History From America's Most Famous Valleys
Life of Joseph Brant-Thayendanegea
Indian Wars of the American Revolution
by William L.
Stone. Volume II
Buffalo: Phinney & Co., 1851.
Sullivan's campaign into the Seneca country-Different characteristics among the Indian Nations-Mistakes upon the subject-Progress of civilization among the Six Nations-Plan of the campaign-The command offered to General Gates-His conduct-Clinton's preparations at Canajoharie-Transportation of boats and stores across to Otsego Lake-Arrest and execution of Newberry-Attempts to engage the Oneidas-The Indians alarmed by an address from Gen. Haldimand -The address-Intelligence from the enemy-Arrival of Oneida deputies at Clinton's head-quarters-Their speech-Designs of the enemy-Letter of Gen. Clinton to his brother-Remarkable escape of Elerson from an Indian scout- Brave defence of his house by Mr. Shankland-Descent of the Susquehanna-Dilatory proceedings of Sullivan-Junction of the forces-Movement from Tioga to Newton-Battle of the Chemung-Destruction of the crops-Advance to Catharine's town-Message to the Oneidas-Destruction of Catharine's townEvidences of civilization-Destruction of Kendaia and Kanadaseaga-March upon Kanandaigua-Its destruction-Honeoye destroyed-Melancholy story of the Oneida brothers-Kanaghsaws destroyed-Horrible fate of Lieutenant Boyd -Contrast between the conduct of Brant and Butler in the case of Boyd-Indians in council resolve to fight no more-Sullivan advances to Genesee-Beauty of the country-Conduct of Red Jacket-Origin of Brant's hostility to him-Sullivan sets out on his return-Destruction of the Cayuga towns-Return of the army to Tioga-Strange directions to Colonel Gansevoort respecting the Mohawks of the lower castle-Their capture-Correspondence-Their release-Close of Sullivan's campaign-His resignation-Colonel Brodhead's expedition against the Senecas on the Alleghany-Huron and Shawanese chiefs meet him at Fort Pitt-Their speeches-Severe Indian battle on the Ohio-Closing incidents of the year.
THE policy of waging a more decisive war against the Indians, and the loyalists associated with them in their barbarous irruptions upon the frontier settlements, has been adverted to more than once already. General Washington had long- entertained the opinion that the mere establishment of a chain of military posts along the Western and North-western frontiers would not answer the purpose; and that the only method of affording efficient protection to the inhabitants of those borders, would be to carry the war into the heart of the enemy's country. By a resolution of the 25th of February, Congress had directed the Commander-in-chief to take the most effectual means for protecting the inhabitants, and chastising the Indiana for their continued depredations ; and it was now his determination to put the resolve in execution, by carrying the war directly into the most populous country of the Six Nations ; to cut off their settlements, destroy their crops, and inflict upon them every other mischief which time and circumstances would permit.*
Those who have
been accustomed to contemplate the whole race of North American aboriginals
as essentially alike, viewing them all as the same roving, restless, houseless
race of hunters and fishermen, without a local habitation, and with scarce a
name, have widely misunderstood the Indian character, and must know but little
of its varieties. They have, indeed, many traits and characteristics in common
; but in other respects the moody Englishman is not more unlike his mercurial
neighbor on the other side of the channel, than is the Mohawk unlike the Sioux.
It is the remark of a popular writer of the day,+ that
" those who are familiar with the reserved and haughty bearing
" of the forest tribes, cannot fail, when an opportunity of compa-
" rison is afforded, to be struck with the social air and excitable
" disposition which mark their prairie brethren, and so decidedly
" distinguish the "gens du large" from "les gens des feuilles,"
" as the voyageurs term the different races. The Pawnees, fol-
" lowing the buffalo in his migrations, and having always plenty
" of animal food to subsist upon, are a much better fed and larger
" race than those who find a precarious subsistence in the forest
" chase. While the woodland tribes, who, though not so plump
" in form, are of a more wiry and perhaps muscular make, have
" again a decided advantage in figure and gait over the "gens du
" lac," or fishing and trapping tribes of the North-west, that pass
" most of their time in canoes. This difference in character and
" physical appearance between the different Indian races, or rather
" between those tribes who have such different methods of gain-
" ing a livelihood, has never been sufficiently attended to by " modern authors, though it did not escape the early French * writers on this country. And yet, if habit have any effect in" forming the temper and character of a rude people, it must of " course follow, that the savage who lives in eternal sunshine upon
*Letter of Washington of March 4, to Governor Clinton, and also from the same to General Gates of March 6, 1779.
+Charles F. Hoffman, Esq.
plains, and hunts on horseback with a troop of tribesmen
" around him, must be a different being from the solitary deer-
" stalker, who wanders through the dim forest, depending upon his
" single arm for a subsistence for his wife and children." But
the higher state of social organization among the Six Nations greatly increased the difference. They had many towns and villages giving evidence of permanence. They were organized into communities, whose social and political institutions, simple as they were, were still as distinct and well-defined as those of the American confederacy. They had now acquired some of the arts, and were enjoying many of the comforts, of civilized life. Not content with small patches of cleared lands for the raising of a few vegetables, they possessed cultivated fields, and orchards of great productiveness, at the West. Especially was this the fact with regard to the Cayugas and Senecas. The Mohawks having been driven from their own rich lands, the extensive domains of the two westernmost tribes of the confederacy formed the granary of the whole. And in consequence of the superior social and political organization just referred to, and the Spartan-like character incident to the forest life, the Six Nations, though not the most numerous, were beyond, a doubt the most formidable, of the tribes then in arms in behalf of the Crown.* It was justly considered, therefore, that the only way to strike them effectively, would be to destroy their homes and the growing products of their farms; and thus, by cutting off their means of supply, drive them from their own country deeper into the interior, and perhaps throw them altogether upon their British allies for subsistence. It was likewise the design to extend the operations of the expedition as far as Niagara, if possible-that post, of all others in the occupation of the enemy, enabling his officers to maintain an extensive influence over his savage allies.+
* "The Six Nations were a peculiar and extraordinary people, contra-distinguished from the mass of Indian nations by great attainments in polity, in negotiation, in eloquence, and in war."-Discourse of De Wilt Clinton before the New-York Hist. Society-1911.
+ Since these sheets were in the hands of the printer, the author has discovered an Official manuscript account of a grand Indian council held at Niagara, in September, 1776, by Colonel John Butler, and Lieutenants Matthews, Burnit, and Kinnesley, and Ensign Butler, with the Hurons, Chippewas, Ottawas, Pottawatamies, Mississagas. Senecas, Cayugas, Onondagas, Oneidas, Tuscaroras, Mohawks, Delawares, Nanticokes, Squaghkies, and Connoys-in presence of Lieut. Colonel John Caldwell, then in command at Niagara. It appears that only one Oneida sachem was present, and one Tuscarora. They adopted an address, which was unanimously signed by the chiefs attending the Congress, declaring their Intention to embark in the war, and abide the result of the contest of the King with his people. They also made a strong appeal to the Oneidas and Tuscaroras, " to quit the Bostonians, and be strong and determined to fulfill their engagements to the King." They also exhorted the Mohawks to be strong, and assured them " that they, and all their western brethren, would fly to their assistance at the first call," &c.-Manuscripts of Gen. Gansevoort.
The plan of this
campaign was well devised and matured. It was to be commenced by a combined
movement of two divisions-the one from Pennsylvania, ascending the valley of
the Susquehanna to the intersection of the Tioga river, under General Sullivan,
who was invested with the command in chief; and the other from the North, under
General James Clinton, which was to descend the Susquehanna from its principal
source, and after forming a junction with Sullivan, the whole, to proceed, by
the course of the Chemung river, into the fertile country of the Senecas and
Cayugas. This expedition was intended as the principal campaign of that year;
since the relative military strength and situation of the two contending powers
rendered it impossible that any other offensive operations could becarried on
by the Americans at the same time.*
* It was the original purpose of General Washington to invest General Gates with the command of this expedition, and the appointment was tendered to that officer by letter, on the 6th of March. Gates declined it, in a manner not very agreeable to the Commander-in-chief. The latter, in writing subsequently to the President of Congress upon the subject, in the course of sundry explanations, not unmingled with strictures upon the conduct of Gates, wrote as follows :-" The plan of operations for the campaign being determined, a commanding officer was to be appointed for the Indian expedition. This command, according to all present appearances, will probably be of the second, if not of the first, importance for the campaign. The officer conducting it has a flattering prospect of acquiring more credit than can be expected by any other this year; and he has the best reason to hope for success. General Lee, from his situation, was out of the question ; General Schuyler, (who, by the way, would have been most agreeable to me,) was so uncertain of continuing in the army, that I could not appoint him ; General Putnam I need not mention. I therefore made the offer of it, for the appointment could no longer be delayed, to General Gates, who was next in seniority, though, perhaps, I might have avoided it, if I had been so disposed, from his being in a command by the special appointment of Congress. My letter to him on the occasion I believe you will think was conceived in very candid and polite terms, and that it merited a different answer from the one given to it."-'Letter of Washington to the President of Congress, April 14, 1779. The answer of Gates referred to by the Commander-in-chief, was in the following words;-" Last night I had the honor of your Excellency's letter. The man who undertakes the Indian service, should enjoy youth and strength ; requisites I do not possess. It therefore grieves me that your Excellency should offer me the only command to which I am entirely unequal. In obedience to your command, I have forwarded your letter to General Sullivan," &c.-Sparks's Life and Correspondence of Washington.
On the 2d of June, General Clinton received his instructions from Sullivan, to proceed forthwith in the measures of co-operation according to the plan of the campaign already indicated, viz : the descent of the Susquehanna by the northern forces, to unite with the main division at Tioga. Preparations for the enterprise, however, were already in a state of great forwardness, since General Washington had been in free communication with Governor Clinton upon the subject; and the latter, with the General his brother, had been actively engaged in anticipation of the order.* Accordingly, batteaux had already been provided at Schenectady, which, after ascending the Mohawk to Canajoharie, were thence to be transported over land to the head of Otsego Lake at Springfield, while at the same time a large quantity of provisions had been thrown into Fort Schuyler in case of emergency. After making all his arrangements, and ordering the different corps which were to compose his command, to concentrate at Canajoharie, General Clinton arrived at that post on the 16th of June, where he found himself at the head of fifteen hundred troops.
The portage from
the Mohawk river at Canajoharie to the head of Otsego Lake is about twenty miles.
On the 17th, General Clinton commenced the transportation of his boats and stores
across the country-the region being hilly, and the roads excessively bad. Two
hundred boats were found to be necessary, and four horses were required for
the draught of each boat. The troops were disposed by regiments along the route,
* General James Clinton was at that time in command of the Northern department. The troops assigned for this campaign were, the brigades of Generals Clinton, Maxwell, Poor, and Hand, to which last brigade were assigned, in addition, all the detached corps of Continental troops on the Susquehanna. The independent companies of the State of Pennsylvania were likewise ordered upon the expedition together with Colonel Van Courtlandt's regiment, Butler's, Alden's, and the rifle corps. Colonel Gansevoort's regiment formed a part of Clinton's brigade. This brigade had already been ordered by the Commander-in-chief himself to rendezvous at Canajoharie, subject to the orders of Sullivan, either to form a junction with the main body by the way of Otsego, or to proceed up the Mohawk and co-operate as circumstances might best permit.-Letter of instructions from the Cominander-in-chief to General Sullivan.
and to assist at difficult points of ascent. But, notwithstanding these obstacles,
and the magnitude of the enterprise, General Clinton was enabled to announce
to his immediate superior, by letter on the 26th, that one hundred and seventy-three
of the boats had already reached the head of the lake; that thirty more were
on their -way ; and that the residue, making up the complement of two hundred
and twenty, would be forwarded thither immediately on their arrival from Schenectady.
