New York (State). Secretary's Office.

Journals of the military expedition of Major General John Sullivan against the Six nations of Indians in 1779; with records of centennial celebrations; prepared pursuant to chapter 361, laws of the state of New York, of 1885 online

. (page 38 of 85)
Online LibraryNew York (State). Secretary's OfficeJournals of the military expedition of Major General John Sullivan against the Six nations of Indians in 1779; with records of centennial celebrations; prepared pursuant to chapter 361, laws of the state of New York, of 1885 → online text (page 38 of 85)
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before 9 oClock nor the latter with the Rear guard till next Morning — About 3 Miles from
Quilutimack is a romantic fall of Water down a Precipice in the Cliff of a Rock 70 feet
high — In this Days march we passd over a large tract of good land —

2d The ArmJ' lay Still on this ground to rest and recruit the pack horses & collect the
Keggs of flowr. Ammunition and other baggage that was left behind from the perplexity



228 JOURNALS OF OFFICERS.

of the Way and darkness of the Night — ^The morning shewd us that the ground we-
encampd on had been inhabited and tilled, tho now over run with Grass and Thistles of a.
mighty growth — a wild enormous mountain lay close on our front & the River in our Rear —
We drew the Seine at this place and caught a number of fish consisting chiefly of Rock,.
Pike, I Garr, Chubbs & Suckers — next Morning at 7 oClock —

3d We proceeded 12 Miles farther, over a much better Country than we expected
and encampd in an old Field, near the Mouth of a Small river that falls here into the:
Susquehanna calld Tunkhannuck — Nothing remarkable happened thro this days march
— the Deer seemd to be plenty on this ground — a large Fawn that lay Sulking in the
Bushes alarmd with the noise of the Troops attempted to make his escape, but being-
intirely surrounded was taken without a wound — Affording great amusement to the Sol-
diers & an agreeable Viand to several of the Officers —

4 The General beat and we struck Tents at 6 oCIock this Morning and marchd 13.
Miles by Actual Survey — we passd several places that were once the habitations of re-
tirement and domestic peace — but now the solitary haunts of Savages. The last stood
near a small rapid river calld Meshopping ; we encamped 2 or 3 miles beyond this Stream
on a desolate Farm, the property of one Vandelip who had joind the Savages and goner
off — This day several large Rattle Snakes were killd — our little Fleet foundgreat difficulty
& Embarassment from the Shoals & Rapids, so that they did not come up with the Army-
till 10 the next day — Immediately upon their Arrival the Troops were put in motion — The
land we passd over this day is fine to admiration & the growth of Walnut the Stateliest I
ever saw —

5 Our next place of Encampment is Wyalusing, distant 10 miles the Ground rocky
and Mountainous, particularly one tremendous ridge, over which our right Flank was.
Obliged to pass, that seemd to over look the World & threaten Annihilation to our
prostrate Troops — After leaving this place the Scene opened into a fine, clear, extensive
piece of Wood land ; here the Genl apprehending an attack the Signal was beaten for the-
Army to close Column this order of march was observed till we left this forrest and gaind
the Summit of a verry lofty Mountain ; when another Signal was given for marching in
files — From the Top of this height we had a grand prospective view of our Little Fleet
coming up the River at about 3 Miles distance — The green hills as far as the eye could
reach rising like the seats of an Amphitheatre and the distance of the prospect gave the
River and the boats the beautiful Resemblance of Miniature painting — After marching
abt. 2 Miles we descended into the low grounds of Wyalusing where every one was
amazed at the luxuriant growth of Timber chiefly Sycamore — few of the Trees being less,
then 6 feet in Diametre and to close this days march the more agreeably after passing
half a mile of a piny barren, the plains of Wyalusing opened to our sight coverd with
english grass, the greenest and Richest carpet that Nature ever Spread — There was once
an Indian Town at this place consisting of about 80 houses, or hutts built in two parallel
right lines forming a Street of 60 or 70 feet wide ; with a- church or Chapel in the Centre
the plan of the Town is still to be seen from the old Ruins that Remain on the ground —
The Natives it seems had actually embraced the Christian Religion which was taught
them by a Moravian Missionary from Bethlehem for that purpose in the Year 1770 the
Connecticut Company having purchased the lands on this River, the Indians retired far-
ther Westward, and left this place in the possession of a few Americans, who have joind
the Enemy since the commencement of this War — notwithstanding the Settlement has.
been over run by the Savages and the Town burnt — The Susquehanna at this place-
makes nearly a right Angle, and forms a point on which the Town stood, and where Genl
Sullivans Army lay two Days encamped —

