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Two Armies At Fort Findlay

EDITOR’S NOTE–This is another article on Findlay-area history adapted from a series written from 1959 to 1974 by the late R.L. Heminger, publisher and editor of The Courier.

 

 

By R.L. HEMINGER

 

 

Gen. William Hull and Col. James Findlay were not the only military leaders who shared Fort Findlay in the War of 1812.

After the Hull army of four regiments left in June, 1812, following the construction of the fort, which had been built partly as a depot for supplies, other troops, also participating in the war with Great Britain, came along and utilized the local fort.

In July, 1812, Gen. Edward W. Tupper, of Gallia County in southern Ohio, raised a force of 1,000 men for six months’ service principally from Gallia, Lawrence and Jackson counties. The Tupper army rendezvoused at Urbana, where the Hull forces had assembled earlier. From Urbana, the Tupper army followed Hull’s trace to Fort McArthur in Hardin County, where a base of supplies was established, then pushed on to Fort Findlay.

After a brief rest at Fort Findlay, Gen. Tupper took his troops on to the Maumee River. Here the Indians appeared in force on the opposite side of the waterway. Gen. Tupper attempted to cross the river and attack the redskins, but the rapidity of the current and the feeble, half-starved condition of his men and horses rendered the attempt a failure. The Indians then crossed the river and an engagement with Tupper’s army followed, in which the Indians suffered heavy loses.

Gen. Tupper later returned to Fort Findlay and on home to southern Ohio with his men.

Another visitor to Fort Findlay was William Henry Harrison, who had been named commander of the Army of the Northwest in the War of 1812. He and his men were at Upper Sandusky for quite a while and it was while they were there in September, 1813 that Harrison received word of Oliver Hazard Perry’s great Lake Erie victory over the British fleet. Perry sent his famous message “we have met the enemy and they are ours” to Harrison at Upper Sandusky.

Upon receipt of the word of Perry’s triumph, Harrison and his army started for Fort Findlay and moved on north to Detroit and Canada where they defeated the British in October. The Harrison army moved across northern Hancock County in their trek to Fort Findlay from Upper Sandusky. A former Findlay man, Lewis Firmin, was the authority for the statement that a cannon ball was discovered in a Hancock County field once that was believed to have belonged to the Harrison army.

Harrison lived to become president of the United States, having been elected in 1840 in the famous “Tippecanoe and Tyler too” political campaign. But he only lived a month in the White House. He caught a bad cold on inauguration day and died as a consequence.

 

 

 

From Bridge To Seats

 

The disposition of materials no longer wanted or needed when there are replacements holds considerable interest at times.

For instance, one finds that the second bridge which was built of wood across the Blanchard River in 1850 and which was replaced in the 1870s went to the Hancock County fairgrounds for use in constructing a grandstand. The fairgrounds were then located on West McPherson Avenue, where they remained from 1863 to 1890.

This bridge was of the covered variety and thus contained quite a quantity of timber.

The Main Street bridge which the present memorial structure replaced in the 1930s was broken into two segments. One part went to Athens County for services on a small stream and the other part went to U.S. 30 North to span the Blanchard River there.

The iron bridge which replaced the covered bridge was moved to the Broad Avenue river location and saw service there for a long time until replaced by the present structure in the early 1960s. It was moved from Main Street in 1889 when a wider bridge was needed to permit street cars to operate over it.

Brick taken from the old Central High School at the corner of West Main Cross and South Cory streets went to Riverside Park for use in building shelter houses there.

The brick which were taken from Main Street in 1916 when a new wood block pavement was laid went into the alleys in the business district of the city. They had seen service on Main Street from the days of the oil and gas boom around 1890.

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