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the day before at the Moravian towns, 4 miles higher 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 to inform 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 observation, assisted by some of my officers, I soon ascertained enough of their position and order of battle, to determine that, which it was proper for me to adopt.
From the place where our army last halted, to the Moravian towns a distance of about three and a half miles, the road passes through a beach forest without any clearing, and for the first two miles near to the bank of the river. At from two to 300 yards from the river, a swamp extends parallel to it, throughout the whole distance. The intermediate ground is dry, and although the trees are tolerably thick, it is in many places clear of underbrush. Across this strip of land, its left appayed upon the river, supported by artillery placed in the wood, their right in the swamp covered by the whole of the Indian force, the British troops were drawn up.
The troops at my disposal consisted of about 120 regulars of the 27th regiment, five brigades of Kentucky volunteer militia infantry, under his Excellency Gov. Shelby, averaging less than five hundred men, and Col. Johnson's regiment of mounted infantry, making in the whole an aggregate, something about 3000. No disposition of an army opposed to an Indian force can be safe unless it is secured on the flanks and in the rear. I had therefore no difficulty in arranging the infantry couformably to my general order of battle. Gen. Trotter's brigade of 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 brigades formed the command of Major-General Henry; the whole of Gen. Desha's division, consisting of two brigades, were formed en potence upon the left of Troiler.
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 opposite to the enemy, and upon the advance of the infantry, to take ground to the left, and forming upon that flank to endeavor to turn the right of the Indians. A moment's reflection, however, convinced me that from the thickness of the woods and swampness 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 ever seen or heard of, but I was fully convinced that it would succeed. The American back woodsmen ride better in the woods than apy o'her people. A musket or rifle is no impedimeat to them, being accustomed to them from their eartiest youth. I was persuaded, too, that the enemy would be quite unprepared for the shock, and that they could not resist it. Conformable to this idea, I directed the regiment to be drawn up in close column, with its right at the distance of 50 yards from the road, (that it might be, in some measure, protected by the trees from the artillery) its left upon the swamp, and to charge at full speed as soon as the enemy had delivered their fire. The few regular troops of the 27th regiment, under Col. Paul, occupied in a column of sections of four, the small space between the road and the river, for the purpose of seizing the enemy's artillery, and some ten or twelve friendly Indians to move under the bank. The crotchet formed by the front line, and Gen. Desha's division, was an important point. At that place the venerable Governor of Kentucky was posted, who, at the age of sixtysix, preserves all the vigor of youth, the ardent zeal which distinguished him in the revolutionary war, and the undaunted bravery which he manifested at King's mountain. With my aids-de-camp, the acting assistant Adj. General, Capt. Butler, my gallant friend 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, I placed myself at the head of the front line of infantry, to direct the movements of the cavalry, and give them the necessary support.
The army had moved on in this order but a short distance, when the mounted men received the fire 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 column at length getting in motion, broke through the enemy with irresistable force. In one minute the contest in front was over; the British officers seeing no hope of reducing their disordered ranks to order, and our mounted men wheeling upon them and pouring in a destructive fire, immediately surrendered. It is certam that three only of our troops were wounded in this charge. Upon the left, however, the contest was more severe with the Indians. Col. Johnson, 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 regiment to its support, and the enemy receiving 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.
I can give no satisfactory information of the number of 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 of which were taken) and from the information 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. Of these it is certain that 50 or 60 Wyandot warriors abandoned him.
The number of our troops 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 under 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 character, he placed himself under my command, and was not more remarkable for his zeal and activity, than for the promptitude and cheerfulness with which he obeyed my orders.
On the day of action, 6 pieces of brass artillery were taken, and two iron 24 pounders the day before. Several others were discovered in 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 surrendered by Gen. Hull,
I have the honor to be, &c.
WILLIAM H. HARRISON.
Killed 7-wounded 22.
Killed 112 ---wounded, not known-prisoners 634.
The fruits of Gen. Harrison's victory independent of the great advantages obtained, are of the British regular army, 609 non-commissioned officers and privates, 2 Cols. 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 !!
SPEECH OF TECUMSEH.* In the name of the Indian chiefs and warriors, to Maj, Gen. Proctor, as the representatives of 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.
They are now dead. In that war, our father was thrown on his back by the Americans, and our father took them by
* Tecumseh was killed at the battle of the Moravian towns.
†The Revolutionary nar.
the hand without our knowledge ;* and we are afraid that our father will do so again, at this time.
Summer before last, when I came forward with my red brethren, and was ready to take up 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 Americans.
Listen!-When war was declared, our father stood up 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 taken from us.
Listen!-You told us, at that time, to bring forward our families to this place; and we did so; and you promised to take care of them, and that they should want for nothing, while the men would go and fight the enemy. That we need not trouble ourselves about 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 of your garrison here, which made our hearts glad.
Listen !—When we were last at the Rapids, it is true we gave you little assistance. It is hard to fight people, who live like ground hogs.†
Father, listen! Our fleet has gone out; we know they have fought; we have heard the great guns: but know nothing of what has happened to our father, with one arm. Our ships have gone one way, and we are much astonished to see our father tying up every thing and preparing to run away the other, without letting his red children know what his intentions 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 great father, the king, is our head, and you represent him. You always told us, that you would never draw your foot off British ground ; but'now, father, we see you are drawing back, and we are sorry to see our father doing so without seeing the enemy. We must compare our father's conduct to a fat animal, that carries its tail upon its back, but when affrighted, he drops it between his legs and runs off.
* The Indians were not included in the treaty of peace in 1783. The Americans had fortified themselves at the Rapids.