Guide The butlers revenge (The Rick Butler Stories Book 2)

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Search refinements Categories. Music Music Memorabilia Pop Other Music Memorabilia Rock Collectables Musical Instruments Art Baby 6. Sports Memorabilia 6. Stamps 1. Format see all Format. All listings filter applied. Buy it now. Type see all Type. Clothing Concert Memorabilia 2. Posters 9. Condition see all Condition. New Like New 7. Very Good Good Not specified This was considered extremely [38] high pay, and it was subsequently estimated by General Haldimand that these eight companies of rangers cost the Government as much as twenty companies of regular infantry.

On the same day, Sept. Butler received instructions to march with such rangers as he had already enlisted or could enlist at once, and as large a body of Indians as could be collected without exposing their country to invasion, and form a junction with Gen. On his way to Niagara he received much discouraging information. The Indians had protested warmly against the withdrawal of the British troops from Oswego, saying that they were being abandoned to their enemies contrary to the assurances they had received.

Sickness prevailed to such an extent at Niagara that the garrison was reduced to seventy-five men fit for duty. Butler would lead them to ruin. A letter from a trader at Niagara informed Butler that some of the Senecas were much displeased with him, and that the loyal chiefs were alarmed and anxious for his speedy return.


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At the same time Claus and Johnson were steadily endeavoring to undermine his influence by every means within their reach. They criticised his actions with undisguised rancor, and confidently predicted that he would not succeed in enlisting many rangers. Upon arriving at Carleton Island, at the foot of Lake Ontario, Butler learned that the Oneidas, Onondagas and Tuscaroras had actually accepted the hatchet tendered them by General Schuyler, and had proved their hostility by making prisoners of some loyalists [39] passing through their country.

His son Walter and two other officers of the Indian Department were confined at Albany, heavily ironed, and otherwise cruelly treated. He had intended to proceed overland from Oswego to Niagara, passing through all the principal Indian villages on his way and engaging warriors for his proposed expedition. This design he was then forced to abandon as being too dangerous, and went on by water. Consequently the movement he had been instructed to make was no longer practicable.

Most of his rangers had marched overland to the Susquehanna after the siege of Fort Stanwix was raised, with orders to drive cattle from the settlements to Niagara for the maintenance of the garrison, but nothing had been heard of them since the forest had swallowed them.

Presently Joseph Brant arrived, still resolute and hopeful. He had attended a general meeting of the whole confederacy at Onondaga, at which there had been a very stormy debate over their future policy. The majority of the Senecas and Cayugas were still friendly, and at their suggestion Butler boldly summoned the other tribes to come to him and deliver up the hatchet they had accepted from Schuyler, adding, significantly, that none but his real friends need appear. He must have been agreeably surprised at the success of this measure. All the chiefs of the Tuscaroras and Onondagas obeyed very promptly.

They surrendered the hatchet and war-belt they had received, and humbly promised to follow his advice in future. A trusty courier instantly sped off through the woods towards New York with a message for the commander of the British forces on the Hudson, announcing that they were ready for action, and asking for instructions. His former agent, Depue, again hurried to the Susquehanna to seek fresh recruits, and hasten the return of the rangers already there.

Loyalists continued to arrive, and by the middle of December the first company of rangers was completed, and Butler expected [40] to form two more upon the return of his recruiting officers. Then followed tidings of an unexpected disaster. The party of rangers detached from Oswego to the Susquehanna was conducted by James Secord. After prolonged wanderings they were surprised by an overwhelming force, and thirty taken prisoners.

The remainder dispersed, and several had returned to their former homes. At the same time the Senecas and Cayugas were seriously alarmed by repeated rumors of an attack upon their villages by the masterful Connecticut settlers in Wyoming, who had already set the State Government of Pennsylvania at complete defiance. Their fears proved groundless at the time, and the Senecas haughtily refused to receive a belt sent to them from Schuyler, replying that the blood of their kinsmen was still reeking from the ground and that he had been the cause of shedding it.

Their war-parties then fell upon the border settlements of Pennsylvania, lying between the east branch of the Susquehanna and the Kiskismenitas Creek, and in a few days reduced them to smouldering ruins, driving the unfortunate inhabitants that escaped into the numerous small forts built for their protection.

It is admitted that the rough frontiersmen of that quarter had given the Indians abundant provocation for several years past, for which dreadful retribution was then exacted. Everywhere there were undoubted signs of reaction. Thirty desperate men from the neighboring country then attempted to make their way to Detroit, but some were killed and others driven back by the Indians. Governor Hamilton was informed that two hundred persons were prepared to come away in a body if they could obtain a safe conduct through the Indian territory. Letters from the frontier informed him that one officer had enlisted nearly a hundred men, and that others had likewise been moderately successful.

