Pictures and Illustrations.
Present Site of Prophet's Town.
Burnett's Creek and Battle Ground, From the West.
Prophet's Rock and Rattle-Snake Cave.
Meandering Run, By Which Harrison Marched Out.
The Battle Ground, From the Northeast.
About the Author.
I was born in Iowa, August 31, 1862, and in infancy became totally blind. During the same year my parents removed to Indiana. At the age of ten, I entered the Indiana Institute for the Education of the Blind, from which I graduated eight years later. To that institution I owe what success I have achieved. — R. B.
Among the earthly spots that mark the rise or fall of some distinguished hero, but few are more memorable than the The Battle Ground, From the Northeast.. The unpretentious little village which bears its name, should it exist until the close of history, can add nothing to the perpetuity already vouchsafed the memory of events that transpired there long ago.
Well nigh a century has passed since the battle of Tippecanoe was fought. It wrought immediate and significant changes in the conditions of races and governments for the period that followed, and those results have found favor and appreciation in the public mind. Many tributes have been paid the brave men who fell on that field, and the American people have recognized the renown won by the heroic leader in that fierce fight. He was taken from successful contests on the field of battle and elevated to the chief office within the gift of man. Affairs of government in which his life performed a potent part, fill many chapters of our Country's history.
Nor does the close of his career mark the end of political events that have gathered impulse and power, or grew in sentiment so generously supplied from the fountain of cherished annals surrounding the name of Tippecanoe.
The year but recently closed renewed and revived the history of that field. Another president will soon preside over the destinies of this Republic, whose warmest personal and party friends refer to the Hero of Tippecanoe with reverence and pride.
LAFAYETTE, IND., February 1, 1889.
General Benjamin Harrison
President-elect of the United States
Is Respectfully Dedicated
Chapter I. The Prophet.
THE year 1805 is memorable in the annals of Indian warfare as the one in which that notorious impostor, The Prophet, and his brother Tecumseh, began the formation of their famous confederacy. These brothers were of the Shawnee tribe, which came from Georgia and located in Ohio. The Prophet was born about the year 1771, near Piqua, Ohio, and in early life was known by the name of Laulawasikaw, or Loud Voice. In history he is known by various names or forms of the same name, such as Olliwachica, Tenskwatawa and Pensquatawa. In childhood The Prophet is reported as having displayed no evidence of superior mental endowment. It was not until 1805, after the death of the aged prophet of the Shawnees (Penegashega, or The Change of Feathers) that he laid claim to supernatural power. His doctrines were first expounded in November of that year to an assembly of Indians on the Auglaize river, Ohio. The meeting was composed of representatives of the Senecas, Wyandottes, Ottawas and Shawnees.
In the religion taught by The Prophet were found many virtues, gained for the most part by contact with white travelers, and adulterated with Indian superstition.
14He insisted upon temperance, preaching total abstinence from intoxicants. He taught reverence for old age and sympathy for the weak and infirm. He condemned the intermarriage of different races and believed that the Indians should adhere to their own customs of living, especially in dress. The weak and superstitious character of a great majority of Indian minds made it possible for The Prophet to exert a great influence in his own and many kindred tribes by means of his religious pretensions. He claimed his will to be supreme, and whoever controverted it endangered themselves. Many lives were thus sacrificed. The power of the brothers in their own tribe was opposed by the venerable chief. Black Hoof, who throughout his life had frequently observed the folly of Indians going to war with white men. This chief had been present at Braddock's defeat, 1755, in the old French and Indian War, and had learned many lessons in his long life of eventful experience. He died in 1813, having reached the remarkable age of 110 years.
Throughout the year 1806 The Prophet continued his residence at Greenville, Ohio, and in 1807, with Tecumseh, gathered several hundred of his followers there, engaging in the practice of superstitious rites. This large body of Indians had the effect to alarm the white settlers of that neighborhood; and as the Indians were occupying lands ceded by them to the United States government in 1795, the governor of Ohio sent commissioners to inquire their reasons for so doing and request them to quit the place. To these agents the Indians replied that they were there in obedience to the command of the Great Spirit.
Toward the close of the year 1807, The Prophet extended his religion to the Chippewa Indians of the upper peninsula of Michigan, a tribe made famous by
15Longfellow in his poem entitled "Hiawatha." The formalities of his doctrine were observed with zeal for a time by these Indians, but were subsequently abandoned.
Proselytes from many tribes continued to visit The Prophet at Greenville, Ohio, and his teachings were received with much favor. To overthrow the false claims of The Prophet and disestablish the supremacy he had attained over his followers, Gen. W. H. Harrison sent the following letter to these Indians, urging them to test the power of the great pretender and thus escape the imposture and circumvention of his leadership:
"My children: My heart is filled with grief and my eyes are dissolved in tears at the news which has reached me. You have been celebrated for your wisdom above all the tribes of the red people who inhabit this great island. Your fame as warriors has extended to the remotest nations, and the wisdom of your chiefs has gained you the appellation of grandfathers from all the neighboring tribes. From what cause, then, does it proceed that you have departed from the wise counsel of your fathers, and covered yourselves with guilt? My children, tread back the steps you have taken, and endeavor to regain the straight road you have abandoned. The dark, crooked and thorny one which you are now pursuing will certainly lead to endless woe and misery. But who is this pretended prophet who dares to speak in the name of the great Creator? Examine him. Is he more wise and virtuous than you are yourselves, that he should be selected to convey to you the orders of your God? Demand of him some proof at least of his being the messenger of the Deity. If God has really employed him, He has doubtless authorized him to perform miracles that he may be known and received as a prophet. If he is really a prophet, ask him to cause the sun to stand still, or the moon to alter its courses,
the river to cease to flow or the dead to rise from their graves. If he does these things you may believe that he is sent from God. He tells you that the Great Spirit commands you to punish with death those who deal in magic, and that he is authorized to point them out. Wretched delusion! Is, then, the Master of Life compelled to employ mortal man to punish those who offend Him? Has He not the thunder and the power of nature at His command? And could not He sweep away from the earth the whole nation at one motion of His arm? My children, do not believe that the great and good Creator has directed you to destroy your own flesh, and do not doubt that if you pursue this abominable wickedness, His vengeance will overtake you and crush you.
"The above is addressed to you in the name of the Seventeen Fires. I now speak to you from myself, as a friend who wishes you nothing more sincerely than to see you prosperous and happy. Clear your eyes, I beseech you, from the mist which surrounds them. No longer be imposed upon by the arts of an impostor. Drive him from your town and let peace and harmony prevail amongst you. Let your poor old men and women sleep in quietness, and banish from their minds the dreadful idea of being burnt alive by their own friends and countrymen. I charge you to stop your bloody career, and if you value the friendship of your great father, the president, if you wish to preserve the good opinion of the Seventeen Fires, let me hear by the return of the bearer that you are determined to follow my advice."
By "Seventeen Fires," the Indians meant the seventeen States (or council fires, in the Indian method of speaking) which composed the Union at that time.
President Jefferson afterward wrote to President Adams the following concerning The Prophet:
"The Wabash Prophet is more rogue than fool, if to be a rogue is not the greatest of all follies. He arose to notice while I was in the administration, and became, of course, a proper subject for me. The inquiry was made with diligence. His declared object was the reformation of red brethren, and their return to their pristine manners of living. He pretended to be in constant communication with the Good Spirit; that he was instructed by Him to make known to the Indians that they were created distinct from the whites, of different natures, for different purposes, and placed under different circumstances adapted to their nature and destinies; that they must return from all the ways of the whites to the habits and opinions of their forefathers; that they must not eat the flesh of hogs, of bullocks, of sheep, etc., the deer and the buffalo having been created for their food; they must not make bread of wheat, but of Indian corn; they must not wear linen nor woolen, but must dress like their fathers, in the skins and furs of animals; they must not drink, and I do not know whether he extended his inhibition to the use of the gun and gunpowder, in favor of the bow and arrow. I concluded from all this that he was a visionary, enveloped in their antiquities, and vainly endeavoring to lead back his brethren to the fancied beatitudes of their golden age. I thought there was little danger of his making many proselytes from the habits and comforts they had learned from the whites, to the hardships and privations of savageism, and no great harm if he did. But his followers increased until the British thought him worth corrupting and found him corruptible. I suppose his views were then changed; but his proceedings in consequence of them were after I left the administration, and are, therefore,
unknown to me; nor have I been informed what were the particular acts on his part which produced an actual commencement of hostilities on ours. I have no doubt, however, that the subsequent proceedings are but a chapter apart, like that of Henry and Lord Liverpool in the book of the Kings of England."
Chapter II. Tecumseh.
Tecumseh was born on Mad river, in Clark county, Ohio, 1768. He was the fourth of a family of seven children, consisting of six sons and one daughter. His father, Puckeshinwau, a chief of remarkable ability, lost his life in the battle of Kanawha, 1774. His mother, Methoataske, was also an Indian of exceptional mental power. His father was of the Kiscopoke, and his mother of the Turtle tribe of the Shawnee nation, and he, therefore, a full-blooded Indian. The education of Tecumseh devolved upon an elder brother, who sought to store his mind with a great love for the truth and contempt for wrong. He excelled all his fellows in the use of the bow and arrow, and in many ways exerted a great influence over the youth of his tribe.
The first warlike movement in which Tecumseh participated was about the year 1783. It was an attack made upon some flatboats in the Ohio river, near Limestone. All the boatmen were killed except one, who was taken prisoner and burned to death. This terrible scene of human destruction so impressed Tecumseh's mind with the cruelty of this method of Indian warfare that he resolved never to burn a prisoner. It is believed that he always kept that resolution inviolate. While yet a young man, Tecumseh spent two years among the Cherokee nations of the South, returning home in 1790, shortly after the defeat of Harmar's expedition. From that time until
22the treaty of Greenville, 1795, he participated in many skirmishes with the whites, displaying remarkable coolness and good judgment in the command of his men. He led the Shawnee Indians in the battle near the rapids of the Maumee, August, 1794. Though the Indian forces were disastrously defeated by General Wayne in this engagement, Tecumseh's followers fought with great valor. It was in this fight that General Harrison and Tecumseh first met in battle. The valor and bravery displayed then by these heroes of the battlefield was indicative of their future military renown. Tecumseh refused to attend the meeting of chiefs who negotiated the treaty of Greenville, August 3, 1795, and always opposed the enforcement of its provisions.
In the spring of 1797, Tecumseh changed his abode from Urbana and Piqua to the headquarters of White Water river. The following year he accepted an invitation to join the Delawares, who resided along the White river in Indiana.
In 1805 Tecumseh and his followers joined some fragments of their tribe near the source of the Auglaize, Ohio. At a council in Greenville, held in 1807, Tecumseh expressed great dissatisfaction with the treaty of 1795. In the spring of 1808, the Kickapoos and Pottawatomies invited Tecumseh and The Prophet to locate in their country at the junction of the Tippecanoe and Wabash rivers. This invitation they accepted, and the Indians journeyed thither and built the town of Tippecanoe, commonly known as Present Site of Prophet's Town.. This place was of great importance, it being the abiding place of The Prophet and headquarters of the confederacy he and Tecumseh strove to create. About this time Tecumseh's plan of forming a confederacy of the tribes of the Northwest, and attacking the white settlers, began to be apparent.
23The idea of a confederation of the Indian tribes in a vain attempt to check the progressive strides of civilization to the west was not original with Tecumseh. It had been nurtured as the favorite hope of Pontiac, Little Turtle and other leading spirits of the Indian race. Their object was the accomplishment of one purpose — to stay the advance and spread of white settlements. Tecumseh's plans were far-reaching. He sought to build a vast Indian empire in the wilderness, with himself at its head. The Prophet and his superstitious religion Were used as tools by Tecumseh. Although The Prophet appeared for some time the greater, his popularity was made to serve the ambitious political purposes of his intellectual and sagacious brother, who promulgated a new political doctrine among the Indians. Tecumseh insisted that the Indians were one people, and claimed that no tribe could, without consent of others, make a valid transfer of lands. He journeyed from tribe to tribe for several years, laboring with Indians of all sections to secure their cooperation in his great work.
Tecumseh was daring and far-seeing — a sagacious and able orator, a remarkable military chief and a successful negotiator. He was an enthusiastic leader and very productive of expedient. There was an instinct of hatred for the white man in his heart, which he nurtured and cultivated. He had sworn eternal vengeance against the white race. Particularly qualified in that sort of tact which distinguishes the artful politician, he appealed with great suavity and success to the people, referred artfully to topics which awakened the spirit of vanity and pride and a desire for plunder. Although some of the more conservative chiefs, through policy, were reluctant to join him, and many of the old men objected to engaging in a contest that would stop their annuities and awaken the
24revenge of the United States, the young warriors eagerly listened to his schemes and were desirous of joining his confederacy. The thoughtless, the daring and the intemperate elements of the native towns rallied in support of his plans. Although artful, revengeful and full of cunning, Tecumseh possessed many noble traits. The Prophet had but little to commend him. He was crafty, haughty and unscrupulous. He was lazy and licentious, and under a variety of excuses extorted his maintenance from the Indians. A combination of circumstances gave him an ascendancy over the native tribes altogether disproportionate to his ability. He was an abler orator than Tecumseh, and it is said was the most graceful of all Indians, but he never spoke while in council with Tecumseh, so great was the sway Tecumseh held over him. The idea of ruling the Indians by a supposed mediator between them and God, in all probability had its origin in Tecumseh's fertile mind.
