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The ninth president of the United States, William Henry Harrison, was elected as a war hero. He began his army career under General “Mad Anthony” Wayne at the Battle of Fallen Timbers (1794). During this time, he drove back the Western Confederacy of the allied Miami nations to open most of the Ohio territory to settlement by white people. He spent the next two decades fighting Native peoples who were trying to retain possession of their ancestral homelands.

Harrison, who is shown here in his dress uniform, made his national reputation as a general in the events surrounding the War of 1812 (1812–15). At the Battle of Tippecanoe (1811), his troops disrupted the raiding capacity of the Ohio Valley Confederacy of Shawnee, Potawatomi, Kickapoo, Winnebago, Menominee, Ottawa, and Wyandot nations. After two years of bloody fighting, the Shawnee war chief Tecumseh was mortally wounded and the Confederacy effectively defeated when Harrison and his troops engaged them at the Battle of the Thames, north of Lake Erie, in 1813.

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