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"The Conduct of the Militia at Tippecanoe: Elihu..." Topic


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©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Tango0111 Aug 2017 10:32 a.m. PST

… Stout's Controversy with Colonel John P. Boyd, January, 1812

"The forces commanded by Governor William Henry Harrison at the battle of Tippecanoe in November, 1811, were composed of Indiana militia, Kentucky volunteers, and regular army units. In the months that followed, a controversy over the relative merits of the militia and the regulars was waged in the columns of the VincennesWestern Sun, edited by Elihu Stout. The dispute culminated in an attempt by Colonel John P. Boyd, second in command at Tippecanoe and commander of the principal regular force, the Fourth United States Infantry Regiment, to do personal injury to the editor. Boyd had been offended by editorial remarks directed at him by Stout.

Actually the whole quarrel was only a segment of a much older political struggle in Indiana Territory between Harrison's supporters and opponents. The controversy first attracted public attention in the second session of the third general assembly in November and December, 1811. Here Harrison's opponents seemed determined to praise the conduct of units commanded by Boyd and Colonels Luke Decker and Joseph Bartholomew in an effort to embarrass the commander-in-chief. Harrison felt impelled to reply to a house resolution which he felt had slighted the role of the volunteers; his message was a forceful defense of the militia. In this dispute, as on most other questions of his administration, Harrison had the backing of Stout and the Western Sun. The following documents comprise the core of the Stout-Boyd controversy as it developed in January, 1812…"
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