Chapter III. The Confederacy.
AFTER the arrival of the brothers at their new home on the Wabash, Governor Harrison sent a letter to the Indians, which was read in the presence of The Prophet. He said:
"My children, this business must be stopped; I will no longer suffer it. You have called a number of men from the most distant tribes to listen to a fool who speaks not the words of the Great Spirit, but of the devil and the British agents. My children, your conduct has much alarmed the white settlers near you. They desire that you shall send away those people. If they wish to have that impostor with them they can carry him along with them. Let him go to the lakes, he can hear the British more distinctly."
In August, 1808, The Prophet visited Governor Harrison at Yincennes, where he remained a considerable length of time, his object being to converse with Harrison. In the course of these interviews The Prophet impressed the governor that he was honest in his intentions, but ere long the general came to regard him again as crafty, cunning and unreliable. He came to the conclusion that The Prophet and Tecumseh were plotting against the United States government, and in the event of a war with England they would exert their influence toward forming an alliance of the Indians.
In one of his interviews The Prophet spoke to Governor Harrison as follows:
"It is three years since I first began that system of religion I now practice. The white people and some of the Indians were against me, but I had no other intention but to introduce among the Indians those good principles of religion which the white people profess. I was spoken of badly by the white people, who reproached me with misleading the Indians, but I defy them to say that I did anything amiss
"Father, I was told you intended to hang me. When I heard this I intended to remember it and tell my father when I went to see him, and relate to him the truth
"I heard when I settled on the Wabash, that my father, the governor, had declared that all the land between Vincennes and Fort Wayne was the property of the Seventeen Fires. I heard also that you wanted to know, my father, whether I was God or man; and that you said if I was the former I should not steal horses. I heard this from Mr. Wells, but I believed it originated with himself
"The Great Spirit told me to tell the Indians that He had made them, and made the world — that He had placed them on it to do good and not evil
"I told all of the redskins that the way they were in was not good, and they should abandon it
"That we ought to consider ourselves as one man, but we ought to live agreeably to our several customs, the red. people after their mode and the white people after theirs; particularly that they should not drink whisky; that it was not made for them, but for the white people who knew how to use it, and that it is the cause of all the mischief the Indians suffer, and that they must listen to Him, as it was He that made us. Determine to listen to nothing that is bad, do not take up the tomahawk should it be offered by the British or by the Long Knives; do not meddle with anything that does not belong to you, but
mind your own business and cultivate the ground, that your women and children may have enough to live on.
"I now inform you that it is our intention to live in peace with our father and his people forever.
"My father, I have informed you what we mean to do, and I call the Great Spirit to witness the truth of my declaration. The religion which I have established for the last three years has been attended by all the different tribes of the Indians in this part of the world. Those Indians were once different people; they are now but one; they are all determined to practice what I have communicated to them, that has come immediately from the Great Spirit through me.
"Brothers, I speak to you as a warrior. You are one. But let us lay aside this character and attend to the care of our children, that they may live in comfort and peace. "We desire that you will join us for the preservation of both red and white people. Formerly, when we lived in ignorance, we were foolish; but now, since we listen to the voice of the Great Spirit, we are happy.
"I have listened to what you have said to us. You have promised to assist us. I now request you, in behalf of all the red people, to use your exertion to prevent the sale of liquor to us. We are all pleased to hear you say that you will endeavor to promote our happiness. We give you every assurance that we will follow the dictates of the Great Spirit,
"We are well pleased with the attention you have shown us, also with the good intentions of our father, the president. If you give us a few articles, such as needles, flints, hoes, powder, etc., we will take the animals that afford us meat with powder and ball."
The position of Governor Harrison was one of great responsibility. He was charged with the protection of the
28pioneer settlers. The administrations of Presidents Adams, Jefferson and Madison had instructed him to use conciliatory means, and avoid, if possible, a recourse to arms. At many times, when the whites were nominally at peace with the tribes, some lawless Indians would, contrary to the wishes of the great majority of their people, invade the settlements, murder or plunder the inhabitants, and burn their buildings. These depredations led to retaliation from the whites, who were frequently in the wrong. Besides these difficulties, British emissaries were constantly at work for several years prior to the War of 1812, in anticipation of that struggle, creating an ill feeling among them toward the United States. Such was the speech of Colonel McKee in 1804. "My children," said he, "it is true that the Americans do not wish you to drink any spirituous liquors, and therefore have told their traders that they should not carry any liquor into your country, but, my children, they have no right to say that one of your father's traders (that is, the British traders) should carry no liquor among his children. My children, your father, King George, loves his red children, and wishes his red children supplied with everything they want. He is not like the Americans, who are continually blinding your eyes, and stopping your ears with good words, that taste sweet as sugar, and getting all your lands from you."
On a similar occasion, in 1805, he again said to them:
"My children, there is a powerful enemy of yours to the east, now on his feet, and looks mad at you, therefore you must be on your guard; keep your weapons of war in your hands, and have a lookout for him."
In 1809 Governor Harrison negotiated a treaty with the Delaware, Miami and Pottawatomie Indians by which a tract of land extending on each side of the Wabash to a
29point sixty miles north of Vincennes was sold to the Government. Tecumseh was absent when this treaty was made. The Prophet gave no opposition. "When Tecumseh returned home he affected great dissatisfaction with the sale, and threatened some of the chiefs who had consented to it with death.
He claimed that these tribes could not make a valid transfer of land without the consent of all the chiefs.
In July, 1810, Governor Harrison sent a letter to The Prophet at Tippecanoe, the object of which was to point out the folly of his conduct and give him assurance of the friendly intentions of the United States government. In this communication he said:
"What reason have you to complain of the United States? Have they taken anything from you? Have they ever violated the treaties made with the red men? You say they have purchased land from those who had no right to sell. Show the truth of this and the land will be instantly restored. Show us the rightful owners of those lands which have been purchased. Let them present themselves. The ears of your father will be open to their complaints, and, if any lands have been purchased from those who did not own them, they will be restored to their rightful owners. I have full power to arrange this business. But if you would rather carry your complaints before your great father, the president, you shall be indulged. I will instantly take the means to send you, and three chiefs, to be chosen by you, to the city where your father lives. Everything necessary shall be prepared for your journey, and means taken to insure your safe return."
The reception of Joseph Barren, the bearer of this letter, was somewhat remarkable. He was ushered into the presence of The Prophet and made to stand at a distance
31of ten or twelve feet from him for a considerable time before The Prophet, though he knew him well, uttered a word. He then inquired, contemptuously, upon what errand, he came. He said: "Brouillette was here; he was a spy. Dubois was here; he was a spy. Now you have come. You, too, are a spy. There is your grave! look on it!" The Prophet then pointed to the ground near where Barron stood. Tecumseh presently entered and assured Mr. Barren that his life was in no danger.
The contents of Governor Harrison's letter was then made known. Tecumseh stated, that he would visit the governor at Vincennes within a short time, and would then reply in person to his message. Governor Harrison, fearing that treachery might be meditated by Tecumseh, requested that when on his visit he should be accompanied by but few warriors. Contrary to this request, Tecumseh took with him seventy-five well armed men. He reached Vincennes on the 12th of August, where he remained until the 22d, holding frequent interviews with the governor. In a speech delivered at the opening of these councils he said:
"I have made myself what I am, and I would that I could make the red people as great as the conceptions of my mind, when I think of the Great Spirit that rules over all. I would not then come to Governor Harrison to ask him to tear the treaty, but I would say to him, brother, you have liberty to return to your own country. Once there were no white men in all this country; then it belonged to red men, children of the same parents, placed on it by the Great Spirit, to keep it, to travel over it, to eat its fruits, and fill it with the same race — once a happy race, but now made miserable by the white people, who are never contented, but always encroaching. They have driven us from the great salt water, forced us
over the mountains, and would shortly push us into the lakes — but we are determined to go no farther. The only way to stop this evil is for all the red men to unite in claiming a common and equal right in the land as it was at first, and should be now — for it never was divided, but belongs to all. No tribe has a right to sell, even to each other, much less to strangers, who demand all, and will take no less. The white people have no right to take the land from the Indians, who had it first; it is theirs. They may sell, but all must join. Any sale not made by all is not good. The late sale is bad — it was made by a part only. Part do not know how to sell. It requires all to make a bargain for all."
Governor Harrison, in his reply, said:
"The white people, when they arrived upon this continent, had found the Miamis in the occupation of all the country of the Wabash, and at that time the Shawnees were residents of Georgia, from which they were driven by the Creeks; that the lands had been purchased from the Miamis, who were the true and original owners of it; that it was ridiculous to assert that all the Indians were one nation, for if such had been the intention of the Great Spirit, He would not have put six different tongues in their heads, but would have taught them all to speak one language; that the Miamis had found it for their interest to sell a part of their lands, and receive for them a further annuity, in addition to what they had long enjoyed, and the benefit of which they had experienced, from the punctuality with which the Seventeen Fires complied with their engagements, and that the Shawnees had no right to come from a distant country to control the Miamis in the disposal of their own property."
In a speech delivered on the 20th of August, which was written down by order of Governor Harrison, Tecumseh said:
"Brothers, I wish you to listen to me well. As I think that you do not clearly understand what I before said to you, I will explain it again.
"Brothers, since the peace was made, you have killed some of the Shawnees, Winnebagoes, Delawares and Miamis, and you have taken our land from us, and I do not see how we can remain at peace if you continue to do so. You try to force the red people to do some injury. It is you that is pushing them on to do mischief. You endeavor to make distinctions. You wish to prevent the Indians doing as we wish them — to unite, and let them consider the lands as the common property of the whole. You take tribes aside and advise them not to come into this measure; and, until our design is accomplished, we do not wish to accept of your invitation to go and see the president.
"The reason I tell you this, you want, by your distinctions of Indian tribes, in allotting to each a particular tract of land, to make them war with each other. You never see an Indian come and endeavor to make the white people do so. You are continually driving the red people; when, at last you will drive them into the Great Lakes where they can't either stand or walk.
"Brother, you ought to know what you are doing with the Indians. Perhaps it is by direction of the president to make those distinctions. It is a very bad thing and we do not like it. Since my residence at Tippecanoe, we have endeavored to level all distinctions — to destroy village chiefs, by whom mischief is done. It is they who sell our lands to the Americans. Our object is to let our affairs be transacted by warriors.
"Brothers, this land that was sold and the goods that were given for it was only done by a few. The treaty was brought here, and the Weas were induced to give
their consent to it because of their small numbers. The treaty of Fort Wayne was made through the treats of Winnemac, but in the future we are prepared to punish those chiefs who may come forward to propose to sell the land. If you continue to purchase of them, it will produce war among the different tribes, and at last I do not know what will be the consequence to the white people.
"Brother, I was glad to hear your speech. You said that if we could show that the land was sold by people who had no right to sell, you would restore it. Those that did sell did not own it. It was me. These tribes set up a claim, but the tribes with me will not agree with their claims. If the land is not restored to us you will see, when we return to our homes, how it will be settled. We shall have a great council, at which all the tribes will be present, when we shall show to those who sold that they had no right to the claim they set up. We will see what will be done to those chiefs that did sell the land to you; I am not alone in this determination. It is the determination of all the warriors and red people that listen to me. I now wish you to listen to me. If you do not, it will appear that you wished me to kill all the chiefs that sold you the land. I tell you so because I am authorized by all the tribes to do so. I am the head of them all; I am a warrior, and all the warriors will meet together in two or three moons from this; then I shall call for those chiefs that sold you the land and shall know what to do with them.
"Brother, I do not believe I came here to get presents, from you. If you offer us any we will not take them. By taking goods from you you will hereafter say that with them you purchased another piece of land from us. It has been the object of both myself and brother to prevent the lands being sold. Should you not return
the land it will occasion us to call a great council that will meet at the Huron village, and those who sold the land shall be called and shall suffer for their conduct.
"Brother, I wish you would take pity on the red people and do what I have requested. If you will not give up the land, and do cross the boundary of your present settlement, it will be very hard and cause great trouble among us. How can we have confidence in the white people? When Jesus Christ came on earth you killed Him and nailed Him on a cross. You thought He was dead but you were mistaken. You have Shakers among you, and you laugh and make light of their worship. Everything I have said to you is the truth. The Great Spirit has inspired me, and I speak nothing but the truth to you.
