1812 Hunt


John Hunt (1798-1877) was an Indian trader, soldier, and business man of Maumee-Toledo area of Ohio. He was also the brother-in-law of Lewis Cass.

Gen. Hull received the inteligence of the Declaration of War on the march between Maumee City, Ohio then called the Foot of the Rappids, and the River Raisin now called Monroe in Michigan. after a halt of a day or two at that place, to make a display of his army, as he did at the Rappids of the Maumee. he marched for Detroit, at the crossing of the Huron having reached that point after two days of hard marching the army encamped for the night from which point we could see the three masts of the British near vessel the Queen Charlotte laying off the mouth of the Detroit River watching the movements of our Army, about 3. o'clock A.M., an alarm was sounded, and the whole Army turned out to meet the enemy; but it proved to be a false alarm. The next day the army crossed the Huron and made a forced march for Detroit; but encamped at Spring Wells, three miles below, where they remained a week to wash and dry preparatory to a grand entry of the City of Detroit than a village of about twelve hundred people, who had been expecting an attack from the British for some days before the arrival of the Army, and which place they might have taken by surprise if they had made the attempt as the Commanding Officer at Malden received the inteligence of the declaration of War by the U.S. one or two days in advance of the Detroit people. Genl Hull after marching his army through the village with drums beating and collors flying marched them back again, but did not march them into Canada as we expected until nearly a week or more, when he crossed his army over the River Detroit near the foot of Hog, now called Belle Isle without the fireing of a gun. I can say, boy as I was, my blood thrilled with delight when I saw from Detroit that beautiful morning the march of that fine army, with drums beating and colors flying, with the gleaming of the bright muskets. We supposed as a matter of course they were on their way to Malden, but to our surprise the army made a halt directly opposite Detroit and Genl Hull occupied the brick house of Col. Baby for his head quarters . . . .

Genl Hull after remaining opposite Detroit for about seven weeks using up provisions and ammunition recrossed the River, Soon after which event Genl Brock concluded an armistice with Genl Dearbourn on the Niagary which enabled him to concentrate nearly his whole fource against Genl Hull. A very pleasant evening about five o'clock all at once a house on the opposite side of the River now Windsor was torn down behind which the Brittish had a battery of four 18. pound guns, immediately we discovered a british officer rideing very rappidly up from Sandwich, he rode up to the battery, when they opened fire upon Fort Detroit the balls passing over our heads as we were seting upon the gallery of my Brother Henrys house, we all repaired to the Fort where we remained during the night until the Surrender next morning about ten o'clock - about one week after Genl. Hull recrossed the River . . .

From: THE JOHN HUNT MEMOIRS EARLY YEARS OF THE MAUMEE BASIN, 1812-1835. Edited by Richard J. Wright. Maumee, OH: Maumee Valley Historical Society:13 - 15.

See Also:

Dodge, Robert J. Nationalism and the Fall of Detroit - 1812. Northwest Ohio Quarterly 1968 40 (3): 118-126.

Guyton, Priscilla L. John Hunt. Northwest Ohio Quarterly 1981 53 (2): 50-68; 1980 52 (1): 179-190; (2): 214-226; (3): 254-258.