Soldiers' New Battle, 200 Years After Death

By WISE Web News

June 18, 2010 Updated Jun 1, 2010 at 6:55 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Indiana (Indiana's NewsCenter)--WHEN THE BRITISH CAPTURED FORT DETROIT IN AUGUST 1812 IT LOOKED LIKE BRITAIN MIGHT DEFEAT AMERICA, JUST 36 YEARS AFTER THEY SQUARED OFF IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. THE AMERICAN ARMY QUICKLY BUILT A LINE OF FORTS ACROSS NORTHWEST OHIO, TO SUPPLY SOLDIERS ATTEMPTING TO RETAKE FORT DETROIT, AND KICK THE BRITISH OUT OF THE GREAT LAKES. ONE OF THOSE FORTS STOOD HERE IN AUGLAIZE COUNTY…FORT AMANDA…COMMANDING A BLUFF OVERLOOKING THE AUGLAIZE RIVER. LIVESTOCK, GRAIN, MUNITIONS AND WHISKEY WERE STORED HERE FOR LATER SHIPMENT TO SOLDIERS ON THE FRONT LINE.

Kevin: Not only a supply depot but a boat building supply here, they built a lot of riverboats to ship those supplies north on.

LIFE ON THE NORTHWEST FRONTIER WAS DIFFICULT..WOLVES, SNAKEBITE, MALARIA AND OTHER DISEASE TOOK THEIR TOLL, AS DID HOSTILE NATIVE AMERICANS. 75 SOLDIERS DIED AT FORT AMANDA AND ALL ARE BURIED HERE. BUT A SERIOUS MODERN DAY CHALLENGE THREATENS THE ETERNAL REST OF THESE ANCIENT HEROS. THE SOIL THAT HOLDS THEIR GRAVES IS SLIPPING INTO THE AUGLAIZE RIVER.

Kevin: This area here started out even with where we’re standing obviously and continues to slump away or fall away toward the river which is about 40 or 45 beet below us.

THE SOLDIERS WERE BURIED AT THE EDGE OF THE CLIFF OVERLOOKING THE RIVER, AND PARKS DIRECTOR KEVIN HAVER SAYS IT’S THE SOIL DISTURBED BY THE GRAVEDIGGING THAT’S COLLAPSING. IN A VERY SHORT WHILE THE GRAVES THEMSELVES WILL DISAPPEAR. HAVER’S PUSHING HARD FOR A PLAN TO RESCUE THE SITE BUT NO ONE, ESPECIALLY LOCAL GOVERNMENT, HAS ANY MONEY. HE PLANS TO LOOK ELSEWHERE.

Kevin: The US Government, Veterans Affairs, vets groups any type of grant programs that are out there really anyway we can pull together the necessary money to get the labor and materials to fix this problem. I think we owe them respect; they have done what many Americans have not done for our freedom. Had they not done what they did when they did it and given up a lot of things time away from families and loved ones but again, in this case their lives, so we owe them a great deal. We need to give them what they deserve they deserve our respect and our help to preserve this site.


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