« ForrigeFortsett »
ture as may be, to the judge or judges of the proper court in the United States, to be examined upon oath, touching the interest or property of the captured vessel, and her lading; and at the same time are to be delivered to the judge or judges, all passes, charter parties, bills of lading, invoices, letters and other documents, and writings found on board ; the said papers to be proved by the affidavit of the commander of the capturing vessels, or some other person present at the capture, to be produced as they were received, without fraud, addition, subduction or embezzlement.”
Northwestern army.....General Hull...his march.....advance into
Canada.....his retreat, capitulation, surrender and trial.
In April, 1812, by virtue of a requisition from the Presi. dent of the United States, Governor Meigs, of the state of Ohio, very promptly raised the 1200 men, required, and upon his own responsibility 300 more, all volunteers, and organized them into three regiments. Colonels M'Arthur, Cass, and Findly, by the election of the volunteers, received the command of them. The zeal of Gov. Meigs, and the ardor of his people, in a great measure supplied the deficiency of public arsenals. Dayton, OD Mad river, one of the waters of the great Miami, 60 miles by land, and about 75 by water from its mouth, was the place of rendezvous of the volunteers. Here Gov. Meigs surrendered his command of them to Brigadier General Hull, appointed by the President to command them. Gov. Meigs, before he left the troops, in the name of the president, thanked them for their patriotism, encouraged their ardor, and gave them his own benedictions. Gen. Hull, among other things, observed to them, “In marching through a wilderness, memorable for savage barbarity, you will remember the causes by which that barbarity has been heretofore excited In viewing the ground stained with the blood of your fellow citizens, it will be impossible to suppress the feelings of indignation. Passing by the ruins of a Fortress* erected in our territory in times of profound peace, and for the express purpose of exciting the savages to hostility and supplying them with the means of conducting a barbarous war, must remind you. of that system of oppression and injustice, which that nation has
• For: Miami, erected bỳ the British. in 1792 · its ruins are to be seen on the left bank of the Miathi of the lakes a little below fort Meigs, which is situate on the right bank of the same river nearly opposite the rapids, and eigbteen miles above its mouth.
constantly practiced, and which the spirit of an indignant people can no longer endure."
At the close of the General's speech the troops uncovered and gave six cheers, as a testimonial of respect for their beloved chief magistrate, and new commander.
On the 27th of May, Gen. Hull pitched his tent in camp Meigs, on the western bank of the river, when the United States flag was hoisted in a hollow square formed by the troops. Upon this occasion Col. Cass said,
« Fellow-Citizens.....the standard of your country is displayed. You have rallied around it to defend her rights and avenge her injuries. May it wave protection to our friends, and defiance to our enemies.....and, should it ever meet in the hostile field, I doubt not that the eagle of liberty which it bears will be found more than a match for the lion of England.”
On the first of June, the fourth regiment, commanded by Col. Miller, having joined Gen. Hull, the army resumed its march for Detroit.
Governor Meigs had accompanied the army a few miles from Dayton to Urbana for the purpose of holding a council with twelve Indian chiefs, of the lake tribes. It was agreed to renew the treaty of Greenville. After smoking the calmut of peace, both parties called on the Great Spirit to witness the sincerity of their professions. The Indians appeared unusually friendly, and gave Gen. Hull permission to march through their country, and to erect block-houses every twenty miles, which he did.
From Urbana to the rapids of the Miami of the lakes is a distance of one hnndred and fifty miles. The route of the army was through a thick and almost trackless forest. As there was a great number of baggage waggons attached to the army, it became necessary to open a new road the whole distance. The soil of the land was moist, being in many places a perfect swamp.
The weather was rainy, and man and horse were compelled to travel mid leg deep in mud. Frequently the van had to halt for the rear, which was as often detained in its march, in relieving wag. gons and horses from the mire. Almost every officer and soldier have concurred in stating, that the march of the army from Dayton to Detroit was as rapid as was practicable, considering the natural obstacles to be overcome. Most of them, however, charge the General with a vain show of military parade, in passing small rivers. His plan of encampment, at night, was a hollow square, defended always by a temporary breast-work of felled trees. received no annoyance from the enemy, on the march, if we except the wounding of a centinel, who was shot through the thighs. The army arrived at the rapids of the Miami of the lakes, 18 miles above the mouth of the river, on or about the 30th of June.
The Miami of the lake is described as a fine river, navigable for light vessels as far as the rapids. It is formed by the union of the St. Mary's and the St. Joseph's, at fort Wayne ; thence it meanders through a rich level country, to sort Winchester, (lately fort Defiance) where it receives the Au Glaize from the southeast. Its general course is northeast : its banks are regular, high, but not abrupt ; sloping gradually to the waters' edge, and covered with a beautiful, luxuriant verdure. The channel of the river from the rapids to within three miles of the bay, is composed of limestone rock, formed into regular strata, by parallel fissures, which sink perpendicularly into the rock, and run transversly across the river. The face of the bank, for ten or twelve feet above the water, is also composed of solid rock, and from its appearance, it is evident that the current bas worn the channel many feet deeper than it was in former ages. The rich open
intervale, extending to the right and left as far as the eye can reach ; the elevation of the bank ; the beautiful Miami flowing rapidly through the centre of the valley, the declivities of the surrounding bills, here and there adorned with clusters of honey locust, plum trees, and bathors, clad with the wide spreading grape vine, present at once a romantic and interesting scenery, The quantity of fish, of an excellent quality, at the head of the rapids, is almost incredible. So numerous are they at this place, that a spear thrown into the water at random will rarely miss one. Several hundreds of them have been taken in a few hours. The soldiers of the Fort used to kill them in great quantities, with clubs and stones. The river, swan creek, and the shoals of the bay swarm with ducks, geese, and other water fowl. The woods are filled with deer, elk, and wild turkies.
