The Centinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) January 1, 1812
On the 19th Dec. in the Senate of the U. States, a bill was read a second time, authorizing the President to raise
certain companies of spiece or rangers for the protection of the frontier of the U. States.
Governor Harrison (says the Ohio Centinel) probably owes his life to a mistake occasioned by the hurry and confusion
of a nocturnal attack; he mounted Col. Owen's horse and the Col. Rode the Governor's, which it seems was a white
steed; Col. Owens received eight balls from which it would seem the Gov. was selected for destruction, in being
an easier matter to distinguish a horse of that description than a man in uniform in the twilight of the morning.
Washington City, Dec. 17
Letters have been received from the Cherokee, Chocktaw and Creek Agencies, all as late as Nov. 29th, which state
that those Indians remain quiet and friendly and that the Prophet's attempt to instigate them against the United
States had proved unsuccessful, except with some few Creeks, who it is said, have gone to join his party.
The Editor of this paper has been politely favored with the following interesting extract of a letter from his
excellency Gov. Harrison, to Col. J. M. Sept, of this place, dated
Vincennes, Dec. 2d, 1811
"Within this hour two principal Kickapoo chiefs have arrive to sue for peace; they are certainly humbled and
if they speak true, there are scarcely a vestige remaining of the late formidable combination that was herded by
the Prophet. He the Prophet, remains as at a small Huron Village, about 12 miles from Tippecanoe, with about 40
warriors, and 12 or 15 Wyandots. He has applied to the Kickapoos of the Prairie to get their permission to retire
to their town, but it was refused. He then requested to be permitted to send some of his people, in company with
the Kickapoo mission to me - this was also refused. No mischief of any kind has been done since the action, and
the frontiers appear to enjoy as profound peace as ever they have done. Before the late expedition commenced, not
a fortnight, passes by, without some vexations these being committed. Indeed, the insolence of the Indians, (not
those only who were immediately under the control of the Prophet) had become insupportable. To chastise them was
absolutely necessary, there was no species of injury and insult that they did not heap upon us; and our forbearance
had excited their contempt to so great a degree, that they scarcely considered us as warriors. About six weeks
since, some of the young men of the village at Peoria, told their chiefs in the presence of a man in the employment
of General Clark, "that they could kill the Americans as easily as blackbird." It is greatly to be regretted
that these scoundrels, could not have been made to respect our rights, and our national character, but by the sacrifice
of such men as Owen, Davies, Write, Bane, Spencer, Warwick, &c. But much as they are to be lamented, their
fall has not been inglorious, nor useless to their country. The victory that was sealed with their blood, will
insure the tranquility of our frontiers, and one of the (…?....) of land in the world, will be se(?)ed in peaces,
and give abundance and plenty, to a smiling and happy population. Even in the event of war with Great Britain,
I think that the Indians will now remain neutral - they have witnessed the inefficacy of British assistance - for
that assistance has been afforded in as ample a manner as it could have been, if war had actually prevailed between
us and that power.
Within the last three months, the whole of the Indians on this frontier, have been completely armed and equipped
out of the king's stores at Malden, indeed they were much better armed than the greater part of my troops; as every
Indian was provided with a gun, scalping knife, tomahawk and war club, and most of them with a spear - whilst the
greater part of my riflemen, had no other weapon that their rifle. The Indians had moreover an ample supply of
the best British glazed powder - some of their guns had been sent to them so short a time before the action, that
they were not divested of the list covering, in which they are imported. All the information which I have received
since the action corroborates the opinion I had formed, immediately after it, i.e., the combination under the Prophet,
was much more extensive than I had believe, and that many of those who were warmest in their profession of friendship
to the U. States, afforded him all the aid to their power. The Delaware chiefs were all sincere. So was the Turtle;
a few other Miamies, and three or four Potawatamie chiefs. All the rest were either openly or secretly engaged
in his cause. The principle by which the Prophet professed to be governed, viz. that of putting a strop to the
progress of our settlements, had gained him an astonishing popularity amongst the young men of every tribe, and
I have no doubt that hundreds of them were in the action, that now pretend to have been at a considerable distance.
However as peace is the object of the government, and as I believe it can now be preserved, I intend to dissemble
my suspicion of those whose conduct was equivocal, and to admit the excuse of those even whom I know to have been
active against us."
