frenchman

conducted the missionaries with every regard for their comfort and

safety, and boats were sent to take them from Lower Sandusky to Detroit.

A short time after reaching Lower Sandusky they received word that the

almost equally brutal white borderers on the American side, led by the

notorious Col. Williamson, had marched from Fort Pitt and cruelly

slaughtered some ninety or more Christian Indians who still remained

at the Moravian villages on the Tuscarawas. The missionary band at

Lower Sandusky consisted of the senior missionary David Zeisberger,

and his wife; John Heckewelder, wife and child; Senseman, wife and

babe but a few weeks old; Youngman and wife; and Edwards and

Michael Young, unmarried. The two latter were, while in Lower San-

dusky, lodged in the house of Mr. Robbins. The other four missionaries

with their families were guests of Mr. Arundel. Robbins and Arundel

were English traders at this place.

Heckewelder in his History of Indian Nations describes the ordeal

of running the gauntlet as follows:

"In the month of April, 1782, when I was myself a prisoner at

Lower Sandusky, waiting for an opportunity to proceed with a trader to

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                   41


Detroit, - three American prisoners were brought in by fourteen war-

riors from the garrison of Fort McIntosh. As soon as they had crossed

the Sandusky river to which the village lay adjacent, they were told

by the captain of the party to run as hard as they could to a painted

post which was shown to them. The youngest of the three without a

moment's hesitation immediately started for it, and reached it fortu-

nately without receiving a single blow; the second hesitated for a moment,

but recollecting himself, he also ran as fast as he could and likewise

reached the post unhurt. The third, frightened at seeing so many men,

women and children with weapons in their hands ready to strike him,

kept begging the captain to spare him, saying that he was a mason and

would build him a fine large stone house or do any work for him that

he would please.

"Run for your life," cried the chief to him, "and don't talk now of

building houses!" But the poor fellow still insisted, begging and praying

to the captain, who at last finding his exhortations vain and fearing the

consequences turned his back upon him and would not hear him any

longer. Our mason now began to run, but received many a hard blow,

one of which nearly brought him to the ground, which, if he had fallen

would have decided his fate. He, however, reached the goal, and not

without being sadly bruised, and he was beside bitterly reproached and

scoffed at all round as a vile coward, while the others were hailed as

brave men and received tokens of universal approbation."

"In the year 1782," says Heckewelder, "the war chief of the Wyandot

tribe of Indians of Lower Sandusky sent a young white man whom he

had taken as prisoner as a present to another chief who was called the

Half King of Upper Sandusky, for the purpose of being adopted into

his family in the place of one of his sons who had been killed the pre-

ceding year. The prisoner arrived and was presented to the Half King's

wife, but she refused to receive him; which according to the Indian rule

was in fact a sentence of death. The young man was therefore taken

away for the purpose of being tortured and burnt on the pile. While

the dreadful preparations were making and the unhappy victim was

already tied to the stake, two English traders, moved by feelings of pity

and humanity, resolved to unite their exertions to endeavor to save

the prisoner's life by offering a ransom to the war chief; which how-

ever he refused, saying it was an established rule among them to sacri-

fice a prisoner when refused adoption; and besides the numerous war

captains were on the spot to see the sentence carried into execution.

The two generous Englishmen, were, however, not discouraged, and

determined to try another effort. They appealed to the well-known high-

minded pride of an Indian. 'But,' said they, 'among all these chiefs

whom you have mentioned there is none who equals you in greatness;

you are considered not only as the greatest and bravest, but as the

best man in the nation.' 'Do you really believe what you say?' said

42 Ohio Arch

42         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


the Indian looking them full in the face. 'Indeed we do.' Then without

speaking another word, he blackened himself, and taking his knife and

his tomahawk in his hand, made his way through the crowd to the un-

happy victim, crying out with a loud voice, 'what have you to do with

my prisoner?' and at once cutting the cords with which he was tied,

took him to his house, which was near that of Mr. Arundel, whence he

was secured and carried off by safe hands to Detroit, where the Com-

mandant sent him by water to Niagara, where he was soon after liberated;

the Indians who witnessed this act, said it was truly heroic; they were

so confounded by the unexpected conduct of this chief and by his

manly and resolute appearance, that they had not time to reflect upon

what they should do, and before their astonishment was well over, the

prisoner was out of their reach."

Another description of the same ordeal is related by Jeremiah Arm-

strong, who with an older brother and sister, was captured by the

Indians in 1794 opposite Blennerhassett's Island and brought to this

place. He says: "On arriving at Lower Sandusky, before entering the

town, they halted and formed a procession for Cox (a fellow prisoner),

my sister and myself to run the gauntlet. They pointed to the home of

their chief, Old Crane, (Tarhe), about a hundred yards distant, signifying

that we should run into it. We did so and were received very kindly by

the old chief; he was a very mild man, beloved by all." Tarhe when

critically analyzed means "at him," "the tree," or "at the tree," the tree

personified. Crane was a nickname given him by the French on account

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                    43


of his height and slender form. Tarhe's wife was a white woman, a

captive named Sally Frost, who had been adopted by the Wyandots.




The two mile square tract which still comprises the corporate limits

of the city of Fremont, was ceded to the government of the United States

by the Indians at the treaty of Fort McIntosh, January 21, 1785, renewed

at Fort Harmar, January 9, 1789, and reaffirmed at the treaty of Green-

ville, August 3, 1795; and has constituted a distinct military or civil

jurisdiction now for 121 years. Gen. George Rogers Clark, the uncle

of our Major George Croghan, was one of the Commissioners of the

United States who made the treaty with the Indians at Fort McIntosh,

by which the spot so gallantly defended by his nephew, twenty-eight years

after, was first ceded to the government.

