The Battle of Tippecanoe

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CAPTAIN ALFRED PIRTLE, Member

of

The

Filson Club.

FILSON CLUB PUBLICATIONS No. 15

THE

Battle of

Tippecanoe

READ BEFORE THE FILSON CLUB

NOVEMBER

i,

1897

BY

CAPTAIN ALFRED PIRTLE Member

of

The FlUon Club

LOUISVILLE,

JOHN

P.

KENTUCKY

MORTON AND COMPANY

'Printers to

The Filson

ffilwb

1900

3V

COPYHIGHTED BT

THE FILSON CLUB 1900

PREFACE.

as

BEGUN The

a

Filson

be

to

paper

Club, this

read

may

than three years

it

has been in hand

but never out of sight.

add

in

making research

to the completeness of

It

is

friends

mentioned,

reached

of

such

For more

not worked upon

Much

time has been

small details which

after

the

names

who have

by affording opportunities

meeting

the work.

with great pleasure are

a

be termed a book.

it

consumed

has

history

proportions that

constantly,

at

for

of

assisted

securing

the following

the

author

family histories

:

John

J.

Harbison, Henry D. Robb, and James

Henry Funk,

of

Louisville

Messrs.

Morganfield, Kentucky

;

;

Honorable John Geiger,

of

W.

C.

Judge B. B. Douglas and

Wilson, Esquire, of Corydon, Indiana

Ferguson

and Colonel

John

;

Keigwin,

Judge Charles P. of

Jefferson ville,

Indiana, and Mrs. Susan E. Ragsdale, of Bowling Green,

iv

Preface.

Samuel M. Wilson, Esquire,

Kentucky.

Kentucky, gave valuable assistance R. T. Durrett,

Mr.

W.

E.

The

offered free

all

resources

their

of

libraries.

Crawfordsville, Indiana,

To

all

of these

I

was

tender

of

the

work, offered

to

General

for

the

Library

Lew

at

to the

Wallace,

at

likewise very kind.

my

write

State

sincere thanks.

the manuscript of

an introduction, and to

better hands could the task be committed.

remains

Colonel

research.

and unlimited access

Colonel Durrett has, since reading this

Lexington,

Polytechnic Society of Louisville, and

Henry, Librarian

Indianapolis,

in

of

Therefore

no it

author to only ask generous treatment

from his readers, and with

this brief envoi

make

his

bow.

ALFRED PIRTLE.

INTRODUCTION. Battle of Tippecanoe has been supposed by

THE

to

have been the result of the ambition

Harrison for military glory.

of

some

General

Others have thought that

was caused by the depredations

of the Indians

it

upon the

and property of the white settlers in the Indiana Yet others have believed that it was nothing Territory. life

more nor

less

than the traditional and the inevitable result

of the contact of civilization with barbarism.

While

all

of these as well as other causes

may have

was one supreme and controlling cause which brought the white man and the red man together in mortal conflict on the banks of the

had

their share in this battle, there

Tippecanoe.

That cause was a

which the battle was fought, and far-away lands of the Indians. conflict for

the

soil

struggle for the land on for the adjacent It

was as

and the

essentially

a

as ever existed between the Indians

and the French, the Indians and the Spanish, the Indians and the British, or the Indians and the Americans. While

vi

Introduction.

not readily appear upon the surface, a deeper

may

this

view

will

disclose

to

fail

hardly

the

Behind the

fact.

and even the murders by

depredations and the thefts,

the Indians, there was a hope and a purpose of regaining the Indians' lost lands or of arresting further

upon them by the whites. see

When in

the

the white

man began

early part of

was not

century the whole

the seventeenth

that of the white

like

man's mode

of

occupancy his

for

empire

America

settlements in

country was occupied by the red man.

an

and

to history

does not establish the truth of this statement.

it

if

Let us appeal

intrusions

This occupancy

man, but

was the red

it

a spot for his

wigwam and had

which

-

hunting grounds

thus

existed from a time so far back that neither history nor tradition

came to

reached to

into

this

its

Whence

confines.

occupancy,

Indians

the

whether from older countries

the east or to the west of them,

and located here as auctochthons

or whether created

of the land

is

a problem

which has baffled learned attempts at solution. the essential

Indian here

when

here

he

is

All

still

fact,

man

when he discovered America, and

found the

that he was

the colonization of the country began, here,

there

along the

Carolina

however, that the white

the

is

and that

no dispute.

Atlantic

great

About

shore

Algonquin

from Maine family

had

to

South

located

its

numerous

tribes,

Introduction.

vii

and from Carolina

to the southern limits

Mobilian family had distributed

of Florida the

With the exception

divisions.

by

the

the

Uchees,

Huron-Iroquois,

its

tribal

of the five sections occupied

the

Cherokees,

and the Natches,

these

Catawbas,

the

two great nations

extended their occupancy of the country not only from

Maine

to

but from the Atlantic

Florida,

the

but with their trans-Mississippi possessions

this great river,

are not

to

Their hunting-grounds extended beyond

Mississippi River.

we

Ocean

now concerned.

Their mode of occupying

this

vast territory differed essentially from that of the Americans.

They were

not cultivators of the

soil,

but

left

the land

clothed with the original forests for the protection of the wild animals they used for food of in

clothing.

A

patch

and vegetables, cultivated by the squaws the most primitive way, was all of their vast territory

ground

for corn

They had no

they reduced to absolute use. churches, and of

and

their dwelling-houses

cane and bark.

They were

schools nor

were rude structures

hunters and fishermen,

upon the products of the forest and the stream. They had no fences around their lands nor any marked trees to show the limits of their territory, but and

lived mainly

and valleys and streams to define Nothing more distinguished their savage

depended upon the their boundaries. life

from that of

hills

civilized

man

than the quantity of land

viii

Introduction.

required to support a family.

one hundred

there were

between the Atlantic

has been estimated that

It

and

eighty

Ocean and the

when the whites began taking

thousand

Mississippi

lands

their

Indians

River

from them.

This would give about six square miles, or three thousand eight

hundred and forty

acres, for

each Indian, and more

than nineteen thousand acres for every family of

Kentucky, which

not a densely populated State,

is

In

five.

there

about forty-eight inhabitants for every square mile,

are

and about

thirteen acres for each individual.

This was a pretty extravagant quantity of land and a very poor

mode

of handling

way

it,

but

it

was the Indian's

occupancy which had been sanctioned by long

of

was not such an occupancy, however, as the white man, with his civilization and Christianity, centuries of use.

respected. tion

It

Bigotry and intolerance and religious persecu-

were then

rife in

the civilized world, and they chose

to consider the Indian a

heathen unfit to hold lands.

mattered not how long the Indians had country nor from

even

if

for their

rians

So

an all-wise

It

possessed the

what source they derived their title, Creator might have placed them here

continued occupancy, they were pronounced barba-

and required

to give place to

Christian civilization.

soon, therefore, as white settlements were

Jamestown, the country began

to

pass from

made

at

the Indian

ix

Introduction.

to

the white man.

Parts of

parts by purchase, but

most

it

of

it

passed by conquest and

by a species

of legalized

Section after section of the slope between the

robbery.

Atlantic and the Alleghanies were absorbed by the whites until all

Then

was gone.

the mountains were scaled and

the valley of the Mississippi invaded.

As a specimen

of the bargains given the whites

by the

red men, or rather extorted from the Indians by the white

man, we may mention the treaty

of

between the

1775

& Company. In this Henderson & Company

Cherokees and Richard Henderson deal

Indians

the

the whole

transferred

to

Kentucky south

of

embracing about twenty million fifty

thousand

dollars,

payable

the

of

acres,

Kentucky River, the price

for

in goods.

It

of

not likely

is

that the Indians got these goods at absolute cash value. It

is

round

them

probable that they were sold to profit,

and that the Indians did not

than the half of

fifty

thousand dollars

But estimating the goods dollars,

to be really

a good

at

really get for

worth

their

fifty

more

lands.

thousand

the Indians only got about two and a half mills,

or one fourth of a cent,

Another big

sale

per acre for their lands.

was made by the Indians

which Kentucky was also interested the Jackson purchase. transferred to the

;

it

in

1818,

in

was known as

In this sale the Chickasaw Indians

Government

all

their lands

between the

x

Introduction.

