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´╗┐Title: Narrative of the Suffering and Defeat of the North-Western Army, Under General Winchester - Massacre of the Prisoners: Sixteen Months Imprisonment of - the Writer and Others with the Indians and British
Author: Atherton, William
Language: English
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[Transcriber's note: all misspellings and typographical errors
in the original have been retained in this text.]









Printed for the author by A. G. Hodges.

[Copy Right secured according to law.]


The greater part of this short narrative was written years ago.
At that time it was intended for publication. But for several
years past the writer had declined ever letting it come before
the world; and had it not been for the solicitations of friends,
it is highly probable this intention would never have been
changed. But relying upon the opinion of those whom he believed
to be well qualified to judge of it, and believing them to be
sincere in their expression of opinion, I have consented to let
it go and take its chance before the public.

It was found difficult to give such an account of that part of
the campaign which it was thought to be most important, without
commencing as far back as the departure of the army from
Kentucky. This part of the history has, however, been passed
over very rapidly, perhaps rather too much so to make it at all
satisfactory. The writer is aware that he has omitted much which
would have added to the interest of this little history; but he
has not leisure to go over it again. History has given us an
account of the sufferings of the North-Western Army only in
general terms, but no where, so far as I have been able to learn,
has there been given a particular detail of the sufferings and
privations of that detachment of the army.

I think it proper that the rising generation should know what
their fathers suffered, and how they acted in the hour of danger;
that they sustained the double character of "_Americans and
Kentuckians_." This narrative has been made as concise as I could
conveniently make it, and on that account, perhaps, the writer
has not said all that might, and that should have been said. But
it is hoped that what has been said will be sufficient to give
the youthful reader some idea of what that "Spartan band" were
called to endure. To the old men of our country these things,
perhaps, will not be new.

With regard to the massacre at Raisin, the writer has related
nothing but what he saw. What is said in reference to the brave
Hart and Hickman, he witnessed with his own eyes.

It may be thought that I have been a little too severe in what I
have said of British officers. Should any think so, all I have to
say is, had they seen and felt what we did there would have been
no difference of opinion. By some it will be thought strange to
find the savages, in point of feeling and humanity, placed above
the British--but the truth ought always to be told.

One thing the writer regrets, and that is his being compelled so
frequently to speak of himself. But he found it impossible to
give a full narration without it. Nothing is aimed at but a plain
unvarnished statement of facts, a sober description of scenes, in
the principal part of which the writer himself was an actor.


The volunteers from Kentucky, under the command of Colonels
Allen, Lewis and Scott, left their homes on the 12th of August,
1812, and rendezvoused at Georgetown. Thence took the Dry Ridge
road to Cincinnati, where we remained a few days. We then pursued
our march through the State of Ohio, by the way of Piqua; from
which place we were called to the relief of Fort Wayne.

Nothing worthy of public notice occurred on the way, except the
alarm we had at the camp we called "Fighton," which every soldier
that was on the ground no doubt recollects. Though we were
alarmed at Piqua, by one of the sentinels shooting at a horse,
yet we had seen nothing such as occurred here. It was a dark
rainy night, just such a time as the Indians would choose to make
an attack. We anticipated danger, and made arrangements to meet
it. The army encamped in a hollow square, within a strong
breastwork, and guards were placed at every point. Whether there
were Indians about or not, some of the guard thought they heard
them, and many guns were fired on post, and all the camp called
to arms. The line of battle was more than once formed during the
night, and at one time kept under arms an hour and a half. As
this was the the first campaign with most of us, and also the
first alarm worthy of notice, it is not easy to imagine the
degree of excitement produced throughout the camp. It fell to my
lot to be on guard that night, and at the time of the greatest
alarm was on post; the guard was not relieved for near an hour
after their time had expired--an attack being momently expected.

When we arrived at Fort Wayne, we found that the Indians which
had annoyed the fort for some time, had retreated. We were then
ordered to march to two Indian towns, for the purpose of burning
the houses and destroying their corn. When we had accomplished
this, and returned to Fort Wayne, we there met the Kentucky
mounted volunteers under the command of Colonel Simrall. We
marched from Fort Wayne on the 22d of September, and pursued
Wayne's route down the Miami towards old Fort Defiance, where we
arrived on the 30th. During the latter part of this march we were
frequently annoyed by the enemy. Our advance party of spies fell
in with a body of Indians, and a small skirmish ensued, in which
one of the spies was slightly wounded, and several of the enemy
killed; the exact number could not be ascertained, as the Indians
always carry off their dead when practicable. The day before,
Ensign Liggett, of the regulars, with four men, was pursued by
this body of Indians, massacred and scalped. The loss of Ensign
Liggett was much lamented, as he was a promising young officer,
remarkable for bravery and intrepidity. He had left the company
of spies, with his four companions, to examine the country around
Fort Defiance, and had advanced several miles ahead of the
party--where they were killed. Many of Ensign Liggett's friends
are still living in Kentucky.

The annoyance from the enemy greatly retarded our movements, as
it was impossible, with any degree of certainty, to ascertain
either their situation or force. In crossing the river, however,
their whole movements were discovered. The British, with their
artillery from Detroit, and a large party of Indians, were
progressing towards Fort Wayne. After engaging our spies, and
annoying our advanced guard, they faced to the right about and
retreated precipitately. Owing to the situation of the army
(being short of provisions) it was impossible, by forced marches,
to intercept them. At this time Captain Bland Ballard showed his
skill in Indian fighting, by making good his retreat, for which
he deserves much. His Lieutenant, Munday, who had parted with him
in the morning, also effected a retreat, by charging upon the
Indians, before they ascertained his numbers, and then dashing
into camp. The next day our spies had an action--had one
wounded--and saw several Indians fall. The day following the
Indians showed in front of the spies, and snapped at one of our
men--a fire was returned, which left blood where the Indians
stood. The Indian spies were on horse back, which rendered it
difficult to ascertain their situation. Our spies could not, with
propriety, venture far from us, and we could not advance until
the country was reconnoitered, consequently our march was slow. A
short turn to the right, however, and crossing the river at an
unexpected place, gave us the advantage. After crossing the river
we saw that the enemy had artillery, and were ahead of us. We
were now within six miles of Defiance. It was very bushy for more
than a mile before we approached the fort. The army remained at
camp that morning, and sent out spies in every direction; when
they returned, they reported that the enemy had gone off down the
river. It was then deemed inexpedient to move so late in the
afternoon. It was supposed there were from one to two hundred
British, with from two to five pieces of cannon, and from four to
six hundred Indians. The artillery was certainly brought up by
water to this place, and reembarked here again. Their object must
have been Fort Wayne. By this time we became very scarce of
provisions, having nothing for some days but the poorest beef.
Some of the men began to murmer--and some went so far as to talk
of returning home--but when this was known by the officers,
measures were taken to put a stop to it. Colonel Allen, in an
animated and encouraging address to his men, banished the idea of
shrinking in the day of adversity. Captain Simpson, also, was not
unemployed. This was the first time we had sensibly felt the want
of bread.

General Harrison returned to the army on the second of October.
We were greatly animated at seeing him among us once more. He
addressed the whole army in a most thrilling speech, which
kindled in the breasts of the men, generally, an increased desire
to meet the enemy, and a willingness to endure any privations
they might be called to suffer. He remained with us but a short

The enemy having retreated before us in every direction, leaving
us an extensive territory to occupy; our object then was to
establish a chain of fortified posts, in order to facilitate the
supplies necessary for a speedy invasion of Upper Canada.
Notwithstanding we were in the enemy's country, where Indian
spies were seen almost every day, yet it was impossible to keep
the men from imprudently hazarding their lives! Shortly after our
arrival at Fort Defiance, five of our men, who had been out
gathering plums, were found scalped. About this time Captain
Garrard's troop of horse, and another company, met a scouting
party of Indians and routed them. One of our militia was killed
and another wounded. In consequence of this information, General
Harrison marched the whole of his army from St. Mary's to
Defiance. General Harrison had heard from General Kelso, who
commanded a detachment of troops on lake Erie, that _two
thousand_ Indians and some regulars with several pieces of
artillery, had left Malden on an expedition against Fort Wayne!
This news, with other exaggerated accounts, induced the belief
that General Winchester was likely to be defeated. As before
stated, all the forces at St. Mary's were put in motion, but
before they reached Defiance information of the enemy's retreat
was received.

Before General Harrison left Defiance, he selected a situation
for a new fort. A party of men was detailed to procure timber for
the buildings. General Winchester, also, moved his camp from the
Miami to the Auglaize river.

The command of the left was now confided to General Winchester,
who was instructed to occupy the rapids as soon as possible for
the purpose of securing a quantity of corn which had been raised
by the inhabitants.

Before General Harrison left, he ordered General Tupper to take
all his mounted men and proceed down the Miami as far as the
Rapids. When this order was issued, General Tupper's command was
immediately supplied with provision for eight days, which
included all the flour in camp. About 12 o'clock next day a party
of Indians fired on the men immediately on the opposite bank of
the Miami, one of whom they killed, scalped, and then fled! This,
for a moment, produced alarm, and the troops were formed in order
of battle. Presently small parties of horsemen began to cross the
river in pursuit of the enemy. The horses were mostly at grass,
and as soon as they could be caught the owners engaged in the
pursuit. Eight or ten parties went, mostly from Colonel Simrall's
regiment, in one of which was the Colonel himself. General Tupper
ordered that no more should cross, apprehending from the boldness
of the Indians that a large body might be lying in ambush.
General Winchester now ordered Tupper to commence his expedition
towards the Rapids by pursuing these Indians. Tupper had
previously sent Logan and six other Indians to reconnoiter, and
did not seem willing to go until they returned. They arrived in
the evening, stating that they had seen a party of Indians, about
fifty strong, ten miles down the river. Colonel Allen now offered
his services to accompany Tupper to the Rapids in any station he
thought proper to place him, from a private soldier upwards. He
accepted his offer, and caused him to be announced as his aid.
General Winchester issued positive orders that General Tupper
should proceed; but he declined, saying he would prefer going by
the Ottoway towns, &c. At this time about three hundred of the
mounted riflemen, whose terms of service had expired, left the
camp and returned home. Colonel Simrall, believing that the
orders of General Winchester to General Tupper would not be
executed, returned to the settlements to recruit his horses and
be in readiness to march when his services should be necessary.
It will be sufficient to say this expedition at this time failed.
After the mounted men left us, nothing of importance occurred for
some time. We were engaged building the fort, which, through much
difficulty, was at length completed. This will appear, when it is
known that at that place we had not our full rations. That this
fact may be established, I will give some extracts from a letter,
written at the time, by James Garrard, Brigade Inspector: "We
have not" says he "drawn a full ration since the 8th September.
Sometimes without beef--at other times without flour: and the
worst of all, entirely without salt, which has been much against
the health of the men. They bear it with much patience, although
they have been without salt for five or six days." At this time
the sick amounted to two hundred and sixteen men, and there was
some dissatisfaction in the army against the government because
the necessary supplies were not sent on. But when they became
acquainted with the true cause of the deficiency, that the fault
was not in the government, but in the change of affairs since
their march, they were perfectly satisfied. Again Mr. Garrard
states: "You would be surprised to see the men appear on the
brigade parade. Some without shoes, others without socks,
blankets, &c. All the clothes they have are linen; but they
discharge their duty with cheerfulness, hoping that their country
will supply their wants before the severity of winter comes on."
There are many who can testify to the truth of the above. What
clothes we took with us when we left our homes had worn very
thin. Many left home with their linen hunting shirts, and some of
these were literally torn to rags by the brush. We had heard that
General Harrison had made a powerful appeal to the ladies of
Kentucky and Ohio, and we were sure it would not be in vain; and
about this time we learned that the ladies of Kentucky were
exerting themselves to relieve the soldiers of this army. It was
highly gratifying to us to know that we were kept in remembrance
by the ladies of our own State.

Near this time our spies brought in a prisoner. They took him
about thirty miles below Fort Winchester. He called himself
William Walker; had been with the Indians near thirty years, and
was married to a Wyandott squaw; he said at that time he lived at
Detroit. He was recognized by several in camp, and two men said,
"when Detroit was taken, under General Hull, he was painted like
an Indian, and was seen out of the fort," but they did not
recollect any act of hostility on his part. His story was, that
he persuaded the Indians to abandon the British; that in the end
we would ruin them, &c. That for this he was put into the
guard-house at Detroit, and told his conduct was criminal, and
consequently would be sent where he would be kept safely; that he
made his escape from the guard-house--lay concealed a few days
until he was ready--and then started to join us. The general
belief was he came as a spy. He seemed intimately acquainted with
the Indian movements, but the officers were afraid to place any
reliance upon his statements. He gave us a description of the
force we met near Defiance on their way to Fort Wayne. He
estimated their number at about nine hundred Indians and British
altogether, with two brass field pieces; that the afternoon on
which we crossed the Miami, they were at Fort Defiance, which was
only six miles from where we crossed the river, and that they
started early next morning towards the Rapids. From him we
learned that McCoy of Georgetown, whom we supposed was murdered,
had been taken prisoner. Upon being asked if any prisoners had
been taken, he replied one--a Quarter Master Sergeant. McCoy
filled that place.

We now began preparations to march towards the Rapids--having
completed a new and beautiful fort, situated near the old one,
which, like its brave progenitor, had fallen before the
irresistible hand of time. We crossed the Miami, and camped a few
miles below Defiance. During the time of our encampment we were
called to witness a very solemn transaction. A young man was
found sleeping on post--he was arraigned and sentenced to be
shot. When the time appointed for his execution arrived, the army
was paraded--the prisoner was brought to the spot--a bandage
placed over his eyes--and directed to prepare to meet death. A
platoon was ordered to take their stand a few paces in front of
the lines, ready to fire when the word should be given. A deep
silence now reigned throughout the army--every eye was fixed upon
the criminal, standing upon his knees blindfolded--the officer
commanding the platoon waiting to hear and give the word which
would hurry a fellow soldier into eternity. During this moment of
suspense a messenger came from the General bearing a reprieve.
This circumstance made a deep impression upon the whole army. It
was found necessary, also, to make an example of one who had
deserted. His sentence was to ride the wooden horse; which was
made by bending a sapling until the top reached the ground--this
he did in the presence of the whole army.

Very few Indians were seen or heard of for some weeks, neither
had any mischief been done, though the men were very careless,
and would hunt game and fruit far and near--often strolling miles
from the camp without guns. The ground on this side of the river,
where we first encamped, being disagreeable, we marched a few
miles down the river, remained a short time, and then removed to
what is called camp No. 3. There we had a beautiful situation,
and an abundance of fine timber.

Although the enemy had now retreated and left us in possession of
the Territory, we were still called to contend with the severe
weather, which not only prevented the necessary supply of
provisions from reaching us, but in our thinly clad condition
became very oppressive. We knew that efforts were making to
supply us with clothes and rations, but the roads were almost
impassable. About the first of November the men became very
sickly--the typhus fever raged with violence--three or four would
sometimes die in a day. It is said upwards of three hundred was
on the sick list at one time.

Towards the latter part of November, or first of December, the
rain fell in torrents. We were ordered to build huts, for to
advance at that time appeared impossible. Many were so entirely
destitute of shoes and other clothing, that had they been
compelled to march any distance they must have frozen. What we
suffered at Defiance was but the beginning of affliction. We now
saw nothing but hunger, and cold, and nakedness, staring us in
the face. At one time, for several days, we scarcely had any
thing to eat but some poor beef. I have seen the butchers go to a
beef and kill it, when lying down and could not get out of the
way. This kind of beef, and hickory roots, was our principal
subsistence for a length of time. When we had been here a few
weeks, and the ground became covered with snow, and we no longer
apprehended danger from the enemy, we were permitted to hunt.
This we did to some extent, but in a short time there was not a
squirrel to be found near the encampment.

During our stay at camp No. 3, a detachment was sent down the
river to assist General Tupper. I was one of the number called
out for that expedition; and a hard and fruitless one it was.
Colonel Lewis commanded. We marched until about nine o'clock at
night. Colonel C. S. Todd, with some others, was sent on to
Tupper's encampment to make some discoveries, and when the
arrived at the spot they found that Tupper had retreated, and one
of his men left dead in the camp! This information was brought to
Colonel Lewis, and after a council with his officers, he
considered it prudent to return. He thought if it were necessary
for Tupper, with six hundred and fifty men, to retreat, and the
river too between him and the enemy, he could not be justified in
meeting it on the same side with three hundred and eighty. It was
stated, but I would not vouch for the truth of it, that he left
the Rapids a few hours after he sent the express to our camp,
without notifying our detachment at all.

Early next morning we commenced our retreat, but from the
fatigues of the previous day, and want of rest that night, (for
we had no fire,) the most of us were unable to reach the army
that day, but were obliged to camp about five miles below. This
was a night of keen suspense to myself, and no doubt many others.
We had grounds to believe the Indians would pursue us with
perhaps double our number, and surprise us in the night; but we
reached the camp in safety next morning.

