Fort Dearborn, U.S. army post on the Chicago River, NE Ill.; est. 1803 and named for Secretary of War Henry Dearborn. Threatened by the indigenous population at the start of the War of 1812, the frontier post was ordered by Gen. William Hull to evacuate. On Aug. 15, 1812, as Capt. Nathan Heald led the small contingent of troops, militia, women, and children from the fort, a large Native American force attacked. More than half of the people were killed and most of those remaining were taken prisoner; the fort was destroyed. Fort Dearborn was rebuilt in 1816–17.
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