The provisions and stores for a three months campaign had likewise been already
transported across the carrying-place that the expedition was nearly in readiness
to- commence its final movement.* In a letter to General Schuyler announcing
the same intelligence, the General spoke particularly of the alacrity and spirit
with which the inhabitants of the country had rallied to his assistance. He
likewise bestowed high praise upon Colonel Willett, acting as a volunteer, for
his timely and energetic assistance in forwarding the arrangements. In performing
this labor, no other interruption took place than what arose from the arrest
of two spies, formerly inhabitants of the county, one of whom was named Hare,
a lieutenant in the British service, and the other a Tory sergeant named Newberry,
the same wretch whose name has already occurred as a brutal murderer at Cherry
Valley. They had left the Seneca country with sixty warriors of that tribe,
to be divided into three parties, one of which was to fall upon Cherry Valley
again, the other upon Schoharie, and the third to be employed in lurking about
Fort Schuyler. They were tried by a court-martial, convicted, and " hanged
pursuant to the sentence of the court, and to the " entire satisfaction
of all the inhabitants of the county ."+
* General Washington was greatly displeased at the amount of stores and baggage by which Clinton was encumbered, apprehending "the worst consequences" from the obstacles his stores would interpose to the rapidity of his march, and also from the publicity which would as a consequence be given to his movements. Although he had left it optional with Sullivan to direct Clinton to join him by the route of the Susquehanna, yet the Commander-in-chief evidently preferred that the more northern route should be taken. He wrote to Sullivan upon the subject with more sharpness than he was wont to do.-[See Letter of Washington to Sullivan, July 1, 1779.] The event, however, aided by the sagacity of Clinton in the adoption of a measure presently to be noted, proved that he took the right direction. + Letter from General Clinton to General Schuyler. In General Schuyler's answer to this letter, he says, speaking of the execution of Hare-" In executing Hare, you have rid the State of the greatest villain in it. I hope his abettors in the country will meet with a similar exaltation."-Gen. Clinton's Manuscripts.
It was the desire of General Sullivan that Clinton should employ in his division as large a number of the Oneida warriors as could be induced to engage in the service. The latter officer was opposed to this arrangement; but at the importunities of Sullivan, the Rev. Mr. Kirkland, their missionary, who was now a chaplain in the army, had been summoned to Albany for consultation. From thence Mr. Kirkland was despatched to Pennsylvania directly to join Sullivan's division, while to Mr. Deane, the interpreter connected with the Indian commission at Fort Schuyler, was confided the charge of negotiating with the Oneida chiefs upon the subject. At first all went smoothly with the Indians. The Oneidas volunteered for the expedition, almost to a man ; while those of the Onondagas who adhered to the cause of the Americans, were equally desirous of proving their fidelity by their deeds. Under these circumstances Clinton wrote to Sullivan on the 26th, that on the following Saturday, Mr. Deane, with the Indian warriors, would join him at the head of the lake. A sudden revolution, however, was wrought in their determination by an address to the Oneidas from General Haldimand, received at Fort Schuyler on the 22d. This document was transmitted to them in their own language; and its tenor was so alarming, as to induce them suddenly to change their purpose-judging, very correctly, from the threats of Haldimand, that their presence was necessary at home for the defence of their own castles. Still, Mr. Deane wrote that an arrangement was on foot, by which he hoped yet to obtain the co-operation of a considerable number of the Oneida warriors. The basis of this arrangement was, that in the event of an invasion of their country by the Indians, whom the Canadian commander had threatened to let loose upon them, the garrison at Fort Schuyler should not only assist them, but receive their women and children into the fort for protection.
General Haldimand's address was written in the Iroquois language, of which the following translation was made by Mr. Deane, and enclosed to General Clinton :-
" A translation of his Excellency Gen. Haldimun's speech to the Oneida Indians in the Rebel Interest, as delivered to them in the Iroquois language*
" BROTHERS : Be very attentive to what I, Ashanegown, the Great King of England's representative in Canada, am going to say. By this string of wampum I shake you by the hand to rouse you that you may seriously reflect upon my words. A string of wampum.
: It is now about four years ago since the Bostonians began to rise, and rebel
against their Father, the King of England, since which time you have taken a
different part from the rest of the Five Nations, your confederates, and have
likewise deserted the King's cause, through the deceitful machinations and snares
of the rebels, who intimidated you with their numerous armies, by which means
you became bewildered, and forgot all of your engagements with, and former care,
and favor from the Great King of England, your Father. You also soon forgot
the frequent bad usage, and continual encroachments of the Americans upon the
Indian lands throughout the Continent. I say, therefore, that at the breaking
out of these troubles you firmly declared to observe a strict neutrality in
the dispute, and made your declaration known to Sir Guy Carleton, my predecessor,
who much approved of it, provided you were in earnest. I have hitherto strictly
observed and examined your conduct, and find that you did not adhere to your
assertion, although I could trace no reason on the side of government as well
as the Indians, why you should act so treacherous and double a part; by which
means, we, not mistrusting your fidelity, have had many losses among the King's
subjects and the Five Nations your friends and connexions ; and finding you
besides, proud and hau on the occasion, as if you gloried in your perfidy, doubtless
in sure confidence as if your friends, the rebels, were getting the better at
last; and captivated with that pleasing opinion of yours, you have presumed
twice during the course of last winter, to send impertinent and daring messages
to the Five Nations, as if you meant to pick a quarrelwith them. In consequence
of this your daring and insolent behavior, I must insist upon, by this belt
of wampum, that you declare yourselves immediately on the receipt of this my
* Copied by the author from the M, among the papers of General Clinton.
and message, whether you mean to persist in this your daring and insulting course, and still intend to act as you have hitherto done, treacherously under the cloak of neutrality, or whether you will accept of this my last offer of re-uniting, and reconciling yourselves with your own tribes, the Five Nations. Do not imagine that the King has hitherto treated the rebels and their adherents with so much mildness and indulgence, out of any apprehensions of their strength, or getting the better ! No, by no means. For you will find that in case you slight or disregard this my last offer of peace, I shall soon convince you that I have such a number of Indian allies to let loose upon you, as will instantly convince you of your folly when too late, as I have hardly been able to restrain them from falling upon you for some time past. I must therefore once more repeat to you that this is my last and final message to you; and that you do not hesitate, or put off giving me your direct and decisive declaration of peace or war, that in case of the latter, (knowing that there are still some of your nation who are friends to the King and the Five Nations,) I may give them timely warning to separate themselves from you.
: Let me lastly convince you of the deceit and dissimulation of your rebel brethren,
General Schuyler, Parson Kirkland, and others ; have they not told you, in the
beginning of the rebellion, that they wanted not your assistance, and to have
your blood spilt; and you likewise declared that you would not join them, but
remain neuter ? Have either of you stuck to your word ? No! you basely broke
it, and seemed from the beginning to be of mutual hostile sentiments against
the King and his allies, and soon after manifested it by your actions What confirms
me in this opinion, and proves your deceitful and treacherous dispositions,
is your behavior during the course of the last war, when you likewise acted
a double part in clandestinely joining and carrying intelligence to the French
in this country ; which I myself am a witness to, and also was told of it by
your friend, the late Sir William Johnson, who, notwithstanding your base behavior,
upon promising that you would be true and faithful for the future, forgave you,
and received you into favor again, advising you to be more prudent and honest
in time to come ; and frequently after that loaded you with theKing's bounty
and favor. But he was no sooner dead than you
VOL. II. 2
his good advice and benedictions; and in opposition to his family and Indian
friends, and every thing that is sacred, adopted the cause of rebels, and enemies
to your King, your late patron Sir 'William Johnson, and your own confederacy
and connexions. These are facts, Brothers, that unless you are lost to every
sense of feeling, cannot but recall in you a most hearty repentance and deep
remorse for your past vile actions. The belt.
" FRED. HALDIMAND."
On the 30th of June, Clinton wrote to Sillivan that his arrangements were complete-that all his stores and munitions of every description were at the lake, with two hundred and ten batteaux-and every thing in readiness for embarkation the moment his orders to that effect should be received. On the 1st of July he proceeded to the lake himself, and the expedition moved from its head to the Southern extremity-there to await the orders of his superior. While lying at this place, a letter was received from General Schuyler, announcing the return from Canada of a spy, who had been despatched thither for information. He brought word, that on the 18th of June four hundred and fifty regular troops, one hundred Tories, and thirty Indians, had been sent forward from Montreal to reinforce the Indians against whom this expedition, was preparing; and that they were to be joined by half of Sir John Johnson's regiment, together with a portion of the garrison at Niagara. From this intelligence it was evident that the Indian country was not to he taken without a struggle.
On the 5th Mr. Deane arrived, at the head of thirty-five Oneida warriors. The object of their visit was in person to apologize for the absence of their brethren from the expedition, and to make those explanations, in regard to their own altered situation, already communicated by Mr. Deane by letter, together with the address of General Haldimand, which had caused their alarm. A conference took place with General Clinton on the same day, at which the Oneidas delivered their message in the following speech :-
" BROTHER : We suppose you imagine we have come here in order to attend you upon your expedition, but we are sorry to inform you that our situation is such as will not admit of it.
" BROTHER : From intelligence which we may depend upon, we have reason to believe that the Six Nations mean to embrace the opportunity of our absence in order to destroy our castles ; these accounts we have by spies from among them, and we know that a considerable body of them are now collected at Cayuga for that purpose, waiting in expectation of our warriors leaving the castle to join you.
" BROTHER : It was our intention to have joined you upon your intended route, and hope you will not think hard of it that we do not; but such is our present danger, that in case we leave our castle it must be cut off, as a large party of the enemy are waiting for that purpose.
" BROTHER : This is a time of danger with us. Our brethren, the Americans, have always promised us assistance for our protection whenever we stand in need of it; we therefore request that, agreeable, to these promises, we may have some troops sent to our assistance in this time of great danger. Should you send a body of troops to our assistance and protection, and the enemy attack us, and we should have the fortune to beat them, we will with those troops pursue them, and join you down in their country ; or if they should not make an attack upon our castle in a short time, we will march through their castles until we join you." A belt.
To which General Clinton made the following reply :-
" BRETHREN : Our present expedition is intended to chastise those nations who have broken their faith with us, and joined our enemies. The force we have is quite sufficient for that purpose. Our route is planned in the great council of this country. It is not my desire that the whole of your warriors should leave their castles. I have given a general invitation to our Brethren the Oneidas, the Tuscaroras, and such Onondagas as may have entered into friendship with us. In order to give all our Indian friends an equal chance of evidencing their spirit and determination to partake of our fortune, I am entirely satisfied that such only should join me as think proper. It is not for want of warriors that I have given you this invitation, but that every warrior who is a friend to these United States may have an equal opportunity of punishing the enemies of our country.
" As your situation is such as causes you to suppose your castle in danger of being destroyed by your enemies in case of your absence, I by no means desire that more of your warriors should leave your castles than your council think proper to permit.
" As yet I am fully persuaded that all our enemies of the Six Nations will find too much to do at home, to suffer any of their warriors to go abroad to do mischief. If you should be satisfied after a little while that your castles are out of danger, and the whole or any part of your warriors think proper to come to us, I shall be glad to see you ; and in the meantime perhaps you may be as serviceable where you are, as if you were with us.
" I shall immediately give orders to the officers commanding at Fort Schuyler to send some troops to your castle, and write to Colonel Van Schaick, who commands in my absence, to afford you every assistance in tits power, as I am not authorized to order any of the troops now with me on any other command, being directed by our Great Chief and Warrior to proceed with the whole of these troops on the present route."
In the course of the interview, the sachems informed General Clinton that a party of about three hundred Indians, with a few Tories, had marched from Cayuga ten days before, for the purpose of hanging upon his outskirts and harassing his march to Tioga. Still it was supposed not to be their intention to do any I serious fighting, until the invading forces should have advanced a considerable distance up the Tioga or Chemung river. Indeed, it was evidently the purpose of the enemy to make no stand, until the forces of Sullivan and Clinton should arrive in the neighborhood of the works of defence which the Indians and Tories had been constructing, even before the battle of Wyoming, on the banks of the Chemung.
In consequence of the requisition of the warriors, in their speech, General Clinton issued, an order to the commanding officer at Fort Schuyler to detach a command of thirty or forty men to the Oneida fort, to be recalled as circumstances might require. With this understanding, and the assurances in the I General's answer to their speech, the ten principal warriors; specially charged with the explanations, took their departure the same evening for their own castle-leaving the remaining twenty-five to accompany the expedition.* General Clinton was * All but two of these, however, and those of the meaner sort, deserted the expedition before they arrived at Tioga.
impatient of delay,
as appears by a letter addressed to his brother on the next day, from which
the following is an extract:-
GENERAL TO GOVERNOR CLINTON.
" Camp on the south end of)
" Otsego Lake, July 6th, 1779.)
" DEAR BROTHER,
" I have the pleasure to inform you that I am now at this place, with two hundred and eight boats, with all the stores, provisions, and baggage of the army; and I am well convinced that such a quantity of each hath never before been transported over so bad a road in so short a time and with less accidents, so that I am now in the most readiness to move down the Susquehanna, whenever I receive General Sullivan's orders for that purpose. I have thrown a dam across the outlet, which I conceive will be of infinite importance, as it has raised the lake at least two feet, by which the boats may be taken down with less danger than otherwise, although, from the intricate winding of the channel, I expect to meet some difficulties on the way. It is uncertain when I shall leave this place.
