Fort Harrison (1)
Fort Harrison (1811-1818) - Constructed in 1811 to protect Vincennes, the capital of the Indiana Territory and named after General William Henry Harrison who ordered its construction. Abandoned in 1818. Also known as Fort William Henry Harrison (3), Camp Battelle and Camp Battelle des Illinois.
The fort was originally 150-feet square with two-story blockhouses at three corners and the barracks forming part of the walls. The fort was completed 28 Oct 1811 and on 7 Nov 1811 the Battle of Tippecanoe took place near Prophetstown. General Harrison defeated the forces of Shawnee Chief Tecumseh but the Indian forces rebuilt Prophetstown and aligned with the British in the upcoming War of 1812.
Captain Zachary Taylor was in command of Fort Harrison when the War of 1812 began. A force of 600 Miami, Potawatomi, Kickapoo and Winnebago warriors attacked Fort Harrison on 4 Sep 1812. Captain Taylor had only 15 soldiers (5 of whom were sick) and the help of several civilians to defend the fort. An Indian warrior set the barracks on fire. This set the few defenders into a panic and the Indian warriors began firing upon the fort. Taylor ordered the fort's surgeon and a handful of defenders to control the fire. The remaining few of the garrison returned the fire of the Indians so fiercely that they were able to hold off the attack. The Indian force withdrew later that day and when reinforcements arrived from Vincennes. During the attack the southwest blockhouse was burned down. The fort was rebuilt in 1815-16 with four blockhouses, one at each corner.
For his services at Fort Harrison, Captain Zachary Taylor received a brevet promotion to major.
Abandoned in 1818 after peace was established.