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They thencrossed the riverto the only remaining fort, Wilkesborough, which in hopes of mercy surrendered without demand. ing any conditions. They found about seventy continental soldiers, who had been engaged merely for the defence of the fron. tiers, whom they butchered with every circumstance of horrid cruelty. The reinainder of the men, with the women and chile dren, were shut up as before in the houses, which being set on fire, they perished altogether in the flames.
A general scene of devastation was now spread through all the townships. Fire, sword, and the other different instruments of destructions alternately triumphed. The settlements of the tories alone generally escaped, and appeared as islands in the midst of the surrounding ruin. The merciless ravagers having destroyed the main objects of their cruelty, directed their animosity to every part of living nature belonging to them: shot and destroyed some of their cattle, and cut out the tongucs of othors, leaving them still alive to prolong their agonies.
The following are a few of the more singular circumstances of the barbarity practised in the attack upon Wyoming. Captain Bedlock, who had been taken prisoner, being stripped naked, had his body stuck full of splinters of pine-knots,* and then a heap of pine-knots piled around him ; the whole was then set on fire, and his two companions, captains Ranson and Durgee, thrown alive into the fames, and held down with pitch-forks. The returned tories, who had at different times abandoned the settlement in order to join in those savage expeditions, were the most distinguished for their cruelty ; in this they resembled the tories that joined the British forces. One of these Wyoming tories, whose mother had married a second husband, butchered with his own hands, both her, his father-in-law, his own sisters and their infant children. Another, who during his absence had sent home several threats against the life of his father, now not only realized them in person, but was himself, with his own hands, the exterminator of his whole family, mother, brothers and sisters and mingled their blood in one common carnage, with that of the ancient husband and father. The broken parts and scattered relics of families, consisting mostly of women and children, who had escaped to the woods during the different scenes of this devastation, suffered little less than their friends, who had perished in the ruin of their houses. Dispersed and wandering in the forests, as chance and fear directed, without provision or
* Pipe-knots are fo replete with turpentine, that they are fired and used at night to illuminate the room; and lighted splinters are often carried about in the houscs of ine Carolina plauters 10 cad of candles
covering, they had a long tractof country to traverse, and many, without doubt, perished in the woods. But whatever distresses and cruelties have been experienced by the Wyoming settiers, the British cause, so far from being served by them, is much injured, through the bitter and lasting resentment they fix in the minds of the Americans.
Some expeditions were undertaken on the otlier side by the Americans. Colonel Clarke's expedition through the Indian country, which commenced last summer, is worthy of particular observation, from the successful spirit of enterprise, courage and prudence, with which it was conducted.
The col. left Virginia with a small party of between two and three hundred men. The object in view was the reduction of the French settlements planted by the Canadians on the Upper Missisippi, in the Illinois country, and at so vast a distance that they were obliged to traverse no less than about 1200 miles of an uncultivated and uninhabited wilderness. Much of the mischief which had fallen upon the southern and middle states, from the incursions of the Indians, had been attributed to the governor of those settlements, who beside acting as an agent for the British government and paying large rewards for scalps, had been in. defatigable in attenipting to excite the Ohio and Missisippi Indians to undertake expeditions against the frontiers. This conduct was the motive to the present enterprise. The party, after a long course down the Monongahela, and a voyage on the Ohio, arrived at the great falls of the latter, within about 60 miles of its mouth, where they hid their boats, and bent their course by land to the northward, In this stage of the expedia tion, after consuming all the provision they had been able to carry on their backs, they endured a hard march of two day's without any sustenance. They therefore, when arrived in this hungry state, about midnight, at the town of Kaskaskias, were una. nimously determined to take it or perish in the attempt.
The town contained about 250 houses, and was sufficiently fortified to have withstood a much stronger enemy; but distance having forbidden all idea of danger among the inhabitants, of course superseded all pracaution against surprise. Both town and fort were taken without noise or opposition before the people were well awake, and the inhabitants were so effectually secured that not a person escaped to alarm the neighboring settlements. The governor, Philip Rocheblave, was sent to Virginia, with all the written instructions he had received from Quebec, Detroit, and Michilliniackinack, for setting on the Indians, and paying them great rewards for the scalps of the Americans.-The inhabitants were required to take an oath of allegiance to
the United States, and the fort became the head-quarters of the victors.
A small detachment pushed forward from this place on horse. back, and surprised, and took with as little difficulty three other French towns, lying from fifteen to about seventy miles further up the Missisippi. The inhabitants in them and the neighbours ing country made no difficulty of transferring their alegience, which they would reasonably conclude could not be refused with safety, as they inight naturally imagine the enemy was in force, being in the heart of the country : the dangerous situation of this smali corps in the inner part of the Indian territory, at the back of some of the most cruel and hostile tribes, in the track of many otheis, and more or less in the way of all, was converted to peculiar advantage, by the extraordinary activity and unwearied spirit of the cammander. He directed and timed his attacks with such judgment, and executed them with such silence and dispatch, that the Indians found their own mode of war cffectually turned upon them. Surprised in their inmost retreats, and most sequesicred recesses, at those tiines and seasons, when they were scarcely less disposed for action, than unprepared for den ferice, they experienced in their own wigwanıs and families, that unexpected slaughter and destruction which they liad so frequently carried home to others. Upon this they grow cautiousand tiinid; and the continual danger to which their families were exposed, damped the ardor of their warriors for hostile expedia tions.
