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men much cast down-particularly the volunteers. No provision of any sort, now two days. Hard fortune.

“ 20th. ---- Camp very quiet; but hungry. Some almost in despair. Many of the Creole volunteers talking of returning. * Fell to making more canoes, when about twelve o'clock our sentry on the river, brought to a boat with five Frenchmen from the fort, who told us we were not as yet discoveredthat the inhabitants were well disposed to us, &c. * * * They informed us of two canoes they had seen adrift some distance above us. Ordered that Captain Worthington, with a party, go in search of them. Returned late with one only. One of our men killed a deer, which was brought into camp very acceptably.

“21st. --- At break of day began to ferry our men over (the Wabash) in two canoes, to a small hill called the Mamelle. Captain Williams, with two men, went to look for a passage, and were discovered by two men in a canoe, but could not fetch them to. The whole army being over, we thought to get to town that night - so plunged into the water, sometimes to the neck, for more than one league, when we stopped on a hill of the same name there being no dry land on any side for many leagues. Our pilots say we cannot get along - that it is impossible. The whole army being over, we encamped. Rain all this day: No provisions."

The memoir of Clark proceeds:--" This last day's marcht through the water was far superior to any thing the Frenchmen had an idea of: they were backward in speaking - said that the nearest land to us was a small league, called the Sugar camp, on the bank of the [river?] A canoe was sent off, and returned without finding that we could pass. I went in her myself, and sounded the water: found it deep as to my neck. I returned with a design to have the men transported on board the canoes to the Sugar camp, which I knew would spend the whole day and ensuing night; as the vessels would pass slowly through the bushes. The loss of so much time, to men half starved, was a matter of consequence. I would have given now a great deal for a day's provision, or for one of our horses. I returned but slowly to the troops--giving myself time to think. On our arrival, all ran to hear what was the report. Every eye was fixed on me. I unfortunately spoke in a serious manner to one of the officers: the whole were alarmed without knowing what I said. I viewed their confusion for about one minute - whispered to those near me to do as I did -immediately put some water in my hand, poured on powder, blackened my face, gave the war-whoop, and marched into the water, without saying a word. The party gazed, and fell in, one after another, without saying a word, like a flock of sheep. I ordered those near me to begin a favorite song of theirs: it soon passed through the line, and the whole went on cheerfully. I now intended to have them transported across the deepest part of the water; but when about waist deep one of the men informed me that he thought he felt a path. We examined, and found it so; and concluded that it kept on the highest ground, which it did; and by taking pains to follow it, we got to the Sugar camp, without the least difficulty, where there was about half an acre of dry ground, at least not under water, where we took up our lodging. The Frenchmen that we had taken on the river appeared to be uneasy at our situation. They begged that they might be perunitted to go in the two canoes to town in the night: they said that they would bring from their own houses provisions, without a possibility of any persons knowing it-- that some of our men should go with them, as a surety of their good conduct--that it was impossible we could march from that place till the water fell, for the plain was too deep to march. Some of the [officers?] believed that it might be done. I would not suffer it. I never could well account for this piece of obstinacy, and give satisfactory reasons to myself, or any body else, why I denied a proposition apparently so easy to execute, and of so much advantage: but something seemed to tell me that it should not be done; and it was not done.

* Many of our volunteers began, for the first time, to despair. Some talked of returning; but my situation now was such that I was past all uneasiness. I laughed at them without persuading or ordering them to desist from any such attempt; but told them I should be glad if they would go out and kill some deer. They went, confused with such conduct. My own troops I knew had no idea of abandoning an enterprise for the want of provisions, while there was plenty of good horses in their possession: and I knew that, without any violence, the volunteers could be detained for a few days, in the course of

I conducted myself in a manner that caused the whole to believe that I had no doubt of success, which kept their spirits up."-(Clark's MS. Memoir.

fFebruary 21st.

which time our fate would be known.

“ The most of the weather that we had on this march, was moist and warm, for the season. This was the coldest night we had. The ice in the morning was from one half to three quarters of an inch thick, near the shores, and in still water. The morning was the finest we had on our march. A little after sunrise I lectured the whole. What I said to them I forget; but it may be easily imagined by a person that could posseșs my affections for them at that time:- I concluded by informing them that passing the plain that was theri in full view, and reaching the opposite woods, would put an end to their fatigue — that in a few hours, they would have a sight of their long wished for object-and immediately stepped into the water without waiting for any reply. A huzza took place. As we generally marched through the water in a line, before the third entered I halted and called to Major Bowman, ordering him to fall in the rear with twenty-five men, and put to death any man who refused to march; as we wished to have no such person among us.

