THE BATTLE OF BROWNSTOWN, 1812
By Levi Bishop
(Historic Michigan) - Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections, VI 464-466
For several years at the opening of the present
century, the war chief, Tecumseh, had made strenuous efforts to form a
grand confederacy of Indian tribes with a view to make war on the United
States. HIs grounds were, as he alleged, that the Indians had been
unjustly treated in transactions for the surrender of Indian lands. It may
be true that wrongs had been done to his race, and yet it is believed that
in imitation of the great Pontiac, he wished to arrest the advanced of
white settlers into the Indian country, and even drive them back to their
original settlements east of the Alleghenies.
Tecumseh had made much progress in forming his hostile confederacy, and ten or twelve tribes, some of which were very powerful, had united with it. The headquarters of the confederacy had been fixed at what was called "The Prophet's Town," which was also called, Tippecanoe, on a branch of the Wabash river in Indiana, about seven miles north of what is now the city of Lafayette.
In the spring of 1811, Tecumseh took a journey to the lower Mississippi and other parts of the south, in order to induce the southern Indians to join him, but on taking his departure, he strictly enjoined his brother, Lau-be-wasi-kaw, called the Prophet, to avoid all difficulty, and to keep the peace with the United States till he should return.
In the forepart of the fall of 1811, Governor Harrison, who was aware of the hostile schemes of Tecumseh, advanced with about 800 regular troops and volunteers to Tippecanoe, where there were about one thousand Indian warriors assembled. The Indians ought not to have ricked an engagement without the presence of their great leader, but contrary to the orders of Tecumseh, his brother the Prophet, before daylight on the morning of the 7th of November, 1811, directed an attack on General Harrison's army, and in the course of two hours the Indians suffered a total defeat with heavy loss.
Had Tecumseh been at the head of his warriors at Tippecanoe, the battle of that name would not in all probability have taken place, or if it had been brought on and fought under his immediate command, the result might have been very different.
The great chief soon returned from the south, to learn that all his long-laid plans and his dearest hopes had been blasted by the victory of Harrison. He at once saw that his future hopes, if he could still indulge any, lay not in attempting to form an independent confederacy of Indian tribes, but in joining the
British authorities in Canada; and he accordingly in June, 1812, went to Maiden, now called Amherstburg, at the mouth of the Detroit river, and allied himself with the British forces and authorities there.
On the 18th of June, 1812, congress declared war against England, and Tecumseh entered at once upon the conflict. He was at Maiden with thirty or forty of his warriors when General Hull crossed over from Detroit to Canada in July, 1812. At this time there was an assemblage of Indians at a place called Brownstown, in the territory of Michigan.
These Indians were under the lead of a chief by the name of Walk-in-the-eater, from whom the first steamboat was probably named that ever plowed Lake Erie and the Detroit river in the year 1818. These Indians were inclined to remain neutral in the approaching war, and they sent to Tecumseh at Maiden to come over and attend a council which they were about to hold. Tecumseh indignantly refused the invitation and declared his alliance with the king of England.
A few days later, in the forepart of August, General Hull received intelligence that a company of volunteers, under the command of Captain Henry Brush, was at or near the River Raisin, about forty miles southwesterly from Detroit, on their way from Ohio to Detroit with cattle and provisions for the army. Captain Brush informed the General that he needed an escort as he had learned that a party of Indians under Tecumseh had crossed from Maiden and were ready at Brownstown to intercept him on his way.
This place, then called Brownstown, was a small hamlet or village, situated on Brownstown creek, so-called, where the creek was crossed by the main road leading from Detroit to Ohio. It was about one mile southwest from the present village of Gibralter, between one and two miles up the creek, about six miles from and nearly opposite Malden, in Canada, and nearly five miles from Monguagon, and about twelve miles southwest from Detroit. I am thus particular in describing this place for the reason that historical writers are very apt to confound the battle of Brownstown with the battle of Monguagon, when they were entirely distinct engagements.
