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Washington Burns, a Nation Is Reborn


In this Chapter

Early disasters and the near-collapse of the West

Naval triumphs and Western victories

The burning of Washington and the defense of Baltimore

The Battle of Lake Champlain and the Treaty of Ghent

Jackson as the Hero of New Orleans

Late in the summer of 1811, Tecumseh left the Ohio country for the South to expand his alliances to the Chickasaws, Choctaws, and Creeks. Except for a militant Creek faction known as the Red Sticks, these groups wanted no part of Tecumsehs enterprise. Worse, William Henry Harrison used Tecumsehs absence to move against Tecumsehs headquarters at Tippecanoe. Having assembled a ragtag army of 1,000 menincluding 350 U.S. regulars, raw Kentucky and Indiana militiamen, and a handful of Delaware and Miami Indian scoutsHarrison attacked outside of Tippecanoe on November 7, 1811. Losses were equally heavy on both sidesabout 50 whites and 50 Indians slain, but the battle cost Tecumsehs followers their headquarters and prompted many of them to desert Tecumseh. Thus the settlers of the West had their first taste of a major fight and a significant victory. Of fighting, they were about to get more than their fill during the next three years. Victories, however, would be very few.

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