Tennessee and the Mississippi

rivers

Ohio River and the southern boundary an annuity

of

end

of

The

dollars.

seven

than

million

fifteen

of

twenty thousand dollars for

and some other payments amounting thousand

and between the

acres,

territory

and the

to

sold

Tennessee fifteen less

years,

than

five

more

contained

price

for

obtained at the

years was about four and one

third cents

per acre.

As a matter to think

of course such of the Indians as

and had mind enough

to think

stopped

correctly

must

have known that such sales as these would at no distant

day exhaust their lands and leave them but little, if any The wonder is that some mighty thing, to show for them. chief,

having the confidence of his people and the ability

to direct them, did not

day and attempt all

uniting If

all

appearance at an

his

earlier

to arrest the transfer of their lands

the tribes and making transfers

more

by

difficult.

the tribes of the Algonquin and Mobilian families

had been united warriors whites,

make

it

into

one grand

confederacy and their

placed under the lead of one chief against the is

difficult to see

how

the settlements along the

Atlantic coast could have been maintained until they were

numerous enough and strong enough to spread westward to the mountains and then leap over these barriers into the Mississippi Valley.

xi

Introduction.

In

Tecumseh, aided by

1806,

the Prophet,

attempted

against the Americans.

federacy of tion

all

to

his

unite

the tribes

was not

him

the effort of King

of

nearer his

He must

in 1763.

own times was

have known,

Englanders

the attempt

of

too,

the disastrous

of both of these great chiefs in their undertaking

to array barbarism in

The

New

form a grand confederacy against the British

of Pontiac to

failure

still

Tradi-

entirely original.

Philip to unite different tribes against the

And

Indian tribes

the

all

as

His conception of a great con-

had probably informed

in 1675.

known

brother,

an united

whites were used to united

effort against civilization.

and

effort,

peace were held together by laws which cible in the

face of disjointed foes

in

war as

made them

who

as often

a rabble as a phalanx or legion of soldiers.

in

invin-

became

The

Indian

as an individual, or as part of a limited number,

was a

foe to be dreaded, but his efficacy never increased propor-

tionately with numbers.

rocks and in the

trees were

open

An hundred

warriors hid behind

more formidable than a thousand

field.

Tecumseh, however, aided by the Prophet, improved upon the efforts of Philip and Pontiac in planning a confederacy. Philip

object

A

striking

difference in their plans

was that

and Pontiac made war upon the whites the primary of

their

confederations,

while

Tecumseh sought

Introduction.

xii

and foremost

first

any more the

prevent the whites from securing

War must

of the Indian's lands.

plans

and not

to

Tecumseh, but

of

have followed

would come secondarily

it

primarily, as in the plans of the other

Philip does not

New England

seem

in

chiefs.

have looked beyond a portion of

for his confederates,

have had as much the position

to

two

and Pontiac seems

to

view a restoration of the French to

they held in America

the

before

peace

of

1763 as he did the benefits of his

own

embraced

the British forts, and

primarily the taking

secondarily the

He

succeeded

assailed,

destruction in

of

of

the

His plan

race.

British

settlements.

destroying eight out of the twelve forts

but failed to take the Detroit fort assigned to

Hence

his especial care.

the second part of his plan to

direct the confederated Indians against the British settle-

ments never materialized.

power

of

miscalculated the relative

barbarism and civilization when arrayed against

one another, not

The

He

British

in a single battle,

had

combined, and

just

it is

but in a series of battles.

whipped the French and Indians

strange that as great a

man

as Pontiac

should then undertake to whip the English with Indians alone.

Tecumseh's conception the tribes of the

none

of

of

a grand confederacy of

Indians was broad and clear.

the narrowness of

Philip nor the

It

all

had

French duality

xiii

Introduction.

He wanted

of Pontiac.

to secure to his race the rest of

and the

the lands then held by them,

was how

to

do

it.

with him

difficulty

After giving the subject

much

thought,

he reached the conclusion that the country belonged the

Indians in

common, and

alienate the lands

He

the others.

one tribe could

that

race

in

any

common, without designating any

particular

occupancy,

but

other tribes in

all

claimed that the Great Spirit had placed

The

portion for any particular tribe.

by

not

occupied without the consent of

it

the Indians in this country and given the lands to the

to

carried

tribe,

when abandoned

of

specific

land, while occupied

with

the

it

reverted

it

Tecumseh

common.

all

right to all

believed that

if

of

the

the

Indians once agreed that the lands were held by them in

common, the

sales

by individual

tribes

would be rare from

and that the

the difficulties of getting the consent of

all,

chances of a sale being for the good

of

much

He was

increased

if

all

approved

of

it.

with the principal treaties that had been the that

all

would be familiar

made between

Indians and the whites, and the quantities of land

had passed by them.

He knew

of

the lands that

had passed by conquest as well as by purchase, and the transactions between the whites and the Indians hundreds

of

years

from the white

in for

he knew that the lands never went

man

to

the

red man, but always went

xiv

Introduction,

from the Indian to the white man.

Having reached the

conclusion that the lands belonged to tribe could not sell

and that one

all

the tribes alike,

without the consent of

the others, he arrogated himself into a chosen instrument in the

hands

He was

of the

Great Spirit to establish

this doctrine.

a great orator, and did not doubt his ability to

convince the Indians of the wisdom and the necessity of

He went

his doctrine.

of his creed,

He

and found eager

first visited

the lakes,

and

beyond the

from tribe to tribe as the apostle listeners

wherever he went.

the neighboring tribes and then those on finally those

on the distant gulf and those

Mississippi.

But Tecumseh, great and eloquent and persuasive as he was, needed something more than his own eminent

He

powers to establish his land law among the Indians.

had a brother, known as the Prophet, who was possessed of the talents that were needed to further his schemes.

The Prophet was an adept

in

imposture, and

eloquent

found

no

prophet

withal

difficulty

who had

in

as

cunning and duplicity and

the

assuming

just died,

and

as

in

place

Tecumseh

Indians in

did,

that

common, and

the

lands

all

He

He

believed,

belonged

that no tribe could

without the consent of the others.

another

of

convincing the super-

stitious Indians of his inspiration as a seer.

as

He

Tecumseh.

sell

to

its

the

lands

used visions and

xv

Introduction.

and

trances

land

this

impress

and conjurings with which

incantations -

law upon

them,

and,

to

knowing that

such a doctrine might sooner or later lead to war between

he had special visions

Indians and the Americans,

the

and trances and communications with supernatural powers from which he derived the authority to render warriors proof against cans.

By

the bullets and the swords of the Ameri-

such means the Prophet helped Tecumseh to

the union of the tribal

and

tribes

the

doctrine of

all

the

common.

lands being held in

While Tecumseh was

to

far

from

home

explaining

this

land -law to the distant tribes of the south, the Prophet

was

Tippecanoe preying upon the superstition of his He convinced them that his charms could followers. at

protect

them against the

made them battle

bullets of

the Americans, and

believe that they could stand in the midst of

and shoot down the whites without injury

selves.

The Prophet had

had turned the powder deprived Indians

their

had

to

bullets

do

-

proof,

harm.

led

He

assured them that his charms

of

the Americans into sand and

of

was

penetrating to

attack

the

power.

All

the

Americans and

satiate their thirst for white blood without being in of

them-

possibly, in the enthusiasm of

convincing his followers of their being bullet himself to that belief.

to

danger

xvi

Introduction.

Such was the

of

belief

the warriors of various tribes

and near that the Prophet had assembled at Tippecanoe while Tecumseh was in a far distant land. from

far

The

eager warriors, thirsting for blood and believing in

their

immunity from

Americans the

that

in the

hurt,

camp

the

of

darkness of the night and soon learned

enemy were not

the

of

bullets

rushed upon the

kind

the

of

Instead of glancing harmlessly

described by the Prophet.

from the bodies of the Indians, they went through and through and inflicted wounds that ended

if

immediate

The Americans were

death or long suffering. asleep nor drunk, and

in

their

powder was sand,

neither it

was a

kind of sand which hurled deadly missiles just as powder

They were

did. left

their

from

driven

the

and

American camp,

dead and wounded as proof that the Prophet

was an impostor.