While this region was within the jurisdiction of Delaware county

(1809-15) the term or name Lower Sandusky was sometimes understood

to apply to all that region within the Sandusky river valley north of

an undefined line dividing the upper from the lower Sandusky country.

On April 29, 1811, as recorded in journal 1, page 35, the board of county

commissioners of Delaware county passed the following resolution:

"Resolved by the board of commissioners of Delaware county in

conformity to a petition from the white inhabitants of Sandusky and by

the verbal request of some of the inhabitants of Radnor township, that

all that part of country commonly known and called by the name of

Upper and Lower Sanduskys shall be and now is attached to Radnor

township enjoying township privileges so far as is agreeable to law."

This is the first record concerning local civil government here, that

I have been able to find.

It is quite reasonable to conclude that more than the two-mile square

tract is meant by "All that part of country commonly known and called

by the name of Lower Sandusky." In further support of this conclusion

may be mentioned a criminal prosecution in the common pleas court of

Huron county at the May term, 1819, while this territory was within

that jurisdiction. - Law Record, Vol. 1, page 217.

The case referred to was the State of Ohio vs. Ne-go-sheek, Ne-

gon-e-ba and Ne-gossum, three Ottawa Indians, indicted for the murder

of John Wood and George Bishop, white men, at a hunter's and trap-

per's camp on the Portage' river, at a point about twelve miles from its

mouth, near what is now Oak Harbor in Ottawa county, April 21, 1819.

The indictment was drawn and the prosecution conducted by Ebenezer

Lane, assisted by Peter Hitchcock, both very able lawyers and not likely

to be mistaken in the averments as to the venue or place where the

crime was committed, which, though known to have been several miles

distant from the two-mile square tract, was nevertheless charged in the

indictment as committed "At the county of Huron in Lower Sandusky."

44 Ohio Arch

44         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


A very interesting account of this case may be found in the Fire-

land Pioneer, June 1865, page 43. Ne-gossum was discharged without

trial. The other two were convicted and sentenced to be hung, which

sentence was executed at Norwalk, July 1, 1819. Lane and Hitchcock both

subsequently became Judges of the Supreme Court of the State.

On August 1, 1815, while the region known as Lower Sandusky was

within the civil jurisdiction of Huron County, having been transferred

from Delaware County to Huron, January 31, 1815, the Township of

Lower Sandusky was formed by the commissioners of that county, and

provision made for the first election of township officers for the town-

ship, the same to be held August 15, 1815, at the house of Israel Har-


The order, among other things, provided:    "Said township to

comprise all that part of Huron County west of the 24th range of Con-

necticut Reserve," which meant then all that region of country between

the west line of Huron and the east lines of Hancock, Wood and Lucas

Counties, lying south of Lake Erie and extending to the south line of

Seneca County.

At this election Israel Harrington, Randall Jerome and Jeremiah

Everett (father of Homer Everett) were elected township trustees;

Isaac Lee, clerk; Morris A. Newman and William Ford, overseers of

the poor, and Charles B. Fitch and Henry Dubrow, appraisers.

This immense township thus remained until May 18, 1819, when by

action of the county commissioners of Huron County another township

was formed by detaching from the township of Lower Sandusky all that

part of the same east of the Sandusky river. To the new township the

name of Croghan was given.




Fort Stephenson Park, the site of the fort, covers a little more than

two acres of ground, and is a part of a 57 acre tract, numbered 9, of

the subdivision of the two-mile square reservation made in 1817, and

about that time platted into inlots and is located near the center of

the historic two-mile square tract. The first purchaser from the gov-

ernment was Cyrus Hulburd, whose deed is dated March 11, 1824.

From him it passed through successive grantees till the title to the three-

fourths part fronting Croghan street was acquired by Lewis Leppelman,

the southwest one-eighth by Dr. W. V. B. Ames, and the southeast

one-eighth by Lucinda Claghorn. The city of Fremont purchased this

property in 1873, the Birchard Library Association, having contributed

$9,000 toward the purchase of the property, and being the equitable owner

of one-third thereof. On March 29, 1878, the Birchard Library Associa-

tion became the owner of the legal title to the undivided one-third of

this ground by deed of conveyance from the City council of Fremont

pursuant to an ordinance duly passed February 18, 1878. This deed

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                     45


contained the conditions prescribed in the ordinance which are as fol-

lows: "That said Birchard Library Association are to have the right to

erect, maintain and occupy a building for the Birchard Library on Lots

number two hundred and twenty-one (221) and two hundred and forty

(240), and that said City have the right to erect, maintain and occupy a

building on said premises for a City Hall, where the same is now be-

ing erected on the corner of Croghan and Arch streets, and that no other

building, fence or structure of any kind shall hereafter be erected or

put upon any part of said Lots, nor shall the same ever be used for any

purpose other than as a Public Park or any part thereof sold or con-

veyed without the consent of both the said City Council and the said

Birchard Library Association. The control and supervision of said Park

shall be vested in the City Council and said Birchard Library Associa-

tion jointly, but said City Council shall have the exclusive use and con-

trol of the building now on said Lots."

The Birchard Library Association, which was largely instrumental in

preserving old Fort Stephenson for the public, was founded in 1873 by

Sardis Birchard, who named a Board of Trustees of which his nephew

Rutherford B. Hayes was the president, and arranged to place with such

Board property and securities to the value of $50,000. Mr. Birchard died

January 21, 1874, before the property intended to be given was legally

vested in this Board of Trustees, and his last will, dated August 21, 1872,

contained no provision for the Library.

His nephew and residuary legatee, Rutherford B. Hayes, however,

on February 14, 1874, but fifteen days subsequent to the probating of Mr.