General Hull, after some hesitation, consented that Major Van Home, who was the escort the mail to Ohio, should take about three hundred men with him, join the command of Captain Brush and escort the same from the River Raisin up to Detroit. Major Van Home accordingly started on the 4th of August and reached the River Ecorse about eight or nine miles below Detroit the same evening. The next day Captain McDullough, who belonged to a scouting party, was waylayed and killed by the Indians. Major Van Home then marched forward and the next day, August 6th, when at or near the before mentioned hamlet of Brownstown, he was assailed by a party of British troops, and a large body of Indians commanded by Tecumseh in person. Neither Major Van Home, or the British officer, or Tecumseh was a man to tolerate any sort of boy's play, and for a short time there was hot and bloody work on both sides. As the Major was outnumbered, and in danger of being surrounded, he beat a retreat and retired back to the River Ecorse. Thus ended the short but sharp affair called the battle of Brownstown. The American loss was seventeen killed, among whom were five officers, and several wounded. The loss of the enemy is supposed to have been about the same.
Tecumseh was a conspicuous leader in the engagement, and while the contest was highly creditable to all concerned, it was no doubt due in a great measure to his skill and valor, that Major Van Home lost the battle. In this affair also, Tecumseh manifested a spirit which evinced a determination to retrieve, if possible, the loss and disappointment he had sustained for his great confederacy in the ill-advised and disastrous battle of Tippecanoe. He was terribly in earnest in his hostile feeling against the United States, as is fully shown in his subsequent conduct at Monguagon, at Detroit, at Fort Meigs, at Sandusky and at the Thames.
Such is an account of the battle of Brownstown and of the two principal actors in it.
THE BATTLE OF
By Levi Bishop
Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections, VI 464-466
In the month of July, 1812, while General Hull
was in Canada, a company of volunteers, under Capt. Henry Brush, was sent
from Ohio with provisions for the army at Detroit. Major Van Home was
sent down the river from Detroit to join and escort Captain Brush and his
convey to Detroit. At the village of Brownstown, Major Van Home was met
by a detachment of British troops and Indians, and defeated on the 6th of
August, 1812. I will now give an account of the battle of Monguagon, so
On learning of the defeat of General Van Home at Brownstown, General Hull recrossed to Detroit from Canada, and in order to bring Captain Brush with his party and the provisions under his charge to Detroit, Colonel Miller, under whom were Majors Van Home and Morrison, was ordered down the river with six hundred regulars. This detachment was directed to join Captain Brush, then at the River Raisin, and escort him to Detroit.
Colonel Miller left Detroit and marched down the river with his command on the 8th of August, at that time, and on the site of the present village of Trenton, about fifteen miles below Detroit, and about five miles from Brownstown, was a place that was then called Monguagon. This place must then have been surrounded by an almost unbroken forest. At this place Major Muir of the British army had taken his position with the determination to dispute the advance of Colonel Miller. He had under his command about four hundred regulars and Canadian volunteers, and between two and three hundred Indians under the immediate leadership of Tecumseh. Major Muir had thrown up a breastwork of logs behind which his troops were partly protected, and the Indians were ranged on his left in the woods.
On the 9th of August, as Colonel Miller was moving steadily forward, his advance guard, under Captain Snelling, sustained an attack from the British line. This opened the battle. The main body under Colonel Miller soon came up to the support of the advance guard, and the action became general. There was no faltering on either side, and there was what military men would call highly respectable fighting on the part of all concerned. The credit of the American and British soldiery was well sustained by Colonel Miller and Major Muir and the bravery of their troops respectively, while the scene was animated by the fiery and fearless spirit of Tecumseh.
After the battle had raged for a spell, Colonel Miller ordered his whole line to advance, which order was gallantly obeyed, and when within a short distance of the enemy, the Americans delivered a well directed fire and then charged with the bayonet; the charge was successful. The enemy was dislodged from his line of works and driven from the field. Major Muir and his command hastened to their boats and recrossed to Maiden; while the Indians under the lowering disappointment of their great leader, found safety in the forests of the neighborhood.
The loss of the Americans was about twenty killed and about sixty wounded. The loss of the enemy was not known, but it must have been serve, and both Major Muir and Tecumseh were among the wounded.
