Page images


chief. Many Indian chiefs on horseback being in our rear, tomahawking the bindmost, and withal the men being much wearied with running through the deep snow, we concluded it best to accept the chief's proposition. Accordingly we assembled around him, and gave up the few remaining arins that were still retained in the flight. In a few minutes the Indians on foot came up, and notwithstanding the chief appeared solicitous to save, massacred about half our number. I was led back towards the river along the road we had retreated in. The dead bodies of my fellow comrades, scalped, tomahawked, and stripped, presented a most horrid spectacle to my view. I was at length taken to a fire near Col. Proctor, where I remained till our army capitulated, and marched by me towards Malden. Major Madison,* as he was marching past, demanded me of the British officer commanding the guard, as an American officer ; but the noble Briton replied with a sneer, • You have too many officers,' and ordered the column to advance which had made a partial halt. I was taken to Sandy creek, about three miles off, on Hull's road, and there kept during the night with about 20 other prisoners. Next morning my master left me in charge of the old Indian, and with the exception of 20 or 30, all the Indians in the camp went back towards the river Raisin. They returned about 2 o'clock, P. M. bringing a number of fresh scalps and about 30 prisoners, many of whom were wounded, though with a single exception, none dangerously. I was told by the prisoners that the Indians had that morning returned to the village, and massacred Capt. Hickman and a great many others, and that they were fearful that Maj. Graves and Capt. Hart were of the number; that some of the wounded had been scalped alive and burned in the houses. I had scarcely been told these things, when a volunteer who was standing by my side, was knocked down,



[ocr errors]

* After the surrender of our troops to the British, at the river Raisin, the Indians, in violation of the arlicles of capitulation, cronded among them, and were plundering their property-when the heroic Madison desired Col. Proctor to keep them off ;- the Indians are fierce and unmanageable, (said Prector) it cannot be done' Madison cooly replied, “if you cannot disperse them, I will.'-the men were ordered to shoulder their arms, and Proclor fearing that charge bayonet' would follow, wvaved his sword, and the Indians instantly withdrew


scalped, and afterwards tomahawked. Three others were successively treated in the same manner.

Seven days afterwards, I was sold in Detroit to some American gentlemen, and the next day sent over to Sandwich, where I remained nearly three weeks. In this time I had an opportunity of making enquiry about the massacres, and found that 60 had been massacred subsequent to the day of battle, and two officers the day on which the battle was fought, after they had surrendered. Of the first were Capt. N. G. S. Hart of Lexington, Capt. Paschal Hickman of Franklin, John H. Woolfolk, Esq. the General's Secretary; and of the latter Capt. Virg.I M'Cracken of Woodford, and Ensign Levi Wells, son of Col. Wells of the U. S. Lufantry. Judge Woodward has ascer tained several instances of great barbarity exercised on our prisoners, which will appear as soon as that truly philantropic and patriotic gentleman returns to his own country.-Massacres were not only committed on the 22d and 23d, but also on the 24th, 25th, and 26th, and even three weeks afterwards fresh scalps were brought intu Malden.

Should this relation be doubted, many living witnesses of high standing for probity, may be found to attest them.

Expedition against the Indians.--Major Gen. Samuel Hopkins, on the 11th of Nov. 1812, marched with 1000 men under his command, from fort Harrison, on an expedition to the Prophet's towu, for the purpose of destroying their village, provisions, &c. On the morning of the 19th, a detachment of 300 men destroyed a town, and a great quantity of corn, belonging to the Winebago tribe, lying on the Ponce Passu creek, one mile from the Wabash, and four from the Prophet's town. On the 20th, 21st, and 22d, they destroyed the Prophet's town and a Kickapoo village, on the opposite side of the river, consisting of upwards of 200 houses, a considerable quantity of corn, &c.

On the 21st a large body of Indians were discovered above seven miles from the town, by a small party, who the Indians fired on, and killed one man; the next day Lieut. Cols. Miller, and Wilcox, anxious to bury their comrade, as well as gain a more complete knowledge of their situa


tion and strength, set out with party of horsemen, consisting of about sixty ; the Indians had placed themselves in a strong place, on a ridge of land, running between two large and rapid creeks, which could not be ascended only by a steep ravine-our party returned, after a smart skirmish, in which we lost, in killed, wounded, and missing, 18 men. On the 24th, the main body of the army started for the purpose of destroying the enemy in their strong hold; but when arrived at the spot they found they had fled, previous to the storm of snow, which fell very deep, on the 23d which prevented any further pursuit.

