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distinguished Miami chief, whose name was Mish-e-ken-o-quoh, which signifies the Little Turtle. The ground on which the action took place, lies about eleven miles from Fort Wayne, and near the point at which the Goshen state road crosses Eel river.
On the morning of the 19th, the main body of the army under Harmar, having destroyed the Miami village, moved about two miles to a Shawanee village which was called Chillicothe, where, on the 20th, the General published the following orders:
“CAMP AT CHILLICOTHE, one of the Shawanese towns,
on the Omee [Maumee] river, October 20th, 1790. “The party under command of Captain Strong is ordered to burn and destroy every house and wigwam in this village, together with all the corn, &c. which he can collect. A party of one hundred men (militia) properly officered, under the command of Colonel Hardin, is to burn and destroy effectually, this afternoon, the Pickaway town,* with all the corn, &c. which he can find in it and its vicinity.
“The cause of the detachment being worsted yesterday was entirely owing to the shameful cowardly conduct of the militia who ran away, and threw down their arms, without firing scarcely a single gun. In returning to Fort Washington, if any officer or men shall presume to quit the ranks,' or not to march in the form that they are ordered, the General will, most assuredly, order the artillery to fire on them. He hopes the check they received yesterday will make them in future obedient to orders.
JOSIAH HARMAR, Brig. General.” At ten o'clock, A. M. on the 21st, the army moved from the ruins of the Chillicothe village, marched about seven miles on the route to Fort Washington, and encamped. The night being very clear, Colonel Hardin informed General Harmar that he thought it would be a good opportunity to steal a march on the Indians, as he had reason to believe that they had returned to the towns as soon as the army had left them. Harmar did not seem to be willing to send a party back; but Hardin "urged the matter, informing the General that, as he had been unfortunate the other day, he wished to have it in his power to pick the militia and try it again; and at the same time endeavored to account for the men's not fighting; and desired an opportunity to retrieve the credit of the militia.” * In order to satisfy the request of Hardin, and to give the Indians a check, and thus prevent their harassing the army on its return to Fort Washington, General Harmar determined to send back a detachment of four hundred men. Accordingly, late on the night of the 21st a corps of three hundred and forty militia, and sixty regular troops under the command of Major Wyllys, were detached, that they might gain the vicinity of the Miami village, before day-break, and surprise any Indians who might be found there. The detachment marched in three columns. The regular troops were in the centre, at the head of which Captain Joseph Ashton was posted, with Major Wyllys and Colonel Hardin in his front. The militia formed the columns to he right and left. Owing to some delay, occasioned by the halting of the militia, the detachment did not reach the banks of the Maumee till some time after sun-rise. The spies then discovered some Indians and reported to Major Wyllys, who halted the regular troops, and moved the militia on some distance in front, where he gave his orders and plan of attack to the several commanding officers of corps. Major Wyllys reserved to himself the command of the regular troops. Major Hall, with his battalion, was directed to take a circuitous route round the bend of the Maumee river, cross the St. Mary's, and there, in the rear of the Indians, wait until the attack should be brought on by Major McMullen's battalion, Major Fontaine's cavalry, and the regular troops under Major Wyllys, who were all ordered to cross the Maumee at and near the common fording place. It was the intention of Hardin and Wyllys to surround the Indian encampment; but Major Hall, who had gained his position undiscovered, disobeyed his orders by firing on a single Indian, before the commencement of the action. Several small parties of Indians were soon seen flying in differ*Deposition of Col. Hardin, taken 14th September, 1791.
*A Shawanese village.
ent directions, and the militia under McMullen and the cavalry under Fontaine, pursued them in disobedience of orders, and left Major Wyllys unsupported. The consequence was that the regulars, after crossing the Maumee, were attacked by a superior force of Indians, and compelled to retreat, with the loss of Major Wyllys, and the greater part of their corps. Major Fontaine, at the head of the mounted militia, fell, with a number of his followers, in making a charge against a small party of Indians; and on his fall the remainder of his troops dispersed. While the main body of the Indians, led by the Little Turtle, were engaged with the regulars near the banks of the Maumee, some skirmishing took place near the confluence of the rivers St. Mary's and St. Joseph, between detached parties of Indians and the militia under Hall and McMullen. After the defeat of the regulars, however, the militia retreated on the route to the main army; and the Indians, having suffered a severe loss, did not pursue them. About eleven o'clock, A. M. a single horseman reached the camp of Harmar with news of the defeat of the detachment. The General immediately ordered Major Ray to march with his battalion to the assistance of the retreating parties; but so great was the panic which prevailed among the militia that only thirty men could be induced to leave the main army. With this small number Major Ray proceeded a short distance towards the scene of action, when he met Colonel Hardin on his retreat. On reaching the encampment of Harmar, Colonel Hardin requested the General to march back to the Miami village with the whole army; but Harmar said to him, " you see the situation of the army: we are now scarcely able to move our baggage: it will take up three days to go, and return to this place: we have no more forage for our horses: the Indians have got a very good scourging; and I will keep the army in perfect readiness to receive them, should they think proper to follow.”* The General, at this time, had lost all confidence in the militia. The bounds of the camp were made less, and, at eight o'clock, on the morning of the 23d, the army took up the line of march for Fort Washington, and reached that place on the 4th of November, having lost in the expedition one hundred and eighty-three killed, and thirty-one wounded. Among the killed were Major Wyllys and Lieutenant Ebenezer Frothingham, of the regular troops; and Major Fontaine, Captains Thorp, McMurtrey and Scott, Lieutenants Clark and Rogers, and Ensigns Bridges, Sweet, Higgens, and Thielkeld, of the militia. The Indians, whose loss was about equal to that of the whites, did not annoy the army after the action of the 22d of October.
*Deposition of Colonel Hardin, September 14, 1791.
During the progress of Harmar's operations against the Indians about the Miami town, Major Hamtramck, with the troops under his command, marched up the Wabash to the mouth of the river Vermillion, destroyed some deserted villages, and returned to Vincennes, without meeting with any opposition on his march.
A severe punishment was inflicted on the Miami and Shaw. anee tribes, by the troops under the command of General Harmar, in the fall of the year 1790; but the events which immediately followed the campaign did not accord with the expectations of the government of the United States. The expedition did not compel the hostile tribes to sue for peace; nor were the settlements on the borders of the river Ohio relieved from the evils of a revengeful, merciless, and destructive
On the 8th of January, 1791, General Rufus Putnam, who was one of the “Ohio Company of Associates,” and the founder of the settlement at Marietta, wrote to President Washington as follows:
“MARIETTA, January 8, 1791. “Sir: The mischief which I feared has overtaken us much sooner than I expected. On the evening of the 2d instant, between sunset and daylight-in, the Indians surprised a new settlement of our people at a place on the Muskingum, called the Big Bottom, nearly forty miles up the river, in which disaster eleven men, one woman, and two children were killed : three men are missing, and four others made their escape. Thus, sir, the war which was partial before the campaign of last year, is, in all probability become general: for I think that there is no reason to suppose that we are the only people on whom the savages will wreak their vengeance, or that the number of hostile Indians have not increased since the late expedition. Our situation is truly critical. The Governor and Secretary both being absent, no assistance from Virginia or Pennsylvania can be had. The garrison at Fort Harmar,