He confidently anticipated that he would be able to complete his battalion immediately after reaching the settlements. Many of his best recruits were drawn from the east branch of the Susquehanna, where all persons suspected of loyalist leanings were keenly persecuted. Accordingly, he began his march from Niagara on the 2nd of May, , and after holding a Council with the Indians at Canadasaga, the principal village of the Senecas, situated near the present site of Geneva, N. The white inhabitants of that village were all loyalists. There were two grist mills in the vicinity which could be used to grind flour for his force.

In this way he anticipated that [42] he might create a diversion of considerable importance in favor of Clinton or Howe, in their operations nearer the seaboard. He found the Senecas suffering severely from want of both food and clothing through the stoppage of the usual channels of trade by the war, but still resolute in their hostility to the Americans.

It was attended by Indians, chiefly Oneidas and Onondagas. Schuyler and La Fayette addressed them in turn, assuring them of the favor and protection of Congress and its ally. A liberal quantity of presents was then distributed and the Indians announced their intention of remaining neutral. The officers of Congress in the State of New York had not been deceived by the inactivity of the Senecas during the winter. Stockades were built in every settlement. As they seldom ventured to put much dependence on the local militia, these posts were generally occupied by detachments of Continental troops from Massachusetts, New Jersey, or distant parts of New York.

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Four hundred women and children belonging to the families of the principal loyalist refugees were seized and confined at Albany as hostages for the safety of the frontier. There was scarcely an officer in the rangers or the Indian Department that had not some near relative among the captives. Every party of fugitives had some fresh story of outrage and cruelty to relate.

Several loyalist recruiting officers had been taken and unceremoniously hanged. Still, recruits continued to come in , burning with a fierce desire for retaliation, but generally ragged, footsore, and weak with hunger and travel. Doubtless there was some exaggeration in their version of their wrongs, but there could be no dispute as to the leading facts.

Barent Frey with a small party of rangers and Indians to bring away the remainder of the Mohawks from their villages, where they were still forcibly detained. This was a difficult and dangerous enterprise, which was very adroitly executed. Butler was cheered at the same time by the unexpected appearance of his son Walter, who had escaped from his Albany prison, where he was lying under sentence of death. He had safely travelled more than two hundred miles on foot and horseback through a country abounding in enemies.

Still too sick and weak to take command of the company in the rangers to which he had been appointed, he was despatched to Quebec to regain health and obtain arms and clothing for the corps. From Unadilla it would be a matter of ease to strike swiftly either at Cherry Valley, Schoharie, or Wyoming, all populous advanced settlements protected by forts, occupied by strong detachments of regular soldiers, and distinguished by the revolutionary fervor of the inhabitants, who were chiefly recent immigrants from New England.

From all of these places the American armies had already drawn some recruits and supplies of inestimable value, and it became an object of no small importance to destroy the coming harvest before it could be lodged in their magazines. The Senecas were particularly anxious to expel the Wyoming settlers, against whom they cherished a long-standing grudge. Brant and Frey were detached with eighty men to alarm and harrass Cherry Valley and Schoharie, while Butler, with the main body, proceeded in that direction. Moving with bewildering rapidity along the skirts of the settlements, Brant and Frey made a hasty descent here and there, and kept a great stretch of country in constant alarm.

Twice they were pursued by small bodies of Continental troops, reinforced by the local [44] militia, and twice they turned upon their pursuers and by a well-planned ambush fairly annihilated them with scarcely any loss to their own party. After two months of this guerilla warfare they were able to report that they had killed or taken men in arms, and desolated a great part of the Schoharie valley, even forcing some of the inhabitants to take refuge in Schenectady.

The valley of Wyoming or the County of Westmoreland, as it was officially named, contained a very thriving and populous settlement, entirely composed of emigrants from Connecticut. Yet it was by no means the Arcadia that has been pictured. On the contrary, for ten years back it had been a scene of strife and violence, and the inhabitants had seized and held their farms by force of arms alone. Rival land-companies had waged an obstinate struggle for possession of the narrow but fertile tract of alluvial soil skirting the river, during which small armies were organized, forts built and besieged, many houses burnt, and several persons killed.

The population had increased so rapidly that it was estimated at 6,, congregated in a valley twenty-five miles in length and nowhere more than three in breadth. Many thousand bushels of grain had been shipped during the past year for the supply of the Continental army near Philadelphia, and it was anticipated that the harvest then ripening would furnish a still greater quantity for the same purpose.

The inhabitants were, with few exceptions, warm partizans of the Revolution, and had already sent two companies of riflemen to serve under Washington. These had been recently recalled for the defence of their homes and were accompanied by a small detachment of Continental infantry under Colonel Zebulon Butler. The magistrates had lately shown their zeal by the prosecution of some persons living further up the river, who were accused of being loyalists.

