History of Auglaize County
The War of 1812
After the recognition of American independence, in 1783, by Great Britain, she refused to execute the treaty in good faith, by refusing to surrender and evacuate the western posts, which she forcibly retained in violation of an express agreement from 1785 to 1796; in the mean time using every effort to corrupt and inflame the Indians, and bring on a bloody and relentless war with the savages. These intrigues had such an effect upon the red men of the Northwest, backed by the governor-general of Canada, Lord Dorchester, that Indian hostilities immediately began; and to protect the American people against these savage hordes, instigated and led by English officers, the campaigns of Harmar, St. Clair, and Wayne passed through western Ohio and Indiana from 1790 to 1794. The impressment of naturalized American citizens into the English service, and a renewal, through the McKees, the Elliotts, and the Girtys, of an attempt to corrupt and again inflame the Indian tribes within the boundaries to acts of hostility and war, led the United States to declare war against Great Britain on the 18th of June, 1812. The governor of Ohio was asked for his proportion of soldiers to defend our borders; Governor Meigs responded with alacrity. Col. Duncan McArthur, with a regiment of soldiers, was detached from Urbana to open a road in advance of General Hull as far as the Scioto River. Having passed Mannery's block-house and Solomon's Town (in what is now Logan County), a small Shawnee Indian village near the boundary line, the detachment commenced its labors through an extensive region of excellent level land. Having gained the river, they commenced building two block-houses on the south side of the Scioto, each twenty by twenty-four feet, connected by a strong stockade covering an area of near half an acre. This post was called Fort McArthur, and is up the Scioto nearly three miles southwest of the present city of Kenton. The site is exceedingly dreary, and must have been fatal to a great many soldiers in consequence of the great "Scioto Marsh," a short distance northwest of it. Not a vestige of the fort remains at this time (1880); but it is stated that remnants of the corduroy road, made by Gen. McArthur, can yet be traced through the boggv forest.
On the evening of the 19th of June, 1812, General Hull arrived with the residue of his army, and encamped on the north side of the river; and on the 21st Colonel Finley's regiment was detached for the purpose of cutting the road to Blanchard's fork of the Auglaize; on the next morning moved forward, with the exception of part of Capt. Dill's company, which was left at Fort McArthur, for the double purpose of protecting the sick(?) and defending the fort in case of attack. The following was the formation of the army as announced in a general order: The 4th U. S. regiment on the right, Col. McArthur on the left; Col. Finley on the left of the 4th, and Col. Cass on the right of Col. McArthur; the cavalry on the right of the whole. In marching, the riflemen of the respective regiments formed the flank guards, and on the days the army marched they were exempt from other duty. From Fort McArthur to the rapids of the Miami is one hundred and fifty miles; the route of the army was through a thick and almost trackless forest; through a country where numerous creeks and rivers have their origin.
From "History of Auglaize County, Ohio, with the Indian History of Wapakoneta, and the First Settlement of the County", Robert Sutton, Publishers, Wapakoneta, 1880