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Battle of the Thames

History -- Military history -- List of battles

The Battle of the Thames, also known as the Battle of Moraviantown was a battle in the War of 1812 on October 5, 1813.

Battle of the Thames
ConflictWar of 1812
DateOctober 5, 1813
PlaceNear Chatham, Ontario
ResultAmerican victory
Britain, ShawneeUnited States
Henry Proctor,
William Henry Harrison
Richard Johnson
500 British troops
1000 natives
4000 troops
12 dead
Hundreds of prisoners
(possibly 0)

British Colonel Henry Proctor was retreating, against the advice of his ally Tecumseh, from Fort Malden after Oliver Perry's victory in the Battle of Lake Erie. American General William Henry Harrison trailed Proctor through Ontario, until Tecumseh convinced Proctor to face Harrison in battle at Moraviantown on the Thames River. On October 4, Tecumseh skirmished the Americans, and Proctor's aide Lieutenant Colonel Augustus Warburton lost his supplies and ammunition to an American raiding party.

Harrison's main force had about 4000 infantry and cavalry, while Proctor had about 500 soldiers, along with about 1000 natives led by Tecumseh. Proctor planned to trap Harrison on the banks of the Thames, driving the Americans off the road with his cannons, but the cannons failed to fire. The American cavalry under Colonel Richard Johnson charged Proctor's line, and within a few minutes the British had either fled or surrendered. Tecumseh remained and fought until he was killed in a second charge; his men retreated after his death.

Proctor was later court-martialed for cowardice. The victory marked the end of Tecumseh's native alliance, and led to the re-establishment of American control over the Northwest frontier.