This site is denoted by a Historic Marker stating the approximate area within which the Battle of Mississinewa occurred during the War of 1812. The sign states the actual battleground is 2 miles west, but that may be private land now, only used for the reenactments. This battle was one of the few battles fought this far west and only one of a handful that actually occurred within what is now the State of Indiana.
On the morning of December 17, 1812,
Indiana Territorial Governor William Henry Harrison led an expeditionary force of
US troops and militia members from Kentucky, Indiana, and Virginia against
Miami Nation villages in the area in response to the recent attacks on Fort
Wayne (see point on Siege of Ft. Wayne) and Fort Harrison that Governor Harrison blamed
on the Native Americans, specifically on the Miami (1). One major aspect of this battle was the fact that the
US troops, Harrison especially, were afraid of where Tecumseh was at the time,
and there are military correspondence between the commanding officer and
Harrison that discuss how close Tecumseh’s war party was to the troops during
Harrison’s movement into the area. Tecumseh was as close as 15 miles away at
one point (2).
On the morning of the December 18th the Indians
counterattacked and tried to push the Americans back and out of the area but
were unsuccessful. In the end 12 American soldiers lost their lives and a total
of 38 Miami warriors and 10 Delaware warriors were killed (1). There is also
written evidence within military commendation recommendation letters that say
that the American troops were merciful with prisoners and did not just
kill them all.They instead took many prisoners and also let many women and
children go without harm.
Now at the site all that stands is
a large wooden sign and then a road sign 2 miles east of the battle site on a
main state road (3). However, every year in October the battlefield site hosts a
two day historical reenactment of the battle open to the public.
More information can be found on the website listed below.
Note to visitors: There is a Native American cemetery and US
military personnel buried on the battleground site so please pay the utmost
respect to the individuals buried here.