Monday, January 27, 2014

Commandants At Fort Harrison

Lieutenant Colonel James Miller was in command from October 31 to November 14 while the army was on the Tippecanoe campaign.

Captain Josiah Snelling, of the Fourth Regiment of the United States Infantry. He was in command from November 14, 1811, to some time in June, 1812. He was promoted to Colonel of the Fifth Infantry,
June 2, 1819. Fort Snelling, Minn., is named for him.

Captain Zachary Taylor, of the Seventh Regiment of the United States Infantry. Captain Taylor was in command from some time in June, 1812, to September 16, but we find no date of appointment or
transfer. He defended Fort Harrison September 4 and 5, 1812. He afterward became General Taylor, "Old Rough and Ready," of the Mexican War, and later President of the United States.

It is known that Major Willoughby Morgan was in command of the Fort December, 1815. When he succeeded Captain Taylor or whether there was another officer between them is not known. In about May,
1816, he was ordered to other duty by General Jackson, then Commander-in-Chief of the Army, and left Major John T. Chunn in command of the Fort. It is said that he rebuilt the Fort.

Major John T. Chunn having reported to Major-General Arthur McComb. Commandant of the Department at Detroit, the departure of Major Morgan, General McComb issued an order May 10, 1816, transferring Major Chunn from Fort Knox, and placing him in command at Fort Harrison. This order instructed Major Chunn to remove government property from Fort Knox to Fort Harrison. This apparently was the end of Fort Knox as a government post. Major Chunn had helped to build the Fort at the time of the Harrison campaign to Tippecanoe.  He was then a Lieutenant in one of the companies of that army.  He
was appointed Captain of the Nineteenth Regiment of the U. S. Infantry, April 14. 1812. He was transferred to the Third Regiment on May 17, 1815. He resigned from the army June 12, 1821, after a long and honorable service. He returned to Terre Haute to spend the rest of his life, and leave a long list of descendants to honor his name.

Major Robert Sturgis. Appointed Ensign of the Second Infantry, September 28, 1812. Promoted to First Lieutenant March 9, 1814, and resigned February 10, 1818. He had served as a volunteer private in
Captain Benj. Parks' troop of light dragoons, in the Tippecanoe campaign, and so was a builder of Fort Harrison. From many legends, he was so interesting a character, 'tis a pity more is not known of his his-
tory. He never married. He died in Terre Haute about 1828.

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