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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Defiance in Defiance County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Fort Winchester

Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Trail

 
 
Fort Winchester Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, May 3, 2009
1. Fort Winchester Marker
Inscription.
Fort Winchester

Built by General William. H. Harrison
in Oct. 1812 and named for
General Winchester.
For a time it was the only
defensive work against the
British and Indians in North-
western Ohio.

 
Erected 1930 by Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Commission. (Marker Number C32.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Commission marker series.
 
Location. 41° 17.119′ N, 84° 21.518′ W. Marker is in Defiance, Ohio, in Defiance County. Marker is at the intersection of West 2nd Street and Washington Avenue, on the right when traveling east on West 2nd Street. Click for map. This historical marker is located on the southwest corner of the intersection of Washington Avenue. and West 2nd Street. As of May of 2009 it was on the front edge of the parking lot of the "Family Video" store. Marker is at or near this postal address: 315 West 2nd Street, Defiance OH 43512, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Fort Winchester (within shouting distance of this marker); Defiance Historic Sites (about
Fort Winchester Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, May 3, 2009
2. Fort Winchester Marker
View of this historical marker with the W. 2nd St. bridge, over the Auglaize River, in the backgound.
600 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Fort Winchester (about 800 feet away); Fort Defiance (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Indian Wars (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Fort Defiance (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fort Defiance Flagstaff (approx. 0.2 miles away); Buffalo Were Recorded Here In 1718 (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Defiance.
 
More about this marker. When it was originally built Fort Winchester was situated on the west bank of the Auglaize River, just upstream from the location of Fort Defiance at the juncture of the Auglaize River with the Maumee River. When visiting Defiance, Ohio today, the Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Commission (ORMC) historical marker for Fort Winchester can be viewed when traveling east from downtown Defiance on W. 2nd St. and looking on your right, just prior to crossing the bridge over the Auglaize River.

The more recent Ohio Historical Marker for Fort Winchester can be seen when looking to your left, just prior to crossing the bridge over the Auglaize
Fort Winchester Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, November 12, 2010
3. Fort Winchester Marker
View of the historical marker on the southwest corner of Washington Avenue and West 2nd Street, adjacent to the Family Video parking lot.
River.
 
Regarding Fort Winchester. The War of 1812 was still in its infancy and already the American theater of military operations in the Northwest had suffered a serious setback. General Hull had marched an American army northward, through northwestern Ohio, to one of America's border's with Canada, at Fort Detroit. Once there however, instead of the anticipated successful invasion of Canada, Hull's army experienced a stunning defeat. And with the loss of General Hull's army the door was opened for the British to launch an invasion of conquest into Ohio.

To make matters worse, there was soon infighting between the Americans over who would assume command of the Northwestern military theater of operations. Initially it appeared that General William Henry Harrison would be the man in charge and he began the task of scrambling to secure as much as he could of what was now the contested territory between the British up in Detroit and the Americans down in southern and central Ohio. But then another general appeared on the scene, James Winchester, and he successfully argued that technically his commission outranked that of General Harrison, and then he assumed control of the American operations in the Northwest. But his command was short lived because General Harrison's supporters quickly secured a higher ranking commission for him
Fort Winchester Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, November 12, 2010
4. Fort Winchester Marker
View looking south, down Washington Avenue, of the recently erected Ohio Historical Marker for Fort Winchester, and in the distant background, across the street and beyond the intersection, of the ORMC historical marker for Fort Winchester.
and General Winchester was forced to accept a secondary role and placed in command of the Left Wing of the Northwestern Army.

So while it had been under General Winchester's command that the American army had advanced into the Fort Defiance area (the area at the juncture of the Auglaize River with the Maumee River), it would now be under the command of General Harrison that a major fort would be built there.

It is in his book (copyright 1905) entitled, "History of the Maumee River Basin" that Defiance native Charles E. Slocum writes about Fort Winchester and states: "General Harrison selected the site and drew the plan for a new fort to embrace over twelve times the ground space of Fort Defiance....As further evidence of the desire to respect and honor the commander of the Left Wing, the new fort at Defiance was duly christened Fort Winchester. This fort was completed by soldiers working with short and often unwholesome rations, thinly clad, and with much suffering from inclement weather; but it was happily completed and fulfilled its mission during the war as an important stronghold for the defense of the territory of the upper rivers, as a rendezvous for troops and, later, for the storing of supplies to be boated down the Maumee River as wanted by the advancing troops. For some length of time it was the only obstruction against the incursions of the British
Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Trail Map image. Click for full size.
Image courtesy of the MidPointe Library System (www.MidPointeLibrary.org)
5. Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Trail Map
A view of an original Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Trail Map, from 1930. For a better view double click on this picture.
and Aborigines into Northwestern Ohio."
 
Also see . . .
1. Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Trail System. A description of the Revolutionary Memorial Trail System developed by the state of Ohio in 1929 - 1930. (Submitted on November 17, 2010, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.) 

2. Cartographic Map of the (Western) Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Trail, 1930. This is a link to information provided by the Midpointe Library System. Middletown, Trenton, West Chester, Ohio. (Submitted on September 8, 2014, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.) 

3. 1931 'Biennium Report of the Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Commission'. This is a link to information provided by the Ohio War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission's website, regarding the Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Commission's military trails system and trail markers. (Submitted on March 23, 2016, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.) 
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesMilitaryNative AmericansWar of 1812
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,593 times since then and 174 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.   3, 4. submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.   5. submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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