Moving along the Mississinewa, Campbell found three other villages, all now deserted, as learning of the first attack the Indians had all fled. The army looted and burned the towns and then retreated back to the first village and camped for the night with 40 or so women and children taken captive in the first village.
The Indians, upon learning of the attack, began to gather and soon 300 or so Miami and Delaware were ready to try and recapture the prisoners. It would be 300 against almost 800 whites, but the Indians were mad and wanted revenge.
On the morning of Dec. 17 the braves attacked Campbell’s camp. What followed was one of the most savage battles in Indiana history. Outnumbered, the Indians had little chance of victory, but they attacked with a savage fury born of desperation to recapture their women and children.
The Indians attacked again and again, but were finally driven off. A total of 12 whites had been killed and 44 more had been wounded. At least 30 of the Indians had been killed and a number of others wounded.
Campbell was afraid of another battle and headed back to Ohio. His trip back was a nightmare. It was very cold and snowy and his troops suffered terribly. Many came down with frostbite and by the time they reached Fort Greenville 335 troops were invalid and unfit for duty.
With those killed and wounded, Campbell had lost almost half his force.
Long almost forgotten, the Battle of Mississinewa is now once again brought to life each year with a re-enactment of this fierce battle on the banks of the Mississinewa.
If you like Native American history, lore and legend then the Mississenewa area is your cup of tea. The region from Peru to Marion is the heart of Indiana’s Indian heritage, and is a must if you, like me, love the story of our Native American saga.