" I received a letter from General Sullivan yesterday, dated at Wyoming July 1st, in which he informs me that he was anxiously waiting the arrival of his stores from Sunbury-that he expected them daily-that it was determined in council that that army should proceed almost as far as Tioga previous to my leaving the lake, as by that means he might make a diversion in my favor, and facilitate my movements down the river. This I imagine to be in consequence of a letter which he probably has received from General Washington, and one I received from him dated the first instant, in which his Excellency expresses his surprise at my taking so much stores with me, when it was determined that all the supplies of the army should come up with General Sullivan, and that nothing more should be brought with me than was absolutely necessary for the troops until the junction was formed at Tioga. However, as it was General Sullivan's orders to bring what provision I could, and as his Excellency added in his letter to me that it was not his intention to contravene any orders I may receive from General Sullivan, I ordered the whole to be forwarded to this place; which I have happily effected, and of which I do not repent, as I beleve I shall fall short of many articles. * * * * * * The troops are in good health and high spirits, and every thing seems to promise a most favorable and successful campaign." ********
No attempts were made by the enemy to molest General Clinton while thus detained at Otsego Lake. Still, his proceedings were not left entirely without observation, and there "were two indilidnal affrays happening in his vicinity, which deserve special mention. The name of David Elerson, one of the bold spirits associated with Murphy in Morgan's rifle corps, has already occurred in a former chapter. The detachment to which he belonged had been ordered from Schoharie to join his expedition. While lying at the head of the lake, Elerson rambled off to an old clearing, at the distance of a mile or more from camp to gather pulse for dinner. Having filled his knapsack, while adjusting it in order to return to camp, he was startled at the rustling of the tall and coarse herbage around him, and in the same instant beheld some ten or a dozen Indians, who had crept upon him so cautiously as to be just on the point of springing to grasp him. Their object was clearly rather to make him a prisoner than to kill him, since he might easily have been shot down unperceived. Perhaps they wanted him for an auto-da-fe, perhaps to obtain information. Seizing his rifle, which was standing by his side, Elerson sprang forward to escape. A shower of tomahawks hurtleq through the air after him; but as he had plunged into a thicket of tall weeds and bushes, he was only struck on one of his hands, his middle finger being nearly severed. A brisk chase was immediately commenced. Scaling an old brush-wood fence, Elerson darted into the woods, and the Indians after him. He was as fleet as a stag, and perceiving that they were not likely soon to overtake, the pursuers discharged their rifles after him, but luckily without effect. The chase was thus continued from eleven till three o'clock-Elerson using every device and stratagem to elude or deceive the Indians, but they holding him close. At length, having gained a moment to breathe, an Indian started up in his front. Drawing up his rifle to clear the passage in that direction, the whizz of a bullet fleshing his side, and the crack of a rifle, from another point, taught him that delays were particularly dangerous at that spot. The Indian in front, however, had disappeared on his presenting his rifle, and Elerson again darted forward. His wounded side bled a little, though not enough to weaken him. Having crossed a ridge, he paused a moment in the valley beyond, to slake his thirst-his mouth being parched, and himself almost fainting. On rising from the brook, the head of one of his pursuers peeped over the crest of the hill. He raised his rifle, but such was his exhaustion that he could not hold it steady, A minute more, and he would have been in the power of the savage. Raising his rifle again, and steadying it by the side of a tree, he brought the savage tumbling headlong down the hill. In the next moment his trusty rifle was re-loaded and primed, and in the next the whole group of his pursuers came rushing over the ridge. He again supposed his minutes were numbered; but being partly sheltered by the trunk of a huge hemlock, they saw not him, but only the body of their fallen comrade yet quivering in the agonies of death. Drawing in a circle about the body of their companion, they raised the death wail; and as they paused, Elerson made another effort to fly. Before they resumed the pursuit, he had succeeded in burying himself in a dark thicket of hemlocks, where he found the hollow trunk of a tree, into which he crept. Here he lay ensconced two full days, without food or dressings for his wound. On the third day he backed out of "the loop-hole of his retreat," but knew not which way to proceed-not discerning the points of the compass. In the course of two or three miles, however, he came to a clearing, and found himself at Cobleskill-having, during his recent chase, run over hill and dale, bog, brook, and fen, upward of twenty-five miles.
At about the same
time, and probably by the same party of Indians, the premises of a Mr. Shankland,
lying in their track, situated in the outskirts of Cherry Valley, were assaulted.
Residing at the distance of two or three miles from the village, his house had
escaped the common distruction the proceeding Autumn. But he had nevertheless
removed his family to the valley of the Mohawk for safety, and had returned
to his domicil accompanied only by his son,* They were awakened just before
dawn by the assailants, who were endeavoring to cut away the door with their
hatchets. Taking down his two guns, Mr. Shankland directed his son to load them,
while he successively fired
* The late Thomas Shankland, Esq., of Cooperstown.
to the best advantage. But not being able to see the enemy, he determined upon a sortie. Having a spear, or espontoon, in the house, he armed himself therewith, and carefully unbarring the door, rushed forth upon the besiegers, who fled back at his sudden apparition. One of the Indians whom he was specially pursuing, tumbled over a log, and as Mr. Shankland struck at him, his spear entered the wood, and parted from the shaft. Wrenching the blade from the log, he darted back into the house, barred the door, and again commenced firing upon the assailants. They had been so much surprised by his rushing out upon them, that they neither fired a shot, nor hurled a tomahawk, until he had returned to his castle, and barred the sallyport. During that part of the affray, his son, becoming somewhat frightened, escaped from the house, and ran for the woods. He was pursued, overtaken, and made captive. The father, however, continued the fight, the Indians firing through the casements at random, and he returning the shots as well as he could. At one time he thought of sallying forth again, and selling his life to the best advantage ; but by thus doing, he very rightly judged that he should at once involve the life of his son. The Indians, growing wearied of fighting at such disadvantage, at last attempted to make sure of their victim by applying the torch, and the house was speedily in flames, but it so happened that between the rear of the house and the forest, a field of hemp interposed-into which Mr. Shankland contrived to throw himself from the house, unperceived by the Indians. Concealed from observation by the hemp, he succeeded in reaching the woods, and making good his retreat to the Mohawk. Meantime the Indians remained by the house until it was consumed, together, as they supposed, with the garrison. They then raised a shout of victory, and departed*-several of their number having been wounded by the courageous proprietor.
to his vexation, as appears from his letters. General Clinton was detained at
Otsego, by the tardy movements of his commander below, during the whole month
of July and the first week in August-until, indeed, his troops became impatient
to a degree.+ But the General was not idle in respect to every
* Campbell's Annals.
+By a letter from the Commander-in-chief to General Sullivan, it appears that in the organization of the Expedition the latter had been compelled to encounter greater difficulties than had been anticipated. He was disappointed in regard to the Pennsylvania independent companies-to supply which deficiency, Lieutenant-Colonel Albert Pauling was directed to march across from Warwasing, and join Clinton at Oshkwaga. Governor Clinton himself had intended to lead this regiment, but General Washington, believing that the influence of his presence was needed elsewhere, induced him to relinquish that design. The delays of Sullivan therefore, may not have arisen from any fault of his own. Still, the inactivity of General Clinton at Otsego Lake, and of Sullivan at Wyoming, was no more irksome to the former than to Brant himself. This active warrior had probably led in person the three hundred Indians spoken of by the Oneidas as having gone forth to hang upon the flanks of General Clinton, and annoy his troops by skirmishes during the march. Becoming weary, however, of waiting for a foe whose movements were apparently so tardy, Brant determined on making the irruption into Minisink, of which a history has been given in the last preceding chapter
arrangement that might add to their security or contribute to their success. In the, letter to his brother, last quoted, he disclosed one capital stroke of generalship, which not only contributed largely to his successful descent of the river, but was of great service in other respects. The damming of the lake, and the accumulation, by this means, of a vast reservoir of water, by rendering more certain and expeditious the navigation of the river, was an exceedingly happy thought. And when at length orders were received for his embarkation on the 9th of August, his flotilla was not only borne triumphantly along upon the pile of the impatient waters accumulated for the occasion, but the swelling of the torrent beyond its banks caused wide and unexpected destruction to the growing crops of the Indians on their plantations at Oghkwaga and its vicinity. They were, moreover, greatly affrighted at the sudden and unexpected rise of the waters in the dryest season of the year, especially as there had been no rains-attributing the event to the interposition of the " Great Spirit," who thus showed that he was angry with them. The whole expedition was indeed calculated to impress them with terror-as it might have done a more enlightened and less superstitious people. The country was wild and totally uninhabited, excepting by scattered families of the Indians, and here and there by some few of the more adventurous white settlers, in the neighborhood of Unadilla. The sudden swelling of the river, therefore, bearing upon its surge a flotilla of more than two hundred vessels, through a region of primitive forests, and upon a stream that had never before wafted upon its bosom any craft of greater burden than a bark canoe, was a spectacle which might well appall the untutored inhabitants of the regions thus invaded.
During these energetic proceedings of Clinton, it has been seen that Sullivan was very dilatory in his movements, and his conduct in the early part of the campaign gave particular dissatisfaction to Congress. His requisitions for supplies were enormous, and several of his specifications of articles, such as eggs, tongues, and other luxuries, were considered so unsoldier-like as to create disgust. However, having completed his arrangements, he left Wyoming on the 31st of July, and ascended the Susquehanna to Tioga, with an expedition far more formidable as to numbers, and not less imposing in other respects, than was the descending division under General Clinton-though he had not the advantage of riding upon so majestic a flood. Sullivan reached Tioga on the 11th of August, and on the following day pushed out a detachment twelve miles toward Chemung, which was attacked by a body of Indians-losing, during the brush, seven men killed and wounded. The detachment returned to Tioga on the 13th, after having burnt one of the Indian towns.
with his division, having been joined at Oghkwaga by a detachment of Colonel
Pauling's levies from Warwasing, arrived at Tioga and formed a junction with
Sullivan on the 22d of August. The entire command amounted now to five thousand,
consisting of the brigades of Genera's Clinton, Hand, Maxwell, and Poor, together
with Proctor's artillery and a corps of riflemen. So long had the expedition
been in progress, that it was well understood the Indians and Tories were not
unprepared to receive them; and in moving up the Tioga and the Chemung rivers,
the utmost degree of caution was observed to guard against surprise. A strong
advanced guard of light infantry preceded the main body, which was well protected
by large flanking parties. In this way they slowly proceed 3d in the direction
of the works of the enemy, upon the Chemung at Newtown. On the 28th, an Indian
settlement was destroyed, together with fields of corn, and other Indian products
* The instructions of the Commander-in-chief were peremptory, that Sullivan was not even to listen to propositions of peace until after he should have "very thoroughly completed the destruction of their settlements."
The Indians, determined to risk a general action in defence of their country, had selected their ground with judgment, about a mile in advance of Newtown.* Their force was estimated by General Sullivan at fifteen hundred, including five companies of British troops and rangers, estimated at two hundred men. The enemy, however, only allowed their force to consist of five hundred and fifty Indians, and two hundred and fifty whites-in all, eight hundred. + Brant commanded the Indians, and the regular troops and rangers were led by Colonel John Butler, associated with whom were Colonels Sir John and Guy Johnson, Major Walter N. Butler, and Captain M'Donald.++ The enemy had constructed a breast-work of half a mile in length, so covered by a bend of the river as to expose only the front and one of the flanks to attack ; and even that flank was rendered difficult of approach by resting upon a steep ridge, nearly parallel to the general course of the river, terminating somewhat below the breast-work. Farther yet to the left was still another ridge, running in the same direction, and leading to the rear of the American army. The ground was covered with pine, interspersed with low shrub oaks, many of which, for the purpose of concealing their works, had been cut and brought from a distance, and stuck down in their front, exhibiting the appearance of untransplanted shrubbery. The load, after crossing a deep brook at the foot of the hill, turned to the right; and ran nearly parallel to the breast-work, so as to expose the whole flank of the army to their fire should it advance without discovering their position." § Detachments of the enemy, communicating with each other, were stationed on both hills, for the purpose of falling upon Sullivan's rightand rear the moment the action should commence.
enemy's position was discovered by Major Parr, commanding the advance guard,
at about 11 o'clock in the morning of the 29th of August. General Hand immediately
formed the light infantry in a wood, at the distance of about four hundred yards
from the breast-work, and waited until the main body of
* The site of the present town of Elmira.
