Friday, June 7, 2013

River Raisin National Battlefield

One of our nation's newest National Parks is right in our back yard.  Monroe is home to River Raisin National Battlefield.  What's that you ask?  A battlefield in Monroe?  Yes.  Between January 18 and January 23rd in 1813 it was the site of fighting between American forces and a combination of British troops and Indian allies.

To be honest, while this park has historic significance, there isn't much to do or see there.  There is a short walkway with some signage and the visitor center has a very nice presentation on events leading up to the battle and how the fighting progressed. 

The short, self-guided walk encompasses this pavilion which was roughly the site the American troops were camped upon if I recall.

This type of sled was developed and used to carry artillery pieces.

After American forces drove the British troops back towards Detroit which they had captured earlier.  The British struck back and emerged from the treeline, approaching to an incredibly close range before being sighted.

The surprised American troops fought back, but were not prepared for the attack. 

Those forces that were able withdrew across the Raisin River and ultimately surrendered.

Although the British troops promised that the Americans would be allowed to remove their wounded, their Indian allies returned and killed them.  Of the roughly 1000 Americans involved in the fighting, only 33 escaped.  There were 397 killed and 547 prisoners.  This was the worst defeat the Americans suffered during the War of 1812.

The Park visitor center.  I expect that there is more planned for the park, but as with everything, funding is an issue and with the federal budget in shambles I would not expect any major development.

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