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Letter from Croghan

Letters from the
War of 1812

Letter from Gen. Harrison, Page 1
Letter from Gen. Harrison, Page 2

(Click on images to view original documents.)

LOWER SANDUSKY, 25th July 1813.


DEAR SIR:- Mr. Connor has just arrived with the Indians which were sent by you to Fort Meigs a few days since. To him I refer you for information from that quarter.

I have unloaded the boats which were brought from Cleveland, and shall sink them in the middle of the river (where it is ten feet deep) about one-half mile above the present landing. My men are engaged in making cartridges, and will have, in a short time, more than sufficient to answer any ordinary call. I have collected all the most valuable stores in one house. Should I be forced to evacuate the place, they will be blown up.

Yours with respect,

G. Croghan

Major Commanding at Lower Sandusky

Major-General Harrison

[The original letter is held by Hayes Presidential Library.]

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[Gen. Harrison's report, including Croghan's battle report]:

I found that Major Croghan, conformably, to those principles which are held sacred in the American army, had caused all the care to be taken of the wounded prisoners that his situation would permit. Having with me my Hospital Surgeon he was particularly charged to attend to them, and I am warranted in the belief that everything which surgical skill could give was afforded.

They have been literally furnished too with every article necessary in their situation which our hospital stores could supply. Having referred to my government for orders respecting the disposition of the prisoners, I cannot with propriety comply with your request for an immediate exchange.

But I assure, Sir, that as far as it depends upon me, the course of treatment which has commenced towards them whilst in my possession, will be continued.

I have the honor to be, Sir, your Hble. Servt-

Wm Henry Harrison
Major Genl commanding 7th
U S. Military District

Battle at Lower Sandusky, 2 August

Yesterday sun about an hour and a half high, the British to the amount of about 500 with a large body of Indians attempted to storm this post, aided with six field pieces playing upon the N.W. corner. In order that you may gather some idea of the place, mark the following---- The pickets 18 feet high bayonets nailed to [illegible] of the tops with pieces of iron with their [illegible] a ditch 6 feet deep and six wide;--- enough bayonets about 25 feet of [illegible] left destitute of them, as well as of a blockhouse in the S. E. corner.

The enemy were under the impression that our piece of artillery, a six pounder, was in the blockhouse when their left column came up, and that they destroyed it as Majr Croghan had purposely kept it silent allday, and had placed it in the middle blockhouse, having discovered by the maneuvers of the enemy where they intended to storm----

In 24 hours, they had struck our works with upward of 500 shot; 100 of them shells, etc. came within the fort and more than 300 balls struck in the place where they attempted to storm and made considerable havoc among the pickets. The enemy's middle column came up 15 feet deep and 150 strong, commanded by Lt. Col. Short sustaining a heavy fire from our muskets, when they came up to the ditch and saw what was before them the soldiers stopped; but Short and a Lieut. drove them into the ditch [illegible] followed in quick succession themselves. Col. Short [illegible] who endeavored to gain the summit of the [illegible]; but failed and fell back into the ditch [illegible], our piece of artillery was let loose [illegible], and upon them.

[The original letter is held by Hayes Presidential Library.]

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LOWER SANDUSKY, August 3, 1813,

General Harrison

Dear Sir:
The enemy made an attempt to storm us last evening, but was repulsed, with the loss of at least two hundred killed, wounded, and prisoners. One Lieutenant Colonel (Short), a Major, and a Lieutenant, with about forty privates, are dead in our ditch. I have lost but one in killed and but few wounded. Further statements will be made you by the bearer.

Major, Comdg. Fort Sandusky

P.S. - Since writing the above two soldiers of the of the 41st Regiment have gotten in, who state that the enemy have retreated. In fact, one of their gun-boats is within three hundred yards of our works-said to be loaded with camp equipage, &c.- which they in their hurry have left.


A true copy,

John O'Fallon




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