Extract of a letter from a gentleman in Lexington, (Ken.) to his friend in this town, dated Nov. 27, 1811
"Intelligence has just reached this place, that the United States troops engaged in cutting a road through
the country of the southern tribes of Indians, have been attached by the Cherokees, 15 or 16 killed, and the remainder
driven into the white settlement.
The Centinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) January 15, 1812
Washington City, Dec. 21
The following message from the President of the United States, enclosing Governor Harrison's two letters to the
Sec'ry at War, on the subject of the late engagement with the Indians on the Wabash, was laid before Congress on
Thursday the 19th inst.
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States
I lay before Congress two letters received from Governor Harrison of the Indiana Territory, reporting the particulars
and the issue of the expedition under his command, of which notice was taken in my communication of November 5.
While it is deeply lamented that so many valuable lives have been lost in the action which took place on the 7th
ult., Congress will see with satisfaction on the spirit and fortitude victoriously displayed by every description
of the troops engaged, as well as the collected firmness which distinguished their commander on an occasion requiring
the utmost exertions of valor and discipline.
It may reasonably be expected that the good effects of this critical defeat and dispersion of a combination of
savages, which appears to have been spreading to a great extent, will be experienced not only in a cessation of
the murders and depredations committed on our frontier, but in the prevention of any hostile incursions otherwise
to have been apprehended.
The families of those brave and patriotic citizens who have fallen in this severe conflict, will doubtless engage
the favorable attention of Congress.
Washington, Dec. 19, 1811
Vincennes, Nov. 18th, 1811
In my letter of the 8th instant, I did m?sets the honor to communicate the result of an action between the troops
under my command and the confederation of Indians under the confederation of Indians, under the control of the
Shawanee Prophet. I had previously informed you, in a letter of (?) instant, of my proceedings previous to my arrival
at the Vermillion River, where I had erected a blockhouse for the protection of the boats, which I was obliged
to leave, and as a depositary for our heavy baggage and such part of our provisions as we were unable to transport
in wagons. On the morning of the 3d inst., I commenced my march from the blockhouse. The Wabash above this turning
considerably to the eastward, I was obliged in order to avoid the broken and woody country which borders upon it,
to change my course to the westward of north, to gain the prairies which lie back of those woods. At the end of
one day's march I was enabled to take the proper direction, (N.E.) which brought me, on the evening of the 5th
to a small creek about eleven miles from the Prophet's town. I had on the preceding day avoided the dangerous pass
of Pane Creek by inclining a few miles to the left, where the troops and wagons were crossed with expedition and
safety. Our route on the 6th, for about six miles lay through prairies separated by small points of woods.
My order of march hitherto had been similar to that used by Gen. Wayne, that is the infantry were in two columns
of files on either side of the road and the mounted riflemen and cavalry in front, in the rear and on the flanks.
Where the ground was unfavorable for the action of cavalry they were placed in the rear, but where it was other
wise they were made to exchange positions with one of the mounted rifle corps. Understanding that the last four
miles were open woods and the probability being greater that we should be attacked in front than on either flank,
I halted at that distance from the town and formed the army in order of battle. The United States infantry placed
in the centre, two companies of militia and two of mounted riflemen on each flank formed the front line. In the
rear of this line was placed the baggage drawn up as compactly as possible, and immediately behind it a reserve
of three companies of militia infantry. The cavalry formed a second line at the distance of three hundred years
in the rear of the front line and a company of mounted riflemen the advanced guard at that distance in front. To
facilitate the march the whole were then broken off in short columns of companies, a situation the most favorable
for forming in order of battle with facility and precision. Our march was slow and cautions and much delayed by
the examination of every place which seemed calculated for an ambuscade. Indeed the ground was for some time so
unfavorable that I was obliged to change the position of the several corps, three times in the distance of a mile.
At half past 2 o'clock we passed a small creek at the distance of one mile and half from the town, and entered
an open wood when the army was halted and again drawn up in order of battle. During the whole of the last day's
march parties of Indians were constantly about us and every effort was made by the interpreters to speak to them,
but in vain - new attempts of the kind were now made, but proving equally ineffectual, a Captain Dubois of the
spies and guides, offering to go with a flag to the town, I dispatched him with an interpreter to request a conference
with the Prophet - in a few moments a message was sent by Capt. Dubois to inform me that in his attempts to advance,
the Indians appeared on both his flanks, and although he had spoken to them in a most friendly manner they refused
to answer but beckoned to him to go forward and constantly endeavored to cut him off from the army. Upon this information
I recalled the Captain, and determined to encamp for the night and take some other measures for opening a conference
with the Prophet. Whilst I was engaged in tracing the lines for the encampment, Major Daviess who commanded the
dragoons, came to inform me that he had penetrated to the Indian fields, that the ground was entirely open and
favorable - that the Indians in front had manifested nothing but hostility and had answered every attempt to bring
them to a parley with contempt and insolence. I was immediately advised by all the officers around me to move forward.