++ It is not quite certain whether both the Johnsons were engaged in this action. Sir John was there, and the author has somewhere seen the name of Guy Johnson as having likewise been in the battle of the Chemung.
the army arrived
on the ground. A skirmishing was, however, kept up by both sides-the Indians
sallying out of their works by small parties, firing, and suddenly retreating-making
the woods at the same time to resound with their war-whoops, piercing the air
from point to point as though the tangled forest were alive with their grim-visaged
warriors. Correctly judging that the hill upon his right was occupied by the
savages, General Sullivan ordered Poor's brigade to wheel off, and endeavor
to gain their left flank, and, if possible, to surround them, while the artillery
and main body of the Americans attacked them in front.* The order was promptly
executed ; but as Poor climbed the ascent, the battle became animated, and the
possession of the hill was bravely contested. In front the enemy stood a hot
cannonade for more than two hours.+ Both Tories and Indians were entitled to
the credit of fighting manfully. Every rock, and tree, and bush, shielded its
man, from behind which the winged messengers of death were thickly sent, but
with so little effect as to excite astonishment. The Indians yielded ground
only inch by inch and in their retreat darted from tree to tree with the agility
of the panther, often contesting each new position to the point of the bayonet-a
thing very unusual even with militiamen, and still more rare among the undisciplined
warriors of the woods. Thayendanegea was the animating spirit of the savages.
Always in the thickest of the fight, he used every effort to stimulate his warriors,
in the hope of leading them to victory. Until the artillery began to play, the
whoops and yells of the savages, mingled with the rattling of musketry, had
well-nigh obtained the mastery of sound. But their whoops were measurably drowned
by the thunder of the cannon. This cannonade " was elegant," to adopt
the phraseology of Sullivan himself, in writing to a friend, and gave the Indians
a great panic. Still, the battle was contested in front for a length of time
with undiminished spirit. But the severity of fighting was on the flank just
described. As Poor gallantly approached the point which completely uncovered
the enemy's rear, Brant, who had been the first to penetrate the design of the
American commander, attempted once more to rally his forces, and with the assistance
of a battalion of the rangers, make a
* Letter from General Sullivan to a gentleman in Boston.
+ Idem. Vide Remembrancer, vol. vii.
stand. But it was
in vain, although he exerted himself to the utmost for that. purpose-flying
from point to point, seeming to be everywhere present, and using every means
in his power to re-animate the flagging spirits, and re-invigorate the arms
of his followers. Having ascended the steep, and gained his object without faltering,
the enemy's flank -was turned by Poor, and the fortunes of the day decided.
Perceiving such to be the fact, and that there was danger of being surrounded,
the retreat-halloo was raised, and the enemy, savages and white men, precipitately
abandoned their works, crossed the river, and fled with the utmost precipitation-the
Indians leaving their packs and a number of their tomahawks and scalping-knives
behind them. The battle was long, and on the side of the enemy bloody.* Eleven
of their dead were found upon the field-an unusual circumstance with the Indians,
who invariably exert themselves to the utmost to prevent the bodies of their
slain from falling into the hands of their foes. But being pushed at the point
of the bayonet, they had not, time to bear them away. They were pursued two
miles, their trail affording indubitable proof that a portion of their dead
and wounded had been carried off. Two canoes were found covered with blood,
and the bodies of fourteen Indian warriors were discovered partially buried
among the leaves. Eight scalps were taken by the Americans during the chase.+
Considering the duration of the battle, and
* Mr. John Salmon, late of Livingston County, (N. Y.) who was a member of a detachment of the rifle corps in this expedition, in a letter written for Mary Jemison's Narrative, speaks of a second stand made by the Indians at a place above Newtown called the Narrows-" When'," he says, " they were attacked by our men, who killed them in great numbers, so that the sides of the rocks next the river appeared as though blood had been poured on them by pailfuls. The Indians threw their dead into the river, and escaped the best way they could." No other account makes mention of any such incident, unless, indeed, Mr. Salmon refers to the killing of the eight warriors whose scalps were taken during the flight, according to one of Sullivan's letters to a gentleman in Boston, which may be found in Almon's Remembrancer, and which is the authority for this statement in the text. The MS. journal of Capt. Fowler, in the author's possession, commences only the day after the battle.
+" On the next morning [after Sullivan's arrival at Catharine's town,] an old woman of the Cayuga nation was found in the woods, who informed us that on the night after the battle of Newtown, the enemy having fled the whole time, arrived there in great confusion early the next day ; that she heard the warriors tell their women that they were conquered, and must fly ; that they had a great many killed, and vast numbers wounded. She likewise heard the lamentations of many at the loss of their connexions. In addition, she assured us that some other warriors had met Butler at that place, and desired him to return and fight again. But to this request they could obtain no satisfactorily answer; for, as they observed, 'Butler's mouth was closed.' The warriors, who had been in the action, were equally averse to the proposal." --Sullivan's Official Account.
the obstinacy with which it was maintained, the loss of the Americans was small almost to a miracle. Only five or six men were killed, and between forty and fifty wounded. Among the American officers wounded were Major Titcomb, Captain Clayes, and Lieutenant Collis-the latter mortally. All the houses of the contiguous Indian town were burnt, and the cornfields destroyed.*
The Americans encamped
that night on the field of battle; and on the following day, the wounded, together
with the heavy artillery, and wagons, and all such portions of the baggage as
would not be required, and could not well be transported in the farther prosecution
of the flying campaign now to be performed, were sent back to Tioga. Only four
brass three-pounders and a small howitzer were retained; and the whole army
was at once placed upon short allowance,-the soldiers submitting cheerfully
to the requisition, the moment the necessity of the measure was explained to
them in a speech by their commander. These and other dispositions having been
made, the army moved forward on the 31st, in the direction of Catherine's town,
* The strength of the enemy's force at Newton was never ascertained with any degree of certainty ; although, as heretofore stated in the text, it was the opinion of Sullivan, and also of his general officers, that it must have exceeded fifteen hundred. Still, the two prisoners taken estimated them only at eight hundred. They admitted, however, that, in addition to the five companies of rangers engaged in the action, all the warriors of the Senecas, and six other nations of Indians, were engaged. In order to determine the amount of their force with as much accuracy as could be attained, General Sullivan examined their breast-work, the extent of which was more than half a mile. The lines were flanked in every part by bastions in front, and a dwelling-house also, in front of the works, had been converted into a block-house and manned. The breast-work appeared to have been fully manned, though, as Sullivan supposed, by only a single rank. Some part of the works being low, the enemy were compelled to dig holes in the ground to cover themselves in part. A very thin scattering line, designed, as was supposed, for communicating signals, was continued from those works to that part of the mountain ascended by Genera! Poor, where a large body had been stationed, as heretofore stated, for the purpose of falling upon the flank of the Americans. The distance from the breast-work to that point was at least one mile and a half. From thence to the hill on the American right was another scattering line of about one mile, and on the hill a breast-work, with a strong party, destined, as it was supposed, to fall upon the American rear. But this design was frustrated by the movements of Clinton, as already mentioned.--
Aide Sullivan's Official Report.
near the head of Seneca Lake, and the residence of the celebrated Catharine Montour. On their way thither, Sullivan destroyed a small settlement of eight houses, and a town called Knawaholee, of about twenty houses, situated on a peninsula at the conflux of the Tioga and Cayuga branches. Several corn-fields were destroyed at this place, and a number of others, also very large, about six miles up the Tioga, by Colonel Dayton and the rifle corps, who were detached thither upon that service.
The Indians and Tories acted unwisely in retreating so far as they did from the battle of Newtown, since the march of Sullivan thence to Catharine's town was of the most difficult and fatiguing description. They were compelled to traverse several narrow and dangerous defiles with steep hills upon either side, the passage of which might have been rendered exceedingly annoying to their invaders by a vigilant enemy. The route lay along the streams ; and such was the sinuous course of one of them, almost swelling to the size of a river, that they were obliged to ford it several times-the men up to their middles in water. Worse than all, they were compelled to thread their way through a deep-tangled hemlock swamp. The night came on exceedingly dark, and the sufferings of the troops were great General Sullivan was advised not to enter the swamp until the next day, but he rejected the counsel, and obstinately pushed forward. So fatigued, however, was the army, that General Clinton, whose division brought up the rear, was obliged to pass the night in the swamp without pack or baggage. Neither Brant nor the Butlers displayed their wonted sagacity on this occasion, or the Americans might have been made to suffer severely for their rashness in penetrating such a thicket at such an hour. The excuse of the Indians, who were roasting corn not many miles distant, was, that the way was so bad, and the night so dark, they did not dream of Sullivan's advancing under such circumstances.
Disappointed by the Oneidas, upon whose assistance General Sullivan had counted as guides and runners through the Indian country, but only four of whom had continued with the expedition, the General despatched one of these from Catharine's town to the castle of that nation, with an address, calling upon all who were friendly to the Americans, to prove the sincerity of their professions by joining his forces immediately.
The messenger, Oneigat, was also instructed to give his nation an account of the battle at Newtown. He did not, however, rejoin the expedition until near its close. He then reported that on his arrival at the Oneida castle; a council was convened, and that his people were delighted with the news of which he was the bearer. Obedient, moreover, to the summons which he had borne thither, seventy of .their warriors had set out with him to join the army, and thirty more were to follow the next day. But on that day, near the Onondaga village, they met their brother, Conowaga, from the army, who informed them that the General had already advanced as far as Kanasadagea, and had men enough-only wanting a few good guides. In conse quence of this information, the Oneida warriors had turned back---transmitting, however, by him, an address to the General, interceding in behalf of a clan of the Cayugas, who, they declared, had always been friendly to the United States. As an evidence of this fact, they referred to the cases of several prisoners, who, as it was alleged, had been surrendered by them to General Schuyler. The Oneidas, therefore, besought General Sullivan not to destroy the fields of these friendly Cayugas, who, if deprived of their corn, would fall upon them for support, and they already had a heavy burden upon their hands in the persons of the destitute Onondagas. General Sullivan immediately sent a speech in reply, commending the Oneidas for their fidelity to the United States, but expressing his surprise at their interposing a word in behalf of any portion of the Cayugas, whose whole course had been marked, not only by duplicity, but by positive hostility. He therefore distinctly informed the Oneidas that the Cayugas should be chastised. Nor did he fail to execute his purpose, as will in due time appear.*
The brigade of
General Clinton rejoined the main army on the 2d of September, and the whole
encamped at Catharine's town, which was entirely destroyed on the following
day, together with the corn-fields and orchards. The houses, thirty in number,
were burnt. The work of destruction, marking that extraordinary campaign, was
now begun in earnest. It was considered necessary by the Commander-in-chief,
or his orders
* See Sullivan's address, and the message of the Oneida in reply, Almon's Remembrancer, for 1780, Part I.
Would not have been so peremptory upon the subject, nor his satisfaction so great after its accomplishment.* Still; at this distance of time, when the mind glances back not only to the number of towns destroyed, and fields laid waste, but to the war of extermination waged against the very orchards, it is difficult to suppress feelings of regret-much less to bestow a word of commendation. It has been asserted that some of the officers, among whom were General Hand and Colonel Durbin, objected to this wanton destruction of the fruit-trees, as discreditable to American soldiers; but the Indians had been long and cruelly provoking the Americans by the ferocity of their attacks upon the border settlements, and it had been judged expedient to let the arm of vengeance fall heavily upon them. " The Indians," said Sullivan, " shall see that there is malice enough in our hearts to destroy every thing that contributes to their support ;"+ and well did he fulfil the threat.
state of civilization to which the Six Nations had arrived, has been glanced
at in the opening of the present chapter. Still it is apprehended that but few
of the present generation are thoroughly aware of the advances which the Indians,
in the wide and beautiful country of the Cayugas and Senecas, had made in the
march of civilization. They held several towns, and many large villages, laid
out with a considerable degree of regularity. They had framed houses, some of
them well finished, having chimneys, and painted. They had broad and productive
fields ; and in addition to an abundance of apples, were in the enjoyment of
the pear, and the still more delicious peach. But after the battle of Newtown,
terror led the van of the invader, whose approach was heralded by watchmen stationed
upon every height, and desolation followed weeping in his train. The Indians
everywhere fled as Sullivan advanced, and the whole country was swept as with
the besom of destruction. On the 4th, as the army advanced, they destroyed a
small scattering settlement of eight houses ; and two days afterward reached
the more considerable town of Kendaia, containing about twenty houses neatly
built, and well finished. These
* See letter of Washington to Colonel John Laurens, Sept. 28, 1779; to the President of Congress, Oct. 9 ; and to the Marquis de Lafayette, October 20, of the same year-Sparks, Vol. vi.
were reduced to ashes, and the army spent nearly a day in destroying the fields of corn and the fruit-trees. Of these there were great abundance, and many of them appeared to be very ancient. While thus engaged, the army was joined by one of the inhabitants of Wyoming, a captive who had escaped from the Indians. He informed them that all had been terror among the Indians since the battle of Newtown, and that Kendaia had been deserted two days before in the greatest confusion. He likewise stated various reasons for believing that the enemy had suffered greatly in that battle-that he had heard some of the Indian women lamenting the loss of their connexions, and that Brant had taken most of the wounded up the Tioga river in water craft, which had been previously made ready in case of defeat. It was farther believed that the King of Kanadaseagea had been killed at Newtown. He had been seen on his way thither, and had not returned. From the description given of his dress and person, moreover, it was believed by General Sullivan that he had seen his body among the slain.
