Press Release              Event Date:  October 8, 2018


For further information contact Mary Chrastil, 260-982-0672



Historical Society Program On Rare Revolutionary War Battle in Indiana


On Monday, October 8, the NM Historical Society will welcome Dr. Russ Gilliom who will present a program about the Augustin de La Balme Memorial Site on the Eel River.  The program will be held in the Assembly Room at Timbercrest Retirement Center, 2201 East Street, at 6:30 p.m.  It is open to the public at no cost and will be enjoyable for audiences of all ages. 


French calvary officer Augustin de La Balme came to the United States to assist in the American Revolution in 1777.  In 1780, General Clark’s capture of Fort Sackville at Vincennes inspired him to attempt a similar feat against the British at Fort Detroit.  De La Balme recruited militia from Kaskaskia, Cahokia, Vincennes, Ouiatenon (now West Lafayette) and Kekionga (the present Fort Wayne).  His force eventually marched along the Eel River where it was attacked by Miami Chief Little Turtle.  De La Balme died in the battle, and Little Turtle gained a reputation as a successful war chief.


Dr. Gilliom is president of the Whitley County Historical Society and president of the 30th Indiana Civil War Re-enactors, where he participates as an infantry soldier, artillery crew member, medical officer and brown-water sailor of the period.  He enjoys giving presentations on a variety of historical subjects, with emphasis on Civil War history, other 1860’s topics and early Indiana history.


In addition to the love for historic research, Gilliom, retired from the private practice of dentistry after 38 years and now serves as chairman of the Whitley County Board of Health.  He and his wife have been on numerous dental mission trips including to India, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico and in the U.S.  He helped establish four dental treatment centers overseas.  In addition to being active in his church, he is a member of the Mennonite Choral Society in Berne, participating in the oratorio “Messiah” for the past ten years.


All are welcome to attend this program and learn about a little-known Revolutionary War battle fought right here in northeastern Indiana.