A wish similar indeed pervaded all the army.
It was drawn up in excellent order and every man appeared eager to decide the contest immediately. Being informed
that a good encampment might be had upon the Wabash, I yielded to what appeared the general wish, and directed
the troops to advance, taking care however to place the interpreters in front with directions to invite a conference
with any Indians they might meet with. We had not advanced above four hundred yards, when I was informed that three
Indians had approached the advanced guard and had expressed a wish to speak to me. I found upon their arrival that
one of them was a man of great estimation with the Prophet. He informed me that the chiefs were much surprised
at my advancing upon them so rapidly - that they were given to understand by the Delawares and Miamies whom I had
sent to them a few days before, that I would not advance to their town, until I had received an answer to my demands
made through them. That this answer had been dispatched by the Pottawatimie chief Winemac, who had accompanied
the Miamies and Delawares on their return; that they had left the Prophet's Town two days before with a design
to meet me, but had unfortunately taken the road on the south side of the Wabash.
I answered that I had no intention of attacking them until I discovered that they would not comply with the demands
I had made - that I would go on and encamp at the Wabash, and in the morning would have an interview with the Prophet
and his chiefs, and explain to them the determination of the president - that in the mean time no hostilities should
be committed. He seemed much pleased with this, and promised that it should be observed on their part. I then resumed
my march, we struck the cultivated grounds about five hundred yards below the town but as these extended to the
bank of the Wabash there was no probability of getting an encampment which was provided with both wood and water.
My guard interpreters being still with the advanced guard and taking the direction of the town, the army followed
and had advanced within about one hundred and fifty years, when 50 or 60 Indians sallied out and with loud exclamations
called to the cavalry and to the militia infantry, which were no (on) our right flank, to halt. I immediately advanced
to the front, caused the army to halt, and directed the interpreter to request some of the chiefs to come to me.
In a few moments the man who had been with me before made his appearance. I informed him that my object for the
present was to procure a good piece of ground to encamp on, where we could get wood and water - he informed me
that there was a creek on the north west which he thought would suit our purpose. I immediately dispatched two
officers to examine it, and they reported that the situation was excellent. I then took leave of the chief and
mutual promise was again made for the suspension of hostilities until we could have an interview on the following
I found the ground destined for the encampment no (not) altogether such as I could wish it - it was indeed admirably
calculated for the encampment of regular troops, that were opposed to regulars, but it afforded great facility
to the approach of savages. It was a piece of dry oak land, rising about ten feet above the level of a marshy prairie
to front (towards the Indian Town) and nearly twice that height above a similar prairie in the rear, through which
an near to this bank ran a stream clothed with willows and other brush wood. Towards the left flank this beach
of high land widened considerably and became gradually narrower in the opposite direction, and at the distance
of one hundred and fifty yards from the right flank, terminated in an abrupt point. The two columns of infantry
occupied the front and rear of this ground at the distance of about one hundred and fifty years from each other
on the left and something more than half that distance on the right flank - those flanks were filled up, the rest
by two companies of mounted riflemen amounting to about one hundred and twenty men under the command of major general
Wells of the Kentucky militia who served as major; the other by Spencer's company of mounted riflemen which amounted
to 80 men. The front line was composed of one battalion of the United State's infantry under the command of Major
Floyd, flanked on the right by two companies of militia, and on the left by one company. The rear line was composed
of a battalion of the United States' troops under the command of Captain Baen, acting as major, and four companies
of militia infantry under lieutenant Col. Decker. The regular troops of this line joined the mounted riflemen under
general Wells on the left flank, and col. Decker's battalion formed an angle with Spencer's company on the left.
