Day 21: Interstate Tour 2018

 Tippecanoe Battlefield

Tippecanoe Battlefield

I departed Woodburn, Indiana in the morning after refilling the water tank and made the trek to West Lafayette in about two 1/2 hours, promptly recording a new fiddle tune on my iPhone when I arrived at Agave Azul for dinner. Originally, I'd planned on going to Prophetstown State Park and staying there through Friday before heading over to Battle Ground for the Indiana Fiddlers Gathering.  With the weather promising a weekend of precipitation, I decided to go to the park, get some drone shots, and see if there was any way to set up camp early.

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Battle Ground is a small town of around 1,300 people just north of Lafayette.  Here, General William Henry Harrison and a unit of 1000 men were attacked by Shawnee Indians led by spiritual leader Tenskwatawa in the early morning of November 7th, 1811.  Harrison and the troops had been sent on a government mission to meet with the Shawnee council at Prophetstown, an indian village founded in 1808 by Tenskwatawa and his brother, Tecumseh.  The United States was wary of the growing confederacy of tribes organizing in the town, protesting the U.S. expansion into Native territory and Harrison was to meet with Tecumseh and basically inform him of the government's demands.

While Tecumseh was away recruiting more allies to resist the coming invasion, Harrison and his troops arrived in Prophetstown on November 6th, 1811 and met with council representatives of Tenskwatawa.  They'd return the next day and state the government's demands.

Camped about a mile northwest of Prophetstown, Harrison prepared his men for the treachery of Tenskwatawa.  Still, at 4 am on the morning of November 7th, Tenskwatawa and 700 warriors attacked Harrison and his army as they slept in a grove of trees.

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When it was all over, 63 soldiers were killed, or died from their injuries, and 128 were wounded. There are apparently no records of how many Natives were killed, but it's estimated that 63 were killed and 80 were wounded.  The warriors managed to inflict major damage straight away, but were out-gunned and overpowered by the military in a two hour stand-off that resulted in the indians retreating and abandoning Prophetstown, which Harrison and his remaining troops promptly burned to the ground.

Whatever side of history you're on, it's a horrible thing to consider.

The land upon which The Battle of Tippecanoe took place has been preserved and a monument was erected in 1908 to honor the fallen military.  This field, with marble markers where the officers fell, is right next to where the Indiana Fiddlers Gathering is held and I remember being really blown away by the energy, last time I was here. This year, it's hitting me like a ton of bricks and I've walked the battlefield several times since I arrived.  

This is one of the events that led up to The War of 1812 and that wasn't that long ago in the course of our history.  Thinking about the current news cycle, plenty has changed and much of it hasn't.  We're still fighting the same wars, we're just doing it differently.

I hiked around a little bit and then put the Mavic Pro up and got some shots. Then, found out that I could just park overnight and set up camp tomorrow. Perfect!  I finished editing Dulcimerica episode #395 and, with not-great cel service and a throttled data flow (I've used over 260 GB of data this month, mostly in working with the Dulcimerica Project), decided to wait till tomorrow to upload it.  Thursday would be a catch-up day and, hopefully, give me a breather before the grand slam run starts on Friday!

Day 22

 

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