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ready to move on Malden, the order to march approaching Brownstown, came upon the was countermanded, and the army instead enemy, covered with a breastwork of logs and of advancing against the enemy, recrossed branches of trees, protected on the one side by the river to Detroit, over which it had passed the Detroit river and on the other by swamps a few weeks before to the conquest of Can. and thickets. The British were commanded ada. During his delay of weeks the gathering by Muir and the Indians by Tecumseh. Capof the Indian clans and re-enforcements pour- tain Snelling, leading the advance guard, aping into the British garrison at Malden seem- proached to within half musket shot, when he ed to alarm General Hull. The surrender at discovered the enemy. A fierce and deadly this time, on the 17th of July, of our post at fire was opened on him, which he sustained Mackinac was announced by the officers and with great courage until Colonel Miller, converttroops paroled, and increased his fears, for it ing his march into order of battle, advanced to threatened the opposing forces of the Indians, his support. Seeing how destructive the fire of Canadians and British in all the Northwest. The the enemy was, while the bullets of his own fort at Mackinac was the grand depot of the men buried themselves for the most part in the fur companies, and had shielded General Hull logs of the breastwork, also perceiving some from all attacks from that quarter.
symptoms of wavering, Miller determined to Three days previous to the retreat of General carry the works by the bayonet. The order to Hull from Canada, Colonel Proctor, of the charge was received with loud cheers, and the British army, had arrived at Malden with re- next moment one detachment poured fiercely enforcements, and threw a detachment across over the breastworks, routing the British and the river to Brownstown to intercept any pro Canadians, and pressed swiftly on their retreatvisions and army supplies that might be ad. ing footsteps. Tecumseh, however, maintainvancing from Ohio to the American army. ed his post, and Van Horne, who commanded Colonel Brush, who was on the way from Ohio the right flank of the American lines, supposwith the mail, flour, cattle and supplies for the ing from his stubborn resistance that it would fort at Detroit, was advised of the movements require more force than he possessed to disof Colonel Proctor and was ordered to halt at lodge him, sent to Colonel Miller for re-enforcethe River Raisin. To open the communication ments. The latter immediately ordered a halt, and aid Colonel Brush, Major Van Horne was and with reluctance turned from the fugitives, dispatched with 200 volunteers and militia ; but now almost within his grasp, and bastened to the detachment was led into an ambush at the relief of his subordinate. On arriving at Brownstown and utterly defeated, but about the breastworks be found the Indians in full one-half returning to the army. Both General flight. He started again in pursuit, but arHull and Major Van Horne were censured – rived in view of the enemy only to see it on the general for not sending a stronger force, the water floating away beyond his grasp. He remaining quietly in Canada and crossing bis had, however, established the communication forces leisurely to Detroit; the latter for not between Detroit and the River Raisin, and disheeding the information received that the patched Colonel Snelling to Detroit with an enemy were in advance, and allowing his small account of the victory and a request for boats force to rush into an ambuscade. General to remove the wounded, bring provisions for Hull's position was now embarrassing. Re- the living and re-enforcements to supply the enforcements were hastening to the support of places of the dead and disabled. General Malden, his communications on Lake Erie were Hull promptly sent Colonel McArthur with cut off by the British vessels, while the defeat 100 men and the boats, but with provisions of Van Horne indicated that his communica- sufficient only for a single meal. Colonel Miltions by land were also cut off. The generaller was then some twenty miles from supplies, knew the land communications must be opened but not deeming it prudent with his slender at all hazards, and dispatched Colonel Miller, force and scanty provisions to proceed, rewith 400 men, on the route which Van Horne mained on the battle field and sent another had taken, to clear the road to the River Raisin. messenger, declaring communication opened,
Colonel Miller left Detroit August 8, 1812, and assuring him a few more men and proviand the next day in the afternoon, as he was sions would keep it so, expecting, as soon as
supplies came and he was relieved of the sick column to pieces, but instead received an order and wounded, to march to Brush at the Raisin. from General Hull not to fire. The ditch was The next evening the messenger returned, occupied by 400 men, while 400 more lay bebringing instead of the provisions a peremptory hind a picket fence which flanked the approach order to return to Detroit with his forces. to it. Three hundred more held the town.