Two troops of dragoons, amounting in the aggregate to about sixty men, were encamped in the rear of the left flank
and Capt. Parke's troop, which was larger than the other two, in the rear of the front line. Our order of encampment
varied little from that above described; excepting when some peculiarity of the ground made it necessary. For a
night attack the order of encampment was the order of battle, and each man slept immediately opposite to his post
in the line. In the formation of my troops I used a single rank, or what is called Indian file - because in Indian
warfare, where there is no shock to resist, one rank is nearly as good as two, and in that kind of warfare the
extension of line is a matter of the first importance. Raw troops also maneuver with much more facility in single
than double ranks. It was my constant custom to assemble all the field officers at my tent every evening by signal,
to give them the watchword and their instruction for the night - those given for the night of the 6th were, that
each corps which formed a part of the exterior line of the encampment should hold his own ground until relieved.
The dragoons were directed to parade dismounted in case of a night attack, with their pistols in their belts and
to act as a corpse de reserve. The camp was defended by two captain guards, consisting each of four non commissioned
officers and 42 privates. The whole badger the command of a field officer of the day. The troops were regularly
called up an hour before day, and made to continue under arms until it was quite light.
On the morning of the 7th, I had risen at a quarter after 4 o'clock, and the signal for calling out the men would
have been given in two minutes when the attack commenced. It began on our left flank - but a single gun was fired
by the sentinels or the guard in that direction, which made not the least resilience 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 within a short distance of the line - but even under those circumstances the men were not wanting to
themselves or to the occasion. Such of them that were awake, or even easily awakened, sized their arms and their
stations; others were more tardy, had to contend with the enemy in the doors of their tents. The storm first fell
up, on Capt. Barton's company of the 4th United Stated regiment, and Capt. Geiger'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 positions, 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 all these discouraging
circumstances, the troops (nineteen twentieths of whom had never been in action before) behaved in a manner that
can never be too much applauded. They took their places without noise and with less confusion than could have been
expected from veterans places in similar situation.
As soon as I could mount my horse I rode to the angle that was attached - I found but Barton's company had suffered
severely and the left of Geiger's entirely broken. I immediately ordered Cook's company and the late captain Wentworth's,
under Lieut. Peters, to be brought up from the centre of the rear line, where the ground was much more defensible,
and formed cross the angle in support of Barton's and Gieger's. My attention was there 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 company of Baen, Snelling, and Prescott of the 4th regiment. I found Major Daviess
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 front, and attack his flanks. The
major was mortally wounded and the party driven back. The Indians were however immediately and gallantly dislodged
from their advantageous positions, by Capt. 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, and part of the rear line. Upon Spencer's
mounted riflemen, and the right of Warwick's company, which was posed on the right of the rear line, (..?..) was
excessively severe; captain Spencer and his first and second lieutenants were killed, and captain Warwick was mortally
wounded - hole companies however still bravely maintained their posts, but Spencer had 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 on the left flank towards the centre of the camp and filled the
vacancy that had been occupied by Robb with Prescott's company of the 4th U. States regiment. My great object was
to keep the lines intact, to prevent the enemy from braking into the camp until day light which 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 Snellings, Parsey's
(under lieut. Albright) and Scott's and from the rear line, Wilson's companies, and drew them up from the left
flank, and at the same time I ordered Cook's and Bane's companies, the former from the rear and the letter from
the front line, to reinforce the right flank; foreseeing that at these pointes the enemy would make their last
effort. Major Wells, who commanded on the left flank, not knowing my intentions, precisely, had taken the command
of those companies, had charged the enemy before I had armed the body of dragoons with which I meant to support
the infantry. A small detachment of those 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 them into a marsh, where they
could no be followed. Captain Cook and Lt. Larob had, agreeably to my order, marched their companies to the right
flank, had formed them under the 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 ?ght. A favorable opportunity was here offered to pursue the
enemy with dragoons, but being engaged at that time on the other flank, I did not observe it till it was too late.
I have thus, sire, given you the particulars of an action, which was certainly main armed with the greatest obstinacy
and perseverance by both parties. The Indians manifested a ferocity uncommon even with them - to their savage fury
our troops opposed that cool and deliberate valor which is characteristics of the Christian soldier.
The most pleasing part of my duty, (that of naming to you the corps and individuals who particularly distinguished
themselves) is yet to be performed. There is, however, considerable difficulty in it - where merit was so common,
it is almost impossible to discriminate.