The

Battle of Tippecanoe was the end of the grand

Those who had escaped from the Americans soon bore the news to

confederacy of Tecumseh. the

bullets

of

adjacent tribes, and

knew the of

result.

Tecumseh and

it

The

all

tribes

Tippecanoe, the

home

village

of

the Prophet, was burned to the ground,

and the Prophet had After

was not long before distant

fled to hide

among

stranger tribes.

the boasting of charms and visions

by the Prophet,

it

and trances

was any thing but convincing

of

his

xv

Introduction.

superhuman power a fugitive. far

Prophet was

Before the battle was over the

from the scene of danger. reached his home and saw the ruin

When Tecumseh his

and himself

to see his village in ashes

brother

had

wrought,

his

feelings

may

be

better

His work of years trying to

imagined than described.

teach the various tribes that their lands should be held in

common

to secure

them against the Americans had

been undone by a battle that ought never to have been fought in his absence.

out for himself was

The all

United States,

before them,

He

darkness now.

interview with Governor Harrison of the

had marked

bright future he

for the

sought an

and with the President

purpose of laying his plans

but failed to secure

Despairing of ever

it.

being on living terms with the Americans, he joined the

English on the breaking out of the after

engaging

in

a

number

War

of

1812,

of battles against the

cans, died a soldier's death at the Battle of the

He was

and,

Ameri-

Thames.

one of the greatest Indians ever born on the

American continent, and was so famous as a warrior, orator, killed

and statesman that many soldiers claimed to have him in the Battle of the Thames. Nor is it known

day with any degree the many claimants ended the life to this distant

chief.

of certainty of

this

which of

distinguished

Introduction.

It

had in

is

not likely that even

been

not

forming a

fought

the Battle of Tippecanoe

if

and

Tecumseh of

great confederacy

had the

all

succeeded Indians

the

United States would have recognized the right claimed for the

combination to

in

sit

the lands of any individual

judgment upon the

sale of

The United

States

tribe.

had again and again recognized the

right to

by the

sell

occupying the land, and has ever since adhered to

tribe

Nevertheless, the Battle of Tippecanoe must

this view.

have the credit of having broken up

in

its

infancy the

grand confederacy of Tecumseh and the Prophet, prevented the endless collisions which land -law races.

of

might

It

insignificant

suffering

that

it

of

this

and the

vast

and

and some valuable

lives,

it

cost

Harrison and his brave soldiers hideous savages could not

remembered

for

their

the

War

it

was

although

Forbes and Wayne, cost

much

but we can

not say

and more.

General

whom

strike

It

it

a night attack by

with panic should be

courage and for the victory they

won over savages converted incantations.

courier of

importance.

lasting

all

-

the defeats of Braddock

victories of

was not worth

between the two

connection,

when compared with

St. Clair,

was yet

in

the avant

crude notions of

its

about

brought

was, moreover,

Viewed

1812.

and

have

and

into

demons by

the Prophet's

*ix

Introduction.

In

account of the

the

Battle

of

Tippecanoe, which

follows this introductory chapter, Captain Pirtle has faithful in collecting

and

in presenting

He

way.

all

them

been

the important facts relating to

an unostentatious but

in

it

effective

has gathered some information from old manu-

and newspapers not before used in any history of battle, and has been very careful to collect all acces-

scripts this

concerning the Kentuckians

sible information

Kentuckians not before known to have been their

descendants can hardly

the author for rescuing

Captain to

Pirtle's

names

of

to be

names from

these

monograph

fail

in this battle,

grateful oblivion.

other heroes of

this battle

ments over

their

unmarked

been done

in

behalf

They

of

sleep

to If

shall so direct public attention

Owen and

Hamilton Daviess and Abraham

Joseph

soldiers.

in

In his narrative will be found the

the action.

and

who were

as

insure

to

suitable

monu-

good work will have brave men and accomplished

on

graves, a

the

battlefield

deaths helped to consecrate to fame,

which

their

but their sleep

is

an undistinguished repose and should have some land-

mark by

to point the living

to the spots of

earth

hallowed

their mortal remains.

R. T. DURRETT, President Filson Club.

THE BATTLE

OF TIPPECANOE.

Part First.

THE BATTLE AND THE BATTLE-GROUND. the waters of

ON

as

West

Mad

River, at a place

Boston, not far from Springfield, Ohio,

Shawnee war-

there were three boys born at a birth to a

From

the fact

'

'

Methotaska

language, the date of this event

written

known, being given variously from of

"

by name. that the North American Indians had no

a captured Creek squaw,

rior of

now known

not certainly

is

1768 to

1780.

One

boys passed into obscurity and oblivion, leaving

the

behind only his name, "Kamskaka."

The

other two boys

ever blended with

the

became by name and deeds

name

of

for-

Harrison in the history

of the

Northwest, and always associated with his record

in the

minds

of

"Tecumseh"

cotemporary Kentuckians

and "The Prophet."

With

the picturesque appropriateness that attaches to Indian names, we find that " Tecumseh" stood for "The

Wildcat

Springing

on

"

its

Prey,

and

'

'

Elkswatawa

"

The Battle of Tippecanoe.

2

(the

Prophet) meant

said,

was a most

'

'

suitable

Voice."

This,

it

is

name, and was given him only

when he had made a reputation as a and orator. Previously he had been known as

as late as

conjurer

"The Loud

1805,

" The Open Door, having become remarkable

for stupidity

and drunkenness.* 1800 the Indiana Territory, northwest of

In the year

the

Ohio, was formed, including

Indiana,

present

Wisconsin, Michigan, and

Illinois,

Minnesota east

the

of the Mississippi,

and

its

States

that

part

of

eastern bound-

by moving the southern terminal

ary established

of

of

it

from a point on the Ohio River opposite the mouth of the

Kentucky River

River,

to

mouth

the

the

of

Big Miami

which became, and remains, the western

bound-

ary of the State of Ohio.

William Henry Harrison, born Virginia,

February

9,

min Harrison, one

On

Independence.

was the

Charles City County, third

son of Benja-

the signers of the

Declaration of

1773,

of

in

reaching

manhood he

joined the

army

with the rank of ensign, was soon promoted to lieutenant,

and served with General

Wayne

the

The

Indians

Tecumseh making

his

in

as

1794.

in his

historians

campaign against likewise

regard

being very active in this same campaign,

mark

as a

young

*Lossing Field Book of the

warrior.

War

of

1812, page 188.

The Battle of Tippecanoe. In

Harrison had reached the rank of

1797

but he resigned from

becoming

the of

Secretary

embraced

3

all

army

to

go into

captain, life,

political

Northwest Territory, which

the

the region belonging to the United States

and

west of Pennsylvania

He was

thus

north of

and Ken-

Virginia

a

young though energetic man when he was made the first Governor of Indiana tucky.

quite

Territory in 1801.

Passing by the next nine years of the history of the

prominent characters already introduced into found

1810

Tecumseh the foremost Indian

Territory, aspiring to be a second Pontiac all

the

tribes

His

whites.

those

statesman,

a

race

his

of

encroaching of

this

in

war

schemes

ever

in

and

against

in every possible

own

the

unite

the

ever-

and exertions were

endeavoring

his

all

to

draw

to

Indians into his plan of joint efforts against the

enemy, whose inroads into

paper,

territory

the

common

he resented

way.

The Prophet was

a

cunning, unprincipled

man, pre-

tending to see visions and to work charms, gaining thus

almost unlimited influence

By the

his followers.

1808 a town located by the brothers, situated at

junction

of

Tippecanoe

about one hundred and cennes,

among

was said

to

River

with

the

Wabash,

fifty

miles up stream from Vin-

contain

hundreds of the Prophet's

The Battle of Tippecanoe.

4

who avowed themselves

followers,

and

soil

strict

from

abstainers

be

to

a

By

whisky.

the

of

tillers

short

Erie or portage the Indians could go by canoe to Lake Lake Michigan, or by the Wabash reach all the vast

system

water

of

courses

and west.

south

the

to

at

was only a twenty-four hours' journey by canoe, favorable stage of water, capital

the

of

Harrison had a regular

white

man's

Tippecanoe River Tecumseh

and those

his followers

location

of

where of

garrison

town

the

to Vincennes,

territory,

considerable

From

army.

down stream

the

at

made

his

the

troops

of

the

mouth

of

the

tours,

and here This

the Prophet assembled. in

a

Members

of

most remote

accessible.

a

Governor

was well chosen, being

and very

It

very rich

country tribes,

from the headwaters of the Mississippi as well as west of that

stream, drawn by the

fame

of

the Prophet, visited

this town.

