John] 1793-1863 [Russell.

The history of the war, betwee the United States and Great-Britain, which commenced in June, 1812, and closed in Feb. 1815 .. online

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Online LibraryJohn] 1793-1863 [RussellThe history of the war, betwee the United States and Great-Britain, which commenced in June, 1812, and closed in Feb. 1815 .. → online text (page 21 of 38)
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the great body of the Indians. At Bowles' farm^
four miles from the brdge we haulted for the night,
found two other vessels and a large distillery filled
with ordnance and other valuable stores to an im-
mence amount in flames — it was impossible to put
out the fire — two twenty-four pounders with their car-
riages were taken and a large quantity of ball and
shells of various sizes. The army was put in motion
early on the morning of the 5th, I pushed on in advance
with the mounted regiment and requested Governor
Shelby to follow as expeditiously as possible with the
infantry, the Governor's zeal and that of his men en-
abled them to keep up with the cavalry, and, by 9
o'clock, we were at Arnold's Mills having taken in
the course of the morning two gun-boats and several
batteaux loaded with provisions and ammunition.


A rapid at the river at Arnold's mills affords the on-
ly fording to be met with for a considerable distance,
but, npon examination, it was found too deep for the
infantry. IJavmg, however, fortunately taken two
or three boats and some Indian canoes on the spot,
and oblig"ed the horsemen to take a foot-man behind
each, the whole were safely crossed by 12 o'clock.
Eight miles from the crossing we passed a farm,
where a part of the British troops had encamped the
night before, under the command of Col. VVarburton.
The detachment with Gen. Proctor had arrived the
day before at the Moravian towns, 4 miles highei-up.
Being now certainly near the enemy, I directed the
advance of Johnson's regiment to accelerate their
march for the purpose of procuring intelligence.
The officer commanding it, in a short time, sent toin-
form me, that, his progress was stopped by the enemy,
who were formed across our line of march. One of
the enemy's waggoners being also taken prisoner, from
the information received from him, and my own ob-
servation, assisted by some of my officers, I soon as-
certained enough of their position and order of battle,
to determine that, which it was proper for me to adopt.

1 have the honor herewith to enclose you my gene-
ral order of the -iTlh ult. prescribing the order of
march, and of battle when the whole army should act
together. But as the number and description of the
troops had been essentially changed, since the issuing
of the order, it became necessary lo make a corres-
ponding alteration in their disposition. From the
place where our army was last halted, to the Moravian
towns a distance of about three and a half miles, the
road passes through a beach forest without any clear-
ing, and for the first tvio miles near to the bank of the
river. At from two to 300 yards from the river, u
swamp extends parallel to it,* throughout the whole
distance. The intermediate ground is dry, and al-
though the trees are tolerably thick, it is in many pla-
ces clear of underbrush. Across this strip of land, its
left appayed upon the river, supported by artillerv


placed in the wood, their right in the swamp covered
hy the whole of the Indian force, the British troops
were drawn np.

The troops at my disposal consisted of about 129
regulars of the 27th reg"t. five bng-ades of Kentucky
volunteer miHtia infantry, under his Excellency Gov.
Shelby, averaging less than five hundred men, and
Col. Johnson's regiment oi mounted Infantry, making
in the whole an aggr«^gale someihuig about 3000.
No disposition of an aiinv opposed to an Indian force
can be safe unhss it is secur-d o; the flanks and in
the rear. I had therefore no tiifficnlty in arranging
the Infantry conlormnbly to my general order of bat-
tle. Gen. Trotter's brigade ot 500 men, formed the
front line, his right upon the road and his left upon the
swamp. Gen King's brigade as a second line, 150
yards in the rear of Trotter's, and Chiles' brigade as a
corps of reserve in the rear of it. These three brig-
ades formed the command of Major-General Henry ;
the whole of Gen. Desha's divison, consistiiig ottwo
brigades, were formed en potence upon tlie left of

