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Ohio War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission  

Winchester Camp Dedication

On September 10th, 2011 at 2 PM, the citizens of the Defiance Ohio area will dedicate an Ohio Historical Society marker related to the War of 1812 in an official dedication ceremony. The marker is located along the North bank of the Maumee River at 1010 East River Drive in the City of Defiance and marks the spot of General Winchester’s Camp No. 2/Preston Island.

Marker Front Text : "Winchester's Camp #2"

After completing Fort Winchester, Brigadier General James Winchester ordered his troops to cross to the north side of the Maumee River. The troops occupied the new site, Camp #2, from November 3-10, 1812. An earthen fortification was built for protection. Militia soldier Elias Darnell recorded on November 4th that “The weather is very rainy, which makes our situation extremely unpleasant…. Four of this army have gone to the silent tomb to-day never more to visit their friends in Kentucky; the fever is very prevalent in camp; nearly every day there is one or more buried.” Winchester referred to a burial place for the encampment in his General Orders for November 5th. Camp #2 proved to be too wet and marshy, Winchester ordered his army to move to six miles down river to a site called Camp #3.

Marker Back Text : "Preston Island"

The island is named for William Preston, a veteran of the War of 1812 and settler in the area. During that war, General Winchester ordered that a strong pen be built on the island for the army’s cattle. After the Civil War, the island became a popular spot for reunions for veterans and their families. The island had a racetrack, grandstand, auditorium, and baseball diamond. The public could travel there by boat or by trolley on the Defiance Electric Railway. The Maumee Valley Chautauqua was held on the island annually during summers from 1901 to 1912 and featured prominent speakers of the era. The mighty flood of March 1913 swept away the island’s facilities.

Sponsors of the marker include: Defiance County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, National Society of the U.S. Daughters of 1812, City of Defiance, and The Ohio Historical Society [http://www.remarkableohio.org/HistoricalMarker.aspx?historicalMarkerId=106205].