On the 7th of September,
Sullivan crossed the outlet of the Seneca Lake, and moved in three divisions
upon the town of Kanadaseagea-the Seneca capital-containing about sixty houses,
with gardens, and numerous orchards of apple and peach trees. It was Sullivan's
object to surround the town, and take it by surprise. But, although Butler had
endeavored to induce the Indians to make a stand at that place, his importunities
were of no avail. They said it was of no use to contend with such an army; and
their capital was consequently abandoned, as the other towns had been, before
the Americans could reach it. A detachment of four hundred men was sent down
on the west side of the lake, to destroy Gotheseunquean," and the plantations
in the neighborhood; while at the same time a number of volunteers, under Colonel
Harper, made a forced march in the direction of the Cayuga Lake, and destroyed
Schoyere. Meantime the residue of the army was employed, on the 8th, in the
destruction of the town, together with the fruit-trees, and fields of corn and
beans.+ Here, as elsewhere, the work of destruction was thorough and complete.
* Thus spelled by General Sullivan, whose official account is in part the basis of this narrative. Captain Theodosius Fowler, in his diary, writes it Karhauguash.
+ Journal of Capt. Fowler.
In leaving their town, the Indians had fled with such precipitancy that a young white male child, about seven or eight years old, was left behind, asleep. It was taken in charge by an officer, who, from ill health, was not on duty. In retiring from the campaign, for the same cause, he took the child with him, and nothing more of its history is known. This flight of the Indians was universal; and of all commanders, Sullivan seems to have been least successful in finding the enemy of whom he was in search, save only when the enemy wished to be found. Upon this feature of the present campaign it has been remarked, that although the bravery of this officer was unimpeachable, yet he was altogether unacquainted with the science of Indian warfare, and was sure to use the best means to keep the savages at such a distance, that they could not be brought unwillingly to an engagement. For instance, he persisted in the practice of having cannon fired from his camp, mornings and evenings, forgetting what every one else perceived, that the Indians were thus notified of his position and the rapidity of his marches-thus being enabled daily to retreat from his approach exactly in time.*
From this point a detachment of sixty men, with the lame and sick, was sent back to Tioga. The main army then moved forward upon Kanandaigua, at which place it arrived in two days. Here they "found twenty-three very elegant houses, " mostly framed, and in general large,"+ together with very extensive fields of corn-all of which were destroyed. From Kanandaigua they proceeded to the small town of Honeoye, consisting of ten houses, which were immediately burnt to the ground. A post was established at Honeoye, to maintain which a strong garrison was left, with the heavy stores and one fieldpiece. With this precautionary measure the army prepared to advance upon the yet more considerable town of Genesee-the great capital of the western tribes of the confederacy-containing their stores, and their broadest cultivated fields.
Hearing of Sullivan's
continued advance, and of his purpose to strike their towns upon the Genesee,
the Indians once more began to think of giving battle. A council of their towns
was convened, the result of which was a determination to intercept
* Letter of John Salmon, in the Appendix of Mary Jemison's Life.
+ General Sullivan's official account.
the invaders, and strike another blow in defence of their homes. They felt that if unopposed; the destruction of their towns would be inevitable, and their fate could be no worse should they meet and fight the conqueror--whatever might be the result. Their first precaution was to place their women and children in a place of security, in the woods at a distance from their town ; so that, in the event of being themselves defeated, the non-combatants would have an opportunity to escape. Having made their preparations, the warriors took the field again-selecting for their battle-ground a position between Honeoye Creek and the head of Connissius Lake.* Placing themselves in ambush, they awaited the approach of Sullivan's forces. They rose, however, upon the advance-guard of the Americans, and after a brisk skirmish, the latter fell back upon the main body-of which the Indians did not await the arrival. The only fruit of this attack, on behalf of the Indians, was the capture of two Indian prisoners of the Oneida tribe. Of itself, this incident was insignificant ; but a transaction grew out of it of thrilling interest, and strongly illustrative of Indian character. One of the Indians thus taken, was General Sullivan's guide, and had, moreover, been very active in the contest, rendering the Americans frequent and important services. On that account he was a prisoner of consequence. But there was another feature in the case not altogether unworthy of note. This faithful Indian had an elder brother engaged with the enemy, who, at the beginning of the war, had exerted all his power to persuade the younger into the British service also, but without success. At the close of this skirmish the brothers met for the first time since their separation, when they had respectively chosen to travel different war-paths; the younger a prisoner to the elder. The latter had no sooner recognized his brother after the melee, than his eyes kindled with that fierce and peculiar lustre which lights up the burning eyes of a savage when meditating vengeance. Approaching him haughtily, he spoke as follows :-
You have merited death! The hatchet or the war-club shall finish your career'.
When I begged of you to follow me in the fortunes of war, you were deaf to my
cries; you spurned my entreaties !
* At or near a place now called Henderson's Flatts. Vide Life of Mary Jemison and letter of John Salmon.
" BROTHER ! You have merited death, and shall have your deserts! When the rebels raised their hatchets to fight their good master, you sharpened your knife, you brightened your rifle, and led on our foes to the fields of our fathers !
" BROTHER ! You have merited death, and shall die by our hands! When those rebels had driven us from the fields of our fathers to seek out new houses, it was you who could dare to step forth as their pilot, and conduct them -even to the doors of our wigwams, to butcher our children and put us to death! No crime can be greater ! But though you have merited death, and shall die on this spot, my hands shall not be stained with the blood of a brother!- Who will strike ?"
A pause of but a moment ensued. The bright hatchet of Little Beard, the sachem of the village, flashed in the air like the lightning, and the young Oneida chief was dead at his feet.* The other captive, who was also an Oneida sachem, was then informed by Little Beard that he was warring only against the whites, and that his life should be spared ; adding, farther, that at a suitable time he should be restored to liberty. Distrusting the good faith of the chief, however, the captive watched an opportunity for escape, and very shortly afterward accomplished his purpose-but in a manner which produced another tragic catastrophe, as will presently appear.
From Honeoye, General
Sullivan advanced in two days upon a town containing twenty-five houses, called
Kanaghsaws. There were large corn-fields to be destroyed here also, and a bridge
to be constructed over an unfordable creek intervening between Kanaghsaws and
Little Beardstown, lying next in the route to Genesee-so called from the name
of a celebrated chief then residing there. While delayed by these obstacles,
Lieutenant Boyd, of the rifle corps, was detached with twenty-six men to reconnoitre
that chieftain's town, where also was a castle. Having performed that duty,
and in doing so killed and scalped two Indians+ in the otherwise deserted village,
he had commenced his return to the main division. It so happened that
* This was truly a shocking transaction, but not so shocking as that of the horrible fratricide before recorded at Wyoming, nor so shocking as the attempt of the brother of Colonel Prey at Oriskany. The Indian had far the most humanity, and far the highest sense of honor and duty.
+ Captain Fowler's Journal. One of these Indians was shot and scalped by Murphy, whose name has already occurred in connexion with the Schoharie wars.
Boyd was passing
at no great distance from the party of Indians having the Oneida prisoner in
charge. The latter was guarded by two Indians, between whom he was walking arm
in arm, when, at a favorable moment, he suddenly broke from their grasp, and
fled at the top of his speed in the direction of Sullivan's army. The Indians,
in goodly numbers, turned out in pursuit, and while running, fell in with the
party of Lieutenant Boyd.* By this time the Indians in pursuit after the fugitive
numbered several hundred, under the immediate command of Joseph Brant, who seems
suddenly to have made his appearance for the occasion.+ Indeed, according to
one authority, Brant was not concerned with the pursuit, but had previously
secreted o himself in a deep ravine, with a large party of his Indians and Butler's
rangers, for the express purpose of cutting off Boyd's retreat.++ Discovering
his situation, and in fact surrounded by fearful odds, Boyd saw, of course,
that his only chance of escape was to strike at some given point, and cut his
way through the ranks of the enemy. It was a bold measure; but there was no
alternative, and he made three successive attempts to accomplish his purpose.
In the first, several of the enemy fell, without the loss of a single man on
his own part. But he was repulsed. The Indians stood their ground nobly ; and
in the second and third attempts upon their line by Boyd, his whole party fell
except himself and eight others. In the next moment several of these were killed,
while a few succeeded in flight-among whom was the bold Virginian, Murphy. Boyd
was himself taken prisoner, and one other man named Parker. The Lieutenant immediately
solicited an interview with Thayendanegea, and making himself known as a freemason,
was assured by the chief of protection.§ One of the party under Lieutenant
Boyd was a brave Oneida warrior, named Honyerry, who served him as a guide.
This faithful Indian had served long with the Americans, and, as the reader
has already seen, was particularly distinguished in the battle of Oriskany,
where so many of the Mohawk and Seneca warriors fell. On the present occasion,
moreover, he acquitted himself with signal courage. Being an
* Life of Mary Jemison.
+ Captain Fowler and John Salmon both state the number of Indians engaged in this affair at upward of five hundred.
++John Salmon's letter. § Idem.
excellent marksman, his rifle did great execution. The Indians knew him, and as they closed in upon the little band, poor Honyerry was literally hacked to pieces.* It was a dear victory, however, to the enemy. The firing was so close before the brave party was destroyed, that the powder of the enemy's muskets was driven into their flesh. The enemy had no covert, while Boyd's party was, for a portion of the time at least, possessed of a very advantageous one. The enemy were, moreover, so long employed in removing their dead, that the approach of General Hand's brigade obliged them to leave one of the number among the dead riflemen ; together with a wagon load of packs, blankets, hats, and provisions, which they had thrown off to enable them to act with more agility in the field.+
From the battle-field
Brant conducted Lieutenant Boyd and his fellow captive to Little Beard's town,
where they found Colonel Butler with a detachment of the rangers. While under
the supervision of Brant, the Lieutenant was well treated and safe from danger.
But the chief being called away in the discharge of his multifarious duties,
Boyd was left with Butler, who soon afterward began to examine him by questions
as to the situation, numbers, and intentions of General Sullivan and his troops.
He, of course, declined answering all improper questions ; whereat Butler threatened
that if he did not give him full and explicit information, he would deliver
him up to the tender mercies of the Indians. Relying confidently upon the assurances
of the generous Mohawk chieftain, Boyd still refused: and Butler fulfilled his
bloody threat-delivering him over to Little Beard and his clan, the most ferocious
of the Seneca tribe.++ The gallant fellow was immediately put to death by torture
; and in the execution there was a refinement of cruelty, of which it is not
known that a parallel instance occurred during the whole war. Having been denuded,
Boyd was tied to a sapling, where the Indians first practised upon the steadiness
of his nerves by hurling their tomahawks apparently at his head, but so as to
strike the trunk of the sapling as near to his head as possible without hitting
it-groups of Indians, in the meantime, brandishing their knives, and dancing
* Captain Fowler's Journal. + Sullivan's Official Account.
++ Letter of Salmon. There is some reason to doubt which of the Butlers was the actor in this instance-the father, Colonel John, or the more severe Captain, his son.
with the most frantic demonstrations of joy. His nails were pulled out, his nose cut off, and one of his eyes plucked out. His tongue was also cut out, and he was stabbed in various places.* After amusing themselves sufficiently in this way, a small incision was made in his abdomen, and the end of one of his intestines taken out and fastened to the tree. The victim was then unbound, and driven round the tree by brute force, until his intestines had all been literally drawn from his body - and wound round its trunk. His sufferings were then terminated by striking his head from his body. It was then raised upon a pole in triumph. Parker, the other captive, was likewise beheaded, but not otherwise tortured. After the conclusion of this tragedy, the Indians held a brief council to determine whether to offer any farther resistance to General Sullivan, or to yield their country to his ravages without opposition. They finally came to the decision that they were not sufficiently powerful to oppose the invaders with success, and thereupon decided to leave their possessions, for the preservation of their lives and those of their families. The women and children were thereupon sent away in the direction of Niagara, while the warriors remained in the forests about Little Beard's town, to watch the motions of the Americans.+
As soon as the
main division had heard of the situation of Boyd, they moved forward-arriving,
however, only in season to bury the bodies of the slain.++ This tragic occurrence
took place on the 13th of September. On the same day Sullivan moved forward
to a place called Gathtsegwarohare, where the enemy, both Indians and rangers,
were apparently disposed to make a stand. The troops were immediately brought
into order of battle, and General Clinton's brigade commenced a movement with
a view of outflanking and gaining the enemy's rear. But
* Sullivan's Official Account.
