Page:Messages and Letters of William Henry Harrison Vol. 1.djvu/648

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606
INDIANA HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS

P. S. The Miami Chiefs have just arrived. They are entirely humbled. The Honble Willm Eustis Esqr. Secy. of War

Harrison to Secretary of War
Camp near the Vermilion River Nov. 2nd 1811

Hαr. Pα. 504-506

Sir:

I arrived at this place with the Troops under my command last evening. I crossed the Wabash about ten miles below this and have been this day employed in the erection of a small blockhouse upon the bank of the Wabash for the protection of the provisions and boats which I shall be obliged to leave here as the best and more direct road to the Prophets Town passes so much to the north ward of the River that the Boats can be no longer protected in ascending. Indeed I was not able to cover them as completely as I could have wished in the ascent to this place. And I was in constant apprehension of their being attacked when we were not in a situation to defend them. I was congratulating myself on their arrival when a letter from Col. [James] Miller (whose indisposition was such as to oblige me to leave him at the new Fort) announced the unfortunate intelligence of an attack upon a boat loaded with corn which was ascending the river from the fort to this place. It was fired on four miles above the fort and one man killed. The crew immediately returned to the fort. This circumstance has caused me much apprehension for the settlements below. I have therefore sent off a small detacliment of mounted riflemen to patrol round the settlements and have directed the senior militia officer at Vincennes to put every man upon the alert and to call out one or two companies should he think it necessary. The country round me has been examined for a considerable distance. Some signs of Indian parties passing southwardly have been discovered but in the attempt to trace them up the best woodsmen I have were baffled.

I am now from the best information I can get about 40 or 50 miles from the Prophet Town. The Country is generally open and there are as I understand a few places only where we can be advantageously attacked by the enemy. This information shall not however lull my vigilance. We march