A tale of two horses

News Release Date: 
12.01.11

Free public discussion explores northwest Ohio archaeological find that dates to “War of 1812”

Ohio State Marion’s Science Café, a free monthly community discussion on topical issues of science, welcomes William Pickard, assistant curator of archaeology from the Ohio Historical Society to downtown Marion’s Infinity Restaurant, 267 West Center Street, on Tuesday, December 6, 7 p.m. to discuss the accidental discovery of the remains of two equine casualties from the British siege on Fort Meigs in Wood County, Ohio.

During the 2001 site renovations at Fort Meigs, in Wood County, Ohio, a double horse burial was discovered just outside the War of 1812 fort’s reconstructed stockade. The horses were interred facing each other in an almost heraldic pose. This and other aspects of the burial would seem to hint at some sort of soldierly ritualism possibly common to an early military tradition.

Continued research of military records and other period writings seems to indicate that one of the horses may have actually been ridden by an aide to General Harrison. It was killed in battle on May 5th, 1813 while its rider was on a mission from the General to recall a large American detachment in danger of being ambushed by combined Indian and Canadian forces.

The May 1813 British siege of Ft. Meigs was a hard fought and bloody confrontation that resulted in substantial casualties for the American side. Perhaps not all heroic and celebrated losses were necessarily human.

Science Cafés involve lively conversations with scientists about current science topics. Science Cafés are free and open to everyone, and take place in casual settings like pubs and coffee houses. At a café you can learn about the latest issues in science, chat with a scientist in plain language, meet new friends, speak your mind, and talk with your mouth full. The overriding goal of Ohio State Marion’s Science Café is to overcome reluctance to learning about science and to make science less mysterious.

For more information on Science Café visit:  http://osumarion.osu.edu/sciencecafe/ or contact Ohio State Marion professor of mathematics, Dr. Brian McEnnis at:  mcennis.1@osu.edu.