Frequently Asked Questions
What War was this Battle in and When was the Battle?
The war is the War of 1812 and the Battle was fought January 18, 1813 and January 22, 1813.
Didn't Canada Declare War on the United States?
No, in fact the American strategy bet on a land war, with one prong to invade upper Canada via the Old Northwest. Here in the Northwest Territory the U.S. pursued a land war partly because British ships ruled Lake Erie to supply their troops, militia, and native allies.
Where did the Cry "Remember the Raisin!" come from?
It wasn't actually from the Battles of the River Raisin but the day after the Battles took place. On January 23, 1813, Native-American allies of the British surprised the wounded Americans that were left in the homes of Frenchtown (mostly Kentuckians) and killed most of the 60-65 that remained.
What do Kentuckians have to do with the Battle?
There were actually about 667 Kentucky Volunteer Militia that fought in the Battles under Revolutionary War veteran General James Winchester.
Why is the River called the River Raisin?
The River was named "Riviere aux Raisin" by the French-Canadian settlers that resided here. They called it the River Raisin because of the wild grapes growing along the banks of the River. At the time of the Battle the settlement was known as River Raisin or St. Antoines (after the first Catholic Church founded here in the late 1788). Later it was called Frenchtown because of the French inhabitants that founded it. In 1817 the name was changed to Monroe after President James Monroe.
Why is the Muskrat important?
The muskrat was very important to the French-Canadian settlers because they were fur traders and trappers and muskrats were very plentiful at the River Raisin. Also after the Battles were over, the settlers that remained at Frenchtown turned to the lowly muskrat for survival during the brutal winter of 1813-1814. Today the Muskrat is considered a French delicacy, and there are numerous Muskrat dinners in Monroe in February and March. Major Muskrat is the Battlefield's Mascot for children's programming.