The valor of the Indian chief was so conspicuous in this action that he shortly after received a commission of brigadier general in the British army; he also received a red sash from the British commander, but history informs us that he was wholly indifferent to the tinsel and glitter of military uniform and parade.
Major Antoine Dequindre, of Detroit, whom I well remember, and who is well remembered by many others now living, is said to have commanded a squadron of cavalry in this engagement; and his bravery and gallantry were conspicuous in charging the enemy and in driving him from the battle ground. Through the politeness of Senator Chandler I have obtained from the War Department at Washington the muster roll of Major Dequindre's company of fifty volunteers in the war of 1812. This appears from the roll to have been in a rifle company, so that if he commanded a squadron of cavalry at Monguagon, it must have been a special command for the occasion. The roll shows that three of his company were killed in that battle. The number of wounded is not given and most of the company was surrendered by General Hull at Detroit one week later, on the 16th of August. In order to render full honor to whom honor is due, I will also state that in the year 1841, the legislature of Michigan passed a resolution highly commendatory of the gallantry of Major Dequindre and the Michigan volunteers in the battle of Monguagon.
I may also here state that among the officers and men on both sides in this battle were those who, while residing on the opposite sides of the river. had become acquainted and friendly with each other, but who were now engaged in deadly conflict simply because their two nationalities were at war; and we may therefore almost say "Not hate but glory made these chiefs contend, and each brave foe was in his soul a friend."
And as it was before the war so it was after, when the neighbors on this side could again shake hands with their neighbors on the other side of the river in honest friendship.
Detroit was surrendered by General Hull to General Brock on the 16th of August, 1812, just one week after our victory at Monguagon. This surrender has been severely and no doubt justly censured, and still it is not much to be wondered at. General Hull was then in advanced age, the Indians in large numbers under Tecumseh were hovering about this devoted frontier town, ready to pounce upon it as a long coveted prey. It is not therefore very strange that the superannuated Hull should quail before veteran troops of England under a brave and skillful commander, and before the fearless and revengeful spirit of the renowned chief who was then in the full vigor of manhood. The real mistake may, perhaps, after all, be found to have been in placing such a man in such an exposed and difficult position and in the presence of such enemies.
Tecumseh was a remarkable man in many respects. His knowledge of the country around Detroit was perfect, and when General Brock, before crossing the river from Sandwich, asked him in regard to it, he at once took a large piece of bark and placing stones on the four corners drew a map of the vicinity of Detroit, with its rivers, roads, hills, and swamps, as perfect as any that has since been produced.
It is said that his hatred towards the whites was such that he would never allow his portrait to be taken. I understand that as a consequence, there is no likeness of him extant; this is to be regretted, and yet a good portrait of him might perhaps now be produced if the proper sketch could be obtained from which to work. It is a subject that is worthy the attention of the best artists; and in order to afford them the best materials extant I will give a description of his personal appearance from a history now in my possession.
Tecumseh was nearly six feet in stature, with strong muscular frame, capable of great physical endurance. HIs head was of moderate size with a forehead full and high; his nose was slightly aquiline, teeth large and regular; his eyes b lack, penetrating and over hung with heavy brows, which increased the grave and severe expression of his countenance. He is represented by those who knew him to have been a remarkably fine business man, always plain but neat in his dress and of commanding personal appearance. When he spoke to his brethren of the great theme that animated all his actions, his fine countenance lighted up, his firm and erect figure trembled with deep emotion which his own stern dignity could with difficulty prepress; every feature and gesture had its meaning, and his language flowed freely and tumultuously from the fountain of his soul. Such we believe to be a full and fair description of this celebrated son of the forest. We think a good likeness ought to be easily produced from it; we have thought at least the attempt might be made, and that a good likeness of Tecumseh will ere long adorn our galleries of art.