8th. Sunday Morning 7 oClock moved on towards Tioga, and Encamped on a piece of
low ground by the River, where there has been a Settlement & 4 families dwelt in the
Year 1775 — this place is calld Standim; Stone Bottom — Capt Spalding who commands the
Independent company in Genl Hands light Troops, lived at this place — distance 10
Miles —
g Marched at 6 this morning & halted to breath near a cold stream calld Wesawking



MAJOR JAMES NORRIS. 229

— about 3J^ Miles from last encampmen — Then pursued our rout without rest or refresh-
ment 12 Miles farther the Weather hot and men much fatigued, this brings us to Sheshu-
Ironuck bottom a large meadow of near 150 Acres lying on the Susquehanna, covered with
a vast burthen of wild grass — we rgsted here this Evening and next day and Wednesday
Morning —

II The Army reed orders to march to Tioga, about two Miles from Sheshekonunck
plain the troop forded the river where the Stream was rapid and pretty deep, notwithstand-
ing the men all came safe over, except one who was carried down the Currfent a consider-
able distance, and saved by Lieut Col Barber Adjt Genl at the hazzard of ' his own Life —
The Cattle and pack Horses were as fortunate as the Troops — After advancing about
■one mile through a rich bottom covered with strong and stately Timber which shut out
the Sun, & shed a cool agreeable twilight ; we unexpectedly were introduced into a Plain
as large as that of Sheshekonunck, call'd Queen Easter's Plantation — it was on this plain
near the bank of the Susquehanna that Easter Queen of the Seneca Tribe, dwelt in Re-
tirement and Sullen majesty, detached from all the Subjects of her Nation — The ruins of
her Palace are still to be seen ; surrounded with fruit Trees of various kinds — At the East
•end of the plain, the Tioga I'viver forms a junction with the Susquehanna — At this place
the Army forded & encamped about half a mile above on the Susquehanna — We now find
•ourselves happily arrived at Tioga, with our Army & Fleet, our Troops generally in
health and spirits , and fewer accidents happening on the march than could be expected
in the same distance, thro a Mountainous, wild, uncultivated Country — It appears by
the Number of hides lying" on the ground that the Indians have lately had an Encamp-
. ment at this place By the place of burial seen here, one would be led to think this was
once an Indian Town, but there are no Vestiges of Hutts or Wiggwoms — Whether
through principle of Avarice or Curiosity, our Soldiers dug up several of their graves and
found a good many laughable relicts, as a pipe, Tomahawk & Beads &c —

