Some great movement against the whites was obviously in preparation. Determined to take the initiative, the United States assembled a force of regulars and militia in 1811, and placing it under the command of Harrison, directed him to march against the Prophet's town of Tippecanoe and demand the restoration of such property as had been carried off by the Indians. If his request was refused, he was to proceed and enforce the claim.
Accordingly Harrison, losing no time in delay, arrived before the town on the 6th of November. Here he was met by messengers from the Prophet, deprecating hostilities and promising that all differences should be adjusted on the morrow. Relying in part on this stipulation, yet alive to [possible] treachery...Harrison was perplexed what to do... .
He resolved finally to encamp for the night on...a position affording the best means of defence in the vicinity. His mistrust of the enemy was so great, however, that he encamped his men in order of battle, and directed them to rest on their arms, hence if attacked in the night, they would be ready instantaneously for the contest.