Birchard's will, himself made a will in his own handwriting, witnessed

by J. W. Wilson and A. E. Rice, which will was for the sole purpose of

correcting this omission and securing for the Library the endowment in-

tended by Mr. Birchard. Item 2 of General Hayes's will was as follows:

"To carry out the intention of my uncle for the benefit of the people

of Fremont and vicinity, I give and bequeath to the Birchard Library all

my right, title and interest to the following property, viz."  Then fol-

lowed the description of parcels of real estate in Toledo, out of which

was to be realized an aggregate of $40,000 for the Library.  Subse-

quently this property was conveyed by deed and later it was sold. It

was undoubtedly the expectation and intention of Mr. Birchard to com-

plete his gift while living; hence the absence of any provision for it in

his will, although his cash bequests to educational and charitable institu-

tions and relatives and friends other than his residuary legatees, aggre-

gated some $40,000.

General Hayes, in making this will at the time he did, evidently in-

tended that even in the case of his own death, the people of Fremont

and vicinity should receive the unexecuted gift of Mr. Birchard; so that

the people are indebted both to the benevolence of Sardis Birchard and to

the generosity of Rutherford B. Hayes for Birchard Library.

46 Ohio Arch

46         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


It is an interesting fact that the existence of the above mentioned

will was only learned during the present year by the finding of a photo-

graphic copy of it, which has since been placed in Birchard Library.

The name Fort Stephenson first appears in the military records as


"FORT STEPHENSON, May 22, 1813.

May it please your Excellency:

Sir: Agreeably to your orders I have forwarded all the articles

specified therein. * * * Considerable manual labor has been done on

the garrison since you left this place and improvements are daily making.

*   * *One person has been buried since you left this place. He came

from Fort Meigs with a part of the baggage of Major Tod. * * * "

R. E. Post, Adjutant.


The Major Tod mentioned became the president judge of the com-

mon pleas court of the district to which Sandusky county was attached

when organized and presided at the first term of that court held in the

county, May 8, 1820, at Croghansville.

At the time of the defense of Fort Stephenson there were but very

few white inhabitants in Lower Sandusky, as is evidenced by the follow-

ing petition to Governor Meigs, dated December 21, 1813:

"May it please your Excellency:-

"The undersigned inhabitants and settlers on the plains of Lower

Sandusky on the reservation beg leave to humbly represent their present


"In the first instance B. F. Stickney, Indian Agent has denied us

the right or privilege of settling on these grounds * * * and has

actually instructed Gen. Gano, our present Commandant, to dispossess us

of our present inheritance. Many of us * * * have been severe suff-

erers since the commencement of the present war. * * * We do not,

neither can we attempt to claim any legal right to the ground or spot

of earth on which we have each individually settled; but the improve-

ments which we have made and the buildings which we have erected we

trust will not be taken from us. * * * Permission to build has been

granted by Gen. Gano to those who have erected cabins since his arrival."

Signed by Morris A. Newman, Israel Harrington, George Bean,

Geo. Ermatington, R. E. Post, Asa Stoddard, R. Loomis, Jesse Skinner,

William Leach, Walter Brabrook, Louis Moshelle, Wm. Hamilton, Lewis

Geaneau, Patrick Cress.

Whether this petition was granted or not there is no record to

show, but it is probable that it was. But few of the names of the four-

teen signers appear in the subsequent history of the county affairs.

Israel Harrington and Morris A. Newman, however, became Associate

Judges of the Common Pleas Court, and Judge Newman was also County

Commissioner. It was at his tavern on the northeast corner of Ohio

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                   47


Avenue and Pine Street, in Croghansville, that the first term of the

common pleas court in the county was held, and Judge Harrington was

one of the associate judges presiding at that term.




On July 30, 1813, when General Harrison sent Colonel Wells to

relieve Major Croghan from command at Fort Stephenson, he was

escorted from Fort Seneca by Colonel Ball's squadron, consisting of about

100 horse. On the way down they fell in with a body of Indians and

fought what has since been called Ball's Battle. Israel Harrington, a

resident of Lower Sandusky at the time of the battle and one of the

first associate judges of Sandusky county, said that "three days after

he passed the ground and counted thereon thirteen dead Indians awfully

cut and mangled by the horsemen. None of the squadron were killed

and but one slightly wounded." The scene of this battle is about one

and a half miles southwest of Fremont on the west bank of the river,

near what is now the residence of Birchard Havens. There was an

oak tree on the site of the action within the memory of persons still

living, with seventeen hacks in it to indicate the number of Indians killed;

but this tree has unfortunately disappeared as have many other monu-

ments of those stirring times. Howe says: "The squadron were moving

toward the fort when they were suddenly fired upon by the Indians from

the west side of the road, whereupon Colonel Ball ordered a charge

and he and suite and the right flank being in advance first came into

action. The colonel struck the first blow. He dashed in between two

savages and cut down the one on the right; the other being slightly in

the rear, made a blow with a tomahawk at his back, when, by a sudden

spring of his horse, it fell short and was buried deep in the cantel and

pad of his saddle. Before the savage could repeat the blow he was shot

by Corporal Ryan. Lieut. Hedges (now Gen. Hedges of Mansfield) fol-

lowing in the rear, mounted on a small horse pursued a big Indian and

just as he had come up to him his stirrup broke, and he fell headfirst

off his horse, knocking the Indian down. Both sprang to their feet, when

Hedges struck the Indian across his head, and as he was falling buried

his sword up to its hilt in his body. At this time Captain Hopkins was

seen on the left side in pursuit of a powerful savage, when the latter

turned and made a blow at the captain with a tomahawk, at which the

horse sprang to one side. Cornet Hayes then came up, and the Indian

struck at him, his horse in like manner evading the blow. Serj. Ander-

son now arriving, the Indian was soon dispatched. By this time the

skirmish was over, the Indians who were only about 20 in number being

nearly all cut down; and orders were given to retreat to the main

squadron. Col. Ball dressed his men ready for a charge, should the

Indians appear in force, and moved down without further molestation

to the fort, where they arrived about 4 P. M."