I2th The Genl gave orders for a fort and four Block houses to be built at this place
for the Security of the Fleet and Stores which are to be left here under a pretty strong
Garrison, after the Army jnoves into the Indian Country — and this movement will take
place as soon as Genl Clinton, who is coming down the Susquehanna, joins us with his
Brigade — This afternoon Intelligence came by a small scout sent out yesterday, that the
Enemy at Chemoung, an Indian Town 15 Miles distant up the Cayuga branch, were
about moving off upon hearing of our Arrival at Tioga — in consequence of which the
main body of our Army marched at 8 oClock this Evening in order to be ready by Day
break for surprising Chemoung ; our march was attended with difficulty & fatigue, having
a thick Swamp and several dangerous defiles to pass, — We arrived however between
dawning & Sun rise, but to our no small mortification found the Town abandon'd & two
or three Indians only to be seen sculking away — According to the accounts of those who
pretend to be acquainted with Indian Citys, this seems to have been a pretty Capital place
— It consisted of about 40 Houses built chiefly with split and hewn Timber, covered with
bark and some other rough materials, without Chimnies, or floors, there were two larger
houses which from some extraordinary rude Decorations, we took to be public Buildings ;
there was little Furniture left in the Houses, except Bearskins, some painted feathers, &
Knicknacks— in what we supposed to be a Chappie was found indeed an Idol, which might
well enough be Worshipd without a breach of the 2d Commandt. on account of its like-
ness to anything either in heaven or Earth — About Sun rise the Genl gave orders for the
Town to be illuminated — & accordingly we had a glorious Bonfire of upwards of 30
Buildings at once ; a melancholy & desperate .Spectacle to the Savages many of whom
must have beheld it from a Neighboring hill, near which we found a party of them had
encamped last night — And from appearances the inhabitants had left the Town but a few
hours before the Troops arrived — Genl Hand with some light Infantry pursued them
about a mile, when they gave him a Shot from the Top of a Ridge, & ran according to
their Custom, as soon as the fire was return'd ; but unfortuneately for us, the Savages
wounded three Officers, killed Six men and wounded seven more — they were pursued but
without effect — Our next Object was their fields of Indian Corn — about 40 Acres of which



230 JOURNALS OF OFFICERS.

we cut down and distroyed — In doing; this Business, a party of Indians and Tories, fired
upon three Regimts across the River, killed one and wounded five — having compleated
the Catastrophe of the Towns & fields, we arrived at Tioga about Sun set the same day,
verry much fatigued having march'd not less than 34 miles in 24 hours, without rest in
the Extreamest heat —
14th. No news to Day

15th. Nine Hundred chosen men under the Command of Brig : Genl Poor are ordered
to march Tomorrow morning up the Susquehanna, to meet Genl Clinton, who is on his
march to join Sullivans Army with his Brigade and is in some Danger of being Atackted
by the Enemy before he can form a Junction with our IVfain Army ; This afternoon a
Small Party of Indian's fired on some of our Men who were without the Guards after some
Horse's and Cattle,' Killd and Sculped one man and Wounded another, a Party was sent
out in pursuit of them but Could not come up with them —

i6th General Poor March'd with his Detachment at 10 o'Clock A M. proceeded in two
CoUam's up the Suscuhannah River Over very rough Ground we Incampt Near the Ruins
of an old town Call'd Macktowanuck the Land near the River is very Good —

17th We marchd Early this Morning Proceed 12 Miles to Owagea an Indian Town
which was Deserted last Spring, after Planting, About the town is many Fruit Trees and
many Plants, and Herbs, that are common in our part of the Country ; Hear is a Learge
body of clear Intivale Covered with Grass, Our March to day Very Survear and Fatigue-
jng Esspecelly for the Left Collom (to which I belong) as we had to pass Several Steap
Hills, and Morasses —

i8th We March'd Early this Morning proceeded 14 Miles to Choconant the Remains
of a Learge Indian Town which has been likewise Abandoned this Summer, here we
found Plenty of Cucombar's, Squashes, Turnips &c. We found About twenty Houses,
Which we burnt our Days March has been More Survear than Yesterday, as we had bad
Hills and Swamps, one swamp of about two Miles so Covered with Large Pines, Stand-
ing and lying which appeard as tho' Several Haricanes had been busy among since which
a Tremendius Groath of Bushes About twenty feet high has sprung up so very thick as to
Render the passing through them Inpracticable by any troops but such as Nothing but
Death can stop at sunset we were Very agreeably alarm'd by the Report of a Cannon
up the River Which was supposed to be Genei al Clintons Evening Gun —