The whole length of the rapids, on both sides of the river, will unquestionably, at no remote period, be lined with mills and various manufactories. The favorable circumstances of the situation, the water, and a very extensive navigation will invite the enterprizing. Cotton, in any quantity, may be procured from Tennessee, subject to a land carriage of not more than twenty miles. This place affords beautiful scite for a town, and there is little doubt, but that in a short time there will be a flourishing village where fort Meigs now stands. Before the war there was a flourishing French settlement on the river, extending for several miles above and below the town. The usual yield of corn is 80 bushels to the acre. There was also a small settlement on Swan Creek, on the Michigan side, which falls into the Miami, seven miles below the fort. Within three miles, below the fort, are several beautiful islands; the largest of which contains 500 acres, and has been cultivated. The river Raisin is by land 34 miles northwardly, from fort Meigs.
The Miami river falls into Miami bay, which, like that of San. dusky is about 15 miles long, and 12 wide. Vessels of 70 tons burthen can pass the bar, at its intervale. Within the bason of the bay grow several thousand acres of folle avoine, (wild oats.) It grows in about 7 feet water ; the stalks near the roots, are about an inch in diameter, and grow to the height of ten feet ; its leaves above the surface of the water are like the reed cane. In other respects it resembles the common oat stalks, exceptiog its size and kernel, which is of the nature of rice, and of which
the French people make free use in their favorite soup. Its yield is very abundant, being half a pint at least from every stalk. This valuable aquatic grain is found at the mouths of all the rivers which fall into the lakes west of Sandusky, as far as the south end of lake Michigan, and is the chief subsistence of the prodigious number of water-foul, which are found on these waters.
On the 1st July Gen. Hull dispatched from fort Meigs, at the foot of the rapids of the Miami of the lake, a schooner and a boat, to convey to Detroit the sick and the baggage of the army. On board the schooner were 30 persons, among whom were pay-mas. ter Lewis Dent, Capt. Short of Marietta, a Lieut. of the 4th reg. iment, and three of the officers' wives, the General's baggage, and that of most of the officers of the army, all the hospital stores, and a trunk containing the official and confidential papers of the General. The boat was laden with sick. The schooner and boat were ordered to sail in company, but the schooner passed the boat the first night, and by some untoward fatality, which seems constantly to have attended this army, the schooner sailed on the British side of the Bois-blanc island. The enemy's armed brig Hunter bore down upon her, and she was also pursued by a batteau from Malden, filled with armed men. Unconscious of the war, opposite fort Malden, at 10 o'clock the next day, the schoon er became an easy prize. Two of the ladies were sent to De. troit, the other remained with her husband, at Malden.
The same day, in the evening, the boat passed Malden up a different channel, unmolested by the British, but harrassed by the Indians that night. On the 3d, at three o'clock in the afternoon, the boat arrived at Detroit, and its crew first knew that war was declared.
The town of Detroit has been thus described : « It is situated on the western bank of the strait, nine miles below lake St. Clair and eighteen above Brownstown. The town contains about two hundred houses, which are inhabited by more than one thousand two hundred souls: under one roof are often crowded several families. The town stands contiguous to the river, on the top of the bank, wbich is here about twenty feet high. There are several wooden wharves extending into the river upwards of one hundred feet, for the accommodation of the shipping : the largest
ivas built by the United States, and is found very convenient for the unloading of vessels. The principal streets run parallel with the river, and are intersected by cross streets at right angles. They are wide, but not being paved, are extremely muddy in wet weather ; but for the accommodation of passengers, there are foot ways in most of them, formed of square logs. Every house has a garden attached to it; the buildings are mostly framed, though there are several elegant stone and brick buildings. Before the great fire in 1806, the town was surrounded by a strong stockade, through which there were four gates; two of them open to the wharves, the others, to the land : this defence was intended to repel the attacks of the Indians.
“ The fort stands on a rise of ground two hundred yards in :he rear of the town; the fortifications consist of a stockade of cedar pickets, with bastions of earth ; near the foot of the ditch is a row of short sharp pickets, inchining outwards.....thirty pieces of cannon can be mounted on the ramparts ; the fort covers about an acre and an half of ground.
“ The proximity of one house to another, from lake St. Clair to the river Rouge, gives the street the resemblance of the suburbs of a great town. The farms are only twenty rods wide on the river, and extend back one mile and a quarter : the same of those on the other rivers, as well as those on the British side. The country round Detroit is very much cleared. The inhabitants have to draw their wood a mile and a half, from the United States' lands, in the rear of the town. It sells in market for three dollars a cord; almost every farm has an orchard : apples, pears, and peaches do well.....several hundred barrels of cider are annually made, and sell as high as six dollars a barrel. The land rises gradually from the river to the distance of three hundred yards : then it recedes, till the country becomes low and level, and continues so for four or five miles, when it rises by degrees, and at this distance is represented as first rate land.
“ The United States have a long elegant brick store at the water's edge, near the public warf.....this is completely filled with the spoils of the enemy taken on the Thames, and the arms of the volunteers. This building is 80 feet long, and 30 wide, and three stories high,
“ The streets of Detroit are generally crowded with Indians of various tribes, who collect here to sell their skins.
“ The inhabitants are plentifully supplied with many kinds of excellent fish.....the white bass, nearly as large as a shad, are caught with seins, and in great quantities. The population is three-fourths of French extraction, and very few understand any other language. They are excessively fond of music and dancing. There is a kind of nunnery, a Roman chapel for devotion