Graphic Header for War 1812 Trails


Home Page




WAR 1812 Websites












Chronology Events War





War 1812 Ancestor Index

1812 Biography


1812 Forts and Battles

TN soldiers war1812

1812 Graves Marked

War 1812 Heroines


WAR 1812 Historical Sites

War 1812 Links

War 1812 Maps







1812 School Quizzes

Best Web Sites









American Prisoners who died Halifax, Nova Scotia





American Prisoners of War

- War of 1812 -

Died in captivity at the British Internment Facility in Halifax

See end of List for more information Deadman's Island where those who died are buried.

Name Rank
Ship / Regiment
Date of Death
Abbott, John private US Army 04 Feb 1815
Adams, Peter boatswain Chesapeake man of war 06 Jun 1813
Alexander, John seaman Romp merchant vessel 11 Oct 1814
Allen, John master Cossack privateer 17 Jan 1814
Allen, Thomas seaman Growler man of war 27 Jul 1814
Amos, James seaman Fernandez merchant vessel 08 Mar 1815
Asher, Frederick private 14th Regiment US Army 07 Oct 1813
Baker, Andrew seaman Thomas privateer 28 Sep 1813
Banser, Perry seaman Ulysses ship of marque 13 Oct 1813
Barrington, John soldier 14th Infantry US Army 03 Sep 1813
Barton, Hiram seaman Ten Brothers merchant vessel 11 Nov 1814
Boggs, Simeon private US Army 31 Dec 1814
Boss, Joseph prize master Rolla privateer 05 Sep 1814
Bowen, Pearce corporal US Army 31 Jan 1815
Brooks, Thomas seaman Vixen sloop of war 10 Mar 1815
Brown, Wilson 1st mate Portsmouth Packet privateer 27 Jan 1814
Brown, John private US Army 30 Mar 1815
Brownwell, David private US Army 10 Feb 1815
Bryant, David seaman Rapid privateer 23 Nov 1812
Buchan, Benjamin seaman Nonsuch merchant vessel 10 May 1814
Caffey, Moses master Julia Simonds
merchant vessel
31 Oct 1814
Canon, Daniel seaman Rattle Snake man of war 29 Nov 1814
Carleton, John seaman Chesapeake man of war 09 Oct 1813
Carswell, Samuel seaman Maria merchant vessel 21 Feb 1815
Carter, Nathaniel private 6th Regiment US Army 30 Oct 1813
Cheever, James seaman Enterprize privateer 18 Jan 1814
Cleaver, Seth corporal 14th Regiment US Army 16 Oct 1813
Coale, Henry private US Army 10 Jan 1816
Coleman, William seaman Montesella South Seasman 28 Sep 1814
Colley, William seaman Packet merchant vessel 28 Oct 1812
Combes, Daniel pilot Yankee privateer 31 Dec 1814
Corie, Giles seaman Chesapeake man of war 15 Jun 1813
Covele, Benjamin seaman US Sea Fencibles 01 Oct 1814
Cram, Nehemiah seaman Elizabeth merchant vessel 09 Feb 1815
Crandall, Joshua private US Army 27 Dec 1814
Crutchet, John seaman Chesapeake man of war 20 Jun 1813
David, Samuel seaman Wave merchant vessel 20 Dec 1814
Davis, George seaman Gossamer privateer 26 Feb 1812
Davis, Sheddick soldier 21st Regiment US Army 15 Sep 1813
Davis, John private 14th Regiment US Army 25 Dec 1813
Dawson, Christopher
02 Mar 1815
Dewelly, Lot seaman privateer 22 Feb 1814
Dixon, William seaman Chesapeake man of war 13 Jun 1813
Dotey, Ambrose private US Army 25 Jan 1815
Domingo, William seaman
privateer 12 Nov 1813
Dowdey, Thomas seaman Perseverance
04 Oct 1814
Duffy, Samuel seaman Porcupine ship of marque 21 Oct 1813
Dunkin, William seaman Catherine privateer 08 Sep 1812
Edwards, Richard seaman Diana merchant vessel 25 Jan 1815
Elliot, John seaman Julia Simonds merchant vessel 25 Nov 1814
Foley, Nathaniel seaman Porcupine ship of marque 23 Sep 1813
Foorman, Mark seaman Thomas ship of marque 14 Oct 1813
Forbes, Levi private 16th Regiment US Army 13 Jan 1814
Foster, Charles seaman Policy man of war 28 Oct 1814
Fountain, Francis seaman Charles privateer 07 Jan 1815
Franklin, George private US Army 31 Dec 1814
Fuller, John soldier 23rd Regiment US Army 05 Sep 1813