19th Our Troops were put in Motion very early this Morning after Marching about
one Mile Genl Poor Received an Exspress from General Clinton Informing him that the Lat-
ter exspected to be hear by 10 o'Clock A M. this day in Consiquence of which we Re-
turn'd to our Old Incampment where General Clinton, Joind us at 10 o'Clock with two-
Thousand Men — Including Officers, Boatsman &. c. he has two Hundred and Eight
Beautoes with Provissions Ammunition &c after Mutual Congratulations and Comple-
ments the whole Proceeded down the River to Owagea and Incampt this Evening, the
town of Owegea was made a burnfire of to Grace our Meating our General Course from
Tiago to Choconant is about N. East —

20th We have very heavy Rain to day and no tents but we are obliged to ride it out —
2ist We March'd early Proceeded within lo miles of Tiago—

22d We March at 6 of the Clock and at 11 arrived in Camp where we were Saluted
With thirteen Cannon and a tune of Colonel Procters Band of Musick —

23 We are preparing to March with all Possible Exsperdition about five oClock this
afternoon a Very shocking acsident hapend in our Camp, a soldier Very accidently
Dischargd a Muskett Chargd with a ball and Several Buck shott, three of Which unforti-
nately struck Captain Kimbell of Colonel Cilleys Regiment who was standing at some
Distance in a tent with several other officers in such a Manner that he Exspired within 10
or 15 M units — is Universally Lemented as he was assteamed by all who knew him^— one of
the Shott wounded a soldier, in the leg who was some Distance from the tent that Captain
Kimble was in

24th The Remains of the Unfortinate Captain Kimble was Inter'd at 11 oClock with
the Honours of War — Attended by General Poor and almost all the officers of the Brigade
with Colonel Procter's Band of Musick — the Army is Very busy in Prepairing to March —



MAJOR JAMES NORRIS. 231

25th We find Great Difficulty in Gitting Ready to March for want of a Sufficiently
Number of Horses to Carry our Provritions Ammunition c&c. However we are to Move
to Morrow without fail with Twenty Seven Days Flower and live Beef Our whole force
that will March from hear is about five Thousand Men officers Included, with nine Pieces
of Artilery,— and three of the Anyda Warriers Arrived hear this afternoon who are a
going on with ous as Guides — two Runner's Arrived from Colonel Broadhead at fourt Pitt
—Informing that Colonel Broadhead is on his way with about 'Eight Hundred Men
against the Western Indians —

26th Our Army March at 12 oClock in the order laid down in the Plan and Order
of March & Battle a Garrison of about three Hundred Men .left at this Place under
the Command of Colonel Shreve the Army ProceedJd about 4 Miles and Incampt— Mr..
Lodge a Gentleman who Survey'd Marchd from Easton with us is going on with us in,
Order to false an Actual Survev of the Country who measured the Road as We go on —

27th The Army Marched at Eight oClock, our March was Very much Impeaded by
tlie Artilery and Ammunition Waggons which we have to Clear a Road for through thick
Woods & Difficult Defiles the Army are obligd to Halt Seven Hours to Day at one Defile
for the Artilery & Baggage — at 10 oClock we arrived at our Incamping Ground a learge
body of Clear Intervale where we found Seventy or Eighty Y\cres of fine Corn our March
has not been more than 6 Miles to Day —

28th As we had the Corn to destroy before we March it was two o'clock P. M. before
we moved off the Ground by Reason of a High Mountain that shutt Down to the River
so as to Render Passing with the Artilery Impractable we Wear obligd to fourd the
River twice before we could git to Shumung with the Artilery Pack Horses and one
Brigade the Water was so deep as Rendered fourding Very Difficult & Dangerous — A.
Considerable quantity of lower ammunition and other Baggage was lost in the River at 10.
in the evening the Rear of the Army arrived at Shemung where we Incampt, our March>
to day has not been more than four Miles, a small Scout, of ours arrived to day which
Inform'd that they Discover'd a large Incampment about 6 Miles from Chemung a small
Party of Indians fired on a small Party of our men to day that ware setting fire to some
Houses over the River, but did no Damage —