Thirty of these were seized and committed to jail in Connecticut. The remainder were summarily ejected, and most of them fled to Unadilla and joined the rangers. The Indians contended that they were still the rightful owners of the lands occupied by the Wyoming people. They had protested fruitlessly for more than twenty years against the settlement of the valley. Sangerachta, the Seneca chief, had acted as the spokesman of one deputation that had been sent to Connecticut to remonstrate. The justice of their claim was then generally admitted, and the movement delayed until the disturbances preceding the Revolution afforded a favorable opportunity for reviving it.

Johnson by an offer of half their interest. Aside from the land question, the Senecas had a more recent cause for irritation. In the autumn of the preceding year a party from their tribe had been invited to visit the settlement. Liquor was given them there. Some of them got drunk and uttered vague threats. They were seized, and had been detained as hostages ever since.

In April, , the chiefs of the tribe received a message from Colonel Denniston and Judge Jenkins in the name of the inhabitants, inviting them to a council. Mindful of former treachery, the Indians applied to Col. Butler for the assistance of a body of troops to enable them to go in such force as to secure the release of the prisoners. Accordingly, Butler was instructed to accompany them with his whole force. Before this could be done, the Indians were further exasperated by an indefensible act of cruelty.

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A few of [46] their people having approached within five miles of Wyoming, were stealthily attacked by a scouting party from the settlement, and two men and a woman killed and scalped. Floating down the Susquehanna in boats and rafts to the great bend at the Three Islands, Butler then marched swiftly through the woods with rangers and Indians. On the last day of June he encamped on the summit of a high hill, from which he looked down on the greater part of the valley. His scouts brought in a few prisoners, and at night he was joined by two loyalists.

From these men it was learned that his approach had been discovered, and that in addition to sixty Continentals the entire militia of the settlement, numbering eight hundred men, had been assembled in the various forts. Of these there were eight or ten, the three largest being on the same side of the river as his camp.

Next morning the Indians sent a message to Col. Denniston informing him that they had come in consequence of his invitation, and were prepared to speak with him either as friends or foes. John Turney of the rangers to summon it. Terms were soon arranged by which the garrison agreed to surrender the place with all their arms and stores, and engaged not to bear arms again during the war, on the sole condition that their lives should be preserved. Forty Fort, the remaining garrison on that side of the river, was then summoned, but after long deliberation the terms were rejected.

Two days had been consumed in this way, and on the morning of the 3rd July, parties sent out by Butler to collect cattle reported that the militia were assembling in great numbers near Forty Fort, and apparently preparing for an attack. At this the Indians rejoiced greatly, and prepared for action with alacrity, saying that they would at least be on an equal footing with them in the woods.

Shortly after noon four or five hundred men were seen advancing slowly along the river. This force was composed of the entire detachment of [47] Continental infantry and Wyoming riflemen under Colonel Zebulon Butler, a veteran soldier who had served through the French war and at the siege of Havana, and the greater part of the 24th regiment of Connecticut militia commanded by Colonel Denniston himself. For many years these militiamen had been armed and carefully trained, and in the land-war they had easily routed their antagonists.

Supposing that this was the forerunner of a retreat, the Americans pushed forward rapidly. He laid aside his military hat, tied a handkerchief around his head, and taking a rifle, posted himself in the centre of the rangers. They had fired three rounds without receiving a shot in reply, and gradually advanced within a hundred yards, when Sangerachta gave a shrill whoop, which was repeated by each band of Indians in succession and prolonged by the rangers.

This was succeeded by a deliberate and deadly volley. The Indians darted forward to cut off their retreat, and drove them in confusion towards the river. After that they offered but little resistance, and a merciless pursuit began. Many tried to swim the river, and were shot or drowned in the act. In this action were taken scalps and only five prisoners. The Indians were so exasperated with their loss at Fort Stanwix last year [48] that it was with difficulty I could save the lives of these few.

Denniston, who came in next day with a minister and four others to treat for the remainder of the settlement of Westmoreland, told me they had lost one colonel, two majors, seven captains, thirteen lieutenants, eleven ensigns and privates. On our side we lost one Indian killed, two rangers and eight Indians wounded.

Only sixty of the entire body that marched out to give battle are said to have escaped, of whom fourteen were Continentals. It is certain that Butler strongly disapproved of this wholesale slaughter. This story was told by a wounded officer who escaped by secreting himself in a thicket.

After dark he heard the sound of footsteps, and two men, whom he recognized as Butler himself and one of his officers, passed so near his hiding place that he could overhear snatches of their conversation. The three forts at Laruwanak, on the opposite side of the river, surrendered at the first summons next morning, and a deputation headed by Col. Denniston and a clergyman came from Forty Fort to beg for terms for the rest of the settlement.

