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Army of the Northwest (United States)

The Army of the Northwest was a U.S. Army unit formed at the outset of the War of 1812 and charged with control of the state of Ohio, the Indiana Territory, Michigan Territory and Illinois Territory.[1]


The first commander, William Hull, was in charge while the regiment was at Detroit, before he surrendered it to the British. James Winchester was appointed to lead the army back up north to retake Detroit, but he turned to defend Fort Defiance instead.[1] Perhaps due to Winchester's unpopularity, President James Madison soon appointed General William Henry Harrison as commander of the army in late 1812. Harrison led the army in the Siege of Fort Meigs and the Battle of the Thames.

Under him, in actions that caused the greatest number of deaths in a battle in the War of 1812, Winchester led a contingent in what is called the Battles of Frenchtown, January 18 and 22, 1813; in the second conflict, US forces were taken by surprise and overwhelmed by allied British and Native American warriors. The Raisin River Massacre of January 23 took place after the Americans had surrendered and the first prisoners were being marched to Fort Malden in British Ontario.


The following men served as commanders of the Army of the Northwest:[1]


  1. ^ a b c Sek 1996
  2. ^ Hannings 2012, p. 352
  3. ^ Cramer 1937, p. 140
  4. ^ Cramer 1937, p. 140. McArthur submitted his resignation on June 4, having not yet received a letter sent several days previously informing him of his promotion; the resignation was subsequently refused.
  5. ^ Cramer 1937, p. 146


  • Cramer, C. H. (April 1937), "Duncan McArthur: The Military Phase", Ohio History, Ohio Historical Society, 46 (2): 128–147
  • Bud Hannings (September 2012), The War of 1812: A Complete Chronology with Biographies of 63 General Officers, Jefferson, North Carolina and London: McFarland, ISBN 978-0-7864-6385-5
  • Sek, John (1996), The 17th Regiment of U.S. Infantry, archived from the original on 2007-10-11