Whilst I was engaged in forming the Infantry, I
had directed Col. Johnson's regiment, which was still
in front, to be formed in two lines oi)posite to the en-
emy, and upon the advance of the Infantry, to take
ground to the left, and forming upon that flank to en-
deavor to turn the right of the Indians. A moment's
reflection, however, convinced me that from the thick-
ness of the woods andswampness of the ground, they
would be unable to do any thing on horseback, and
there was no time to dismount them and place their
horses in security. I therefore determined to refuse
my left to the Indians, and to break the British lines
at once by a charge of the mounted Infantry ; the
measure was not sanctioned by any thing I had e\er
seen or heard of, but 1 vi? as fully convinced that it
would succeed. The American back woodsmen
ride better in the woods than any oiiier people. A
musket or rifle is no impediment to them, being ac-


mstomed to tliem from their earliest youth. I was
pers laded, too, that the enemy would be quite uupret-
pared for the shock, and that they could not resist it.
Conformable to ihis idea, I directed the regiment to
be drawn ap in close column, with its right at the disi-
tance of 50 yards from the road, (that it might be, in
some measure, protected by the trees from the artil-
lery) its left upon the swamp, and to charge at full
«peed as soon as the enemy had delivered their fire.
The few regular troops of the 27th regiment, under
C»>l. Paul, occupied in a column of sections of four,
the sm ill space between the road and the river, for
the purpose of seizing the enemy's artillery, and some
ten or twelve friendly [ndians to move under the bank.
The crotchet formed by the front line and Gen. De-
sha's division, was an important point. At that place
the venerable Governor of Kentucky was posted, who
at the age of sixty-six preserves all the vigor of youth,
the ardent zeal which distinguished him in the revo-
lutionary war, and the undau.iled bravery which he
manifested at King's mountain. With my aids de
Camp, the acting assistant A. Ij. General, Capt. Butler,
my gallant friei>d Com. Perry, who did me the honor
to serve as my volunteer aid de camp, and Brig.
Gen. Cass, who having no command, tendered me
his assistance, 1 placed myself at the head of the front
line of Infantry, to direct the movements of the cav-
alry, and give them the necessary support.

The army had moved on in tliis order but a short
distance, when the mounted men received the tire of
the British line, and were ordered to charge , the
horses in the front of the column recoiled from the
fire; another was given by the enemy, and our col-
umn at length getting in motion, broke ihiongh the
enemy with irresistable force. In one uunute the
contest in front was over: the British officers seeing
no hope oi reducnig their disordered ranks to order,
and our mounted men wiieeiingupon them and pour-
ing in a destriictive hre, immediately suirenden d.
It IS certain thai three only of oar troops were wouiid-


ed in this charge. Upon the left however, the coi>
test was more severe with the Iiidians. Col. John-
son, who commanded on that flank of his regiment,
received a most galling fire from them, which was
returned with great effect. The Indians still further
to the right advanced and fell in with our front line
of Infantry, near its junction with Desha's division,
and for a moment made an impression upon it. His
Excellency Gov. Shelby, however, brought up a regi-
ment to its support, and the enemy receivi? g a severe
fire in front, and a part of Johnson's regiment having
gained their rear, retreated with precipitation. Their
loss was very considerable in the action, and many
were killed in their retreat

In can give no satisfactory information of the num-
ber ot Indians that were in the action, but they must
have been considerably upwards of 1000. From the
documents in my possession, (Gen. Proctor's official
letters, all ^f which were taken) and from the infor-
mation of respectable inhabitants of this Territory, the
Indians kept in pay by the British were much more
numerous than has been generally supposed. In a
letter to Gen. de Rottenburgh, of the.27th ult. Gen.
Proctor speaks of having prevailed upon 3,200 of the
Indians to accompany him. 01 these it is certain that
60 or 60 Wyandot warriors abandoned him.

The number of our troo[>s were certainly greater
than that of the enemy, but when it is recollected, that
they had taken a position that effectually secured their
flank, which it was impossible for us to turn, and that
we could not present to them a line more extended
than their own, it will not be considered arrogant to
claim for my troops the palm of superior bravery.

In communicating to the President through you, sir,
my opinion of the conduct of the officers who served un-
der me, I am at a loss how to mention that of Gov.
Shelby, being convinced that no eulogium of mine can
reach his merits. The Governor of an independent
state, greatly my superior in years, experience, and
in military chaiacter, he placed himself under my


command, and was not more remarkable for his zeal
and activity, than for the promptituoe and cheerful-
ness with which he obeyed uiy orders.

I left the army before an othcial return of the pris-
oners, or that of ihe killed and wounded, was made
out. It was however ascertained that the former
amounts to 600 reg^ulars, including- 2-3 othcers. Our
loss is 7 killed and 22 wounded, o of which have
since died. Of llie British 12 killed, and 22 wound-
ed. The Indians suffered most, 100 of ihem having
been found upon the ground, including- those killed on
the retreat.

