Newport: War of 1812

Historical Marker #507 in Newport commemorates the location where Kentucky volunteers crossed the Ohio River on their way to assist General William Hull against the British and Native American forces besieging Detroit during the War of 1812.

The War of 1812 broke out in the summer of that year due to unresolved conflicts between the newly-established United States of America and Great Britain. Until 1814, England was involved in the Napoleonic Wars against France and much of the country's resources went toward the fighting in Europe. Therefore, to increase military manpower, the British enlisted the help of Native Americans who were opposed to further American settlement of their land.

Kentucky played a significant role in the conflict. The state's Newport Barracks acted as a muster location for Kentucky volunteers to rally and then march to Detroit to aid General William Hull. As British and Native American troops gathered outside of Detroit's city walls, Hull surrendered in despair. The city was later recaptured by General William Henry Harrison, who used the Newport post to quarter troops and store supplies during his campaign.

In August 1813, Kentucky enlistees again met at this spot under Governor Isaac Shelby's command. The Kentuckians marched to Canada and defeated the British and Native American forces at the Battle of the Thames. It was there that Richard Mentor Johnson—a Kentuckian and future U.S. vice president under Martin Van Buren—was credited with killing the renowned Shawnee leader Tecumseh.

Images

Isaac Shelby

Isaac Shelby

Isaac Shelby, shown here, led Kentucky troops from Newport to Canada. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Richard M. Johnson

Richard M. Johnson

Future Vice President Richard M. Johnson, pictured here, served with Kentucky troops in the War of 1812 that mustered at Newport. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. View File Details Page

Death of Tecumseh

Death of Tecumseh

This romanticized portrait shows the death of Tecumseh at the Battle of the Thames. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. View File Details Page

Cannon

Cannon

This cannon was captured by Kentucky troops at the Battle of the Thames. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Newport Barracks

Newport Barracks

The Newport Barracks served as a muster location for Kentucky troops that served in the War of 1812. This photograph shows the former location of the barracks. Photograph courtesy of Katie Crawford-Lackey. View File Details Page

Ohio River Crossing

Ohio River Crossing

Newport is where Kentucky troops repeatedly met to cross the Ohio River and marched north to assist American forces opposing British and Native American troops in the War of 1812. Photograph courtesy of Katie Crawford-Lackey. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Katie Crawford-Lackey, “Newport: War of 1812,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed April 26, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/536.

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