Brother, I hope you will confess that you ought not to have listened to those bad birds who bring you bad news. I have declared myself freely to you, and if any explanation should be required from our town, send a man who can speak to us. If you think proper to give us any presents, and we can be convinced that they are given through friendship, we will accept them. As we intend to hold our council at the Huron village, which is near the British, we may probably make them a visit. Should they offer us any presents of goods we will not take them. Should they offer us powder and the tomahawk we will take the powder and refuse the tomahawk. I wish you, brother, to consider everything I have said as true, and that it is the sentiment of all the red people that listen to me."
At the close of Tecumseh's address, Governor Harrison commenced a reply. He was speaking of the justice with which the United States government had treated the most insignificant tribes, when he was interrupted by Tecumseh, who, in an angry manner and with violent gesticulations, denounced his assertions as untrue.
When he commenced, a number of Indians sprang to their feet, armed with war clubs and tomahawks. The governor did not understand the Shawnee tongue, and was unable to tell what Tecumseh was saying until it was explained by an interpreter. But General Gibson, the secretary of the territory, who understood the Shawnee language, was present, and fearing that trouble would ensue, ordered Jesse Jennings with his guard of twelve men to come up. "When Harrison learned what Tecumseh had said, he declared that he would proceed no further, but would dismiss the council at once. "When an interpreter visited Tecumseh on the following morning, he disclaimed any intention of rudeness or insult by his conduct on this occasion. Governor Harrison said:
"He also told Mr. Barren that he had been informed that the citizens here were equally divided — one-half on my side and the other on his — one-half opposed to the purchase of lands from the Indians, and the other, with me, determined to drive the Indians to extremities; that he had been told that I purchased the lands against the consent of the government, and one-half of the people, who, in fact, did not want the land, as they already had more than they could use. This he knew to be true, as he had sent some of his men to reconnoiter the settlements, and he found that the lands toward the Ohio were not settled at all."
Governor Harrison granted another council which was convened on the 21st of August in a grove near his residence. Tecumseh was very polite in his speech and repeated in substance what he had told Mr. Barren in the morning. The governor requested of him a definite answer as to whether or not the Kickapoos would accept their annuities, to which he replied:
"Brother, when you speak of annuities to me, I look at the land and pity the women and children. I am authorized to say that they will not receive them.
Brother, we want to save that piece of land. We do not wish you to take it. It is small enough for our purpose. If you do take it, you must blame yourself as the cause of trouble between us and the tribes that sold it to you. I want the present boundary line to continue. Should you cross it, I assure you it will be productive of bad consequences."
On the 22d; accompanied only by his interpreter, Governor Harrison visited the Indian camp and held a long interview with Tecumseh. He told him that his claims to the lands in question would never be acknowledged by the president of the United States. To this Tecumseh responded:
"Well, as the great chief is to determine the matter, I hope the Great Spirit will put sense enough into his head to induce him to direct you to give up the land. It is true, he is so far off he will not be injured by the war. He may sit still in his town, and drink his wine, while you and I will have to fight it out."
After this the council adjourned, and Tecumseh and his followers returned to the Indian country.
Toward the close of May, 1810, a conference was held at a place known as "the cow pasture" on the St. Joseph river, of Lake Michigan. In this council there were representatives of the Delawares, Pottawatomies, Chippewas, Ottawas and Shawnees. This council, through the influence of the Delawares and the friendly Pottawatomie chief, Winnemac, refused to join The Prophet's confederacy. The natural consequence of these disturbances was to retard settlement in the Indiana Territory throughout the year 1810. Governor Harrison made persistent attempts to preserve peace with the various Indian tribes. He sent frequent messages to The Prophet at Tippecanoe, as well as to the Miami, Pottawatomie and Delaware tribes. His ablest spies and messengers were
39Touissant, Dubois, Joseph Barron, M. Brouillette, Francis Vigo, John Conner, Pierre La Plante and William Prince. Late in the summer a party of Indians stole four horses from a settlement in the northern part of Knox county. Depredations were also committed on the settlements along White river. About September, 1810, Captain Cross arrived at Vincennes from Newport, Ky., with a body of troops. These soldiers were intended, with three companies of militia infantry and a company of dragoons, for the purpose of erecting a fort on the left bank of the Wabash near the northern boundary of the territory acquired by the Government through the treaty of Fort Wayne, in 1809. But the erection of this fort was postponed until the following year.
Early in 1811 the British agent of Indian affairs in Canada, believing a war between his Government and the United States to be inevitable, began, with unusual vigor, to stir up discontent with the United States government among the Northwestern Indians, that they might be made allies of Great Britain. Governor Harrison's instructions from Washington advised a conciliatory policy as long as such would be consistent with the duty the Government owed its citizens. The secretary of war intimated to Governor Harrison that the surest way of securing good conduct from Tecumseh and The Prophet would be to make them captives. A Creek Indian at Vincennes was murdered by a white man, and, though put on trial for murder, the jury refused to convict. Two Wea Indians were wounded about twenty miles from Vincennes by whites, a party of government surveyors were frightened from their work and a murder committed by Indians in the Illinois Territory. In 1810 The Prophet refused to accept his annuity of salt, but in the spring of 1811 he seized an entire boat load, which was intended for a num-
40ber of tribes, and sent word to the governor not to be angry at his seizing the salt as he had got none last year and had more than 2,000 men to feed.
In June, 1811, General Harrison sent the following speech to Tecumseh, The Prophet and others by Capt. Walter Wilson:
"Brothers, listen to me; I speak to you about matters of importance both to the white people and yourselves; open your ears, therefore, and attend to what I shall say. Brothers, this is the third year that all the white people in this country have been alarmed at your proceedings; you threaten us with war; you invite all of the tribes to the north and west of you to join against us. Brothers, your warriors who have lately been here deny this, but I have received information from every direction; the tribes on the Mississippi have sent me word that you intended to murder me, and then to commence a war upon our people. I have also received the speech you sent to the Pottawatomies and others to join you for that purpose, but if I had no other evidence of your hostility toward us, your seizing the salt I lately sent up the Wabash is sufficient. Brothers, our citizens are alarmed, and my warriors are preparing themselves, not to strike you, but to defend themselves and their women and children. You shall not surprise us as you expect to do; you are about to undertake a very rash act. As a friend, I advise you to consider well of it; a little reflection may save us a great deal of trouble and prevent mischief; it is not yet too late.
"Brothers, what can be the inducement for you to undertake an enterprise when there is so little probability of success? Do you really think that the handful of men that you have about you are able to contend with the Seventeen Fires, or even that the whole of the tribes
united could contend against the Kentucky Fire alone? Brothers, I am myself of the Long Knife Fire [Virginia and Kentucky. As soon as they hear my voice you will see them pouring forth their swarms of hunting-shirt men, as numerous as the mosquitoes on the shores of the Wabash. Brothers, take care of their stings. Brothers, it is not our wish to hurt you. If we did we certainly have power to do it. Look at the number of our warriors east of you, above and below the Great Miami; to the south on both sides of the Ohio, and below you also. You are brave men, but what could you do against such a multitude? We wish you to live in peace and happiness.
"Brothers, the citizens of this country are alarmed. They must be satisfied that you have no design to do them mischief, or they will not lay aside their arms. You have also insulted the Government by seizing the salt that was intended for other tribes; satisfaction must be given for that also. Brothers, you talk of coming to see me, attended by all your young men; this, however, must not be so. If your intentions are good, you have need to bring but a few of your young men with you. I must be plain with you; I will not suffer you to come into our settlements with such a force.
"Brothers, if you wish to satisfy us that your intentions are good, follow the advice I have given you before; that is, that one or both of you should visit the president of the United States and lay your grievances before him. He will treat you well, will listen to what you say, and if you can show him that you have been injured, you will receive justice. If you will follow my advice in this respect, it will convince the citizens of this country and myself that you have no design to attack them. Brothers, with respect to the lands that were purchased last fall, I can enter into no negotiations with you on that subject; the affair
is in the hands of the president. If you wish to go and see him, I will supply you with the means.
"Brothers, the person who delivers this is one of my war officers. He is a man in whom I have entire confidence. Whatever he says to you, although it may not be contained in this paper, you may believe comes from me.
"My friend Tecumseh, the bearer is a good man and a brave warrior. I hope you will treat him well. You are yourself a warrior, and all such should have esteem for each other."
Captain Wilson was received by Tecumseh with great courtesy. He sent the following reply to Governor Harrison's letter:
"Brother, I give you a few words, until I will be with you myself — Tecumseh.
"Brother, at Vincennes, I wish you to listen to me while I send you a few words; and I hope that they will ease your heart. I know you look on your young men and your women and children with pity, to see them so much alarmed. Brother, I wish you to now examine what you have from me. I hope it will be a satisfaction to you, if your intentions are like mine, to wash away all these bad stories that have been circulated. I will be with you myself in eighteen days from this day. Brother, we can not say what will become of us, as the Great Spirit has the management of us at His will. I may be there before the time, and may not be there until that day. I hope that when we come together, all these bad tales will be settled. By this I hope your young men, women and children, will be easy. I wish you, brother, to let them know when I come to Vincennes and see you, all will be settled in peace and happiness. Brother, these are only a few words to let you know that I will be with you myself; and when I am with you I can inform you better.
Brother, if I find that I can be with you in less than eighteen days, I will send one of my young men before me, to let you know what time I will be with you."
On the 27th of July, Tecumseh, with about 300 Indians, of whom twenty or thirty were women, arrived at Vincennes. When about twenty miles from that place, he was intercepted by Captain Wilson, with a message from Governor Harrison, in which he complained of the Indians approaching his capital with so large a force. Tecumseh stated that he had but twenty-four warriors with him, and that the remainder of the delegation came voluntarily. The appearance of so many Indians alarmed the governor and the people of Vincennes. On the day of their arrival the governor reviewed the county militia, which consisted of about 750 well-armed men, and stationed two companies of militia infantry and a detachment of dragoons on the borders of the town. Tecumseh made friendly professions to Governor Harrison. He disclaimed any intention of making war against the United States, and stated his object to be simply the formation of a confederacy among the Indian tribes. This, he said, had been effected with the Indians of the North, and that he was then on his way to accomplish a similar result among the Creeks, Choctaws and Chickasaws and other southern Indians. He was opposed to the murdering of white settlers by the Indians, and advised the various tribes to refrain from such depredations. He thought that the whites should forgive the past Indian murderers, inasmuch as he had forgiven white men guilty of the same offense against the red men. Tecumseh's stay at Vincennes was brief. He soon left, accompanied by twenty warriors, moving down the Wabash on his way to the southern tribes. Many of the white people at Vincennes believed that Tecumseh meditated hostile intentions when he approached their town,
44but abandoned them in view of the large military display made under the direction of Governor Harrison.
In his report to the war department concerning this council, Governor Harrison speaks of the implicit obedience and respect that the followers of Tecumseh paid to him as wonderful. In this letter he says:
"If it were not for the vicinity of the United States, he would perhaps be the founder of an empire that would rival in glory Mexico or Peru. No difficulties deter him. For four years he has been in constant motion. You see him today on the Wabash, and in a short time hear of him on the shores of Lake Erie or Michigan, or on the banks of the Mississippi, and wherever he goes he makes an impression favorable to his purpose. He is now upon the last round to put a finishing stroke upon his work. I hope, however, before his return that that part of the work which he considered complete will be demolished, and even its foundation rooted up."
It seems that, notwithstanding the power of Tecumseh over the majority of his adherents was established upon their great regard for him, some were conquered by fear alone, and the instant Tecumseh had departed from their vicinity for the South, they took occasion to express their dissatisfaction.