The few surviving regulars had fled from the valley during the night. Already the mills and many farm houses were in flames, and an immense drove of cattle had been collected as plunder by the Indians. Butler readily agreed to grant the same conditions that he had offered before the battle, and even consented that Forty Fort should remain standing as a place of refuge for the women and children. As a measure of precaution he insisted that all spirits should be destroyed before the stores were delivered, and more than one of the prisoners remembered to the end of their lives his constant efforts to prevent the Indians from plundering, and even from taunting the inhabitants with their defeat.

Those who fled from the valley told a far different story of death and desolation, which their fears prompted them to embellish with blood-curdling and wholly imaginary details. This tale of horror was eagerly circulated to threw odium upon the loyalists, and has been [49] repeated with little variation down to the present day. By the final capitulation it was agreed that all the forts should be utterly demolished, the Continental stores surrendered, and that none of the inhabitants should again bear arms. He afterwards asserted in the most solemn language that these conditions were faithfully observed by him, while it is not denied that they were violated by Col.

Denniston and others, who appeared in arms before the year was ended. In his letter to Col. The officers and men of the rangers have supported themselves through hunger and fatigue with great cheerfulness. It is certain he could have commanded much more severe conditions. The settlement was wholly at his mercy. No one can deny that the capitulation on its face was in a high degree honorable and favorable to Col. Franklin confirms the statement of Mrs. Myers, that Butler exerted himself to restrain the savages, seemed deeply hurt when unable to do so, and [50] offered, when furnished with a list of property, to make it good.

He describes one grim deed of which Butler himself made no mention. When the garrison of Forty Fort marched out, Butler stood at the gateway and recognized one Boyd, a deserter from Niagara. The trembling wretch obeyed, and at a signal from their commander a volley was fired by a party of rangers, and he fell dead. This, Miner states, was the only life taken after the capitulation was signed. From the recollections of survivors, he succeeded in constructing a life-like portrait of Butler as he appeared to them. Care sat upon his brow. Speaking quickly, he repeated his words when excited.

Decision, firmness, courage were undoubted characteristics of the man. The fate of Wyoming spread terror along the border, and Butler took advantage of the general panic to send a party to destroy the settlement on the Lackawaxen branch of the Deleware. For many days the roads and the rivers were covered for miles by throngs of people flying from their homes.


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  6. The adjacent counties were nearly deserted, and Sunbury became the frontier post on the west branch of the Susquehanna. It was asserted that Butler might have advanced without opposition as far as Carlisle. The river and the roads down it were covered with men, women and children, flying for their lives, many without any property at all and none who have not left the greatest part of it.

    Everyone of them, exclusive of guns and tomahawks, hath a large spontoon and as soon as engaged rushes on in a most dreadful manner. The Executive Council of Pennsylvania instantly ordered two regiments of regulars and militia to march to the defence of the frontier. Much of the harvest elsewhere was destroyed in consequence, [51] and the diversion of so many troops to this quarter unquestionably hampered the movements of their main army.

    An officer and a few rangers were to accompany every party of Indians sent out to reconnoitre and harrass the frontier. If we can prevent the enemy getting in their grain, their general army, already much distressed, must disperse and their country fall an easy prey. You are to enlist as many able-bodied men as you can, who are recommended for their loyalty.

    A memorandum of the distribution of the rangers early in September indicates the vast extent of country covered by their operations at this time. Joseph Brant, are at Aughquaga, employed in scouting from there to the Deleware river, as low as the Minnesinks and to Schoharie, as well to annoy the enemy as to gain intelligence. Pawling is also detached from Aughquaga with thirty rangers and a number of Indians to Wyalusing, upon the Susquehanna, with directions to scout as low as Wyoming, to watch the motions of the rebels said to be assembling there.

    John Young, detached from Aughquaga with thirty rangers, is constantly scouting towards the German Flats and Cherry Valley. Captain Johnson, from the Seneca country, keeps continual parties of Indians out from thence to the west branch of the Susquehanna and Juniata. The chiefs of Upper Seneca keep an attentive eye on Fort Pitt.

    Although the force at his disposal did not exceed rangers and Indians, it appears that a continuous chain of scouting parties was maintained during the summer from Lake Ontario to the Ohio. We have his own evidence on this point. I told him I thought I might venture to assure him that it was not his intention, that he would remain where he was or thereabouts till he could join the army from New York with safety, or till it was too late to do anything.


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    During the time Caldwell held command a tragic event occurred, which occasioned profound discontent among the rangers. A number of unknown men had offered themselves from time to time for enlistment. A single traitor might easily accomplish the destruction of the entire corps.

    During his advance upon Wyoming, Butler had accordingly issued a standing order that if any man should attempt to desert he must be instantly pursued and shot on the spot. Shortly after their arrival at Oquaga two men from the Susquehanna asked leave to visit their families. Caldwell peremptorily refused. This, of course, was an unpardonable offence.

    Caldwell sent out a party which soon overtook the fugitives and shot them at sight. But their friends and relatives stubbornly refused to believe that they had actually intended to desert, and continued to manifest their sympathy for the offenders in various ways. John McDonnel of the 84th Regt.

