The Chronicles of America Series, Volume 17
rategic points along this far-flung and thinly held frontier, Detroit should receive the earliest attention. At all costs this point was to be safeguarded as a base for the advance into Canada from the west. A remote trading post within gunshot of the enemy across the river and menaced by tribes of hostile Indians, Detroit then numbered eight hundred inhabitants and was protected only by a stout enclosure of logs. For two hundred miles to the nearest friendly settlements in Ohio, the line of communications was a forest trail which skirted Lake Erie for some distance and could easily be cut by the enemy. From Detroit it was the intention of the Americans to strike the first blow at the Canadian post of Amherstburg near by.
The stage was now set for the entrance of General William Hull as one of the luckless, unheroic figures upon whom the presidential power of appointment bestowed the trappings of high military command. He was by no means the worst of these. In fact, the choice seemed auspicious. Hull h