48 Ohio Arch

48         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


Among Colonel Ball's troopers was a private, James Webb, the

father of Lucy Webb Hayes, whose old flint-lock rifle and hunting horn

are among the treasures of Spiegel Grove.

In the plan of the environs of the Fort, it will be noted that the

spot where the British officers, Lieut. Colonel Shortt and Lieut. Gordon

were buried, is marked. The new High School building now covers this

spot, and in 1891, while excavating for its foundation portions of the

graves were uncovered and metallic buttons with the number of the

regiment, 41, stamped on them were found, which have been placed in

Birchard Library by Mr. H. S. Dorr, their owner. Mr. Dorr, soon after

finding these buttons showed them to President Hayes who stated that

in reading an autobiography of a Scotch Bishop Gordon, he found the

following: "The great sorrow of my life was the loss of a son in an

unimportant battle in an obscure place in North America--called Fort


From an English work, the "Dictionary of National Biography" the

following facts are gathered. The father of Lieut. Gordon was James

Bently Gordon (1750-1819) of Londonderry, Ireland, who graduated from

Trinity College, Dublin, in 1773 took Holy Orders and subsequently was

presented with the living, first of Cannaway on Cork and finally that of

Killegney in Wexford, both of which he retained till his death, in April,

1819. He was a zealous student of history and geography and a volum-

inous writer of books on such subjects, among which were "Terraquea

or a New System of Geography and Modern History," "A History of the

Rebellion in Ireland in 1798," "A History of the British Islands" and

"An Historical and Geographical Memoir of the North American Con-


He married in 1779 a daughter of Richard Bookey of Wicklow, by

whom he had several children. His eldest son, James George Gordon,

entered the army and was killed at Fort Sandusky in August, 1813.




The public is greatly indebted to Col. Webb C. Hayes for his un-

tiring and partially successful efforts in procuring the names, appearing

below, of the officers and soldiers in the garrison at Fort Stephenson at

the time of its heroic defence.

The list is not complete, containing only seventy-eight names out of

the 160 in the fort at the time. The war records at Washington do not

show the names of the volunteers, who were detached and assigned to

this service; hence it was impossible for him to obtain their names.

The following are the names furnished by Col. Hayes:

Major George Croghan, Seventeenth U. S. Inf., commanding.

Captain James Hunter.

First lieutenant, Benjamin Johnson; second lieutenant, Cyrus A.

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The Croghan Celebration.                   49


Baylor; ensign, Edmund Shipp; Ensign, Joseph Duncan, all of the

Seventeenth U. S. Infantry.

First Lieutenant, Joseph Anthony, Twenty-fourth U. S. Infantry.

Second Lieutenant, John Meek, Seventh U. S. Infantry.

Petersburg Volunteers.

Pittsburg Blues.

Greensburg Riflemen.

Captain Hunter's company, Capt. James Hunter commanding. Ser-

geants, Wayne Case, James Huston, Obadiah Norton. Corporals, Matthew

Burns, William Ewing, John Maxwell.

Privates: Pleasant Bailey, Samuel Brown, Elisha Condiff, Thomas

Crickman, Ambrose Dean, Leonard George, Nathaniel Gill, John Harley,

Jonathan Hartley, William McDonald, Joseph McKey, Frederick Metts,

Rice Millender, John Mumman, Samuel Pearsall, Daniel Perry, William

Ralph, John Rankin, Elisha Rathbun, Aaron Ray, Robert Row, John

Salley, John Savage, John Smith, Thomas Striplin, William Sutherland,

Martin Tanner, John Zett, David Perry.

Captain Duncan's company, 17th U. S. Inf., First Lieutenant Benja-

min Johnson commanding. Second Lieutenant Cyrus A. Baylor. Ser-

geants, Henry Lawell; Thomas McCaul, John M. Stotts, Notley Williams.

Privates: Henry L. Bethers, Cornelius S. Bevins, Joseph Blamer,

Jonathan C. Bowling, Nicholas Bryant, Robert Campbell, Samuel Camp-

bell, Joseph Klinkenbeard, Joseph Childers, Ambrose Dine, Jacob Downs,

James Harris, James Heartley, William Johnson, Elisha Jones, Thomas

Linchard, William McClelland, Joseph McKee, John Martin, Ezekiel

Mitchell, William Rogers, David Sudderfield, Thomas Taylor, John


Detachment Twenty-fourth U. S. Infantry. First Lieutenant Joseph

Anthony commanding.

Privates: William Gaines, John Foster,         Jones, Samuel

Riggs, Samuel Thurman.

Greensburg Riflemen. Sergeant Abraham Weaver.

Petersburg Volunteers. Private Edmund Brown.

Pittsburg Blues.



During the war of the Revolution, Captain Samuel Brady was sent

here by direction of Washington to learn if possible the strength of the

Indians in this quarter. He approached the village under cover of night

and fording the river secreted himself on the Island just below the falls.

When morning dawned a fog rested over the valley which completely

cut off from view the shore from either side. About 11 o'clock a bright

sun quickly dispelled the mist and the celebrated borderer became the

witness from his conealment of a series of interesting horse races by

the Indians during the three days he remained on the Island, from which

Vol. XVI-4.