    In after years McDonnel became known in civil life as member for Glengarry, and speaker of the first Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada. As senior captain, Butler superseded Caldwell, and McDonnel was put in command of a company. Caldwell was then detached with rangers and Indians against the German Flats, where there were two large forts occupied by a Continental regiment.

    Advancing swiftly through the woods from Unadilla, he met and captured a party of Oneidas. A party of white scouts was next encountered. Three men were instantly shot, but the sole survivor outran all his pursuers and got off. At night a heavy rain began, and the darkness became so complete that Caldwell was forced to halt on the very outskirts of the settlement instead of advancing upon the fort as he had intended. The rain was falling in torrents when daylight returned, but he instantly gave the order to move on, still hoping to surprise the garrison, but every house was found deserted.

    The entire population had taken refuge in the forts. The melancholy work of destruction began. The oxen were all large New England cattle, kept on the flats for the use of the Continental troops, and we took them out of the enclosure at Fort Dayton within pistol-shot of the fort. On his return to Unadilla, Caldwell had the mortification to learn that the Oneidas he had liberated, had plundered the loyalists there and carried off some prisoners, among them two sick rangers.

    Hartley, piloted by Denniston and others who had surrendered at Wyoming. Another force from Schoharie advanced at the same time upon Oquaga and Unadilla.

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    They burnt both those villages with the houses and mills of the Scottish loyalists in the vicinity. By this raid the Young family, which had already furnished Butler with two active officers, suffered severely in property. Hartley ascended the Susquehanna as far as Tioga, desolating the farms of many loyalists as he advanced, and burnt the Indian village there. He then sent a written message to the chiefs of Chemung, a few miles distant, accusing them of killing women and children and torturing prisoners. Captain Butler had retired to Canadasaga, where he was joined by Caldwell with the rangers.

    The Senecas rapidly assembled men, leaving only their women and children to take care of their villages. Bolton sent a few volunteers from the 8th to join him. Finding himself at the head of men, Butler prepared to attack Hartley, when he retreated with every sign of haste. His rear-guard was fiercely assailed and lost fifteen men, but carried off five Indian scalps.

    Butler saw that the favourable moment for a counterstroke had arrived. While strong parties dogged the steps of the retreating enemy, he marched with rangers, a small party of the 8th and Indians, against Cherry Valley, where they had long been forming magazines and collecting cattle. On the night of the 9th November, while yet twenty miles from their destination, a scout of nine men sent out by the garrison was surprised and taken. From them it was learned that the commandant had been warned of their approach by an Oneida, and that the Continentals numbered and the militia They also stated that most of the officers usually slept in a house a quarter of a mile outside the fort, attended by a strong guard.

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    After an exhausting march next day through a blinding snowstorm and over ground covered with deep wet snow and mud, Butler halted his men at dark in a pinewood, which afforded them some shelter, six miles from Cherry Valley. He assembled the chiefs and proposed that as soon as the moon rose, they should resume their march and surround the house occupied by the officers, while he made a rush upon the fort with the rangers.

    They readily assented, but before the time appointed arrived it began to rain violently, and they obstinately refused to move until daybreak. It was then arranged that Capt. McDonnel with 50 picked rangers and some Indians should storm the house, while Butler with the remainder assailed the fort. Without tents, blankets or fires, they spent a sleepless night cowering beneath the pines, and were glad to move as soon as day appeared.

    They had approached unperceived within a mile of the fort, by passing through a dense swamp, when the Indians in front fired at two men cutting wood. One fell dead; the other, though bleeding, ran for his life and the entire body of Indians set up a whoop and followed at full speed.

    Unhappily the rangers had just been halted to fix flints and load their rifles, and the Indians obtained a long start. The Continental officers attempted to escape to the fort but only two or three reached it. The colonel, five other officers and twenty soldiers, were killed on the way and the lieutenant-colonel, three subalterns, and ten privates were taken.

    The colors of the regiment were abandoned in the house and burnt in it. The garrison of the fort was fully alarmed, and opened a fierce fire of artillery and small arms. The rangers seized and burnt a detached block-house, and fired briskly at the loop-holes in the palisades for ten minutes, when Butler saw with horror and consternation that the Indians had set their officers at defiance, and dispersed in every direction to kill and plunder.

    Their wretched misconduct forced him to collect all the rangers into a compact body on an eminence near the principal entrance to the fort, to oppose a sally by the garrison, which then undoubtedly outnumbered them considerably. There he was obliged to remain inactive all day under a ceaseless, chilling rain, while blazing houses [56] and shrieks of agony told their pitiful tale in the settlement below. At nightfall he marched a mile down the valley and encamped.

