| || Notes for Enoch Baker:|
934 Americans from Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan had only days before fought to drive the British, some Canadian militia and Indian supporters from the area of Monroe, Michigan. The U.S. Forces were camping there as they continued their drive toward Detroit to retake Ft. Detroit, which had fallen to the British earlier in the War of 1812.This was one of the bloodiest battles of that war. That British attack - there were 597 British and Canadian soldiers, 800 Indians and six canons- began at dawn.
The quiet, peaceful morning erupted with a barrage of musket and canon fire that trailed smoke and blood. The entire battle took hours. The Americans - who were caught by surprise - held their ground for about 20 minutes before being forced backward across the frozen River Raisin in a hail of bullets.
But while the battle was costly in terms of human life, the following day has become notorious. Wounded Americans made it across the river and holed up in the homes of the Frenchtown settlers. The next day, Jan. 23, 1813, the British who were guarding the wounded left town.
Indians returned to the area and plundered the homes where wounded lay. They killed and scalped American soldiers who couldn't walk and tossed their bodies into homes they'd set on fire. At the end of the massacre nearly 60 more Americans were killed or wounded.
Of the 934 men who made a stand on the River Raisin only 33 escaped. The rest were killed or captured. "Remember the Raisin" became a rallying cry of the American forces after that day. Eight months passed before American soldiers regained a foothold at the Frenchtown settlement.
For most of 1813 the area remained a desolate wasteland and unburied dead were scattered about. Many of the settlers fled to Ohio. The Kentuckians, who'd arrived before the battle to help the settlers stave off the British forces, were the ones to return and provide freedom once and for all.
Colonel Richard M. Johnson's Kentucky cavalry rode into town on Sept. 27, 1813, led by men from the River Raisin. Together they quickly pushed the British and Indians north and into Canada before defeating them at the Battle of the Thames Oct. 5, 1813.