+ Life of Mary Jemlson. According to Colonel Butler's statement, after his examination Boyd was sent forward with a guard to Niagara; but, while passing through Genesee, an old Indian rushed out and tomahawked him. But Salmon says he was put to death by the most cruel tortures, and so says the official report of General Sullivan. Mary Jemison, who was with the Indians, gives the details from which the present account is drawn. It is to be hoped, however, that Colonel Butler was not accessary to the cruelty; and in justice to his memory, it must be admitted that it was not a transaction characteristic of him.
++ They were buried at a place now called Groveland, where the grave was very recently to be seen.
discovering the movement, the enemy retreated with precipitation. Sullivan encamped on the ground-the men sleeping on their arms, in the expectation of an attack. But the enemy did not disturb their repose; and on the 14th the army continued its advance, and crossed the Genesee river. Arriving at Little Beard's town,* they found the mutilated bodies of Boyd and Parker, which were buried on the bank of Beard's Creek, under a clump of wild plum trees.+
The valley of the
Genesee, for its beauty and fertility, was beheld by the army of Sullivan with
astonishment and delight. Though an Indian country, and peopled only by the
wild men of the woods, its rich intervales presented the appearance of long
cultivation, and wore then smiling with their harvests of ripening corn. Indeed,
the Indians themselves professed not to know when or by whom the lands upon
that stream were first brought into cultivation. Nearly half a century before,
Mary Jemison had observed a quantity of human bones washed down from one of
the banks of the river, which the Indians held were not the remains of their
own people, but of a different race of men who had once possessed that country.
The Indians, they contended, had never buried their dead in such a situation.
Be all this, however, as it may, instead of a howling wilderness, Sullivan and
his troops found the Genesee flatts, and many other districts of the country,
resembling much more the orchards, and farms, and gardens of civilized life.
But all was now doomed to speedy devastation. The Genesee castle was destroyed.
The troops scoured the whole region round about, and burnt and destroyed every
thing that came in their way. Little Beard himself had officiated as master
of ceremonies at the torturing of Boyd; and his town was now burnt to the ground,
and large quantities of corn, which his people had laidup in store, were destroyed
by being burnt or thrown into the river.
" The town of Genesee contained one hundred and
" twenty-eight houses, mostly large and very elegant. It, was
" beautifully situated, almost encircled with a clear flatt, ex-
" tending a number of miles; over which extensive fields of corn
" were waving, together with every kind of vegetable that could
" be conceived." ++But the entire army was immediately en-
* The place is now called Leicester.
+ On the road now running from Moscow to Geneseo. ++ Sullivan's Account.
gaged in destroying it, and the axe and the torch soon transformed the whole of that beautiful region from the character of a garden to a scene of drear and sickening desolation. Forty Indian towns, the largest containing one hundred and twenty-eight houses, were destroyed.* Corn, gathered and ungathered, to the amount of one hundred and sixty thousand bushels, shared the same fate; their fruit-trees were cut down; and the Indians were hunted like wild beasts, till neither house, nor fruit-tree, nor field of corn, nor inhabitant, remained in the whole country. The gardens were enriched with great quantities of useful vegetables, of different kinds. The size of the corn-fields, as well as the high degree of cultivation in which they were kept, excited wonder ; and the ears of corn were so remarkably large, that many of them measured twenty-two inches in length. So numerous were the fruit-trees, that in one orchard they cut down fifteen hundred.+
It is in connexion
-with this campaign that the name of the celebrated Seneca orator, Sagayewatha,
or Red Jacket, first occurs in history, or rather, will now for the first
time thus occur, since it has never yet been mentioned at so early a date by
any previous writer. It is well known by all who are ac-
* It has already been seen that this wide-spread destruction was the result of theexpress instructions of General Washington. It was in reference to this fact, that, when addressing President Washington at an Indian council held in Philadelphia, in 1792, Cornplanter commenced his speech in the following strain :-"FATHER:
"The voice of the Seneca nation speaks to you, the Great Counsellor, in whose
"heart the wise men of all the Thirteen Fires have placed their wisdom. It may
"be very small in your ears, and we therefore entreat you to hearken with attention:
"for we are about to speak to you on things which to us are very great. When your
"army entered the country of the Six Nations, we called you the TOWN DESTROYER;
"and to tills day, when that name is heard, our women look behind them and turn
"pale, and our children cling close to the necks of their mothers. Our counsellors
"and warriors are men, and cannot be afraid; but their hearts are grieved with the
"fears of our women and children, and desire that it maybe buried so deep as to be
"heard no more."
+ Ramsay. See, also, History of the British Empire, 2 volumes-anonymous. While Sullivan was at Genesee, a female captive from Wyoming was re-taken. She gave a deplorable account of the terror and confusion of the Indians. The women, she said, were constantly begging the warriors to sue for peace; and one of the Indians, she stated, had attempted to shoot Colonel Johnson for the falsehoods by which he had deceived and ruined them. She overheard Butler tell Johnson that after the battle of Newtown it was impossible to keep the Indians together, and that he thought they would soon be in a miserable situation, as all their crops would be destroyed, and they could not be supplied at Niagara.
quainted with Indian history, that Brant and Red Jacket were irreconcileable enemies. The origin of this enmity has never yet been known to the public, and it has by some been imputed to the jealousy entertained by Brant of the growing reputation of his younger and more eloquent rival. But such is not the fact. Brant ever acknowledged the great intellectual powers of Red Jacket, but always maintained that he was not only destitute of principle, but an arrant coward. In support of these opinions, he asserted that Red Jacket had given him much trouble and embarrassment during this campaign of General Sullivan, and was in fact the principal cause of the disgrace and disasters of the Indians. In relating a history of the expedition to a distinguished American gentleman,* Brant stated that after the battle of Newtown, Red Jacket was in the habit of holding private councils with the young warriors, and some of the more timid sachems, the object of which was to persuade them to sue for peace, upon any-even ignominious terms ; and that at one time he had so far succeeded as to induce them to send privately, and without the knowledge of the principal war chiefs, a runner into General Sullivan's camp, to make known to him the spirit of dissatisfaction and division that prevailed among the Indians, and to invite him to send a flag of truce with certain propositions calculated to increase their divisions and produce a dishonorable peace. Brant, who was privately informed of all these proceedings, but feared the consequences of disclosing and attempting to suppress them by forcible means, despatched, secretly also, two confidential warriors to way-lay the flag when on its route from the American to the Indian camp, and to put the bearer of it to death, and then return secretly with his despatches.' This was accomplished as he directed, and all attempts at farther negotiations thereby prevented. It was certainly a bold measure; and how far Brant's conduct therein is susceptible of justification, or even palliation, will depend on a variety of minute circumstances which it is now too late to ascertain.
the objects contemplated by the expedition to the point at which he had arrived,
General Sullivan re-crossed the Genesee with his army on the 16th of September,
* The late Secretary of War, General Peter B. Porter.
set out on his return. "Why he did not follow up his success, and strike at the enemy's citadel at Niagara, which at that time was in no situation for formidable resistance, is a question difficult of solution. Unquestionably, in the organization of the expedition, the conquest of Niagara, the head-quarters of the foe of all descriptions, and the seat of British influence and power among the Indians, was one of the principal objects in view. But perhaps the forces of the American General had become too much weakened by sickness and fatigue, (they had not lost a hundred men in battle,) to allow of a farther advance. Certain it is, that the most important feature of the enterprise was not undertaken ; and it will be seen in the sequel, that but small ultimate advantage resulted from the campaign. Stimulated by a yet keener thirst for revenge, clouds of savages were afterward again and again seen to sweep through the valley of the Mohawk with the scalping knife and the torch. The excuse offered by Sullivan himself was, the want of provisions ; but this deficiency might have been most abundantly supplied from the ample stores of the Indians, which were either burnt or thrown into, the river.
The return of the
army was along the same track by which it had advanced. On the 20th, having
re-crossed the outlet of Seneca Lake, Colonel Zebulon Butler was detached with
the rifle corps and five hundred men, to pass round the foot of Cayuga Lake,
and lay waste the Indian towns on its eastern shore; while on the next day;
Lieutenant Colonel Dearborn, with two hundred men, was detached to perform the
same service along the south-western shore. The main army pursued the most direct
route to the Chemung and Tioga. On the 26th Colonel Dearborn's detachment returned,
and on the 28th they were rejoined by Colonel Butler, who had burnt three towns
of the Cayugas, including their capital.* Dearborn had burnt six towns in his
route, destroying at the same time large quantities
* The Oneidas, it will be recollected, had been interceding in behalf of the Cayugas, or at least a portion of them. Upon this point General Sullivan wrote in his official report as follows:-" I trust the steps I have taken in respect to the Cayugas will prove satisfactory. And here I beg leave to mention, that on searching the houses of these pretended neutral Cayugas, a number of scalps were found, " which appeared to have been lately taken, which Colonel Butler showed to the Oneidas, who said that they were then convinced of the justice of the steps I had -taken."
of corn. On the same day Colonels Van Courtlandt and Dayton were detached upon a similar service, for the destruction of large fields of corn growing upon the banks of the Tioga and its tributaries.
On the 30th of September the army reached its original point of concentration at Tioga, where, it will be recollected, a fort had been thrown up, and left in charge of a small garrison. This work was destroyed on the 3d of October. The army then resumed its return march, and passing through Wyoming, arrived at Easton on the 15th. The distance thence to the Genesee castle was two hundred and eighty miles. With the exception of the action at Newtown, the achievements of the army in battle were not great. But it had scoured a broad extent of country, and laid more towns in ashes than had ever been destroyed on the continent before. The red men were driven from their beautiful country-their habitations left in ruins, their fields laid waste, their orchards uprooted, and their altars and the tombs of their fathers overthrown.
There was, however, an episode to this campaign, if such a phrase may be allowed in military history, which, unexplained as it has been, appears like a very strange movement on the part of General Sullivan. It has been seen in the earlier porttion of the present work, that when the great body of the Mowhawks retired to Canada with the Johnsons, preparatory to taking up the hatchet against the Americans, the clan at the lower castle declined accompanying them. Thus far, moreover, during the whole progress of the war, they had preserved a strict neutrality. They had neither molested their white neighbors, nor been molested themselves; but were living quietly, cultivating their grounds in the midst of the best settled portion of Tryon County, or following the chase at their pleasure-and on terms of perfect amity and good-will with their white neighbors. By some means or other, however, General Sullivan had imbibed a distrust of these people, and on the 20th of September, while at the foot of Seneca Lake, he detached Colonel Gansevoort, with a corps of one hundred men, to Fort Schuyler From thence his orders were peremptory that he should pro ceed forthwith down the Mohawk to the said lower Indian castle, make all the Indians captives if possible, destroy their castle, and then proceed immediately with the said prisoners to head-quarters-the order explicitly forbidding that any of the prisoners so taken should be left at Albany ; and the Colonel was at the same time enjoined, amidst all these measures of hostility, to show the Indians, so to be dispossessed and carried away by violence, " such necessary marks of civility and attention as might engage a continuance of their friendship, and " give evidence of our pacific disposition toward them !" This was truly a surprising order, and, as the event proved, as uncalled for and unjust as it was incomprehensible. As Colonel Gansevoort's official report of his proceedings under this order will present the best view of the whole transaction, it is inserted entire:-
TO GENERAL SULLIVAN.
" Albany, October 8,1779.
" Agreeably to my orders, I proceeded by the shortest route to the lower Mohawk castle, passing through the Tuscarora and Oneida castles (towns), where every mark of hospitality and friendship was shown the party. I had the pleasure to find that not the least damage nor insult was offered any of the inhabitants. On the 25th I arrived at Port Schuyler, where, refreshing my party, I proceeded down the river, and on the 29th effectually surprised the lower Mohawk castle, making prisoners of every Indian inhabitant. They then occupied but four houses. I was preparing, agreeable to my orders, to destroy them, but was interrupted by the inhabitants of the frontiers, who have been lately driven from their settlements by the savages, praying that they might have liberty to enter into the Mohawks' houses, until they could procure other habitations ; and well knowing those persons to have lately lost their all, humanity tempted me in this particular to act in some degree contrary to orders, although I could not but be confident of your approbation; especially when you are informed that this castle is in the heart of our settlements, and abounding with every necessary; so that it is remarked that these Indians live much better than most of the Mohawk river farmers. Their houses were very well furnished with all necessary household utensils, great plenty of grain, several horses, cows, and wagons ; of all which I have an inventory, leaving them in the care of Major Newkirk, of that place, who distributed the refugees in the several houses. Such being the situation, I did not allow the party to plunder at all.