On the evening of the14th General Hull sent Against this formidable army General Brock Colonels McArthur and Cass, with a detachment boldly advanced, riding in front of his column, of 400 men, to obtain by a back, circuitous and apparently doomed to swift destruction, with unknown route through the woods, that which his troops advancing, while with impatience Colonel Miller had secured and then been com- every eye of our forces was sternly bent, and pelled to relinquish.
every heart beating intensely to hear the comOn the evening of the 15th General Hull mand to fire. In this moment of thrilling exsent a courier to the detachment under Cass citement a white flag was boisted above the and McArthur, ordering them before reaching fort, and an order came for all the troops to the Raisin to return, as the fort had been withdraw from the outer posts and stack their summoned to surrender. The detachment arms. Such a cry of indignation arose as marched until two o'clock that night on their probably never before assailed the ears of a return, and early the next morning arrived at commander. the edge of the woods in the vicinity of Detroit, This shameful deed was done on the 16th where they drew up in order of battle.
of August, 1812, and by the articles of capituIn the meantime General Brock, commander lation included Colonels McArthur and Cass, of the British forces, approached Detroit on with their detachments that had been sent to the opposite side of the River Detroit, and com- the River Raisin, together with the detachment menced erecting batteries to protect his army under Colonel Brush at the River Raisin that and cover it in crossing the river. General was entrusted with the supplies. Colonels Hull's officers proposed and urged him to per- McArthur and Cass, having heard the cannonmit them to cross and spike the guns and dis- ading twenty-four hours before, were returnable the enemy, but every project suggested ing, and at the moment the white flag was was rejected, and the 24-pounders and howitzers raised were with their forces within one and a were dumb on their carriages in front of these half miles from the fort, advancing so as to hostile preparations.
take the enemy in the rear. Thus ended a On the morning of the 15th of August, 1812, defense which was thought by the most intellia messenger arrived from General Brock de- gent officers would have resulted in the entire manding an immediate surrender of the town destruction of the British army. and fort. General Hull replied, refusing The terms of capitulation surrendered 2,000 in a very spirited manner. General Brock men, 40 barrels of powder, 400 rounds of 24immediately opened his fire from a newly erect- pound shot, 100,000 ball cartridges, 24,000 ed battery, and after knocking down chim- stand of arms, 35 iron and 8 brass cannon and neys and disabling a few soldiers, ceased firing a large supply of provisions; and for weeks about ten o'clock in the evening. The next thereafter small boats were engaged in transmorning General Brock, under the protection porting the military stores to Malden. of his battery, commenced crossing the river. General Hull was tried by court-martial, of and without loss succeeded. The opposing which Martin Van Buren was judge advocate. forces were nearly equal, but the position of Acquitted of treason, he was found guilty of the Americans gave them greatly the advan- cowardice, and was sentenced to be shot, but tage. The American fort was of great strength, was pardoned by the President. His life was surrounded by a deep, wide ditch, and strongly saved, but he was ever after a blighted and palisaded, with an exterior battery of two 24. ruined man. It is sad to think he went down pounders. At this time Colonel Anderson, to the grave in sorrow and disgrace — that one stationed at corner of Jefferson avenue and who had marched beside General Washington Wayne street with two 24-pounders, with his in the perilous advance on Trenton, stood fuse ready, was confident he could with one firmly amidst the hottest fire at Princeton, charge bave blown General Brock's close gallantly led his men to the charge at Bemis
Heights, and faced without flinching the fiery left by Brush had been carried off and secreted sleet that swept the column pressing up the by the inhabitants of the place before his rerugged heights of Stony Point, should be lease, they thinking it no great harm to take adjudged a coward. He had been a gallant from their own what would otherwise fall into subordinate officer in the Revolution; but a the hands of the "rascally British,” as they man may be a good major or even colonel, yet called them. Captain Elliot sent for the Indian a very poor commander-in-chief- qualified and Chief Tecumseh and his band to pursue Brush, eminently fit to act under orders, whom per- and encouraged the Indians to ravage and
It is a singular coincidence that Napoleon was
strance of Tecumseh.
The settlement was plundered not only of
that Murat and Ney attacked and fell on the bridles, household furniture, and every valurear Russian Guard who began the memorable able that had not been secreted. The settleretreat, was the same morning that General ment was so thoroughly stripped of horses that Hull made his ignominious surrender of De- James Knaggs, who bad for days been controit to General Brock, commander of the cealed in the settlement (a reward of $500 British forces.
having been offered for his scalp), could find A considerable force of British and Indians only one on which to escape to Ohio, and that . was stationed at Detroit from the time of the horse had been hidden by a tailor in a cellar. surrender until the following winter, while Knaggs gave his coat and a silver watch for Colonel Proctor's headquarters were at Malden it. After much peril he succeeded in escaping. with the main British army.