We have only some fragmental accounts of Tecumseh's visit with the Indians of the southern States. He told the Creeks that he came more than a thousand miles from the borders of Canada to visit their nation, and, if possible, influence them to join with the English against the Americans, when he should desire them. A midnight conference of the chiefs was convened. A powerful address was delivered by Tecumseh, and the chiefs unanimously agreed to commence hostilities when he requested them. Tecumseh afterward labored with the Indians of
45Florida, Alabama and Missouri. He moved with a great caution in the establishment of his confederacy, and met with little opposition in the South. He appealed with great eloquence to the superstitions and passions of the various Indian tribes. He had told Governor Harrison that he would spend nearly a year among the southern Indians upon this mission, and on his return would visit the president of the United States and make an amicable settlement of all difficulties. He requested the governor in the meantime to refrain from settling the territory acquired by the treaty of Fort Wayne. But the governor was informed that Tecumseh would be gone but three months, and he, therefore, acted with promptness, so that when Tecumseh returned to the Wabash with his plans completed, he found that his capital had been destroyed. For some time previous to the battle, the murderous depredations of the Indians continued to keep the white settlers in constant alarm. The people of Vincennes, in a public meeting held on the 31st of July, 1811, requested the general government to afford them military protection. President Madison had, however, on the 17th of that month, placed the Fourth Regiment of mounted infantry, commanded by Colonel Boyd, at the disposal of Governor Harrison, with orders to proceed with caution and if possible avert a general conflict. In August, 1811, the governor sent a speech to all the Indian tribes of that locality, demanding the surrender of all Indians who were murderers of American citizens. He also required of the Miamis that they should prove that they were not connected with Tecumseh's confederation. In the following month a party of Indians from The Present Site of Prophet's Town. visited the governor at his capital, Vincennes, and made extravagant professions of friendship toward the United States government. But about the same time a
46number of horses belonging to settlers were stolen. They were tracked to the town of Tippecanoe and were surrendered to the searching company, but were retaken by the Indians who appeared to regret that they had delivered them to the whites.
Chapter IV. The March to Prophet's Town.
HARRISON, having lost hopes of a peaceful solution of difficulties, determined upon an aggressive policy. He resolved to march on The Present Site of Prophet's Town. before Tecumseh should return from the South. The following are some of the orders given by General Harrison before his army moved from Vincennes:
16th September, 1811.
"The governor of the Indiana Territory and commander-in-chief of the militia, being charged by the president of the United States with a military expedition, takes command of the troops destined for the same; viz.: The detachment of regular troops under command of Col. John P. Boyd (consisting of the Fourth United States Regiment of infantry, and a company of the rifle regiment), the present garrison of Fort Knox, and the various detachments of militia, infantry and dragoons which have been ordered for this service. As the present garrison of Fort Knox is to form apart of Colonel Boyd's command, the officer commanding that post will receive the colonel's orders. Captain Piatt, of the Second United States Regiment, has been appointed quartermaster for all the troops employed on the expedition, and is to be obeyed and respected as such. Capt. Robert Buntin is appointed quartermaster for the militia, and is to be obeyed and
respected accordingly. Henry Hurst, Esq., and the Hon. Waller Taylor, aids-de-camp to the commander-in-chief, and, having the rank of majors, are announced as such; all orders coming from them, in his name, whether in writing or verbally delivered, are to be respected and obeyed, as if delivered by the commander-in-chief in person. Captain Piatt is to have the superintendence of persons appertaining to the quartermaster's or military agent's department, and the direction of all stores destined for the use of the expedition."
21st September, 1811.
"The commandants of the several infantry corps will immediately commence drilling their men to the performance of the evolutions, contemplated by the commander-in-chief, for the order of march and battle. The principal feature in all these evolutions is that of a battalion changing its direction by swinging around on its center. This, however, is not to be done by wheeling, which for a large body, is impracticable in woods. It is to be formed thus:
The battalion being on its march in a single rank, and its center being ascertained, the front division comes to the right about, excepting the man in the rear of that division; at the same time the front man of the second division takes a position about four feet to the left of the man in the rear of the front division, and dresses with him in a line at right angles to the line of march, these two men acting as guides or markers for the formation of the new alignment. At the word ‘form the new alignment, march!’ the men of the front division, passing in succession to the left of their guide and doubling round him, form on his right; the men of the rear division at the same moment filing up in succession to the left of their guide, dress in a line with him and the guide of the front
division. This movement may be performed by any number of men whatever — by a company or platoon as well as by a battalion.
"Joseph Hamilton Daveiss, Esq., has been appointed and commissioned major of dragoons in the militia of Indiana Territory; and is appointed to the command of all the dragoons employed on the present expedition — which, for this purpose, will form one squadron."
22d September, 1811
"The whole of the infantry, regulars and militia, is to be considered as one brigade, to be under the command of Col. John P. Boyd as brigadier-general. Lieutenant-colonel Miller will command the first line, composed of the whole of the United States troops; and Lieutenant-colonel Bartholomew the second line, composed of the whole of the militia infantry; and these officers will report to, and receive their orders from, Colonel Boyd. The whole of the cavalry will be under the command of Major Daveiss, who will report to, and receive his orders from, the commander-in-chief. Captain Spencer's company of volunteers will act as a detached corps, and the captain will receive his orders from the commander-in-chief; they are received as a company of mounted volunteers.
"The whole army will parade to-morrow at 1 o'clock; the infantry in two columns of files in single rank. The regular troops will form the leading battalions of each column; the militia infantry the rear. The columns will be at such a distance from each other that when the battalions change their order to one at right angles to their order of march their flanks will meet. Major Daveiss will place his largest troop of dragoons in a squadron at open order 150 yards advanced of the columns
of infantry, and at right angles to the order of march. The next largest troop will be placed in the same form and order at 150 yards in rear of the columns. The third troop will be placed, in single line, on the right flank, at 150 yards from the line of infantry, and parallel thereto. Captain Spencer's company will be formed on the left flank, in single rank, and in a line parallel to the infantry, at a distance of 150 yards from the left column.
"The army, thus formed, will commence its march — the columns taking care to keep their distance and their heads dressed. When in the woods the movements will be regulated by signals from the drums. The maneuvering on tomorrow being on open ground, the sight will be sufficient to govern the movements. Upon the word being given to ‘receive the enemy in front in two lines,’ each battalion (of which there are supposed to be four — two in each column) will swing round on its center in the manner directed by the general order of the 21st instant. The dragoons in front will be supposed to keep the enemy in check until the linesare formed, when they will be recalled by a signal, which, for the present, will be the retreat. The dragoons and mounted riflemen on the flanks and in the rear will continue their first positions until ordered otherwise. If the second line should be ordered up to form on the flank of the first line, the commanding officer will order the line to break off by files from the right of platoons — the right battalion marching obliquely to the right, and the left to the left, and forming, respectively, upon the right and left of the front line. At the same time the dragoons and mounted riflemen on the flanks will incline to the right or left, as the case may be, to give room for the infantry to form, and will endeavor to turn the flank of the enemy. When the first troop of dragoons is called, it will pass in short columns of files through the
intervals of the front line, and form a corps de reserve immediately in the rear of the front line; and, upon the moving up of the second line of infantry, the rear troop of dragoons will move up and join the advanced troop in the rear of the first line. The lines of march will be formed again in the manner the commander-in-chief shall direct. Dr. Blood, having been appointed a surgeon's mate, Dr. Foster will employ him in such a manner as will be most beneficial to the service."
22d September, 1811.
"After Orders. — The army being formed in the order of march prescribed by the general order of the day, if an attack should be made on the right flank, the whole will face to the right, and it will then be in two lines parallel to the line of march, the right column forming the front line and the left the rear. Should the attack be made on the left flank, the reverse of what is here described will take place — i. e., the whole army will face to the left, the left column acting as the front line, and the right as the rear — the same maneuver as is directed for an attack in front, with this difference only, that the leading grand division of each battalion will form by the filing up of each man in succession, and the second grand division by doubling round its front guide and displaying to the left. To resist an attack in front and rear, the two leading battalions will perform the maneuver directed for the front attack, and the two others that which has been last described. In all cases where there is an attack other than a front one, the dragoons and riflemen will consider themselves as front, rear, or flank guards, according to the situation they may be placed in, relatively to the rest of the army, and perform the duties which those situations respectively require, as heretofore directed."
On the 26th of September, General Harrison, in command of this military expedition, left Vincennes. On the 3d of October he encamped at a point on the east side of the Wabash, two miles north of the present site of Terre Haute. This place, known by the French settlers as Bataille des Illinois, was, according to Indian tradition, the scene of a great battle between the Illinois and Iroquois tribes. Here General Harrison erected a fort, which, by unanimous request of his commissioned officers, was named Fort Harrison. General Harrison sent a message to the friendly Delaware chiefs, inviting them to meet him on the Wabash. The request was complied with by all who were able to march. "While on their way to join Harrison, the Delaware chiefs were met by some of The Prophet's followers and told that the Indians were soon to take up arms against the Americans, and requested them to join the confederacy, and threatened them with punishment if they refused. Sending a message to Harrison to inform him of this, they visited The Prophet. On the evening of the 10th of October, a sentinel in Harrison's camp was severely wounded by some Indians who fired on him. Governor Harrison had hoped that the advance of his army from Vincennes would overawe the Indians and avert a conflict. The impression on them, though not sufficient for this, was very perceptible. The Miami chiefs started to visit him, and the Wea tribe declared that they would never join The Prophet. Harrison, being convinced of the warlike intentions of the savages, determined to march upon Tippecanoe, desiring, if possible, to bring the contest to a close before Tecumseh should return from among the southern Indians. His departure from Fort Harrison was delayed because of poor arrangements concerning his supply of provisions.
On the 27th of October, the Delaware chiefs, who
53had visited The Prophet at Tippecanoe, arrived at Fort Harrison. They reported to the general the hostile preparations of The Prophet. They stated that he treated them with great contempt and that he was practicing his diabolical rites and holding great war dances every night. They stated that the Indians, who fired on and wounded the sentinel at Fort Harrison, had returned to Tippecanoe, and that they belonged to the Shawnee tribe. And that The Prophet had declared his intention of burning the first prisoner taken.
After a conference it was decided to send a deputation to The Prophet by the friendly Indian chiefs. The governor demanded of The Prophet that all stolen horses should be returned to their owners, and that Indian murderers of white settlers be delivered up to him, and that the Kickapoo, Pottawatomie and Winnebago Indians, then at Tippecanoe, should return to their tribes. Fort Harrison was completed on the 28th of October, and left garrisoned by a few soldiers, the majority of whom were invalids, under Lieutenant Miller.
The army resumed its march for The Present Site of Prophet's Town. on the following day. It consisted of about 910 men, composed of 250 regular troops, under Col. John P. Boyd; about sixty Kentucky volunteers; and some 600 volunteers from the Indiana Territory, including companies organized at Corydon and Vincennes, and other points along the Wabash and Ohio rivers. Of these about 120 were dragoons. Among the Kentucky volunteers were some of that State's most gallant sons, such as Joseph Hamilton Daveiss, an eminent lawyer, a man of remarkable eloquence and talents; Gen. Samuel Wells, who had rendered valuable service in former Indian wars; Col. Abraham Owen, a venerable participant in frontier struggles; Colonel Guiger, who organized a small company near
54Louisville; in this army also were Croghan, O'Fallon, Shipp, Cheem and Edwards, who afterward distinguished themselves as officers in the army of the United States.
The march to Tippecanoe was conducted with great caution. There were two routes leading to The Present Site of Prophet's Town. in general use by the Indians; one on each side of the Wabash river. The one on the left, or southeast side was the shorter, but lay in a wooded country where the army would be exposed to ambuscade. The route on the right, or northwest side of the Wabash, presented less opportunity for such attacks, and was therefore preferred by General Harrison, over which to conduct his army. In order to deceive the Indians if possible, General Harrison caused the road on the southeast side of the river to be reconnoitered and opened into a wagon road. The army started from Fort Harrison, moving up the east bank until it had crossed Big Raccoon creek. But suddenly, on the 31st, he crossed the Wabash near the site of the present town of Montezuma, Parke county, and took the other trail. On the 2d of November, the army built a block-house about twenty-five feet square, in a small prairie, at a point on the west bank of the Wabash, nearly three miles below the mouth of the Big Vermillion river. At this post a guard of eight men and a sergeant were stationed for the purpose of protecting the boats, which up to this place had been used in the transportation of supplies. The uncertainty concerning the movements of the Indians had been a source of uneasiness to General Harrison. Had he been opposed by an army similar to his own, it would have been his duty as a military commander to have ascertained the situation of the enemy and to interpose his force between them and the unprotected settlements he left behind him. But, with an army of savages, who had no artillery or military supplies
55to carry with them, who could traverse the forests without roads, who could dissolve their army organization into single men and reunite at a given point with the greatest secrecy and dexterity, the situation was hazardous. Since Governor Harrison was the civil as well as the military head of Indiana Territory, he was charged with the responsibility of protecting the women and children in the unprotected settlements. The thought that the Indian might be stealing his way to murder the defenseless inhabitants of Vincennes while he, with all available military force of the settlements, was marching to attack him in his own stronghold, bore heavily upon the governor's mind. He arose one night from his restless sleep and ordered Major Jordan of the Indiana volunteers to take with him forty picked men and return to Vincennes. His orders were, in case the army should be destroyed, to fortify the courthouse and other public buildings and to dispatch the governor of Kentucky, with the utmost speed, for assistance. The army proceeded on its march, there being no incident worthy of mention until it reached Big Pine creek in Warren county. This stream was bordered by high, rocky bluffs, covered by cedar and pine trees. The defile through which the army would have to pass in going down into and coming up out of this stream was long and narrow, and afforded an opportunity where a few men might successfully dispute the progress of his entire army. The Indians had twice availed themselves of this pass in opposing expeditions sent against them. First, in 1786, against an expedition led by General Clarke. Secondly, in 1790, against Colonel Hamtramck, who led a portion of the American army.
