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367   Edmund P. Gaines  $200 Unopened $200 0 You must login to place a bid.

#367 - Edmund P. Gaines

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“Kentuckians; remember the River Raisin!”

War-dated manuscript general orders, signed “By command, E. P. Gaines, Col. Adjt. General,” one page, 7.5 x 4.25, September 27, 1813. An invigorating message issued on board the Arial. In full: “The General entreats his brave troops to remember that they are sons of sires whose fame is immortal, that they are to fight for the rights of their insulted country, whilst their opponents combat for the unjust pretensions of a master. Kentuckians; remember the River Raisin: But remember it only whilst the victory is suspended. The revenge of a soldier cannot be gratified upon a fallen enemy.” Docketing on the reverse reads: “This order issued & was communicated just as the troops embarked from the Sister Island & the same day landed on the Canada Shore, but the enemy had gone.” In fine condition, with two vertical folds (one vertical fold passing through a single letter of the signature).

These orders were issued as troops under William Henry Harrison’s Army of the Northwest continued to drive the British into Canada during the War of 1812. Detroit had just fallen back into American hands on September 10, and the troops regrouped at West Sister Island in Lake Erie, off the coast of Canada. They planned an invasion of the British-held Fort Malden in Southwest Ontario and expected formidable resistance, thus this stirring dispatch from Gaines, playing upon the emotions and bloodlust of the troops, a large percentage of them Kentucky natives. In January 1813, hundreds of members of a company of Kentucky militiamen had been slaughtered at the Battle of Frenchtown by a British and Native American alliance near the River Raisin, and ‘Remember the River Raisin’ became a rallying cry that prompted many Kentuckians to enlist immediately for service in the war. When the American forces landed at Malden, they found it deserted as British General Henry Procter had decided to flee. The retreat was slow and unorganized, however, allowing the American forces to catch up to them the next week, where they engaged in the pivotal Battle of the Thames—the decisive American victory saw the dissolution of the Native American alliance with the deaths of Tecumseh and Roundhead, and effectively led to the the re-establishment of American control over the Northwest frontier. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.

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