Monday, October 3, 2016

Indiana Autumn: Tippecanoe Battlefield

I spent a few days near Indianapolis recently and besides the glorious September weather, I was able to amble northwestwards to see the Tippecanoe Battlefield. Rather than go on at length about the battle: link

From the potted history therein:

The Battle of Tippecanoe was fought on November 7, 1811, near present-day Lafayette, Indiana between American forces led by Governor William Henry Harrison of the Indiana Territory and Native American warriors associated with the Shawnee leader Tecumseh. Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa (commonly known as "The Prophet") were leaders of a confederacy of Native Americans from various tribes that opposed US expansion into Native territory. As tensions and violence increased, Governor Harrison marched with an army of about 1,000 men to disperse the confederacy's headquarters at Prophetstown, near the confluence of the Tippecanoe and Wabash Rivers. Tecumseh, not yet ready to oppose the United States by force, was away recruiting allies when Harrison's army arrived. Tenskwatawa, a spiritual leader but not a military man, was in charge. Harrison camped near Prophetstown on November 6 and arranged to meet with Tenskwatawa the following day. Early the next morning, however, warriors from Prophetstown attacked Harrison's army. Although the outnumbered attackers took Harrison's army by surprise, Harrison and his men stood their ground for more than two hours. The Native Americans were ultimately repulsed when their ammunition ran low. After the battle, they abandoned Prophetstown and Harrison's men burned it to the ground, destroying the food supplies stored for the winter, and then returned home. Harrison, having accomplished his goal of destroying Prophetstown, proclaimed he had won a decisive victory.

The battlefield is only, in my conservative estimate, only three acres in size, and not really much to see (besides some magnificent oaks). But there was a rather nice little museum with a comprehensive bookshop (more of that anon). 

Recreation of the 4th US Infantry colours.

A curious assortment of figures in the museum diorama of the battle: Old Glory 28mm and some other figures that I can only estimate at 20-22mm size. 

Of course, as a serious wargamer (perhaps more accurately, seriously obsessed), my mind went immediately to the logistics of gaming this battle. Sharp Practice 2 would seem to be quite appropriate and I even have some of the American regulars already complete. But painting all those natives? 

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