Our Indian spies made frequent excursions in different
directions, but their reports were not generally satisfactory.
_Logan_, one of the finest looking Indians I ever saw, was one of
them, and perhaps the only honest man among them, finding that
they were suspected either of cowardice or treachery, determined
on another expedition to the Rapids. But before leaving,
expressed his grief at the stain cast upon his character--
declaring at the same time that something should be done before
his return that should convince all concerned of his bravery and
friendship to the Government of the United States. Old _Captain
John_, and _Lightfoot_, if I mistake not, accompanied him. They
had not reached the Rapids before they fell in with the spies of
the British--a company of Indians superior to their own,
commanded by a young British officer: they managed the affair
with great dexterity. Logan, who was a man of great presence of
mind, finding, upon first sight of the enemy, a retreat to be
impracticable, instantly proposed to his comrades to approach
them in the character of friends, and report themselves as
deserters from camp No. 3. Though they had but a very few
moments, yet Logan fixed upon the signal, and concerted the plan
of escape. They met--Logan made his statement, which was received
cautiously, but so far as to prevent immediate hostilities. They
were permitted to keep their arms, but ordered to march in front,
a plain indication that they were suspected.

As the object of this band of British spies was to gain
information in reference to the army at camp No. 3, they
considered their object accomplished, and therefore returned from
this place. A conversation soon commenced respecting the
condition, number, and intentions of the army, &c., &c., during
which time Logan and his two companions were watching their
opportunity to make the attack. Although they doubled their
number, yet they determined to _rescue themselves or die_. The
signal was given, and each man brought his man to the ground.
This left their power about equal. The enemy fled a little
distance, and opened a fire upon them, which they returned with
the arms of those they had shot; but finding a retreat now
practicable, Logan ordered it, but in mounting one of the horses
of the enemy, received a ball in his breast which ranged down to
the small of his back; but, notwithstanding, succeeded in
reaching the camp that night, a distance of about thirty miles.
Old Captain John would not leave the spot until he had taken a
scalp, which he brought to camp with him. Every effort was made
by the physicians to save the life of this brave and daring man,
but all in vain. I saw him a few hours before his death. He died
like a soldier. But before his death, was heard to say--"I
suppose this will be taken as evidence of my bravery, and I shall
be no longer suspected as a traitor."

His death was greatly lamented, and his loss severely felt--and
the circumstances taken altogether, rendered the case exceedingly
affecting, especially to some of the officers.

One of the most extraordinary characters in all the army, was an
old man by the name of _Ruddle_ who acted as a spy; this man made
many excursions alone, and would remain for several days
together, almost in the heart of the enemy; and perhaps advanced
farther to discover the movements of the British and Indians,
than even our Indian spies. During the stay at camp No. 3, the
most of the information that could be relied upon, respecting the
supplies which it was expected we should find in the fields at
the Rapids, came through _Ruddle_. Such dauntless courage is not
often found. To look at him you would think him touched off a
little with the _Potawatamie_. He was well acquainted with the
Indian mode of warfare; and, if I mistake not, had once been a
prisoner among them.

Soon after this the river was frozen so as to bear us across.
This enlarged our hunting ground, for now we were suffering
greatly for provisions. At one time, for eleven days, we had
nothing but pork, just killed, without salt. These privations
were submitted to with astonishing patience--there was scarcely a
whisper or a murmur in all the camp--which manifested a
patriotism worthy the cause in which they were engaged. On the
22d of December we were informed, by general order, that we
should have flour that day, and that the prospect was fair for a
constant supply.

The 24th was the period set for our stay at camp No. 3, which was
pleasing intelligence to the whole army. On the 25th, at sunrise,
we were commanded to march to the Rapids. Being the vanguard of
the North-Western Army, General Harrison instructed us to make a
stand there until we should be joined by the North-Western Army.
For some time previous we had been engaged in making sleds to
haul our baggage, some of which had to be drawn by the soldiers

A more pleasant and expeditious march than this had been
anticipated, for after much fatigue and labor, a great number of
canoes had been made, with which we expected our baggage would be
taken with great ease and safety down the river; but to our great
disappointment, before we could make preparations, or before our
provisions reached us--without which we could not move--cold
weather set in, and closed up the river. This circumstance at
first seemed to present an obstacle insurmountable; many of the
men were sick, and that sickness occasioned by being compelled to
eat fresh pork without bread or salt, and from being exposed to
cold and wet.

But this was not the only difficulty. Many who had not been so
provident, perhaps, as the case required, were bare of clothes,
and almost barefooted, and were ill prepared to undertake such a
march through the snow.

Thus, ill clad, worn down by fatigue and starvation, and chilled
by the cold wintry blasts of the north we were compelled to
brave--there was no alternative--our condition made it necessary
for us to fall upon some other plan to reach the Rapids, where we
expected to meet supplies. Under the impulse of this hope we went
to work and made sleds sufficient to carry the baggage. But as
these were not sufficient to take the sick, many of them had to
be left behind. On the 25th, as above stated, we bid adieu to
this memorable place, camp No. 3, where lie the bones of many a
brave man. This place will live in the recollection of all who
suffered there, and for more reasons than one. There comes up
before the mind the many times the dead march was heard in the
camp, and the solemn processsion that carried our fellow
sufferers to the grave--the many times we were almost on the
point of starvation--and the many sickening disappointments which
were experienced by the army from day to day, and from week to
week, by the failure of promised supplies, which were daily
expected: and, also, that here we parted with the sick, some of
whom we were to see no more.

Thus poorly equipped, deeply affected, and yet overjoyed, we took
up the line of march. The reader may ask how such a number of
sleds could be drawn, seeing there was not a supply of horses.
Some of them were drawn by the _men themselves_--five men were
hitched to a sleigh, and, through snow and water, dragged them on
at the rate of about ten miles a day. But to our great disadvantage
during our march, there was an immense fall of snow. It seemed that
the very elements fought against us. But notwithstanding all, we
moved slowly on towards the destined point. What the men suffered
by day, was comparatively nothing to what they experienced by
night. The reader can form but a faint idea unless he had been on
the spot, and had seen and felt what we saw and felt. Some time was
required to arrange the encampment, during which time the men were
compelled to keep their places in the lines, and thus become so
chilled as to be almost unfit for the necessary exertion of
preparing a resting place for themselves. The snow, which was about
knee deep, had first to be cleared away, then fire to be struck
with flint and steel, and when no lynn bark could be had, brush was
substituted in its place, which formed our bed. Hard and
uncomfortable as it was, yet such was our fatigue that we generally
slept soundly. To give a detailed account of individual suffering
during this march, from camp No. 3 to the Rapids, would swell this
sketch beyond its intended limits; and perhaps facts would be
related which the present generation, who have but little knowledge
of these things only from report, would scarcely believe.

Our little vehicles being made upon a small scale, were too light
to carry the burden put upon them, and not sufficiently high to
cross the little streams which lay in our way, consequently much
damage was done to our baggage, and our provisions (which were
barely sufficient to last us to the Rapids,) was much injured by
getting wet. This, it will be plainly seen, was well calculated
to increase our sufferings. In fact, the half of what was endured
on this slow and painful march has never yet been published to
the world, and perhaps never will.

"While on our march, General Winchester received another despatch
from the commander-in-chief, recommending him to abandon the
movement towards the Rapids, and fall back with the greater part
of his force to Fort Jennings. This advice was given in consequence
of some intelligence received from Colonel Campbell, at Massiniway,
respecting the force of Tecumseh on the Wabash. General Harrison
was apprehensive if the left wing advanced so far as the Rapids,
Tecumseh would be able to attack and destroy all the provisions in
the rear." Winchester had already commenced his march, and did not
wish to discontinue and return.

At length, on the 10th of January, we arrived at the Rapids.
General Winchester had previously sent forward a detachment of
six hundred and seventy men, under General Payne, to attack a
body of Indians which General Harrison had been informed was
lying in an old fortification at Swan creek, a few miles farther
down the river. After passing several miles below the old fort,
and discovering no appearance of Indians, the whole returned to
the position which the army intended to occupy.

About this time the clothes which were sent by the patriotic sons
and daughters of Kentucky, began to reach the army. The gratitude
of the troops generally was beyond expression. Some had withstood
the keen blasts of that cold northern country, until some time in
January, with linen hunting shirts and pantaloons, and many
almost without either shoes or socks. General Payne in a letter
to Governor Shelby, in which he expresses his gratitude, as well
as that of the troops, says--"As an _earnest_ of her disposition
to aid the National Government, Kentucky, at an early period,
with a characteristic ardour, sent forth more than her quota
required by the Government; and whilst a spark of genuine feeling
animates the breasts of her volunteers in the North-Western Army,
they can never cease to feel a lively gratitude for the further
_earnest_ of her anxiety for the cause, manifested in the late
abundant supply of clothing." It certainly was a source of
heartfelt satisfaction, to express a proper sense of the
obligations under which the patriotism of the _sons_ of Kentucky
had placed her volunteers; but the pleasure was greatly
heightened when we reflected that to the _daughters_ of Kentucky
we were mostly indebted for imperious supplies to meet the blasts
of a northern winter.

I hope it is not still too late (though many who engaged in that
laudable work have gone from this scene of war and bloodshed,)
for me to express my unfeigned gratitude to the daughters of my
native State for the blessings bestowed on me as an individual;
and as I have never had an opportunity before to express myself,
permit me further to say, that these favors, while I possess a
spark of feeling, shall never cease to produce a lively sense of
gratitude. Help, in real need, is not forgotten.

"On the day of our arrival a recent Indian camp was discovered
about one half mile from us. Captain Williams was immediately
despatched, with twenty five men, to pursue the Indians. He very
soon overtook and routed them. A few shots were exchanged, by
which some on both sides were wounded."

A large storehouse was immediately commenced for the purpose of
securing the provisions and baggage. We found a quantity of corn
in the fields, which was soon gathered; and before any machinery
was prepared to pound and sift it, a quantity was boiled whole,
and eaten without even salt. But we quickly arranged to have it
made into hommony, and after the hogs came, we fared well upon
"hog and hommony." You may judge of our relish for our food, when
I tell you that one of our company, whose name I will not give,
eat so much corn that he appeared to be actually foundered, and
unable to walk for more than a week.

On the evening of the thirteenth, two Frenchmen arrived from the
river _Raisin_ with information that the Indians routed by
Captain Williams had passed that place on their way to Malden,
carrying with them intelligence of our advance. They said the
Indians had threatened to kill their inhabitants and burn their
town, and begged for protection from the American arms. They were
charged with a despatch from Mr. Day, a citizen who was friendly
to our cause, and who stated that the British were seizing all
suspected persons at the river "Raisin," and confining them at
Malden prison, and were preparing to carry off all provisions of
every description. On the _fourteenth_ another messenger arrived,
and on the _sixteenth_ two more came in. They all confirmed the
news brought by the first, and solicited protection, as they were
afraid the people would be massacred and the town burned by the
Indians whenever our army should advance upon them. They stated
the present force of the enemy to be two companies of Canadians,
and about two hundred Indians, but that more Indians might be
expected to assemble. The greatest anxiety now prevailed in our
army to advance in force sufficient to defeat the enemy at that
place. A council of officers was called by the General, a
majority of whom were decidedly in favor of sending a strong
detachment--Colonel Allen supported that side of the question
with ardour.

On the morning of the seventeenth, Colonel Lewis, with five
hundred and fifty men, took up their line of march for the "river
Raisin." The same day Colonel Allen followed with one hundred and
ten more, who came up with Lewis late in the evening, where he
was encamped at Presque Isle, Early on the morning of the same
day General Winchester prepared a despatch to inform General
Harrison of this movement. He stated that his principal object
was to prevent the flour and grain from being carried off by the
enemy; that if he got possession of Frenchtown he intended to
hold it, and that a co-operating reinforcement from the right
wing might be necessary.

Before the express had started with this letter, information was
received from Colonel Lewis at Presque Isle, a distance of twenty
miles in advance, that there were four hundred Indians at the
river Raisin, and that Colonel Elliott was expected from Malden,
with a detachment to attack the camp at the Rapids. Colonel Lewis
set out very early next morning, intending, if possible, to
anticipate Colonel Elliott at Frenchtown. That village lies
midway between Presque Isle and Malden, the distance to each
being eighteen miles. The most of our march was on the ice on
Miami bay, and the borders of lake Erie. When we had arrived
within a few miles of the river Raisin we were discovered by some
Indians, who hastened to give the alarm to the main body of the
enemy. Before we left the border of the lake, a halt was called
to take some refreshment. Having resumed our march, a piece of
timbered land was passed through, and as the troops proceeded in
the open plain they were formed into three lines, each corps
being in the proper place for action. The right was commanded
by Colonel Allen, and was composed of the companies of Captains
McCracken, Bledsoe, and Matson. I was in Captain Bledsoe's
company during this expedition. The left wing was commanded by
Major Graves, and was composed of the companies of Hamilton,
Williams, and Kelly. The centre consisted of the companies of
Hightower, Collier, and Sabree, and was commanded by Major
Madison. The advance guard consisted of the companies of Captains
Hickman, Graves, and Jones, under the command of Captain Ballard,
acting as Major.

When we arrived within a quarter of a mile of the village, and
discovered the enemy in motion, the line of battle was formed--
expecting an immediate attack--but it was soon perceived the
enemy did not intend to risk a combat in the open field. The
detachment broke off by the right of companies and marched under
the fire of the enemy's cannon until we arrived on the river. We
succeeded well in crossing, though the ice in many places was
very slippery. Having crossed, instantly the long roll was beat
(the signal for a general charge.) Majors Graves and Madison were
ordered to possess themselves of the houses and picketing, about
which the enemy had collected, and where they had placed their
cannon. This order was promptly executed, and both battalions
advanced under an incessant shower of bullets; neither the
picketing nor fencing over which they passed retarded their
progress or success, for the enemy in that quarter was dislodged.--
meantime, Colonel Allen fell in with them a considerable distance
to the right, when, after pursuing them to the woods, they made a
stand with their howitzer and small arms, covered by a chain of
inclosed lots and a group of houses, having in their rear a thick
brushy wood filled with fallen timber. Orders were now given
through Major Garrard to Majors Graves and Madison to possess
themselves of the woods on the left, and move up towards the main
body of the enemy as fast as practicable, and divert their
attention from Colonel Allen. At the moment the fire commenced with
the battalions, the right wing advanced, and the enemy was soon
driven from the fencing and houses, and our troops began to enter
the woods in close pursuit. The fight now became very close, and
extremely hot on the right wing--the enemy concentrating the chief
of their forces of both kinds to force the lines, but still kept
moving in a retreat, although slowly, for we were much exhausted.
The joint exertions of Graves, Madison, and Allen, were successful
in completely routing the enemy. The distance they retreated before
us was not less than _two_ miles, and every foot of the way under
charge. The battle lasted from three o'clock until dark! The
detachment was then drawn off in good order, and encamped upon the
ground the enemy first occupied. About the going down of the sun, I
received a wound in my right shoulder. A moment before I received
the shot, I saw John Locke and Joseph Simpson advancing together,
some distance to the left, and ahead of the main body. One was
killed and the other wounded not far from the spot where I last saw

"The gallant conduct," says Colonel Lewis, "of Colonel Allen
during every charge of this warmly contested action, has raised
for him no ordinary military merit. Majors Graves and Madison
deserve high praise for their undeviating attention to orders,
and the energy and despatch with which they executed them.
Captain Blan B. Ballard also led the van with great skill and
bravery." He further says: "I take this opportunity of tendering
my most hearty thanks to Brigade Major Garrard, Captain Smith,
and Adjutant McCuller, who acted as my aids, for the great
support they gave me during the whole of the action. The company
officers acted with great bravery." The Colonel closes by saying,
"both officers and soldiers supported the double character of
Americans and Kentuckians." It was impossible for us to ascertain
the exact force of the enemy; but from the best information,
there were about _one_ hundred British and _four_ hundred
Indians. It was said Major Reynolds was present and commanded the
whole. Their number killed we could not ascertain, and perhaps it
is unknown to the Americans until the present time. From the
number found on the field where the battle commenced, and from
the blood and trails where they had dragged off their dead and
wounded, the slaughter must have been considerable. One Indian
and two Canadian militia were taken prisoners. So steady and
composed were our men in the assaults, that while the enemy were
killed or driven from their houses, not a woman or child was
injured. Our loss was _twelve_ killed and fifty five wounded.
Joseph Simpson was the only man belonging to Captain Simpson's
company that was killed in the first engagement. Very few of our
men were killed or wounded until we reached the woods; here we
fought under great disadvantages, not being acquainted with the
ground, and most of us being unacquainted with the Indian mode of
warfare. Thus our want of experience and eagerness to overtake
the enemy, gave them a decided advantage over us. Their method
was to retreat rapidly until they were out of sight, (which was
soon the case in the brushy woods,) and while we were advancing
they were preparing to give us another fire; so we were generally
under the necessity of firing upon them as they were retreating.
During the charge, I saw several of our brave boys lying upon the
snow wallowing in the agonies of death. But none could stop even
to help his brother, for our situation required the utmost
exertion of every man as long as he could render any service.

It was sometime after dark before we reached the place from which
we drove the enemy, where we encamped for the night, and where we
were accommodated with all the necessaries of life, and every
attention which our situation required. I cannot but speak a word
in favor of our physicians: too much cannot be said in their
praise for the prompt attention which they gave on that occasion.
Though it was late before the houses were prepared, and other
arrangements made for the accommodation of the wounded, yet every
man had his wounds dressed before the surgeons took any rest.
Their memory deserves to be perpetuated.

Immediately after the battle an express was sent to convey the
news of our success to General Winchester, at whose camp he
arrived before daylight; and from that place another was sent to
communicate the intelligence to General Harrison.