General Harrison halted and sent forth a reconnoitering party to find a crossing where his army would be less exposed to attack, A ford, evidently used by the Indians,
56was found further up the stream, on the border of a prairie country. The beauty of this region, stretching away to the northwest, toward the Illinois river, a distance of about 100 miles, was viewed by the soldiers with great admiration. The Big Pine was crossed in safety. No Indians were seen until the army had well nigh reached The Present Site of Prophet's Town..
On the night of the 5th of November, the army encamped near the present village of Montmorenci, in the western part of Tippecanoe county, about ten miles from The Present Site of Prophet's Town.. On the following day the march was resumed. Indians were seen lurking about, and the interpreters in front of the army were instructed to interview them. The Indians refused to talk, and replied only with defiant gestures. At 2 o'clock in the afternoon of the 6th of November, the army arrived within about a mile and a half of The Present Site of Prophet's Town.. General Harrison was urged to make an immediate attack. But his instructions were to avoid hostilities, if possible, and he still hoped for the arrival in his army of the deputation of friendly Indians, which he had sent while yet at Fort Harrison, concerning whom nothing had been heard or seen. General Harrison sent Captain Dubois, accompanied by an interpreter, forward with a flag of truce. The Indians refused to converse with him, and endeavored to cut them off from the army on their return. Harrison determined to encamp for the night, and started in search of suitable ground. When he had almost reached the town, The Prophet sent forward a deputation of three Indians, including his chief counsellor. With much pretended innocence they inquired why the American army had approached so near their town. They disclaimed all hostile intentions, and told Harrison that The Prophet had sent a pacific message to him by the friendly Indians, who
57had returned to Fort Harrison by the road on the southeast side of the Wabash, and had by that cause failed to meet him. It was arranged that General Harrison should meet The Prophet on the following day and conclude a treaty of peace. He inquired of the Indians for a suitable camping ground, where the army could have plenty of fuel and water. They referred him to a site on a creek northwest of the town. Harrison dispatched two of his officers, Majors Marston G. Clark and Waller Taylor, to inspect thisPlan of the Battle Ground. ground. After an examination, they reported everything satisfactory, and the army went into camp for the night.
Plan of the Battle Ground.
Chapter V. The Battle.
THE camping ground was a spot of high A Battle-Scarred Oak. land rising several feet above a marshy prairie fronting it on the southeast, and extending to the Indian town. The height at the west bank of this tract was much greater and overlooked a small prairie, through the edge of which, near the border of the camping ground, ran a small stream, now known as Burnett's Creek and Battle Ground, From the West.. This stream was skirted on either side by a dense growth of willow and other shrubs. The place was an admirable camping ground, but it afforded every facility for a night surprise, which was just the kind of an attack meditated by the Indians. Such a treacherous spirit no doubt prompted their recommendations of the spot to General Harrison. To offset this danger, Harrison ordered his army to encamp in readiness for battle, the men sleeping upon their arms. The front, or southeast, and rear lines along the creek were guarded by columns of infantry, separated on the north, or left flank, by about 150 yards, but at the right, or south end, where the ground approached an abrupt point, the front and rear lines were but about eighty yards distant. This flank occupied a line about 150 yards north of the point, and was composed of Captain Spencer's company of eighty mounted riflemen. This company was known as the Yellow-jackets, because of the color of their uniform. The left flank was more exposed and consisted of 120
60mounted riflemen, under command of Major-general Wells, of the Kentucky volunteers. The front line, facing the marshy prairie to the southeast, was composed of Major Floyd's battalion of United States infantry, flanked on the left and right by two companies.
The rear line, facing Burnett's Creek and Battle Ground, From the West., was occupied by Major Baen's battalion of United States infantry, and four companies of militia infantry, commanded by Lieutenant-colonel Decker. Two companies of dragoons, consisting of sixty men, under command of Major Joseph H. Daveiss, occupied a position in the rear of the left flank, while Captain Parke, with a larger force, was placed to the rear of the front. In case a night attack was made, the dragoons were instructed to parade dismounted, with pistols in belt, as a reserve corps.
The following account of the battle of Tippecanoe is taken from the official dispatch sent by General Harrison to the secretary of war, on the 18th of November, eleven days after the battle:
"I had risen at a quarter after four o'clock, and the signal for calling out the men would have been given in two minutes, when the attack commenced. It began on the left flank; but a single gun was fired by the sentinels, or by the guard in that direction, which made not the least resistance, but abandoned their officer and fled into camp; and the first notice which the troops of that flank had of the danger, was from the yells of the savages a short distance from the line; but, even under these circumstances, the men were not wanting to themselves or to the occasion. Such of them as were awake, or were easily awakened, seized their arms and took their stations; others, which were more tardy, had to contend with the enemy in the doors of their tents. The storm first fell upon Captain Barton's company, of the Fourth
United States Regiment, and Captain Guiger's company of mounted riflemen, which formed the left angle of the rear line. The fire upon these was excessively severe, and they suffered considerably before relief could be brought to them. Some few Indians passed into the encampment near the angle, and one or two penetrated to some distance before they were killed. I believe all the other companies were under arms, and tolerably formed, before they were fired on. The morning was dark and cloudy. Our fires afforded a partial light, which, if it gave us some opportunity of taking our position, was still more advantageous to the enemy, affording them the means of taking a surer aim. They were, therefore, extinguished as soon as possible.
"Under these discouraging circumstances, the troops (nineteen-twentieths of whom had never been in an action before) behaved in a manner that can never be too much applauded. They took their places without wise, and with less confusion than could have been expected from veterans placed in a similar situation. As soon as I could mount my horse, I rode to the angle that was attacked. I found that Barton's company had suffered severely, and the left of Guiger's entirely broken. I immediately ordered Cook's company, and the late Captain Wentworth's, under Lieutenant Peters, to be brought up from the center of the rear line, where the ground was much more defensible, and formed across the angle, in support of Barton's and Guiger's. My attention was then engaged by a heavy firing upon the left of the front line, where were stationed the small company of United States riflemen (then, however, armed with muskets), and the companies of Baen, Snelling and Prescott, of the Fourth Regiment.
"I found Major Daveiss forming the dragoons in the rear of those companies, and understanding that the
heaviest part of the enemy's fire proceeded from some trees about fifteen or twenty paces in front of those companies, I directed the major to dislodge them with a part of the dragoons. Unfortunately, the major's gallantry determined him to execute the order with a smaller force than was sufficient, which enabled the enemy to avoid him In the front and attack his flanks. The major was mortally wounded, and his party driven back. The Indians were, however, immediately and gallantly dislodged from their advantageous position, by Captain Snelling, at the head of his company.
"In the course of a few minutes after the commencement of the attack, the fire extended along the left flank, the whole of the front, the right flank and part of the rear line. Upon Spencer's mounted riflemen, and the right of Warrick's company, which was posted on the right of the rear line, it was excessively severe. Captain Spencer, and his first and second lieutenants, were killed, and Captain "Warrick mortally wounded. Those companies, however, still bravely maintained their posts; but Spencer's having suffered so severely, and having originally too much ground to occupy, I reinforced them with Robb's company of riflemen, which had been driven, or, by mistake, ordered from their position in the left flank, toward the center of the camp, and filled the vacancy that had been occupied by Robb with Prescott's company of the Fourth United States Regiment. My great object was to keep the lines entire — to prevent the enemy from breaking into the camp, until daylight should enable me to make a general and effectual charge. With this view I had reinforced every part of the line that had suffered much; and as soon as the approach of morning discovered itself, I withdrew from the front line Snelling's, Posey's (under Lieutenant Allbright) and Scott's, and from the rear line
Wilson's companies, and drew them up upon the left flank; and, at the same time, I ordered Cook's and Baen's companies — the former from the rear, and the latter from the front line — to reinforce the right flank, foreseeing that, at these points, the enemy would make their last efforts. Major Wells, who commanded on the left flank, not knowing my intentions precisely, had taken the command of these companies — had charged the enemy before I had formed the body of dragoons with which I meant to support the infantry; a small detachment of these were, however, ready, and proved amply sufficient for the purpose. The Indians were driven by the infantry at the point of the bayonet, and the dragoons pursued and forced them into a marsh, where they could not be followed. Captain Cook and Lieutenant Larrabee had, agreeably to my order, marched their companies to the right flank and formed them under fire of the enemy; and, being then joined by the riflemen of that flank, had charged the Indians, killed a number, and put the rest to precipitate flight.
"The whole of the infantry formed a brigade, under the immediate orders of Colonel Boyd. The colonel, throughout the action, manifested equal zeal and bravery in carrying into execution my orders — in keeping the men to their posts, and exhorting them to fight with valor. His brigade-major, Clarke, and his aid-de-camp, George Croghan, Esq., were also very serviceably employed. Colonel Joseph Bartholomew, a very valuable officer, commanded, under Colonel Boyd, the militia infantry. He was wounded early in the action, and his services lost to me. Maj. G. P. C. Floyd, the senior officer, of the Fourth United States Regiment, commanded immediately the battalion of that regiment, which was in the front line. His conduct, during the action, was entirely
to my satisfaction. Lieutenant-colonel Decker, who commanded the battalion of militia on the right of the rear line, preserved his command in good order. He was, however, but partially attacked. I have before mentioned to you that Major-general Wells, of the Fourth Division of Kentucky Militia, acted, under my command, as a major, at the head of two companies of mounted volunteers. The general retained the fame which he had already acquired in almost every campaign, and in almost every battle which has been fought with the Indians since the settlement of Kentucky. Of the several corps, the Fourth United States Regiment, and the two small companies attached to it, were certainly the most conspicuous for undaunted valor. The companies commanded by Captains Cook, Snelling and Barton; Lieutenants Larrabee, Peters and Hawkins, were placed in situations where they could render most service, and encounter most danger; and those officers eminently distinguished themselves. Captains Prescott and Brown performed their duty, also, entirely to my satisfaction, as did Posey's company of the Seventh Regiment, headed by Lieutenant Allbright. In short, sir, they supported the fame of American regulars; and I have never heard that a single individual was found out of the line of his duty.
"Several of the militia companies were in no wise inferior to the regulars. Spencer's, Guiger's and Warrick's maintained their posts amid a monstrous carnage — as, indeed, did Robb's, after it was posted on the left flank. Its loss of men (seventeen killed and wounded), and keeping its ground, is sufficient evidence of its firmness. Wilson's and Scott's companies charged with the regular troops, and proved themselves worthy of doing so. Morris' company also behaved well. Hargrove's and Wilkin's companies were placed in a situation where they
had no opportunity of distinguishing themselves, or, I am satisfied, they would have done it. This was the case with the squadron of dragoons also. After Major Daveiss received his wound, knowing it to be mortal, I promoted Captain Parke to the majority, than whom there is no better officer. My two aids-de-camp, Majors Hurst and Taylor, with Lieutenant Adams, of the Fourth Regiment, the adjutant of the troops, afforded me the most essential aid, as well in the action as throughout the campaign.
"The arrangements of Captain Piatt, in the quartermaster's department, were highly judicious; and his exertions on all occasions — particularly in bringing off the wounded — deserve my warmest thanks. But, in giving merited praise to the living, let me not forget the gallant dead. Col. Abraham Owen, commandant of the Eighteenth Kentucky Eegiment, joined me, a few days before the action, as a private in Captain Guiger's company. He accepted the appointment of volunteer aid-de-camp to me. He fell early in the action. The Representative of his State will inform you that she possessed not a better citizen, nor a braver man. Maj. J. H. Daveiss was known as an able lawyer and a great orator. He joined me as a private volunteer; and, on the recommendations of the officers of that corps, was appointed to command the three troops of dragoons. His conduct, in that capacity, justified their choice. Never was there an officer possessed of more ardor and zeal to discharge his duties with propriety, and never one who would have encountered greater danger to purchase military fame. Captain Baen, of the Fourth United States Regiment, was killed early in the action. He was unquestionably a good officer and a valiant soldier. Captains Spencer and Warrick, and Lieutenants McMahan and Berry, were all my particular friends. I have ever had the utmost confidence in their
valor, and I was not deceived. Spencer was wounded in the head. He exhorted his men to fight valiantly. He was shot through both thighs and fell; still continuing to encourage them, he was raised up, and received a ball through his body, which put an immediate end to his existence. Warrick was shot immediately through the body. Being taken to the surgery to be dressed, as soon as it was over (being a man of great bodily vigor and able to walk) he insisted on going back to the head of his company, although it was evident that he had but few hours to live."
