Page:Messages and Letters of William Henry Harrison Vol. 1.djvu/647

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HARRISON: MESSAGES AND LETTERS

this moment be but a few miles from us make the appearance. The Delaware Chiefs arrived in Camp yesterday and gave an account of their efforts to induce the Prophet to lay aside his hostile designs in presence of all the officers. They were badly received, ill treated and insulted and finally dismissed with the most contemptuous remarks upon them and us. The party which fired upon our Centinels arrived at the Town when the Delawares were there, they were Shawanees and the Prophet's nearest Friends. Nothing now remains but to chastise him and he shall certainly get it. One of the companies which I have ordered on will join me today and another tomorrow. I cannot account for the conduct of the Prophet upon any rational principle. Many of the Potawatimies have left him; from the best accounts I can get he has not more than 450 men. But these are desperadoes wound up to the highest pitch of enthusiasm by his infernal arts. The Delawares left him practising his magic rites and performing their war dances day and night.

I am still in hopes that the Kickapoos will abandon him on our approach. The Sick amongst the Militia have greatly increased since the last report but the regular Troops which are on the sick report are generally better. I am happy to inform you that the whole of the Troops are in fine spirits and eager to come in contact with the Enemy. I have used every exertion in my power to perfect them in the manouvers which they are to perform. I have exercised them myself almost daily, and their progress has been such that I do not hesitate to pronounce them so perfect as Genl. Wayne's army was on the day of his victory over the Indians. I promise you Sir that all the objects intended by the Expedition shall be effected.

[William] Well's account of the manner in which the murders in the Illinois Territory were perpetrated is absolutely false. The truth is that they were directed by the Prophet for the purpose of forcing the Indians of the Illinois River to unite with him. He has determined to commit to the flames the first of our men whom he can take in person.

I have the Honor to enclose herewith a return of the troops under my command.

I am with sincere respect Sir your humble servt.

Willm. Henry Harrison