2gth The army March'd at Nine o'Clock A. M. proceeded 5 Miles where our light
Troops Discovered a line of Brestwork about eighty Rods in their frunt, which upon Re-
coniting, was found to exstend half a mile in length on very Advantageous Ground, with
a large Brook in frunt, the River on their Right, a High Mountain on their left, and a
large settlement in their Rear, called Newtown ; their works ware very Artfully Mask'd
with Green Bushes, so that I think the Discovering; them was Accadental as it Fortinate
to us, Schurmishing on both sides Commins'd soon after we Discover'd their works which
Continued until our Disposition was made which was as follows (viz) — The Artilery to
form in frunt of their works, Coverd by General hand Brigade, General Poor's and Rifle-
men to turn the Enemys left, and fall in their Rear surported by General Clintons Brigade
General Maxwells Brigade to form a Corps Deserve ; the left flanking Division and lite
Infantry to Persue the Enemy when they left their Works at 3 o'Clock P. M. General
Poor's began his march by Columns from the right of regt by files we Passd a very
thick Swamp so Coverd with bushes for near a mile that we found great difficulty in keep-
ing in order but by Genl Poor's Great Prudauce and Good Conduct We Proceeded in
Much better order then I Ex'.pected we could Possibly have done — after Passing this
Swamp we Inclind to the left, crossed the Creek that runs frunt of the Enemys work : on
both sides of this was a large Number of New Houses, but no land Cleard ; soon after
we passd this Creek we began to assen'd the Mountain that coverd the Enemys left.
Immediately after we began to assend the Mountain we ware surluted by a brisk fire from
a body of the Indians who were posted on this Mountain for the Purpose of Preventing
any troops Turning the left of their Works, at the same Instant that they began to fire on
us, they rais'd the Indian Yell, or war hoop the Riflemen kept up a Scattering fire while
we form'd the line of Battle which was dun Exceeding quick — we then advanced Rapped
with fix'd Bayonetts with out fireing a Gun till we had gained the Summett of the Hill,



232 JOURNALS OF OFFICERS.

which was half a mile, altho' they kept a stady fire on us all the while ; we then gave
them a full Voley which obliged them to take to their heels, Colonel Reeds Regiment
whis was on the left of the Brigade, was more servearly Attacted then any other part of
the Brigade, with Prevented his advancing as fast as the Rest, as we assended the
Mountain Lieut Cass of our Regiment Tommahawked one of the Indians with the
Indians own Tommahawk that was slightly wounded, our Regiment being next to Col-
onel Reed's on the left and the Colonel finding he was still very warmly Engag'd nearly
on the same Ground he was first attacted ordered the Regiment to face to the Right about
and moved |to his assistance, we soon Discoverd a body of Indians, Turning his Right,
which he Turned about by a full fire from the Regiment, This was a Very seasonable,
Relief to Colonel Reed who was the very moment we fired on them that were turning his
right, found himself so Surrounded that he was Reduced to the Necessity of Retreating
or Making a Desperate push with the Bayonett : the latter of which he had put in Exe-
cution the moment we gave him Relief ; The Enemy now all left the field of Action,
with precepitation and in Great Confusion Persued by our Light Infantry above 3 Miles
They left a Number of their Packs, Blanketts &. c. on the Ground - half an hour before
the Action became serious with General Poor's Brigade, the Artilery began to play upon
their works— which soon made their works, too warm for them, we found of the Enemy
on the field of Action 11 Indians Warriers dead and one Sqaw, took one whiteman & one
Negro Prisoners ;*from whom we larnt that Butler Commanded hear, that Brant had all
the Indians that Could be Mustered in the five Nations that there was about 200 Whites,
a few of which were British Regular's Troops, it seem's that their whole force was about
1500. — The Prisoners Inform us that their loss in killd and wounded was Very Great -
the most of which they According to Custome carried off — our loss in General Poor's Bri-
gade, killd and Wounded is (vizt)





