On Jan. 23, 1813, the War of 1812’s Battle of the River Raisin ended with the “Massacre of the River Raisin.” The “battle” was actually a series of two conflicts between the United States and Britain and its Native American allies, including fighters under commander Tecumseh.
It’s not known how many Americans died or were wounded in the first battle fought on Jan. 18, but in the second, fought on Jan. 22, there were 397 Americans killed and 27 wounded, with another 547 taken prisoner. As the British left the area on Jan. 23, their allies plundered homes and killed between 30-100 Americans who couldn’t walk or tried to flee. Those who survived were taken to Detroit and ransomed in what became known as the“Massacre of the River Raisin,” and “Remember the Raisin” became a rallying cry.
Parts of the original battlefield are now part of the River Raisin National Battlefield Park, one of four such parks in the nation and the only one commemorating the War of 1812.