During the revolutionary war, the British army set up an outpost at Detroit and formed alliances with Native American tribes who routinely sent war parties to attack the American settlers along the Ohio River.
Soldier and surveyor, George Rogers Clark, organized a militia to defend against these raids. Not content to wait for the attackers to come to him, Clark decided that a major offensive was needed. He received approval for the attack from Patrick Henry, the governor of Virginia, and captured British outposts at Kaskaskia and Cahokia, near modern day St. Louis. He also secured the support of French settlers at Fort Sackville in Vincennes.
When British Lt. Governor Henry Hamilton learned of these defeats, he sent a formidable force to retake Fort Sackville. Clark’s men were outnumbered and forced to return the fort to British control. Eager for revenge, Clark would later retake the fort in a daring winter raid on February 25, 1779, forcing Hamilton to accept near unconditional surrender.
(Photo Credit: Indiana Historical Society)
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