    He then struggled with indifferent success to rescue the prisoners. Those surrendered were placed next the camp fires and protected by his whole force. Next morning most of the Indians and the feeblest men among the rangers were sent away with a huge drove of captured cattle for the supply of the garrison at Niagara, and McDonnel and Brant, with 60 rangers and 50 Indians, swept the valley from end to end, ruthlessly burning every building and stack in sight, while Butler, with the remainder, again stood guard at the gate of the fort.

    He hoped that this appalling spectacle would provoke the garrison to sally out and fight, but the lesson of Wyoming had not been lost on them, and they continued to look on from the walls in silent fury. Another great herd of cattle was collected, and Butler leisurely began his retreat, having had only two rangers and three Indians wounded during the expedition. He did not disguise the dark side of the story in his letter to Col. Bolton of the 17th November. They have carried off many of the inhabitants and killed more, among them Colin Cloyd, a very violent rebel.

    I could not prevail on the Indians to leave the women and children behind, though the second morning Captain Johnson to whose knowledge of the Indians and address in managing them I am much indebted and I got them to permit twelve, who were loyalists, and whom I concealed, with the humane assistance of Mr. Joseph Brant and Captain Jacobs of Ochquaga, to return. The death of the women and children on this occasion may, I believe, be truly ascribed to the rebels having falsely accused the Indians of cruelty at Wyomen. This has much exasperated them, and they are still more incensed at finding that the colonel and those who had then laid down their arms, soon after marching into their country intending to destroy their villages, and they declared that they would be no more accused falsely of fighting the enemy twice, meaning they would in future give no quarter.

    I hope you will allow Mrs. Butler and her family to come to Canada in consideration, but if you insist I will engage to send you moreover an equal number of prisoners and allow you to name the persons. I have done everything in my power to restrain the Indians from hurting women and children who fell into their hands. In spite of strenuous efforts to prevent it, the Indians carried off a number of women and children to their villages.

    Most of these were from time to time purchased from them by Col. Butler and other officers and liberated. Their temporary detention more than anything else contributed to hasten the release of Mrs. Butler and her partners in captivity. About the middle of February an Indian arrived at Niagara bearing a letter from Gen.

    James Clinton, who had succeeded Schuyler in command at Albany, assenting to the proposed exchange, but accusing the officers and men of the rangers of conniving at the crimes and outrages committed by the Indians, and asserting that similar acts had been perpetrated when no Indians were present. To this Walter Butler made a prompt and indignant reply, confidently appealing to the prisoners themselves for confirmation of his statements. Though should you call it inhumanity, the killing men in arms in the field, we in that case plead guilty.

    The inhabitants killed at Cherry Valley do not lay at my door; my conscience acquits me. Hartley, of your forces, sent to the Indians the enclosed, being a copy of his letter charging them with crimes they [58] never committed, and threatening them and their villages with fire and sword, and no quarters. They added, that being charged by their enemies with what they never had done, and threatened by them, they had determined to convince you that it was not fear which had prevented them from committing the one, and putting your threats against them in force against yourselves.

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    Colonel Stacey and several other officers of yours, when exchanged, will acquit me; and must further declare that they have received every assistance, both before and since their arrival at this post, that could be got to relieve their wants. I must beg leave, by-the-bye, to observe that I experienced no humanity, or even common justice, during my imprisonment among you. The enormous expense and the great difficulty experienced in supplying the wants of the garrison, rangers, and refugee loyalists had already convinced General Haldimand of the great advantage that might be derived from the establishment of a permanent settlement at Niagara.

    The sole credit of the project may be fairly ascribed to him. For a dozen years back the military gardens formed at Oswego and Niagara, had been noted for the size and fine quality of the vegetables produced in them, specimens of which the officers occasionally sent down to astonish their friends at Montreal and Albany. The Governor knew the fertility of the soil, and believed that its cultivation might be readily extended for the maintenance of the garrison. On the 7th October, , he wrote to Col. Bolton, suggesting that the refugees might be usefully employed in tilling land near the fort.

    We must be cautious how we encroach on the land of the Six Nations, as we have informed them that the Great King never deprived them of an acre since , when he drove the French away. With the little stock they have brought, the second year they might possibly support themselves and families, [60] and the third year they might be useful to this post. From that period the increase would be considerable, so that in six or seven years such a plan would be serviceable to the Government and the individuals that would undertake it.

    In his letters to Butler, Haldimand constantly referred to the necessity of provisioning and protecting Niagara from attack at all hazards. The great expense and difficulty of transporting provisions to Niagara makes it desirable that cattle should be driven in, or any other articles sent in to Colonel Bolton, who would pay a reasonable price for them.

    The Governor also signified his thorough approval of the conduct of the rangers, while he heartily regretted and condemned the cruelty of the Indians. It is, however, very much to his credit that he gave proofs of his disapprobation of such proceedings, and I trust that you, and every officer serving with the savages, will never cease your exhortations till you shall at length convince them that such indiscriminate vengeance, taken even upon the treacherous and cruel enemy they are engaged with, is as useless and disreputable as it is contrary to the disposition and maxims of their King, in whose cause they are fighting.

