Rocky Boy Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana

The Capture of Fort Detroit August 15-16, 1812

This siege was not the first siege of the white military fortification of Detroit as we know. The Three Fires Confederation had no choice but to lay siege to Fort Detroit once again if they wanted to drive the whites off. However, unlike the first siege which occurred back in 1763, the 1812 siege was far different and this is why! Within Fort Detroit was a combined white military force of over 2,800 soldiers, which was far more than during the first siege in 1763 (around 100 white soldiers were stationed at Fort Detroit in 1763) in which the Indians could not capture the fort. During this siege, the Three Fires Confederation probably used several pieces of cannon they managed to make on their own and capture, on Fort Detroit. They may have had as many as five cannons. Surrounding the white fort were probably several thousand brave Anishinabe soldiers who obviously began shooting arrows aflame into the fort. Within a short time the commander of Fort Detroit, Brigadier General William Hull, began to think about the welfare of the many women and children living in Fort Detroit, then made the decision to surrender to the large Anishinabe military force bombarding Fort Detroit. After Hull surrendered Fort Detroit, the Anishinabek were most definitely delighted that they had captured 30 cannons, 300 rifles, and most importantly, 2,500 muskets, and a very large supply of gunpowder. Most likely the Anishinabek let the women and children be, but as for the nearly 2,800 white soldiers captured, that is another question. The prophesy weary Anishinabek either killed them or enslaved them.

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