Abbildungen der Seite

In less than five minutes, the Indians, who were lying concealed in the cavities caused as above stated, delivered their fire, by which three of our men fell. The battle was fought hand to hand, and it was over directly." The descriptive language of Mr. Messersmith, as to time, is thus :- “I fired my yager, let it drop-drew out my left pistol, fired at an Indian, let the pistol fall--drew out my right pistol, fired at another Indian, and was pouring powder in my hand to reload, when one of our company said, “They are all dead !' The fact was so, or nigh to it, as the whole number of Indians except one were killed.”

William S. Hamilton had gone up the Mississippi to get the Sioux and Menominees to assist us. He arrived with them, (about two hundred,) the same day of the battle. They went out and held a powwow over the bodies of the dead Indians, and literally cut them to pieces. They did not remain with us, but on the next day returned to their homes.

NOTE G. Page 281.

The following letter appeared in the Missouri Republican Extra, of the 1st August, 1832, and was viewed as an official report of the battle of Wisconsin Heights:

* CAMP WISCONSIN, July 22, 1832. "We met the enemy yesterday, near the Wisconsin River, and opposite the old Sac village, after a close pursuit for near 100 miles. Our loss was one man killed and eight wounded; from the scalps taken by the Winnebagoes, as well as those taken by the whites, and the Indians carried from the field of battle, we must have killed 40 of them. The number of wounded is not known; we can only judge from the number killed, that many were wounded. From their crippled situation I think we must overtake them, unless they descend the Wisconsin by water. If you could place a field-piece immediately on the Wisconsin that would command the river, you might prevent their escape by water. General Atkinson will arrive at the Blue Mounds on the 24th with the regulars, and a brigade of mounted men. I will cross the Wisconsin to-morrow, and should the enemy retreat by land, he will probably attempt crossing some twenty miles above Prairie du Chien ; in that event the mounted men would want some boats for the transportation of their arms, ammunition and provisions. If you could procure for us some Mackinaw boats, in that event, as well as some provision supplies, it would greatly facilitate our views. Excuse great haste. I am, with great respect your obedient servant,


II. DODGE, “Col. commanding Michigan Mounted Volunteers."

[ocr errors]

The above letter is extracted from Niles's Register of August 18th, 1832, and it does not appear to whom it is addressed; but it is highly probable that it is the letter which was sent to the commandant of Fort Crawford, at Prairie du Chien, which Captain Estes carried as express.

The singularity of the language of the letter will be evident, when it is considered that General Henry had the chief command at the battle of Wisconsin Heights, and not Colonel Dodge.

Note H. Page 283.


Banks of the Mississippi River, near Bad Axe River,

Aug. 3d, 1832.
Order No. 65.

The victory achieved by the volunteers and regular troops over the enemy yesterday on this ground, affords the commanding general an opportunity of expressing his approbation of their brave conduct. The whole of the troops participated in the honour of the combat; some of the corps were however more fortunate than others, in being thrown from their position in order of battle, more immediately in conflict with the enemy. These were Henry's brigade, Dodge's battalion, the regular troops, Leach's regiment of Posey's brigade, and the Spy battalion of Alexander's brigade.

In order that individual merit, and the conduct of the corps may be properly represented to the department of war, and the general commanding the Northwestern Army, the commanding general of this division directs that commanding officers of brigades and independent corps, make to him written reports of the conduct and operation of their respective commands in the action. By order of Brigadier-general ATKINSON.

A. D. C. and A. Adjutant-general.

NOTE I. Page 284.

The following letter from General Scott to Governor Reynolds, is taken from the Louisville Advertiser of July 27th, 1832:


Chicago, July 15th, 1832. Sir,

To prevent, or to correct the exaggerated rumours in respect to the existence of cholera at this place, I address myself to your excellency. Four steamers were engaged at Buffalo, to transport United States troops and supplies to Chicago. In the headmost of these boats, the Sheldon Thompson, I, with my staff, and four companies, a part of Colonel Eustis's command, arrived here on the night of the 10th instant. On the 8th, all on board were in high health and spirits ; but the next morning, six cases of undoubted cholera presented themselves. The disease rapidly spread itself for the next three days. About one hundred and twenty persons have been affected.