" The prisoners arrived at Albany on the 2d instant, and were closely secured in the fort. Yesterday, the 7th, I received a letter from General Schuyler, (of which I enclose a copy,) respecting the prisoners, desiring that the sending the prisoners down might be postponed until an express shall arrive from General Washington. Agreeably to this request, a sergeant and twelve men are detained to keep charge of the prisoners until his pleasure is known.
" It is with the greatest regret I mention my indisposition being so great as to hinder my taking charge of the party to headquarters. I have been several days confined, and my surgeon informs me that my complaint is bilious fever. Captain Sytez takes command of the detachment, and will proceed with all expedition to head-quarters with the baggage of the several regiments, where I hope shortly to join the army. I remain, &c.&c."
It seems that General Schuyler, then at the head of the Northern Commission of the Indian Department, having heard of the harsh measure adopted in regard to the lower castle Mohawks, had interposed in their behalf. The following is the letter referred to by Colonel Gansevoort, a copy of which was enclosed to General Sullivan:-
TO COLONEL GANSEVOORT.
" Albany October 7, 1779.
" DEAR SIR,
" Having perused Gen. Sullivan's orders to yon respecting the Indians of the lower Mohawk castle and their property, I conceive they are founded on misinformation given to that gen tlemen ; these Indians have peaceably remained there under the sanction of the public faith repeatedly given them by the commissioners of Indian affairs, on condition of peaceable demeanor ; this contract they have not violated to our knowledge. It is therefore incumbent on us, as servants of the public, to keep the public faith inviolate; and we therefore entreat you to postpone the sending the Indians from hence until the pleasure of his Excellency, Gen. Washington, can be obtained, and a letter is already despatched to him on the occasion, and in which we have mentioned this application to you. I am, dear Sir, your most obedient, humble servant,
" PH. SCHUYLER,
" President of the Board of Commissioners
" of Indian affairs, N. Department."
Copies of these letters -were at the same time enclosed to the Commander-in-chief by Colonel Gansevoort, and the result was a speedy release of the poor Indians, with directions from General Washington that the Commissioners should lay them under such obligations for their future good behavior as they should think necessary. *
Thus ended the
memorable campaign of General Sullivan against the country of the Six Nations
; and, however harshly that officer may have been spoken of by others, it is
certain, from the letters of the Commander-in-chief, that his conduct was viewed
in that quarter with the most decided approbation. The officers of the several
corps engaged in the expedition held separate meetings, and testified the warmest
regard in his behalf, and their approbation of the manner in which he had conducted
the campaign. On the 14th of October Congress passed a resolution of thanks
to General Washington for directing this expedition, and to " General Sullivan
and the brave officers and " soldiers under his command for its effectual
execution." But at the very time of the adoption of the resolution, it
was evident that it was carried by a reluctant vote. Sullivan had made such
high demands for military stores, and had so freely complained of the government
for inattention to those demands, as to give much offence to some members of
Congress and to the Board of War.+ He, in consequence, resigned his commission
* MS. letter of Washington to Colonel Gansevoort. In justice to General Sullivan respecting this crusade against the little neighborhood of friendly Mohawks, it should be stated that he acted under misinformation. In his official report, written from Tioga, September 30, he said :-" I directed Colonel Gansevoort to destroy the "lower Mohawk castle in his route, and capture the inhabitants, consisting of only six or seven families, who were constantly employed in giving intelligence to the enemy, and in supporting their scouting parties when making incursions on our frontiers. When the Mohawks joined the enemy, those few families were undoubtedly left to answer those purposes, and keep possession of their lands."
+ Allen's Biographical Dictionary.
the 9th of November, under the convenient pretext of ill health. The resignation was accepted by Congress on the 30th of that month-accompanied, however, by a vote of thanks for past services.
But there was yet
another expedition against the Indians, devised and executed in. conjunction,
or rather simultaneously, with that of General Sullivan. This movement took
place Under the direction of Colonel Daniel Brodhead, then commanding at Fort
Pitt, and was originally designed by the Commander-in-chief, after accomplishing
the destruction of the Mingo, Munsey, and a portion of the Seneca Indians settled
on the Alleghany river, for co-operation with that of Sullivan, by a junction
at Niagara-a point, as it happened,, unattained by either. Preparatory to this
campaign, Washington had written to Colonel Brodhead, on the 22d of March, directing
him to throw forward detachments of troops, the first to take post at Kittaning,
and the second at Venango, and to build stockade forts at both places-observing
the greatest possible secresy in regard to ulterior operations." From various
unforeseen difficulties, the project of a direct co-operation with Sullivan
was abandoned on the 21st of April, and Colonel Brodhead was directed to make
the necessary reconnoissances for a movement against Detroit, should such an
expedition be deemed advisable.! The result, however, was an independent campaign
against the tribes or clans of Indians last above mentioned, inhabiting the
head waters of the Alleghany river, French Creek, and other tributaries of the
Ohio. Colonel Brodhead left Pittsburgh on the 11th of August, at the head of
six hundred rank and file, including volunteers and militia, with provisions
for one month. The first Indian town designed to be attacked was Cannowago.
On their way thither, four days after their departure from Fort Pitt, Colonel
Brodhead's advanced guard met a party of between thirty and forty Indian warriors
descending the Alleghany in canoes. The Indians landed to give battle ; but
were defeated after a sharp brush, and put to flight; leaving five warriors
dead, and evident marks that others had been carried off wounded. On arriving
at Cannowago, the troops were mortified
" Letter from Washington to Colonel Brodhead, March 22, 1779-Vide Sparks's Life and Correspondence, vol. vi.
+ Letter from the same to the same, April 21, 1779. VOL. II. 4
to find that the town had been deserted for eighteen months. Proceeding onward, however, they successively entered several towns, which were abandoned by the Indians on their approach. They were all destroyed, together with the adjacent corn-fields. At the upper Seneca town, called Yoghroonwago, they found a painted image, or war-post, clothed in dog-skin. There were several towns in the vicinity of this place, containing, in all, one hundred and thirty houses, some of which were large enough to accommodate three or four families each. These were all destroyed, together with their fields of corn, so extensive that the troops were occupied three days in accomplishing the object. The old towns of Buckloons and Maghinquechahocking, consisting of thirty-five large houses, were likewise burnt. The Indians had fled so precipitately as to leave some packages of skins and other booty, to the value of three thousand dollars-all of which was taken. Fields of corn were destroyed at least to the extent of five hundred acres. From the number of new houses building, and the extent of lands preparing for cultivation, it was conjectured that it was the intention of the whole Seneca and Munsoy nation to plant themselves down in those settlements* The distance traversed by Colonel Brodhead, going and returning, was four hundred miles, and not a man was lost during the expedition.
The thanks of Congress
-were likewise voted to General Washington for devising, and to Colonel Brodhead
for executing, this expedition. It has already been remarked, that as but a
few of the enemy were slain in these expeditions, the only immediate effect,
beyond the destruction of provisions and property, was to exasperate the Indians.
A more remote effect was to throw the whole body of the hostiles of the Six
Nations back upon their British employers, for their entire support the following
winter. Another consequence was, that from the want and distress of the Indians
during that winter, a mortal disease was superinduced among them, which swept
great numbers into eternity.
* Official account of Colonel Brodhead. Upon this expedition, in connexion with that of Sullivan, the historian, Ramsay, remarks-
" In this manner the savage part of the war was carried on. Waste, and sometimes cruelly, were inflicted and retorted, with infinite variety of scenes of horror and disgust. The selfish passions of human nature, unrestrained by social ties, broke over all bounds of decency or humanity."
Still another effect of these sweeping invasions of the Indian country, was, at least for the time being, to terrify some of the tribes yet more remote. On Colonel Brodhead's return to Fort Pitt, September 14th, he found the chiefs of the Delawares, the principal chiefs of the Wyandots or Hurons, and the King of the Maquichee branch of the Shawanese, awaiting his arrival. Three days afterward the Colonel held a council with these forest dignitaries, on which occasion Doonypnfaf, the Wyandot chief, delivered the following speech :-
" BROTHER MAGHINGIVE KEESHUCH,* listen to me !
" BROTHER : It grieves me to see you with the tears in your eyes. I know it is the fault, of the English.
" BROTHER : I wipe away all those tears, and smooth down your hair, which the English, and the folly of my young men, have ruffled.
" Now, my
Brother, I have wiped away all the stains from your clothes, and smoothed them
where my young men had ruffled them, so that you may now put on your hat, and
sit with that ease and composure which you would desire.
Four string's of white wampum.
" BROTHER : Listen to the Huron chiefs.
" BROTHER : I see you all bloody by the English and my young men. I now wipe away all those stains, and make you clean.
" BROTHER : I see your heart twisted, and neck and throat turned to the one side, with the grief and vexation which my young men have caused ; all which disagreeable sensations I now remove, and restore you to your former tranquility, so that now you may breathe with ease, and enjoy the benefit of your food and nourishment.
" BROTHER : Your ears appear to be stopped, so that you cannot, listen to your Brothers when they talk of friendship. That deafness I now remove, and all stoppage from your ears, that you may listen to the friendly speeches of your Brothers, said that they may sink deep into your heart.
Seven strings of white wampum.
: Listen to me. When I look around me, I seethe bones of our nephews lie scattered
" The Indian name conferred upon Colonel Brodhead.
" BROTHER : I gather up the bones of all our young men on both sides, who have fallen in this dispute, without any distinction of party.
" BROTHER : I have now gathered up the bones of our relations on both sides, and will bury them in a large deep grave, and smooth it over so that there shall not be the least sign of bones, or any thing to raise any grief or anger in any of our minds hereafter.
" BROTHER : I have now buried tlie bones of all our relations very deep. You very well know that there are some of your flesh and blood in our hands prisoners : I assure you that you shall see them all safe and well.
Eight strings of white wampum.
" BROTHER : I now look up to where our Maker is, and think there is some darkness still over our heads, so that God can hardly see us, on account of the evil doings of the King over the great waters. All these thick clouds, which have arisen on account of that bad King, I now entirely remove, that God may look and see us in our treaty of friendship, and be a witness to the truth and sincerity of our intentions.
Four strings of white wampum.
" BROTHER : As God puts all our hearts right, I now give thanks to God Almighty, to the chief men of the Americans, to my old father the King of France, and to you, Brother, that we can now talk together on friendly terms, and speak our sentiments without interruption.
Four strings of black and white wampum.
" BROTHER : You knew me before you saw me, and that I had not drawn away my hand from yours, as I sent you word last year by Captain White Eyes.
" BROTHER : I look up to Heaven, and call God Almighty to witness to the truth of what I say, and that it really comes from my heart."
" BROTHER : I now tell you that I have for ever thrown off my father the English, and will never give him any assistance; and there are some amongst all the nations that think the same things that I do, and I wish that they would all think so.
" BROTHER : I cannot answer for all the nations, as I don't know all their thoughts, and will speak only what I am sure of.
" BROTHER : Listen to me. I love all the nations, and hate none, and when I return home they shall all hear what you say and what is done between us.
" BROTHER : I have just now told you that I loved all the nations, and I see you raising up the hatchet against, my younger Brother, the Shawanese.* I beg of you to stop a little while, as he has never yet heard me; and when he has heard me, if he does not choose to think as we do, I will tell you of it immediately.
"BROTHER: I intend to speak roughly to my younger brother, and tell him not to listen to the English, but throw them off, and listen to me, and then he may live as I do.
" BROTHER : I thank you for leaving the fortress at Tuscarawas, and am convinced by that that you have taken pity on us, and want to make us your friends.
" BROTHER : I now take a firmer hold of your hand than before, and beg that you will take pity upon the other nations who are my friends; and if any of them should incline to take hold of your hand, I request that you would comply, and receive them into friendship. A black belt of eleven rows.
" BROTHER : Listen. I tell you to be cautious, as I think you intend to strike the man near to where I sit, not to go the nighest way to where he is, lest you frighten the owners of the lands who are living through the country between this and that place.+
" BROTHER : You now listen to me, and one favor I beg of you is, that when you drive away your enemies, you will allow me to continue in possession of my property, which, if you grant, will rejoice me.
" BROTHER : I would advise you, when you strike the man near where I sit, to go by water, as it will be the easiest and best way.
" BROTHER : If you intend to strike, one way is to go up the Alleghany, and by Presq' Isle; another way is to go down this river and up the Wabash.
: The reason why I mentioned the road up the river is, that there will be no
danger of your being discovered until you are close upon them, but on the road
down the river you will be spied.
* Colonel Clarke, the captor of Hamilton, was at that time preparing to invade the principal Shawanege towns-a purpose which he executed sometime afterward. -Author.
+ Referring to the projected movement of Colonel Brodhead against Detroit-a purpose never executed.
