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Tippecanoe Campaign

Tippecanoe, 21 September - 18 November 1811. In 1804 Tecumseh, a Shawnee, and his medicine man brother, the Prophet, with British backing, began serious efforts to form a new Indian confederacy in the Northwest. Governor William Henry Harrison of the Indiana Territory rejected Tecumseh's demand that settlers be kept out of the region. In the summer of 1811 Harrison, with the approval of the War Department, undertook to break up the confederacy before it could organize a mayor attack against the settlements. In September 1811 Harrison moved from Vincennes up the Wabash with a well-trained force of 320 Regular infantry and 650 militia. After building Fort Harrison at Terre Haute as an advanced base, Harrison marched with 800 men toward the main Indian village on Tippecanoe Creek, bivouacking in battle order on the north bank of the Wabash within sight of the village on 6 November. Tecumseh being absent, Harrison conferred with the Prophet who gave the impression that he would not attack while a peace proposal was under consideration. Nevertheless, just before dawn on 7 November 1811, the Indians attacked Harrison's forces. In a wild hand-to-hand encounter the Indians were routed and their village destroyed. Harrison lost 39 killed and missing, 151 wounded; the Indians suffered a similar loss. This indecisive victory did not solve the Indian problems in the Northwest. The tribes of the area were to make common cause with the British in the War of 1812.



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