The new river

just

known

settlement was on the western bank of the

below the mouth

to

the

Indians

the Tippecanoe, and was

of

as

'

Keh-tip-a-quo-wonk,

'

The

Great Clearing,"* and was an old and favorite location with

them.

The and

it

had corrupted the name to Tippecanoe, now generally became known as the Prophet's

whites

* Fourteenth

1892-1893, Part

Annual II.

Report

United

States

Bureau

of

Ethnology,

The Battle of Tippecanoe. town.

It

more than

for

camping - ground

Indians had used this spot as a

the

said

is

5

before the

thirty years

battle.

Tecumseh and Elkswatawa were not and had no such authority by

right

former

the

influence to

his

the

by

his

position -of

a

to

He made

talents.

official

his

birth-

by

station, yet

the

greatest

brother a

party

plans only in so far as he could be of use, and

imposing upon the credulous ignorance of the

two,

Indians, raised

through the

of

rose

rapidly

chiefs

Prophet to a plane of great power

the

incantations, charms,

his

Great

and pretended

The Prophet was no

Spirit.

visions

ordinary

"medicine man," but a seer and a moral reformer among his

making

people,

his

prophecy

strong

denounced drunkenness most strenuously also

the duty of the young

was boastful natural.

main

showy smartness

of

characteristics

he preached

for the

care

claiming them

of his powers,

His

to

;

He

point.

He

aged.

to be

super-

were cunning and a

He was

speech as well as manner.

possessed of none of the noble qualities of his brother,

who

was

eloquence achieved

noted in

a

council but followers

to

for

council.

great as

a

the

his

bravery

By

the year

reputation,

not

great warrior,

cause

for

his

1809 Tecumseh had only as

and

which

and

action

in

this

he

a

leader in

added

exerted

many all

his

6

The Battle of Tippecanoe.

He was

faculties.

a

ennobles

The

far

above

the

Prophet

in

that

all

man.

Government had

policy of the United States

for

some years been to extinguish by treaties the claims the Indians had to lands lying in Indiana Territory. These

made by

treaties,

long negotiations,

usually

brought the

Indians quantities of articles which they highly prized.

conformity with the

the President,

instructions of

In

James

Madison, Governor Harrison, at Fort Wayne, September 1809, concluded a treaty with the

30,

of the Delaware, Pottawatomie,

and

Wea

Indians,

by which,

chiefs

Miami, Eel River, Kickapoo, in

consideration of

paid down, and annuities amounting

in

$8,200

the aggregate to

he obtained the cession of nearly three million

$2,350, acres

head men and

of

land,

extending up the

Wabash beyond Terre

Haute, below the mouth of Raccoon Creek, including the

middle waters of White River.

Neither Tecumseh, nor the

Prophet, nor any of their tribe had any lands,

yet

they denounced the Indians

claim to these

who

sold

declared the treaty void, threatened the makers of death, to

and

the

them, it

with

steadily maintained their unwavering opposition

making

of

treaties

except

by consent

of

larger

bodies of Indians, claiming that the domain was not the

property of small tribes.

scheme

This was a part of Tecumseh's

of a general confederation

among

all

the Indians.

The Battle of Tippecanoe. The Wyandotts, about

7

the tribe most feared by the other Indians,

time became firm friends of the Shawnees, to

this

which the two brothers belonged.

With immense

saw

opened

game upon which

the

the whites,

was

land

of

body

Tecumseh

vision

prophetic

that

this

if

settlement

to

Indians

the

by

had

to

depend for subsistence must soon be exterminated, and that would lead in a few years to the removal of his

own

race

And

more

to

this

distant

used

he

thought

and strange hunting-grounds. with

insistence

upon

his

countrymen. In

the

town refused in boats in

1810 the

of

spring

other indications

send

them

compliance with the treaty, and insulted the

boatmen, calling them

to

the Prophet's

the "Annuity Salt" sent

receive

to

Indians at

several

of

'

American dogs

'

hostility,

pacific

" !

These,

with

caused Governor Harrison

messages to Tecumseh and the

There was no doubt trouble brewing, and Governor Harrison seems to have made decided efforts to Prophet.

Tecumseh

prevent an outbreak.

and accordingly on August i2th he Vincennes with four hundred warriors fully

the Governor a arrived

at

sent word he would pay

visit,

armed, encamping

in

a grove near the town.

The

pres-

ence of such a large body of the savages was alarming to the

people

of

the

town,

but

no encounter took place

The Battle of Tippecanoe.

8

between the two as to prevent

any

The burden

the Governor

races,

of

Tecumseh's arguments was against the

his

1809, announcing to

country

not

that

allow the

two days' conference the

Not long

to

lay

it

after this a small detach-

United States troops under Captain Cross were

of

moved from Newport Barracks, Kentucky, and three companies of

to

by the Governor promising

before the President.

ment

who had made

determination After

be settled.

matter was ended

affairs so

collision.

treaty-making power of the Indians of

managing

of

to Vincennes,

Indiana milicia and a company

Knox County Dragoons, added

to

the regulars,

made

a formidable force at the town.

The break,

winter of 1810-11 passed without any serious out-

though

there

were

numerous

raids

and

annoyances on the part of the Indians which counter

The about

-

movements on the

had

brought

side of the settlers.

population of Indiana Territory had then reached

twenty -five

five

Kentucky by the 1810 four hundred and six thou-

thousand;

census had a population of

sand

petty

hundred and

eleven,

while

Jefferson

County

hundred and ninety - nine, of which Louisville possessed one thousand three hundred and fifty -seven. Lexington at the same time had four thirteen thousand three

thousand two hundred and twenty

-

six.

Ml -< >TJ

W n

H % 3 o

3*

O w W H H W 6 td o t-

( *

1

rt>


O

The Battle of Tippecanoe.

57

Major Joseph H. Daviess forming the dragoons of those

in

the rear

companies.

One

Daviess 'was gallant and impatient of restraint. of his party

master

of

was Washington Johns, of Vincennes, a quarterthe dragoons, and intimate with Harrison.

Daviess sent him to the Governor when the Indians their first attack,

and charge the

made

asking for permission to go out on foot '

foe.

'

Tell Major Daviess to be patient

he shall have an honorable position before the battle In a few

over," Harrison replied.

same

the

and

request,

Again he repeated

when Harrison

it,

Daviess he has heard use

his

own

discretion."

twenty picked men,

on

foot,

and was

spicuous mark coat.

my

opinion

The

instantly

in the

the '

said

twice

reply.

Tell

Major

'

:

;

may now

he

only

charged beyond the

lines

He was

a

con-

gloom, as he wore a white blanket

*

"Unfortunately," says Harrison Secretary of War,

'

'

in his

dispatch to the

the Major's gallantry determined him

to execute the order with a smaller force than

which enabled the enemy to avoid him

him on and

same

Major, with

gallant

wounded.

mortally

is

moments Daviess made

Governor

the

;

his

flanks.

The Major was

was

in front

sufficient,

and attack

mortally

wounded

his party driven back."

* Statement of Judge Naylor arid Captaiu Fink. 9

Lossing, page 205.

The Battle of Tippecanoe.

58

Many

after

years

the

Doctor N. Field, then

battle

living in Jefferson ville, Indiana, contributed to the

News

of that city

an

Harrison to that town

Evening General

article describing a visit of

His

in 1836.

visit

ended, he went

Charlestown by the way of a steamboat to Charlestown

to

Landing. After his arrival at that place, Harrison was called on

and requested

He

replied

by making a speech.

to gratify the people

that

was

it

unexpected to him, but

entirely

He was

he would not make a set speech.

some account

anxious to have him give them

canoe, which he did in conversational style. to refute the charges so often

selecting

his

death

and

differs

is

of

He

proceeded

changing

being surprised,

the

sacrificing Colonel

manner

of

Daviess'

from any other that the writer has met with,

here given just as Doctor Field recorded

simplicity

Tippe-

before as to the Indians

Abraham Owen, and

His narrative of

Daviess.