    But he did not fail to remind Butler that he regarded their assistance as indispensable as ever. During the winter the Indians professed to be in great fear of an attack. Butler reported that Congress had its emissaries everywhere, and that they were using every art to draw the Indians over to their side.

    They actually succeeded with some of the Onondagas, and made use of them to convert others. Scouts from Niagara were constantly sent out in every direction to guard against surprise. The main body of the rangers were held in perpetual readiness to march wherever they might be needed, and Capt. Butler made every exertion to prepare the corps for service early in the spring. The fatigue and hardship entailed by scouting duties alone may be judged from the return of parties out on the 2nd February, Dochstader and Johnson are sent to reside among the Indians in that quarter in order to have scouts constantly out, and to send the earliest intelligence to this place.

    Secord is sent to Shimong for the purpose of keeping a constant watch upon the rebels towards Wyoming, from whence I daily expect intelligence, as parties have been out that way for some time. Aubrey at Carleton Island as to the commanding officer of this garrison. Several parties are out towards Fort Stanwix. These parties had several smart skirmishes during the winter, and brought in many prisoners.

    The Indians were much depressed upon learning that Hamilton, governor of Detroit, had been taken by the enemy, but they quickly recovered their spirits on the arrival of Thomas Hill, a messenger from New York, with letters and newspapers relating British successes elsewhere, and announcing that large reinforcements were expected from England.

    Bolton was compelled to send Caldwell with fifty picked rangers to reinforce the garrison. In the beginning of April, Lieut. John Dochstader, with Indians and a few rangers, encountered a strong body of American riflemen near Fort Pitt and cleverly drew them into an ambush. Twenty-one were killed and nine taken, with the loss of only one Indian killed and three wounded, but Dochstader himself was badly hurt in three places.

    As the spring advanced, every scout and messenger brought news of the gathering of the enemy. At Fort Pitt there was a numerous force preparing boats for some unknown purpose. A formidable army was assembling at Wyoming, and a spy returning from the Mohawk announced that he had seen men in camp at Canajoharie, and that it was reported they were the vanguard of an army of 3, advancing from that quarter against the Indians. Six hundred men from Fort Stanwix next made a raid on Onondaga.

    Three Indian villages were burnt, 38 women and children captured, and a few killed. As this tribe was already friendly to the Americans, this event only served to alienate them and exasperate the remainder of the Indians. They were fast becoming convinced that their enemies intended nothing less than their total extermination. On learning this Col. Bolton instructed Butler to march to their [63] assistance, and on the 2nd of May he left Niagara with men, including a few Indians.

    He was directed to advance no further than Canadasaga, the principal village of the Senecas, and keep a sharp lookout towards Fort Pitt and Wyoming, as it was surmised that the dash upon Onondaga was a mere feint to draw him in that direction. They were panic stricken by a false alarm that the Americans were advancing on Cayuga, and compelled Butler to hurry forward by forced marches, leaving his baggage and provisions to struggle after him on packhorses from Irondequot Bay. Everywhere he found the Indians on the very brink of starvation; many of them were actually living on roots and leaves.

    Cattle and grain could scarcely be purchased at any price. Scouts confirmed the report that an overwhelming army was assembling on the Susquehanna, and said that the frontier settlements were everywhere protected by a girdle of strong stockades. Long before this letter could reach him, Butler had attempted to put his advice into effect. Lieutenant Thompson, with forty rangers, accompanied by Rowland Montour and a few Indians, was detached to the Susquehanna to obtain cattle. Lieutenant Johnson made a raid upon Schoharie and [64] brought off eighteen prisoners, but their presence only added to his distress, as did the arrival of numerous recruits and refugees.

    Another actually penetrated beyond the Hudson and enlisted seventy men. Butler urged the Indians to plant as much corn as possible, and every ranger not otherwise employed was set at work to assist them in the fields on the fertile Genessee flats. By the beginning of June his stock of provisions was exhausted, the rangers were living from hand to mouth, and the starving Indians were wasting his scanty supply of ammunition by firing at every wretched little bird they saw in the woods.

    It seemed impossible to remain much longer at Canadasaga, and Butler began to tremble lest he should fail to obtain food enough to carry his men out of the country, leaving the inhabitants to their horrible fate. It is pleasing to find that even in this extremity he did not relax his efforts to redeem the prisoners still in the hands of the Indians. Seacord to Niagara. She is much in want of clothing and other necessaries. If there is not a more convenient place, I told her she might stay at my house.

