Page:Messages and Letters of William Henry Harrison Vol. 1.djvu/654

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INDIANA HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS

cer's rifle corps, which occupied the open fields adjacent to the river. The Indians seeing this manoeuvre, at the approach of the troops towards the town, supposed that they intended to attack it, and immediately prepared for defence. Some of them sallied out, and called to the advanced corps to halt. The Governor upon this rode forward, and requested some of the Indians to come to him, assured them, that nothing was farther from his thoughts than to attack them—that the ground below the town on the river, was not calculated for an encampment and that it was his intention to search for a better one above. He asked if there was any other water convenient besides that which the river afforded; and an Indian with whom he was well acquainted, answered, that the creek, which had been crossed two miles back, ran through the prairie to the north of the village. A halt was then ordered, and some officers sent back to examine the creek, as well as the river above the town. In half an hour, brigade major Marston Clarke[1]and major Waller Taylor returned, and reported that they had found on the creek, everything that could be desirable in an encampment—an elevated spot, nearly surrounded by an open prairie, with water convenient, and a sufficiency of wood for fuel. An idea was propagated by the enemies of Governor Harrison after the battle of Tippecanoe, that the Indians had forced him to encamp on a place, chosen by them as suitable for the attack they intended. The place, however, was chosen by majors Taylor and Clarke, after examining all the environs of the town; and when the army of general [Samuel] Hopkins[2] was there in the following year, they all united in the opinion, that a better spot to resist Indians, was not to be found in the whole country.

The army now marched to the place selected, and encamped late in the evening, on a dry piece of ground, which rose about ten feet above the level of a marshy prairie in front, towards the town, and about twice as high above a similar prairie in the rear; through which, near the bank, ran a small stream

  1. Marston Clark was born in Va. 1774. About 1800 he settled near Louisville. From there he moved into Ind. and finally located at Salem. His father was perhaps a brother of Geo. R. Clark. He was well known as a militia officer and served in the legislature as well as U. S. Indian agent. He was grand master of the Indiana masons in 1825. He died at Salem in 1842. McDonald, Freemasonry in Indiana, 336.
  2. Samuel Hopkins was a native of Albemarle Co. Va.; a soldier of the Rev. surrendered with Lincoln at Charleston. May 20, 1780. Came to Ky. 1797. Located at Red Banks, now Henderson. Served in congress 1813-15 and died Oct. 1819. Collins, Kentucky, 350. Lossing, War of 1812, 335-8.