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i*79. the specified articles, that for some time they would not" order him any. The quantity of rifle powder required, was more than could, on any calculation, be necessary. The commander in chief inculcated it upon him, that the success and efficacy of the expedition, depended absolutely on the celerity of his movements, and might be defeated, if he did not proceed as light as possible, The quarter master general supplied him with 1400 horses. When he reached Wyoming, he wrote—" Of the salted meat on hand, there is not a single pound lit Juj to be eaten." The next day, the return of the troops, «. rank and file, was- 2312.- Here he waited several weeks/ for more men, and for provisions to supply the loss ofwhat had been spoiled through the villainy or carelessness of the commissaries. When gen. Clinton, who came by the Mohawk river without meeting with any opposition, joined him on the 21st of August with about 1600 men of every kind, the whole army with its attendants, battoemen, waggoners, &c. amounted to 5000. Clinton's division would 'of itself have been sufficient. for the expedition, as the Indians against whom they marched were only 550, accompanied by about 250 tories, making no more than 800 in all, headed by colJohnson, major Butler and Brandt. They were greatly worn down by their long waiting for Sullivan's approach at Newtown, where they had constructed strong breast works. The general lived well as he marched, having taken a number of casks of tongues with him, beside live cattle to supply him with fresh provision. He kept -a most extravagant table, and entertained all the officers •upon the plea of securing his influence among them, while he was making extremely free in their presence, with the characters of the congress and the board of1779' war. He carried six light field pieces and two howitzers along with him; and would have the morning and evening gun fired constantly. At length he arrived at New,- A„ town; and vaunted in the morning what great things ?9* he would do with and against the Indians. He began to engage them, by firing his field pieces at their breast works; which he continued while he detached gen. Poor to the right, round the mountain to fall upon their left flank. Poor had to march a mile and a half in full view of the Indians and their associates, who penetrated his design. They waited however for his approach; but observing (that when his firing announced his being engaged) other movements were made toward them, they quitted their works, and betook themselves to a sudden and precipitate flight. To the left of Sullivan there was a river, and a plain on the right side of it, along which had a force been sent early, they could have marched round undiscovered, and have fallen in nearly upon the centre of the Indians, by the time Poor came upon their left flank. A number of riflemen desired to take that route, but were not permitted. At night Sullivan was not a little mortified upon finding how completely the enemy had escaped. He had 7 men killed and 14 wounded in the course of the day. The. army marched on the 31st for Catherine's town, lying on the. Seneca-lake. They had to traverse a swamp several miles long; to pass through dangerous defiles, with steep hills on each side; and to ford a river, emptying itself into the lake, considerably broad in many places, with a strong current, and up to the middle of the men: its course was so serpentine, that they had to pass through
1770. ft seven of eight times. Sullivan was advised not to enter the swamp till the next day, hut in vain. CJintoflj. who brought up the rear, was sufficiently fatigued by the time he reached the entrance, and being assured, that it would kill the horses and cattle to proceed, desisted from marching forward.
Notwithstanding Sullivan kept out-flanking parties as he advanced, such was the steepness of the hills, the narrowness and difficulty of the defiles, that twenty or thirty Indians might have thrown his troops into the ut-r most confusion, The night was so exceeding dark, that the men could see but a little way before them. They were wearied out, scattered and broken, lost all their spirits, lay down here and there, and wished to die, Had a body of the enemy fallen on them in this situaT tion, it might have produced the most fatal consequences. Now was the general's mind racked and tortured. It was twelve at night before his troops reached the town. The Indian fcouts had watched them while it was light; but had no thought of their continuing to march in so dark a night and to so late an hour. Before they got to the first house there was a most dangerous defile, so formed by nature that had it beep possessed by the five and twenty Indians, who were in the town roasting corn, they might have (hot down, while ammunition lasted, what Americans they pleased when within the reach of their guns and the sight of their eyes, without risking their own persons. When the troops had safely finished their march, Sullivan declared, he would not have such another night for all his command, The men were obliged to halt all the next day to recrqit •„ and suffered more in the preceding, than they would have done in a month's I77-9, regular march.
General Sullivan continued in the Indian country, spreading desolation and destruction among. the towns and plantations of the enemy, without sparing the orchards of apple and peach trees, which had been raised from pips and stones, and in some places properly planted by the advice of the missionary who had lived among them. The heat of the climate, and richness of the foil, will raise good fruit in a few years from kernels fhat are produced by suitable trees. Several officers thought it a degradation of the army to be employed in destroying apple and peach trees, when the very Indians in their excursions spared them, and wished the general to retract his orders for it. He was told that the trees I would in a little time be worth to the continent at least many thousand hard dollars. He continued relentless and said—" The Indians shall see, that there is malice enough' in our hearts to destroy everything that contributes toward their support." Some of the officers however, who were sent out with parties to lay waste the Indian territory, would see no apple or peach trees; so that they were left to blossom and bear, for the refreshment of man or beast, friend or foe that might chance to pass fhat way, Thus did gen. Hand and col. Durbin do honor to their own characters. By the middle of October gen. Sullivan reached Easton in Pennsylvania pn his return to join the main army. He brought back, only 300 horses out of the 1400 he took with him. During his expedition, there Were eleven Indians killed; two old squaws, a negro, and a white man taken;—ifc
X 4 '. towns
i779- towns * destroyed, and 150,000 bushels of corn, beside apple and peach trees. By groundless complaints, he displeased the commander in chief, and gave great umbrage to the board of war and the quarter master general. The pompous account -j- of his military peregrination which he sent to congress, made him the laugh of the officers in the army remaining under gen. Washington; one declared it was a little mischievous to print the whole account; another when he read of elegant Indian houses, was ready to question from the abuse of the epithet, whether he understood the true meaning of the word. He soon felt himself so dissatisfied, that on the 9th of November he begged leave of congress to resign upon the plea of bad health: they, on the last of the month, accepted his resignation.
The carrying on of this expedition did not however prevent the offensive operations of the Indians and their associates. On the 23d of July, a party of 60 Indians, and 27 white men under Joseph Brandt, fell upon the Minisink settlements and burnt 10 houses, 1 2 barns, a fort and 2 mills, killed and carried off several people with considerable plunder. The militia from Goshen and parts adjacent, to the amount of 149, collected; and pursued them, but without sufficient caution and necessaries, so that they were surprised and totally defeated; no more than 30 returned. . Many were killed, a number made prisoners; the rest dispersed and were
* Sullivan in his account fays 40: but if a few old houses which Jiad been deserted for several years, were met with and burnt, they were put down for a town. Stables and wood hovels, and lodges in the field, when the Indians were called to work there, were all reckoned as houses. t See the Remembrancer, vol. ix. p. 158.