The whole of the infantry formed a small brigade under the immediate orders of col. 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 Maj. Clark, and his aid de camp George Croghan, Esq., were also very
Col. Joseph Bartholomew, a very valuable officer, commanded, under col. Boyd, the militia infantry; he was wounded
early in the action, and his services lost to me. Maj. G.R.C. Floyd, the senior of the 4th 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.
Lieut. Col. 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 4th division of Kentucky militia, acted under my command as major at the head of two companies of mounted
volunteers; the general maintained the same which he had already acquired in almost every battle which has been
fought with the Indians ever since the settlement of Kentucky. Of the several corps, the 4th United States regiment
and two small companies attached to it were certainly the most conspicuous for undaunted valor.
The companies commanded by captains Cook, Snelling, and Barton, liet. ?rabre, Peters and Hawkins, were placed in
situations where they could render most service and encountered most danger, and those officers eminently distinguished
Captains Prescott and Brown performed their duty also entirely to my satisfaction, as did Posey's company of the
7th regiment, headed by Lieut. Albright. 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 wise inferior to the regulars.
Spencer's, Geiger's and Warwick's maintained their post amidst a monstrous carnage, as indeed did Robb's after
it was posted on the left flank; its loss of men (17 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. Norris's company also behaves well; Hargrove's and Wilkin's company 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 of the squadron of dragoons also. After major Daviess had received his would, knowing it to be mortal,
I promoted Capt. Parke to the Majority, than whom there is no better officer.
My two aides de camp, majors Hurst and Taylor, with Lieut. Adams, of the 4th regiment, adjutant of the troops afforded
me the most essential aid, as well in the action as thro-out the campaign.
The arrangements of Capt. Pratt, in the quarter master'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 prattle
to the living, let me not forget the gallant dead.
Col. Abraham Owen, commandant of the 18th Kentucky regiment, joined me a few days before the action, as a private
in captain Geiger's company; he accepted the appointment of volunteer and de camp to me; he fell early in the action.
The Representatives of his state will inform you that she possessed not a better citizen, nor a braver man.
Major J. H. Daviess was known as an able lawyer, and a great orator; he joined me as a private volunteer, and,
on the recommendation of the officers of that corps, was appointed to command the 3d troop of dragoons. His conduct
in that capacity justified their choice; never was there an officer possessed of more ardour and zeal to discharge
the duties with propriety, and never one who would have encountered greater danger to purchase military fame.
Capt. Baen, of the 4th U. States regiment was killed early in the action. He was unquestionably a good officer,
and valiant soldier.
Capts. Spencer and Warwick, and Lieuts. 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 though 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! Warwick 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 still able to walk) he insisted upon going back to head his company, although it was evident that he
had but a few hours to live.
All these gentlemen, sir, Capt. Baen excepted, have left wives, and five of them large families of children; this
is the case too with many of the privates among the militia who fell in the action, or who have died since of their
wounds. Will the bounty of their country be withheld from their helpless orphans, many of whom will be in the most
destitute condition, and perhaps want even the necessaries of life?
With respect to the number of Indians that were engaged against us, I am possessed of no data by which I can form
a correct statement. It must, however, have been considerable, and perhaps not much inferior to our own; which,
deducting the dragoons, who were unable to do us much service, was very little above seven hundred non commissioned
officers and privateers I am convinced there were at least six hundred. The Prophet had, three weeks before, 450
of his own proper followers. I am induced to believe that he was joined by a number of the lawless vagabonds who
live on the Illinois river, as large trails were seen coming from that direction. Indeed I shall not be surprised
to find that some who professed the warmest friendship for us were arrayed against us. It is certain that one of
this description came out from the town and spoke to me that night before the action. The Potawatomie chief whom
I mentioned to have been wounded and taken prisoner; in my letter of the 8th inst., I left on the battle ground,
after having taken all the care of him in my power. I requested him to inform those of his own tribe who had joined
the Prophet, and the Kickapoos and Winnebagoes, that if they would immediately abandon the Prophet and return to
their own tribes, their past conduct would be forgiven, and that we would treat them as we formerly had done. He
assured me that he would do so, and that there was no doubt of their compliance. Indeed he said that they would
put the Prophet to death. I think, upon the whole, that there will be no further hostilities; but of this I shall
be able to give you some more certain information in a few days.
The troops left the battle ground on the 9th inst. It took every wagon to transport the wounded. We managed however,
to bring off the public property, although almost all the private baggage of the officers was necessarily destroyed.