Under a late act of Congress, six companies of rangers are to be raised and marched to this place. General Dodge, of Michigan, is appointed major of the battalion, and I have seen the names of the captains, but I do not know where to address them. I am afraid that the report from this place, in respect to cholera, may seriously retard the raising of this force. I wish, therefore, that your excellency would give publicity to the measures I have adopted to prevent the spread of this disease, and of my determination not to allow any junction or communication between uninfected and infected troops. The war is not at an end, and may not be brought to a close for some time. The rangers may reach the theatre of operations in time to give the final blow. As they approach this place, I shall take care of their health and general wants. I have the honour to be, &c., &c.,


The ravages made by this dreaded disease, in General Scott's army, has been thus estimated :-Of the two hundred and eight recruits attached to the command of Colonel Twiggs, thirty died of the cholera, and one hundred and fifty-five deserted for fear of it. Of the three companies of artillery under Colonel Twiggs, consisting of one hundred and fifty-two men, twenty-six died, and twenty deserted. Of Colonel Cumming's detachment, eighty men, twenty-one died, and four deserted. Of Colonel Crane's artillery, two hundred and twenty men, fifty-five died. Of the

eight hundred and fifty men who left Buffalo, not more than two hundred were left, fitted to take the field, at the latest accounts from the army under Major-general Scott. (Niles's Register, vol. xlii. 423.)

Of the men who deserted, the following extract of a letter from John Norvell, of Detroit, dated July 12th, 1832, gives a most deplorable and melancholy account:

“Of the deserters scattered all over the country, some have died in the woods, and their bodies been devoured by wolves ; (I use the language of a gallant young officer ;) others have taken their flight to the world of spirits without a companion to close their eyes, or console the last moments of their existence. Their straggling survivors are occasionally seen marching, some of them know not whither, with their knapsacks on their backs, shunned by the terrified inhabitants as the source of a mortal pestilence." (Pennsylvania Inquirer, 1832.)

[ocr errors][merged small]

The following note, condensed from the report of Judge A. B. Woodward, on the land titles in the Michigan Territory, made on the 12th of March, 1806, to the IIouse of Representatives, exhibits a curious picture of tenure in the French colonist, and may be viewed as a powerfully operating check to the early settlement of the French possessions by agriculturists. The policy of the United States, in the encouragement of occupation of the country by agricultural settlement, affords a vivid contrast to that which was pursued both by the French and English, while the western region was under their control.

Judge Woodward observes, “that the French conceived the bold project of connecting their settlements by a chain of fortifications from the St. Lawrence to that of the Mississippi; and, by tightening it on the back of the British possessions, to reduce them to the smallest possible limits. The western parts of New York and Pennsylvania, the State of Ohio, and the Territory of Michigan, still exhibit the monuments of their labours. But what can the best conceived designs avail against a defect of physical force ? Agriculture is the only sure basis on which to support a distant settlement, and the English soon discovered the necessity of application to it. The French, relying on the military ardour of their nation, and neglecting those minute causes from which the sources of all permanent pre-eminence must be derived, gave scarcely the least encouragement to agriculture.

Among the earlier claims is the grant of De la Mothe Cadillac to an inhabitant of Detroit, Francois Fafard de Lorme, in the year 1707, the conditions of which are nearly similar to that of the Marquis de Beauharnois, governor and lieutenant-general of New France and Louisiana, to St. Aubin, which is another of the said claims. That of De la Mothe conveys two arpens of front, by twenty of depth, (about thirty-two American acres,) for a colonist and his family in an American wilderness. But what are the conditions of these grants, contrasted with an American estate in fee-simple ?

They are no less than these:

“I. To pay a reserved rent of fifteen livres a year to the crown, for ever.

“II. To begin to clear and improve the concession within three months from the date of the grant.

"III. All of the timber is reserved to the crown, whenever it may be wanted for the fortifications, or for the construction of boats, or other Fessels ; (that is to say, when reduced to plain language, it may be taken at the pleasure of any military officer who may happen to have the command of the country.)

"IV. The property of all mines and minerals, if any be found, does not pass by the grant.

“V. The privilege of hunting hares, rabbits, partridges and pheasants does not pass.

“VI. The grantee is to come and carry, plant or help to plant, a long maypole before the door of the principal manor-house, on the first day of May in every year.

“VII. All the grains of the grantee are to be carried to the moulin bannal, or mill of the manor, to be ground, paying the tolls sanctioned by the coutûme de Paris.

“VIII. On every sale of the land a species of duty is to be paid, termed the lods et vente; which in the English law might bear the name of a fine of alienation, but is more intelligible to an American ear under the appellation of a tax on the sale of the land. This tax, by the coutûme de Paris, forms no inconsiderable proportion of the value of the whole.

IX. Previous to a sale, the grantee is to give information to the government, and if the government is willing to take it at the price offered to him, it is to have it.

X. The grantees cannot mortgage it without the consent of the government previously obtained.

« ZurückWeiter »