Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Battle of Tippecanoe

We just finished up a week in Cerro Cordo, Illinois, this is a little town, very little town that's east of Decatur . The first day here we went o the County Historical Museum which was very interesting, they had a lot of Lincoln stuff an some other very interesting artifacts but they don't allow any type of photography so it's hard to show you how nice it is.

The little campground we found right in town, we're the little guy on the right.

The second day here I twisted my back a little an then Cathy wrenched her knee so it was a few days of trading the heating pad and ice packs back and forth. Cabin fever started to set in so we took a little drive yesterday to the nearby Amish town of Arthur, not very much there but on the way home Cathy spotted an Outlet Mall so we both did some walking to ease our pains.
I think that we have already had 12 days of rain this week so that gave us plenty of time to rest up, but now it's time to pack up and take that long drive across the flat empty corn fields of Illinois and Indiana.

We're at a really nice campground that's on a lake that was formed by damming up the Tippecanoe River, they're calling for a lot more rain this week so we're going to try and take advantage of any sunshine we can get.

Sunshine, so we're on the road, first stop The Tippecanoe Battlefield and Museum, we were her about 20 years ago but there was no museum at that time.
Time for a little history about this area and battle.

Prophetstown was founded in early 1808 by Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa (the Prophet), they planned to unite all the tribes in the Midwest and organize a defense against the settlers moving into this area. It also became a training center for the almost 1000 warriors that were based here.

The settlers in the area became scared of the large number of Indians and the power that Tecumseh was gaining. Gen. William Henry Harrison, Governor of the territory, put together a small army of 1000 men in the late summer of 1811, to destroy the town. The plan was to attack while Tecumseh was down south attempting to recruit more tribes, he met with the Prophet and it was agreed that they would hold a meeting the following day, Harrison and his troops then move about a mile west to a clearing to set camp, not trusting the Indians he placed a large detail on sentinel Duty.

Prophet had been warned by Tecumseh not to attack the white man until he returned and they were able to make the confederation strong, ignoring this warning the Prophet gather his warriors that night and got them worked up for a battle , he cast a spell that would turn the white mans bullets into dust so they could not hurt the warriors then just before dawn he gave the order to attack.

A sentry heard a sound in the brush and fire a blind shot in that area, with luck it struck an Indian, who let out a scream and the battle was on, after two hours the Indians retreated leaving thirty-seven soldiers dead ans another twenty-five who would die of injuries, and over 128 were wounded. The Indian casualties were unknown, feeling that they had been deceived by the Prophet the warriors stripped him of his powers and left Phophetstown, abandoning their belongings. Harrison waited for a second attack but when it never came he entered Prophetstown and finding it abandon burnt it to the ground before returning to Vincennes.

Prior to the battle Prophet had told his warriors that Harrison would be the only one riding a light colored horse and that they were to kill him, in all the confusion at the start of the attack Harrison grabbed the closest horse, which was black, and started directing the battle, one of his officers grabbed Harrison's horse and was killed immediately, a small incident like this allowed Harrison to escape death making it possibly for him to go on and become the 9th President of the United States.

Following this defeat Tecumseh joined up with the British for the war of 1812, Harrison continue in the army and was Commander of the troops at the battle of the Thames where Tecumseh was killed in 1813. Prophet with a small band of followers, wandered the Northwest and Canada until his death in 1834.

The museum here really does a great job of explaining the battle in detail and has a lot of unique artifacts found during archaeological digs.

Just an interesting story and it mentions Detroit.

From here we drove around to the Prophetstown State Park and toured the 1920's living history farm. This was an interesting hour and a half, starting with our new friend Jake the tour dog who followed us the entire time, he goes to the corn bin and brings back a corn cob to play fetch with. There is a Sear catalog house (nine rooms an a bath), a barn with the cows and a young bull which we got to watch as they tried to corral him into a trailer to be moved to another part of the park, this only took them about 20 minutes.

They also have a team of eight Belgium work horse here, these are the same type of horse that are the trademark for Palm beer which is produced in Belgium. Budweisers horses are a copy of the Palms horses.
Now it's time to batten down the hatches for the thunderstorms that are coming Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Just a few more pictures of the farm.

She followed her babies where ever they went.

Just an old tractor

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