Shortly after the outbreak of the War of 1812, the United States suffered what became known as a “National Calamity” at the hands of Great Britain and the 20 Native Nations that were their allies. As a result of the January 1813 Battles of the River Raisin, the U.S. endured its greatest defeat of the war, with only 33 of a nearly 1,000-man army escaping death or capture. The Battlefield’s now hallowed grounds remain to this day the site of Michigan’s largest and bloodiest clash, and the location of the most American POWs ever taken by a foreign power on U.S. soil. “Remember the Raisin!” emerged as the United States first wartime rallying cry and was used to stir the hearts of all Americans to retake the Michigan Territory, avenge the losses at the River Raisin and continue expansion westward. Now, over 200 years later in present day Monroe, these momentous events are forever memorialized at the River Raisin National Battlefield Park.
And yet, there’s so much more to the narrative, an “Untold Story” that’s rarely taught in classrooms, with ramifications and consequences that have echoed throughout our country’s history. We are the only National Battlefield Park dedicated to fully examining the War of 1812 from a multi-national, multi-cultural, multi-racial perspective, as well as an aftermath that resulted in the forced removal, relocation and assimilation of Native Nations.
The River Raisin National Battlefield Park Foundation is proud to partner with and vigorously supports the mission of the Park to preserve, commemorate and interpret the battles both here and at related regional sites. To borrow a phrase from the Wyandot, a tribe whose ancestors fought at the Raisin and are valued partners who trace their roots to this area long before it saw French, English and American settlers, we invite you join us on a “Journey Towards Understanding” the history you were not supposed to know.