It may perhaps be imagined, sir, that some means might have been adopted to have made a more early discovery of
the approach of the enemy to our camp on the morning of the 7th inst., but if I had employed two thirds of the
army as our posts, it would have been ineffectual; the Indians in such a night would have found means to have passed
between them - placed in the situation that we were, there is no other mode of avoiding a surprise, than by a chain
of sentinels, so close together that the enemy cannot pass between without discovery, and having the army in such
readiness that they can get to their alarm posts at a moment's warming.
Our troops could not have been better prepared than they were, unless they had been kept under arms the whole night,
as they lay with their accruements on, and their arms by their sides, and the moment they were up, they were at
their posts. If the sentinels and the guard had done their duty, even the troops on the left flank would have been
prepared to receive the Indians.
I have the honor to enclose you a correct return of our killed and wounded. The wounded suffered very much before
their arrival here, but they are now comfortably fixed, and every attention has been and shall continue to be paid
to them. Doctor Foster is not only possessed of great professional merit, but is moreover a man of feeling and
I am convinced, sir, that the Indians lost many more men than we did - they left from 36 to 40 on the field. They
were seen to take off not only the wounded but the dead. An Indian that was killed and scalped in the action by
one of our men was found in a house in the town; several others were also found in the houses, and many graves
which were fresh dug; one of them was opened and found to contain three dead bodies.
Our infantry used principally cartridges containing twelve buck shot, which were admirably calculated for a night
I have before informed you, sir, that Col. Miller was prevented by illness from going on the expedition; he rendered
essential service in the command of fort Harrison; he is an officer of great merit.
There are so many circumstances which it is important for you to know, respecting the situation of this country,
that I have thought it best to commit this dispatch to my aid de camp, major Taylor, who will have the honor of
delivering it to you, and who will be able to give you more satisfaction than I could do by writing. Major Taylor
(who is also one of our supreme judges) is a man of integrity and honor, and you may rely upon any statements he
With the highest respect
I have the honor to be,
Sir your most obedient humble servant.
WM. E. Harrison
P. S. Not a man of ours was taken prisoner, and the three teslos? Which were taken, two of them were recovered.
The Hon. Wm. Entiss?, Sec'ry of War
"After the battle on the Wabash, (says the Kentucky Gaz.) Governor Harrison buried 50 or 60 dead upon the
field - and we understand the Indians returned in a few days after his departure and took them up, scalping them
and left them on the ground, and then interred their killed in the graves.
The following accompanied the letter of Gov. Harrison, as published in our last.
A General Return of the killed and wounded of the army under the command of His Excellency William Henry Harrison,
Governor and Commander in Chief of the Indiana Territory, in the action with the Indians, near the Prophet's Town,
November 7, 1811.
Killed - One aid-de-camp, one captain, two subalterns, one sergeant, two corporals, thirty privates.
Wounded, since dead - One major, two captains, twenty two privates.
Wounded - Two lieut. Colonels, one adjutant, one surgeon's mate, two captains, three subalterns, nine sergeants,
five corporals, one musician, one hundred and two privates.
Total of killed and wounded - 188
Names of Officers Killed and Wounded as per General Return
Killed - Col. Abraham Owens, aid-de-camp to the commander in chief.
Field and Staff
Wounded - Lieut. Col. Joseph Bartholomews, commanding Indiana militia infantry; Lt. Col. Luke Deker, of Do.; J.
H. Daviess, since dead, commanding a squadron of dragoons; Dr. Edward Scull of the Indiana militia, Adjutant James
Hunter of mounted riflemen.
U.S. Infantry, Including the Late Capt. Whitney's Rife Company
Wounded - Capt. W. C. Bean, acting major, since dead; Lt. G. P. Peters; Lt. George Gooding; Ensign Henry Burchstead.
Co. Decker's Detachment of Indiana Militia
Wounded - Captain Jacob Warwick, since dead.
