1812. GARRISON ORDERED TO LEAVE FORT DEARBORN. 8G5
engaged in a partition of the spoils, the troops might effect their retreat unmolested. This advice was strongly seconded by Mr. Kinzie, but did not meet the approbation of the commanding officer.
"The order for evacuating the post was read next morning upon parade. It is difficult to understand why Capt. Heald, in such an emergency, omitted the usual form of calling a council of war, with his officers. Perhaps it arose from a want of harmonious feeling between himself and one of his subalterns Ensign Eonan a high-spirited and somewhat overbearing, but brave and generous young man. In the course of the day, finding no couucil was called, the officers waited upon Capt. Heald, to be informed what course he intended to pursue. "When they learned his intention to leave the post, they remonstrated with him upon the following grounds:
"First. It was highly improbable that the command would be permitted to pass through the country iu safety, to Fort Wayne. For, although it had been said that some of the chiefs had opposed an attack upon the fort, planned the preceding autumn, yet, it was well known that they had been actuated in that matter by motives of private regard to one family, aud not to any general friendly feeling toward the Americans ; and that, at any rate, it was hardly to be expected that these few individuals would be able to control the whole tribe, who were thirsting for blood.
"In the next place, their march must necessarily be slow, as their movements must be accommodated to the helplessness of the women aud children, of whom there were a number with the detachment. That of their small force, some of the soldiers were superannuated and others invalid; therefore, 6iuce the course to be pursued was left discretional, their advice was to remain where they were, and fortify themselves as strongly as possible. Succors from the other side of the peninsula might arrive before they could be attacked by the British from Mackinac, and even should there not, it were far better to fall into the hands of the latter, than to become the victims of the savages.
" Capt. Heald argued in reply, ' that a special order had been issued by the "War Department, that no post should be surrendered without battle having been given; and that his force was totally inadequate to an engagement wdth the Indians. That he should, unquestionably, be censured for remaining, when there appeared a prospect of a safe march through, and that upon the whole, he deemed it expedient to assemble the Indians, distribute the property among them, and then ask of them an escort to Fort Wayne, with