This chapter explores how the loss of Prairie du Chien dealt a heavy blow at the British stronghold on Mackinac Island. Construction of Fort Shelby threatened the route by which the British supplied their Indian allies on the Mississippi. Supplies could still be distributed at Green Bay, Chicago, but for western tribes such as the Sioux and the Sauk, the Wisconsin River route was essential. Even to supply his own soldiers with food proved a constant struggle for the British commandant at Mackinac, and the constant throng of hungry allied Indians, usually accompanied by their families, often forced him to choose between depriving his own troops and alienating the Indians. The other danger threatening Mackinac was an American task force gathering under the command of Colonel George Croghan to retake the island.
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