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the flour. It was calculated we could readily procure three month's provisions, independent of 150 barrels of flour, and 1300 head of cattle which had been forwarded from the state of Ohio, which remained at the river Raisin under captain Brush, within reach of the army.
But had we been totally destitute of provisions, our duty and our interest undoubtedly was to fight. The enemy invited us to meet him in the field.
By defeating him the whole country would have been open to us, and the object of our expedition gloriously and successfully obtained. If we had been defeated we had nothing to do but to retreat to the fort, and make the best defence which circumstances and our situation rendered practicable. But basely to surrender without firing a gun—tamely to submit without raising a bayonet-disgracefully to pass in review before an enemy as inferior in the quality as in the number of his forces, were circumstances, which excited feelings of indignation more easily felt than described. To see the whole of our men flusbed with the hope of victory, eagerly awaiting the approaching contest; to see them afterwards dispirited, hopeless and desponding, at least 500 shedding tears, because they were not allowed to meet their country's foe, and to fight their country's battles, excited sensations, which no American bas ever before had cause to feel, and which, I trust in God, will never again be felt, while one man remains to defend the standard of the union.
I am expressly authorized to state, that colonel M Arthur and colonel Findley, and lieutenant colonel Miller, view this transaction in the light which I do. They know and feel, that no circumstance in our situation, none in that of the enemy, can excuse a capitulation so dishonourable and unjustifiable. This too is the universal sentiment among the troops ; and I shall be surprised to learn, that there is one man, who thinks it was necessary to sheath his sword, or lay down his musket.
I was informed by general Hull the morning after the capitulation, that the British forces consisted of 1800 regulars, and
that he surrendered to prevent the effusion of human blood. That he magnified their regular force nearly five fold, there can be no doubt. Whether the philanthropic reason assigned by him is a sufficient justification for surrendering a fortified town, an army and a territory, is for the government to determine. Confident I am, that had the courage and conduct of the general been equal to the spirit and zeal of the troops, the event would have been as brilliant and successful as it now is disastrous and dishonourable.
I have the honour to be yours, &c.
Col. 3d reg. Ohio volunteers. The Hon. William Eustis,
Secretary of War,
ATTACK ON FORT HARRISON.
FORT HARRISON, September 10, 1812. SIR,
On Thursday evening, the 3d instant, after retreat beating, four guns were heard to fire in the direction, where two young men (citizens who resided here) were 'making hay, about 400 yards distant from the fort. I was immediately impressed with the idea that they were killed by Indians, as the Miamies or Waes had that day informed me that the Prophet's party would soon be here for the purpose of commencing hostilities; and that they had been directed to leave this place, which they were about to do. I did not think it prudent to send out at that late hour of the night to see what became of them; and their not coming in, convinced me that I was right in my conjecture. I waited until 8 o'clock next morning, to find them, when I sent out a corporal, with a small party to find them, if it could be done without running too much risk of being drawn into an ambuscade. He soon sent back to inform me that he had found them both killed, and wished to know my further orders. I sent the cart and oxen, and had them brought in and buried; they had been each shot with two balls, scalped and cut in the most shocking
Late in the evening of the 4th instant, Joseph Lenar and between 30 and 40 Indians arrived from Prophet's town with a white flag, among whom were about 10 women, and the men were composed of the chiefs of the different tribes that compose the Prophet's party.
A Shawnee man, that spoke good English, informed me that old Lenar intended to speak to me next morning, and try to get something to eat. At retreat beating I examined the men's arms, and found them all in good order, and completed their cartridges to 16 rounds per man. As I had not been able to mount a guard of more than 6 privates and 2 non-commissioned officers, for some time past, and sometimes part of them every other day, from the unhealthiness of the company, I had not conceived my force adequate to the defence of this post, should it be vigorously attacked, for some time past. As I had just recovered from a very severe attack of the fever, I was not able to be
up much through the night. After tatoo, I cautioned the guards to be vigilant, and ordered one of the non-commissioned officers (as the sentinels could not see every part of the garrison) to walk round the inside, during the whole night, to prevent the Indians taking any advantage of us, provided they had any intention of attacking us. About 11 o'clock I was awakened by the firing of the sentinels. I sprang up, ran out, and ordered the men to their posts, when my orderly sergeant, who had charge of the block house, called out that the Indians had fired the lower block house, which contained the property of the contractor, which was deposited in the lower part, the upper part having been assigned to a corporal and 10 privates, as an alarm post; the guns had began to fire pretty smartly from both sides. I directed the buckets to be got ready and water brought from the well, and the fire extinguished immediately, as it was hardly perceivable at that time, but from debility or some other cause the men were very slow in executing my orders ; the word appeared to throw them all into confusion; and by the time they had got the water, and broke open the door, the fire had communicated to a quantity of whiskey ; and in spite of every exertion we could make use of, in less than a moment, it ascended to the roof, and baffled every effort we could make to extinguish it.