Major Well's Detachment of Mounted Riflemen
Wounded - Capt. Frederick Gauger
Capt. Spencer's Company, Including Lt. Berry's Detachment of Mounted Riflemen
Killed - Captain Spier Spencer; First Lt. Richard McMahan; Lt. Thomas Berry
Nathl. F. Adams
Adjt. of the Army
[The Centinel, Gettysburg, PA, January 22, 1812]
EVENTS AFTER THE BATTLE
Vincennes, 4th Dec. 1811
Sir - I have the honor to inform you that two principal chiefs of the Kickapoos of the Prairie arrived here bearing
a flag on the evening before last. They informed me that they came in consequence of a message from the chief of
that part of the Kickapoos which had joined the Prophet, requiring them to do so and that the said chief is to
be here himself in a day or two. The account which they give of the late confederacy under the Prophet is as follows:
The Prophet with his Shawanoes is at a small Huron village about twelve miles from his former residence, on this
side the Wabash, where also are twelve or fifteen Hurons. The Kickapoos are encamped near the Tippicanoe. The Potawatamies
have scattered and gone to different villages of that tribe. The Winebagoes had all set out on their return to
their own country excepting one chief and nine men who remained at their former village. The latter had attended
Tecumseh in his tower to the southward and had only returned to the Prophet's town the day before the action. The
Prophet had sent a message to the Kickapoos on the Prairie to request that he might be permitted to retire to their
town. This was positively refused and a warning sent to him not to come there. He then sent to request that four
of his men might attend the Kickapoo chief here. This was also refused.
These chiefs say on the whole, that all the tribes who lost a warrior in the late action, attribute their misfortune
to the Prophet alone. That they constantly reproach him with their misfortunes and threaten him with death. That
they are all desirous of making their peace with the United States and will send deputations to me for that purpose
as soon as they are informed that they will be well received. The two chiefs further say that they were sent by
Governor Howard and General Clark sometime before the action to endeavor to bring off the Kickapoos from the Prophet's
town - that they used their best endeavors to effect it but unsuccessfully. That the Prophet's followers were fully
impressed with a belief that they could defeat us with ease - that it was their intentions to have attacked us
at Fort Harrison if we had gone no higher - that Racoon creek was then fixed on and finally Pine creek and that
the latter would probably have been the place if the usual route had not been abandoned and a crossing made higher
up. That the attack made on our sentinels at Fort Harrison was intended to shut the door against accommodation
- that the Winebagoes had forty warriors killed in the action and the Kickapoos eleven and ten wounded. They have
never heard how many Potawatomies and other tribes were killed. That the Potawatomie chief left by me on the battle
ground is since dead of his wounds, but that he faithfully delivered my speech to the different tribes and warmly
urged them to abandon the Prophet and submit to my terms.
I cannot say, sir, how much of the above may be depended on. I believe however, that the statement made by the
chief is generally correct, particularly with regard to the present disposition of the Indians. It is certain that
our frontiers have never enjoyed more profound tranquility than at this time. No injury of any kind that I can
hear of has been done either to the persons or property of our citizens. Before the expedition not a fortnight
passed over without some vexatious theft being committed. The Kickapoo chiefs certainly tell an untruth when they
say there were but eleven of this tribe killed and ten wounded. It is impossible to believe that fewer were wounded
than killed. They acknowledge however that the Indians have never sustained so severe a defeat since their acquaintance
with the white people.
I have the honor to be with great respect for your humble servant,
Wm. Henry Harrison.
P.S. The Chief of the Vermillion Kickapoos has this moment arrived.
Hon. Wm. Eustis,
Sec'y of War
[The Centinel, Gettysburg, PA, January 22, 1812]
To the Editors of "Liberty Hall" Fort Wayne, Nov. 30, 1811
The annual meeting of the Indians at this post for the purpose of holding their annual conference and receiving
the annuities due to them from the U. States, took place on the 22d inst. The Delawares, Stawanoes, Miamies, Potawatomies
and Eelriver Miamies were represented by the ancient and respectable chiefs of those tribes. The meeting was not
near as numerous as in former years, owing to the late period at which their annuities reached this post and owing
to the general alarm which pervaded and still pervades the Indian country in consequence of the battle recently
fought on the Wabash.
During an acquaintance of many years with the Indians of this agency, I have not seen more friendship and good
will manifested than at the late meeting. They renewed with us all their former engagements, declaring their firm
determination to maintain inviolate the several treaties now in force. They disclaim all agency in the late hostile
attack and entered into an arrangement among themselves to remove the Indians from the Prophet back to the several
tribes to which they belonged. I engaged, in the name of the government that all those who should return to their
former homes and conduct themselves peaceably in future, should be pardoned and their offences no more remembered.
