Henry Procter was born to Richard Procter, an army surgeon, and Anne Gregory in Ireland in 1763. In 1781, at age 18, Procter decided to follow in his father’s footsteps, joining the British army as an ensign in the 43rd Regiment of Foot. He served the crown in New York during the last months of the American Revolution. By 1800, Procter was lieutenant colonel of the 1st Battalion of the 41st Regiment of Foot; however, he did not join his men in Canada until a few years later. With the outbreak of hostilities in 1812, Procter played a key role in the struggle to secure and defend British fortifications in what is today Michigan. Promotions to brigadier-general and then major-general followed successful initiatives that halted American advances toward Detroit. Failing to take Fort Meigs on the Maumee River in the summer of 1813, however, Procter and his men moved on to Fort Stephenson having suffered heavy casualties and lacking reinforcements and supplies. American forces attacked a retreating force led by Procter on October 5, resulting in the death of Indian ally Tecumseh at the Battle of the Thames and signaling the end of British control in the region. Proctor faced a court martial in 1814 for his failures to retreat, to protect supplies, and to rally his troops among other allegations. Although he only received a reprimand for his actions, the court marital ultimately ended Procter’s military career. In 1815, he returned to England where he lived in a state of semi-retirement.
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