William Henry Harrison and the Conuest of the Ohio Country

William Henry Harrison and the Conuest of the Ohio Country Solid history of the War of 1812 in the Old Northwest focusing on reconstructing the constant small scale engagements and the effect of that kind of deployment on the local militias drawn from settlers Skaggs has clearly absorbed these scattered sources over a lifetime of thinking and teaching and the smooth thoughtful synthesis shows A well written history of Harrison’s northwestern campaign as well as Harrison’s military career up to that point Skaggs argues that Harrison is a perfect example of American generalship during the war; “the last American war in which the senior generals would be prominent citizens rather than professional soldiers” Skaggs covers Harrison’s experience at Fallen Timbers in 1794 as territorial governor of Indiana and at Tippecanoe before describing his campaigns during the war with BritainInteresting balanced and informative The chronology goes back and forth a bit though I recognize the value and hard work of the author but I didn't enjoy the book despite my strong interest in the subject matter I've read many books on Harrison's life and this time period but I found the style here a bit too technical for my tastes so I tended to skim through many parts Perhaps I I visit this again In his study of William Henry Harrison David Curtis Skaggs sheds light on the role of citizen soldiers in taming the wilderness of the old Northwest Perhaps best known for the Whig slogan in 1840—Tippecanoe and Tyler Too—Harrison used his efforts to pacify Native Americans and defeat the British in the War of 1812 to promote a political career that eventually elevated him to the presidencyHarrison exemplified the citizen soldier on the Ohio frontier in the days when white men settled on the western side of the Appalachian Mountains at their peril Punctuated by almost continuous small scale operations and sporadic larger engagements warfare in this region revolved around a shifting system of alliances among various Indian tribes government figures white settlers and business leadersSkaggs focuses on Harrison’s early life and military exploits especially his role on Major General Anthony Wayne's staff during the Fallen Timbers campaign and Harrison's leadership of the Tippecanoe campaign He explores how the military and its leaders performed in the age of a small standing army and part time Cincinnatus like forces This richly detailed work reveals how the military and Indian policies of the early republic played out on the frontier freshly revisiting a subject central to American history how white settlers tamed the west—and at what cost

About the Author: David Curtis Skaggs

An historian specializing in colonial America and the early Republic David Curtis Skaggs Jr is professor emeritus at Bowling Green State University

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