Thames, battle of the, engagement fought on the Thames River near Chatham, Ont. (Oct. 5, 1813), in the War of 1812. Gen. William H. Harrison led an American force of about 3,000 against a British army of approximately 400 regulars commanded by Gen. Henry A. Procter, reinforced by 1,000 Native Americans under Tecumseh. After the British were driven from Detroit, Harrison followed their retreating army into Ontario and up the Thames River until General Procter was forced to give battle. A cavalry charge broke the British ranks, and the Native Americans offered the only real resistance. Tecumseh was slain in battle, thus completely destroying the native confederacy he had raised against the United States. By the battle of the Thames, U.S. control in the Northwest was restored.
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