Tecumseh and General Harrison were able military commanders, more especially for irregular and frontier warfare. Had the former not been accidently absent when the battle of Tippecanoe was fought, he might, if he had allowed it to take place, have terminated his career there instead of at the Thames in 1813. On the other hand, had the great chief commanded on the Wabash in 1911, General Harrison might have closed a short but brilliant career at Tippecanoe instead of closing a long and remarkable life in the presidential mansion at Washington. Such in brief was the affair known as the battle of Monguagon. It is often spoken of by historians as the battle at or near Brownstown, and the two are often confounded, but they took place three days apart, and they were entirely distinct from each other. At Brownstown we were worsted by the enemy, but at Monguagon good fortune enabled us to write a short but brilliant chapter in American military annals.
Since writing the above I have been furnished by the politeness of David E. Harbaugh, Esq., with the following copy of a letter written by the late Major Thomas Rowland of Detroit, who was himself in the battle of the Thames of the Thames, giving an account of the death and appearance of the celebrated Indian chief, Tecumseh:
..........................Arnold's Mill, River Thanies, October 9, 1813
Tecumseh is certainly killed. I saw him with my own eyes. It was the first time I ever saw this celebrated chief. There was something so majestic, so dignified, and yet so mild in his countenance as he lay stretched on his back on the ground, where a few minutes before, he rallied his men to the fight, that wile gazing on him with admiration and pity, I forgot he was a savage. He had such a countenance as I shall never forget. He had received a wound in the arm and had it bound up before he received the mortal wound. He did not appear to me to be as large a man as represented. I did not suppose his height exceeded five feet ten or twelve inches, but extremely well proportioned. The British say he compelled them to fight.
MASSACRE AT FRENCHTOWN, MI JAN 1813
By Rev. Thomas P. Dudley, One of the Survivors
Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections, XXII 4364-443
The following incidents relating to the march of
a detachment of Kentucky troops under Colonel Lewis to Frenchtown, on the
River Raisin, Michigan, January, 1813; the battles of the 18th and 22d;
the massacre of the prisoners and the march to Fort George, on the
Niagara river, were written by the Rev. Thomas P. Dudley of Lexington,
Kentucky, May 26, 1870, and indorsed as follows:
....................................................A.T. GGOODMAN, Esq., Secretary Western Reserve Historical Society:
DEAR SIR: I take pleasure in forwarding to your society an interesting and reliable narrative, by the Rev. Thomas P. Dudley of this city.
Very Truly yours,
Lexington, June 1, 1870
On the seventeenth day of January, 1813, a detachment of five hundred and fifty men, under command of Col. William Lewis, with Col. John Allen and Majors Ben. Graves and George Madison, from the left wing of the Northwest army, was ordered to Frenchtown, on the River Raisin, where it was understood a large number of British had collected and were committing depredations on the inhabitants of that village. On the 17th at night the detachment encamped at the mouth of Swan creek, on the Maumee of the lake. On the 18th they took up the line of march, meeting a number of the inhabitants retreating to the American camp, opposite to where Fort Meigs was subsequently built. Our troops inquired whether the British had any artillery, to which the reply was, "They have two pieces about large enough to kill a mouse." They reached the River Raisin about three o'clock in the afternoon, and while crossing the river on the ice the British began firing their swivels, when the American troops were ordered to drop their knapsacks on the ice. Reaching the opposite shore, they raised a yell, some crowing like chicken cocks, some barking like dogs, and others calling "Fire away with your mouse cannon again." The troops were disposed as follows: The right battalion commanded by Colonel Allen, the center by Major Madison, the left by Major Graves. The latter battalion was ordered to dislodge the enemy from the position occupied by them, "being the same occupied by the American troops in the battle of the twenty second," during which the right and center were ordered to remain where they were, in the open field until Major Graves' command should force the enemy to the woods. While Graves was driving the enemy, occasional balls from the woods opposite Colonel Allen's command wounded some of his men. Hence Colonel Allen ordered a partial retreat of some forty or fifty yards, so as to place his men out of reach of the Indian guns. Just as this order was accomplished we discovered from the firing that Major Graves had driven the enemy to the woods, when he was ordered to advance the right and center. Up to this time the fighting was done by Major Graves' battalion. So soon as the right and center reached the woods the fighting became general and most obstinate, the enemy resisting every inch of ground as they were compelled to fall back. During three hours the battle raged: the American detachment lost eleven killed and fifty-four wounded.
