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Harrison, William

Spurred by accounts of Indian Atrocities on the western frontier, Harrison left his medical studies in Virginia to join the Army as a sublieutenant in 1791. After serving in the Northwest Territory, he resigned from the Army in 1798. In 1800, Harrison was made the governor and superintendent of Indian Affair for the territory of Indiana. After a series of attacks by Tecumseh, Harrison lead a force of one thousand men, composed mostly of militia and volunteers, to the Indian settlement at Tippecanoe. After a fierce fight, the Indians were forced to retreat by a cavalry charge. Harrison was highly complimented by President Madison and the Kentucky and Indiana legislature for his part in the victory. After the battle, he was given the nickname “Tippecanoe.” During the War of 1812 Harrison served as a major-general with the Kentucky militia before he was appointed to the supreme command of the Army of the North-West. He recaptured Detroit in the fall of 1813 and then decisively defeated the British and their Indian allies on the Thames near Thomasville, Ontario. Harrison’s forces included 4,000 volunteers commanded by the governor of Kentucky. Harrison later received a gold medal from Congress for his victory on the Thames. He became the 9th president of the United States in 1840.