The whole gave a cry of approbation, and on we went. This was the most trying of all the difficulties we had experienced. I generally kept fifteen or twenty of the strongest men next myself; and judged from my own feelings what must be that of others. Getting about the middle of the plain, the water about mid-deep, I found myself sensibly failing; and as there were no trees nor bushes for the men to support themselves by, I feared that many of the most weak would be drowned. I ordered the canoes to make the land, discharge their loading, and play backwards and forwards with all diligence, and pick up the men; and to encourage the party, sent some of the strongest men forward, with orders, when they got to a certain distance, to pass the word back that the water was getting shallow: and when getting near the woods to cry out “ Land!” This stratagem had its


desired effect. The men, encouraged by it, exerted themselves almost beyond their abilities -- the weak holding by the strong

*** The water never got shallower, but continued deepening. Getting to the woods where the men expected land, the water was up to my shoulders: but gaining the woods was of great consequence: all the low men and the weakly hung to the trees, and floated on the old logs, until they were taken off by the canoes. The strong and tall got ashore and built fires. Many would reach the shore, and fall with their bodies half in the water, not being able to support themselves without it.

“This was a delightful dry spot of ground, of about ten acres. We soon found that the fires answered no purpose; but that two strong men taking a weaker one by the arms was the only way to recover him-and, being a delightful day, it soon did. But fortunately, as if designed by Providence, a canoe of Indian squaws and children was coming up to town, and took through part of this plain as a nigh way. It was discovered by our canoes as they were out after the men. They gave chase and took the Indian canoe, on board of which was near half a quarter of a buffalo, some corn, tallow, kettles, &c. This was a grand prize, and was invaluable. Broth was immediately made and served out to the most weakly, with great care: most of the whole got a little ; but a great many gave their part to the weakly, jocosely saying something cheering to their comrades. This little refreshment, and fine weather, by the afternoon gave new life to the whole. Crossing a narrow deep lake in the canoes, and marching some distance, we came to a copse of timber called the Warrior's Island. We were now in full view of the fort and town, not a shrub between us, at about two miles' distance. Every man now feasted his eyes, and forgot that he had suffered any thingsaying that all that had passed was owing to good policy, and nothing but what a man could bear; and that a soldier had no right to think, &c.- passing from one extreme to another, which is common in such cases. It was now we had to display our abilities. The plain between us and the town was not a perfect level. The sunken grounds were covered with water full of ducks. We observed several men out on horseback, shooting them, within a half mile of us; and sent out as many of our active young Frenchmen to decoy and take one of these men prisoner, in such a manner as not to alarm the others; which they did. The information we got from this person was similar to that which we got from those we took on the river; except that of the British having that evening completed the wall of the fort, and that there was a good many Indians in town.

“Our situation was now truly critical — no possibility of retreating in case of defeat- and in full view of a town that had at this time upwards of six hundred men in it, troops, inhabitants, and Indians. The crew of the galley, though not fifty men, would have been now a reinforcement of immense magnitude to our little army, (if I may so call it, but we would not think of them. We were now in the situation that I had labored to get ourselves in. The idea of being made prisoner was foreign to almost every man, as they expected nothing but torture from the savages, if they fell into their hands. Our fate was now to be determined, probably in a few hours. We knew that nothing but the most daring conduct would ensure success. I knew that a number of the inhabitants wished us well — that many were lukewarm to the interest of either and I also learned that the Grand Chief, the Tobacco's son, had, but a few days before, openly declared in council with the British, that he was a brother and friend to the Big Knives. These were favorable circumstances; and as there was but little probability of our remaining until dark undiscovered, I determined to begin the career immediately, and wrote the following placard to the inhabitants:

“ TO THE INIIABITANTS OF Post VINCENNES. Gentlemen : Being now within two miles of your village, with my army, determined to take your fort this night, and not being willing to surprise you, I take this method to request such of you as are true citizens and willing to enjoy the liberty

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