On the day of the action, 6 pieces of brass arlillery
were taken, and two iron 24 pounders the day before.
Several others were discovered m the river and can be
easily procured. Of the brass pieces, three are the
trophies of our revolutionary war, that were taken at
Saratoga and York, and surrendred by General Hull..
I have the honor to be, S.c.


The fruits of Gen. Harrison's victory, independent
of the great advantages obtained, are of the British re-
gular army, 609 non-commissioned officers and pri-
vates, 2 Colonels, 4 Majors, and 19 officers of the line,
prisoners ; and 12 pieces of cannon, 6000 stands of
arms, 5 Gun-Boats, and ammunition and stores to
the amount of 1,000,000 of Dollars ! !

In the name of the Indian chiefs and narriorsj to

Maj. Gen. Proctor ^ as the representative oj their

great father — the king.

Father, listen to your children ! You have them
now all before you.

The war before this, our British father gave the
hatchet to his red children, when our chiefs were alive.

' Tecumseh was killed at the battle of the Moravian tonrns.


They are now dead. In that war, our father was'
thrown on his back by the Americans, and our father
took them by the hand without our ki'owledge ; and
"vte are afraid that our father will do so again at this

Bummer before last, when I came forward with
my red brethren, and was ready to take u[) the hatchet-
in favor of our British father, we were told not to be
in a hurry, that he had not yet determined to fight the

Listen I — When war was declared, our father stood
lip and gave us the tomahawk, and told us that he
was then ready to strike the Americans ; that he
•wanted our assistance ; and that he would certainly
get us our lands back, which the Americans had ta»
ken from us.

Listen ! — You told us, at that time, to bring for*
ward our families to this place ; and we did so ; aiid
you promised to take care ot them, and that the} should
want for nothing, while the men would go and fight
the enemy. That we need not trouble oursdves
ftl)out the enemy's garrison ; that we knew nothing
about them, and that our father would attend to that
part of the business. You also told your red children,
that you would take good care ot your garrison here^
which made our hearts glad.

Listen ! — When we were last at the Rapids, it is
true we gave \ou little assistance. It is hard to fight,
people who live like ground hogs.

Father, listen ! Our fleet baN gone out ; we know
they have fought ; we have heard the great gui.s :
but know nothing of what has hap}>ened to our father,
with one arm. Owr ships have gone one way, and
we are much astonished to see our father tyn.g up
every thing and preparing to run away the other^
without letting his red children know what his inten-
tions are. You always told us to remain here and
take care of our lands ; it made our hearts glad to hear
that was your wish. Our grt at father, the kii.g, is our
head, and you represent hmi. You always told us.


that you would never draw your foot oft' British ground;
but now, father, we see you are drawing back, and
we are sorry to see our father doingso without seenig
the enemy. We must conipare our father's conduct
to a fat a. lima!, that carries its tail upoii its back, but
when aftriglited, he drops it between his legs and
runs off.

Listtriy Father f The Americans have not yet de-
feated us by land ; neither are we sure that they have
done so by water: we therefore, wish to remain here,
and fight our enemy, if they should make their ap-
pearance. If they defeat us, we will then retreat with
our father.

At the battle of the Ripids last war, the Ameri-
cans certainly defeated us ; and when we retreated to
our father's fort at that place the gates were shut against
us. We were afraid that it would now be thecase ; but
instead of that we now see our British father preparing"
to march out of his garrison.

leather ! You. have got the arms and ammunition
which our great father sent for his red children. If
you have an idea of going away, give them to us, and'
youmaygoand welcome, for us. Our lives are in the
hands of the Great Spirit. We are determined to de-
fend our lands, and if it be his will we wish to leave
our bones upon them.

Amherstburg, ISept. 18, 1813.

Com. Chauncey to the Secretary of the Navy.
U.S. snip Gen. Pike, Sackett's Harbor, Oct. 6, 1818.
SIR, — I h.ive the pleasure to intV rm you, that I ar-
rived here this morning, with tive of the enemy's ves-
sels, which I fell in with and captured last evening off
'the Dicks. They were part of a fleet of seven sail
wuich ieft York on Sunday with 234 troops on boanl,
bound to Kingston. Of this Beet five were captured,
one burnt, and one escaped ; the prisoners, amount-
ing to nearly 300, bes.des, having upwards ot 300 of
our troops on board from Niagara, induced me to
run into port for the purpose ot landing both.


I have an additional pleasure in informing" you, that
amongst the captured vessels are the late U. S. sch$.
Julia and Growler, the others are gun vessels.