About dusk Major Graves was sent by Colonel Lewis to stop the pursuit of the enemy, and direct the officers commanding the right and center, who had been hotly engaged in the conflict, and had killed many of the enemy, to return to Frenchtown, bearing the killed for interment and the wounded for treatment. Nothing of importance occurred until the morning of the 20th, when General Winchester, with a command of two hundred men, under Colonel Wells, reached Frenchtown. Wells' command was ordered to encamp to the right of the detachment, who fought the battle of the 18th, and to fortify. The spies were out continually, and brought word on the 21st that the enemy were advancing in considerable force to make battle. On the 21st morning Wells asked leave to return to the camp, which he had recently left, for his baggage. General Winchester declined giving leave, informing Wells that we would certainly and very soon be attacked. In the afternoon Wells again applied for leave to return for his baggage. General Winchester again replied, "the spies bring intelligence that the enemy have reached Stony Creek, five miles from here. If you are disposed to leave your command in the immediate vicinity of the enemy, when a battle is certain, you can go." Wells left and went back.
On the 22nd, just as the reveille was arousing the troops (about daybreak), the first gun was fired. Major Graves had been up some hours, and had gone to the several companies of his battalion, and roused them. Upon the firing of the first gun he immediately left his quarters and ordered his men to stand to their arms. Very many bombs were discharged by the enemy, doing, however, very little execution, most of them bursting in the air, and the fighting became general along the line, the artillery of the enemy being directed mainly to the right of our lines, where Wells' command had no protection but a common rail fence, four of five rails high. Several of the Americans on that part of the line were killed and their fence knocked down by the cannon balls, when General Winchester ordered the right to fall back a few steps and reform on the bank of the river, where they would have been protected from the enemy's guns. Unfortunately, however, that part of the line commenced retreating, and reaching Hull's old trace along the lane, on either side of which the grass was so high as to conceal the Indians. At this time Colonels Lewis and Allen, with a view of rallying the retreating party, took one hundred men from the stockade and endeavored to arrest their flight. Very many were killed and wounded and others made prisoners, among the former Colonel Allen, Captains Simpson, Price, Edmondson, Mead, Dr. Irwin, Montgomery, Davis, McIlvain and Patrick; and of the latter, General Winchester, Colonel Lewis, Major Overton, etc. The firing was still kept up by the enemy on those within the pickets, and returned with deadly effect.
The Indians, after the retreat of the right wing, got around in the rear of the picketing, under the bank and on the same side of the river, where the battle was raging, and killed and wounded several of our men.
It is believed that the entire number of killed and wounded within the pickets did not exceed one dozen; and the writer doubts very much whether, if the reinforcements had not come, those who fought the first battle, although their number had been depleted by sixty-five, would not have held their ground, at least until reinforcements could have come to their relief. Indeed it was very evident the British very much feared a reinforcement, from their hurry in removing the prisoners they had taken, from the south to the west of the battle ground, and in the direction of Fort Malden, from which they sent a flag, accompanied by Dr. Overton, aid to General Winchester, demanding the surrender of the detachment, informing they had Generals Winchester and Lewis; and in the event of refusal to surrender, would not restrain their Indians. Major Graves being wounded, Major Madison was now left in command, who, when the summons to surrender came, repaired to the room in which Major Graves and several other wounded officers were, to consult with them as to the propriety of surrendering. It is proper here to state that our ammunition was nearly exhausted.
It was finally determined to surrender, requiring of the enemy a solemn pledge for the security of the wounded. If this was not unhesitatingly given, determined to fight it out. But, oh the scene which now took place! The mortification at the thought of surrendering the Spartan band who had fought like heros, the tears shed, the wringing of hands, the swelling of hearts indeed the scene beggars description! Life seemed valueless. Our Madison replied to the summons, in substance, "We will not surrender without a guarantee for the safety of the wounded, and the return of side arms to the officers." (We did not intend to be dishonored.) The British officer haughtily responded: "Do you, sir, claim the right to dictate what terms I am to offer?" Major Madison replied, "No, but I intend to be understood as regards the only terms on which we will agree to surrender."
