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186 > Page 186 of George Rogers Clark papers, 1771-1784 / edited with introduction and notes by James Alton James. (vol. 1)

ILLINOIS HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS the Village finding it impossible to make their way good, they concealed themselves in a barn, sending from time to time one of their Number to explore and make report, but as they emploied Canadians, none of them return'd-The Militia of the Fort had been order'd under arms in the evening. The Major, Le gras, and one of the Captains, Bosseron, with several of the Private Men being reported absent, I suspected treachery, the two Officers however made their appearance at sunset. About 5 minutes after candles had been lighted we were alarmed by hearing a Musquet discharged;presentlyaftersomemore, I concluded that some party of Indians was return'd or that there was some riotous frolic in the Village, going upon the Parade to enquire I heard the Balls whistle, order'd the Men to the Blockhouses, forbidding them to fire till they perceived the shot to be directed against the Fort. We were shortly out of suspence, one of the serjeants receiving a shot in the breast. The fire was now return'd, but the enemy had a great advantage from their Rifles, and the cover of the Church, Houses, Barns, c. Mr. McBeath the surgeon having been in the Village when the firing began, push'd to get to the Gate, and narrowly escaped being kill'd, he reported that as soon as the first shots were fired, the Woman of the house where he was told him that Colonel Clarke was arrived with 500 Men from the Ilinois. This very house had lately been searched in the night on suspicion of a stranger being conceald, but the serjeant and party could not discover any such person-Tho' the night was dark we had a Serjeant Matross and five Men wounded. The weather was still so cold we were obliged to bring the Wounded into our own quar- ters. The Officers who had continued in tents all the winter were exposed to the fire of the enemy's riflemen as the picketting of the Fort was so poorly set up that one might pass the hand clench'd, between the Stockades. We dislodged the enemy from the Church, and nearest houses by a few cannon shot from the Blockhouses, but when day appeared and we saw that the Inhabitants of the Village had joined the Rebels, we despaired of Captain La Mothe's party regaining the fort, but to our great surprize and joy about half-an-hour before sunrise they appear'd and got into the Fort over the Stockades which were upright, and 11 feet out of the ground, with their Arms in their hands. Two Canadians of his 186