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 Tecumseh’s enterprise. Worse, William Henry Harrison used Tecumseh’s absence to move against Tecumseh’s headquarters at Tippecanoe. Having assembled a ragtag army of 1,000 men—including 350 U.S. regulars, raw Kentucky and Indiana militiamen, and a handful of Delaware and Miami Indian scouts—Harrison attacked outside of Tippecanoe on November 7, 1811. Losses were equally heavy on both sides—about 50 whites and 50 Indians slain, but the battle cost Tecumseh’s 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.