Joe

made

camping-ground,

horses with Colonel

told they were

and

clearness,

entirely

divested of

it.

The

any thing

dramatic, throw a light upon the bravery and ambition of

Daviess

that

reveals

clearly the motive of

he panted to distinguish himself. of

the day immediately preceding,

advanced elsewhere

mined

to

survive

:

make

this

action

Taken with the record illustrates

it

an epoch

the

idea

Daviess was deter-

in this paper, that

battle

his

in his life

or never

The Battle of Tippecanoe. "As

to

59

who commanded

Colonel Joe Daviess,

a

company

of

dragoons and insisted on having something to do, disliking very much to stand idle holding horses while the infantry were so hard pressed.

I

him there were some Indians behind a log

told

some seventy -five yards from our He was charge them on foot.

men, and to

lines shooting our

instructed

to

form them, and

when ready the line would open to let them pass out. Instead of charging them abreast, the Colonel, ardent and impetuous, rushed out, calling on his

men

to follow

him

in single

reaching the log he was mortally wounded,

Before

file.

and died the next

day."

The

following has been taken from

"The

History of

Mercer and Boyle Counties," by Mrs. Maria T. Daviess, Harrodsburg, Kentucky, 1885 "Colonel

Allin, his

bosom

:

friend

and comrade

in

arms,

came

to tell his kindred the sorrowful tidings" (the death of Jo Daviess).

"All day long," he

said,

"he

lay under the shade

of

a giant

away, and he awaiting his His spirit passed out last enemy, death, with unquailing eye. with the setting sun, and by the starlight his soldiers laid him in

sycamore

tree,

his life ebbing slowly

rude grave, wrapped only in his soldier's blanket, and as the thud of the falling earth fell on their ears they wept like children."

his

Captain Funk, from Louisville, says he attended Major the morning, and assisted in

Daviess about nine o'clock

in

changing his clothes and

dressing his

shot the

between the right fatal

shot

hip

and

ribs,

wound.

and

it

proceeded from the ranks of

is

his

He was believed friends

60

The Battle of Tippecanoe.

firing

Daviess was afraid the expedition

the gloom.

in

away and leave the wounded behind. He exacted a promise from Captain Funk that in no

might be

driven

event would he leave him to

He

savages.

survived until

fall

said

rison

in

his

Speaking

"Never was

report:

the

of

about one or two o'clock

afternoon of the same day.

the

hands

into the

in

him, Har-

of

an

there

officer

possessed of more ardor and zeal to discharge his duties with

propriety,

and never one who would have encoun-

tered greater danger to purchase military fame."

Immediately on the Captain

Parke to the

brought

that

as

with

Snelling

intelligence his

company

was of

their location with

loss.

heavy

The

Indians

now pressed

a part of the rear

line.

the battle on

They

fell

at the

angle.

The

fighting

became very severe as

all

sides except

with great severity on

mounted riflemen on the

Spencer's

flank

position, just

Captain

Harrison promoted

of Daviess,

had driven the enemy from

regulars

rick

fall

right,

on the

and on War-

line of

well as bloody,

the right

and marked

by many examples of heroic courage. Captain Warrick was shot immediately through the body, and borne from the

scene

to

the

field

;

as

located

some distance

encampment, where his wound was soon as this was finished (being a man of

within the lines of the

dressed

hospital

The Battle of Jippecanoe.

61

unusual vigor of body, and yet able to walk) he insisted

on returning to head he had not result of

company, though

hours to

many

He

live.

in

officers

this

survived to see the

men and

They were

his

the field

of

part

Spencer and

their lives.

the

flank,

same time

reinforced

by Robb's

toward the center

Prescott's

company

States Infantry was ordered to

the riflemen, the

riflemen,

fill

of

the camp,

of the

point inside the

lines,

riding

at

the space vacated by

grand object being to hold the

active,

and

Fourth United

camp unbroken until daylight, so that then In doing this could make a general advance. very

who

their position

the

ernor was

up

Warrick's held their ground gallantly.

speedily

left

also gave

lieutenants were killed, and

had been driven or ordered by mistake from on the

was evident

it

the battle, but died during the day.

Other

yet their

his

constantly from

lines of

the

army

the Govpoint

to

holding the troops to their positions,

and keeping every weak place reinforced. At length day came, disclosing the strongest bodies the

enemy on both

was about

of

After strengthening these, he

flanks.

by the dragoons under Major

to order a charge

flank,

when Major

Wells, not understanding the order, led his

Kentuckians

Parke upon

to execute

ually done.

the

enemy on

the

left

the movement, that was gallantly and effect-

The

Indians,

driven from their positions on

The Battle of Tippecanoe.

62

this

front,

them

were charged by the dragoons, who pursued

as far as

prairies

could be urged into the wet

their horses

that lay on

both sides of the ridge upon which

the battle was fought, and thus

the Indians escaped fur-

ther pursuit.

While

was going

this

had rushed upon the ground,

among The

while

others

foe

on, the troops of the right flank

and driven them

fled

marshy

beyond gunshot, disappearing

the willows or bushes on the borders of the creek.

had lasted about two

battle

the valley beyond

the creek, encouraging

He

songs and promises of victory. retreat to the town.

Tradition

hours.

a rock on the west side of

says the Prophet stood upon

tribes,

into the

There the

the Indians by

joined in the general

fugitive warriors of

many

Shawnees, Wyandotts, Kickapoos, Ottawas, Chippe-

was, Pottawatomies, Winnebagoes, Sacs, and a few Miamis, rallied,

all

whom, having

of

his conjuring,

lost faith

in

the potency of

covered the Prophet with reproaches.

cunningly told them

had been

that

his

predictions

had

He

failed, his

and wounded, because during the incantations before the battle his wife had touched the friends

killed

sacred vessel and broken the charm

Even these this

story,

being

superstitious

!

creatures

could not swallow

and the impostor was deserted by

compelled to take

refuge

with

a

his dupes,

small

band

of

The Battle of Tippecanoe. Wild

on

Wyandotts

Wabash from scattered in

Cat Creek, near the

the south

would not venture.*

and

seems strange,

force of

mounted men

probable

the

that

the

was

air

The

Tippecanoe.

foe

where the

was attempted, there must have been a large

for in

No

the

into

falls

directions at once, into regions

all

whites it

which

63

command. full

Indians in every direction.

pursuit

But

rumors

of

Having driven

it

is

highly

bodies

of

the

off

of

enemy

many men killed and wounded, attention to them demanded the services of all that could be spared and

for

lost

such duties. Harrison was

much

criticized for not

a single scouting party, though he

mounted men,

the Kentucky

must be said

for

him that

as he could

trust, since

cult country

on

he

would

the

not

remained quiet

scour the country, but

had not been such

they had led him into very

them

At

diffi-

and perhaps

to Tippecanoe,

again.

it

any

rate

he

for a day.

Harrison was

continually exposed

but escaped without injury. hat and grazed his head.

was one hundred and

of

had the dragoons and

his guides

march

trust

to

even sending out

A

during

the

action,

bullet passed through his

His loss

in killed

eighty-eight.

and wounded

Of those the Ken-

*The Prophet died in 1834 west of the Mississippi River, a pensioner Great Britain since 1813.

The Battle of Tippecanoe.

64

tuckians had a considerable

recorded by name.

when

and the

he

horse,

to

first

engagement,

He was upon

for the

The

took a dark colored horse, the on, after his

white

been narrated elsewhere.

He had

the

in

killed,

a white

enemy.

Harrison afterward charged that he

of

changed horses with Owen.

hands

few are

was

Governor,

attack.

which made him a mark

The enemies

the

Governor, early

rode to the point of

only a

Abraham Owen, from Shelby

Colonel

County, Kentucky, an aid

but

share,

fact

first

was the Governor

one he could lay his

had run away, as has The horse Owen rode was his horse

Kentucky with Captain Geiger's company, and Harrison had accepted him as a volunteer aid.

own.

He was

left

a good citizen and a brave

Abraham Owen was born

Colonel

in

County, Virginia,

His

1785.