The American loss in the engagement was thirty-seven killed and 151 wounded, of which twenty-five were mortal. Among the killed or mortally wounded were: Colonels Joseph Hamilton Daveiss and Abraham Owen; Captains W. C. Baen, Spier Spencer and Jacob Warrick; Lieutenants Thomas Berry, Richard McMahan, Thomas Randolph, Esq., and Col. Isaac White.
Among the wounded were: Lieutenants Luke Decker and Joseph Bartholomew; Dr. Edward Scull; Adjutant James Hunter; Lieutenants George Gooding, George P. Peters; Ensign Henry Burchstead; Capt. John Norris and Capt. Frederic Guiger.
The Indians engaged in this conflict have been variously estimated at from 350 to 1,000 warriors. The exact number can never be told. It is probable that it was about equal to that of the American army. Their loss was about the same as that of the whites, there being thirty-eight bodies found on the field after the battle. This fact, when considered with the custom of the Indians to carry off their dead, indicates a heavy loss.
The Prophet, during the battle, stationed himself upon a small point of elevated ground near by and chanted war songs to encourage his followers. He had
67predicted the crushing defeat of Harrison's army, and said that the bullets would leave the Indians unhurt. When, during the course of the battle, he was informed that some of his braves had been killed, he commanded the Indians to fight on, promising them an easy victory.
The Indians, in this battle, were under the command of three chiefs, viz.: White-loon, Stone-eater and Winnemac. The warriors had been gathered from many tribes, including the Shawnees, Wyandottes or Hurons, Kickapoos, Pottawatomies, Winnebagoes, Ottawas, Chippewas, Sacs and a few Miamis.
This defeat caused the Indians to lose faith in The Prophet. The great majority of them returned to their tribes. The Prophet, for a time took refuge in a Wyandotte settlement on the Wild Cat creek; he then went to Canada and remained under British protection for some time. But he afterward returned to Ohio and settled with the Shawnee Indians, and with that tribe removed to the Indian lands west of the Mississippi, where he died in 1834, having been a pensioner of the British government since 1813.
The battle of Tippecanoe was fought contrary to the orders of Tecumseh, who, when he returned from the South with his confederacy completed, found that all had been ruined by the folly of his brother.
Tecumseh joined the British army in the War of 1812, and met his death in the battle of the Thames, October 5, 1813. It is said that the bullet which killed him was fired by Col. Richard M. Johnson, of Kentucky, who was afterward elected vice-president of the United States.
Prophet's Rock and Rattle-Snake Cave.
Chapter VI. Incidents of the Battle.
IN the battle of Tippecanoe some of the American soldiers displayed great bravery and fearlessness.
For example, a young man, the flint of whose gun was out of order, despite the earnest protest of his companions went to a fire, and by a light created, repaired it. In this work he was made by the light, a target for the Indian bullets. Many shots were fired at him, but he repaired his flint and returned to his post unharmed. The Indians, also, displayed exceptional bravery. Their fanaticism and superstition were worked to the highest pitch by The Prophet. In this battle the Indians abandoned their usual methods of firing, from behind trees and other protections, and rushed into the open field of the American camp. A Winnebago chief approached a fire, at a place where the American lines had been pushed back, to repair his flint. A number of shots were fired at him, one of which accomplished its deadly mission. The chief fell forward in the fire. A regular soldier of the United States army from New England went out to take his scalp, but, as the soldier was inexperienced in the business, it required considerable time for the completion of the job, and when he returned to the American lines from his barbarous errand he not only brought the scalp of the chief as a trophy, but also carried a mortal wound, inflicted by an Indian rifle. The
70body of the chief was rescued by the Indians and carried into their town, where the American troops found it when they entered.
During this fiercely fought and bloody conflict General Harrison displayed great bravery and courage, moving about over the battlefield on horseback. He made able disposition of his forces, strengthening those parts of the lines where the Indian attack was severest. Though entreated by his officers to refrain from exposing his person, he persisted in taking an active and open part in the engagement, doing much by word and example toward encouraging his men to remain firm under the galling fire in the darkness of the morning.
A major, whose person and uniform resembled those of the general, was found by some of the men lying with face down in front of the lines, having been fatally shot. And as Harrison had shortly before been seen in that quarter of the field, the word soon spread along the line that the general had fallen. But Harrison presently appeared in that section of the field and allayed their fears, being received with loud huzzas. The person of the general was a special target for the Indian bullets. They conspired to assassinate him early in the battle.
General Harrison had two horses. The one he usually rode was a white one. It was kept saddled and bridled during the night before the battle. The stake to which it was tied was pulled up and the animal hitched by a servant to the wheel of a wagon. When the attack was made this servant was so frightened that he could not remember where he had placed the horse. Major Taylor loaned General Harrison his horse. Early in the battle one of the general's aids, who rode a white horse, was shot, it is believed, by Indians who mistook him for Harrison. During the fight Harrison's hat rim was pierced and his
71hair grazed by a rifle ball. The Indians chewed the bullets they used in this battle, that wounds created might be more lacerating. This partially accounts for the large mortality among the wounded. On the day of the battle the American army had no meat except boiled horse flesh. This day was spent in caring for the wounded, burying the dead and fortifying the camp.
Upon the night previous to the engagement three Indians were found in the American camp. Whether they were there as spies, or, as is more probable, for the purpose of assassinating the general, is not known. They were seized and sent back to The Prophet with a demand of him for a negro, named Ben, who had deserted the American army under very suspicions circumstances. The negro had been employed as a bullock driver in the American army. When the force approached The Present Site of Prophet's Town., he stated to his negro companions that he was not afraid to enter the Indian town. This they questioned, whereupon Ben started to prove his assertion. He was met by two Indians and conducted into camp. Some time after dark, Captain Wilson seized Ben while he was lurking near General Harrison's tent. The negro pleaded innocence of desertion; he claimed that he was forcibly taken into the Indian town, and had been released upon the return of the three Indians. He entered the American camp unchallenged by the sentinels. But the manner of the negro and the circumstances attending his capture by Captain Wilson, and the fact that no one had seen him in the camp prior to his capture, made it very probable that he was acting in the interest of the Indians. It was believed that he was reconnoitering in view to point out General Harrison's tent, that he might be assassinated. The fellow was tried on the same day of the battle by a drum-head court-martial, A sentence of
72death was pronounced upon him. General Harrison, though he believed him to be guilty, was so much moved by pity that he could not find it in his heart to enforce the verdict. He referred the matter to his officers, who, after deliberation, agreed to release Ben from the death sentence. This result was brought about by the influence of Captain Snelling. The reasons for this lenity, explained by General Harrison in a letter to General Scott of Kentucky, do honor to his heart:
"The fact was that I began to pity him, and I could not screw myself up to the point of giving the fatal order. If he had been out of my sight, he would have been executed. But when he was first taken, General Wells and Colonel Owen, who were old Indian fighters, as we had no irons to put on him, had secured him after the Indian fashion. This is done by throwing a person on his back, splitting a log and cutting notches in it to receive the ankles, then replacing the several parts, and compressing them together with forks driven over the log into the ground. The arms are extended and tied to stakes secured in the same manner. The situation of a person thus placed is about as uneasy as can possibly be conceived. The poor wretch thus confined lay before my fire, his face receiving the rain that occasionally fell, and his eyes constantly turned upon me, as if imploring mercy. I could not withstand the appeal, and I determined to give him another chance for his life. I had all the commissioned officers assembled, and told them that his fate depended upon them. Some were for executing him, and I believe that a majority would have been against him, but for the interference of the gallant Snelling.
"‘Brave comrades,’ said he, ‘let us save him. The wretch deserves to die; but as our commander, whose
life was more particularly his object, is willing to spare him, let us also forgive him. I hope, at least, that every officer of the Fourth Regiment will be on the side of mercy.’ Snelling prevailed; and Ben was brought to this place, where he was discharged."
On the morning of the 8th, General Wells, in command of a company of dragoons and mounted riflemen, reconnoitered The Present Site of Prophet's Town.. They found it deserted except by one chief, who remained because of a broken leg. The Americans dressed his injury and allowed him to return to his people. They told him that if the Indians would desert The Prophet, their past conduct would be forgiven. Large quantities of corn and some hogs and domestic fowls were found, which were of great use to the army in its impoverished condition. After using such of these as were required, the remainder and a large number of brass kettles were destroyed, along with the town itself.
Meandering Run, By Which Harrison Marched Out.
Chapter VII. Effect of the Battle.
THE battle of Tippecanoe was the precursor of the War of 1812. It was a great struggle, in which civilization triumphed over barbarism. It was by far the greatest military engagement ever fought on Indiana soil. It effectually checked the Indian depredations in the Northwest, and had it not been for the War of 1812, this check would have been a permanent cessation of hostilities. It broke Tecumseh's confederation into fragments. The calm that followed, however, was deceptive, preceding, as it did, the storm that broke forth on the northwestern frontier during the war which shortly followed. Tecumseh revisited the tribes and assisted in forming an alliance of the British and Indians against the United States. But the defeat of his brother at Tippecanoe forever put at rest his dreams of a vast Indian empire. That battle, though national in its results, has been more particularly appreciated by the people of Indiana. So less than fifteen counties of that State have been named in honor of heroes who participated in that conflict.
On the 9th of November General Harrison commenced his return march from the Tippecanoe battlefield. He traversed the same road over which he had approached The Present Site of Prophet's Town., arriving at Fort Harrison on the 14th. The wounded, which up to this time had been hauled in wagons, were sent on to Vincennes by means of boats.
76Captain Snelling, with his company of regulars, was left in command at Fort Harrison, and the army continued its return march. The volunteers from Kentucky and southeastern Indiana were discharged at Bosscron Greek on the 17th. The remainder of the army arrived at Vincennes on the following day.
The following preamble and resolution was adopted by the Territorial Legislature on the 18th of November:
"WHEREAS, The services of His Excellency, Governor Harrison, in conducting the army, the gallant defense made by the band of heroes under his immediate command, and the fortunate result of the battle fought with the confederacy of the Shawnee Prophet, near Tippecanoe, on the morning of the 7th instant, highly deserve the congratulations of every true friend to the interests of this Territory and the cause of humanity:
"Resolved therefore. That the members of the Legislative Council and House of Representatives will wait upon His Excellency, Governor Harrison, as he returns to Vincennes, and, in their own names, and in those of their constituents, welcome him home, and that General W. Johnston be, and he is hereby appointed, a committee to make the same known to the governor, at the head of the army, should unforeseen circumstances not prevent."
Governor Harrison had been governor of the Indiana Territory since its organization, in the year 1800. He had been appointed to this post in pursuance of the wishes of the people of the Territory, successively, by Presidents Adams, Jefferson and Madison. His long and vigorous administration had created many enemies among the territorial inhabitants. His Indian policy, though perfectly justifiable, was the most prolific in this respect. Many persons had opposed the expedition against the town of Tippecanoe for humane reasons. Some of General
77Harrison's personal and political enemies were inclined to ascribe to Colonel Boyd the honor of having saved the army from defeat on the field of Tippecanoe. The following address was prepared by the Legislative Council (the higher branch of the Legislature), and afterward adopted by the House of Representatives by a vote of four to three. It was delivered to Governor Harrison, December 5, 1811:
"To His Excellency, W. H. Harrison, Governor and Commander-in-Chief in and over Indiana Territory:
"When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for a nation to unsheath the sword in defense of any portion of its citizens, and any individual of society becomes intrusted with the important charge of leading the army of his country into the field to scourge the assailants of its rights; and it is proved by the success of their arms, that the individual possesses superior capacity, accompanied by integrity and other qualities of the mind which adorn the human character in a superlative degree, it has a tendency to draw out the affections of the people in a way that must be grateful to the soldier and the man. Such is the light, sir, in which you have the honor to be viewed by your country, and one which the Legislative Council and House of Representatives (of this Territory) think you justly entitled to. And, sir, in duly appreciating your services, we are perfectly sensible of the great benefits and important services rendered by the officers and soldiers of the United States infantry under your command; and it is with pleasure we learn that the officers and militiamen of our country acted with a heroism more than could be reasonably calculated upon from men (such as they generally were) undisciplined and unaccustomed to war."
On the 9th of December Governor Harrison sent the following reply to the foregoing address:
"To the Legislative Council and House of Representatives:
FELLOW CITIZENS, — The joint address of the two houses, which was delivered to me on the 5th instant by your committee, was received with feelings which it is more easy for you to conceive than for me to describe. Be pleased to accept my sincerest thanks for the favorale sentiments you have been pleased to express of my conduct as the commander-in-chief of the expedition; and be assured that the good opinion of the people of Indiana and their representatives will ever constitute no small portion of my happiness. If any thing could add to my gratitude to you, gentlemen, it is the interest you take in the welfare of those brave fellows who fought under my command. Your memorial in their favor to the Congress of the United States does equal honor to the heads and hearts of those in whose name it is sent, and is worthy of the Legislature of the Indiana Territory."