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50         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


he concluded that they were not then preparing for any hostile move-

ments, and started to return, and after a perilous tramp of several days

reached the fort from which he had been sent out. This Island where

Brady secreted himself was known among the early settler's as Brady's

Island. Capt. Brady subsequently started on a scout towards the San-

dusky villages as before and had arrived in the neighborhood, when he

was made a prisoner and taken to one of the villages. There was great

rejoicing at the capture of Brady, and great preparation and parade were

made for torturing him. The Indians collected in a large body, old

and young, on the day set for his execution. Among them was Simon

Girty, whom he knew, they having been boys together. Girty refused

to recognize or aid him in any way. The time for execution arrived,

the fires were lighted, the circle around him was drawing closer and he

began sensibly to feel the effects of the fire. The withes which confined

his arms and legs were getting loose and he soon found he could free

himself. A fine looking squaw of one of the chiefs ventured a little too

near for her own safety and entirely within his reach. By one powerful

exertion he cleared himself from everything by which he was confined,

caught the squaw by the head and shoulders, and threw her on top of the

burning pile, and in the confusion that followed made his escape. The

Indians pursued, but he outdistanced them, the crowning feat being his

celebrated leap across the Cuyahoga river at the present site of Kent,

known as Brady's Leap.

Brady's name is perpetuated in the chief island of Sandusky river,

within the limits of the city of Fremont; his exploits are typical of the

emergencies of that early frontier life and of the spirit in which they

were everywhere met.


Gen. Arthur St. Clair, governor of the Northwest Territory, or-

ganized Hamilton County, February 11, 1792, with Cincinnati as the

county seat, and the present Sandusky County forming a very small

portion of it. Subsequently Wayne County was organized, August 15,

1796, with Detroit as the county seat, covering a vast extent of terri-

tory from the Cuyahoga river on the east and extending as far west

as Fort Wayne, Indiana, and the present site of Chicago, with its northern

boundary the Canadian boundary line, extending through the Great Lakes

from Lake Superior to Lake Erie. This included the present county of

Sandusky. On the organization of the state of Ohio it was included

in Franklin county with Franklinton as the county seat, until February 17,

1809, when it became a part of Delaware county with Delaware the county

seat, and so remained until January 31, 1815. In April, 1811, Lower

Sandusky by name was attached to Radnor township of Delaware county,

by the county commissioners for township purposes. On January 31,

1815, it became a part of Huron county with Avery, now Milan, as the

county seat, until 1818, and after that date with Norwalk as the county

The Croghan Celebration

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seat. On February 20, 1820, the state legislature organized the terri-

tory ceded by the Indians under the treaty of September 29, 1817, into

fourteen counties, of which Sandusky was one. Sandusky county as

thus organized, extended from the west line of the Western Reserve

to the east line of Wood county, and from the north line of Seneca

county to the lake; and included all of the present counties of San-

dusky and Ottawa, and parts of Erie and Lucas. For the first four

years, Sandusky and Seneca counties were joined for judicial purposes.

Croghansville, on the east bank of the Sandusky river, was the first

county seat, until 1822, when the town Sandusky on the west bank became

the permanent county seat and later these two towns were joined and

known as the town of Lower Sandusky, as mentioned below.

The name of the county is derived from that of the river, which

enters from the south, two miles east of the southeast corner of Ball-

ville township, and flows northeasterly, entirely across the county, a dis-

tance, following its meanderings, of about thirty miles, when it empties

into the bay which by early geographers was named Lake Sandusky.

Originally, as is shown by a plat of a survey made by Josiah At-

kins, Jr. (Plat Record 3, page 3), the term "Lower Sandusky" was ap-

plied to the entire tract of "two miles square on each side of the lower

rapids of the Sandusky River," as originally ceded by the Indians at the

treaty of Fort McIntosh, January 21, 1785, and contained the village of

Croghansville. According to this plat, Croghansville extended across the

river and included several inlots and some larger tracts on the west side,

the 57-acre tract containing the site of the Fort being one.

After the township of Croghan was formed in 1819, this term had

reference to the whole tract on both sides of the Sandusky river; but

thereafter the name "Sandusky" was applied to the west side exclu-

sively, both as to the village and township, the village being sometimes

called "Town of Sandusky."

When the county was organized it contained two townships only,

namely, Sandusky, which included the village of that name on the west

side and all of the county west of the river; and Croghan, which in-

cluded the village of Croghansville and all of the county east of the

river. Subsequently, in 1827, that portion of Croghan township in which

the village on the east side was located, was attached to Sandusky town-

ship by the county commissioners. In 1829 the territory of both villages,

by act of the legislature, was incorporated by the name of the "Town

of Lower Sandusky." It was changed to Fremont at the October term,

1849, of the common pleas court (Journal 6, page 437).

It is a matter of regret that the name about which cluster so many

interesting traditions and local historical associations was ever changed

to one which, however highly honored, carries with it no suggestions of

these traditions or local history. The change was, however, thought to

be called for in order to prevent confusion in the matter of the postal ser-

vice, owing to the quadruplication of names.

52 Ohio Arch

52         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


The name Croghansville, for the village, was probably first suggested

by Josiah Meigs, Commissioner of the General Land Office, in a letter

from Washington City, April 12, 1816, in which, among other words

are these: "If it were left to me to name the town at Lower Sandusky

I should name it in honor of the gallant youth, Col. Croghan -and should

say it should be Croghansville.

The name is still preserved in that of the school on the hill on the

East Side, known as Croghansville School, as well as in the street

abutting on Fort Stephenson.



I was born in Pennsylvania in 1829 and brought to the Black

Swamp in, 1834. All my older brothers attended the Croghan celebra-

tion at Lower Sandusky in 1839 and I have been

present at every celebration since that time.