All the information respecting the battle, which has reached this post has been derived from the Indians. The last
account was by a friendly chief, Winnemau, or the Catfish of the Potawatomies. It appears that the Kickapoos, Winebagoes
and Potawatomies, the very Indians whom the Prophet so lately commanded had him in custody. That they charged him
with the whole misfortune and were determined to kill him. He preached up to his followers before the battle that
the Great Spirit would render the arms of the Americans unavailing; that then bullets could make no impression
on the Indians; that it would be total darkness among the Americans so that they could not see the enemy and light
as day with the Indians. With these impressions firmly riveted in their minds, they proceeded to the attack. They
soon found their mistake when they saw their people began to fall and then they began to upbraid their leader with
having deceived them.
He then began to sing and call on the Almighty and told the Indians to fight on - that it would soon be as he had
said. Finally, finding that none of his promises were likely to be fulfilled, the poor deluded wretches took to
flight and abandoned the ground. It does not appear that they were pursued. Such of the Indians as remained wounded
on the field were agreeably to the Indian account, humanely treated by Governor Harrison.
The Prophet is now about 40 years of age; Tecumseh his brother is about 50. They are brothers by the same father
and mother. Neither of them were chiefs in their nation previous to their separation from the Shawanoes, which
was about six or seven years ago. Their father was chief of the Kickapoo tribe. Tecumseh has been a warrior of
note, and was in almost all the actions during the former Indian wars with us. The Prophet never was known as a
warrior. The Indians of his tribe lately told me that in the action with General Wayne he ran away and never halted
until he came to Detroit. We are told that he did not attempt fighting in the late attack on Gov. Harrison but
kept a distance from danger.
All the accounts we have had agree that the Indians are determined to kill him and his brother. On this head I
have told them that they (the Prophet and his brother) were in their hands and that whatever punishment they might
think proper to inflict on them would be agreeable to the President of the United States - that we held the ancient
and legitimate chiefs who were parties to all our treaties, responsible for the peace of the county; that if the
war became for general than at present, our troops would enter their country at all points and would not be able
to distinguish between friends and enemies; that now was the time to act and crush any further attempts among the
I have very good reason to believe that no further mischief will ensure and that the Prophet's followers well return
to their respective tribes. After the army moved away, the Indians returned to the battle ground, dug up the bodies
of our dead, stripped them and left them lying above ground. The Indians state that the militia burned their houses
and their corn and add that they understood it was contrary to the orders of Gov. Harrison. My impression at this
time is that the Indians will assassinate the Prophet and his brother and that peace will ensue. In my speech to
them at this place, offering in the name of the President pardon and forgiveness to all those who should immediately
abandon their leader, return home and conduct themselves peaceably in future, I excepted the Prophet and his brother,
declaring that we could not on any temrs suffer such villains to reside within the limits of our authority. It
was proposed to deliver them up here or at Vincennes.
This offer I declined accepting and told the Indians we left the punishment of those persons entirely to themselves
and calculated confidently on their justice. In the action, agreeably to their account, there were 28 Indians killed
and a number wounded, some of whom are since dead.
The whole of the Prophet's force at the time of the action did not exceed 250 fighting men. These were chiefly
Kickappoos and Winebagoes, with a few Shawanese and Potawatomies. There was not a single Miamie or Delaware with
them. The public may rest assured that the late attack on our troops is an much disapproved of by the bulk of the
Indians and by the whites, and that there is not any danger to be apprehended at present on any part of our frontier.
The government agents at our several stations throughout the Indian country will give early information of any
approaching danger and until such information is received, our citizens may rest in safety.
[The Centinel, Gettysburg, PA, January 22, 1812]
Chillicothe, Jan. 1, 1812
The Shawanee Prophet a Prisoner
A gentleman of intelligence and respectability from Cincinnati, who passed through New Market (Highland county)
on Friday evening last informs us that he saw a gentleman direct from the Indiana territory who informed him that
he had conversed with some members of the legislature of that territory, who communicated the important facts -
that the Prophet was surrendered a prisoner to Governor Harrison by some Indian chiefs; that Tecumseh, his brother,
was to be surrendered also, in like manner and that the Indian chiefs stated that in the late engagements on the
Wabash, the Indians lost 214 killed, besides a number wounded.
[The Centinel, Gettysburg, Pa , January 29 1812]