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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Chatham in Chatham-Kent County, Ontario — Central Canada
 

Skirmish at the Forks

Monday, October 4, 1813

 

—Tecumseh Parkway —

 
Skirmish at the Forks Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 23, 2013
1. Skirmish at the Forks Marker
View, looking west, of the English text side of the historical marker, with a distant view of "The Forks" of the Thames River in the background.
Inscription. On October 2, 1813, Tecumseh moved his warriors up-river to the Forks where he had been led to believe that fortifications would be prepared for a full-scale confrontation with harrison's army. When Tecumseh arrived, he was enraged to find no fortifications and only three or four dismounted cannon and a log cabin containing small arms.

Despite his dismay, Tecumseh convinced his warriors to stage a rearguard action at the Forks on October 4 to slow the American advance. That morning, the warriors attempted to burn the main bridge across McGregor Creek but the wood was too wet from heavy rain to ignite. They then began dismantling the boardwalk of the bridge to make it impassable. When the American army approached the south shore, the warriors hiding in the woods across the creek opened fire.

The skirmish lasted for about two hours. Two Americans were killed as were several warriors. Tecumseh was struck in the arm by a musket ball. The skirmish ended when the American artillery fired their cannon and drove the warriors off, but not before they set fire to the cabin containing the stored arms.

Through the commotion, one of Tecumseh's allies, Walk In The Water, and his warriors abandoned the retreat, as did several Shawnee, Wyandot, and Delaware.
 
Erected by Tecumseh
Skirmish at the Forks Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 23, 2013
2. Skirmish at the Forks Marker
View, looking east, of the French text side of the historical marker.
Parkway.
 
Location. 42° 24.399′ N, 82° 11.066′ W. Marker is in Chatham, Ontario, in Chatham-Kent County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of William Street North and Murray Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. The historical marker is located in Chatham, at the point of "The Forks" of the Thames River, in Tecumseh Park, situated along a park walkway. Marker is at or near this postal address: 89 William Street North, Chatham, Ontario N7M 4L5, Canada.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Forks (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Skirmish at the Forks (here, next to this marker); British Encampment: Forks of the Thames (here, next to this marker); Casualties of the Skirmish (here, next to this marker); Tecumseh (within shouting distance of this marker); Chatham Blockhouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Chatham Armoury (about 150 meters away, measured in a direct line); John Brown's Convention 1858 (approx. 0.7 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chatham.
 
Categories. Colonial EraNative AmericansWar of 1812
 
Skirmish at the Forks Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 23, 2013
3. Skirmish at the Forks Marker
Close-up view of the diagram of the skirmish, including the caption, that is displayed on the historical marker.
Skirmish at the Forks Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 23, 2013
4. Skirmish at the Forks Marker
Close-up view of the painting entitled, "Tecumseh: Battlecry," that is displayed on the historical marker.
Skirmish at the Forks Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 23, 2013
5. Skirmish at the Forks Marker
Close-up view of the English text that is displayed on the historical marker.
Skirmish at the Forks Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 23, 2013
6. Skirmish at the Forks Marker
View of the park walkway that leads to "The Forks" of the Thames River, where several Tecumseh Parkway historical markers are located.
Skirmish at the Forks Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 23, 2013
7. Skirmish at the Forks Marker
View of the "The Forks" of the Thames River, where several Tecumseh Parkway historical markers are located.
View of The Forks image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 23, 2013
8. View of The Forks
View of the cannon situated at "The Forks" of the Thames River.
Tecumseh Park Sign image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 23, 2013
9. Tecumseh Park Sign
View, looking north on William Street North, of the sign for Tecumseh Park, where the historical marker is located, and a distant view of the Tecumseh Parkway sign used to alert motorists of the presence of these historical markers.
The Forks of the Thames Sign image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 23, 2013
10. The Forks of the Thames Sign
View, looking north on William Street North, of the Tecumseh Parkway sign used to alert motorists of the presence of these historical markers in Tecumseh Park.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 19, 2014, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 415 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on January 19, 2014, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.
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