My early associations in Lower Sandusky and

Fremont were with such men as Thomas L. Haw-

kins, dramatist, poet and preacher; David Gal-

lagher, a narrator of early history; David Deal,

a hotel keeper, who saw service at Fort Meigs, all

soldiers of the war of 1812. Also Israel Harring-

ton, a neighbor in Sandusky county. James Kirk

and a man named Figley, both of whom worked

on the old fort before the battle of August 2, 1813,

have visited me here in Fremont and while visiting

the fort and going over the ground in its vicinity

have graphically described to me the location and

construction of the fort and many incidents connected with its building

and its defense against the British and Indians.

The late David Deal, who was a member of Col. James Stephen-

son's regiment of Ohio militia, told me that Col. Stephenson left them

at Fort Meigs in January, 1813, to go to Lower Sandusky to build the

fort which has ever since been called Fort Stephenson.

I had always supposed that the first fort constructed on this site

was built by Col. Stephenson's soldiers in January, 1813, but Col. Hayes

has shown me a number of official records and a copy of an order

issued by Brig. General William Irvine dated at Fort Pitt (now Pitts-

burg) November 11, 1782, during the Revolutionary War, to Major Craig

as follows: "Sir. I have received intelligence through various channels

that the British have established a post at Lower Sandusky, etc., etc.,

also a copy of the treaty by which the reservation (present corporation

limits of Fremont), two miles square, of which Fort Stephenson is

about the center, was established by the treaty of Fort McIntosh as

early as 1785 and continued in all subsequent treaties. Also an order

from Governor Meigs of Ohio to Captain John Campbell dated Zanes-

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                    53


ville, June 11, 1812. "You will take with you the necessary tools for

building two blockhouses at Sandusky." * * *. "You will build two

blockhouses and piquet them so as to protect the United States trading

house and store at the place." * * * "I expect you will meet at San-

dusky Major Butler, from Delaware with a company to assist you."

Governor Meigs' letter shows that the fort was built in 1812, but

the official record also shows that it was abandoned for a short time

after Hull's surrender.

The old soldier Figley, of Columbiana county, came here early in

February, 1813, and worked on the fort until mustered out at Cleveland

on June 1st of that year. He related to me how the pickets were drawn

by oxen from the vicinity of Stony Prairie to the fort and points sharp-

ened and the posts set in the ground close up one against the other.

Many of the oxen engaged in drawing them died of starvation or were

devoured by the wolves howling around the fort.

The company to which James Kirk belonged came to the fort June

1, 1813, and worked here until the arrival of the British and Indians

the day before the battle. James Kirk himself had been detailed to carry

dispatches to Fort Seneca the day before the battle so that he was not

present but came down early on the morning of August 3 and helped

bury the British dead. He distinctly heard the firing of the British can-

non and howitzers and noticed that some discharges were louder than


Kirk was 25 years old at that time and after his discharge opened

a blacksmith shop in Lower Sandusky in 1818 and in 1828 went to Port

Clinton. He said that the well in the fort was not a good one, so that

the garrison got their water from a spring at the foot of Garrison

street, bringing it through a small gate on the east side of the fort,

for which gate Kirk made the hinges.

I sent my son Theodore to visit James Kirk in 188- and get a

description of the fort. Kirk said "Mark off a square plat of ground

containing half an acre with a block house on the northeast corner and

one in the northwest corner, this was the original fort. In June, 1813,

when we came here the fort was found to be too small. He said, "mark

off another square on the west side of the old square and this you will

see will place the northwest blockhouse in the center of the north line

of the enlarged fort. This was the blockhouse from which "Old Betsy"

cleared the ditch when it was filled with Col. Shortt's men. There was

a sealed log house in the new part filled with biscuit for Perry's fleet.

This house was knocked down level with the pickets by the British

cannon balls. The northeast blockhouse was in the center of Croghan

and Arch streets. The center blockhouse was about opposite the monu-

ment. The northwest angle of the fort extended out about 15 feet into

High street. There were many extra guns in the fort, as a company

of Pennsylvania soldiers had deposited their guns there a few days be-

54 Ohio Arch

54         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


fore the battle on their way here from Fort Meigs. Their time being

out, they were on their way home to be mustered out.

The walls of the fort were made of logs, some round, some smooth

on one side, half of the other logs averaging about 18 inches in thick-

ness, all set firmly in the earth, each picket crowded closely against the

other and all about ten feet high, sharpened at the top. The walls

enclosed about one acre of ground. After Major Croghan took com-

mand July 15, 1813, he had a ditch dug six feet deep and nine feet

wide around the outside, throwing about one-half of the earth against

the foot of the pickets and graded down to the bottom of the ditch;

the rest of the earth was thrown on the outer bank and the depth of

the ditch thus increased.

Major Croghan had large logs placed on top of the wall of the

fort, so adjusted that an inconsiderable weight would cause them to

fall from their position and crush any who might be below.

When the British landed opposite Brady's Island they sent a flag

of truce under Col. Elliott who was met by Ensign Shipp on the ridge

where the parsonage of St. John's Lutheran Church (which was for-

merly the court house), now stands. This was eloquently described to

me by Thomas L. Hawkins, the poet, preacher and orator.

A ravine ran up from the river north of the fort through Justice

street across the pike in a southwestern direction near the court house,

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                    55


the British brought their cannon up this ravine. They would load

their cannon and then run them up out of the ravine and after dis-

charging them, back them down again to reload out of range of the

guns of the fort. The next ravine south of this ran up Croghan street,

turning to the southwest at High street, thence northwest through the

northwest corner of the Presbyterian church lot. This ravine formed

the north boundary of the plateau or ridge on which Fort Stephens on

was located and on which ridge ran the Harrison trail to the southwest

up through Spiegel Grove and on to Fort Seneca. The next ravine

south of this extended between Birchard avenue and Garrison street,

one branch ran towards the Methodist church through the Dorr and

McCulloch property. It was from this last named ravine that the British

Grenadiers made a feint against Capt. Hunter's company just before Col.

