Battle of Tipton's Island

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Tipton's Island
Part of the War of 1812
DateApril 1813
Result Indecisive
Shawnee  United States
Indiana Rangers
Commanders and leaders
John Tipton
Unknown 30
Casualties and losses
1 killed
3 drowned in escape
Several wounded
3 settlers killed
2 settlers wounded

The Battle of Tipton's Island was an engagement between a Shawnee war party and Indiana militia under command of John Tipton in April 1813 on the White River near Seymour, Indiana.

In April 1813, during the War of 1812, a Shawnee war party killed two white settlers eight miles from Fort Vallonia. The war party continued towards the fort, killing another settler and wounding three more.[1] The Shawnee then put some distance between themselves and the fort, but were soon pursued by 30 Indiana militiamen under Major John Tipton known as "Corydon's Yellow Jackets".[2]

The Shawnee crossed the flooded Driftwood River and, thinking they had lost their pursuers, set up camp on an island in the east fork of the White River. One of Tipton's scouts located the trail, however, and the rangers cautiously approached the river. Major Tipton ordered the rangers to maintain absolute silence, and tied one ranger to a tree when he kept talking.[3] The militia took positions along the bank of the river and opened fire. The Shawnee were taken by surprise, but returned fire for about half an hour. Few casualties were suffered due to the firing distance across the river and the shelter provided by the wooded island.[4] One Shawnee was killed and several were wounded, but a few drowned when they tried to swim across the flooded White River.

The militia could not pursue the Shawnee across the river, so they returned to Fort Vallonia. There was a victory celebration, but as details of the skirmish emerged, it was determined to be a small engagement against a war party that managed to escape. "Tipton's Island" became a term of ridicule.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Allison, 249
  2. ^ Carmony, Donald F. (1916). "Section 15". Indiana Magazine of History. Indiana University, Dept. of History.
  3. ^ *Pershing, Marvin W (c. 1900). Life of General John Tipton and Early Indiana History. Tipton literary and Suffrage Club. Also on
  4. ^ Allison, 250
  5. ^ Allison, 251
  • Allison, Harold (1986). The Tragic Saga of the Indiana Indians. Paducah: Turner Publishing Company. ISBN 0-938021-07-9.