Fuller, William Oliver seaman Portsmouth Packet privateer 21 Nov 1813
Gaines, Samuel seaman Guerriere privateer 09 Mar 1815
Gale, John G. private US Army 11 Mar 1815
Gooden, Enoch seaman Montgomery privateer 30 Oct 1813
Goodwin, Samuel seaman Curlew privateer 12 Oct 1812
Goodwin, William seaman Hope ?? privateer 11 Nov 1813
Goodwin, Anthony seaman Mary Ann merchant vessel 11 Oct 1814
Gray, John seaman privateer 14 Jan 1814
Hall, James prize master Thomas privateer 14 Sep 1813
Hammond, Jesse seaman Nonsuch merchant vessel 03 May 1814
Hannah, John seaman Financier merchant vessel 07 Jan 1815
Harding, Samuel seaman Rambler 06 Jun 1814
Harris, Chester private US Army 07 Jan 1816
Harris, Degrass seaman Invincible privateer 06 Jan 1816
Herring, John private 16th Regiment US Army 11 Jan 1814
Hicks, John seaman Sukey merchant vessel 07 Jan 1816
Higby, William seaman Revenge privateer 23 Apr 1814
Higgins, Seth seaman Three Sisters merchant vessel 28 Aug 1814
Hill, John seaman Ambition merchant vessel 31 Jan 1815
Holmes, Joseph seaman Polly Ann merchant vessel 21 Oct 1814
Honeywell, Enoch private 23rd Regiment US Army 12 Oct 1813
Hooper, Thomas seaman Isabella merchant vessel 20 Nov 1814
Hopkins, James seaman Thomas ship of marque 14 Oct 1813
Horton, Cyrus private US Army 26 Jan 1815
Houster, Christopher seaman Chesapeake man of war 07 Jun 1813
Howard, Ralph private US Army 10 Jan 1816
Hoyett, Joseph seaman Guerrlere privateer 16 Jan 1815
Hunt, Henry private US Army
Hunter, Joseph private 14th Infantry US Army 30 Aug 1813
Hutchinson, Elisha seaman Growler man of war 16 Nov 1814
Hutchinson, Saul private US Army 17 Mar 1815
Ishman, Henry private US Army 12 Jan 1815
Jackson, Robert seaman George merchant vessel 29 Apr 1814
Jacobs, Samuel seaman Lizard privateer 10 Jul 1814
Johnson, John seaman Chesapeake man of war 12 Jun 1813
Johnson, William seaman General Plummer privateer 18 Oct 1813
Johnson, Isaac seaman Leander merchant vessel 08 Nov 1814
Johnson, David private US Army 16 Feb 1815
Jones, David passenger Voader Portuguse brig. 03 Nov 1814
Keith, Robert seaman Roxanna merchant vessel 20 Jul 1813
Kempton, Daniel seaman Saratoga privateer 21 Nov 1814
Lacey, Stephen mate Hazard merchant vessel 06 Sep 1814
Lancaster, William private US Army 12 Jan 1816
Lane, Jesse soldier 18th Regiment US Army 18 Feb 1814
Lazeler, Benjamin soldier 23rd Regiment US Army 20 Sep 1813
Learned, Henry soldier US Army 02 Feb 1814
Levin, Henry corporal 23rd Regiment US Army 27 Oct 1813
Lincoln, Hezekiah seaman Nancy fishing boat 29 Nov 1814
Long, Richard seaman Montesella South Seasman 24 Oct 1814
Look, George seaman Diomede privateer 29 Nov 1814
Lothrop, Dariah private US Army 24 Dec 1814
Luckey, Samuel soldier 23rd Regiment US Army 13 Sep 1813
Ludlow, A. C. Chesapeake man of war 13 Jun 1813
Mansel, Marcus seaman Chesapeake man of war 11 Jun 1813
March, William private 16th Regiment US Army 14 Jan 1814
Martin, Samuel seaman Rolla privateer 15 Dec 1814
Mason, --- private 6th Regiment US Army 24 Oct 1813
McCulloch, Robert seaman Vixen sloop of war 15 Aug 1814
McCullogh, Samuel private US Army 01 Dec 1814
Mead, John seaman Bunker Hill privateer 14 Sep 1812
Messenger, William private US Army 28 Dec 1814
Millbank, David private US Army 06 Mar 1815
Miller, Gattel private 14th Regiment US Army 18 Oct 1813
Moody, Thomas seaman Experiment merchant vessel 23 Feb 1815
Moore, Millby seaman Jane merchant vessel 22 Jan 1815
Morgan, Samuel landsman
27 Oct 1814
Morris, Charles seaman York Town privateer 25 Feb 1814
Morrison, William seaman Frolic merchant vessel 29 Aug 1814
Morrison, Moses private US Army 13 Feb 1815