Colonel Lewis was determined, if possible, to hold the place
until a reinforcement could be sent on. We knew our situation was
very critical, being only _eighteen_ miles from Malden; yet it
appeared to make scarcely any impression upon our minds, so long
had we been in the region of the enemy, and so much had we
suffered from cold, hunger, and fatigue. The fare was now so
different to what we had been accustomed since we left the
settlement in Ohio--and some of the troops were so much elated
with having driven the enemy from their fortifications, and
having taken possession of their provisions, &c.--that we almost
seemed to forget that we had an enemy in the world.

On the evening of the nineteenth, General Winchester left the
Rapids with two hundred and fifty men, which were all that could
be spared from that post. He reached us on the night of the
twentieth, and encamped in an open lot on the right of the former
detachment. Colonel Lewis had encamped in a place where he was
defended by garden pickets, which were sufficient to defend from
an attack of small arms. Colonel Wells commanded the reinforcement;
and to him the General named, but did not positively command, a
breast-work for the protection of his camp. The General himself,
established his quarters in a house upon the south side of the
river; about three hundred yards from the camp.

On the 21st, a place was selected for the whole detachment to
encamp, in good order, with a determination to fortify the next
day. About sunset Colonel ------ solicited and obtained leave to
return to the Rapids. On this day, certain information was
obtained that the British were preparing for an attack, and that
we might look for it in a very short time. A Frenchman came from
Malden with information that a large force of British and
Indians--which he supposed would number near three thousand--were
about to march from that place shortly after he left it. But even
this was not credited, or if believed, was little regarded by
many of the troops! The most of the men acted as though they knew
themselves to be perfectly secure; some wandering; about the town
until a late hour at night! For myself, I can say, I felt little
dread, though I had reason to believe that our situation was very
perilous. I slept soundly until awaked by the startling cry of
"to arms! to arms!" and the thundering of cannon and roar of
small arms, and the more terific yelling of savages.

Major Madison and Colonel Lewis, together with most of the
officers, had cautioned their men to be on their guard, and be
prepared for an attack. Guards, as usual, were placed out; but as
it was extremely cold, no picket guard was placed upon the road
by which the enemy was expected to advance. At day-break, on the
morning of the 22nd, just as the drum began to beat, three guns
were fired by the sentinels; in an instant the men were at their
posts. The British now began to open a heavy fire of cannon and
small arms. They appeared mostly to direct their cannon to the
house which contained the ammunition, and where the wounded
officers lay. Every circumstance attending this awful scene,
conspired to make it more alarming--the time and manner in which
it was commenced--for they approached in the dark with profound
silence--not a breath was heard until all was ready, then, sudden
as a flash of powder, the bloody work began.

The first thing that presented itself to my sight, after awaking
out of sleep and going to the window, was the fiery tail of a
bombshell--and these came in quick succession. Just at this
moment, the fire of small arms from both sides began. For a
considerable time it was one continued roar. But I could,
nevertheless, distinguish between the enemies guns and our own.
The British regulars approached immediately in front of Colonel
Lewis' detachment, but did not long remain within the reach of
small arms, for a well directed fire from the pickets soon
repulsed them, with the loss of a number of their soldiers whom
they left upon the field. They would not have approached so near
if they had known precisely our situation. They told me whilst I
was at Detroit, that they thought we were encamped in the open
field outside of the garden pickets; but as soon as it was light,
and they discovered their mistake, they retreated. The yelling of
the Indians appeared to be mostly on the right, though some was
heard upon the left, but none in the centre.

The reinforcement which had arrived with General Winchester, and
which was unprotected by any breastwork, after maintaining the
conflict for a short time, was overpowered and fell back. Just at
this time General Winchester came up and ordered the retreating
troops to rally and form behind the second bank of the river, and
inclining toward the centre, take refuge behind the picketing.
These orders were probably not heard, and being hard pressed both
by the British and Indians in front and on their right flank,
they were completely thrown into confusion, and retreated in
disorder over the river. A detachment which was sent from the
pickets to reinforce the right wing, and a few others who
supposed the whole army was ordered to retreat, joined in its
flight. Those brave men, Colonels Allen and Lewis, both followed,
hoping to assist in rallying the troops. An attempt was made to
rally them on the south side of the river, behind the houses and
garden pickets, but all in vain; the Indians had taken possession
of the woods behind them, and thus completely cut off their
retreat, and no alternative now remained but to stand and fight a
superior force, which was every moment accumulating, and which
had every advantage, or to retreat to better ground. In their
dismay and confusion they attempted to pass a narrow lane--the
Indians were on both sides, and shot them in every direction. A
large party which had gained the woods on the right, were
surrounded and massacred without distinction.

Captain Watson, who was an eye-witness, states, "that after
crossing the river, they attempted to form and give battle, but
the houses being in the way, they failed in the attempt. They
then retreated through a lane for one hundred yards, on the sides
of which a number of Indians were placed, who injured them very
much." He, though wounded, joined in the retreat. He further
states "that the Indians pursued on each side for about one mile,
they then fell back in the rear." He then saw Colonel Lewis and
requested him to form the men and make a stand against the
Indians once more, as many of the men were wounded and could
retreat no farther. The attempt was made without success, as many
were without arms. He afterwards saw General Winchester, and
begged of him for God's sake to make a stand, as the Indians were
in close pursuit, and he himself was much exhausted, and was
convinced that many more were in the same condition. The General
informed him that the men could not be rallied.

After retreating about three miles from Raisin they came to a
field, those on foot passed through, and those on horseback rode
around. Here Captain Watson, General Winchester, Colonel Lewis,
Doctor Ervine and Doctor Patrick, were seen going slowly forward,
their horses much fatigued, and a number of Indians pursuing on
fresh horses, who soon overtook them.

Captain Watson, seeing the Indians within one hundred yards of
him, slipped through a fence, pulled off his shoes, ran along the
fence in a stooping position about sixty yards, and hid himself
in some high grass. The Indians continued to pursue those who
were before. He thinks there were not more than fifty men ahead
of him. After the Indians had passed by, the Captain moved to a
prairie, where he concealed himself until dark, and then pushed
on to the Rapids, keeping the road a distance to the right.

Mr. Newel, one of Captain Watson's company, concealed himself in
a barn, near to where the Indians returned. His account is, that
they had "a number of scalps tied to their saddles, and a number
also of our men tied." He left the barn on the 23d at night--lost
his way, and went back to the river Raisin in the night. He was
there informed that all who stood their ground had been taken
prisoners, and that but few had been killed. It is due to the
memory of Doctor Davis to notice a circumstance which was related
by one of the wounded. He stated, that at the commencement of the
action he took a gun belonging to a companion of his, also
wounded, and moved forward to join the company; the Doctor seeing
him, said, "give me the gun, your situation will not allow you to
expose yourself," and went himself into the engagement--showing
his promptness in every part of duty, whether in dressing the
wounded, or in facing the enemy as a private soldier.

I made inquiry of all the prisoners which I could see, about
Colonel Allen and Captain Simpson, but could hear nothing
satisfactory. I spent a year in prison with several men who were
in the retreating party, and often heard them relate what they
knew of that sad affair; but as they did not belong to our
company, and were not personally acquainted with Colonel Allen
and Captain Simpson, and as they were in such a state of alarm--
all around being dismay and confusion--they could not particularly
notice any person, but directed their whole attention toward their
own personal safety. Perhaps the whole truth relating to those
brave men, who fell in the retreating party, will never be known.
It has been related that Captain Simpson fell not far from the
mouth of the lane through which the troops had just passed. It has
also been stated of Colonel Allen: "After making several
unsuccessful efforts to rally his men--entreating them to halt, and
to sell their lives as dearly as possible--that he had retreated
about two miles, until he was exhausted; he then sat down upon a
log and resigned himself up to his fate. An Indian Chief perceiving
him to be an officer of distinction, was anxious to make him a
prisoner. As soon as he came to the Colonel, he threw his gun
across his lap and told him in Indian to surrender and he should be
safe. Another savage having advanced with a hostile appearance,
Colonel Allen, with one stroke of his sword, laid him dead at his
feet. A third Indian had the honor of shooting one of the first and
bravest men of Kentucky.

Before we leave the retreating party, it may not be out of place
to record two circumstances which show the estimate which the
Indians set upon bravery, and also how they treat cowardice. The
circumstances were related to me as follows: A young man after
the Indians had taken him prisoner, and appeared inclined to save
his life, showed great alarm, and at length told the Indians that
he would tell them where they might find a great many white men,
and might kill them all, &c. The Indians instantly took his life,
although until then they had showed no hostility toward him. The
other related to the narrator himself. He stated that after the
Indians took him prisoner, they marched him very hard, until he
became so much exhausted that he was no longer able to travel as
fast as they wished him to go. They shook their tomahawks at him,
and told him that he must march faster or die. He was starving
and sick, but he kept on as fast and as far as he could, and when
he could go no farther he laid down upon the ground and told them
to kill him. They motioned with their weapons as if they intended
to take his life, but when they saw his resolution they became
attached to him, and aided him all they could to go on the
journey, and were kind to him as long as he remained with them.

After the British had withdrawn their forces from our front, and
the Indians had mostly disappeared, and the firing, save a few
scattering guns from some scouting Indians, had ceased, the
situation of the retreating party became a matter of anxious
concern with Colonel Lewis' detachment, which was left within the
picketing. Some were heard to express their fears that they were
generally cut off, because of the firing heard in that direction.
During all the time the troops within the pickets stood to their
posts, and now in this critical moment fully sustained the
character of brave Kentuckians. Majors _Madison_ and _Garrard_,
when the amunition grew short in the catridge boxes, were
employed busily to furnish the men with a supply, carrying them
around in their pocket handkerchiefs and strewing them upon the
ground at the soldiers' feet, and at the same time exhorting them
never to think of a surrender. Some of our brave men fell by a
party of savages coming up under the north bank of the river.
From the house containing the wounded, they were discovered.
Information was given immediately, and by a detachment they were
soon routed.

The firing now had ceased, except a shot as an Indian was seen
passing about. The men had to keep a strict look out to prevent
surprise, as the Indians were skulking about, and no one felt
safe for a single moment. After the cannon, which had been placed
down the river about two hundred yards, had ceased firing--the
horse and driver which supplied the ammunition being killed--
those of us who had received wounds in the battle (myself among
the rest,) proceeded to take our breakfasts of a little light
bread. This was all that we could now procure.

All the while we were at a loss to know why the British troops
had been withdrawn to the woods, and the Indians left alone to
contend by themselves; but we afterwards learned that they were
waiting the return of the Indians who had pursued the retreating
party. When they returned they brought _General Winchester_ and
_Colonel Lewis_ with them.

As soon as General Proctor, the British commander, heard that
General Winchester was taken, he basely determined to take
advantage of it, and thereby procure the surrender of all those
within the picketing. He represented to the General that nothing
but an immediate surrender could save the Americans from an
indiscriminate Indian massacre. It was not until the flag
approached, borne by Major Overton, one of the Generals' aids,
bringing orders from General Winchester to surrender, that we
dreamed that the General, or Colonel Lewis, were prisoners. When
this news reached the troops, that General Winchester had
surrendered the whole as prisoners to the British, it was like a
shock of lightning from one end of the lines to the other. A
number declared that they never would submit, let the consequences
be what they might. But when they found that Majors Madison and
Garrard had consented to obey the orders of General Winchester,
some of them, in great rage, threw down their guns with such force
as: to shiver the stocks from the barrels.

When the flag above named was first discovered to advance,
various conjectures were entertained of the design. The greater
number supposed that the enemy was tired of the game and wished
to quit, and desired permission to bury their dead, which were
not few. There were also many badly wounded. It was plain to
discover where their lines had been formed, by the number of
killed and wounded still lying on the field.

When Major Madison approached the flag, Colonel Proctor, with
great haughtiness, demanded an immediate surrender, or he would
set the town on fire, and that the Indians should not be
restrained from committing an indiscriminate massacre. Major
Madison observed "that it had been customary for the Indians to
massacre the wounded prisoners after a surrender," and "that he
could not agree to any capitulation which General Winchester
might direct, unless the safety and protection of his men were
secured." Colonel Proctor then said, "Sir, do you mean to dictate
for me?" "No," replied Madison, "I mean to dictate for _myself_--and
we prefer to sell our lives as dearly as possible, rather
than be massacred in cold blood." Proctor then agreed to receive
a surrender upon the terms, that all private property should be
respected--that sleds should be sent next morning to remove the
sick and wounded to Amherstburg--and that in the mean time they
should be protected by a guard, and the side arms should be
restored to the officers at Malden.

But this unprincipled deceiver, bearing the title of General,
suffered the savages to violate the treaty before his own eyes.
Whilst the men were in parade to surrender their arms in order,
the Indians began to tear up the tents and to plunder in every
direction gathering up every thing in the shape of clothing, and
every knapsack which they could find. I could not bear arms from
my wound, and whilst the men were on parade, some time before
they were marched off, I was passing about and noticing the
movements and work of the Indians. They were striving who should
get the most plunder. I passed around to the front of the house
to take a look at the boys before they left us; they braved it
off as well as might have been expected. Some looked a little
dejected--others joked and laughed. One, who had not yet fallen
into the ranks, was standing upon a stile-block, and said to the
English: "Well, you have taken the greatest set of game cocks
that ever came from Kentuck." I wish I could remember his name--
he was calculated to remind one of a game cock.

_John Locke_ and _Jesse Fisher_, of our company, were badly
wounded; and as both Proctor and Elliott had promised to send
sleds for us in the morning, and though able to walk myself, I
resolved to risk it, and stay and assist those who were not able
to help themselves. _Captain Hart_, of Lexington, Kentucky,
expressed great anxiety to be taken with the prisoners to Malden.
His men offered to carry him, and were reluctant to leave him
behind; but Colonel Elliott, the commander of the Indians, being
well acquainted with Hart and his family--having in former life
received great favors from them in Kentucky--assured him that he
need not be under the least apprehension of danger--that the
Indians would not molest those that were left--and that, upon the
honor of a soldier, he would send his own sleigh for him on the
next morning and have him conveyed to Malden.

Some of the more discerning apprehended great danger in being
left, and insisted on all that could go to do so. The brave
Captain Hickman saw the danger, and desired all that could walk
not to remain; for, said he to Mr. Holton, (now Captain Holton,)
"there are more of us here now than will ever get away." This,
from what I could afterwards learn, was the sentiment entertained
and expressed by all the officers. But what could they do in
their wounded and defenceless condition, being no doubt doomed to
death by the infamous Proctor and Elliott.

These brave officers and soldiers, who had battled against the
very elements for months, and had passed through sufferings
almost equal to death itself, lived through it all only to meet
the most horrid of all deaths--of being butchered in cold blood,
and that without having the power or means of defence.

The parting was a solemn one, and not only solemn, but in
reference to most of those unhappy victims, it was final. Many
were greatly affected, especially the friends of Hart and
Hickman. But having fallen into the hands of a bloody and
heartless tyrant, this brave "Spartan band" were compelled to
submit to his cruel dictates.

No time was now to be lost--all eyes were directed towards the
Rapids--the cowardly Proctor dreaded the approach of General
Harrison, and therefore made all possible speed to get out of his
way, fearing to meet so brave and experienced an officer; and
well he might, for the sight of General Harrison at that time
would have been death to the hopes and prospects of these red and
white savages, while it would have been a jubilee to those
hapless Kentuckians who were doomed to death.

After a few formalities of delivering up arms, &c., they were
hurried off and driven like so many beasts to market, but with
much less tenderness and kindness than a merciful man would show
to his beast. After their arrival at Malden, they were crowded
into a pen, and there guarded, without anything to protect them
from the weather. Their bread, what little they got, was thrown
to them like throwing corn to swine.

Though there was a much shorter rout by which the prisoners might
have been returned to their own country, yet this did not satisfy
these wanton tyrants--nothing would do but the prisoners must, in
the dead of winter, march on foot up Detroit river; thence up the
Thames, to Delaware town; thence across the country to Burlington
Heights; and from this point to Fort Niagara--a distance perhaps
of five hundred miles--when the whole could have been accomplished
in about two days' march, by sending them back to the Rapids, where
they would have fallen in with their friends at once. But no,--
nothing but the infliction of suffering would satisfy those cruel

These things are but barely mentioned, that the attention of the
young and rising generation may be led to reflect upon them. And
that they may have some knowledge of what their fathers suffered
in defence of the liberties they now so richly enjoy.

After the men were marched off every thing was quiet; now and
then an Indian was seen straying about as though seeking plunder.
They did not manifest hostility, and our fears began to subside,
and we hoped to be conveyed to the army on the next morning.

Doctors Todd and Bowers were left to take care of the wounded.
Major Reynolds and and three interpreters composed the only guard
to protect the wounded from the savages. We were hoping that
General Harrison, then on his way from the Rapids, would just at
that time arrive and give us relief by his reinforcement. Major
Reynolds was evidently uneasy lest Harrison should arrive. Some
of the Indians staid in town until late in the night. Major
Reynolds and the interpreters left some time in the night; at
least they left our house, and we saw them no more.

