Why is this site important?
Fort Meigs marks the turning point in the Western Theater of War for American forces during the War of 1812. The twice successful defense of Fort Meigs in 1813 ushered in a series of American victories which ultimately secured the Great Lakes Region in American control and cemented the geographic and cultural boundaries of the region, which still exist today. In addition, Fort Meigs prevented further British incursions into Ohio and bought American forces the time they needed to build a U.S. Naval fleet on Lake Erie—resulting in the American victory during the Battle of Lake Erie.
William Henry Harrison built Fort Meigs on the Maumee River in February 1813 to protect northwest Ohio and Indiana from a British invasion during the War of 1812 . The fort was designed and laid out by Eleazar Derby Wood, a West Point graduate and the namesake of Wood County, in which Fort Meigs is located.
Fort Meigs, named after then governor Return J. Meigs, Jr. was a massive installation enclosing almost ten acres and containing seven defensive blockhouses, five artillery batteries, two powder magazines, storehouses, a well, and a series of defensive mounds called traverses, which protected the soldiers against artillery bombardment. Outside of the fort were bake houses and smokehouses, a hide processing facility, articifer buildings , and a boat launch. British allied forces (British regulars, Canadian militia, and Native warriors led by Tecumseh) commanded General Henry Procter, twice besieged the fort, in May and July of 1813 with the objective to capture or destroy the garrison. However, both attempts failed. The successful defenses of Fort Meigs ushered in a series of American victories in the Western Theater of War, including Fort Stephenson (Fremont) and the Battle of Lake Erie (South Bass Island). With the Great Lakes Region in American control, Fort Meigs was ordered torn down and a smaller fortification replaced the large fort. Fort Meigs II served as a supply depot for the remainder of the war and was abandoned at the end of hostilities. To learn more about Fort Meigs and the War of 1812, visit http://fortmeigs.org/.
The Bicentennial of the War of 1812 begins on June 18, 2012. Many of the events are planned at Fort Meigs both in 2012 and 2013.