Neill, Robert seaman gunboat # 2 man of war 12 Jun 1814
Nelson, John D. master Los Dos Ermanos merchant vessel 14 Feb 1815
Newell, James seaman Gossamer privateer 10 Aug 1812
Oiler, George soldier 14th Regiment US Army 15 Sep 1813
Oliver, Samuel seaman Ulysses ship of marque 20 May 1814
Overland, John soldier 2nd Regiment US Army 10 Sep 1813
Parsfield, Solomon private 22rd Regiment US Army 24 Oct 1813
Pascall, Ezekial private US Sea Fencibles 19 Sep 1814
Perkins, John master Friendship merchant vessel 15 Jan 1815
Phelps, Henry private US Army 26 Jan 1815
Phillips, Joseph private US Army 04 Feb 1815
Phipp, Matthew seaman Ulysses ship of marque 22 Oct 1813
Poor, John seaman Montgomery privateer 11 Oct 1813
Porter, John seaman Montgomery privateer 11 Oct 1813
Powers, William private US Army 21 Dec 1814
Prince, James Hill master Enterprize privateer 25 Nov 1813
Proctor, Amos seaman Enterprize privateer 03 Oct 1813
Ramsey, Nathaniel citzen 01 Mar 1815
Read, James soldier US Army 28 Mar 1814
Reid, James private US Army 20 Mar 1815
Riche, Aquila master Trindad merchant vessel 08 Apr 1813
Robb, James private US Army 24 Mar 1815
Roberts, William soldier 14th Regiment US Army 28 Sep 1813
Roberts, James Clark marine 08 Dec 1813
Roberts, Charles seaman Hiram merchant vessel 27 Oct 1814
Robins, John seaman Montgomery privateer 17 Oct 1813
Robinson, Peter seaman George merchant vessel 19 Jan 1815
Rose, Henry private 16th Regiment US Army 14 Jan 1814
Ross, David private 1st Artillery US Army 17 Oct 1813
Schoolman, William solider 23rd Regiment US Army 14 Sep 1813
Scudder, Henry mate Enterprize merchant vessel 13 Nov 1814
Seamonse, George seaman Enterprize privateer 25 Nov 1813
Shishull, Sylvester seaman Flash merchant vessel 20 Feb 1815
Sisly, John seaman Porcupine ship of marque 03 Oct 1813
Smith, Thomas gunner Chesapeake man of war 13 Jul 1813
Smith, Jacob solider 14th Regiment US Army 14 Sep 1813
Smith, John seaman Daedalus ship of marque 17 Jan 1815
Snully, Thomas private US Army 03 Jun 1814
Somer, John seaman Thorn 02 Sep 1814
Spencer, Andrew soldier 21st Regiment US Army 05 Feb 1814
Spergen, Nathaniel private US Army 20 Jan 1815
Stanhope, Curtis soldier US Army 26 May 1814
Stetis, Isaiah master Fair American merchant vessel 26 Feb 1815
Steven, Benjamin private US Army 12 Feb 1815
Stewart, Leonard seaman Frolic merchant vessel 28 Aug 1814
Strout, Thomas seaman Rattle Snake man of war 11 Aug 1814
Swain, John seaman James merchant vessel 12 Oct 1814
Swineston, John seaman Snap Dragon privateer 13 Nov 1814
Sylvanus, John seaman Policy
16 Feb 1815
Taylor, John seaman Adonis privateer 18 Dec 1814
Thirsty, Joel private 23rd Regiment US Army 30 Aug 1813
Thomas, Caleb seaman Flash merchant vessel 26 Jan 1815
Thompson, William seaman Nancy merchant vessel 08 Feb 1815
Tinker, James seaman Eagle merchant vessel 12 Nov 1814
Todd, Samuel landsman 04 Jan 1816
Valiant, William soldier 14th Regiment US Army 26 Sep 1813
Vernon, James seaman Wasp privateer 16 Oct 1813
Wallace, Edward seaman
William & Swan....
merchant vessel 07 Jan 1815
Wallace, Able private US Army 25 Jan 1815
Walton, Henry seaman Enterprize privateer 18 Jun 1813
Webber, John seaman Ulysses ship of marque 28 Jan 1814
West, Jesse seaman Eliza merchant vessel 14 Jun 1813
White, Cornelius private US Army 10 Feb 1815
Wilcox, William seaman Julia sloop of war 27 Oct 1814
Wilkins, James private 6th Regiment US Army 01 Nov 1813
Williams, John seaman Vixen sloop of war 23 Jan 1815
Woodman, Jeremiah private US Army 20 Feb 1815
Wright, John marine Chesapeake man of war 14 Jun 1813
Young, William soldier 1st Regiment US Army 26 Sep 1813