He was the scout or messenger who was enIn order to secure the force under Colonel trusted with communication between Colonel Brush and the supplies in his charge, Captain Brush and General Hull when it was extremeElliot, a British officer, was immediately after ly hazardous to traverse the forests by Inthe surrender and capitulation sent to the dian trails among hostile savages. Mr. James River Raisin from Detroit, accompanied by a Knaggs subsequently fought under Colonel Frenchman and a Wyandot Indian, with a Richard M. Johnson at the Battle of the copy of the capitulation. Colonel Brush, learn- Thames, and with Medard Labadie of River ing from his scout that Captain Elliot was Raisin carried Colonel Johnson, wounded, in a coming with a flag of truce, sent a guard out blanket from the field. to meet him. Elliot and his companions were The chief Tecumseh was the soul of honor blindfolded and brought into the stockade. when his word. was pledged. When Tecumseh's Colonel Brush would not believe Captain hunting parties approached the white settleElliot's story ; thought it a hoax, and the copy ments, horses and cattle were occasionally stolen of the capitulation à forgery, so utterly im- from the French settlers, but notice to the chief probable did it seem to him that Detroit had failed not to produce instant redress. The been taken. For this reason he confined Cap. character of Tecumseh was that of a gallant
house. The next day, August 17th, the story of the surrender was confirmed by an American soldier who had escaped from Detroit. Upon learning this, Colonel Brush packed up what provisions he could, retaining Captain Elliot's horse to aid in carrying the sick, and driving his cattle before him, escaped with his stores and army to Ohio, leaving orders to release Elliot on the next day, which was done. Elliot was of course indignant at his treatment and at the escape of Colonel Brush with so much of the supplies. To add to his rage, a great portion of the provisions and ammunition
his memory was respected by many of our old citizens who personally knew him. One incident will illustrate the character of the great Indian chieftain. When summoned by Elliot immediately after the surrender in August, 1812, to come to the River Raisin and pursue Colonel Brush, he found that most of the cattle of the settlement bad been driven off, either by the settlers in order to save them or by the Indians as plunder. Therefore he experienced great difficulty in getting meat for his warriors. He, however, discovered a yoke of fine black oxen, belonging to a Frenchman by the name
of Rivard, who resided up the river some dis- the Great Spirit and their good rifles. Their tance. Tecumseh insisted on taking the cattle, hunting grounds supplied them food enough but Rivard begged hard, stating they were the and to them they can return." only property he had left, and taking him into He said further that the man was poor and the house showed the chieftain his father sick had a sick father, as he knew, having seen and in need of medicine. He appealed urgent- him; that it was not right that this man should ly to Tecumseh's generosity, but Tecumseh suffer for the evil deeds of his government, and said he must have the oxen, as his men were that if this was the way the British intended to hungry. Young Rivard remonstrated. He carry on the war he would pay the debt and told the chief that if he took them his father then leave with bis men for his home and let would starve to death.
the British do their own fighting. Elliot was “Well," said Tecumseh, “we are the con- alarmed and frightened by the angry and dequerors. I must have the oxen, my people termined chieftain, and brought out $100 in must not starve, but I will not rob you of them. government scrip, but Tecumseh told him to
take it back, as he promised the man the are worth, but I must have them.”
money and money he should have or he would The cattle were speedily killed, large fires leave. Elliot was with great reluctance combuilt, and the warriors were soon feasting on pelled to pay the specie, and then Tecumseh their flesh. During the evening Tecumseh got made him pay the man a dollar extra for the a wbite man to write an order on the British trouble he had been to. Rivard went his way Indian agent, Captain Elliot (who was on the rejoicing with his $100, and Tecumseh’s ire was river some distance below), for the money appeased and his word vindicated. Young Rivard took the order immediately to Soon after this the block-house on the site Colonel Elliot, who refused to pay it, and treated now occupied by Major Chapman was by the bim harshly, saying:
command of Captain Elliot burned; also a por“We are entitled to our support from the tion of the pickets were destroyed, deeming it country we have conquered, and I will not prudent to destroy them, as he knew it was pay it."
. impossible for the British to keep an armed The young man returned with a sorrowful force at this point. Elliot then left, and from heart and Elliot's answer to Tecumseh,who said: this time until the month of October, hands of
“He won't pay it, will he? Stay all night Indians frequently returned to the River Raisin and to-morrow we will go and see.”
and plundered the settlement. The next morning he took young Rivard In October, 1812, British officers came with straight into the presence of the captain in the a force of militia from Malden and took permablock-house. On meeting him he said: nent possession of the town of Frenchtown.