Shortt made his assault on the northwest corner of the fort.

Lieut. Col. Short and Lieut. J. G. Gordon, of the 41st Regt. were

buried near the south entrance of the high school building.



Following the exercises of the afternoon at Fort Stephenson, an

informal reception was held at Spiegel Grove, to the out-of-town guests

of the city and the citizens at large. Col. Webb C. Hayes, the prime

mover of the whole celebration, Mr. and Mrs. Birchard A. Hayes and

Mrs. Fanny Hayes Smith cordially received the guests on the great

piazza, where the Vice-President, the Governor, the Governor's Staff

and the staff and line officers of the Sixth Regiment were guests of

honor. Great numbers of persons moved about through the beautiful

grounds, enjoying the music by the Light Guard Band stationed in

front of the house, the superb weather and the gay spectacle. The week

having been observed as Old Home Week, many former residents of

Fremont were at hand to renew old acquaintances and assist in doing

the honors of the place to the crowds of strangers.




With the falling of dusk the immense crowds commenced to assemble

to witness the glories of as realistic a Venetian night as was possible

to produce, following the plans originated by Dr. Stamm, who has

several times viewed these spectacles in Venice.

The river banks between the L. E. & W. and State street bridges

were thronged with crowds, while the special guests and those, by whose

efforts the day was a success, occupied the guests' stand, built on the

water just north of the bridge.

More than a hundred boats and launches, gaily decorated and illum-

inated, approached the reviewing stand, presenting a beautiful sight

with their swaying colored lights on a background of dark sky,

56 Ohio Arch

56         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


emphasized by the hundreds of Japanese lanterns strung along either

bank and in sweeping festooons across the big Lake Erie bridge. Near

the bridge, and extending across the river, were seven of the largest boats

in the river, bearing huge electric transparencies upon which appeared

six-foot letters spelling the name Croghan, which was also seen in a

set piece. The hit of the evening was the reproduction of Fort Stephen-

son on the southern extremity of Brady's Island.

Old Betsy in life-size reproduction belched forth

volleys of colored fireballs, accompanied with heavy

detonations and clouds of smoke and the sharp re-

ports of musketry and small arms, cleverly imitated

with fireworks. At brief intervals the entire fort

was beautifully illuminated with red fire, which

brought out in striking relief the details of the

stockade, Old Betsy, her men, the sally posts, etc.

The barge on board of which were the Light

Guard band, the Maennerchor singers, Miss Reese,

the vocalist of the evening, and the orchestra were

moored near the Lake Erie bridge and strung with

electric lights.

The fireworks, in charge of Chief Reiff, of the fire department, were

magnificent and no accidents occurred. Especial praise is due Charles

Hermon, the lamplighter, who superintended the illuminations. Commo-

dore Coonrod's fleet as managed by Charles Grable, was a thing of

beauty. The display occupied three hours and general satisfaction on the

part of all was evident in their attention.



The best description extant of General Harrison's Northwestern

Campaign is that contained in "A History of the Late War in the

Western Country," by Robert B. McAfee, Lexington, Ky., 1816, a rare

and valuable volume.

Major McAfee was himself an officer in that campaign, serving as

a captain in the regiment of mounted riflemen commanded by Col. Richard

M. Johnson.

In his Preface he acknowledges his indebtedness to Gen. Harrison,

Governor Shelby, Colonels Croghan and Tod and Colonel Wood of the

Engineers for official correspondence and assistance in procuring material

and formation. The chapter relating to the Tippecanoe campaign in

1811 contains the following references to some of the Kentucky Vol-


"Colonel Keiger, who raised a small company of 79 men near

Louisville, including among them  Messrs. Croghan, O'Fallen, Shipp,

Chum and Edwards, who afterward distinguished themselves as officers

in the army of the United States."

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                     57


Governor Shelby in his letters to the War Department speaks

highly of Colonel Boyd and his brigade and of Clark and Croghan who

were his aides.

Of the above, Croghan and Shipp fought together at the defense

of Fort Stephenson. Shipp was the officer sent by Croghan to meet the

flag of truce sent by General Proctor when the formal demand for the

surrender of Fort Stephenson was made. O'Fallen was a cousin of

Croghan and during the campaign was aide-de-camp to General Harrison.

We copy from McAfee his account of the defense of Fort Stephenson

and of Harrison's expedition to Canada and the victorious battle at the

Thames. Also Colonel Croghan's subsequent campaign against the British

at Mackinac in the joint army and naval expedition under the command

of Commodore Sinclair.

"General Harrison had returned from Cleveland to Lower Sandusky

(July, 1813) several days before the arrival of the enemy, and received

at that place from the express the information that Camp Meigs was

again invested. He then immediately removed his headquarters to Seneca

town, about nine miles up the Sandusky river, where he constructed a

fortified camp, having left Major Croghan with 160 regulars in Fort

Stephenson and taken with him to Seneca about 140 more, under the

immediate command of Colonel Wells. A few days afterward he was

reinforced by the arrival of 300 regulars under Colonel Paul, and Colonel

Ball's corps of 150 dragoons, which made his whole force at that place

upwards of 600 strong. He was soon joined also by Generals McArthur

and Cass; and Colonel Owings with a regiment of 500 regulars from Ken-

tucky, was also advancing to the frontiers; but he did not arrive at head-

quarters before the siege of Fort Meigs had been abandoned by the

enemy. * * *

The force which Proctor and Tecumseh brought against us in this

instance has been ascertained to have been about 5,000 strong. A greater

number of Indians were collected by them for this expedition than ever

were assembled in one body on any other occasion during the whole war.