I have the honor to be, &c.


jReturn of the troops of H. B. M's. De Watte-
ville r eff intent f captured in the above vessels.
1 Major, 1 Captain, 3 subalterns, 1 surgeon, 10
sergeants, 4 drummers and buglers, 202 rank and

Oncers and marines. — 1 Lieut. 2 master's mates,
35 seamen and marines of the royal navy, and 4 sail-
ing" masters of the provincial navy.

J. GIBSON, Inspector Gen.

Something Singular. — About the 1st of Oct. 1813,
Capt. Morgan, of the rifle corps was sent from Sacketts
Harbor, to Gravelly Point, near Kingston, for the
purpose of taking possession of the Point. Seeing an
English schr. gun boat, he concealed his men, about
60, and sent a small boat along the shore, which the
enemy espied, and started in pursuit of. When
the enemy came near, our men landed, and took to
the woods ; the enemy came near shore, and sent a
pa ty after the fugitives, when Morgan's campany
rushed from their hiding place, and gave them so
warm a reception, as either to kill or wound every one,
as they appeared on deck ; a few of our men waded
out and look possession of the gunboat, while those on
shore stood ready to fire at the tirst man who made ap-
pearance on deck. We did not lose a man in this gal-
lant little exploit ; the enemy Jost 3 killed — 7 wound-
ed, and 50 prisoners.

Com. RodgerSf Sailed from Boston the 23d of
April, 1813, and returned to Newport, Sept. 26. —
After crossing the seas in almost every direction,
cruising for some time in the British channel, and on
the coast of Norway, without seeing a public vessel,


of the enemy's, excepting a 74, and frigate in company,
which chased him three days, often so near ast(J»give,
and receive a shot, the Cora, returned to port, to re-
cruit his stores.

The President, captured the following' vessels on
her cruise. — Brig Kitty, of 2 guns, and 12 men, car-
ofo of codfish; sent into France. Packet Briir Duke
of Montrose, of 12 guns, and 31 men ; sent to Eng-
land as a cartel, with 78 prisoners. Letter of Marque
Brig Maria, of 14 guns, and 35 men ; cargo of cod-
fish, sent into France. Schr. Falcon, of 2 guns, and
11 men, cargo of codfish, sent into France. Brig
Jean, burnt. Brig Daphne, of 2 guns, and 10 men;
sunk. Ship Eliza Swan, of 8 guns, and 49 men ;
cargo of blubber od; ransomed for oOOO pounds ster-
ling. Brig Albert, cargo of pitch and tar, burnt.
Barque Lion, of 8 guns, and 53 men ; cargo of blub-
ber oil, ransomed for 3000 pounds sterling. Brig
Shannon, cargo of rum, sugar, and molasses, sent into
the U. S. Brig Fly, of 6 guns, and 10 men ', cargo of
coffee, sent into the U. S His B. M's Schr. High Fly-
er, of 5 guns, 5 officers, and 34 men, brought into
Newport ; the High Flyer was sold at auction for
eleven thouand Dollars. '

Col. Clarke to the Secretary of [Far.

Camp Chazey-Landing, Oct. 15, 1813.
It is with great pleasure I can inform you ofasuc-
cessful attack upon the enemy at Massesqtioi bay on
the morning of the I2lh inst. At this time I had only
the riflemen with me, the artillery moving slow and
the militia protecting their rear. We proceeded 16
the village (Massesquoi) and arrived within 15 rods
of the enemy before we were discovered. We found
them drawn up under Major Powell in a manner that
would have annoyed us much had we attack-
ed them by water, but wholly unprepared to defend
themselves on the land side ; Li.ey commenced a fire
on the left flank, but in te.i minuses after the first at-
tack they laid down their arms and surrendered them-
selves prisoners of war.


Understanding that a force of 200 m6n under C6l«
LocbM^as marching' to attack us, 1 despatched Capt
Finch with his company to reconnoitre them and as*
certam their course. He proceeded with such prompU
ncss and ability as to surprise and capture the advanc-
ed guard, consisting of cavalrv, excepting one man
who escaped, and giving the mformation the enemy

The prisoners were then put on board our boats
and sent to Burlington. Our whole force engaged
was 102 — the number of prisoners taken is 101 ; their
killed 9, and wound'^d 14.

1 aai, sir, with respect, &c.


Massacre at fort Tensaw. — The following partic-
ulars of the massacre at fort Tensaw, is received from
Judge Toulmiu of Mobile.