“Do you refuse to pay for the oxen I bought?” The officers occupied the houses of Jerome and
“Yes,” said the captain, and reiterated the Couture, below the brick house now owned by reason for refusal..
Louis Lafontain, not far from the present bridge The chieftain felt insulted, and said;
of the Michigan Central Railroad. The Lafon“I bought them for my young men, who tain house was not then built, and was the site were very hungry. I promised to pay for of Colonel Lacroix's residence; but the site of them, and they shall be paid for if I have to sell the building with those eastward was occupied all my own horses to pay for them. I have with wooden buildings, all of which were always heard that the white people went to burned to the ground at the time of the massawar with each other and not with peaceable cre in the following January. This location inhabitants; that they did not rob and plunder was made from the fact that it was adjacent to poor people. I will not.”
and commanded the only road from the south, “Well," said the captain, “I will not pay for which had been previously made by General them."
Hull, and from which point the British naturThe chief replied:
ally expected the approach of American forces; "You can do as you please, but before Te- also because from its elevation it overlooked cumseb, the Prophet and his warriors came to the opposite (south) side of the River Raisin, fight the battles of the great king, they had as General Harrison was daily expected on his enough to eat, for which they had only to thank way with his army to Detroit.
FROM THE SURRENDER OF GENERAL HULL TO AND INCLUDING THE MASSACRE AT THE
DY the terms of the capitulation, Fort Detroit Four thousand men raised by order of Governor D was immediately surrendered to the Brit- Shelby of Kentucky, all mounted, were put ish forces under the command of Major-General under Major General Hopkins, of the militia, Brock, together with all the troops, regulars as who, jointly with three regiments already sent well as militia, and all public stores, arms, and to Vincennes by General Harrison, were exdocuments. The troops were considered as pected to defend the frontiers of Illinois and prisoners of war, with the exception of such of Indiana. the Michigan militia as had not joined the army. September 12, 1812, General Harrison with The Ohio troops were paroled and sent home about 2,500 men reached Fort Deposit and by way of Cleveland, the Michigan militia relieved the garrison, composed of about seventy released, and most of the regular troops were men, who had gallantly withstood the attacks sent in flat-bottomed boats down the St. Law- of hordes of Indians. Here he remained until rence River to Montreal and Quebec.
the arrival of other troops, and occupied the Major-General Brock left Detroitin.command time in sending out detachments against the of Colonel Proctor, with two hundred and fifty Indian villages, all of which were successful. men. He by proclamation suspended the laws On the 18th of the same month, he returned to of the Territory, and declared the Territory Fort Wayne, where he met General Wincbester under martial law until such time as the danger with re-enforcements of 2,000 men from Ohio then existing or to be apprehended should be and Kentucky. removed.
In the latter part of September be arrived at The surrender of the northwestern army Fort Defiance. Leaving his forces there he astonished and surprised the whole country, returned to the settlements to organize and and was followed by indignation and a spirit of basten up the forces designed to constitute the retaliation and revenge. The whole Northwest center and right wing of his army. He abanTerritory was now laid open to the incursions doned the original plan of boldly marching on of the savages. This army was regarded at Detroit and recapturing it at once, and determinthe time by our Government as sure of success, ed to advance in three different columns, by as and was expected to sweep everything before many different routes, to the Miami Rapids, it, and this sbameful surrender was not at first thence move suddenly to Brownstown, cross credited. Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and the River Detroit and seize Malden, which had Virginia sent forth crowds of volunteers, eager been the source of so much annoyance to Gento redeem the tarnished reputation of the eral Hull, and avenge the disgrace of the surcountry. Several members of Congress from render. Kentucky enlisted as private soldiers. The . The lakes being in possession of the enemy, young and ardent Henry Clay at the musters provisions, ammunition and cannon had to be thrilled the young men who surrounded him transported by land, through swamps and with his ardent zeal and eloquence. Ten thou- marshes, and along forest paths and Indian sand men were raised in a very short time and trails, which could be traced only by blazed placed under General Harrison, the hero of trees, and traversed only when the ground was Tippecanoe. To these were added portions of frozen. He therefore occupied his time in send. the 17th and 19th Regiments of regular infantry, ing out detachments and hurrying up his forces, and two regiments from Kentucky and Ohio. in order to be ready to advance when the frozen