Extracted from the records of the British Admiralty by Michele Hovey Raymond


- Those that die in service to the United States should not be forgotten -

OPEN HERE for Photos

  • Description: During the Napoleonic Wars, Halifax, Nova Scotia, had a prisoner of war internment camp and a prison hulk, HMS Magnet. Men from the United States as well as from Napoleon's Armies were held there.

During the War of 1812, over 8,100 American servicemen were jailed at Melville Island, west of Halifax harbour, in the Northwest Arm, along with privateers and criminals.

Some were captured at the Battle of Beaverdams and the Battle of Lundy's Lane. This includes men from the 6th, 14th, 16th, 21st and 23rd Army regiments.

Most were captured on the high seas, including crews from the frigate Chesapeake; the schooners Growler, Vixen and Julia; the brig Rattle Snake; sloop of war the Wasp; privateers Thomas, Enterprise, Montgomery, General Plummer, Cossack, York Town, Revenge, Lizard, Rolla, Snap Dragon, Saratoga, Diomede, Guerriere; merchantmen: Porcupine, Ulysses, Thomas, George, Nonsuch, Frolic, Three Sisters, Hazard, Montesella, Perseverance, Romp, Mary Ann, Hiram, Leander, Ten Brothers, Eagle, Isabella, Nancy, Wave, Sukey, Financier, Friendship, Jane, Flash, Ambitous, Experiment and the Fair American.

A total of 195 Americans died in prison on Melville Island, and were buried in unmarked graves on nearby Deadmans Island.

In addition, 63 Frenchmen and 9 Spaniards were interred there, as well as 104 black escaped slaves who joined the British forces in the Chesapeake Bay area in 1814


American Prisoners Dartmoor England

Saint Michael' Church in Princeton near Dartmoor Prison is a unique monument to the French and American Prisoners of War who built the church from Dartmoor Granite in 1813. The French prisoners began the church, and then 250 American Prisoners arrived and finished the furnishings in readiness for its first service on 2nd January 1814.
On the 10th February 1816 the last prisoners left Dartmoor, the church was then closed and locked. (Nearly 1,500 French prisoners and 218 Americans died while incarcerated in Dartmoor War Prison and were buried in a file beyond the prison walls.)

