The Danger Period -- Indian History

Battle of Tippecanoe

Importance of Tippecanoe

While the Battle of Tippecanoe did not put an end to Indian hostilities it was, nevertheless, a fight of such importance as to merit the term "decisive." Probably it decided to no small degree the future of Indiana, for whereas it effecutally checked the political plans of Tecumseh and destroyed the dangerous influence of the Prophet, Indian victory would doubtless have accelerated these, and wheat the frontier would have suffered with its protecting army defeated is beyond guessing, especially when we consider the fast-following war with England.

The impress it left on the minds of the people was strong and abiding. No less than half-a-dozen counties in the state were afterward named for heroes of Tippecanoe. It made for Governor Harrison a military reputation which opened the way to conspicuous service in the War of 1812 and which as late as 1840 carried him to the presidential chair of the United States after the most enthusiastic political campaign the country has ever had. The spot where the conflict occurred is today the one battlefield that Indiana owns and fittingly preserves as a memorial of those that fought and fell there. General John Tipton, who was a participant in the battle, presented the ground to the State of Indiana in 1835. An obscure account that has never found its way into the histories is to the effect that on the 21st of November, 1830, the bones of those killed on the field nineteen years before were collected and interred "by a large concourse of people with due gravity and respect," the remains being put in one large coffin on the lid of which, formed of brass nails, was the inscription, "Rest, Warriors, Rest." General Harrison, who was to have been the leading figure on this occasion, was kept away by illness and General John Tipton took his place.

Apropos to this interment, it is further stated that after Harrison's troops had buried their dead and withdrawn from the field after the battle, the Indians returned, dug up the bodies and scalped them, leaving them unburied (Indiana Journal, Nov. 3, 1830; Indiana Democrat, Sept. 25, 1830; Niles' Register, Nov. 27, 1830).