This chapter explores how Governor Ninian Edwards began to prepare a counterstroke as the Indians' offensive of August and September 1812 stalled and receded. The natural target was Peoria, where hostile Indians—Kickapoo, Potawatomi, and Piankashaw—were gathered in large numbers, and from which they had just launched their abortive raid on the settlements. Lacking assistance from outside the territory, Edwards would have to rely on the territory's own resources, which were very slender. The governor estimated that there were no more than 2,000 adult white males scattered between the Mississippi and the Wabash, while more than 1,000 Indian warriors could assemble at Peoria within a matter of days. None of the militiamen who had defended the territory during the spring and summer had been paid, and to obtain volunteers, Edwards was forced to pledge his own resources to guarantee payment.
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