Tippecanoe County Historical Association
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TCHA ID Number2-29(1)
Purdue ID NumberGWb2f29i1
TitleTippecanoe Battle Ground
CreatorWinter, George, 1810-1876
Description"Tippecanoe Battle Ground Octbr 6th 1840." AMs, 16p. (4 sheets, folded; with two photocopies) George Winter visited the battleground the afternoon of the 6th; description of the lovely trees, mainly oaks, widely spaced with a park-like appearance. To the west is Burnett's creek, to the east a prairie over which the Indians retreated. G.W. first sketched the highest point of the battleground from a spot in the middle of the Lafayette Road. The afternoon light reflected nicely off the creek. It was on this high point that the sentinal was killed; it was also the site of Indian graves, since disturbed. At 9:00 p.m., G.W. walked over the battlefield, which was profoundly still and evocative under the moonlight. According to Mr. Allen, whose father first surveyed this land, two trees at the edge of the battleground mark the spot where Daviess was killed. Having obtained permission from Harrison, he charged an Indian battery under these trees with his dragoons.
Description ContinuedOn Oct. 7, G.W. arose before sunrise and watched the sun come up through a mellowing mist. He is grateful to be able to appreciate the beauty of this scene; he finds nature more spiritually inspiring than any prayer. G.W. has begun a second sketch from the summit of the battlefield, near where Capt. Spencer's company was stationed, including the point where the Prophet sat during the battle, as well as the campground of the government army. Sketching for twelve hours that day in the hot sun proved difficult. G.W. is convinced that the elevation of the summit is greater than Dawson reports; he will measure it with the assistance of [?] Watson, the landlord of the Battle Ground House. On Oct. 8, G.W. finished a third sketch of the trees where Daviess was shot, including the forest in back and the point where the Prophet sat. He then went to Prophet's Town, 1 1/4 miles away. He found it very difficult to cross the marsh and weedy fields north of the enclosure, and tore his coat. A drainage ditch has recently been dug along these wet fields, and an Indian skeleton was found during the digging. The view of the Battle Ground from the parklands beyond the prairie is not picturesque, as the ground there is too low. From there, a road leads to Prophet's Town, through dwarf oaks and past a rise to which the Indians retreated before Harrison's advance. Upon the bluffs over the Wabash, where the wigwams of Tecumseh and the Prophet stood, Mr. Shaw's house is now located. The village was well situated on the 45-foot-high bluff, and the Indians had completely cleared a 40-acre area which has since become covered with under-brush. G.W. felt moved to stand where the Prophet had stood and look down upon the Wabash and the forest beyond. Tecumseh's hearth is still visible as a slightly raised circle; a wild cherry tree now grows there. Indian relics are often dug up at the village site. G.W. attempted to sketch, but found the intermittent rain disruptive. He returned to Battle Ground House through heavy winds, which boded poorly for the next day's projected return to Logansport. He wrote, therefore, to Mary telling her he would be delayed. Oct. 9 was rainy; he sketched the graves of the government dead, but the rain made it difficult and prevented a return to Prophet's Town for further sketching. He instead sketched the battleground from the shelter of a log cabin erected by the Whigs for their convention, and measured the elevation of the summit. Oct. 10 was again rainy; G.W. is feeling depressed and philosophical, and again cannot go to Prophet's Town. He found several relics near the enclosure and sketched a little between showers. Oct. [?] was almost continuously rainy, but he managed to complete his most complex sketch, one of the parklands. The next day, he returned to Prophet's Town, where John Shaw gave him an Indian pony shoe and other items. He borrowed a dugout canoe and attempted to cross the Wabash so as to sketch the bluff from the far bank, but the heavy current swept him downriver. He contented himself with sketching from a closer vantage point. The sketch includes the cherry tree on Tecumseh's hearth and Shaw's house, drawn from the point where Harrison's interpreters stood and parleyed with the Indians. G.W. returned to Battle Ground, where his sketches were appreciated by a party of visiting gentlemen at the tavern. On the 12th, he finished measuring the elevations of the battlefield, which ranged from 17'1" to 33'. He stood under the trees, pocked with bullet marks, where Col. Owen and J. H. Daviess are buried. The weather was again lovely, as was the spot. This ground is sanctified, and G.W. hopes the dilapidated fence enclosing it will be replaced with a better one. He crossed the creek to the meadow beyond and climbedvup to the "Rattlesnake's Den" rock, from which he sketched the Battle Ground, prairie, and creek, and upon descending found a human bone.
SubjectsTippecanoe Battlefield (Battle Ground, Ind.)
Daviess, Joseph H.
RepositoryTippecanoe County Historical Association
RightsImages in the George Winter Collection should not be used without written permission from the Tippecanoe County Historical Association. To obtain reproduction rights and prices, contact the Tippecanoe County Historical Association, http://www.tcha.mus.in.us
Date of Original1840
Extent of Original16 p. ; 21 cm.
CollectionGeorge Winter Collection
Date Digitized8/07/2006
Capture DeviceEpson Expression 10000XL Photo Scanner
Capture DetailsSilverfast 6.4.1 r8c by Lazersoft
Resolution300 ppi
Color Depth24 bit
Color ManagementMonaco EZcolor using an IT8 target
URI ark:/34231/c6b8562m