As night came on, our fears began to increase. An Indian came
into the house and told us that he thought there was danger to be
feared from some Indians, which he thought were disposed to do
mischief. He manifested some uneasiness himself; perhaps fearing
that some Indian might shoot into the house. He appeared to be
well acquainted with the affairs of the Indians, in general, and
had some knowledge of the movements and designs of the British
and American armies--which he was not at all backward in
expressing. He spoke the English language fluently; and from his
manners, I would infer that he had spent much of his life with
the white population. His principal object seems to have been to
gain all the information possible about General Harrison, and the
strength of the Northwestern army. It is probable, however, that
another object of his visit was to find out from us whether we
thought it probable that General Harrison would advance
immediately with the main body of his army to make an attack upon
Malden. He gained but little information from us. There was but
one man of our company thoughtless enough to give any _correct_
information, whose name I shall not mention. He told us many
things about Tecumseh and the Indians from the north that were
coming to join them in the spring. He seemed to entertain no
doubt but that they would, when all their forces were brought
together, find it an easy matter to conquer all the armies the
United States could send to the north. After remaining in our
room about two hours, he very politely bid us good night, and
left us.

After the departure of this Indian chief, (for I have but little
doubt but what he was among the principal leaders of the Indian
forces,) some conversation ensued among ourselves in reference to
the designs of this crafty and intelligent chief.

There was, as well as I can recollect, but one opinion expressed
on the subject; and I believe it was the opinion of all, that
that would be the last night with most of us. We dreaded an
attack during the night; for this Indian, just as he left, said
"I am afraid some of the mischievious boys will do some mischief
before morning." After remaining in this state of suspense for
more than an hour, expecting every moment that the savages would
come rushing upon us; but every thing becoming quiet, we laid
down upon our blankets to rest: but rested very little during
this dismal night. Dreadful as was the night, the morning was
more fearful. Just as the sun had risen upon us, and our hopes
began to rise; and just as we were about to eat the morsel of
bread left us by our friends who had been marched off the day
before, that we might be ready at a moments warning to leave,
should the British send sleighs for us, we heard a noise in the
passage, and before we had time to think, the door of our room
was forced open by an Indian, who entered with tomahawk in hand,
ready to commence his bloody work. He was quickly followed by
others. Their first object was plunder. They had no sooner
entered the door of our room, than they began, in the most cruel
manner, to strip the blankets and clothes off the wounded as they
lay upon the floor. Fortunately for me, I was at the opposite
side of the room from the door at which the Indians entered, near
a door leading into the front room of the house; and finding
there was no time to lose, I immediately passed out into the
front room, where I met one of the most savage looking Indians I
ever beheld. His very appearance was enough to terrify the
stoutest heart. His face painted as black as charcoal could make
it, plainly indictive of his deadly design; a bunch of long
feathers fastened on his head, almost as large as a half bushel;
a large tomahawk, the instrument of death, in his right hand; a
scalping knife fastened to his belt. He instanly seized me by the
collar, and led me out at the front door. At first I manifested
some unwillingness to go with him. He then spoke very earnestly
in his own language, and at the same time pulled me along
forcibly, as if to remove me from the scene of death within. He
led me through the front gate, and down the river about one
hundred yards to the other houses, in which were Captains _Hart_,
_Hickman_, and others. After leading me through the front gate,
he left me. Just at this time, Captain Hart came out of his room,
barefooted, with nothing on but shirt and drawers. In this
condition he stood in the snow for some length of time pleading
for his life. I here met with the chief who had been in our room
in the evening. Captain _Hart_ understanding the designs of
Proctor and Elliott, and knowing that the only possible chance
for life, under the circumstances, was to make some arrangement
with the Indians. For this purpose he sought an interview with
this one, as he seemed to be a leader, and very intelligent. They
met in the front yard, near the gate, about the time I came in.

I stood by and heard the conversation. Captain Hart's first
remark, if I mistake not, was, that he was an acquaintance of
Colonel Elliott's, and that he (Elliott) had promised to send his
own sleigh for him. The Indian replied, "Elliott has deceived
you--he does not intend to fulfill his promise." Well, said Capt.
Hart, "if you will agree to take me, I will give you a horse, or
a hundred dollars. You shall have it on our arrival at Malden."
The Indian said, "_I cannot take you_." "Why?" asked Captain
Hart. "You are too badly wounded," said the Indian. Captain Hart
then asked the Indian, what they intended to do with them?
"Boys," said the Indian, raising himself up into an attitude and
air of consequence and insult, "_your are all to be killed_."
Though involved in the same calamity myself, I could but notice
the calmness and composure with which the brave officer received
the sentence of death. The only reply which I heard him make was
in the language of prayer to Almighty God to sustain him in this
hour of trial. Feeling that the awful sentence included myself as
well as all the rest, my heart seemed to sink within me,
expecting every moment to receive the fatal blow. Just at this
moment an Indian dragged Captain Hickman out of the house by one
arm, and threw him down near where I stood, with his face on the
snow. He was tomahawked, but not yet dead. He lay strangling in
his blood. From this scene I turned away, and walking round the
end of the house, towards the back yard, met an Indian at the
corner of the house, who took hold of me and searched my pockets
for money, but finding none, passed on. I then passed on round
the house, leaving the main building on my right, and walking
slowly that I might not appear to have any design, and that I
might not attract the attention of the enemy. I thought,
possibly, I might reach a small log building which I discovered
not far from the house. As there was but one small entrance into
it, and as it appeared dark within, it seemed to present the only
possible refuge; and as there was no time to lose, and as life
and death were depending, I determined to make the attempt to
gain this place of retreat. But as I was within a few paces of my
hiding place, an Indian coming from the opposite direction met
me, and taking hold of me, asked me where I was wounded: I placed
my hand upon my shoulder. He then felt of it, and finding that
the wound was not bad, he took me back to the house where he had
deposited his plunder; put a blanket around me, gave me a hat,
then took me to the back door of the house in which the wounded
lay, and gave me his gun and plunder in charge. In a moment every
thing seemed to wear a different aspect. I now experienced one of
those sudden transitions of mind impossible to be either
conceived or expressed, except by those whose unhappy lot it has
been, to be placed in like circumstances. Until now, despair had
spread its gloomy mantle over me; but hope, that cheering
companion, again visited my sinking heart, and I again saw a
faint prospect that my life _might_ be spared. Thus situated, I
had time to see what was passing around me. I had command of the
way leading to Malden; and I saw but one road. I remained in this
position about two hours, during which time I saw several pass--I
suppose all who were able. Here I saw a striking example of the
estimate a man places on life. I saw some of our own company--old
acquaintances who were so badly wounded that they could scarcely
be moved in their beds, understanding that those who could not
travel on foot to Malden were all to be tomahawked, pass on their
way to Malden, hobbling along on sticks. Poor fellows, they were
soon overtaken by their merciless enemies and inhumanly
butchered. A few moments after, being placed here by the Indian
who claimed me, another Indian set fire to the house. The fire
was built in the passage near the backdoor where I stood. After
the fire had taken considerable hold of the house, an Indian came
running down stairs with a keg of powder in his hand, with the
head out. Just as he got to the foot of the stairs his foot
slipped, and he come very near falling into the fire with the
powder. Had the powder caught, both he and I would have perished.

The general opinion, I believe is, in reference to Captain Hart,
that an Indian engaged to take him to Malden; and that another
Indian, unwilling that he should go, shot him on the road. This
may be true, but has always appeared to me improbable. From the
position I occupied, having command of the way to Malden, I
believe I saw all who passed in that direction, but saw nothing
of Captain Hart. Upon the whole, I am induced to think that
Captain Hart met his fate in the front yard where I left him.

I remained here until the roof of the house set on fire had
fallen in. I heard no cry within, from which I infered that the
wounded were killed before the house was burnt.

My Indian finally returned, bringing with him one of the United
States' pack horses; and placing his bundle of plunder on him,
gave me the bridle, making signs to march on towards Malden. I
soon found the bodies of those poor hapless boys who had made the
attempt, but were too badly wounded to travel, massacred,
scalped, and stripped. When we reached the woods, we halted a
short time by the fire. We then went on to Stony creek, where the
British had encamped the night before the battle. Their wounded
were still there, waiting to be conveyed to Malden.

Here the Indians made a large fire of rails, and gave the
prisoners some bread. Our number was eight or ten. As we were
eating, one of the Indians deliberately walked up to his
prisoner, a fine looking young man, a son of Dr. Blythe of
Lexington, and struck the tomahawk into his head. I was looking
the young man in the face when he received the deadly blow; he
closed his eyes, and sunk under the first stroke of the deadly
weapon. After he had fallen, and received two or three strokes
from the hand of the Indian, an old Frenchman took the weapon out
of the hand of the savage and gave the dying man another stroke
upon the head, which stilled him in death.*

*[Having marked the place where this old Frenchman lived, in
order that I might the more readily find him, should I ever be
permitted to visit the country again: and having taken particular
notice of the house, I found no difficulty in ascertaining its
location, and even the very habitation in which the old tory

After the lapse of about eighteen months, from the time I was
there a prisoner with the Indians, I was there again under
_General McArthur_, who commanded a regiment of mounted
volunteers--one battalion of which was from Kentucky, under the
command of Major _Peter Dudley_.

Passing by this old man's house, in company with Benjamin
Whitaker, our Lieutenant, we met this man in the street near his
own house; I immediately recognized him as the individual who had
so inhumanly assisted in the massacre of young Mr. Blythe, at
Stony creek.

I mentioned the circumstance to Whitaker, and asked his advice in
reference to the course best to be pursued; who instantly
replied, "_let us take him_." I was glad of the opportunity, and
forthwith approached him, and the first salutation, as near as I
can recollect, was, "_Well sir, do you know any thing of me?_"
His reply was, "No sir, I know nothing about you." "Well sir,"
said I, "I know you very well." He seemed at first to be somewhat
surprised at my confident address, and looking on me very
earnestly seemed to express some doubts on the subject. I,
however, soon removed the old man's doubts, by remarking to him,
"You are the man who was guilty of the cruel and inhuman act of
assisting the savages in killing one of the prisoners at Stony
creek, taken at Raisin, January 23, 1813. You are the very man,
sir, and I saw you do it." These words come upon him, no doubt,
very unexpectedly; and being seconded by the voice of conscience
within, made him tremble. He discovered evident marks of fear,
his countenance grew pale in an instant; and finding that his
very fear had betrayed him, he did not deny it; but offered as an
excuse that the Indians required it of him, and that he was
afraid to refuse. This excuse, however, did not satisfy us. We
considered, that as a citizen of Detroit, he had no business with
the British army in time of battle. We, therefore, took him,
without any further ceremony about it, and delivered him over to
the proper authorities. He was confined in jail for eight or ten
days, and then brought out for trial. I, of course, was the only
evidence that appeared against him. He plead the same excuse he
did when we first arrested him.

After nearly a whole day's managing in the matter, between the
lawyers and the jury, and after alarming the old fellow nearly to
death, they acquitted him.

I soon found that this circumstance had enraged the French
population against me--particularly the old Catholic French. I,
therefore, found it necessary, when going alone up town, to take
my gun with me well loaded: this I considered a sufficient
protection against any attack from that quarter.]

This greatly alarmed us. There appeared to be nothing in his
case, that we could see, that made it necessary for him to die
and not the rest of us. We now expected every moment to share the
same barbarity. One of our company, a young man by the name of
Jones, was so terified that he began to weep, and moved to the
opposite side of the fire, thinking that those nearest the danger
would be the first victims. We urged him to be still, and not to
discover such marks of fear, or that he would certainly be
killed. The Indian who had taken me, and claimed me as his, was
at this time a few steps from us, adjusting his pack; I stepped
up to him, and asked him if they were going to kill us all. He
answered "_yes_." I went back to the fire and tried to eat, as
well as I could, without an appetite. It was now about two
o'clock, P. M., and having eaten but little for three days past,
and that day had taken nothing until we arrived at Stony creek;
but this awful cold-blooded butchery took away all desire for
food. I soon saw that he did not understand my question, and I
was then somewhat relieved. It has been said, and perhaps with
due regard to truth, that many of the Indians engaged in this
dreadful havoc, were under the influence of rum. They were
supplied with it by the British, and when under its influence
were more savage than savages.

We now took up our march towards Malden, leaving some of the
Indians and their prisoners behind. Some of them I saw no more.
They may have shared the same fate at the fire as the young man
above. He was as able to travel as any of us, being only slightly
wounded. He had no shoes--this may have been the reason why they
did not take him on. We had gone but a short distance until we
came to a number of Indians who were dancing the war dance
around the fire. Here some of them had encamped on the night
before the battle. As soon as we arrived, I saw that the Indians
were drunk. Here my fears were again alarmed--being in the midst
of a savage camp--dancing the war dance--the blood of scores
fresh upon them--and under the influence of strong drink! Whilst
my Indian kept sober I had some hopes of protection. It was not
loner however until I saw him go into the dance and begin to
drink. Now I almost yielded myself up to despair. As I stood
holding his horse with a sad countenance, he came to me and gave
me a roasted potato. He also made some expression of friendship,
which once more tended to revive my drooping hopes.

The Indians having finished their dance, we proceeded towards
Malden, and at night we encamped in the woods upon the snow. We
took supper upon a piece cut from the side of a hog, boiled with
the hair on, without bread and without salt. It rained during the
night, and our situation was anything but agreeable; yet I felt
thankful that it was no worse.

Many strange reflections rolled across my mind during the
evening. The scenes of the day--such as I had never before
witnessed--would occasionally force themselves upon my mind, the
tendency of which was to spread a gloom upon every thing around
me, and to heighten my fears. We were in a dense forest, removed
from the sight of any habitation of man, the snow about eighteen
inches deep, the rain making it still more insupportable.

I kept my eyes upon the Indians, particularly the one to whom I
belonged, watching every motion, every step, and expression of
his countenance. As the shades of night began to close upon our
gloomy retreat, it seemed to shed a double horror upon the scene.
The sad and heart-chilling thought would, in spite of all the
efforts I could make to frown it back, intrude itself upon me,
that I had been saved from the massacre only to meet a more
horrid fate--that the fire they had kindled was perhaps to serve
the double purpose of cooking their supper and roasting me to
death. Whenever any of the company would take his tomahawk in his
hand, the thought would instantly spring up, now I am gone.

This, take it altogether, was among the most trying scenes
through which I passed during my imprisonment; not that I was
actually in more danger, but taking all the circumstances
together--the place, the time, and being separated from my
friends in suffering, and being thrown alone, and for the first
time to be secluded from all but a few savages whose hands were
yet stained with the blood of my countrymen, and not knowing the
moment my own might be shed--produced emotions extremely
distressing and trying.

After we had eaten, the Indians began to make preparations for
lodging, by scraping away the snow and placing bark down upon
which to spread their blankets; they suspended a blanket, by
means of a few poles, so as to keep the rain out of our faces.
After engaging themselves in conversation for some sime, which
they seemed to enjoy exceedingly, and which was occasionally
accompanied with loud exultations, the proposition was made to
retire for the night. My feelings now became indescribable.
Strange as it may appear, I was apprehensive that after I fell
asleep they would take that opportunity to despatch me; a death
of this kind appeared to me the most dreadful of all others. With
these feelings, by their direction I lay down, and knowing that
they were careful to save all articles of clothing, I tied up my
head in my pocket handkerchief, hoping that this might be some
protection, believing that they would not tomahawk me without
removing it, which I supposed they could not do without awaking
me. Thus I lay me down by the side, and under the same blanket,
with the Indian who claimed me, with fearful apprehensions that I
should never again see the light of the sun. But notwithstanding
the cold, the snow and rain, and my perilous condition, such had
been the excitement of the day that I was completely overcome,
and very soon fell into a sound sleep, and slept sweetly until
morning. The light of the morning was hailed with expressions of
gratitude to a kind and merciful Providence which had shielded me
through such a night. With the return of the day I had a return
of hope that I should yet be spared.

Early next morning we started on through the snow, mud and water.
We had but little to eat, and no opportunity to warm; my clothing
was scant, and not sufficient to protect me against the weather.
We fell in with several small companies of Indians, some on foot
and others on horseback, none offering any violence or showing
any hostility, but all appearing anxious to look at me and make
inquiries. Occasionally we heard a gun on the right or left; but
when we got into the vicinity of Malden the firing was almost
incessant--it seemed that the whole face of the country was
covered with Indians, rejoicing over a vanquished enemy. I again
began to feel that my condition was exceedingly perilous, and
that I was only spared from the tomahawk at Raisin, to be led to
the slaughter at Malden. Though I did not at this time fear so
much from the Indian that claimed me as his, yet I had much to
fear from the enraged and drunken savages which were to be seen
in every direction.

A short time before night, as we were passing an old house, a
squaw came out crying, and commenced beating me with all her
strength. She smote me on my wounded shoulder, and raised my
temper. For a short time I cared but little whether I lived or
died, I thought if this was to be my treatment whenever I met a
squaw, that I might as well give up at once and die. This was,
however, my first and last whipping from a female Indian. That
night we lodged at the house of a Frenchman, whose family was
very kind. We went forward again next morning, and that day we
reached the home of this Indian.

But on our way, having to pass the vicinity of Detroit, the
Indians called at the house of the old Frenchman who had stained
his hands in the blood of young Mr. Blythe, at Stony creek--(I
have since learned that this was the name of the young man.) They
held a long conversation which I could not understand, because
they conversed in Indian. The Frenchman seemed to enter heartily
into the spirit of rejoicing. They smoked together, and passed
other Indian compliments, all of which I noticed particularly;
and not only that, but marked the place, and promised myself that
if opportunity should offer, to pay him for it.