Sir Henry Clinton, on the return of the troops from the Bed. ford expedition, determined upon another to Egg-harbor, on the Jersey coast, where the Americans bad a number of privateers and prizes, and some considerable salt works. To draw away the attention of the Americans, and to procure at the same time forage and fresh provisions for the army, lord Cornwallis advanced into Jersey avith a strong body of troops, while gen. Knyphausen advancing with another division of ihe ariny, took a position on the east side of the North-River, by which only the two divisions were separated ; so that by means of their boat: they could unite their whole force on either side of it, within twenty-four hours. Licut. col. Baylor's regiment of higit-l:orse, with some militia, were detached to watch and interrupt the fora. gers. The colonel, it is to be feared, in order to avoid being under gen. Wayne's command, went with his men into the mouth of the British, and there lay in a state of unsuidieriv seclirity, which induced lord Cornwallis to form a plan for Surprising the whole. Gen. Gray, with the light-infantry and some other troops, advanced by night on the left to surprise the cheiny
on that side, and a detachment was made from Knyphausen's corps on the right, which having passed the North-River, intended so to have enclosed the whole American force employed in watching them, as that few or none of them should have escaped. Some deserters from the column on their right prevented the completion of the scheme. These having at the most criti. cal moment roused the militia, who lay at New-Taapan under gen. Wayne, afforded them the opportunity of escaping. But Grey conducted his division with such silence and order, that they not only cut off a serjeant's patrol of twelve men without noise, but completely surrounded Old-Taapan without any discovery, [September 27.] and surprised Baylor's horse asleep and naked in the barns where they lay. A severe execution took place, and numbers were dispatched with the bayonct. The men be. ing so completely surprised and incapable of resistance, the refusal of quarters when implored, has led congress to deem the execution a massacre, after receiving the best information upon oath, that they could obtain concerning it. Of about a dozen wounded soldiers who appeared to give evidence, thờee had received from nine to eleven stabs each, of bayonets, in the breast, back and trunk of the body, beside several wounds in other parts. Two others had received, the one five, and the other aix stabs in the body. However the admiration of some, who reason from the nature of the weapon and the manner in which it is used, niay be excited at these men being able in about three weeks time to give their testimony, as also being seemingly in a fair way of recovery; yet the positive evidence, given upon oath before gov. Livingston, whose penetration would have detected, and whose integrity would have discarded a false witness, will be credited by impartial persons. Baylor himself was wounded, but not dangerously: he lost in killed, wounded and taken, 67 privaves out of 104, beside 70 horses. It it said, that Grey ordered no quarter to be given, and that the charges were drawn, and the Aints taken out; but that one of the light-infantry captains ventured to disobey the order ; and gave quarters to the whole fourth troop, which serves to account for the number of prisoners tak. en and carried to New York, viz. 39 privates, beside a captaill, two subalterns, a volunteer, and the sergeon's mate. .
Captain Ferguson' of the 70ch regiment, with about 300 land forces, were detached on the expedition to Little Egg-harbour, under a proper convoy. They arrived off the bar on the even. ing of the 5th of October. The Americans had obtained some intelligence of the design and had suddenly sent out to sea, such of their privateers as were in any degree of readiness, to escape the impending danger. The larger of the remaining vessels,
chiefly prizes, were hauled up the river to Chesnut-neck, about twenty miles from its mouth. The smaller privateers and craft of different sizes, were carried still further up into the country. The detachment proceeded to Chesnut-neck, burnt the vessels found there, destroyed the settlements, store-houses, and works of every sort, to prevent ail privateers being fitted out from thence for the future. On their return, they made excursions into the neighboring country, destroyed some considerable saltworks, as well as the houses and settlements of several persons who had taken a conspicuously active part on the side of America, or had been concerned in the fitting out of privateers.
When the troops had rejoined the squadron, a French cap. taill, with some privates, who had deserted from count Pulaski's legion, gave such an account of the careless manner in which three troops of horse and as many companies of infantry were cantoned, at only a few miles distant, that the commanding officers by sea and land, concluded on an expedition to beat up their quarters. They had the advantage of conveying the troops by water to within a small distance of their destination; the deserters also informed them of an unguarded bridge, the possession of which would serve, in case of necessity, effectie ally to covertheir retreat back to the vessels. Two hundred and fifty men weic embarked (Oct. 15.] who after rowing ten miles, Janded long before day-light within a mile of the bridge, which they secured; and leaving a guard in possession of it, the remainder pushed on and completely surprised Pulaski's lightinfantry, and destroyed about fifty of thein, among whom was the baron de Bose and lieutenant de la Borderic. The attack being in the night, little quarter could be given; more would probably have been granted, had not the deserters falsely reported, that Pulaski had issued public orders forbidding his corps to grant any quarter to the British troops. The slaughter would not have ended so soon, if Pulaski had not on the first alarm, hastened with his cavalry to support the infantry, which then kept a good countenance. The British not long after made a hasty retreat, and returned to their boats.
Let me pass from hence to relate a disagreeable disturbance that happened in Charleston, South-Carolina, on the nigiit of September the 6th. By some means a quarrel commenced on shore between the American and French sailors, when the for mer nade use of indecent, illiberal and national reflections against the latter, which provoked resentment. The parties soon proeeeded to open hostilities, when the French were driven front the town, and betook themselves to their shipping, whence they tired with cannon and small arms, which was returned by the AmeVOL. II,