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Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The

Hearing of a convoy of goods from Detroit


Hamilton and myself had, on the following day, several conferences, but did not agree until the evening, when he agreed to surrender the garrison (seventy-nine in number) prisoners of war, with considerable stores. I got only one man wounded; not being able to lose many, I made them secure themselves well. Seven were badly wounded in the fort, through ports. In the height of this action, an Indian party that had been to war, and taken two prisoners, came in, not knowing of us. Hearing of them, I despatched a party to give them battle in the commons, and got nine of them, with the two prisoners, who proved to be Frenchmen. Hearing of a convoy of goods from Detroit, I sent a party of sixty men, in armed boats well mounted with swivels, to meet them, before they could receive any intelligence. They met the convoy forty leagues up the river, and made a prize of the whole, taking forty prisoners, and about ten thousand pounds' worth of goods and provisions; also the mail from Canada to Governor Hamilton, containing, however, no news of importance. But what crowned the general joy, was the arrival of William Morris, my express to you, with your letters, which gave general satisfaction. The soldiery, being made sensible of the gratitude of their country for their services, were so much elated, that they would have attempted the reduction of Detroit, had I ordered them. Having more prisoners than I knew what to do with, I was obliged to discharge a greater part of them on parole. Mr.
Hamilton, his principal officers, and a few soldiers, I have sent to Kentucky, under convoy of Captain Williams, in order to be conducted to you. After despatching Morris with letters to you, treating with the neighboring Indians, &c, I returned to this place, leaving a sufficient garrison at St. Vincenne.

During my absence, Captain Robert George, who now commands the company formerly commanded by Captain Willing, had returned from New Orleans, which greatly added to our strength. It gave great satisfaction to the inhabitants, when acquainted with the protection which was given them, the alliance with France, &c. I am impatient for the arrival of Colonel Montgomery, but have heard nothing of him lately. By your instructions to me, I find you put no confidence in General M'Intosh's taking Detroit, as you encourage me to attempt it, if possible. It has been twice in my power. Had I been able to raise only five hundred men when I first arrived in the country, or when I was at St. Vincenne, could I have secured my prisoners, and only have had three hundred good men, I should have attempted it, and since learn there could have been no doubt of success, as by some gentlemen, lately from that post, we are informed that the town and country kept three days in feasting and diversions on hearing of my success against Mr. Hamilton, and were so certain of my embracing the fair opportunity of possessing myself of that post, that the merchants and others provided many necessaries for us on our arrival; the garrison, consisting of only eighty men, not daring to stop their diversions. They are now completing a new fort, and I fear too strong for any force I shall ever be able to raise in this country. We are proud to hear Congress intends putting their forces on the frontiers, under your direction. A small army from Pittsburg, conducted with spirit, may easily take Detroit, and put an end to the Indian war. Those Indians who are active against us, are the Six Nations, part of the Shawnese, the Meamonies, and about half the Chesaweys, Ottawas, Jowaas, and Pottawatimas nations, bordering on the lakes. Those nations, who have treated with me, have behaved since very well, to wit, the Peankishaws, Kiccapoos, Orcaottenans of the Wabash river, the Kaskias, Perrians, Mechigamies, Foxes, Sacks, Opays, Illinois, and Poues, nations of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. Part of the Chesaweys have also treated, and are peaceable. I continually keep agents among them, to watch their motions and keep them peaceably inclined. Many of the Cherokees, Chickasaws, and their confederates, are, I fear, ill disposed. It would be well if Colonel Montgomery should give them a dressing, as he comes down the Tennessee. There can be no peace expected from many nations, while the English are at Detroit. I strongly suspect they will turn their arms against the Illinois, as they will be encouraged. I shall always be on my guard, watching every opportunity to take the advantage of the enemy, and, if I am ever able to muster six or seven hundred men, I shall give them a shorter distance to come and fight me, than at this place.

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