Friday, July 9, 2010

Worthington Western Intelligencer

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Looking upriver at Fort Meigs today
Worthington Western Intelligencer Article from May 5th, 1813:
Pittsburgh, April 18
A letter from Fort Meigs, dated in the afternoon of the 9th of April, says-- “Four American citizens of Detroit made their escape from the enemy, and arrived here the 4th inst. They confidently state that this garrison will be attacked in 7 or 8 days. The fort has accordingly been placed in the best possible state of defense, and we hope to give a good account of them, should the attack be made.
Col. Stevenson has arrived with 100 men and Maj. Ball, with his squadron of 200. Col. Miller’s regiment is hourly looked for, and have with them 18 pieces of cannon, four of which are 18 pounders.
One the morning of the xth three privates of Capt. Langham’s company went about 20 perches up the river from the lower blockhouse, were surprised by the Indians, one killed and scalped one taken prisoner, and one escaped. Capt. Langham pursued them with his company for about x miles, but could not overtake them.
On the morning of the 8th the Indians surprised Capt. Cushing’s company of artillery, about 2 quarters of a mile from the Fort, killed 1 and took two prisoners. Three parties were immediately sent in pursuit of the Indians, one to the eastward, another down the bank of the river, and the third under the command of Capt. Peters, with 10 French Canadians in batteaux…
In a letter to Lt. Joseph Larwell on April 23rd, Captain Daniel Cushing explained what happened next-- (edited a bit for clarity)
Peters and 11 Frenchmen jumped into a boat parked down the river, came upon the Indians 15 in number killed six and wounded 2 mortally—one shot through the breast the other through both arms and breast, the Frenchmen had 7 wounded 2 mortally—died the next day, the other 5 are well or near it, our little Frenchman, quite a lad, discharged his piece 4 times at the Indians after he was shot through the arm, this fight was in the boats… The Indians had two boats, 5 in each boat and five on land behind the trees, these fellows did wonders.
Earlier in the same letter, he wrote:
The damned Indians have killed one of my men and taken two others, they killed Felix Rudes tomahawked and scalped him on the 8th, also took Joseph Patterson and John Kelly prisoners, they were in the woods after punching with two tenns (?), there was 4 more with them which did but just make their escape.
Major Amos Stoddard’s general orders the next day made sure that the men of the garrison would take better care:
No fatigue party is to be sent from the garrison without a guard with it--
One subaltern, one noncommisioned officer and twenty privates of the dragoons will be kept in as much readiness as practicable to make a sudden pursuit of the enemy on proper occasions…
No men are to straggle along the river more than three hundred yards either above or below the pickets without the written permission of the officer commanding the corps to which they belong…