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October 29, 2013

The Mississinewa River - Part II

In a past column I featured the Mississi-newa River, but it has so many interesting sites along it that I ran out of space before I could relate all there is to see and learn about this scenic northeastern Indiana river.

In addition to Lake Mississinewa and its huge dam, I detailed the Seven Pillars of the Mississinewa, a Miami Indian heritage and geological site. Also I featured the Godfrey Cemetery, a Miami heritage site in the past column, but there is another Indian cemetery near the Mississinewa River.

This one is a one-acre site that was once a part of a 6,400-acre Indian reservation. The cemetery is on a hilltop and contains the graves of descendants of Chief Metocinyah.

The reservation was founded in 1840 and lasted until it was divided and closed. An Indian school was established on the reservation and many of the Indians became Christian converts. This location was on CR 600N at the southern end of the Mississinewa Lake Project area. In the same area near the hamlet of Jalpa is the site of a very savage battle between the Indians and forces of the United States Army during the War of 1812.

Gen. William Henry Harrison, in charge of American troops in the Indiana-Ohio area, sent Col. John Campbell and 787 officers and enlisted men all mounted on a raid against the Indians living in the Mississinewa River region.

The army left Franklin, Ohio, on Nov. 15, 1812, and rode to Fort Greenville, Ohio, to obtain supplies and fresh horses. On Dec. 14 they crossed into Indiana. Campbell’s force found and attacked some Indian villages that had not taken an active part in the war. During one encounter, eight Indian men, the only ones in the village as the rest were away hunting, were all killed as were two white soldiers.

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