As America’s population spread westward, hostilities between settlers in the Indiana Territory and Tecumseh’s Indian Confederacy intensified.
On November 6, 1811, territorial governor William Henry Harrison and 1,000 riflemen marched to the village of Prophetstown for the purposes of clearing the land for American settlers. The march was timed to coincide with the absence of the great Native warrior, Tecumseh, who was recruiting warriors in the south for his cause. Early that morning, Harrison’s men were ambushed. Despite a brutal battle in the dark morning, Harrison’s men succeeding in causing the Natives to retreat. Two days later, American forces burned Prophetstown to the ground. The razing of Prophetstown so angered the Native Americans, that many decided to join the British cause against the Americans.