Capt. William Elliott, who had charge of the Indians, it was agreed should be left with some men, whom it was said would afford ample protection until carryalls should be brought from Malden to transport the prisoners there; but the sequel proved they were a faithless, cowardly set. The British were in quite a hurry, as were their Indian allies, to leave after the surrender. Pretty soon Captain Elliott came in the room where Major Graves, Captain Hickman, Captain Hart, and the writer of this (all wounded) were quartered. He recognized Captain Hart, with whom he had been a roommate at Hart's father in Lexington, Kentucky. Hart introduced him to the other officers, and after a short conversation in which he (Elliott) seemed quite restless and a good deal agitated (he, I apprehend, could have readily told why, as he could not have forgotten the humiliation he had contracted in deceiving Hart's family, pecuniarily). He proposed borrowing a horse, saddle and bridle for the purpose of going immediately to Maiden and hurrying on sleighs to remove the wounded, thence assuring Captain Hart especially of the hospitality of his house, and begging us not to feel uneasy; that we were in no danger; that he would leave three interpreters, who would be an ample protection to us. He obtained Major Graves' horse, saddle and bridle, and left, which was the last we saw of Captain Elliott. We shall presently see how Elliott's pledges were fulfilled.
On the next morning, the morning of the massacre, between daybreak and sunrise, the Indians were seen approaching the houses sheltering the wounded. The house in which Major Graves, Captains Hart and Hickman and the writer were, had been occupied as a tavern. The Indians went into the cellar and rolled out many barrels, forced in their heads and began drinking and yelling. Pretty soon they came crowding into the room where we were, and in which there was a bureau, two beds, a chair or two and perhaps a small table. They forced the drawers of the bureau which were filled with towels, table & cloths, shirts, pillow slips, etc. About this time Major Graves and Captain Hart left the room. The Indians took the bed clothings, ripped open the bed tick, threw out the feathers, and apportioned the ticks to themselves. They took the overcoat, close bodied coat, hat and shoes from the writer. When they turned to leave the room, just as he turned the Indians tomahawked Captain Hickman in less than six feet from me. I went out onto a porch, next the street, when I heard voices in a room at a short distance. Went into the room where Captain Hart was engaged in conversation with the interpreter. He asked, "what do the Indians intend to do with us." The reply was, "they intend to kill you." Hart rejoined, "ask liberty of them for me to make a speech to them before they kill us." The interpreter replied, "If we undertook to interpret for you, they will as soon kill us as you." It was said, and I suppose truly, that Captain Hart subsequently contracted with an Indian warrior to take him to Amherstburg, giving him $600. The brave placed him on a horse and started. After going a short distance they met another company of Indians, when the one having charge of Hart spoke of his receiving the $600 to take hart to Maiden. The other Indians insisted on sharing the money, which was refused, when some altercation took place, resulting in the shooting of Hart off the horse by the Indian who received the money.
A few minutes after leaving the room, where I had met Hart and the interpreters; and while standing in the snow eighteen inches deep, the Indians brought Captain Hickman out on the porch, stripped of clothing except a flannel shirt, and tossed him out on the snow a few feet of me, after which he breathed once or twice and expired. While still standing in the yard, without coat, hat or shoes, Major Graves approached me in charge of an Indian and asked if I had been taken. I answered no. He proposed that I should go along with the Indian who had taken him. I replied, "no, if you are safe I am satisfied." He passed on and I never saw him afterward. While standing in the snow two or three Indians approached me at different times, and I made signs that the ball I had received was still in my shoulder. They shook their heads, leaving the impression that they designed a more horrid death for me. I felt that it would be a mercy to me if they would shoot me down at once, and put me out of my misery. About this time I placed my hand under my vest, and over the severe would I had received, induced thereto by the cold, which increased my suffering. Another young warrior passed on and made signs that the ball had hardly struck and passed on, to which I nodded assent. He immediately took off a blanket capot (having two) and tied the sleeves around my shoulder and gave me a large red apple. The work of death on the prisoners being well nigh done and the houses fired, he started with me toward Detroit. After going a short distance he discovered my feet were suffering, being without shoes, and he having on two pairs of moccasins, pulled off the outer pair, and put them on my feet. Having reached Stony creek, five miles form the battle ground, where the British and Indians camped the night before the battle of the 22nd of January, their camp fires were still burning, and many had stopped with their prisoners to warm. In a short time I discovered some commotion among them. An Indian tomahawked Ebenezer Blythe, of Lexington. Immediately the Indian who had taken me resumed his march, and soon overtook his father, whom I understood to be an old chief. They stooped by the roadside and directed me to take a seat on a log and proceeded to paint me. We reached Brownstown about sundown in the evening, when having a small ear of corn we placed it in the fire for a short time and then made our supper on it. A blanket was spread on bark in front of the fire and I pointed to lie down.