Killd




Wounded


Majr





I


Majr Titcumb


Capt





I


Capt Clays


Lieut





I


Died the same iiight
Lieut MacCauUy


Ensn










Serjt


I







Privates


2


29





3 32 ,

our loss in Killd and Wounded in the whole Army except Genl Poor's Brigade was Killd
none wounded 4 Privates at Sunsett the Army Incampt on the Ground lately Occupied by
the Enemy —

30th The Army Remaind on the Ground to day & Destroyd a vast Quantity of Corn
and about 40 Houses — The Army by a Request of General Sullivan Agreed to live on
half a Pound of Beef and half a Pound of flower Pr Day, for the future as long as it
might found Necessary our Provisions being short — This night the sick and Wounded
together with the Ammunition Waggons, and four of our Heavyest Pieces of Artilery,
are sent back to Ti^go by water, which will Enable the Army to proceed with much
•Greater ease and Rapidity our Course from Shemung to hear is about N. West —

31st We marchd at 10 o'Clock, The Right Collomn Marchd on the hill some Distance
from the River The left Collomn and Artilery Marchd by the River The land we March'd
■over very fine found and Destroyd Several fields of Corn and Houses, Proceeded five
miles to where the Alliganer and Kaiyugea Branches of the River unite — on the Point
between these two Strearaes was a Very Prity town Calld Kannawalohalla, which from
appearances was Deserted this morning — some Boats were seen by our advanced Party,
going up the AUagana branch, a Number of feather beds were burnt in the Houses, our
Soldiers found Several Large Chests Buried which were fiUd with a Great Variety of
household furniture and many other articles : after halting hear an hour we Proceeded



MAJOR JAMES NORRIS. 233

between the two Rivers on a fine Plain about 5 Miles and Incampt a Detachment was sent
up the Alagana Branch in Pursuit of the Enemy.

Sept 1st The Detachment that was sent up the River in Pursuite of the Enemy
Returnd this Morning, they Could not Overtake the Enemy, bu t found and Destroy'd
Several large field of Corn —The Army Marchd at 10 o'Cloclc proceeded about 4 miles
■on a Plain then Came to what is Calld the Beir Swamp Which exstends to French Kato-
reen g Miles, the Groth is Pine, Sprue and Hamlock— Exceeding thick, a Small River
runs through it which we had to Cross about twenty times on each side of this Swamp is
a Ridge of Tremendious hills — which the Colomn were obliged to march on having a rode
to open for the Artilery we proceeded very slowly at Dark when we had got within about
3 miles of the town we found ourselves in a Most horrid thick Mirery Swamp which Ren-
-dered our Proceeding so Difficult that it was 10 o'Clock in the evening before we arrived
-at the town where we found fires burning and every other appearance of the Enemys hav-
ing left the town this afternoon, This town Consists of about 30 Houses's and their is
a Number of fruit trees in this town. the streams we Crossed so often to Day runs
through this town and into the Seneca Lake, the South end of which is but 3 miles from
this town.

2d The Army laying Still to day to Recrute and Destroy the town Corn &c a Very old
Squaw was found in the Bushes to day who was not able to go off with the rest, who
Informs us that Butler with the Torys went from this Place with all the Boats the day
before yesterday, the Indian Warriers Moved off their familyes and Effects, yesterday
Morning, and then Returned and stay'd till sun sett, she says the Squaws and young
Indians were very loth to leve the town, but were for giving Themselves up, but the war-
riers would not agree to it, Several Horses and Cattle were found at this Place, a Party of
light troops were sent this morning .to Indevour to over take some of the Indians, who



Online LibraryNew York (State). Secretary's OfficeJournals of the military expedition of Major General John Sullivan against the Six nations of Indians in 1779; with records of centennial celebrations; prepared pursuant to chapter 361, laws of the state of New York, of 1885 → online text (page 38 of 85)