" BROTHER : Now I have told you the way by Presqe Isle, and that it is the boundary between us and your enemies ; if you go by the Wabash, your friends will not be surprised. " BROTHER : You must not think that what I have said is only my own thoughts, but the opinion of all the Huron chiefs, and I speak in behalf of them all. If you grant what favors I have asked of you all our friends and relations will be thankful and glad as far as they can hear all round.
" BROTHER : The reason why I have pointed out these two roads is, that when we hear you are in one of them, we will know your intentions without farther notice ; and the Huron chiefs desired me particularly to mention it, that they may meet you in your walk, and tell you what they have done, who an your enemies, and who are your friends, and I, in their name, request a pair of colors to show that we have joined in friendship. Fourteen strings of black wampum.
" BROTHER : The chiefs desired me to tell you that they sent Montour before to tell you their" intention, and they leave him to go with you, that when you meet your Brothers, you may consult together, and understand one another by his means." On the 19th Colonel Brodhead addressed the Huron chief in reply, after the Indian form. He told him, distinctly, that fair words were no longer to be taken, unless their sincerity was attested by their deeds. In regard to the roads to Detroit, he said he should select whichever he pleased. As for the Shawanese, the Colonel told the chief that he had sent them a fair Speech, which they had thrown into the fire, and he should not now recall Colonel Clarke. And in regard to the people of the chief himself, the Colonel demanded, as the basis of peace, that they should stipulate to restore all American prisoners in their hands; to kill, scalp, and take, as many of the English and their allies as they had killed and taken of the Americans ; and on every occasion to join the Americans against their enemies. The Wyandots assented to the terms, and hostages were required for the faithful performance of their agreement.
The Delawares were at that time at peace with the United States, and a small body of their warriors had accompanied Colonel Brodhead on the expedition from which he had just returned. The business having been closed with the Huron chief, the Delawares interposed in behalf of the Maquichee clan of the Shawanese. These Indians were now apparently very humble; but, apprehensive that they might not perhaps manage their own case very well, the Delawares had kept them back from the council, and undertaken their cause themselves. Kelleleman, a Delaware chief, informed Colonel Brodhead that on arriving there, their grand-children* had addressed them thus:-
" GRANDFATHERS : We are humble, and are now come unto you. Now I am come to you, I take my hands and wipe your eyes, that you may clearly see the light, and that these are your grand-children who now appear before you, and likewise remove every obstruction from your eyes, that you may hear and understand me. I also compose your heart, that you may be disposed to pity your poor grand-children, as your ancient chiefs used to pity their grand-children, the Maquichees, when they were poor or humble before them. Now, my grandfathers, I tell you to pity your grand-children, the Maquichees, and whatever you direct them to do, will be done. Now you have heard your grand-children speak, and you will judge what to say to your brother, Maghingive Keeshuch.
Two strings of white wampum.
" Now, grandfathers, here is a little tobacco to fill your pipes, that you may consider and pity your grand-children the Maquichees."
Kelleleman farther reported to Colonel Brodhead, that after the foregoing speech, Keeshmattsee, a Maquichee chief, rose and said to the Delawares:-
" GRANDFATHERS : I now take my chief and counsellor, Nimwha, and set him down on the ground before you, that he may assist you in considering the distressed situation of your grand-children."
Another Delaware chief, named Killbtish, then addressed Colonel Brodhead thus :-
KEESHUCH : Listen to me. You always told me that when any nations came to treat
of peace, I
* In Indian parlance the Delawares were styled the "Grandfathers" of the Shawanese; and hence the use, in these proceedings, of the terms reciprocally of "Grand-children " and " Grandfathers."
should first speak to them, and tell you my sentiments of them; which I am now come to do in regard to my grand-children, the Maquichees.
" I told them I was much obliged to them for clearing my eyes, my ears, and composing my heart, and that it was time, for many bad things enter into my ears."
Then turning to the Maquichees, Killbush continued his speech:-
"I remember you told me to pity you, and it is true I have pitied you, my grand-children, the Shawanese.
" Now I tell you, my grand-children, it is very well you put me in mind of my wise ancestors, who, out of pity, took you up and placed you before them.
" MY GRAND-CHILDREN : The Maquichees, it is true, you have done no harm, but I see some stains of blood upon you which the mischief and folly of some of your young men have occasioned. Now, my grand-children; I will advise you how to be cleansed from your bloody stains ; deliver to our brother Maghingive Keeshuch all his flesh and blood which are prisoners in your hands; and the horses you have stolen from the Americans. My grand-children, when you have done this, you will then be clean ; your flesh and heart will be the same as mine, and I can again take you up and set you down before me as our wise chiefs formerly did.
" Now, my grand-children, I tell you that for several years past you have been fraught with lies, which I am tired of hearing, and in future you must tell me nothing but the truth.
" Now listen to me, my grand-children ; you see how dread ful the day looks, and how thick the clouds appear ; don't imagine this day to be like that on which you first came to your grandfathers. I tell you that I have finished the chain of friendship. The thirteen United States and I are one. I have already assisted my brother in taking the flesh of the English and the Mingoes. You told me just now, that whatever I told you, you would do ; now I offer you the flesh of the English and Mingoes to eat, and that is the only method I know of by which your lives may be preserved, and you allowed to live in peace," (delivering them a string of wampum and two scalps.) They received the string and scalps, and said they were glad to know this; and, as they had before said, whatever their grandfathers told them, they would do, so they told them again on receiving the scalps. They said, " now, grandfathers, I am very glad to hear what you have said; I have got in my hand wliat you say will save my life," and immediately sang his war-song. The speaker, having danced, delivered the scalps to the king, who likewise rose and sang the war-song, and said; " Now, my grandfathers, although you have often sent good speeches to the other tribes of the Shawanese nation, yet they would not receive them, but still took up the tomahawk to strike your brothers. I will now go and deliver them what I now have in my hands, which I suppose they will receive."
These proceedings were closed by the following speech from one of the Delawares to Colonel Brodhead:-
" BROTHER : We now let you know the result of our council respecting the Maquichees.
" BROTHER : Listen. This is the way I have considered the matter, and if I am mistaken I am very sorry for it. Brother, let us both consider of it. I thought when I looked in his eyes that he was sincere.
" BROTHER : I think the Maquichees are honest. In former times they were the best of the Shawanese nation. I think we may take them by the hand ; and you know you told me that any nation I took by the hand, you would also receive." The conference appears to have been satisfactory to Colonel Brodhead. But if the Maquichee clan of the Shawanese preserved their fidelity, the main body of the nation became none the less unfriendly by their means. And although Colonel Brodhead had admonished them that he would not countermand the orders to Colonel Clarke to strike them, it so happened that the first and severest blow was struck by the Shawanese themselves. It was but a short time after the closing of the council at Fort Pitt, that a detachment of seventy men from the Kentucky district of Virginia, under the command of Major Rodgers, was surprised while ascending the Ohio, and nearly exterminated. The Kentuckians were drawn ashore by a stratagem. At first a few Indians only appeared, standing upon a sand-bar near the mouth of the Licking river, while a canoe, with three other Indians, was paddling toward them as though to receive them on board. Rodgers immediately put in to the Kentucky shore, and having made fast his boats, went in pursuit. Only five or six Indians had been seen, and Rodgers, presuming that the whole party would not probably exceed fifteen or twenty at farthest, felt perfectly sure of an easy victory-having seventy men, well armed and provided. Proceeding cautiously toward the point where he supposed he should surround the enemy, and having adjusted his movements with that design, at the very moment when he was preparing to rush forward and secure them, he found himself with his whole force in the midst of an ambuscade ! The Indians rose in a cloud of hundreds on all sides of him, and pouring in a close and deadly fire upon the Americans, rushed upon the survivors tomahawk in hand. Major Rodgers, and forty-five of his men were killed almost instantly. The residue ran for the boats, but the guard of only five men who had been left in charge, had sought security by putting off in one of them, while the Indians had already anticipated the fugitives by taking possession of the others. The possibility of retreat being thus cut off, the brave fellows now turned furiously upon the enemy; and as night was approaching, after a sharp fight for some time, a small number, aided by the darkness, succeeded in effecting their; escape to Harrodsburgh.
Among the wounded in this sharp and bloody encounter, who escaped both death and captivity, were Captain Robert Benham, and another man, whose cases, together, form a novel and romantic adventure. Benham was shot through both hips, and the bones being shattered, he instantly fell. Still, aided by the darkness, he succeeded in crawling among the thick branches of a fallen tree, where he lay without molestation through the night and during the following day, while the Indians, who had returned for that purpose, were stripping the slain. He continued to lie close in the place of his retreat until the second day, when, becoming hungry, and observing a raccoon descending a tree, he managed to shoot it-hoping to be able to strike a fire, and cook the animal. The crack of the rifle was followed by a human cry, which at first startled the Captain; but the cry being repeated, several times, the voice of a Kentuckian was at length recognized; the call was returned; and the parties were soon together. The man proved to be one of his comrades, who had lost both of his arms in the battle. Never before did misery find more welcome company. One of the parties could use his feet, and the other his hands. Benham, by tearing up his own and his companion's shirts, dressed the wounds of both. He could load his rifle and fire with readiness, and was thus enabled to kill such game as approached, while his companion could roll the game along upon the ground with his feet, and in the same manner collect wood enough together to cook their meals. When thirsty, Benham could place his hat in the teeth of his companion, who went to the Licking, and wading in until he could stoop down and fill it, returned with a hat-full of water. When the stock of squirrels, and other small game in their immediate neighborhood, was exhausted, the man on his legs would roam away, and drive up a flock of wild turkies, then abundant in those parts, until they came within the range, of Benham's rifle. Thus they lived, helps, meet for each other, during the period of six weeks, when they discovered a boat upon the Ohio, which took them off. Both recovered thoroughly from their wounds.*
No other events
of moment occurred in the region professedly embraced in the present history,
during the residue of the year 1779; and the progress of the war in other parts
of the Union had been marked with but few signal actions. The active operations
of this year between the British forces proper and the Americans, had commenced
in the south, to the command of which section of the country General Lincoln
had been assigned at the close of 1778. The first occurrence was the surprise
and defeat, on the 3d of March, of General Ash, commanding a body of fifteen
hundred North Carolina militia, stationed at the confluence of Briar Creek,
on the Savannah river, by the British General Provost. There were about sixty
regular troops under General Ash, who fought well. But the militia, as usual,
threw away their arms and fled, with the exception of about three hundred, who
were either killed or taken. In May, General Provost invested Charleston, but
raised the siege on the approach of Lincoln upon his rear. He at first retired
to the island, but soon withdrew to Savannah, where he was in turn besieged
by Lincoln in October, on the land side, and by the French fleet under the Count
D'Estaing by water.
* Captain Benham afterward served with bravery in the Indian wars of 1789-94, sharing the disaster of St. Clair and the victory of Wayne. At the close of the Revolution, he purchased the land whereon he was wounded at the time of Rodgers's defeat, built a house there, and there lived and died.
Repulsed in an injudicious assault, after much brave fighting by both Americans and French, the fleet of the latter left the continent, and the siege was raised-the militia flying to their homes, and General Lincoln retiring to Charleston. In this assault, among other proud spirits, fell the brave Polish Count Pulaski-who had signalized himself in his own country by carrying off King Stanislaus from his capital, assisted by only a party of associate Catholic conspirators. The only relief to this disastrous affair, was the capture, by Colonel John White of Georgia, and Captain Elholm, with four other men, of a British detachment of one hundred men, forty sailors, and five armed vessels, at Ogechee, by a very ingenious and efficacious stratagem. Kindling a large number of fires, after the manner of an encampment, they summoned the British commander, Captain French, to surrender, or they would cut his flotilla to pieces. Supposing, by the lines of fires, that there was a greatly superior force against them, the enemy surrendered at discretion.
In the middle and northern sections of the Union, the contest during the Summer had assumed the character rather of a predatory warfare than of regular campaigns. Sir George Collier and General Matthews made a plundering expedition on the coast of Virginia, and after sacking Norfolk and parts adjacent, returned to New York with their booty. In July a combined expedition by land and water was directed, under Sir George and Governor Tryon, against Connecticut. New-Haven was taken and sacked. Several houses in East Haven were burnt. Fairfield, Green's Farms, and Norwalk, were likewise taken, plundered, and laid in ashes. The Americans, consisting chiefly of militia, under General Lovell, made an attempt upon a British post at Penobscot, which was commenced gallantly. But the arrival of Sir George Collier's fleet, with reinforcements, obliged the General to abandon the enterprise. These untoward events, however, were relieved by Major Lee's surprise and capture of the British fort at Paulus Hook, and by the still more brilliant affair of the capture of Stony Point by General Wayne.
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