    I expect in a few days to get Mrs. Moore and family released likewise. The Indians have given me seven prisoners they have brought in at different times. I shall send them to Niagara the first opportunity. On the 3rd July a deserter came in from Wyoming bringing, as it proved, very reliable information. He stated that when he left, Gen. Hand was encamped there with men, and Generals Sullivan and Maxwell were daily expected with nine regiments and nine cannon.

    They had pack-horses, and were to have more. A great number of boats were lying in the river. There could no longer be any doubt that a very serious invasion was contemplated, although it was still generally supposed that the [65] numbers of the enemy were much exaggerated. To distract their attention as much as possible, and occupy them in the defence of their own frontiers, as well as to procure supplies, McDonnel with 60 rangers, a few volunteers from the 8th, and Indians, was sent to the west branch of the Susquehanna, while Barent Frey and Brant marched against Minnesink on the Deleware.

    Henry Hare and Sergt. Newberry of the rangers had been taken by the enemy and executed as spies. Their comrades were bitterly exasperated, and made fierce threats of retaliation in like manner. By the 19th July every expedient that ingenuity and experience could suggest for the maintenance of the remainder of his battalion at Canadasaga had been exhausted. Thompson wrote from Tioga that he had been unable to procure any cattle, and must either return or starve.

    The Indians were continually begging for food, which it was not in his power to supply. Many of the settlements were then broken, and such as remain are secured by a chain of forts, which the enemy maintain at small distances all along their frontier, and had I a prospect of taking any of them I could not march out against them with a sufficient body for want of provisions. Should our services be required towards Fort Pitt, Detroit, or Venango, there is no place can be at all so centrical for either of those places. In justice to the people under my command I could no longer delay it, as they were suffering everything that disease and hunger could inflict, and had they remained in this situation much longer would have been entirely unfit for service.

    While Butler was so employed both the parties he had sent out against the frontiers had struck damaging blows. On the 27th July he marched all night and at daybreak came in sight of Fort Freeland, the frontier post. Before noon the garrison capitulated, after having two men killed. Thirty-one prisoners were taken, including a commissioner of the county. Of the besiegers only John Montour, who led a party of the Indians, was wounded, while scalping a man under the walls.

    Two hours later the rangers were unexpectedly attacked by a party of seventy or eighty men from a neighboring fort, who, having heard the firing, had advanced to the relief of Fort Freeland. The Indians had dispersed in search of cattle and allowed them to approach unperceived until within gunshot. McDonnel hastily formed his men and engaged them in front until the Indians assembled and took the enemy in the flank, when they were quickly routed, leaving three captains and thirty men dead on the field.

    McDonnel said that very few would have escaped if their flight had not been favored by thick underwood. He lost only one Indian killed and another wounded. In the morning he returned with men and destroyed five forts and thirty miles of settled country, advancing within a short distance of Shamokin. Eighty women and children were taken during the day and released uninjured.

    A Proper Revenge Fantasy ('The Britishes')

    A hundred cattle were driven off, but half of them were subsequently stolen by the Indians. Brant and Frey had a very similar experience. They destroyed several small forts or stockades and many other buildings at Minnesink, with little opposition. On their retreat they were pursued by a much superior force of militia, which outmarched them and formed an ambush at the Lackawaxen ford. Quickly recovering from his surprise, Brant quietly led a party of Indians around a hill and suddenly attacked his assailants in the rear.

    They dispersed and were remorselessly slaughtered in their flight. More than a hundred were killed, and but one taken prisoner. Tidings of these disasters, accompanied by urgent appeals for assistance, reached General Sullivan at Wyoming on the 29th July, but he firmly refused to be turned aside from his main purpose. Immediately after the return of his detachments, Butler despatched Lieut. Lottridge with a small party to bring off some of the Oneidas, who had stated their wish to desert the enemy, and Lieut.

    Daniel Servos, with a larger one, to alarm the German Flats. He returned with some prisoners, but limping [68] from an ugly wound in the foot. The largest, which had gradually assembled at Wyoming, consisted of 3, veteran soldiers from the Eastern States, besides boatman and drivers. At the same time men from Fort Pitt were directed to ascend the Alleghany and destroy the Seneca villages near that river. General Sullivan, who was selected for the chief command, was a striking type of a class of shrewd, pushing, self-reliant men, of humble origin, which the Revolution had brought to the front.

    Beginning life as a stable-boy, he became successively a hostler, a tavern-keeper, a lawyer, a member of the Assembly, a delegate in Congress, and last of all a general in the Continental army. It will be essential to ruin their crops now in the ground and prevent them planting more. Parties should be detached to lay waste all the settlements around, with instructions to do it in the most effectual manner, that the country not be merely over-run , but destroyed. They may possibly be engaged by address, secrecy, and stratagem to surprise the garrison at Niagara and the shipping upon the lakes, and put them in our possession.

    Sullivan completed his preparations with notable deliberation and forethought, heedless of the clamor of the inhabitants for greater haste.