On the 4th of December the House of Representatives adopted the following resolutions:
"Resolved, by the House of Representatives of Indiana Territory, That the thanks of this body be given to Col. John P. Boyd, the second in command, to the officers, non-commissioned officers, and private soldiers comprising the Fourth United States Regiment of infantry, together with all the United States troops under his command, for the distinguished regularity, coolness and undaunted valor, so eminently displayed by them in the late brilliant and glorious battle fought with the Shawnee Prophet and his confederates on the morning of the 7th of November, 1811, by the army under command of His Excellency, W. H. Harrison.
"Resolved, That the said Col. John P. Boyd be requested to communicate the foregoing to the officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates belonging to the said Fourth Regiment, and that a copy of these resolutions, signed by the speaker of this House, be presented to the said Colonel Boyd by a committee of this House.
"Resolved, by the House of Representatives of the Indiana Territory, That the thanks of this House be presented to Col. Luke Decker and Col. Joseph Bartholomew, the officers, non-commissioned officers, and men composing the militia corps under their command, together with the officers, non-commissioned officers, and soldiers composing the volunteer militia corps from the State of Kentucky, for the distinguished valor, heroism and bravery displayed by them in the brilliant battle fought with the Shawnee Prophet and his confederates on the morning of the 7th of November, 1811, by the army under command of His Excellency, W. H. Harrison."
The following reply to these resolutions was sent to the House of Representatives by Colonel Boyd:
"United States Troops, Main Quarters,
VINCENNES, December 4, 1811.
"TO THE HONORABLE, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE INDIANA TERRITORY:
Gentlemen, — I have the honor, for myself, the officers and soldiers comprising the Fourth United States Regiment, the rifle company attached, and the small detachment of Posey's company, to return you thanks for the distinguished notice you have been pleased to take of our conduct in the battle with the Shawnee Prophet and his confederates, on the morning of the 7th of November, 1811, by your resolution of this day. If our efforts in discharging our duties shall have resulted in
advancing the public good, we are gratified; and to believe that we have merited this tribute of applause from the assembled representatives of this very respectable portion of our country, renders it peculiarly flattering to our honor and pride."
Five days after the adoption of the resolutions addressed to Colonel Boyd, General Harrison sent the following message to the House of Representatives:
"Gentlemen of the House of Representatives: Your speaker has transmitted to me two resolutions of your House, expressive of your thanks to Col. John P. Boyd and the officers and soldiers of the Fourth United States Regiment, to Colonels Bartholomew and Decker, and the officers and privates of the militia under their command, also to the Kentucky volunteers, for their bravery and good conduct in the action of the 7th ultimo. It has excited my astonishment and deep regret to find that the mounted riflemen of the Territory, who so eminently distinguished themselves, and the squadron of dragoons, whose conduct was so highly meritorious, have on this occasion been totally neglected. I can not for a moment suppose, gentlemen, that you have any other wish than that of rendering impartial justice to all the corps. I can not believe that you have the smallest tincture of that disposition,which certainly elsewhere prevails, to disparage the conduct of the militia, and to deprive them of their share of the laurels which have been so dearly purchased by the blood of some of our best and bravest citizens. No! I can never suppose that it was your intention to insult the shades of Spencer, McMahan and Berry, by treating with contempt the corps which their deaths have contributed to immortalize; nor will I believe that a Daveiss, a White, a Randolph and a Mahan, have been so soon forgotten, or that the corps to which they belonged
and which faithfully performed its duty, was deemed unworthy of your notice. The omission was certainly occasioned by a mistake, but it is a mistake by which, if not rectified, the feelings of a whole county, and part of another, now abounding with widows and orphans, the unhappy consequence of the late action, will be wounded and insulted.
"The victory of the 7th ult., gentlemen, was not gained by any one corps, but by the efforts of all; some of them, indeed,more particularly distinguished themselves, and of this number was the United States Regiment. In my official report to the secretary of war, I have mentioned them in such terms of approbation, that if stronger are to be found in the English language, I am unacquainted with them. But I have not given them all the honor of the victory. To have done so, I should have been guilty of a violence of truth, of justice, and of a species of treason against our Republic itself, whose peculiar and appropriate force is its militia. With equal pride and pleasure, then, do I pronounce that, notwithstanding the regular troops behaved as well as men ever did, many of the militia companies were in no wise inferior to them. Of this number were the mounted riflemen, commanded by Captain Spencer. To them was committed the charge of defending the right flank of the army. That it could not have been committed to better hands, their keeping their ground (indeed gaining upon the enemy) for an hour and a half with unequal arms against superior numbers, and amid a carnage that might have made veterans tremble, is sufficient evidence. Nor can I say that Captain Robb's company, after it was placed by the side of Spencer's, was at all inferior to it. It is certain that they kept their post, and their great loss shows that it was the post of danger. The
dragoons also did everything that could have been expected from them in the situation in which they were placed. Before they were mounted they certainly kept the enemy for a considerable time from entering the camp by the left flank; and when mounted, they remained firm at their posts, although exposed to the fire of the enemy at the time when they were necessarily inactive, and consequently placed in a situation most trying to troops. The failure of the charge made by Major Daveiss was owing to his having employed too small a number, but even with these; it is more than probable that he would have been successful, if he had not, unfortunately, mistaken the direction in which the principal part of the enemy lay. A successful charge was made by a detachment of the dragoons at the close of the action, and the enemy were driven into a swamp, in which they could not be followed.
"You may, perhaps, gentlemen, suppose that I ought to have given you the information necessary to your forming a correct opinion of the merits of each corps. Military etiquette, however, and the custom of our country forbade this. It is to the Government of the United States alone that a detailed account of an action is made. In this communication I have given you such information only as was necessary to enable you to correct a mistake which I am sure was unintentional on your part. My sense of the merits of the other corps of the army will be known when my official account is published."
The House of Representatives referred Governor Harrison's message to a committee, who reported the following answer, which the House adopted, on the 17th of December:
"HIS EXCELLENCY, "W. H. Harrison, GOVERNOR AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE INDIANA TERRITORY:
Sir,— When this House addressed that portion of the troops to which you refer in your communication of the 9th inst., it was not the intention of this body to cast a shade over any portion of the troops that were under the command of your Excellency in the late engagement; nor to take from the commander-in-chief any of that honor which he so nobly acquired in the late victory. In the joint address of both houses to you, their notice of the militia in general terms was thought sufficient, as it was out of their power to notice every man who distinguished himself; therefore it was considered that any evidence of respect paid to the commander-in-chief was an evidence of approbation of all. It is not to be supposed that those gentlemen, to whom it is supposed particular respect has been paid, have done any more than their duty, or that they distinguished themselves any more than private soldiers. Those gentlemen who fell, some of them did well, and some others had not the opportunity, being killed too early in the battle. But there is not an individual in this body but acknowledges that it was a well-fought battle, and that praise is due, but they generally agree that the laurels won, principally, ought to be the property of the commander-in-chief."
The Legislature of Kentucky passed the following resolution, notwithstanding the gloom which overspread the State by the untimely loss of some of her bravest and most gallant sons:
"Resolved, That in the late campaign against the Indians on the Wabash, Gov. W. H. Harrison has, in the opinion of this Legislature, behaved like a hero, a patriot, and a general, and that for his cool,
deliberate, skillful and gallant conduct, in the late battle of Tippecanoe, he deserves the warmest thanks of the nation."
The sense in which the Government regarded the importance of this victory is expressed, very emphatically, by President Madison in a message to Congress, December 18, 1811:
"While it is deeply to be lamented that so many valuable lives have been lost in the action which took place on the 7th ult., Congress will see with satisfaction the dauntless spirit and fortitude victoriously displayed by every description of troops engaged, as well as the collected firmness which distinguished their commander, on the occasion requiring the utmost exertion of valor and discipline."
Chapter VIII. The Battlefield.
THE field upon which the battle of Tippecanoe was fought is located in Tippecanoe township, of Tippecanoe county, seven miles north of the city of Lafayette, Ind. The land upon which the battle occurred is situated in sections twenty-three and twenty-six, township twenty-four, range four west, and is embraced in a tract of 200 acres entered by John Tipton, November 13, 1829. Mr. Tipton was a native of Tennessee, and enlisted in Governor Harrison's army as an ensign at Corydon, Ind. He was in the struggle of Tippecanoe, and after that battle received promotion for his valiant conduct.
General Harrison buried his dead and burned logs over their graves to conceal the spot of interment. The Indians, however, found the place and disinterred the fallen brave. General Hopkins visited the battlefield the following year, gathered the scattered remains and replaced them in their graves.
In the spring of 1830, the year following the Tipton purchase, a large meeting of survivors of the battle and other distinguished persons, among whom was General Harrison, was held upon the battlefield. The bones of the dead were collected and placed in one grave on the tract deeded by Tipton to the State on the 35th anniversary of the battle of Tippecanoe, November 7, 1836. This tract embraced sixteen and fifty-five hundredths acres
87(more or less). Shortly afterward it was inclosed by a rail fence. This spot has been a favorite place for holding great political gatherings. The whigs rallied there for three days during the "Tippecanoe and Tyler" campaign of 1840, and again in 1844, when Henry Clay was their standard bearer. In 1856 it was the scene of rival republican and democratic rallies. The latter was addressed by John C. Breckinridge, of Kentucky, then a candidate of his party for the vice-presidency. The campaign of 1888 revived the memories of Tippecanoe, and on October 17th and 18th a large republican rally was again held at the The Battle Ground, From the Northeast..
The Indiana Constitutional Convention of 1851 made provisions for the preservation of the battlefield. Section 10, of Article XV, of the Constitution, reads as follows:
"Tippecanoe Battle Ground. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to provide for the permanent inclosure and preservation of the Tippecanoe Battle Ground."
This act of the constitutional convention was a great recognition of the importance of that historic field. In compliance therewith, it was soon afterward inclosed with a substantial board fence.
By an act of the General Assembly, approved December 18, 1872, the sum of $24,100 was appropriated to erect an iron fence around this famous field. This duty devolved upon the governor, secretary, auditor and treasurer of State, who accomplished the work in elegant style, using only about $18,000 of the amount placed at their command. The remaining $6,000 was returned to the State treasury.
An act of March 7, 1887, provided $3,500 for repainting the fence and necessary repairs. The act also appropriated $300 annually thereafter, which sum is used as
88salary of custodian of the grounds and for needed repairs. The commissioners of Tippecanoe county were made the supervisors of this work, and have expended about $2,500 of the amount appropriated. It is now proposed to erect a building upon the grounds, to be occupied by the custodian.
A village was founded immediately north of the battlefield, and bore the name of Harrisonville until the construction of the Lafayette, New Albany & Chicago Railroad in 1853, when that place, with additions, was incorporated as Battle Ground City, which is now the home of about 500 souls. The place is noted in religious circles as the camp-meeting ground for the Northwest Indiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Many religious meetings have been held there almost as strong, numerically, as the great political assemblies for which the site has been so noted in the past.
Chapter IX. Tippecanoe in Politics.
AFTER the close of Gen. W. H. Harrison's great campaign against the capital of the confederacy there followed a brief cessation of hostilities. The renown already won by the Hero of Tippecanoe was sufficient upon which to rest his fame, but subsequent events multiplied his victories and magnified the honor of his name.
His life, from boyhood to old age, represents a panorama of activity, rich in civil, military and political honors. He was born in a great age (February 9, 1773), and was merging into manhood before he departed from the scenes of his birth (Berkeley, Charles City county, Va.). The thrilling events of the war for independence and the organization of the national Government must have had a great effect upon his youthful mind, and, no doubt, did much to mold it for the patriotic services of his life.
His father, Benjamin Harrison, signer of the Declaration of Independence, was in good circumstances, and gave his children the benefit of a good education, which the subject of this sketch received from the common schools of Virginia and from Hampton Sydney College. From this institution he graduated. In accordance with the wishes of his father, he commenced the study of medicine under Dr. Benjamin Rush, of Philadelphia, who was also
90a signer of the Declaration of Independence. In 1791 his father died, leaving him under the guardianship of Robert Morris, the distinguished financier of the Revolution.