A Privateersman's Letters Home from Prison

by Bruce Felknor

Capt. George Duffy's POW Page brings us outstanding accounts of many of our fellow WW II veterans who were prisoners of war. Now the courtesy of an editor at Naval Institute Press enables me to share with you the remarkable letters from prison of a Yankee privateersman captured in the War of 1812. The editor is Kimberley A. VanDerveer, the production editor on my book "The U.S. Merchant Marine at War, 1775-1945." She is a direct descendant of the author of the letters, Perez Drinkwater of North Yarmouth, Maine. His letters were first published in the Machias [Maine] Union on May 3, 1881, when the War of 1812 was as recent as World War II is to us.

Perez Drinkwater was lieutenant of the privateer schooner "Lucy" when he was captured by the British Navy brig "Billerikin" in the last days of 1813. He was landed, with the rest of his crew, in the southwest of England, as he wrote to his brother Elbridge Drinkwater at home. It is obvious that he wrote repeatedly, but neither his earlier letters nor answers to them ever got through. In the first letter, five months into his incarceration, it is obvious that the experience had done nothing to sweeten his disposition toward his captors.

[In the letters below, I have added paragraphing, but left other punctuation and spelling untouched.]


DARTMOOR PRISON Saturday Morning, May 20th, 1814

Dr. Brother -

. . .We arrived into Plymouth on the 20th of Janurary was put on board the [prison-ship] Brave on the 24th and was landed from her on the 31 and marched to this place in a snow storm. This Prison is situated on one of the highest places in England and it either snows or rains the whole year round and is cold enough to wear a great coat the whole time there is 10,000 of us here now but the French are about going home. . .

This is the first time that I was ever deprived of my Liberty and when I sit and think of it it almost deprives me of my sences for we have nothing else to do but sit and reflect on our preasant situation which is bad anough god noes for we have but 1 lb and a half of black bread and about 3 ounces of beef and a Little beef tee to drink and all that makes us one meal a Day the rest of the time we have to fast which is hard times for the days are very Long heir now I want to get out of heir before the war is over so that I can have the pleasure of killing one Englishman and drinking his blood which I think I could do with a good will for I think them the worst of all the human race for their is no crimes but what they are gilty of. . . .

. . . yisterday they called up 500 French men to go away their was one that had been in prison Nine years and had worn his blanket out so that he had but half of it to give those rebels and on that acount they sent him back and put him on the bottom of the books for exchangeing, the man took it so hard that he cut his throught and was found dead between the prison dores, and a thousand other such deeds they have been guilty of since we have been confined heir in this cursed place and a monght these rebels for I can call them nothing better and I shall never dye happy till I have had the pleasure of killing one of them which I am determined to do if an oppertunity ever offers to me to doe it. . . .

. . .we have plenty of creepers [insects such as bedbugs and lice] heir to turn us out in the morning, them and the Englishmen together don't Let us have much peace Day nor night for they are both enimyes to us and Likewise to peace and the more they can torment the human rase the better they are pleased. . . .

I hope that you will write to me every oppertunity that affored you to do for it would be a happy thing for me to heir from you I have wrote several Letters to you be fore and shall still continue to write every oppertunity, you must tell Sally to bare her misfortunes with as much fortitude as she can till my return I must conclude with wishing you all well. So god bless you all and be with you for I cannot.

From your sincere friend & Brother.


ROYAL PRISON, Dartmore Oct. 12th 1814

Dear Sally -

It is with regret that I have to inform you of my unhappy situation that is, confined heir in a loathsom prison where I have wourn out almost 9 months of my Days; and god knows how long it will be before I shall get my Liberty again. . . . I cheer my drooping spirits by thinking of the happy Day when we shall have the pleasure of seeing you and my friends. . .