Having raised the siege of Camp Meigs, the British sailed round

into Sandusky bay, whilst a competent number of their savage allies

marched across through the swamps of Portage River, to co-operate in

a combined attack at Lower Sandusky, expecting no doubt that General

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 River, where he supposed their forces would debark.

Several days before the British had invested Fort Meigs, General

Harrison, with Major Croghan and some other officers, had examined the

heights which surround Fort Stephenson; 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.

58 Ohio Arch

58         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


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 be-

fore the removal could be completed. It was then finally concluded, that

the fort which was calculated for a garrison of only two hundred men,

could not be defended against the heavy artillery of the enemy; and that

if the British should approach it by water, which would cause a pre-

sumption that they had brought their heavy artillery, the fort must be

abandoned and burned, 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 dis-

cover them in time to effect a retreat, you will do so immediately, destroy-

ing 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 garrison would be safe, however great the number."

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 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 Stephen-

son 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. In

pursuance of this decision the General immediately despatched the fol-

lowing order to Major Croghan:

"Sir, immediately on receiving this letter, you will abandon Fort

Stephenson, set fire to it and repair with your command this night to

headquarters. Cross the river and come up on the opposite side. If

you should deem and find it impracticable to make good your march

to this place, 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 arrive at Fort Stephenson before 11

o'clock the next day. When Major Croghan received it, 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 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 received yours of yesterday, 10 o'clock P. M., ordering

me to destroy this place and make good my retreat, which was received

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                   59


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 a stronger language than would otherwise 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 Colonel Wells in the morning, escorted by Colonel Ball with

his corps of dragoons.

"July 30, 1813.

"Sir. The General has 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 that the informa-

tion 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 Col. Ball's squadron to this place. By command

etc.; A. H. Holmes, Asst. Adj. General."

The squadron of dragoons on this trip met with a party of Indians

near Lower Sandusky and killed 11 out of 12. The Indians had formed

an ambush and fired on the advance guard consisting of a sergeant and

five privates. Upon seeing the squadron approach they fled, but were

pursued and soon overtaken by the front squad of Captain Hopkins's

troop. The greater part of them were cut down by Colonel Ball and

Captain Hopkins with his subalterns, whose horses being the fleetest over-

took them first. The loss on our part was two privates wounded and

two horses killed.

Colonel Wells being left in the command of Fort Stephenson, Major

Croghan returned with the 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.

A reconnoitering party which had been sent from headquarters to

the shore of the lake, about 20 miles distant from Fort Stephenson, dis-

covered 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,

60 Ohio Arch

60         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


and were saluted by a 6-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 6-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 51/2-inch howitzer was effected about a mile below the

fort; and Major Chambers accompanied by Dickson was despatched

towards the fort with a flag, and was met on the part of Major Cro-

ghan by Ensign Shipp of the 17th Regiment. After the usual cere-

monies Major Chambers observed to Ensign Shipp, that he was in-

structed by Gen. 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 said that their immense

body of Indians could not be restrained from massacring the whole

garrison in case of success-of which we have no doubt, rejoined

Chambers, as we are amply prepared. Dickson then proceeded to re-

mark that it was a 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. Mr. Shipp replied that

when the fort was taken there would be none to massacre. 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 now opened their fire from their 6-pounders in the gun

boats and the howitzer on shore, which they continued through the

night with but little intermission and with very little effect. The forces

of the enemy consisted of about 500 regulars, and about 800 Indians

commanded by Dickson, the whole being commanded by Gen. Proctor

in person. Tecumseh was stationed on the road to fort Meigs with a

body of 2,000 Indians, expecting to intercept a reinforcement on that


Major Croghan through the evening occasionally fired his 6-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 dis-

continued his fire. The enemy had directed their fire against the north-

western angle of the fort which induced the commandant to believe that

an attempt to storm his works would be made at that point. In the

The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.                   61


night Captain Hunter was directed to remove the 6-pounder to a block-

house from which it would rake that angle. By great industry and per-

sonal 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 grape shot.

Early in the morning of the second, the enemy opened their fire

from their howitzer, and three 6-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 the 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 Petersburg Volunteers and Pittsburgh

Blues, who happened to be in the fort, was entrusted with the manage-

ment of the 6-pounder.

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 were dis-

covered advancing through the smoke, within 20 paces of the north-

western angle. A heavy galling fire of musketry was now opened upon

them from the fort which threw them into some confusion. Colonel

Shortt 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 porthole was now opened, and

the 6-pounder, at a distance of 30 feet, poured such destruction upon

them that but few who had entered the ditch were fortunate enough to

escape. A precipitate and confused retreat was the immediate conse-

quence, although some of the officers attempted to rally their men. The

other column which was led by Colonel Warburton and Major Chambers,

was also routed in confusion by a destructive fire from the line com-

manded by Captain Hunter. The whole of them fled into the adjoining

wood, beyond the reach of our small arms. During the assault, which

lasted half an hour, the enemy kept up an incessant fire from their

howitzer and five 6-pounders. They left Colonel Shortt, a lieutenant

and 25 privates dead in the ditch; and the total number of prisoners

taken was 26, most of them badly wounded. Major Muir was knocked

down in the ditch, and lay among the dead, till the darkness of the

night enabled him to escape in safety. The loss of the garrison was

one killed and 7 slightly wounded. The total loss of the enemy could

not be less than 150 killed and wounded.

When night came on, which was soon after the assault, the wounded

in the ditch were in a desperate situation. Complete relief could not be

62 Ohio Arch

62         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


brought to them by either side with any degree of safety. Major Cro-

ghan however relieved them as much as possible - he contrived to convey

them waterover the picketting in buckets, and a ditch was opened under

the pickets through which those who were able and willing were en-