From this point we left the main road, leaving Detroit to our
right; we soon passed through a large Indian camp; just as we
were entering, a company came in who had been at the battle at
Raisin, bringing in their wounded in sleighs; the one which I saw
appeared to be very badly wounded, and contrary to all Indian
custom, or dignity of Indian character, was heard to groan. But
notwithstanding his extreme pain, he cast a most savage look at
me as the sleigh passed.

In passing this camp many Indians came to the door of their tents
to look, particularly the young squaws. Under all the
circumstances, passing through just as they were, returning from
the bloody scene of Raisin, and also bringing in some badly,
perhaps mortally, wounded, I had fearful apprehensions--I knew
not what moment an enraged savage would take my life.

After leaving this camp--at which we made no stay--I felt greatly
relieved, believing there was some hope that we might pass safely
on to our place of destination. As well as I recollect, we passed
but very few Indians after this; but about sunset, when within a
short distance of our Indian home, in passing over a pond on the
ice, which at that time was covered with snow, the horse slipped
and fell, but after some difficulty we succeeded in getting him
on his feet again, and soon reached the vicinity of camp, which
was announced to me by the Indian commencing the war-whoop at the
top of his voice, which was responded to by a number of voices as
loud and terrible as his own. All seemed to understand it--it was
the sound of victory. As soon as we approached near enough to be
recognized, every Indian, male and female, were out--all eyes
directed towards us--and every man and boy shouted to the extent
of their ability.

My feelings by this time--having recently witnessed so many
scenes of blood, and having passed through so many hair-breadth
escapes myself--had become almost deadened; but upon the approach
of this camp, amid the shouts of savages, and not knowing for
what purpose I should be brought there, unless to be a victim of
sport for them, I _felt_, and this is all that I can say--for to
express _what_ I felt, I find to be impossible.

Here we found the home of his wife, and her father and mother,
who all seemed glad to see us. The old squaw took me by the hand
and led me into the hut, and gave me something to eat, which was
in place. I now began to feel that I had friends in this family,
and considered myself pretty safe. We spent about two weeks at
this place, a few miles west of Detroit. A day or two before we
left this encampment the Indians determined on having a spree.
They went to Detroit and traded for a keg of rum. They had not
been at home long until most of the men were drunk. I now again
felt myself in danger, for one of them attempted to take my life;
I escaped because he was drunk and could not get to me. That
night the squaws hid me out in the woods behind a log in the
snow. They made me a bed of hay, and covered me with their
blankets. When I awaked in the morning the frolic was all over.
The Indians were lying about round the fires like hounds after a
hard chase; the whiskey was dying in them, and they were sleepy
and sick. The Indians now made ready to go out to their hunting
ground; and after a few days' preparation we started. As well as
I am able to judge, we travelled a west course. We were upon the
road about two weeks; our sufferings were great from the intense
cold, and from hunger; we had nothing to eat but what the hunters
could kill by the way. I rendered what assistance I could in
catching raccoons and porcupines, for these were our principal
living whilst on the road. I suppose we travelled one hundred and
fifty miles before we reached our destination. We now began to
fare a little better, though we sometimes still suffered with
hunger--it was either a _feast_ or a _famine_ with us. The
Indians would eat up all the provisions with as much despatch as
possible, and let every day provide for itself. Thus we spent our
time for several weeks.

Here I will give an account of a very aged man who I saw on our
way out to this place. There were many families on the way at the
same time--not only their wives and children, but their young
men. This caused me to think that they did not expect any more
war during the winter season. It seemed that when their actual
services were not necessary, they were then left to shift for
themselves. This was in perfect character with all the doings of
the British during this war. We had been travelling near a week,
and our hunters were so fortunate as now to kill a deer. We
encamped at the foot of a hill, so as to be screened by it from
the keen northern blasts, and have the benefit of the sun. During
our stay at this camp, the old Chief killed another deer, which,
with raccoons and porcupines, afforded us plenty of food. The
Indians made an offering of the oil, and part of the flesh of the
deer, to the _Great Spirit_, by burning it. This I took to be
their thank offering for their success in finding a supply of
provisions. Before they left the encampment they burned some
tobacco; the design of this I did not so well understand. Soon
after we began to march, I saw the marks of a cane in the snow,
and as the Indians do not use them, I supposed we were overtaking
some prisoners. The second day after I saw the cane tracks, we
came up with a company of Indians, and here I saw the old Indian
who had the cane. The moment I saw him my attention was arrested
by his very grave and ancient appearance. His head was whitened
over with, I have no doubt, the frosts of more than one hundred
winters, and still he travelled, and kept pace with the horses
and young men, from morning till evening. This was the most aged
Indian which I saw during my sojourn with them. Their old men are
much more vigorous and free from infirmity than ours. They walk
erect, and command great respect from all the younger--their
counsel is heard with profound attention and respect.

During the month of March the Indians sent to their town for
corn. We fared better now, but the corn did not last long; so we
were soon thrown back upon what game we could kill in the

From what I could learn, the Indians had adopted me into their
family, in the room of a young man who had fallen in battle. Soon
after we reached this, the place of our winter quarters, the
father-in-law of my Indian dressed me up in Indian costume, made
me a bow and arrows, and started me out with his boys to learn to
shoot. I was then in the twenty first year of my age. This was
our exercise during the cold weather, and afforded me much
amusement, as I had none with whom I could converse. We had many
a hunt through the woods with our bows and arrows, but I could
not learn to use them to much purpose. Sometimes I was permitted
to have a gun, and go on a hunting expedition, but was always
unsuccessful--I could kill no game. I once saw the Indians
proceed to kill a bear which had holed himself up for the winter.
The scratches upon the bark was the sign. They then surrounded
the tree, and all being ready, they gave a loud yell; the bear
appeared, we all fired instantly, and among hands the bear came
tumbling down. Soon after this, our old Chief killed a very large
bear--one of uncommon size even in that country, where they were
large and plenty. He brought home a part of it, and on the next
day sent out three of his sons, an old man who lived in the
family, and myself, to bring in the remainder. The snow was deep,
and we had to travel three or four miles to the place. We took
our loads and started to camp. The old Indian mentioned above had
on snow shoes in order to walk without sinking; the toe of one of
his shoes caught in a small snag which threw him face foremost
into the snow, and being heavily laden with bear meat, the strap
to which it was suspended came over his arms, and made it very
difficult for him to rise. Without thinking where I was, and the
danger I was in, I laughed at the old man struggling under the
heavy pressure of his bear meat. Fortunately he did not perceive
me; one of the young men shook his head at me, giving me to
understand that I was risking my life. I discovered that he was
also amused, but was afraid to manifest it. Our hut was now well
supplied with meat, the finest that the country could furnish. I
flattered myself that we should not want soon again; but to my
utter astonishment, our old squaw, my Indian's mother-in-law, sat
up the whole night and cooked every ounce of it! And worse yet--
to my great discouragement, the neighbors were called in next
morning, bringing wooden dishes along with them, and after many
ceremonies, the whole was divided between the company, who eat
what they could and packed off the balance.

There were times when we were very scarce of provisions. On one
occasion, I remember, we had for dinner a small piece of bear
meat, which, I suppose, had been sent in by some of the
neighbors. Our old mother cooked and placed it in a wooden bowl,
which was all the china we had. Our dog was looking on with
interest, being nearly starved; and when the old lady turned her
back, he sprang in upon the meat and started with it in his
mouth. The old squaw, with great presence of mind, seized him by
the throat to prevent him from swallowing it. She succeeded, and
replacing it in the bowl, we eat it, and were glad to get it. The
Indian women are doomed to a hard life. They do the drudgery. In
removing from one camp to another, they pack the goods and
children--the men carrying only their guns. I have seen the women
wade into the water to their waists in cold freezing weather.

Among the Indians, I saw several persons who had lost the tip of
their nose. This was strange, especially among the females. But
since, when I was in Detroit, I learned that this was a mode of
punishing adultery and fornication among some tribes. I am unable
to vouch for the correctness of this statement.

I will here give the reader the history of a corn dance which
took place sometime this winter. Our squaws had brought in some
corn from the towns. The neighbors were called together, neither
to eat, nor drink, but to dance. Considerable preparations were
made. Every thing was removed from near the large fire that was
burning in the centre. The company consisted of grown persons
only. One was chosen to make music, which he did by singing and
rattling a gourd with shot, or beans in it. They danced round the
fire in single file, the men in front. The women, whilst dancing,
keep their feet close together, and perform the exercise by
jumping. The men sling their arms most violently and awkardly,
and stamp their feet so as to make the earth sound. They kept up
this exercise until a late hour in the night. All seemed to
partake of the joy, which they considered to be of a sacred
character. It was a thanksgiving for a supply of corn, and the
near approach of spring. This dance was finished by a young
Indian, selected for the purpose, who performed the closing
exercise with great animation. They now all quietly returned to
their homes without taking any kind of refreshment.

I soon become satisfied that man in a state of nature labored
under many and serious disadvantages, particularly in the art of
preparing their food. Though modern refinement has no doubt
carried this matter too far, we may with safety venture to say
that man in an uncultivated state falls as far below what is fit
and proper for human health and comfort as refinement has gone

The very best they can do is to make their corn into a kind of
small homony, which they do by the very hardest method, that of
pounding it in a mortar--and this labor is performed by the
women--after which it is boiled something like half an hour, when
it is eaten without salt or any thing else with it. But
frequently it is prepared without this process, by boiling the
corn just as it comes from the ear until a little softened. They
seem perfectly satisfied with this alone, once or twice a day
without any thing else, for they scarcely ever eat meat and corn
at the same time. But they eat most enormous quantities, without
any apparent rule as to time or quantity. I have known them to
eat several times heartily in the course of a few hours; and
perhaps the next day hunt all day without eating any thing at
all. I think it probable that it would hardly have taken all that
we saw and experienced to have satisfied even Volney himself,
that the civilized is greatly to be prefered to the savage life.

At this camp I also witnessed the mode of cleansing their bodies.
They bent hickory poles in the form of wagon bows, and covered
them over with blankets. They then took with them a bowl of water
and a large hot stone. Two went in together; they poured the
water upon the hot rock, and remained within fifteen or twenty
minutes, sometimes singing and rattling the old shot gourd. They
would then come forth covered with sweat, and sometimes plunge
themselves instantly into the river which was at hand.

Perhaps it would be proper here to notice the mode of worship of
the Indians. I speak only of the outer form: I know but little of
the object of their worship as I did not understand their
language. There appears to be some similarity between them and
the Jews. Their sacrifices and fasts are frequent. Their fasts
are promptly and faithfully attended to. Only one member,
however, of the family fasts at a time, which he does for several
days together, eating nothing until the afternoon. They treat
their females at the birth of their children in a way to remind
one of the Jewish custom. See Lev. 12 chap. At such times--let
the season be as it may--the woman is compelled to camp out in
the woods by herself, and there remain for a certain number of
days. And when she is allowed to return to the camp of the
family, she must cook in a separate vessel for so many days

Our old man was very fervent in his devotions, especially in his
prayers. I never saw anything like idolatry among them.

They are particularly careful to entertain strangers. They are
also very hospitable among themselves--they will divide the last
morsel with each other. Indians travelling, find homes wherever
they find wigwams. If there is only provision enough for one, the
stranger gets it, and gets it freely. When any are fortunate in
hunting, and it is known to them that others want provisions,
they send them a part of theirs without waiting for them to send
for it.

You have been presented with the manner in which we spent our
time during the cold weather, until sugar-making came on; and now
we found work enough. We removed to a beautiful grove of sugar
trees, and near the centre of it we pitched our camp, which is
the Indian mode. We soon made a quantity of sugar, and some of a
fine quality. We used molasses and sugar with our venison and
bear meat; and sometimes we made our meals upon sugar and bear's
oil, which was better living than the reader might suppose
without being acquainted with the dish.

The Indians are sometimes very filthy in their diet. They will
kill a deer and take out the entrails, rip them up, turn out the
contents, shake them a few times in the snow, throw them for a
few moments upon the fire, and devour them like hungry dogs. When
they kill a deer with young, the young are considered as a choice
dish. They roast them whole. They will eat every animal, and at
every part of it, from the bear to the polecat.

Shortly after the breaking of the ice, the old father, one son,
and myself, left camp for an otter hunt. We ascended the river,
placing traps where we discovered that otters had passed up and
down the banks. This we did during the first day, leaving them
until our return. We encamped during the first night on the bank
of the river. We had nothing to eat. We spent the whole of the
second day in hunting, without any success; it was a cold rainy
day, and we lay down the second night without a mouthful to eat.
On the morning of the third day the old man left the camp very
early, and about twelve o'clock returned, bringing with him two
pheasants; they were put into the pot immediately. I feared my
portion would be small, as the Indians, when hungry, eat most
enormously; but another pheasant was heard near the camp, which
the Indian succeeded in killing. It was soon in the pot, and
fearing lest the Indians should eat up theirs and then want mine,
I did not wait until it was properly cooked before I went to work
upon it. We soon devoured the three pheasants without either
bread or salt. After this fine dinner we returned to camp again.
We examined our traps but found no game.

The spring of the year now came--the ice and snow began fast to
disappear--and I now began to think more of home than I had done
during the cold season. When the sun began to shine warm, and the
birds to sing around me, I would often retire from the camp where
I could think of home, and weep, without being discovered. During
the time spent in these lonely retreats, which I sought often for
the purpose of reflection, _Shelbyville, Kentucky_, the place of
my home, would rise up before my mind with all its inhabitants
and endearments. I would think of friends and youthful associates--
of the green over which I had played when a boy a school--and of
the church to which I gave my hand as a seeker of religion a few
months before I left; and of my aged parents, who I knew needed my
assistance. These reflections crowding upon me at once, together
with the difficulty and danger of making an escape, would at times
almost overwhelm me with sorrow and despair. But the kindness and
sympathy manifested toward me by the Indians, and particularly by
the wife of the man who took me a prisoner, took off a part of the
burthen. This poor heathen woman, who knew nothing of civilization,
and the softening influences of the Gospel, nevertheless showed
that the tenderness and affection which the Gospel requires were
deeply imprinted upon her heart. I had another source of comfort: I
found among the Indians a piece of a newspaper printed at
_Lexington, Kentucky_, which I suppose had wrapped up the clothes
of some of Captain Hart's men, and thus fell into the hands of the
Indians at Raisin. This I read over and over, again and again. I
would frequently try to learn the Indians the letters and their
sounds; this to them was a very pleasing employment.

The Indians now began to prepare to return to Detroit. This was
very encouraging to me, for I now began again to indulge a hope
that one day I should yet be free, and reach my friends at home.
All hands turned out to making bark canoes. We made two for each
large family. In these canoes we ascended the river upon which we
had for some time been encamped, until we came to the very head
spring--I had no means of ascertaining the name of this river--we
then took up our canoes and carried them three or four miles, to
the head waters of a river that empties into lake Erie between
the rivers Raisin and Detroit. The ridge over which we carried
our canoes divides the waters of lake Michigan and lake Erie.
After entering this stream we advanced finely, finding fish in
great abundance. I now began to feel quite cheerful, and things
put on a different aspect. This was one of the most beautiful
little rivers I ever beheld--I could see the fish at the bottom
where the water was ten feet in depth--its beauty was much
heightened by passing through several small lakes, the waters of
which always enlarged--perhaps increased its waters one half.
These lakes were bordered round by various kinds of shrubbery
bending over the water. It was now, as near as I could guess,
about the first of May, and the scenes were indeed beautiful to
one who had been freezing and starving in a northern winter,
almost naked--and now turning, as he fondly hoped, his face
homeward. I became more and more anxious to escape, as the
prospect opened before me. I had several times formed in my mind
plans by which I thought I might escape, but being young and
unacquainted with the woods, and knowing that I must be a
distance from any of our forts, I was afraid to attempt it; but
now, as I believed I was not far from Fort Meigs, I determined to
make the attempt. For this purpose I gathered up my bow and
arrows, which had laid in the bottom of the canoe for some time,
and which I did not intend to use any more, but I wanted them as
an excuse to get out and take such a start, without being
suspected, as would enable me to make good my escape. We encamped
on this river several days; waiting, I suppose, for orders from
the British. During this time I prepared myself for the escape,
but unfortunately for my design, the camp was on the wrong side
of the river, and I could not take a canoe without being
discovered, the camp being immediately on the bank of the stream.
In a few days we continued our journey. About this time I saw the
first bread since I had been taken prisoner. Some of the Indians
had been to the settlement and obtained about half a gallon of
flour; they prepared it in their homely way, but I thought it the
best bread that I had ever tasted.

On our way down the river, as we came to the road leading from
river Raisin to Detroit, we fell in with some Indians who had
been at Dudley's defeat. There was a young man with them, a
prisoner; the Indians told me by signs to talk with him. When I
approached and spoke to him, he seemed astonished, for he had
taken me for an Indian; but when he discovered my being an
American he was greatly rejoiced. He asked many questions about
the Indians, and if I thought that they would sell him. I told
him I thought they would not, as I had been their prisoner since
the battle at Raisin, and they had not offered to dispose of me.
I farther told him I thought his hopes of getting away soon, if
ever, gloomy. He gave me a most horrible account of the defeat of
Colonel Dudley, and the slaughter and massacre of his men--and
expressed fears that General Harrison would be taken. This was
bitter news to me. While we were talking, the Indians stood
around and seemed to catch at every word, and watch every
expression of our faces--showing the greatest anxiety to know
what we said. They would laugh, and look at each other and speak
a word or two. It seemed to afford them pleasure to hear us
converse. But the time having arrived for us to proceed on our
journey, we parted--his company was going by land, and ours by
water, to Malden. If I heard the name of the young man I have
forgotten it. He was genteel and intelligent. He informed me that
he was a Surgeon. I never saw him again, and think it probable
that he was killed by the Indians--I am inclined to this opinion
because the Indians, we understood, brought in and offered for
sale, that spring, all which they did not intend to kill. I think
if he had been brought in I should have seen him. Some, it is
highly probable, were put to death in the room of those of their
friends who had fallen in battle.