This same place is one of the most retched in this habbited world. . . neither wind nor water tight, it is situated on the top of a high hill and is so high that it either rains, hails or snows almost the year round for further partickulars of my preasant unhappy situation, of my strong house, and my creeping friends which are without number. . . .

. . .my best wishes are that when these few lines come to you they will find you, the little Girl [his daughter] my parents Brothers sisters all in good helth I have wrote you a number of letters since my inprisenment here and I shall still trouble you with them every oppertunity that affords me till I have the pleasure of receiving one from you which I hope will be soon. . . .

I am compeled to smugle this out of prison for they will not allow us to write to our friends if they can help it. . . . So I must conclude with telling you that I am not alone for there is almost 5,000 of us heir, and creepers a 1000 to one. . .

Give my Brothers my advice that is to beware of coming to this retched place for no tongue can tell what the sufferings are heir till they have a trial of it. So I must conclude with wishing you all well so God bless you all. This is from your even [ever] derr and beloved Husband.

The Treaty of Ghent ended the war in December 1814, but Perez Drinkwater and several thousand other Americans languished in prison month after month. The following April he was still there when the wanton and brutal massacre (which he spells variously) of American prisoners was ordered by a drunken British officer.

Dartmoor Massacre

One survivor said the prisoners were wont to play ball in the prison yard. When a random ball would sail over the wall, the sentry would toss it back, but one day he refused. Several prisoners threatened to dig under the wall to retrieve it, and when he refused they started digging.

When the prison commander discovered this, he ordered all prisoners into the compound, where he had stationed squads of soldiers at eight different points, and now ordered them to fire. Perez writes below that only seven men were killed and thirty-eight wounded. Other accounts put the toll as high as hundreds of men, mostly American
seamen. Perez may have been citing only what he saw in his section. One tradition has it that most of the soldiers deliberately fired in the air. If so, it could explain a low death toll. However, two days after the massacre, and the very day before his release, Perez Drinkwater wrote to his father and mother with news of his impending freedom, and with a chilling postscript on the massacre.



Honored Parents

I have the pleasure to inform you that I am in good helth and my best wishes are that when these few lines Come to hand they may find you the same and all my frinds. Dowtless you have heird of the marcichre [massacre] of Dartmoor in which ther was 7 killed and 38 wounded, it was done on the 6th of this month, the soldiers fired on us when we were all in the yard about 5000 they fired on us in all directions and after we was [back] in the prison they killed a number in the prison.

It was one of the most retched things that ever took place Amonghts the savages much more amonghts peple that are the bullworks of our religion. I had the good fortin [fortune] to escape their fury, but they killed some while begging for mercy after being wounded they likewise kicked and mangle the dead right before our faces. Pain Perry of North Yarmouth was one that was wounded but not bad. . . .

I shall leave heir to morrow morning for London and from their to Crownstad and from their to Portland in the brig Albert of Portland I think it will be much more to my advantage than to return home in a corveat [corvette] as it will be some time before it comes to my turn. . . .

There is a number of men here that belong to Yarmouth, falmouth, freeport and Pownal that will inform you of the Late mascree [massacre] at this place . . . one of our Crew was killed in the Late Marseehree [massacre] his name was James Man two has died besid John Strout belonging to Portland tomorrow will be a happy day if I live to see it as I shall get my liberty Please to remember me to my friends & to my Wife I hope that you [will] assist her till my return which I hope will be in 4 months.I remain your obedient son,


As to the massacre and the tradition that many of the riflemen deliberately missed, it should be noted that in that era British troops, and warships as well, placed little emphasis on aimed fire and great stress on rapid fire. The quality of mercy implied in the tradition was scarcely evident in the brutality that Perez reported to his parents. Prison has often been observed to brutalize jailers as well as prisoners.

Perez Drinkwater eventually did return home, and took up postwar life and activity incommunity affairs, and died an old man, full of age and honors.

Felknor, Bruce. From American Marine at War. (2000).