Brig. Gen. Smyth, in November, 1812, issued several addresses to the inhabitants on the frontiers, for the

purpose of raising volunteers to cross into Canada, opposite Niagara. Including the regular army under his command, and the volunteers that repaired to his camp, he had, on the 27th Nov. 4000 men. Two parties were sent across the river to destroy a bridge below fort Erie, and capture and spike the cannon in the batteries, and some pieces of light artillery. After accomplishing their object, the parties separated by misapprehension ; Lieut Angus, the seamen, and a part of the troops returned with all the boats, while Capts. King, Morgan, Sprou), and Houston, with about 60 men, remained. The party thus reduced, took and rendered unserviceable two of the enemy's batteries, captured 34 prisoners, and 2 boats, in which Capt. King sent his prisoners, his own officers, and half of his men across, remaining himself with 30 men, refusing to abandon them.

On the 30th Nov. Gen. Smyth again attempted to cross, with 3000 men, but by some misunderstanding only a few would, or could be made to embark. The killed in both these attempts amounted to about 20—the wounded 30and prisoners 31. The enemy lost 10 killed-17 wounded, and 34 prisoners, besides an Indian chief.

CaptForsyth, commandant at Ogdensburg, crossed over to Elizabethtown on the 7th of Feb. 1813, with about 200 volunteers from the militia and citizens, where they surprised the guard, took 42 prisoners, with 1 Maj. 3 Capts. 2 Lieuts. and 120 muskets, 20 rifles, two casks of fixed ammunition, and considerable otber public property, which was effected without the loss of a man.



Gen. Harrison to the Secretary of War.

Lower Sandusky, May 13, 1813. [Extract.] SIR-Having ascertained that the enemy (Indians as well as British) had entirely abandoned the neighborhood of the Rapids, I left the command of camp Meigs with Gen. Clay and came here last night. It is with the greatest satisfaction, I inform you, sir, that I have every reason to believe, that the loss of the Kentucky troops in killed on the north side of the river does not exceed fifty. On the 10th and 11th inst. I caused the ground which was the scene of action, and its environs, to be carefully examined, and after the most diligent search 45 bodies only of our men, were discovered among them was the leader of the detachment, Col. Dudley. No other officer of note fell in the action. Geo. Proctor did not furnish me with a return of the prisoners in his possesion, although repeatedly promised. His retreat was as precipitate as it could properly be, leaving a number of cannon ball, a new elegant sling-carriage for cannon, and other valuable articles. The night before bis departure two persons that were employed in the British gun-boats (Americans by birth) deserted

The information they gave me was very interesting; they say

that the Indians, of which there were from 1600 to 2000, left the British the day before their departure in a high state of dissatisfaction, from the great loss which they had sustained in the several engagements of the 5th, and the failure of the British in accomplishing their promise of taking the post at the Rapids. From the account given by these men, my opinion is comfirmed of the great superiority of the enemy which were defeated by our troops in the two sallies made on the 5th inst. That led by Col. Miller did not exceed 350 men, and it is very certain that they defeated 200 British regulars, 150 militia, and 4 or 500 Indians. That American regulars (although they were raw recruits) and such men as conipose the Pittsburg, Penn. and Petersburg, Va. volunteers, should behave well, is not to be wondered at-but that a company of militia should maintain its


to us.

ground against four times its numbers, as did Capt. Sebres, of the Kentucky, is truly astonishing. These brave fellows were at length however entirely surrounded by Indiaus, and would have been entirely cut off, but for the gallantry of Lieut. Gwynne of the 19th regiment, who, with part of Capt, Elliott's company, charged the enemy and released the Kentuckians.

A copy of Gen. Clay's report to me of the manner of his executing my order for the attack on the enemies batteries, is likewise forwarded, by which it will be seen that my intention was perfectly understood, and the great facility with which it might have been executed is apparent to every individual who witnessed the scene. Iudeed, the cannon might have been spiked, the carriages cut to pieces, the magazine destroyed, and the retreat effected to the boats without the loss of a man, as none were killed in taking the batteries, so complete was the surprize.

An extensive open plain intervenes between the river and the hill upon which the batteries of the enemy were placed ; this plain was raked by four of our eighteen pounders, a twelve and a six. The enemy, even before their guns were spiked, could not have brought one to bear on it. So perfectly secured was their retreat, that 150 men who came off, effected it without loss, and brought off some of the wounded, one of them upon the backs of their comrades. The Indians followed them to the woods, but dared not enter into the plain.

I am unable to form a correct estimate of the enemy's force. The prisoners varied much in their accounts; those who made them least, stated the regulars at 550, and militia at 800; but the numbers of Indians were beyond comparison greater than have ever been brought into the field before; numbers arrived after the siege commenced, and they were indeed the efficient force of the enemy. I have the honor to be, &c.

Killed 81-Wounded 189,

British loss not known.

« PreviousContinue »