Wabash

River,

in

1769,

summer

He was

St. Clair's

at that

in the

surveyor

in

of

was 1791,

Prince to

Edward

Kentucky

upon Wilkinson's upon

White

defeat, in

November the

4,

and

1791, being

arm and on the

expedition led by Colonel Hardin to

their

in

a lieutenant in Captain Lemon's

engagement

and took part

Indians from

in

and emigrated service

public

the

rivers.

company wounded

He was

first

in

campaign,

soldier.

in

the

action

hunting-camps.

which In

chin.

White

routed

the

1796 he was a

Shelby County, and afterward a magistrate.

65

The Battle of Tippecanoe.

He commanded

the

first militia

company

raised in Shelby

County, of which Singleton Wilson, an old comrade the Wilkinson campaign, was lieutenant.

soon became

advanced

in

major and

member

the

of

the

December

Kentucky went others the

who had

memory in

his

commandant

me

member

fallen

of Colonel

at

of the

Owen was

of the

his '

report

'

:

soon

Shortly

State

Senate.

Legislature of

Owen, and

Daviess,

Tippecanoe, and

was given

official

for

mourning

Wilson

was chosen

1799,

Convention.

Constitutional

into

while

Owen was

following the battle the

a county to which said

Colonel

Owen

Captain

colonel,

legislature, and, in

before his death he was a In

to

rank to captain.

after elected to

a

rose

in

in

1819-1820

perpetuated by forming

name.

Of him Harrison

Colonel

Abraham Owen,

Eighteenth Kentucky Regiment, joined

a few days before the action as a private in Captain

Geiger's

company

;

he accepted the appointment of

unteer aid-de-camp to

me

he

;

fell

action

early in

;

vol-

the

representatives of his State will inform you that she possesses not a better citizen nor a braver

The

man."

disposition of the troops for the night

was judicious

but open to criticism,

which Harrison apprehended,

he said

in his report:

"In

a

or

I

used

single

rank,

the formation of

what was

because the extension of the

line is

called

my

for

troops

Indian

a matter of the

file,

first

66

The Battle of

importance.

Raw

facility in single

The

irregular

Tipfiecanoe. with

much more

also

good,

maneuver

troops

than in double rank."

was

parallelogram

afforded opportunity for

as

it

support promptly at

furnishing

the points of attack.

enemy would

Harrison certainly expected the

him that morning, and he was only a waking

men.

his

A

moment

better

could not have been chosen, but

and

scatter the whites

It

in,

said

kept under arms

ments on and

'

'

:

all night,

their

Our

flank

He

to them.

well

under the

cir-

troops could not have been

were,

unless

their sides,

they were up they were at their posts.

left

demoralize

they had been

as they lay with their accoutre-

arms by

and guards had done

in

for a late captain of infantry to

prepared than they

better

failure to

its

and Harrison behaved

He

cumstances.

behind time

for the Indian attack

was discouraging

was a trying ordeal

be placed

little

assault

their duty,

and the moment If

the sentinels

even the troops on the

would have been prepared

might have added that some

to resist the Indians." of the militia, poorly

provided with blankets, covered the locks of their muskets with

The

their

coats

to

keep the

pans of

their

guns

dry.

infantry used principally cartridges containing twelve

buckshot,

which

was a very

action or a night attack.

effective

charge

for

close

The Battle of Tippecanoe.

The

67

here and

there,

affording great assistance to the Indians in aiming.

How

their

fatal

gradually blazed up again

fires

aim was shown by the

fate of

Captain Spier

Spencer. Captain Spier Spencer was the most heroic in the manner of his death of all the victims of this battle.

The

simple statement

in

Harrison's

what a determined, brave man he was

wounded

in

the head

He was

iantly.

he exhorted his

;

report shows

official '

'

:

men

Spencer was to fight val-

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

Could

existence."

his

courage and

The

manhood

force of his

have

any thing

a higher degree

in

example imbued

his

displayed true !

men

so fully with

his spirit that they not only stubbornly held their

ground

two hours, but drove the enemy backward, defending

for

the right flank of the field until the fight was ended.

Spencer was a having

came the

The

raised to

man

his

tradition

in

importance

company

that place

organization

of

of

in

Harrison County,

near Corydon.

or

1809 from

the

the

in

in

Vincennes, and upon

county was appointed

family

is

He

that

sheriff.

he had come from

Kentucky to Vincennes (but the year is not known), and this seems very likely, as a brother, who was seriously

wounded

in

the battle,

died on his

way home when

the

68

The

command had

reached the crossing of the

bequeathing in

tt attic

of Tippccanoe.

made

in a will

Wabash

River,

there certain property to friends

Spencer's wife was also from that State,

Kentucky.

being Elizabeth Polk, daughter of Charles Polk.

company with her mother (maiden name

In

Tyler) she and

and

tured

Indians, officer,

three other children were

forcibly

from

husband

of the

who had

learned that Charles

of seeing

of his wife

them

way that would indicate known in the Territory. man, who was such a

some

in

several descendants,

dition

and neighborhood

and

his report in a

the Captain was

It is

regrettable that so brave a citizen,

historian,

one well

should not have

because the

and memoranda regarding him are almost left

children,

that

sterling

contemporary

and

reunited.

Harrison speaks of Captain Spencer

had

by a French

Captain DuPuyster sent word to the

whereabouts

had the pleasure

ransomed

they were

Captain DuPuyster,

Polk was a Mason.

together cap-

from Kentucky to Detroit by

taken

whom

Delilah

all

records

lost.

He

but they have only family tratales

to give for

even so

brief

a sketch as this.

His company, being mounted,

had yellow trimmings

on the uniform, which gave them the campaign name of "Spencer's Yellow Jackets," and they resembled those pugnacious

enemy.

insects,

judging by the manner they stung the

The Battle of Tippccanoe. Spencer took tion,

-

his fourteen

who became Governor

69

year old son on the expedi-

Harrison's personal care after

the loss of his father, being quartered in the Governor's tent

during the remainder of the campaign.

Harrison

the boy, securing for

him and a

continued his interest

in

brother, at the proper age, admission to

Of the conduct

of

West

the militia Harrison said

Point. :

"Several of the militia companies were in nowise inferior to maintained the regulars. Spencer's, Geiger's, and Warrick's Robb's did amidst a monstrous carnage, as, indeed, their posts

he was posted on the right flank its loss of men (seventeen killed and wounded) and keeping its ground is sufficient evidence

after

;

of its firmness."

Some

of the militia exhibited great daring.

man, finding the lock of the remonstrances of his

made

having it.

at,

Though

a in

light,

One young

gun out of order, in spite of comrades went up to a fire, and, his

remained there

the glare of the

fire

until

he had repaired

and repeatedly

fired

he escaped injury.

The

Indians exposed themselves with unusual reckless-

Prophet had assured them that the palefaces would be asleep or drunk, and that their bullets ness, since the

would be harmless and

They

did

not,

as

their

powder turned

to

sand.

always practiced, avail themselves of

every cover, but fought out

in

the open like the whites.

The Battle of Tippccanoe.

yo

of the warriors, having loosened his

One

went

flint,

to a

which he brightened into a blaze, and sat down delib-

fire,

Soon he became a

erately to his work.

enemy's

fire

and

A

dead.

fell

and

horrid task,

off his

the

for

regular soldier rushed out

to take his scalp, but not being his

target

an adept he was slow

he, too, received

in

a shot, but carried

bleeding trophy and reached the lines of his friends

only to die of his wound.

One hundred and among

fifty-four

the casualties

fifty-two

;

The

died of their wounds. serious, but

report they

are

left thirty-eight

dead were found almost

invariable

wounded. Harrison.

custom,

the battle

and

fifty-four

According

dead on the

of

Indians lying on

to

As was off

or

one

all

their their

suffered as severely as

Kentucky, said

he counted

killed

Six more

field.

carried

they

returned

Indians were

the

graves in the town.

Major Wells,

after

of

losses

The enemy must have

that

woman

in

them were

of

reported.

variously

were

privates

to

a friend

new graves An Indian ground.

forty-nine

the

captured said that one hundred and ninety-seven

Indians were missing.