My captor finding my neck and shoulder so stiff that I could not get my head back, immediately took some of his plunder and placed under my head and covered with a blanket. Many Indians, with several prisoners, came into the council house afterward, and they employed themselves dressing, in hoops, the scalps of our troops. There was the severest thunderstorm that night witnessed at that time of the year. The water ran under the blanket and the ground being lower in the center around the fire, I awoke some time before day and found myself lying in the water, possibly two inches deep, got up and dried myself as well as I could. About daybreak they resumed their march towards Detroit, stopping on the way and painting me again. We reached Detroit about three o'clock in the afternoon, and as we passed along the street a number of women approached us and entreated the Indians not to kill me. Passing on we met two British officers on horse back, and stopped and chatted with the Indians, exulting with them in the victor, to whom the women appealed in my behalf, but they paid no more regard to me than if I had been a dog. I passed the night with the Indians at the house of a white woman in the city, who the next morning asked liberty to give me a cup of tea with a loaf of bread and butter. In the afternoon the Indians paraded with their prisoners and the trophies, scalps, and marched to the fort. After remaining some time in the guard house where all the prisoners were surrendered but myself, my captors arose to leave with me. When we reached the door the guard stopped me, which seemed to excite the Indians considerably. Major Muir, commanding the fort, was immediately called for, and entered into a treaty for my release. It was said he gave as a ransom for me an old broken down pack horse and a keg of whisky.
My Indian captor took affectionate leave of me with a promise to see me again. Let me here say my Indian captor exhibited more the principle of man and the solder than all the British I had been brought in contact with up to the time I met Major Muir. The next day the British officers, Hale and Watson, invited me to mess with them so long as I remained in the fort. Three or four days afterward, and the day before our officers, Winchester, Madison and Lewis, were to leave for the Niagara river, of of these officers accompanied me across the Detroit river to Sandwich. When passing to the hotel where they were, when I become opposite the dining room door, I saw Major Madison sitting down to supper. The temptation was so strong I entered the door, to the astonishment of the Major and the other officers, who supposed I had been murdered with many other prisoners. I am constrained to acknowledge the great mercy of God in my preservation thus far. On the following morning, when arrangements were being made for transportation of officers to Fort George, but none for me, my heart felt like sinking within me at the thought of being left to care for those I had no confidence whatever in. Providentially a Canadian lieutenant was listening and so soon as all, both British and American officers left the room, nobly came to me and said, "I have a good span of horses and a good carry all. You are welcome to a seat with me." I joyfully accepted his offer, and I hereby acknowledge that I met in his person a whole souled man and a soldier, through whose kindness, mainly, I reached Niagara river. When I was once more permitted to look at the much loved flag of my country, and paroled and put across the Niagara river on American soil, then, with all my suffering I felt that I could once more breathe freely. I have again to acknowledge the goodness of God in providing for reaching my home and friends, after traveling more than one thousand miles badly wounded, a half ounce ball buried in my shoulder. But I lived to be fully avenged upon the enemies of my country in the battle of the 8th of January, 1815, below New Orleans, I have omitted many minor incidents that were in this communication the wright of which has given great pain in my wounded shoulder.
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