Page:Messages and Letters of William Henry Harrison Vol. 1.djvu/653

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HARRISON: MESSAGES AND LETTERS

said he would advance, provided he could get any proper person to go to the town with a flag. Captain T. Dubois of Vincennes having offered his services, he was dispatched with an interpreter to the prophet, desiring to know whether he would now comply with the terms, that had been so often proposed to him. The army was moved slowly after in order of battle. In a few moments a messenger came from captain Dubois informing the Governor that the Indians were near him in considerable numbers, but that they would return no answer to the interpreter, although they were sufficiently near to hear what was said to them and that upon his advancing, they constantly endeavored to cut him off from the army. Governor Harrison during this last effort to open a negotiation, which was suflicient to show his wish for an accommodation, resolved no longer to hesitate in treating the Indians as enemies. He therefore recalled captain Dubois, and moved on with a determination to attack them. He had not proceeded far, however, before he was met by three Indians, one of them a principal cousellor to the prophet. They were sent, they said, to know why the army was advancing upon them—that the prophet wished if possible to avoid hostilities; that he had sent a pacific message by the Miami and Potawatamie chiefs, who had come to him on the part of the Governor—and that those chiefs had unfortunately gone down on the south side of the Wabash. A suspension of hostilities was accordingly agreed upon; and a meeting was to take place the next day between Harrison and the chiefs, to agree upon the terms of peace. The Governor further informed them, that he would go on to the Wabash, and encamp there for the night. Upon marching a short distance further he came in view of the town, which was seen at some distance up the river upon a commanding eminence. Major Daveiss and adjutant Floyd had mistaken some scattering houses in the field below, for the town itself. The ground below the town being unfavorable for an encampment, the army marched on in the direction of the town, with a view to obtain a better situation beyond it. The troops were in an order of march, calculated by a single conversion of companies, to form the order of battle, which it had last assumed, the dragoons being in front. This corps, however, soon became entangled in ground, covered with brush and tops of fallen trees. A halt was ordered, and major Daveiss directed to change position with [Spier] Spen-