From

the reckless exposure before

mentioned, they must have experienced heavy losses.

The

yth of

November was spent

defend

the

burying the dead,

and throwing up log breastworks camp, for rumors were circulated that

caring for the wounded, to

in

The Battle of Tippecanoe. Tecumseh was on head '

march

the

1

to rescue his brother at the

thousand warriors.

of a

"

'

Night,

Funk,

Captain

says

guard, without food,

mounting

The

rain.

drizzling

7

'

fire,

'

found

or

every

light,

and

man in

a

Indian dogs during the dark hours

produced frequent alarms by prowling

in

search of car-

about the sentinels."

rion

They were

a good

evidently

on the defensive.

entirely

the

If

anxiety the morning of the 7th,

when

its

became more

situation

own

Harrison's entering the

only

up

and

army had cause for had considerably more understood.

fully

had

By

him

on

about eight hundred men.

Of

he

account

battle

had

with

one fourth had been the victims of death

these almost or wounds.

it

worked

deal

His camp contained very

little

flour

and no

meat, for the few beeves brought along with the column

were either driven the

noises

of

hundred and

One but

several of cattle

and

by the Indians or stampeded by

the battle, and

fifty

"The

horseflesh."*

their

and most

Vincennes was

over

one

this

day

The mounted men had

lost

the

the

miles away.

writer says,

broiled

off

horses

in

soldiers

of the horses

had no meat

stampede.

Many

of

were recovered on the 8th

gth. *Eggleston, page 229.

The Battle of Tippccanoe.

72

was naturally

Harrison condition this

a

man

cautious

he

;

his

felt

keenly and the dangers surrounding him, and

apprehension

reached

finally

command on

excitement that kept the

Hence the

men.

his

the qui vive

all

the night of the 7th.

Small wonder that for

many

this

furnished

battle

years in Indiana and Kentucky

fireside

talk

!

Captain Geiger had been wounded but not disabled,

command

retaining

of his

His record

company.

short

campaign was so creditable that

1812,

when volunteers were

General

Harrison,

he

in

the

in

this

War

of

called to take the field under

again

a

raised

company, served

through his term of enlistment, was again wounded, and returned

to

his

home

in

Jefferson

County,

Kentucky,

fortune,

and

where he lived highly respected. After

August

peace 28,

he

accumulated

1832, leaving

descendants.

many

marked by a granite headstone, castle place his

wife,

1

1822.

8,

militia in

lies

on the Bardstown road.

was born November

Probably

a

the

most

cessful

His grave,

on the old Bonny-

Ann Funk

19,

1753,

prominent

man

in

a

recent

canvass,

Geiger,

and died March

in

the

was Thomas Randolph, a distinguished

the early history of the Territory.

died

Indiana politician

Having been unsuc-

he joined

the

little

army

ELKSWATAWA, THE PROPHET. prom an

old

wood-cut owned by R. T. Durrett, of Louisville, Kentucky.

The Battle of Tippecanoe. the

organized given

him a

summer

1811.

of

would

Harrison

have

but there were no vacancies, and

position

private, but

Randolph volunteered as a

camp

73

was acting aid-de-

Harrison at Tippecanoe when he was mortally

to

The Governor bent

wounded.

over him, asking

if

there

was any thing he could do for him. Randolph replied that he was gone, but to watch over his child, "And so died as a gallant gentleman in the service of his country,

and they buried him on the

field

the

by

side

of

his

Kentucky hero Jo Daviess."* Major Henry Hurst was born in Jefferson (then Fred-

friend, the

erick)

County, Virginia,

man he became a a Miss

life

Benjamin.

in

citizen of

Sebastian, by

His

first

wife

time after her death he Virginia,

by

whom

Hurst, and Mary,

whom

may

young early

had a son named

he

did not live long, and in due

married

Miss

a

Stanhope, of

who became Mrs. William

Henry Hurst removed removed

in

he had two children, William Henry

S.

Trigg,

now

The descendants

Mississippi.

When Henry

quite a

Kentucky, marrying

whose daughter, Mrs. Nannie Greenville,

When

1769.

Leviston, resides

of

in

William

to Missouri years ago.

Hurst

married

the

second

time

to Vincennes, Indiana, to practice law, though

not have become a citizen there until 1806. *Americau Commonwealths.

Indiana. ii

Dunn, page 410.

he he

The Battle of Tippecanoe.

74

was a practicing lawyer when he came

He

Clark

to

County, Indiana, to attend the County Court held 1802, at Springville, a small place the exact site of lost in the cultivated

On

town.

which

now

is

lands about a mile west of Charles-

appearing at court he announced that he was

Deputy United States Attorney General, ready and prosecute, in the name of the United States,

He must

tors of the law.

have had

indict

to all

viola-

influential friends to

have secured such a position, and probably knew GovHarrison

ernor

for

well,

in

raising

the

Hurst volunteered, was made a major appointed aid on the

staff

he

credit.

served

until 4,

with

Harrison's

1841,

great

of

of the militia,

the Governor, with

hand

death, since, at

the

of

1

and

whom

The intimacy continued the inauguration,

Major Hurst, mounted on a white

the right

181

in

troops

President-elect,

March

horse, rode

while

the

at

officer

who had been General

Harrison's aid at the battle of the

Thames rode upon

left.

his

Major Hurst became a familiar after the battle of

a

man

Tippecanoe.

of fine presence

figure in Clark

He

is

County

said to have been

and an able lawyer.

as clerk of the United States District Court,

He

served

making the

journey from Jeffersonville to Indianapolis on horseback to attend to his

member

of

official

duties there.

In i838-*39 he was a

the legislature from Clark County.

With

the

The Battle of Tippecanoe.

75

dignity of a gentleman of the old school, his portly figure,

bandanna handkerchief, and snuff-box were to

the inhabitants of

all

blunt

of

speech,

and played

members

of the

He was

Jeffersonville.

more

for

He

the pleasure of

traveled the

the

His home for

many

on

the

head-stone

his

a

wharf,

short

in

Walnut Grove Cemetery

stands,

and stone below the

distance

His death occurred January

ferry landing.

company

still

years

a two-story brick dwelling with high basement steps,

rather

of the bar than for the value of his pro-

fessional income.

front

known

fond of a joke, enjoyed a social glass,

cards, but only for diversion.

circuit for years,

well

i,

1855,

and

recites that

he

was "aged eighty-five years." Harrison estimated the number of the Indians at six hundred, but had no definite information. Tecumseh afterward spoke of the attack as an " unfortunate transaction that took place between the white people

our young

men

at our village," as

taken by the young

men

against

Tecumseh commonly

chiefs.

Harrison's ablest military self

of

The all

their

the

it

will

of

was underof

the older

told the truth.

movement was

Tecumseh's overconfidence

open to him

though

and a few

in

availing him-

leaving the country

for attack.

Indians fled precipitately from the town, leaving

household goods and supplies, as well as several

The Battle of Jtypecanoe.

?f>

new

firearms

British

of

An

make.

Indian

chief

behind with a broken leg died some time after the

left

battle,

but delivered to the Indians Harrison's message, that

own

they would leave the Prophet and return to their tribes they

would be forgiven.

November

men

the dragoons and other

8th

the

took possession of the town.

copper

if

kettles

forsaken

by

their

mounted

After getting

all

the

owners and as much

beans and corn as they could transport, the army applied the torch, destroying ply

of

corn which

and a considerable supthe Indians had stored for winter. the huts

all

Meanwhile preparations had been made

The wagons

march.

could hardly carry

therefore the Governor '

private baggage.

'

for a rapid return

the wounded,

all

abandoned the camp

We

managed, however,

furniture

and

to bring off the

public property," he said.

At noon on the gth the

train

of

each having a load of the wounded, night

twenty-two wagons, left

camp, and by

had passed the dangerous ground where a small

force of Indians

might have

inflicted serious injury.

Six days of uneventful marching brought Harrison,

them

from which point the wounded floated to Vin-

cennes in the boats.

Captain Snelling and his company

from the Fourth United States Infantry were garrison.

to Fort

The remainder

of the

command

left

as

a

arrived at Vin-

The Battle of Tippecanoe. cennes on November i8th.