We encamped at night, after we saw the young man named above, on
an island not far from Malden. The next day we arrived, and the
Indians took me down into the town, where I passed for an Indian.
It was very unpleasant to me to hear such swearing and profanity--
I soon left, and returned to the camp. In a few days we went up the
river to the neighborhood of Detroit, and pitched our tent near the
spring wells on the bank of Detroit river. Soon after our arrival
arrangements were made with the British Commissary to draw rations
of bread, and sometimes fish. They had the number of the family put
down in writing, which the Indians were to present before they
could draw the supply. The old Indian, having by some means
ascertained that I could write, fell upon a stratagem to increase
the quantity of bread. He furnished me with a slip of paper, and
proposed that we should alter the number of our family, and make it
larger; I did so, and made it about double. I went up with the note
myself the first time, to see how it would take. The Indians gave
me a horse and bag, and sent a young man of another family with me
as a guard, the distance being several miles. The young man
obtained his bread sooner than I did, and left me alone. I, after
so long a time, got my bread and started; as I passed through the
streets of Detroit, a lady spoke to me from an upper window, and
said: "Are you not a prisoner, sir?" "I am, madam." "Why do you not
leave the horse in the street and go to the fort then?" I told her
I was afraid; but did not say I lacked confidence in the British. I
feared they would not protect me, but deliver me up if the Indians
should demand me.

I went on toward home, and when I got in sight I discovered that
they had become uneasy, for the most of them were looking out
towards Detroit. When they saw me they raised a great yell, and
received me and my bag of bread with great joy.

Some time shortly after this the old man dressed himself up in
the finest kind of Indian style, for he was a Chief. He greased
his face, and then pounded and rubbed charcoal on it until he was
as black as a negro. He then painted my face red, and we started
together to town, he walking in front. As we passed along the
streets the people were very free in making their remarks upon
us. "There goes a mulato," said one, &c., &c. I seemed to pay but
little attention to what was said, but followed my old Indian
about from place to place.

In a few days they sent me over to _Sandwich_, to exchange skins
for boiled cider. I succeeded; and they drank it hot, that it
might produce the greater effect; their only design seeming to be
to produce intoxication. They are liberal with every thing they
possess but rum. I once saw an Indian give another a dram, and
being afraid that he would take too much, he first measured it in
his own mouth, and then put it into a tin cup for his friend to

Whilst we were here I saw Indians take medicine. I did not
ascertain what kind of medicine it was, only it was something
which they gathered from the woods. They boiled it down until it
became thick and black. They dug a hole in the ground--furnished
themselves with a kettle of warm water and a piece of inner
bark--after they took two or three portions of this stuff, they
laid down flat upon the ground, with their mouths over this hole,
and commenced vomiting. They would then drink large draughts of
warm water, thrust the piece of bark down their throats and vomit
again. This course they would sometimes pursue for hours
together, until one would think that they were almost dead; but
they would leave off this vomiting business and go about as
though nothing had disturbed them. I heard nothing of any
sickness before this medicinal course was commenced, from which I
inferred that they took medicine in the spring season whether
sick or well.

Not far from our encampment was the grave of an Indian who had
been buried several weeks. An old squaw raised an alarm, saying
that he had been heard to make a noise. The Indians ran with all
haste to the grave--I went too to see what was to be done--but
although they listened with their ears upon the ground, and then
stamped with their feet, and scratched in the earth, the Indian
lay still and dead in his grave.

I learned from the preparations in camp that the squaws were soon
to go out to the Indian towns and raise corn, and that I was to
go with them. I resolved that I would not go, if my escape should
cost me my life. I began immediately to think and plan some
method of escape; but every way appeared to be hedged up; there
were Indian camps in every direction; there was some faint
prospect of success down the river. I also thought of risking
myself in the hands of the British, but, as I before said, I
could not trust them; and it was well for me that I did not, as I
afterwards, to my sore affliction, found them haughty and very
inhuman to American prisoners. I wish this censure to rest only
upon the British officers, as many of the soldiers would have
treated us kindly if it had been in their power.

Just at this crisis, however, an half Indian, who spoke English,
came to our camp. I took this opportunity of communicating to the
Indians my desire of being sold to the inhabitants of Detroit,
who were purchasing prisoners from the Indians, Here I run a
great risk--I knew not that they would not instantly kill me for
making such a request. No sooner had the half Indian told my
wishes, than every eye was fixed upon me; some seemed astonished,
and others angry, because I would think of leaving after having
been adopted into the family. They soon made signs that I might
go, and the old man began to look out for a purchaser. Some of
them treated me cooly from that time until I left. A Frenchman
came to our camp, and offered a young horse for me--we went
several miles down the river to see the horse--the Indian and
Frenchman talked a long time--the Frenchman showed several other
horses--the Indian did not fancy any of them, and there was no
trade. I felt disappointed, being very anxious to be swapped
off. On the next day another Frenchman came to camp riding a snug
little pony, with mane and tail roached and trimmed. This horse
took the old man's eye, and they soon closed the bargain. The
long desired hour had come at last. I felt that I was again free
from the hand of the wild savage. I packed up the few tattered
rags of clothing which were mine, and prepared to leave; but
after all, savages as they were, I was sorry when I bid them a
final farewell. The wife of the man who took me prisoner had
always been kind--she aided greatly to lessen my sufferings--she
had often fed me, and when under the rigors of a northern winter,
in the wilderness, had thrown a blanket upon my shivering frame
at night; she had restrained the young men from imposing upon me,
as they would do by taking my food, and my place at the fire.
After Mr. J. B. Cecott, the man who bought me, and I left the
camp, the Indians stood and looked after us as long as they could
see us. Mr. Cecott took me to his own house, gave me a suit of
clothes, and introduced me to his family. Now I felt that home
was much nearer, being again among a civilized people who could
speak the English language.

And here let me pause a moment to remark--as I am about to leave
the Indians, never I hope to spend another winter with them under
the same circumstances--that the few months of captivity with
this people, were, taken altogether, the most cheerless and
solitary of any part of my life of which I have any recollection.
Though many years have rolled by since the events transpired, the
impression they made upon my mind is almost as fresh as ever.

Several things contributed to render the scene more gloomy. I
lost the day of the month, and also the day of the week; every
day seemed alike. No person can have an idea, unless they are
placed in the same predicament, how it changes the face of things
to lose all those divisions of time that we have been accustomed
to observe from our childhood. But this was not all; to render
the hours more tedious and solitary, there was not one, of all
the families that belonged to our company, that could either
speak English, or understand one word of it. And thus, day after
day, and week after week, passed over without uttering a solitary
word, unless sometimes, when a little distance from camp, I would
say a word or two just to hear the sound of my own voice; and it
would seem so strange to me, that it would almost startle me.
And, in addition to all this, I was almost eaten up by vermin;
sometimes almost starved; and shut out from all civilized
society; almost literally buried in the snows of Michigan; and in
order to prevent actual starvation, the Indians were compelled to
remove from place to place, where it was supposed the hunting
would be better. This subjected us to greater inconvenience, and
often to great suffering from cold, having to clear away the
snow, which was very deep.

But the uncertainty, and the improbability, of being released,
being constantly upon me, and there appeared not the least gleam
of hope until it was announced, by the preparations I saw making
in the spring, to go to Detroit.

I have nothing to say against the Indian character--but many
things in favor of it--but much against their manner of life.
They are a brave, generous, hospitable, kind, and among
themselves, an honest people; and when they intend to save the
life of a prisoner they will do it, if it should be at the risk
of their own. But after all this is said, no one can form any
adequate idea of what a man _must_ suffer, who spends a winter
with them in the snows of Michigan.

But now, that I was released by the friendly hand of a stranger,
Mr. Cecott, whom I shall recollect with feelings of gratitude so
long as I can recollect anything--I felt more than I shall ever
be able to express. Hope, which had almost perished, now began to
revive, and the sight of home and friends once more began to be
thought of as a matter not altogether impracticable--and that I
should set my foot again upon the happy soil of Kentucky.

But disappointment was at the door. Mr. Cecott informed me in a
few days that he would be compelled to give me up to the British
as a prisoner of war. I gave him my note for the horse which he
gave for me, which I paid him about eighteen months afterwards,
when I went out to war again, under General McArthur. I think the
horse was valued at thirty six dollars--you see what I was worth
in money. A number of prisoners were sold at Detroit from time to
time, and many of the citizens showed great liberality and
humanity in purchasing them. It should be spoken and recorded to
their praise, that some of the citizens spent nearly every thing
which they possessed in buying prisoners who had fallen into
savage hands, and in furnishing them with clothing and provision.

When I was delivered to the British as a prisoner of war, I was
placed in the guardhouse, where we remained all summer. During
our confinement we suffered from hunger, and what provisions we
had were not good. We had the floor for a bed, and a log for our
pillow, all the time. There were six or eight in the fort that
had been purchased before I was--they had were taken prisoners at
Dudley's defeat.

This was a long tedious summer to me, for we had no employment
whatever, but were compelled to lay about the fort from the end
of one month to another. A gentleman in Detroit proposed to the
officer in command, to be surety for my appearance, if he would
permit me to go into the town and work at my trade, but he
refused to let me go upon any terms whatever.

At times, during the summer, the streets of Detroit were filled
with Indians; and many of them came to see us. In the month of
July, we saw them have a young woman prisoner, whom we supposed
they had taken from the frontiers of Ohio. We could never learn
what disposition they made of her. A company of the Indians from
the northwest encamped for several days near the walls of the
fort, immediately previous to their going to war. This gave us an
opportunity of ascertaining their mode of preparation for war.
Among other things, they eat the flesh of dogs.

During our imprisonment here, we were brought to behold a very
shocking sight. We saw, in the hands of the Indians, a number of
scalps fastened in hoops made for the purpose and hung out before
the fire to dry. They had been but recently taken off: and more
horrible yet, the most of them were the scalps of females! We
remained for sometime upon the fort battery observing their
situation and employment before they saw us. When they beheld us,
and knew that we were prisoners, they raised the war-whoop
instantly in token of victory. They showed the tomahawk, and
pointed to the scalps, to tell that they had murdered the persons
with the tomahawk. They held up the scalp of a female and showed
signs of savage cruelty and barbarity, which I had never seen
exhibited before. These things were done in open day, in the
presence of the British officers; and those refined gentlemen,
who feel that they occupy a place of elevation and superior rank
in society, could look upon these shocking mockeries of humanity
with the hard heartedness of the savages themselves.

Many of the British soldiers were kind to us in our imprisonment;
they would steal us out by night, when the officers were away
carousing, that we might get some recreation and refreshment. The
officers were haughty and overbearing, doing nothing for our
comfort. The joy that I felt in being released from the Indians,
soon died amid my rough fare in the British prison. During the
summer we were almost entirely naked; and were only saved from
becoming completely so by the generosity of Mr. Hunt of Detroit,
who gave us each a suit of summer clothes; which was all the
clothing that we got until after we arrived at Quebec, sometime
in December. About the first of August, nearly all the soldiers
and Indians disappeared from Detroit. We were at a loss to
account for this, but supposed they had gone to make an attack
upon some of the forts, or frontier parts of the Northwestern
Army. It was not a great while until the secret was out. They
came home cursing Major Croghan, (they had made an unsuccessfull
attack upon Lower Sandusky,) and saying that he loaded his guns
with nails, slugs, and with any thing and every thing that came
to hand. The faces of some of them were completely peppered with
small shot. They lost a number of their best men in this battle.
It is said that _Captain James Hunter_, sometimes known by the
name of "old Sandusky"--whom Congress since presented with a
sword as a token of national respect--suspecting that the British
and Indians would undertake to storm the fort, right or wrong,
swung up a long heavy log, which, in case of extreme emergency,
he intended to use as a _dead fall_ by cutting loose the ropes
which held it upon the walls of the fort. This Sandusky
engagement appears to have been a hot business all around.

The well known battle upon the lake, in which Perry was
successful, was fought during our confinement in this fort. We
heard the report of the guns plainly, and it produced much
excitement among all. Every eye was turned toward Malden, and we
eagerly caught every word that came from that direction.

A few days afterward they told us that the British had taken
Perry and all his fleet. The soldiers laughed at us, and told us
that the Yankees knew nothing about fighting on the water--that
they could whip us two to one. We had to bear this as well as we
could, until we saw great preparations making every where to
remove the arms, ammunition, &c., which were sent up the river.
We now suspected that they had misinformed us of the result of
the battle. When we asked, they told us one thing and then
another, until one of the soldiers privately told us the whole
tale--that Perry had actually captured the British fleet--and
that the Yankees were coming upon us in great numbers, and were
just at hand. We now turned the tables upon them--it was our time
to be merry.

Every day increased the hurry and confusion; boats and small
vessels were ascending the river Detroit, bearing off arms,
provisions, and every species of property, belonging to the
British. It was a time of joy to the citizens of Detroit,
generally, to see the Indians and British leaving so rapidly: and
we were looking almost hourly to behold the Kentuckians appear in
sight. We were, however, hurried up the river, as there was no
opportunity to escape. The Indians were always kept in the rear
during a retreat, and stood between the British and danger. If I
had kept the day of the month, I could tell where Harrison,
Shelby, and Johnson, were at the time when we left Detroit. Not
knowing the position of the American army, it was fruitless to
hazard an effort to escape.

Our British masters crowded us into a vessel which was loaded
with arms and ammunition, without provisions or any arrangements
for our comfort on the way. As we ascended the lake, we ran
aground near the mouth of the river Thames, and were detained two
days; during which time we were compelled to unload and reload
the vessel. All this time we had nothing to eat but what we could
pick up, like dogs, from the offal of the ship. Here I was
tempted, and worse yet, yielded to the temptation, to steal
something to eat, and risk consequences. The British officer had
some beef hung out on the stern of the vessel, I took some of it,
and we eat it. The meat was tainted; yet it was sweet to us, not
because it was stolen, but because we were starving.

After we had succeeded in getting the vessel over the sandbar,
the wind was unfavorable, and the British officer determined to
abandon her, and (after getting her up near Dalton's she was
burned to prevent the Americans from making any spoils,) here we
were put on shore, and walked, hungry and faint, fifteen miles to
Dalton's, where we were guarded closely. This was only the
beginning of hard times. We discovered the determination of the
British to send us down through Canada, and consequently began to
lose all hope of seeing the American army. A guard of British and
Indians was prepared to take us on. A cart load of provision was
started with us, but we never saw it after the morning on which
we left Dalton's. Why this provision was started, and not
suffered to proceed, we never could even guess. The officer was
very rigorous, and would not suffer us to stop and procure any
refreshment, but drove us onward like cattle going to market. The
second night after we left _Dalton's_, we encamped in the woods.
They now kept a close watch over us--and we were as eagerly
looking for an opportunity to escape. Had we forseen the
sufferings that were ahead, we should, at least some us, have
made the attempt to escape at every hazard. As stated above, our
provisions were left behind, and we were under the dominion of an
unfeeling wretch, who would but very seldom even suffer us to go
into a house to ask for a morsel of bread. He would march us hard
all day, and at night put us into a barn or stable to sleep. We
often travelled in the rain, and then laid down without fire in
our wet clothes to try and rest. This journey of about five
hundred miles by land, and four hundred by water, we travelled,
in that cold and rainy country, with our thin gingham clothes,
given to us by Mr. Hunt of Detroit: some of us were without shoes
and coats; and we lived upon potatoes and turnips just as we
could pick them up as we passed by farms.

This part of the journey, from Dalton's to Burlington Heights,
was, perhaps, the most painful of any; not being permitted whilst
at Detroit to take much exercise, and being forced on almost
beyond our strength, rendered it painful beyond expression. And
that was not all: the officer of the guard, being a churlish and
tyranical man by nature, failed not to make use of the little
brief power committed to him for the occasion, to make our
sufferings the more insupportable. It seemed to afford him a
pleasure to "add affliction to our bonds." On some occasions,
after travelling hard all day in the rain, and having no other
lodging but a barn or stable, we had some difficulty in getting
fire enough, or getting admittance to it, sufficient to dry our
clothes. On this part of the journey, in addition to suffering
from the cold rains, and from being compelled to lie down in our
wet clothes, we were almost literally starved. On leaving the
vessel on the Thames, I found a canister which had been emptied
of the shot; this I took with me, which served to cook our
potatoes, turnips, and peas, when we could get them, and when our
cruel commander would give us time for it; but to add still more
to our inconvenience, one of the Indian guard, on returning from
Burlington Heights, stole even that from me. This was done by
stratagem, (and, by-the-by, the Indians are not slow at it.) As
some of them had to return from that place, and were preparing
for the journey, one of the party come to me and asked the loan
of my cooking vessel. I very readily loaned it to him, not
suspecting any design; but finding him rather tardy, I made
application for it: he gave me to understand that he was not done
with it; and being compelled to march immediately, I had to leave
it behind. We sometimes had pickeled pork, which I generally eat
raw. The people in that country raised peas, which they mowed and
put away vines and all together for their cattle. We would, when
lodging in barns and stables, make beds of these, and shell out
and eat the peas, and also take some along with us to eat by the

I shall not attempt to notice all the particulars of this painful
march, from the Thames to York, and from York to Kingston. It was
almost an uninterrupted scene of suffering from the beginning to
the end. The officer of the guard seemed unwilling to show any
kindness himself, or that any one else should show us any. The
remembrance of these things, though twenty six years have rolled
between, produces a kind of horror in my soul even at this hour.
Here is the way that a company of ragged, naked, and starved,
Kentucky boys were driven through the country to be gazed upon
and laughed at by the inhabitants of the villages and towns
through which we passed.

