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Published: Wednesday, 7/16/2008

Heidelberg gets grant to study Monroe's River Raisin battlefield


MONROE - Heidelberg College has received a grant to study the War of 1812 River Raisin battlefield here.

The American Battlefield Protection grant of $28,674 from the National Park Service will be used for archaeological investigation next spring and summer of the peripheral areas of the battlefield.

It is one of 32 grants through the American Battlefield Protection program totaling $1.3 million for the preservation and protection of the nation's historic battlefields.

The grant is the latest support for an ongoing, decade-long history project involving researchers from Heidelberg and Eastern Michigan University, in partnership with the city of Monroe and other organizations.

A 1998 discovery of archaeological remains of structures associated with the battle by Heidelberg's Center for Historic and Military Archaeology helped renew interest in preserving the River Raisin battlefield.

The grant helps build on that research and will include documenting important areas of the battlefield and addressing threats to the site.

Heidelberg anthropology professor G. Michael Pratt is directing the study.

There is current legislation in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate that would designate the River Raisin Battlefield as a full-fledged site of the National Park Service.

The Battle of the River Raisin took place in January, 1813. More than 900 soldiers from Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky fought the British and their Indian allies.

The following day, about 60 wounded and unarmed Americans were killed by Indians after British soldiers withdrew in what was called the Massacre of the River Raisin. It inspired the "Remember the River Raisin" rallying cry.

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