By

77

month the

the end of the

was mostly mustered out and sent to their homes. The immediate result of this battle was to destroy all

militia

hopes of the confederacy among the Indians that had been the object Also

it

of so

the

gave

many

people

years of labor to Tecumseh. of

Indiana

a

winter.

quiet

Tecumseh, having been absent, could not do any thing retrieve the damages done his cause by the blunder

He

his brother.

of

of

accomplishment

and a

to arrange for a visit of himself

to President

chiefs

of

spent some months in negotiations with

Governor Harrison

body

to

this

Madison, but,

and most

of

his

failing

the

in

plans, he

went

over to the British, to become the most prominent Indian character in the

The pride

battle

War

of 1812.*

Tippecanoe was at once an object

of

the

throughout

Western

country,

and

received the thanks of Kentucky, Indiana, and

The

of

Harrison Illinois.

preamble and resolution were adopted

following

by the Legislature of the Territory

of Indiana,

November

1811:

18,

"WHEREAS, The son, in conducting

band

of heroes

services of His Excellency,

the

under

Governor Harri-

army, the gallant defense

his

made by

immediate command, and the fortunate

result of the battle fought with the confederacy of the

*He

was

the

killed in the battle of the

Thames, October

5,

Shawnee 1813.

The Battle of Tippecanoe.

78

of the 7th instant, Prophet near Tippecanoe on the morning of every friend to the interests highly deserve the congratulations

of this Territory

and the cause

of

humanity

therefore, That the

"Resolved,

;

members

of

the

Legislative

upon His Representatives to Vincennes, and Excellency, Governor Harrison, as he returns in their own names and in those of their constituents welcome

Council

House

and

wait

will

of

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."

The same

winter the Legislature of Kentucky passed

the following resolution offered by John ' '

Resolved,

That

in

the late

on the Wabash, Governor of this legislature,

W.

behaved

J.

Crittenden

:

campaign against the Indians

H. Harrison has, in the opinion

like a hero,

a patriot, and a general

;

and gallant conduct in Tippecanoe he deserves the warmest thanks of the

and that for his cool, deliberate, skillful, the battle of nation."

The

counties in Indiana

battle of battle),

Tippecanoe are Spencer,

:

Tipton,

named

for participants in the

Harrison (organized before the

Bartholomew,

Daviess,

Floyd,

Parke, Randolph, Warrick, and Dubois.

But Harrison's account everywhere

without

of

criticism,

the victory was the

battle

not

being

again and again through the press and in private.

taken fought

The

Fourth United States Infantry more than hinted that had

The Battle of Tippecanoe. it

not been

have been massacred.

whole party would

the

steadiness

their

for

79

At Vincennes Harrison's conduct

was severely attacked. In Kentucky criticism was open, for the family and friends of Daviess were old Federalists

who had no

interest

Humphrey

official.

the

in

plainly that Daviess

With

blunders.

and charged

brother-in-law,

Harrison's

of

had been a victim

Republican

report,

hinting

to the Governor's

characteristic vigor of language Marshall

"a

Harrison

.called

Daviess'

Marshall,

published a sharp review

a

triumphs of

little

selfish,

busybody,"

intriguing

having made war without

him with

just

cause for personal objects.* It

not

is

leader,

while

well

men

It

seems

behavior

evidently

been as

on

a

of

enemy without

a sufficient

but that Harrison was to blame for his

;

death seems unsustained. glory had

latter

-

probable, for he dashed upon the of

any degree

known reputation for bravery is conduct. That he was rash is more than

his

sustained by his

body

the

for

in

military fame and occupied the place

for

panted

was

Harrison

Daviess' death,

for

responsible

that

clear

in

his

though all

Who

mind he

occasions

all

knows what dreams

through the expedition

courted

*Marshall's Kentucky, Volume

from

prominence the

during

His death was a great blow to

of

his II,

brief

friends,

!

his

campaign. yet

pages 507, 521.

it

did

The Battle of Tippecanoe.

8o

more

hand

to

name down

his

to

than

history

the

all

other deeds of his remarkable career.

He was

born

in

Bedford County, Virginia, March

being the son of Joseph

1774,

were of Scotch

-

Irish

descent,

4,

and Jean Daviess, who though born

in

Virginia,

and from them he inherited the indomitable energy and great coolness of the Scotch,

and

free

five

hand old

years

the Irish.

of

his

removed

parents

opened a farm near Danville.

and

in

to

Kentucky and

Joseph was educated there

Harrodsburg, becoming a good classical and mathe-

At an

matical scholar.

habit with

him

early age he began to evince the

always marked his history.

that

eccentricity

It

was a

to go off into the woods, select a proper

and study, lying

spot,

and the sympathetic heart When young Daviess was

at full length

on

his face.

Though

he became a dreamer, he was easy and graceful, and,

when he

1793 he joined, as a volunteer, a corps of cavalry

In raised

the

to

so desired, captivating in his manners.

by Major John Adair forts

north

he was under the

and

saved

his

of

fire

horse,

company's brought

the

to escort a train of provisions

Ohio.

Near Fort

of the savages, but

St.

Clair

escaped unhurt

which was the only one of the

off.

Returning home, he studied law

in

the office of George

Nicholas, then the leading lawyer of the State.

"-o

W o > 2; o w w > H H f W 6

t)

t

I

w o >*]

o w 2 H M ft

w

z M

The Battle of Tippecanoe.

When

81

he became a lawyer his fame as an orator was

soon spread abroad, while the stories of his strange eccentricities

made him an

He became among

a

object of interest wherever he went.

Federalist,

party, but

that

rising

to

great prominence

was largely

it

in

the minority in

the State, and hence, though ambitious of the honor, he

never occupied a seat

At the age

of

in

Congress.

he had achieved the repu-

twenty-live

tation of being one of the best lawyers

speakers

in

had but two

the State.

It

said that at twenty-six he

is

rivals as a public

it

seemed

Clay and Bledsoe.

speaker

His eccentricity had grown proportions that

and most powerful

to

by indulgence into such amount to insanity. This

modes

whimsicality was most noticeable in his

He

sometimes appeared

coonskin cap

but

;

in

town

he

wore a

often

kind of

uniform consisting of a blue coat with white sleeves,

and

facings.

around a

slit

and

One day you might meet him

in a coat

and vest

homespun

lounging

cotton, with perhaps

slip-shod, unblackened, untied shoes. in full in the finest

the most elegant style,

in

superb. cloth

collar,

a foot long on each shoulder, old corduroy breeches,

he might be clothed

up

of

dress.

hunting shirt and

court in

in

of

It is

made up

traditional that just

when

made

appearance was

suit of

before his departure for 12

next time

broadcloth,

his

he had a

The

red broad-

Washington

The Battle of Tippecanoe.

82

and Philadelphia on

This occa-

his first trip to the East.

sioned remark, of course, and, being asked why he had " Unless I wear it prepared, said something of the kind, :

how

know Jo Daviess

the people there ever

will

in

is

town ?"

He was

the

lawyer from the

first

West

make

to

a

Supreme Court of the United States. December 12, 1800, he was appointed United States in the

speech

the

Attorney for office

he ever held, remaining

Bibb was appointed

made

Kentucky, the only public

of

District

home

his

in

autumn

In the

his

in

office

successor,

Lexington

until

March

George M.

14,

1807.

He

1801.

in

1806 Aaron Burr and his daughter,

of

Mrs. Alston, came to Frankfort and mingled freely in the gayeties of the season.

As

United

November

3d

States

of

high

with

moved Judge

and

requiring Aaron

Innis

rose for

in

court

an

order

Burr to appear and answer to a charge

misdemeanor

which

Daviess

Attorney,

the

in

United

levying

States

war against

was

at

a

peace.

nation

Great

excitement followed, as Burr and Daviess were of opposite political

parties,

and Daviess was accused

of

making

the charge for political purposes. Burr, in

court

who was the next

in

Lexington at the moment, appeared

day

just

as

the judge

had overruled

The Battle of Tippecanoe. After

motion.

the

what

hearing

as

the

day

for

When

trial.

On December

continuance.

the 25th was set

date arrived, Daviess

that

was compelled by the absence

of

calmly

matter and enter-

done, and

motion, which was

he

was,

it

requested the court to reconsider the tain the