By: RYAN LOHMAN and BRANDON MICHAEL GROVES
When the Student Government Association (SGA) meets, they keep to a tight schedule. They give club representatives 10 minutes to present a funding request.
A crack of the gavel signals when that time is up.
But Professor Timothy Willig, faculty advisor to the History Club, had no problem getting that time extended when it expired in the middle of his captivating retelling of a military defeat at Fort Recovery in Ohio.
The museum on that site is where he will take the IU South Bend History Club this fall after having received up to $287.74 to help pay for rental vans to transport the 21 students who will accompany him.
“On that very site, at the head waters of the Wabash River—that’s where it starts—in extreme Western Ohio, a few miles from the Indiana border today, was the encampment of…Brigadier General Arthur Sinclair, who was also governor of the Ohio Territory. He had roughly 1,200 men with him, a few hundred militia,” Willig recounted to the SGA Senate Friday, Sept. 9, during his funding request.
“What he didn’t know was a force of over 1,500 Indians, perhaps, was gathering on the night of November third, and before dawn on November fourth, 1791, they struck, and they infiltrated the camp. This is going to be the worst disaster in the annals of Euro-American warfare at the hands of Native Americans. Conversely, this is the greatest victory ever dealt Euro-Americans by Native Americans,” he continued.
After hearing the end of his tale, the senate voted unanimously to fund the request.
“This is one of the targeted destinations that’s been on my radar for several years now,” Willig, who yearly makes such trips with the History Club, said.
The Fort Recovery, Ohio, is about 60 miles south east of Fort Wayne, Ind. The Fort Recovery Museum is usually closed in November, when the History Club will trek there, but the curator made special arrangements to allow for the History Club’s tour, Willig said.
SGA President Stephen Salisbury reported that the SGA would reschedule Spirit Week from the first week of October to the first week of November. The SGA intended Spirit Week to coincide with at least one sporting event, Salisbury said.
“During the week that we had it scheduled, there were no sporting events on campus,” he said. “The committee felt like we should try to tie it in with sporting events since that is part of the the point of Spirit Week.”