When we reached York, we were closely confined in jail until
another guard was appointed to take us on to Kingston. This was
one of the most filthy prisons that I ever saw. Here they had a
difficulty in obtaining a new guard: the one which brought us to
this place from the river Thames consisted chiefly of Indians,
and as they were not willing to proceed any farther, the officer
had to look for some of the most vigilant soldiers to take their
place. We found all along that they were not willing to risk us
with a guard of British soldiers until we arrived at this point,
when they supposed there would be less danger of an escape.

We tarried several days at York, and then took the road to
Kingston; and the farther we went the worse the travelling
became, the weather colder, and our clothing more ragged, &c.

I must not omit to mention a widow lady who resided between York
and Kingston. She took all the prisoners into her house, treated
them kindly, supplied all their wants, and in every respect
showed a kind and feeling heart. If I ever knew her name, I have
forgotten it: I should like to record it here.

When we came to Kingston we were again put in a filthy jail. It
was now about the first of November, and we were allowed very
little fire, and our clothing so thin, that we had to shiver it
out the best way we could. Our spirits remained unsubdued, and we
felt cordially to despise that tyranny which heaped suffering
upon us. We rejoiced that it was in defence of dear liberty that
these afflictions had fallen upon us; and we hoped by some means
soon to enjoy our liberty again.

The British troops at this place were in regular drilling. The
infantry and artillery were daily employed in firing at targets.
My attention was specially drawn to their manner of shooting at a
target, made of an empty barrel placed out in the lake. This was
done that they might, with the greater certainty, fire upon a
vessel as it approached the town. We supposed that they were in
expectation of an attack from the Yankee fleet upon lake Ontario.
From Kingston we started to Montreal in open boats; if possible
this was yet worse than travelling by land, for we could take no
exercise to keep ourselves warm. The rains that fell upon us now,
appeared as cold as during any part of winter in Kentucky, and we
were still in our thin clothing. The boat was scarcely large
enough to contain the seventeen prisoners, and the guard; and not
high enough for us to stand up; so we had to sit down on the
bottom of the boat, and endure the cold from morning until night.
I think we slept but once in a house between Kingston and
Montreal, and that was the upper room of an unfinished court
house, where we had a small stove, and where we dried our few
rags of clothing. At length we came in sight of Montreal; they
landed us above the town that they might march us through the
city, to be seen as a rare curiosity. Word had reached the town
before us, that a number of Kentucky prisoners were to pass
through that day; and it appeared that the whole city had
collected into that street to see the great sight. The windows
and doors were full of ladies, manifesting great eagerness to see
Kentuckians. The reader may perhaps imagine my feelings at this
time, for I shall not attempt to describe them.

We were now taken to jail as usual, where we were furnished with
a good room, and for the first time since we left Detroit our
situation was somewhat comfortable. I think we remained here near
two weeks. Our old rags of clothes, which were given us by the
British soldiers, proved rather an annoyance to us, as the jail
was warm and the vermin began to multiply in great numbers. We
had no change of raiment, consequently we had no washing done;
thus we spent the time at Montreal.

As before remarked, the vermin became very annoying--and having
no possible chance of avoiding them, I fell upon the plan of
turning my clothes every morning, so as to keep them travelling.

In order to form an adequate idea of these tormenters of the
human family, you must be shut up in a hot, filthy prison, with a
number of prisoners clothed in filthy rags, and yourself as bad
as any of them, with thousands and millions of these bosom
friends crawling over you. If that would not make an impression,
I don't know what would.

A right regular built Yankee, who had been but recently taken
upon the lines not far from Montreal, was brought into the prison
a few days previous to our leaving for Quebec. He was discovered,
shortly after his arrival, to pick one of those troublers of our
peace from his white shirt, and very deliberately lay him down on
a bench, after which, taking a small chip between his finger and
thumb, succeeded in dispatching him. This manouvre afforded some
sport for some of us who had learned, by things we had suffered,
not to take it quite so tedious. He was told that he would soon
learn to kill them without a chip.

At this place we were told by the British that we were eating
Yankee beef--that most of their supplies came from the States. As
it is not my business, I will forbear censuring; and will content
myself with barely stating facts. These things occur very
frequently all along the line between Canada and the United
States in time of war; and men who profess great patriotism are
sometimes found to be engaged in it. Such patriotism as this
would scarcely be found in Kentucky.

We left for Quebec in a steam boat, the first built on the St.
Lawrence, and arrived there in about twenty four hours. The jail
here was less comfortable than the one at Montreal. We were
literally in rags, and remained so for many weeks; we had an
agent whose duty it was to see that we were provided for, but if
my memory serves me, he did not so much as visit the prison for
nearly three weeks, and then we were treated by him like so many

After so long a time, Gardner, the agent, furnished each of us
with a suit of coarse clothing. By this time the weather had
become excessively cold, and we were removed to the barracks
until a prison could be prepared for us upon cape Diamond, where
we principally spent the time whilst we remained at Quebec.

After we removed to cape Diamond our number was greatly
increased. Only seventeen Kentuckians came down together from
Detroit; but there were many others taken at different times and
places; some sailors, but mostly they were regular soldiers.
These had been confined in other parts of the jail, and now, when
collected together, we numbered say ninety, all put into one
house together. Here we had a small yard where we could take some
exercise; this was a great privilege to men who had been so long
in close confinement. We were closely locked up at night, and
generally under a strict guard. The windows were strongly grated,
and we had only light from one side. Our provisions were scanty
and bad; I suffered more from hunger in Quebec than during any
time of my long imprisonment. It was not because they had no
provisions, but because they chose to starve us. When we were in
Montreal they tauntingly told us that we were eating Yankee
beef--giving us to understand that they were furnished with
provisions from the United States. This scantiness of supply
continued through the winter, and we were under the necessity of
enduring our sufferings as we could. We were told that British
prisoners in the United States fared worse than we did. Our wood
was birch, and it served a double purpose; for we burned the
wood, and made tea of the bark--this was all the tea or coffee
which we drank in the city of Quebec.

The agent allowed us to draw each a few dollars in money; with
this we bought articles from those who visited our prison. We
were not very economical with our money; it lasted but a short

Some of the prisoners were always forming plans of escape, but
could never mature them. At one time we were well nigh an
elopement, but one proved a traitor, and informed the British
officer of the design. The traitor had been in the regular
service, and was taken a prisoner somewhere between Canada and
the United States. Some offers were made to him, and he meanly
enlisted as a British soldier, and divulged every thing which he
supposed would make our condition more miserable. He told of the
contemplated escape, and who were the most active as the leaders.
On the next day the keeper of the prison came up, and upon
examination finding that the account was true, and ascertaining
who had cut the holes, he sent the poor fellows to the dungeon,
where they were doomed to remain for two weeks upon half rations.
After this pennance they were permitted to return to their former
place. This broke up all designs of escape, as we were closely
watched during the remainder of our stay.

After the fellow above named enlisted, strong efforts were made
to induce others to follow his example. In order to this, they
sent one of the officers who had command of the guard that
brought us from York to Kingston, supposing that because we were
acquainted with him, he would therefore have more influence with
us. He was, however, the last man that should have been sent; we
knew him to be sure, but we knew him to be a hard hearted tyrant,
who had starved and drove us nearly to death. We were displeased
at seeing him come into the prison, and no sooner had he made
known his errand, than we gave him to understand flatly and
plainly that deserters were not to be found among us. We
expressed our detestation at the conduct of the one who had
turned tory and traitor, and told him if there was no other way
of a release from prison, that we would greatly prefer to lie in
the fort until we were starved and perished to death. We moreover
gave him to understand that we would not be insulted in that
manner, and that he would do well to leave the fort--and some of
the boys went so far as to take their tin pans, and beating upon
them with their spoons, actually drummed him out of the prison.
By this experiment they were fully satisfied that it was a most
fruitless business to try to induce us to leave our happy
government and join theirs. It was often reported that we would
be sent to Dartmoor prison, in England, and there kept as
hostages, until the differences between the two governments
should be adjusted. We sometimes thought perhaps it might be so,
but we scarcely believed anything which they told us; their
object no doubt was to alarm, with the fear of crossing the
Atlantic, that they might the more easily pursuade us to desert.
Although this thing bore a very gloomy aspect, and was often a
subject of serious conversation among us, yet we were determined,
and strengthened each other in the purpose, not to desert, but to
endure the worst, and be true to our country.

About this time we learned that Tecumseh, the great Indian
warrior, had fallen in the battle at Moravian town. His family
was at this time in Quebec; they, in company with some other
Indians, came to see us, and manifested great curiosity in taking
a good look at Kentuckians--considered by some the rarest beings
upon the earth.

Often numbers of people came to the prison to see us--one man,
after looking at us for a length of time, manifested great
disappointment, and said, "Why, they look just like other
people." It seemed from this that an idea prevailed that we were
wild men, or an order of beings that scarcely belonged to this

During the time that we remained here Colonel Lewis and Major
Madison visited us. Of the latter, the Vice President of the
United States lately said in the Senate, that he was a man "of
rare patriotism--the most beloved of all the public men of his
State--the best among the best--'the bravest of the brave'--who
died with never fading laurels upon his brow." They were
accompanied by one or two British officers. After they had duly
examined into our situation, Colonel Lewis encouraged us to bear
our privations and sufferings in the spirit of true soldiers--
saying "that it belonged to the soil of Kentucky to be firm."
While this exhortation of the Colonel was received by us with
great approbation, it evidently was received with indignation by
the British officers. This made no manner of difference with
Colonel Lewis, who proceeded to make such remarks, and gave us
such advice, as he believed were for our comfort. I thought that
the British were inclined to press their rigid military rules
upon Kentuckians with more rigor than upon others. They rarely
spoke to us, and when they did it was in a manner so haughty that
we only felt the more indignant and hostile toward them. We would
not conform to those terms of respect which they exacted from
their own soldiers. Our feelings, and callings in life had been
so very different from those of British soldiers, that we felt as
if we lived in, and breathed, a different air.

Toward the latter part of the winter we were, after much entreaty
from Lewis and Madison, permitted to write to our friends. Our
letters were carefully read by the officers, and every word
rigidly examined. I now wrote to my friends, and this was the
first certain information that they received of my having
survived the battles and dangers which we had passed through,
although I had now been away from home about eighteen months.
Notices had been in the public prints, written by Hunt, of
Detroit, that prisoners had been carried on towards Quebec--but
he had no further knowledge of us, or what would be our fate.

Perhaps it was better that we were not permitted to give a
history of our sufferings: it would only have more deeply
afflicted our friends, and added nothing to our relief.

I wish here to record, that the news of our unsuccessful attempt
to escape reached, by some means, the ears of Colonel Lewis and
Major Madison, and they being desirous to obtain the particulars,
requested that two of our number might be allowed to visit their
quarters, which were not far off. Their request was granted, and
William McMillan and myself were selected to visit them. We were
conducted by a guard, and very closely watched and listened to.
We told them of our attempt and defeat. They gave it as their
opinion that we could not make a successful escape during the
winter season, and that we ought not to attempt it. They told us
of the great difficulty we would meet in travelling through the
snow in that country, also in crossing the river St. Lawrence,
even if we could, undiscovered, pass the guards. However, in case
we should make the attempt, they gave us some directions touching
the route that we should take if we succeeded in clearing the
sentinels and crossing the river.

While writing this, I am reminded of an attempt made by some
prisoners to escape about the time that we came to Quebec. They
cut the bars out of the prison windows of the second story of the
house, and let themselves down by means of their blankets. They
were successful in passing the sentinels, and crossing the river,
and prospered all the way until they came near the American
lines. Now, thinking that they were out of the reach of danger,
they halted to take rest and refreshment, and feeling like birds
let out of a cage, they felt that they might safely have a little
spree; but just as they were in the midst of their frolic, the
British pursuers came suddenly upon them, and took them all by
surprise. They were not prepared to defend themselves, and had no
opportunity to fly; therefore they had quietly to go back to
Quebec, and to prison, where they suffered the deep mortification
of a failure, and the renewed weight of British oppression.

Some time before we heard the good news of a general exchange of
prisoners, I had a violent attack of billious fever. I laid
several days in the prison before I suffered the old turnkey to
know my situation. When it was communicated to him, he sent an
old man to bleed me and to give me some physic, which gave me no
relief; I was therefore removed about a mile from town, to the
hospital, where they bled and physiced me enough. I do not
recollect how long I remained at the hospital, but I remember
that I was there when it was announced that all prisoners were to
be exchanged, and that all who were able to go were to be sent
away immediately. This was better to me than all the medicine in
Canada. The hope of seeing my country and my home, rushed in upon
my mind with refreshing power. I told the Doctor that I could not
stay any longer in the hospital--that I must start if I died on
the way. At first he opposed my going; seeing my resolution, at
length he consented. The idea of being kept behind was like death
to me sure enough. For some days before this news reached us I
had been slowly recovering, but was yet barely able to walk when
I left the hospital to return to the prison, where I found the
boys making preparations to leave for the United States. We were
to ascend the St. Lawrence in a vessel belonging to the British.
It was in the month of May when we left this gloomy prison, where
we had spent a miserable winter and spring. The recollection of
these times are horrible to my mind until this hour. I am sorry
that I ever fell into British hands. It appears that the British
officers were perfectly destitute of human feelings, so far as we
were concerned. I have no means of knowing generally their
characters, and I surely have no wish to defame them generally; I
speak only of those into whose hands I fell, and from whom I
received such little kindness.

May had not brought warm weather in that country; heaps of
drifted snow were to be seen in the mountains north of Quebec;
and the northwestern winds were keen and chilling, especially to
me in my feeble state. After we boarded our little vessel, we
remained several days, I know not what for, in an uncomfortable
situation; with but little fire, and exposed to the incessantly
blowing winds. This increased again the disease under which I had
been laboring, so that I now had chill and fever every day. I was
barely able to walk, and more than one thousand miles from home,
without money, clothes, or friends that were able to help; yet my
spirit did not quail for a moment,--I hoped somehow to get
through. At length we were put into another vessel, and set sail
up the St. Lawrence. Thus we continued until we came to the mouth
of the river Sorrell, which connects lake Champlain with the St.
Lawrence. We ascended this river for a considerable distance in
the same vessel, when we were placed in open boats and carried
across the line. It was said, with what truth I pretend not to
say, that some of the British soldiers who guarded us made a good
use of this opportunity and deserted, and left a land of
oppression for a land of liberty and plenty.

We were set on the shore fourteen miles below Plattsburg, and
then left to take care of ourselves, having neither money nor
food, and almost naked, and some of us sick. We however, used to
trials, went forward to Plattsburg--which I reached with the
utmost difficulty, shaking one part of the day, and burning with
fever the other. We had all been so long in confinement that we
travelled slowly, and this enabled me to keep up until we arrived
at a large encampment of the American army, a short distance
above Plattsburg on the lake.

Our situation was communicated to the General, who promised to
make provision for us, by giving us written passports, and
authorizing us to draw rations on the road wherever we could find
any belonging to the United States--which was all that we could
expect, or all that we asked, as he had no authority to pay us
money. We waited a day or two for the fulfilment of this promise,
when we renewed our application, telling him our necessities, how
long we had been from home, where we had been taken prisoners,
our anxiety to pursue our journey--but all to no effect; we only
obtained promises. Having renewed our petitions for a week, we
began to despair of success, and thought of seeking help from
some other quarter. We were now satisfied that it was the purpose
of the commanding officer to detain us there, place difficulties
in our way of going home, that thereby we might be induced to
enlist; he supposed that we would not certainly undertake such a
journey on foot, without money or passports. This did alarm one
or two of the company, who took the bounty and enlisted for five
years. The rest of us now resolved to make a start towards old
Kentucky; but before we left we made one more unsuccessful effort
to obtain the necessary papers from the General. By this time a
kind and noble hearted young Lieutenant, whose name was
Frederick, became interested in our welfare, and wrote us a
passport to draw upon any supplies belonging to the Government.
This answered a good purpose where the keepers were young and
ignorant, and did not understand their business; but our order
was often protested.

Notwithstanding my fatigue and exposure to the night air, and a
chill every day, my strength had much increased, yet I feared the
fatigues of the long journey before us; but to my astonishment I
had the last chill on the evening before we left the encampment--
I never had another.