As that block house adjoined the barracks that make part of the fortifications, most of the men immediately gave themselves up for lost, and I had the greatest difficulty in getting any of my orders executed; and, sir, from the raging of the fire, the yelling and howling of several hundred Indians, the cries of 9 women and children who had taken shelter in the fort, and the desponding of so many of the men (which was worse than all,) I can assure you that my feelings were unpleasant. Indeed there were not more than 10 or 15 men able to do a great deal, the others being either sick or convalescent, and to add to our misfortunes, two of the stoutest men of the fort, and that I had every confidence in, jumped the picket and left us. But my presence of mind did not for a moment forsake me. I saw by throwing off part of the roof that joined the block house that was on fire, and keeping the end perfectly wet, the whole row of buildings might be saved, and leave only an entrance of 18 or 20 feet for the Indians to enter, after the house was consumed ; and that a temporary breast_work might be erected to prevent even their entering there. I convinced the men that this could be accomplished, and it appeared to inspire them with new life, and never did men act with more firmness or desperation : those that were able, (while the others kept up a fire from the other block house and the two bastions,) mounted the roofs of the houses, with doctor Clarke at their head, (who acted with the greatest firmness and presence of mind the whole time the attack lasted, which was 8 hours under a shower of bullets,) and in a moment threw off as much of the roof as was necessary. This was done with the loss of one man only, and two wounded, neither of them dangerously; the man that was killed was a little deranged, and did not get off the house as soon as directed, or he would not have been hurt; and although the barracks were several times in a blaze, the men used such exertions that they kept it under; and before day-light, raised a temporary breast-work as high as a man's head, although the Indians continued to pour in a heavy fire of ball, and an innumerable quantity of arrows, during the whole time the attack lasted, in every part of the parade.
I had but one other man killed, nor any other wounded inside the fort, and he lost his life by being too anxious : he got into one
of the gallies in the bastions and fired over the pickets, and called to bis comrades that he had killed an Indian, and neglecting to stoop down, in an instant he was shot dead. One of the men that jumped the pickat returned an hour before day, and running towards the gate, begged for God's sake it might be opened. I suspected it to be a stratagem of the Indians to get in. As I did not recollect the voice, I directed the men in the bastion where I happened to be, to shoot him, let him be who he would, and one of them fired at him, but fortunately he ran up to the other bas.' tion, where they knew his voice, and doctor Clarke directed him to lie down close to the pickets behind an empty barrel that happened to be there, and at day-light I had him let in. His arm was broke in a most shocking manner, which he says was done by the Indians, and which I suppose was the cause of his returning. The other man they caught about 120 yards from the garrison, and cut him all to pieces. After keeping up a constant fire, until about 6 o'clock the next morning, which we began to return with some effect after day-light, they removed out of the reach of our guns. A party of them drove up the horses that belonged to the citizens here, and as they could not catch them very readily, shot the whole of them in our sight, as well as a number of their hogs. They drove off the cattle, which amounted to 65 head, with the public oxen. I had the vacancy filled up before night (which was occasioned by the burning of the block house) with a strong row of pickets, which I got by pulling down the guard house. We lost the whole of our provisions, but must make out to live upon green corn until we can get a supply, which I hope will not be long. I believe the whole of the Miamies or Waes, were with the Prophet's party, as one chief gave his orders in that language, which resembled Stone-eater's voice, and I believe Negro-legs was there likewise. A Frenchman here understands their different languages, and several of the Waes that have been frequently here, were recognized by the soldiers next morning. The Indians suffered smartly, but were so numerous as to take off all that were shot : they continued with us until the next morning, but made no further attempt on the fort, nor have we seen any thing more of them since.
I have the honour to be yours, &c.
Ž. TAYLOR His excellency gov. Harrison.
FORT MADISON, September 10, 1812. SIR,
On the 5th instant, this garrison was attacked by a numerous body of Indians. They began by their usual mode of sneaking up. One man, who had liberty to go outside upon a necessary occasion, was killed, tomahawked and scalped within twenty-five
paces of the sentinel who was stationed in a block house, notwithstanding the sentinel fired on them.
In a little time the attack commenced with a pretty general discharge of fire arms on all sides—the balls and buck shot fell in like hail and continued until dark. They then retired.
On the morning of the 6th, they appeared in small squads in every direction—a part under the bank firing into our loop holes, while others were employed in killing all the live stock in the place. At 4 o'clock P. M. they all collected under the bank of the river and commenced firing at our flag and block houses, and after firing about 400 shot they cut the hal yards and the flag fell inside: a general shout was given by them as a triumph of victory. They continued in part till after night, and kept up a fire while one took away the man whom they had killed, which we were unable to effect, as we did not know the number that might be there.
On the morning of the 7th, about the first thing that presented to our view was the man's head and heart stuck upon sticks, the head painted after the manner of themselves. They kept a fire upon us all day, during which time a party of them set År. Juliean's houses on fire, and in a short time I discovered our boats were all in flames. I must confess that at this moment I felt some little confusion, but no alternative was left but the greatest exertions: we had 8 old gun barrels made into squirts, and made holes through the tops of the block houses, and in a few minutes we were able to make them as wet as if there had fallen a shower of rain. The little panic was soon dissipated and we felt ourselves again secure; but the greatest efforts were made on the part of the Indians to consume us in flames. They wounded one of our men in the face but not dangerous. By sundown I discovered Mr. M.Nabb's house on fire, which led me to believe that they intended to burn all. The wind had fallen. I despatched a man in the dark with a stick of port fire and instruments to set fire to the factory, which was performed.
On the 8th, they did not make their appearance until 9 o'clock A. M. which was in an old stable that they had fortified the preceding night, but were soon dislodged by two cannon shot.
They then resumed their old station under the banks and fired upon us, while others continued throwing showers of fire chunks and arrows prepared with suitable matter to take fire, but our gun barrel squirts soon extinguished them. This was their last and longest effort which was continued until 10 o'clock at night. We have not seen one since, but I fear a party hangs about to take the first man that shows his head.
It is incumbent on me to give you a very particular idea of our situation. This garrison is in the most ineligible place that ever could have been chosen by any man even if he would try. The Indians are much better fortified than we. On the south side of the river the bank affords them a complete shelter, and would take a