While an American force prepared for an advance on Montreal in Lower Canada, Major-General William Henry Harrison crossed the Detroit River. His force of 3,500 pursued a combined group of British regulars and Shawnee warriors. The British commander, Major-General Henry Procter, had only 877 men of the 41st Regiment under his command. Tecumseh led 1,000 warriors.
Major-General Procter retreated to the east, while Tecumseh wanted to confront the American force. Finally, the Shawnee leader convinced Procter to make a stand near Moraviatown, a community on the Thames River. On 5 October 1813, the British regulars, flanked by the Shawnee and their allies, were deployed in a clearing.
The American commander, Major-General Harrison, executed a well-planned attack with infantry and cavalry forces. Almost as soon as the fighting started, Procter ordered his troops to retreat. The British withdrawal left the Shawnee to face the American onslaught alone. The Shawnee continued to fight until Tecumseh was mortally wounded. They then hastily left the battle carrying the body of their fallen leader.
Tecumseh's decision to continue fighting after the British had withdrawn saved Procter's force from annihilation. The Americans were too occupied with the Shawnee to organize a pursuit of the British troops. With the death of Tecumseh, however, the Shawnee Confederacy dissolved and the British lost a valuable ally.