On a beautiful morning, about the first of June, 1814, we left
the American army near Plattsburg, turning our faces towards home
with light hearts and little money. I had but twelve and a half
cents, and I believe I was nearly as wealthy as any of the
company. And now I feel utterly at a loss to describe my
feelings. Until now we did not feel entirely free; though in the
American camp, we were under sentinels and military restraint. We
had been for so long a time in prison, and suffering, that we
seemed to have reached a new world almost. We little thought of
the journey that was before us, but talked cheerfully of our
situation, as we passed many beautiful farms in high promise,
situated upon the sides of the lake. Above all, we felt hearts of
sincere gratitude to a kind Providence, who had delivered us out
of the hands of wild and ferocious savages, and hard hearted
tyrants, and had again brought our feet to stand upon the soil of

We made our way up the lake on the right bank until we came to
the ferry, which we found some difficulty in crossing, because we
had no money to pay our passage. We told the keeper the true
story of our errand--where we had been, and where we were going:
after some hesitancy he took us all over without any pay. We then
took the road leading to the head of lake Champlain; some of the
people along this road were kind, but others looked upon us with
suspicion. Our appearance was very shabby indeed--the coarse
clothes which we received in Quebec, the winter past, were all in
rags and dirt, and having no possible opportunity of getting a
new supply, we were compelled to appear before all in our way in
this garb. Our rags may have been an advantage to us, as they
attracted notice, and curiosity would induce many to ask us
questions, and thus we would have an opportunity of telling our
history, and so gain something to sustain us upon our journey.
This afforded us a good opportunity of ascertaining the
dispositions of men. Many were suitably affected with our
situation, and offered relief; but other cold blooded animals had
no compassion--they lived within and for themselves--and we found
some so destitute of all sense of respect as even to insult us.

After travelling together a short distance, we began to find that
it would be with difficulty that we could travel through that
country without money. We consulted together what way would be
the best for us to take, and concluded to separate, as beggars
had better go in small companies. When we parted, it was with the
understanding that we would try to meet again at Oleann Point, on
the Alleghany river. Thus we bid each other farewell, and broke
off into companies of four. The company to which I belonged took
the road leading from the head of the lake to Utica, in the State
of New York. This road was mostly turnpiked, which made the
travelling worse for us, as we were nearly barefooted, and our
feet soon became sore, so that our stages were short. It would be
impossible for me to relate the particulars of this journey
through the State of New York; but one thing truth compels me to
state, and that is, we suffered more from hunger while passing
through this State than in all the rest of the way from Quebec to
Kentucky. We found the people generally either too proud or too
stingy to give us food, or to treat us like human beings. In
passing through the little towns and villages our appearance
would immediately attract attention, and in a few minutes the
people would gather around us in great numbers; they would ask us
a number of questions, which we would fully answer, though they
often suspected us for being deserters. We occasionally found in
these companies, persons who were touched by our appearance and
story, so they would turn out and raise a few shillings to help
us on our journey. The money thus raised we considered as common
property, to be used for the benefit of all. We made it last as
long as possible, by always purchasing the cheapest articles of
food, and never spending any unnecessarily.

When we arrived at Utica we found a recruiting party there; and
here I picked up a pair of old shoes which had been thrown away
by the soldiers; these enabled me to travel on the turnpike with
more ease and speed. We found but few who were willing either to
feed or lodge us without pay, though we only asked to lie upon
the floor. Some absolutely refused to give us any shelter at all.
I will here relate a case, and if I knew the name of the
individual I would record it as a Warning to any one who might be
tempted to treat any poor sufferer in like manner. After
travelling hard all the day, we called at a house and asked the
man the favor to stay and lie upon the floor until morning, at
the same time informing him that we had been prisoners for some
time, and that we were on our way to Kentucky, our native State,
and that we would not ask him for any thing else. He told us
pointedly that we could not sleep in his house. We then asked to
sleep in the shop, (he was a wagon maker:) this he also refused;
we then told him that we were much fatigued, and would be glad to
have permission to lie down in his barn. He then refused in the
most positive manner; telling us that there was a tavern about a
mile ahead, and as they had the profit of travellers, they should
have the trouble also. We left him to his conscience, and walked
on toward the tavern, feeling that we were strangers indeed in a
strange land, driven from door to door, fatigued and hungry,
without one cent in our pockets, knowing not where we should find
shelter; and returning too from fighting the battles of the
country we were now passing through so poorly requited. At length
we came to the tavern, and by stating our misfortunes we
succeeded in gaining permission to sleep on the floor. Soon after
our arrival supper was announced, but nothing was said to us. We
laid down on the floor of the bar room hungry, tired and sleepy.
If we had received such treatment in an enemy's country, we would
not have been surprised, but we had been out fighting for the
liberties of this very people--this made our sufferings the more
acute. We made an early start next morning, supposing that the
chance for breakfast would be as gloomy as that of the supper had
been. We determined to go forward as far as possible, hoping soon
to find another kind of people, who would help us.

When we applied in the evening for permission to lie in the barn,
and were refused, there was a gentleman present who overtook us a
day or two afterwards, and reminded us of the treatment, and that
he was present; he gave each of us some money--he said that he
had no money when he first saw us.

Not far from this hard place, we met a man of quite a different
feeling. Near sunset we were passing his house, when he called to
us and asked if we had any money; we told him we had none: "Well,
you had better stop here with me and stay all night, for the man
who keeps the next house is a tory, and will not permit you to
stay without money." I need hardly say that we acceeded to his
proposition. We were treated with kindness and hospitality, and
for once fared well. This was a set-off to some former cases.

After we had passed through the thickly settled parts of New
York, we came to the Gennessee country, which was at that time
but thinly inhabited. We were now told that we would find serious
difficulties in passing on without money; on the day that we
entered what was called the wilderness we were entirely
destitute, and had very serious fears of suffering more than we
had yet been called to endure; but as our fears were rising to
the highest pitch, we unexpectedly met a young officer belonging
to the United States service; he inquired into our history
carefully, and becoming satisfied with the account which we gave
him of our capture and sufferings, he kindly gave us one dollar a
piece, which was sufficient, with rigid economy, to carry us
through the most dreaded part of the wilderness.

It may appear to the reader that I have given, a very cheerless
and rigid account of the people along the road that we traveled
through the State of New York; I am certain of the truth of the
history, for a man starving knows when he receives any thing to
eat, and also when he is refused. I am as certain of this part of
the history, as that I was in the battle, and wounded at the
river Raisin. Whether we fell upon the only niggardly people that
lived in that part of the country, or whether the people were
mostly tories there, I have no means of determining. It may be
asked why I record these things? It may seem harsh to speak of
them; it was much harsher to feel them. If people will sin
publicly, and drive starving begging soldiers from their doors
with contempt, those soldiers, if they should live to reach home,
and should write an account of their trip, will be very likely to
refer to such treatment. If those folks are yet living, a sermon
upon "be careful to entertain _strangers_," might not be entirely
without its good effects upon them.

After passing through this wilderness, we began to draw near to
Oleann Point, the place where we had agreed to meet again when we
parted at the head of lake Champlain. One company overtook us on
the same day that we arrived at Oleann. Here we had intended to
take water, but we could hear of no craft going down the river.
Our money was gone, and provisions were scarce and dear, so we
could not stay long here. Necessity, the mother of invention,
drove us to seek out some way of getting on. We numbered eight
persons at this time; I remember the names of _Philip Burns,
Patrick Ewing, Simon Kenton, Thomas Bronaugh, William McMillan_
and _Thomas Whittington_. At length we concluded to build a raft
of slabs that we found lodged against a bridge; so we all went to
work; having walked so far, our wind was pretty good, and got our
raft completed by sunset--on Sunday too. We then procured some
bread, and set sail down the river a little before dark, not
knowing what was before us, whether there were dangerous passes,
or falls in the river--such was our destitute situation, that we
were compelled to go on. Our provisions were nearly out, and
Indians chiefly inhabited the country along the river down
towards Pittsburg. During the night we had some difficulty in
passing the drift at the short bends that are in the Alleghany,
but went on tolerably well until next morning about breakfast
time. I had laid myself down upon the dry part of the raft and
fallen asleep, not having slept any during the night, as there
was not room for more than two or three to lie down at once. We
now came in contact with a driftwood, and the current was so
strong that the raft was taken under almost instantly--we
scrambled up on the drift, and after some difficulty got ashore.
The raft came out below, and went on; and then we were left on
foot again, among the Indians called Corn Planters. Fortunately
for us, we had taken a Yankee passenger aboard our raft, who had
some money with him, with which we bought a canoe from an Indian
in which we came down the river until we reached Pittsburg.
Before we reached Pittsburg we met a recruiting party at the
mouth of French creek; the officer was very kind--he furnished us
with a room to sleep in--gave us flour and whiskey. His object
was to enlist some of us; we did not tell him that we would not
enlist; we sat up however and baked bread enough whilst the
others were asleep to last us to Pittsburg; and before the
officer was out of his bed in the morning, we were paddling on
towards home.

When we arrived at Pittsburg, we sold the canoe for five dollars,
and purchased bread, and almost immediately took passage on a
salt boat bound for Kanawha. But whilst we were in Pittsburg we
there saw the British soldiers that guarded us at Detroit
prison--they had been taken at the battle of the Thames--they
were at liberty to go to any part of the town, and to work for
themselves. We took this opportunity to remind them of the
difference between their treatment of us, and our treatment
toward them; they were compelled to acknowledge the truth, and
praised our officers very highly.

We paid our passage upon the salt boat, by working at the oars,
all except myself, who was the cook for the company. When we
floated down as far as Kanawha we were there set upon the shore,
and were once more compelled to look about for the means of
continuing our journey. After we had been there a few hours we
saw a raft of pine plank floating down the river; we hailed the
owner, asked for a passage, and were taken aboard. On this raft I
floated down to Maysville, where, thanks to a superintending
Providence, I once again set my feet upon Kentucky soil, and
breathed the air of my native State. Now I was almost naked; no
person, as well as I can remember, had offered me a single
article of clothing since I left Quebec. I had exchanged my
pantaloons, given to me in prison, for an old pair which I found
on the boat, thrown away as useless by some of the boatmen; my
shirt had, by slow degrees, entirely disappeared; I had some
where picked up an old coat that had been the property of some
regular soldier--these two articles constituted my wardrobe,
entire--I was barefooted, but had an old hat.

My companions had all left me higher up the river, and gone
across the country as a nearer way home. When I left the raft and
went into the town my situation excited attention, and soon all
my wants were supplied. Some gave the stuff, and a number of
tailors joined, and in a few hours I was clothed, and furnished
with money to bear my expenses home. I felt the difference here
between warm and cold hearted people. My anxiety was great to
pursue my journey, so I ascended the steep hill that hangs around
Maysville, and made my way through Georgetown and Frankfort, to
Shelbyville, at which place I arrived on the 20th day of June, A.
D. 1814.

Here, at length, after an absence of nearly two years, during all
of which time I had been exposed to sufferings, dangers and
privations, not having slept upon a bed until my return to my
native land, I found myself among the friends of my childhood and
my own beloved kindred. I had left them, when a mere lad, as a
volunteer soldier in the company commanded by Captain Simpson,
and I came back to them a man in years, though feeble in strength
and frail in appearance. The meeting indeed was unexpected to
them, and none can tell the fullness of joy that reigned in my
own heart.

A kind and merciful Providence had preserved and sustained me
through all the perils with which I was surrounded, and unto Him
do I give the praise for my safety. Many years have passed since
the occurrences detailed in this narrative took place. I may now
almost be classed in the number of old men. My avocations have
been those of peace. I have, for nearly twenty years, as an
ordained Minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, endeavored
to teach the mild doctrines of my blessed master. Yet it may not
be without its use to my young countrymen to know what their
fathers have suffered. I have told them a plain unvarnished tale,
which while it may encourage them to be bold in their country's
cause, may also, acquaint them with what they owe to the
generation that has just preceded them.


Note.--On pages 29 and 30 of the foregoing narrative, mention is
made of the reception, by the suffering volunteers, of a
seasonable supply of clothes that had been made up and sent to
the army by the patriotic ladies of Kentucky. I have, since the
commencement of this publication, met with an article that
appeared in the Frankfort Commonwealth (when that paper was under
the editorial direction of Orlando Brown, Esq.) entitled
"Kentucky Mothers," in which allusion is made to the same
transaction. I have thought it not irrelevant to append it to
this, as it shows, in a striking manner, the deep devotion to
country felt by the ladies of Kentucky, and the extent of the
sacrifices they were prepared to make. Although Mr. Brown did not
give the name of this noble mother, I have his permission to
state that the lady alluded to is the venerable Mrs. Elizabeth
Love, who yet resides in Frankfort, beloved by all for her
eminent worth, and characterized by high intellectual endowments
associated with fervent piety, unaffected charity, and every
trait that dignifies and adorns the female sex.


"The deep interest which passing events are giving to the history
of the campaigns of the North-Western Army, naturally sets the
memory to work in recalling the incidents that gave them their
peculiar character. The achievments of the volunteers under the
gallant Harrison, are written in the brightest pages of the
records of their country, and must live so long as the human
heart thrills at the contemplation of deeds of lofty heroism. But
Kentucky does not point solely to her brave soldiers, and
challenge admiration for them. Far, far from it; for to the noble
mothers and daughters of our State belongs a chaplet of unfading
laurels. _They_ espoused the cause of their country with an
ardour never surpassed in any land under the sun. Company after
company, batallion after batallion, left the State for the scene
of war, and although the bloodiest battles were fought, and men
came home with thinned ranks and wearied frames, and the wail of
the widow and the orphan was loud in the lament for the slain,
the fire of patriotism burnt the brighter, and the women of
Kentucky, never faltering, still urged on the men to battle.
Although we were at that time but a very small boy, well do we
remember all that passed under our observation at that stirring
period. We remember the letters that were received from the
volunteers describing their sufferings from cold and hunger and
nakedness, and we remember, too, how the ladies united together
for the purpose of sending clothing to the suffering soldiery.
They formed themselves into sewing societies, made hunting
shirts, knit socks, purchased blankets and fitted up all kinds of
garments that could add to the comfort of the troops. The ladies
of the town of Frankfort, alone, sent two wagon loads of clothing
to the frontier, which arrived most timely, and warmed alike the
hearts and bodies of the volunteers, for they reminded them that
such wives and mothers and sisters deserved to be defended at
every possible hazard.

A Spartan mother is said, on presenting a shield to her son, to
have told him "to return, _with it or upon it_." It is recorded
of another, that when her son complained of the shortness of his
sword, she bade him "take one step nearer his enemy and he would
find it long enough." And for such sayings as these, the Spartan
women have ever since been renowned in history. We remember an
incident that occurred in our own presence during the last war,
that proves that a Kentucky mother was fully equal in courage and
love of country to any of those whose fame has survived for so
many ages. We beg leave to relate it, and will do so in as few
words as possible.

Soon after the battle of the river Raisin, where the Captain of
the Frankfort company (Pascal Hickman,) had been barbarously
massacred in the officers' house after the surrender, Lieutenant
Peter Dudley returned to Frankfort for the purpose of raising
another company. The preceding and recent events of the campaigns
had demonstrated to all that war was, in reality, a trade of
blood, and the badges of mourning, worn by male and female,
evidenced that _here_ its most dire calamity had been felt. He
who would _volunteer_ now, knew that he embarked in a hazardous
enterprise. On the occasion alluded to, there was a public
gathering of the people. The young Lieutenant, with a drummer and
fifer, commenced his march through the crowd, proclaiming his
purpose of raising another company, and requesting all who were
willing to go with him, to fall in the ranks. In a few moments he
was at the head of a respectable number of young men; and, as he
marched around, others were continually dropping in. There was,
in the crowd of spectators, a lad of fifteen years of age; a pale
stripling of a boy, the son of a widow, whose dwelling was hard
by the parade ground. He had looked on with a burning heart, and
filled with the passion of patriotism, until he could refrain no
longer, and, as the volunteers passed again, he leaped into the
ranks with the resolve to be a soldier. "You are a brave boy,"
exclaimed the Captain, "and I will take care of you;" and a
feeling of admiration ran through the crowd.

In a little time, the news was borne to the widow, that her son
was marching with the volunteers. It struck a chill into her
heart, for he was her oldest son. In a few moments she came in
breathless haste, and with streaming eyes, to the father of the
editor of this paper, who was her nearest neighbor, and long
tried friend. "Mr. Brown," said she, "James has joined the
volunteers! the foolish boy does not know what he is about. I
want you to make haste and get him out of the ranks. He is too
young--he is weak and sickly. Mr. Brown, he will die on the
march. If he does not die on the march he will be killed by the
enemy, for he is too small to take care of himself. If he escapes
the enemy he will die of the fever. Oh, my friend, go and take
him away." After a few moments, she commenced again--"I do not
know what has got into the boy--I cannot conceive why he wants to
go to the army--he could do nothing, he is able to do nothing."
Again she paused; and at last rising from her seat, with her eyes
flashing fire, she exclaimed--"BUT I WOULD DESPISE HIM, IF HE DID
NOT WANT TO GO!" That noble thought changed the current of her
reflections, and of her grief--she went home, prepared with her
own hands the plain uniform of that day for her son, and sent him
forth with a mother's blessing. The lad went on with the troops,
bore all the toils of the march, was in the battle at Fort Meigs,
and fought as bravely and efficiently as the boldest man in the
company. The widow's son again came home in safety. Her
patriotism has not been unrewarded. On yesterday I saw that son
bending over the sick bed of the aged mother. He is the only
surviving child of a numerous family, and has been spared as the
stay and prop of her declining years.

Is it any wonder that the Kentuckians are brave and chivalric?
Were they otherwise, they would be recreant to the land of their
birth, and a reproach to their mothers' milk."

_Erratum_.--For _Captain Watson_, read _Captain Matson_, wherever
it occurs.

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