Battle of Mississinewa

December 17-18, 1812, Jalapa, Indiana Territory

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Battle of Mississinewa
American Forces Commanded by
Lt. Col. John B. Campbell
Strength Killed Wounded Missing/Captured
600 12 48 ??
British / Indian Forces Commanded by
Francis Godfroy, Joe Richardville and Little Thunder
Strength Killed Wounded Missing/Captured
300 24 ? 76
Conclusion: Inconclusive

The Battle of the Mississinewa, also known as Mississineway, was an expedition ordered by Gen. William H. Harrison against Miami Indian villages in response to the attacks on Seige of Fort Wayne and battle of Fort Harrison in the Indiana Territory.

After receiving permission from Secretary of War William Eustis, Harrison ordered Lt. Col. John B. Campbell to lead an expedition into Indiana. Campbell's objective was to destroy the Miami villages along the Mississinewa River. Campbell's force of 600 mounted troops departed from Fort Greenville on December 14 and travled 80 miles during the middle of winter and reached the Miami village on December 17. Attacking the village, the mounted force took the Indians by surprise taking 76 prisoners including 34 women and children.

Later that day having accomplished his objective, Campbell considered returning to Fort Greenville on account of severe frostbite among his troopers. The next morning a sizeable Indian force counterattacked, killing 8 Americans and wounding another 48. Campbell then began the return march to Fort Greenville taking with him the 76 prisoners. During the return trek the American force suffered greatly from frostbite and by the time they reached Fort Greenville on December 28, some 300 of his troops were suffering from frostbite.

The Indian force was only concerned with protecting their lives and winter food supplies. In order to ensure this, they simply needed to stop Campbell's expedition and force it to return to its base, which they did. Harrison claimed the expedition as a victory because of the prisoners that were taken and contemplated sending another expedition down the Mississinewa despite the fact over half his cavalry was incapacitated either from battle wounds or frostbite. Harrison received approval and appointed Campbell a full-colonel in the Regular army.

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