Page:Messages and Letters of William Henry Harrison Vol. 1.djvu/649

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HARRISON: MESSAGES AND LETTERS

tomorrow morning & shall reach one of the most difficult passes (called Pine creek) on the 4th Inst, the anniversary of General St. Clair's defeat. Should we be attacked on that day I hope to alter the Color with which it has been marked in our callender for the last twenty years. I have been joined by two out of the four Companies of Mounted Riflemen which I ordered on. There is no probability of the others coming up. The spy which I sent to the Prophets Town has not returned & I very much fear that he has fallen a victim to his confidence in the friendship of the Indians for him.

Captain [Paul] Wentworth[1] has sent in his resignation through Col. Boyd. I was consulted on the occasion & gave my sanction to the measure because Eleven out of twelve of his brother officers expressed an opinion of his being entirely unfit for the service. I thought it best however to order him to take the immediate command of the new Garrison [Fort Harrison] as the extreme low state of Col. Miller's health made it necessary that there should be another officer. I remained at the Garrison a few hours after the march of the army and the Captain took that opportunity to request my permission to leave the Fort and return to Vincennes. I pointed out the necessity of his staying and referred him to Col. Miller who was so weak as to be unable to walk without the assistance of a stick. The Colonel's answer was that he hoped I would permit him to go as he had rather spare the Captain than the meanest soldier in the Garrison. I mention this in the hope that the Captain's pay and Emoluments may cease on the 29 Ultimo the day he left the Fort.

It was my intention to have named the Fort after one of the Heads of the Departments who performs his duties not more advantageously to the public interests than satisfactorily to those who have the Honor to receive their Orders from him, but recollecting that it was a temporary work and would be only wanted for a few years it occurred to me that I should do injury where I meant to do honor. At the request of my officers therefore I gave them permission to name the Work and they were pleased to call it Fort Harrison I have the Honor to be With great respect Tr your Hble

Sevt

Willm Henry Harrison

The Honble William Eustis Secretary of War

  1. Paul Wentworth was from New Hampshire. He was made a captain in the 4th Inf. May 3, 1808 and resigned Oct. 29, 1811. No reason is given but the inference is that he feared the Indians.