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War of 1812 - Artefact of the Week

General James Winchester’s Pistol

This pistol belonged to Brigadier General James Winchester, commander of American forces at the Battle of the River Raisin (1813) during the War of 1812. The Battle of the River Raisin, more commonly referred to as the Battle of Frenchtown included a series of conflicts that took place from January 18-23, 1813.

After the 1812 capture of Fort Detroit by British, Canadian, and First Nations troops united under Major-General Sir Isaac Brock and Shawnee War Chief Tecumseh, the Americans devised a plan to advance north and retake the city. After learning of the dangerous threat to their security, British Major General Henry Proctor and a force of about 600 men, including British regulars, Canadian militia, and First Nations allies attacked an American detachment at the village of Frenchtown on January 22, 1813. The Americans were caught off guard and in less than thirty minutes, a large number of the American force of 934 men had surrendered or taken flight. In the confusion, Brigadier General James Winchester was captured. After the battle of the River Raisin, Winchester was imprisoned in Canada for over a year.

General James Winchester’s Pistol General James Winchester’s Pistol
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