Fort Dearborn Massacre August 15, 1812 (Chicago, Illinois)

Long Description:
As a part of the 1795 Treaty of Greenville, the U.S. government acquired a parcel of land at the mouth of the Chicago River from Native Americans. Strategically important, the area became even more so after the acquisition of the Louisiana Territory in 1803. In that year Capt. John Whistler arrived in Chicago to build a fort named after Henry Dearborn, President Thomas Jefferson's secretary of war. It was located at what is now the intersection of Wacker Drive and Michigan Avenue at the foot of the Magnificent Mile.
In 1810, Whistler was recalled to Detroit, MI and was succeeded by Captain Nathan Heald. Heald brought his wife, and there were other women now at the fort as well, all wives of the men stationed there. Within two years, there were 12 women and 20 children at Fort Dearborn.

The first threat came to the fort with the War of 1812, a conflict that aroused unrest with the local Indian tribes, namely the Potawatomi and the Wynadot. The effects of the war brought many of the Indian tribes into alliance with the British for they saw the Americans as invaders into their lands. After the British captured the American garrison at Mackinac, General William Hull ordered that Heald should abandon Fort Dearborn and leave the contents to the local Indians, on the grounds that the fall of Mackinac made Ft. Dearborn’s defense untenable.

Hull’s evacuation orders

SANDWICH July 29th 1812
Capt. Nat. Heald.

Sir: It is with regret I order the Evacuation of your Post owing to the want of Provisions only a neglect of the Commandant of [word illegible-possibly Detroit]. You will therefore Destroy all arms & ammunition, but the Goods of the Factory you may give to the Friendly Indians who may be desirous of Escorting you on to Fort Wayne & to the Poor & needy of your Post. I am informed this day that Makinac & the Island of St. Joseph will be Evacuated on acct of the scarcity of Provision & I hope in my next to give you an acct. of the Surrender of the British at Maiden as I Expect 600 men here by the beginning of Sept.

I am Sir
Yours &c
Brigadier Gen. Hull.
Addressed; Capt. Nathan Heald, Commander Fort Dearborn by Express.

Early on the morning of August 15th, a procession of soldiers, civilians, women and children left the fort headed for Fort Wayne, IN. The infantry soldiers, headed by Capt. Wells, led the way, followed by a caravan of wagons and mounted men. The column traveled south a short distance along the then Lake Michigan shoreline. There was a sudden milling about of the scouts at the front of the line and then a shout came back that the Indians were attacking. A line of Potawatomi appeared over the edge of the sand ridge and fired down at the column. Totally surprised, the officers nevertheless managed to rally the men into a battle line, but it was of little use. So many of them fell from immediate wounds that the line collapsed. The Indians overwhelmed them with sheer numbers, flanking the line and snatching the wagons and horses.

This became known as the Fort Dearborn Massacre. The Potawatomi captured Heald and his wife and ransomed them to the British. Of the 148 soldiers, women and children who evacuated the fort, 86 were killed in the ambush.

After this attack, Native Americans burned the fort and the area was little inhabited until 1816 when the U.S. army returned to rebuild. Soldiers and traders returned to the area. The new fort was the center for military activity during the Black Hawk War, and area residents took refuge there as well. By 1840, the fort had outlived its military usefulness, but it was not demolished until 1857. Its last remnants burned in the Great Fire of 1871.

The site of the fort (this waymark) is now a Chicago Landmark and part of the Michigan-Wacker Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places (see my waymark WM4KXV.) There are numerous markers at the site (included in the Gallery) such as the relief entitled “Defense” on the bridgehouse, the plaques on the London (ironic!) Guarantee Insurance Building at 360 N. Michigan Avenue and the outline of the fort on the intersecting Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive street corners.

The site of the Massacre is about 1¾ miles south of the fort location - an area where 16th Street and Indiana Avenue are now located. The shoreline has been pushed eastward over the years through landfill and now Soldier Field stands to the east of where the massacre took place. There used to be a statue and marker at the site of the massacre, but these have been removed to storage.

Maryland Historical Sites

Link For more information the War of 1812 in Maryland, the Chesapeake Campaign




Copyright 2021