* The dread ul catastrophe which we have beea
sometime expecting, has at length taken place ; the
Indians have broken in upon us in numbers and fury
unexampled. A few days before the attack, (Sept. 1)
some negroes of Mr. Girt's who lived inthat part ol the
Creek territory which is inhabited by half breeds*
had been sent up the Alabama to his plantation for
corn ; three of them were taken by a party of Indians.
One escaped and brought down news of the approach
of the Indians. The officer gave but little credit to
him, but they made some further preparation to re-
ceive the enemy, and on Saturday and Sunday con*
siderable work was doae to puttlie fort in a state of
defence. Sunday morning thrte negroes were sent
out to attend the cattle, who soon returned with an
account that they had seen 20 Indians. — Scouts were
sent out to ascertain the truth of the report ; they re-
turned and declared they could see no signs of
Indians. One of the negroes belonging to Mr. Ran-
don was whipped for bringing what they deemed a
false report. — He was sent out again on Monday,
and saw a body of Indians approaching ; but atraid


of being whipped, he did not return to Mims's, but to
Pierce's fort ; but before his story could be coaimu-
nicated, the attack was made. The commanding;
officer called upon Mr. Fletcher, who owned another
of the nei^roes, to whip him also. — He believed the
boy, and resisted two or three applications; but at
length they had him actually brought out for the pur-
pose, when the Indians appeared m view of the fort.
The gate was open. The ladians had to come
through an open tieid 150 yards wide, before they
could reach the fort, and yet they were withui -30
steps of the fort at 11 in the morning, before they
were noticed. The sentry then gave the cry o. * In-
dians!' and they immediately set up a most terrible
war-hoop and rnshetl into the gate with inconceivable
rapidity, and got within it before the people of the
fort had any opportunity of shutting it. This decid-
ed their fate. Major Beasely was shot through the
belly near the gate.

There was a large body of Indians, though they
probably did not exceed 400. Our people seemed
to sustain the attack with undaunted spirit. They
took possession of the port holes in the other lines of
the fort and tireil on the Indians who remai.jed m the
field. Some of the Indians got upon ihe block house
at one of the corners; but after tin g a good deal
down upon the people they were 'dislodged. They
succeeded however in settinof fif-eto a house near the
pickets, from which it was communicated to the
kitchen and from thence to the mam dwelling house.
They attempted to do it by burning arrows, but failed.
When the people in the tort saw the Indians retained
full possession of the outer court, that the gate con-
tinued open, that theirmen fell very fast, and that their
houses were in Hames, they began to despond. Some
determined to cut their way throu.h the pickets and
escape. Of the whole number of white men and half-
breeds in the fort, it is supposed that not more thau
25 or 30 escaped, and of these many were wounded.
The rest and almost all the women and chddren tell



a saciitice either to the arms of the Indians or to the
flames. The battle lasted about live hours and a half.

When the buildings were burning" and the few who
remained we're exposed to the heavy fire of the ene.
my, they collected as many as they could of the guns
of the deceased, and threw both them and the remain-
ing stock of ammunition into the flames, to prevent
their becoming- sul)servient in the hands of the In-
dians, to the destruction of their fellow citizens.
Surely this was an instance of determined resolution
and benevolent foresight of which there are not many

Notwithstanding the bravery of our fellow citizens,
the Indians carried all before them, and murdered
the armed and the helpless without discrimination.
Our loss is 7 commissioned officers, and about 100
non-commissioned officers and privates, of the first
regiment of Mississippi Territory volunteers. There
were about 24 families of men, women and children
in the fort, of whom almost alMiave perished, amount-
ing to about KiO souls. I reckon, however, among
them about six families of half-breeds, and 7 Indians.
There were also about 100 negroes, of whom a large
proportion were killed.

By William Henry Harrison, Mo;'. Gen. in ihe ser-
vice of the U. S. commander in chief of ihe north-
iveslern arm?/, ^H^rOliver Hazard Perry, Capt. in
ihe Navyyand commanding the U. S. vessels on Lake


Whereas, by the combnied operations of the land
and naval forces under our command, those of the
enemy within the upper district of Upper Canada
have been captured or destroyed and the said district
is now in the quiet possession of our troops : it be-
co(Ties necessary to provide for its government:-^
Therefore, we do hereby proclaim and make known,
that the rights and privileges of the inhabitants, and
the laws and customs of the country, as they existed
or were in force at the period of our arrival, shall con-

Online LibraryJohn] 1793-1863 [RussellThe history of the war, betwee the United States and Great-Britain, which commenced in June, 1812, and closed in Feb. 1815 .. → online text (page 21 of 38)