Historical Sketches of Kentucky by Lewis Collins, Maysville, KY. and J. A.
& U. P. James, Cincinnati, 1847. Reprinted 1968. Fayette County.
Colonel WILLIAM DUDLEY, well know in American history from the bloody and
disastrous defeat sustained by the Kentuckians under his comand, at fort
Meigs during the late war, was a citizen of Fayette county. He was a
native of Spottsylvania [sic] county, Virginia, and emigrated to Kentucky
at an early age. He was for many years a leading magistrate of Fayette
county, and was much respected by all who knew him. In the north-western
campaign of 1813, under General Harrison, he held the command of a colonel
in the Kentucky troops, and on the 5th of May was sent, at the head of a
detachment, to spike a battery of cannon which had been erected by the
British army, at that time besieging fort Meigs. He succeeded in spiking
the guns, but attempting to follow up his advantage, by attacking some
troops in the vicinity, was surrounded by the Indians and defeated with
terrible slaughter. Colonel Dudley was shot in the body and thigh, and
thus disabled. When last seen, he was sitting in the swamp, defending
himself against the Indians, who swarmed around him in great numbers. He
was finally killed, and his corpse mutilated in a most shocking manner.
He was a brave and accomplished officer, and but for his rashness, a fault
too common at that day among Kentuckians, his military character would
have stood high.