Young Harrison determined upon a change of employment, and upon the counsel of President Washington joined the army in the Northwest. His guardian and most of his friends objected to this, believing his constitution not strong enough to stand the hardships of Indian warfare. Washington got him a position as ensign in the First Regiment of United States infantry, and with it he journeyed on foot across the mountains to Pittsburg and joined the army at Fort Washington (present site of Cincinnati) just after its defeat upon the Miami. Young Harrison, as a reward for meritorious conduct, was soon made a lieutenant. The Government sent another expedition against the Indians under the intrepid General Wayne, who, like his predecessor, General St. Clair, was of revolutionary renown. Wayne built Fort Recovery upon the old battlefield where St. Clair had been worsted. At this place several skirmishes occurred, in which young Harrison participated. The army marched from Fort Recovery to the junction of the Auglaize and Maumee rivers, where Fort Wayne was erected. Near this place, upon the 20th of August, 1794, a hard-fought battle occurred. Two thousand Indian warriors were concealed in ambush when General Wayne came upon them. The battle was a telling victory for civilization over barbarism; a triumph of intelligence over ignorance. It forced the Indians to cease their murderous depredations. For his conduct in this campaign Lieutenant Harrison was given a captaincy and the command of Fort Washington.
Mr. Harrison was soon married to one of the daughters of John Cleves Symmes, one of the founders of the Miami
91settlement, and upon a portion of whose land is now situated Cincinnati. He was a man of strictly temperate habits. He saw the evil effects of liquor while in the army, and set an example of total abstinence before his comrades. In 1791 he became a member of an abolition society in Virginia, the object of which was to better the condition of the slaves and secure their emancipation when that could be accomplished by legal means.
Captain Harrison remained in command of Fort Washington until April, 1798, when he resigned in order to accept the secretaryship of the Northwest Territory. In the following year he was chosen the delegate to Congress for the Northwest Territory, and attended one session. His labors proved to be of great value in the development of the vast territory which he represented. According to the law at that time the public domain could not be sold in tracts of less than 4,000 acres. Mr. Harrison secured the enactment of a law by which the public land was sold in alternate sections of 640 and 320 acres; this was not as much as he desired, but was all that could be obtained at that time.
When the Northwest Territory was divided and the Territories of Ohio and Indiana erected, Mr. Harrison was appointed governor of the latter, and was subsequently reappointed by Presidents Jefferson and Madison. This was before "rotation in office" came into style. In this position he remained for twelve years, from 1801 to 1813. In addition to this trust he was soon made governor of the Upper Louisiana Territory, so that he ruled with the power of a king over a vast domain. This power was never abused. He had innumerable opportunities for personal gain through his official capacity, but did not take advantage of them in any way. He negotiated treaties with the Indians during his gubernatorial term
93and obtained for the Government more than 60,000,000 acres of land over which civilization has since spread. No man did more for the advancement of our territorial development than Governor Harrison. His transactions were perfectly clean. Dishonesty in official capacity never entered his mind. A foreigner named Mclntosh accused him of defrauding the Indians in the treaty at Fort Wayne. Governor Harrison demanded that the charge be investigated by a court of justice. The court not only vindicated his honor but fined Mclntosh $4,000. This money was divided by Governor Harrison — one-third was given to the children of deceased soldiers and the remainder returned to Mclntosh as an act of mercy.
During his term as governor of Indiana Territory occurred the rise and overthrow of Tecumseh's confederacy, which is detailed in previous chapters.
In 1812 Governor Harrison was given a command in the Kentucky militia, but was soon after made commander-in-chief of the United States Army of the Northwest. General Harrison was besieged in Fort Meigs early in 1813 by Proctor. The assailants were compelled to raise the siege after it had been kept up by them for eight days. After this Harrison quartered himself at Sandusky Bay, where he remained until after Perry's victory upon Lake Erie. He then moved across the lake to attack Proctor and Tecumseh, who were then in command of a motley force of British and Indians at Fort Maiden. The enemy fled upon Harrison's approach, but were overtaken at the river Thames, where, on the 5th of October, 1813, a decisive American victory was won. The British troops were soon surrounded. Proctor escaped on horseback. The Indians fought bravely, but Tecumseh being shot, they fled in confusion. This battle terminated the war in the West. After it, the command of General Harrison being
94limited by the secretary of war, General Armstrong, to the Eighth military district, he resigned and retired to his farm at North Bend, Ohio, to engage in the peaceful pursuits of agriculture. Congress passed the following resolution, acknowledging the invaluable services of General Harrison:
"Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the thanks of Congress be and they are hereby presented to Major-general W. H. Harrison and Isaac Shelby, late governor of Kentucky, and through them to the officers and men of their command, for their gallant and good conduct in defeating the combined British and Indian forces under Major-general Proctor, on the Thames in Upper Canada, on the fifth day of October, 1813, capturing the British army, with their baggage, camp equipage and artillery; and, that the President of the United States be requested to cause two gold medals to be struck, emblematical of this triumph, and presented to General Harrison and Isaac Shelby, late governor of Kentucky."
While General Harrison was governor of Indiana Territory, he concluded thirteen treaties with various Indian tribes. In 1814 he was appointed, along with Governor Shelby, of Kentucky, and General Cass, to treat with the Indians. A new and important treaty was negotiated at Greenville, Ohio. In 1815 Mr. Harrison concluded an important treaty with nine Indian tribes at Detroit.
In 1816 Harrison was elected by his district to fill a vacancy in the national House of Representatives. He was reflected to the next Congress, and in 1818 declined to be a candidate.
In 1819 General Harrison was chosen a member of the Ohio State Senate, in which position he remained for two years. In 1824 he became one of the United States
95Senators from Ohio. In this body he served his country as an able legislator for four years. In 1828 he was appointed by President Adams minister to the United States of Columbia, but was recalled upon the accession of President Jackson.
When he returned home he retired to his farm at North Bend, Ohio, and devoted his attention to agriculture for about ten years. In 1836 he was the whig candidate for president, but was defeated by Martin Van Buren, the democratic candidate. The National Whig Convention assembled at Harrisburg, Pa. December 5, 1839, re-nominated General Harrison for president, along with John Tyler, of Virginia, for vice-president. President Van Buren was a candidate for reflection. The whigs during this campaign cried: "Hurrah for Tippecanoe and Tyler, too!" The fact that General Harrison had lived in a log cabin was alluded to as a reproach. They said he lived in a log cabin and had nothing but hard cider to drink. His friends were quick to take advantage of these remarks, and created a popular uprising in favor of their candidate. "Hard cider" became a party watchword. The campaign was distinguished for long processions, of which log cabins formed an important feature. Harrison was elected by an overwhelming majority. The electoral vote was: Harrison, 334; Van Buren, 60.
During this campaign, on the 29th, 30th and 31st days of May, 1840, a great rally was held on the site of the The Battle Ground, From the Northeast.. It was attended by a vast concourse of people from every section of the Union and addressed by many able orators of the whig party. Cattle, hogs, sheep and fowls were slaughtered in large numbers. This was the largest political gathering held in Indiana up to that date. Enthusiasm was at fever height, and the rallying cry of the whigs echoed throughout the land.
General Harrison was inaugurated president on the 4th of March, 1841. The oath of office was administered by Chief Justice Taney. Immediately after inauguration President Harrison was beset by a throng of office seekers, composed of political friends and supporters, whose desires he was anxious to gratify. He therefore gave himself up to incessant labor. The most important event of his brief administration was the calling, on March l7th, of an extra session of Congress to meet on the 31st of May, to consider the financial condition of the country. Mr. Harrison's administration was a short one, lasting but a single month. His final illness was of eight days' duration, from which he was relieved by death upon the 4th of April, 1841, when entering upon the sixty-ninth year of his age. The vice-president, John Tyler, took the oath of office as president and entered upon his duties on the 6th of the same month. Harrison's presidential term is the shortest in the history of our Government. He was the first man to die while performing the duties of that position. His last words were uttered when thinking he was addressing his successor. He said: "Sir, I wish you to understand the principles of the government. I wish them carried out. I ask nothing more." The grief produced by this National calamity was great and profound. The funeral took place in Washington City on the 7th of April. Funeral ceremonies were also held in most of the cities and towns of the Union. The 14th of May was designated by President Tyler as one to be observed with fasting and prayer. The remains of President Harrison lie buried at his home, North Bend, fifteen miles west of Cincinnati. No monument or slab marks his resting-place, but history has built for him a more enduring monument than massive columns of marble or stone.
Chapter X. The Campaign of 1888.
THE precedent established by the American people in the early days of the Republic by the elevation of military heroes to the presidency, has been exemplified in many periods of our Nation's history. After Washington, Andrew Jackson was the next notable hero of war to be called to the chief office in the Nation's power to bestow. Gen. W. H. Harrison responded to the same impulsive call, and later on, Gen. Zachary Taylor, and the world-famed Grant met the honors of the presidency. While some of these rulers were not statesmen of the highest rank, yet their distinguishments gained on the battlefield when the independence or preservation of the Union was at stake, were enough to honor and glorify, and the Nation was safe in the hands of such heroic defenders.
The campaign of 1888 was one in which the achievements of war played no unimportant part. While the great issues of that political contest were founded mainly upon civil questions, the custom of honoring the soldier was given renewed impetus by the naming of many for political leaders who served their country on the field of battle.
Gen. Benjamin Harrison, the presidential candidate of the republican party in that campaign, though he performed well his part in the Civil War, and won enviable
98distinction, it may be said of him that his achievements are more extensive in civil affairs of the Government than in military pursuits. His nomination served to revive the memories of the campaign of 1840 and brighten the minds of Americans in history pertaining to the life and deeds of his illustrious grandfather. The field of Tippccanoe became, indeed, the Mecca of republican politics. Its incidents were reviewed in the press, and spoken from the stump, and the campaign of "Tippecanoe and Tyler, too," emulated in many respects. The year was noted for its many mammoth political gatherings and the great enthusiasm which prevailed. President Cleveland was the candidate of the democracy for reflection and Judge Allen G. Thurman, of Ohio, was the nominee for the vice-presidency. Hon. Levi P. Morton, of New York, was General Harrison's running mate. Interest in the tariff and other National issues grew more intense as the campaign neared the close. The city of Indianapolis, the home of General Harrison, presented an animated scene. Each day visitors thronged the Harrison mansion. Many and effective were the speeches delivered to the numerous delegations by their standard bearer. Harrison and Morton carried every Northern State except New Jersey and Connecticut, and were triumphantly elected, receiving 233 electoral votes out of a total of 401.
To the honor of his ancestry General Harrison has added much by his ability and high character. He was born at North Bend, Hamilton county, Ohio, in the home of his grandfather, General W. H. Harrison, on the 20th of August, 1833. General Benjamin Harrison is the third in his line who has borne that name. He graduated with honor from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio,at the age of eighteen. He studied law with Hon. Bellamy Storer, in Cincinnati, and in 1854 removed to Indianapolis, and began his life
100work. He soon demonstrated his ability, and came into public notice through an employment in a legislative investigation by the then democratic governor of the State, Joseph A. Wright. His career as a lawyer from that time has been a brilliant professional success. He is a lawyer of preeminent qualities, and is regarded as one of the leaders of the Indiana bar. Being an ardent republican and a speaker of the Lincoln campaign of 1860, he was the republican candidate for reporter of the supreme court, and was elected to that office on the ticket with Henry S. Lane and Oliver P. Morton.
In July, 1862, President Lincoln issued a call for 300,000 men, and Governor Morton requested General Harrison to assist in recruiting. Under a commission as second lieutenant he raised one company, was elected captain, and then others, until the Seventieth Regiment was completed; he was then commissioned colonel, and took his regiment immediately into service in Kentucky and Tennessee. In the Atlanta campaign Colonel Harrison's command was assigned to Ward's brigade of the Third Division of the Twentieth Corps, and participated in the whole of that historic service, its commander receiving the highest honors as a soldier. On the 15th of June, 1864, Colonel Harrison's regiment was assigned to lead the assault of Resaca, and most gallantly did it do its work, capturing the enemy's lines and four guns. At Peach Tree Creek Colonel Harrison was assigned to command the brigade, and gained such a signal victory as to call forth praise and commendation from his superior officers.
In 1864 General Harrison was reelected reporter of the supreme court of Indiana. At the expiration of his term of office he returned to the practice of law, bearing his full part, however, in all the political campaigns that intervened. In 1876 he declined the use of his name as
101a nominee for governor, but Mr. Orth having resigned from the ticket in the midst of the campaign, the republican central committee, in deference to the universal demand of the party, nominated General Harrison to the vacancy, but he was defeated by James D. Williams.
In 1880 the republicans carried the State and the Legislature, and in acknowledgment of the services of General Harrison, and his recognized leadership of the party, he was elected United States senator. At the expiration of his term as United States senator, he was confronted with the most remarkable odds and defeated in his contest for reelection by Hon. David Turpie, who received a majority of two votes, although the republican State ticket received a plurality of 3,500 and the aggregate majority on their legislative candidates reached nearly 10,000.
Gen. Benjamin Harrison is in the prime of life, and in full vigor of both body and mind. He is a Christian man of the best type; a citizen of notable integrity of character; a man of clean life and reputation; a model husband and father; indeed, an American without fear and without reproach; one in every way worthy the mantle of his illustrious and honored ancestor, the hero of "The Battle of Tippecanoe"