Sunday, July 28, 2013

Remember the River Raisin

From the Library of Congress1
    One cause of the War of 1812 was the need for land.  As American settlers moved west the Native-American tribes were being squeezed out.  The frontiersmen needed land and a method for transporting goods to market.  The fight was for land and control of the waterways.
     A major battle in the war was fought in the northwest in what is current day Michigan. The battle was near Frenchtown, along the north bank of the River Raisin. This is now River Raisin National Battlefield Park, part of the National Park System.  (
     Between January 18 and January 23, 1813 three hundred ninety-seven Americans, many from Kentucky were killed.  Some of those killed were massacred some time after being captured by the Indians.  As a result a battle cry went out and was heard all over the frontier.  "Remember the Raisin." 
    On July 13, 1813 Governor Issac Shelby of Kentucky put out a call for fifteen-hundred volunteers to march north in order to avenge the deaths of fellow Kentuckians.  He called for these volunteers to meet at Newport, Kentucky on July 31st.  Newport lay just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati.
     One of those who answered the call was Elisha Gates, my ggg-grandfather.  

1. Lewis, Samuel. Library of Congress, "A correct map of the seat of war." Last modified 1812.  Accessed July 28, 2013.

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