864 GARRISON ORDERED TO LEAVE FORT DEARBORN. 1812.
and were in alliance with Great Britain. Many Pottawattamies, Winnebagoes, Ottawas, and Shawanese were in the hattle of Tippecanoe, yet the principal chiefs in the immediate vicinity were on amicable terms with the Americans, and gave proof of it, hy their rescue of those who were saved.
Besides those persons attached to the garrison, there was the family of Mr. Kinzie, wTho had been engaged in the fur trade at that spot from 1804, and a few Canadians, or engages, with their wives and children, who were attached to the same establishment.
On the afternoon of the 7th of August, Winnemeg, or Catfish, a trust-worthy Pottawattamie chief, arrived at the post, bringing dispatches from Governor Hull, the commander-in-chief. These dispatches announced the declaration of war between the United States and Great Britain; furthermore, and that the British troops had already taken Mackinac.
His orders to Captain Heald were, "to evacuate the post if practicable, and, in that event, to distribute the property belonging to the United States, in the fort, and in the factory or agency, to the Indians in the neighborhood."
"After having delivered his dispatches, "Winnemeg requested a private interview with Mr. Kinzie, who had taken up his residence in the fort. He stated to Mr. Kinzie that he was acquainted with the purport of the communications he had brought, and begged him to ascertion if it were the intention of Captain Heald to evacuate the post. He advised strongly that such a step should not be taken, since the garrison was well supplied with ammunition, and with provision, for six months; it would, therefore, he thought, be far better to remain until a reinforcement could be sent to their assistance. If, however, Captain Heald should decide on leaving the post, it should, by all means, be done immediately. The Pottawattamies, through whose country they must pass, being ignorant of "Winnemeg's mission, a forced march might be made before the hostile Indians were prepared to interrupt them.
" Of this advice, so earnestly given, Captain Heald was immediately informed. He replied that it was his intention to evacuate the post, but that inasmuch as he had received orders to distribute the United States property, he should not feel justified in leaving until he had collected the Indians in the neighborhood, and made an equitable division among them.
""Winnemeg then suggested the expediency of marching out and leaving all things standing possibly, while the savages were