xt7w3r0psg5x https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7w3r0psg5x/data/mets.xml Clark, George Rogers, 1752-1818. 1869  books b929733348c547c2009 English R. Clarke & Co. : Cincinnati, Ohio Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Clark s Expedition to the Illinois, 1778-1779. Vincennes (Ind.) --History --Revolution, 1775-1783. Col. George Rogers Clark s sketch of his campaign in the Illinois in 1778-9; with an introduction by Hon. Henry Pirtle, of Louisville, and an appendix containing the public and private instructions to Col. Clark, and Major Bowman s journal of the taking of Post St. Vincents. text Col. George Rogers Clark s sketch of his campaign in the Illinois in 1778-9; with an introduction by Hon. Henry Pirtle, of Louisville, and an appendix containing the public and private instructions to Col. Clark, and Major Bowman s journal of the taking of Post St. Vincents. 1869 2009 true xt7w3r0psg5x section xt7w3r0psg5x 
Ohio Valley




Campaign in the Illinois.

C ol. George Rogers C lark's

C ampaign in the Illinois
i n 1778-9

AN By Hon.







P u b l i c and Private


to C o l . C l a r k




T a k i n g of Post

St. V i n c e n t s .


1 869.

E ntered a ccording to A c t o f Congress in the y ear 1 869,





I n t he C l e r k ' s Office of the District Court o f the U n i t e d S tates f or the Southern D istrict o f O h i o .











l etter

here p r i n t e d for the


t i m e , was

p resented t o the H i s t o r i c a l S ociety o f K e n t u c k y by H o n . George M a s o n , of G u n s t o n H a l l , V i r g i n i a , t o w h o m it was addressed. W e are i n d e b t e d to

H o n . H e n r y P i r t l e , o f L o u i s v i l l e , for the p r i v i l e g e o f i n c o r p o r a t i n g i t i n o u r S E R I E S , a n d also for the I n t r o duction. W e have e n d e a v o r e d to f o l l o w the m a n u s c r i p t as

c losely as was p o s s i b l e i n p r i n t , a d d i n g o n l y a w o r d h ere a n d there ( i n i t a l i c s ) , w h i c h seemed necessary complete the sense. To have modernized to

it w o u l d

h ave r e q u i r e d so m a n y alterations, that we t h o u g h t it u n a d v i s a b l e to m a k e the a t t e m p t . A few notes have

b een added w h i c h m a y be o f s o m e use or interest to t he reader. We have a p p e n d e d the " p u b l i c " a n d
( v)




Notice. guidance Governor Major taking

i n s t r u c t i o n s received

by C o l . C l a r k , for his

d u r i n g t he e x p e d i t i o n , f r o m P a t r i c k H e n r y ,

o f V i r g i n i a , a nd also the " J o u r n a l " k e p t by B o w m a n d u r i n g a p o r t i o n o f the c a m p a i g n     t h e o f P o s t St. V i n c e n t s     a n d

r e v i s e d by s o m e u n k n o w n The manuscript of

" p erson who was i n the e x p e d i t i o n . "

o f this J o u r n a l was at one t i m e i n the possession t he H i s t o r i c a l Society of Kentucky, but has


tunately been lost.


Introduction, Biographical

by Hon. Henry Pirtle, Sketch, -








Letter of Col. George Rogers Clark, Appendix : Gov. Patrick Henry's Instructions


to Col. Clark,

gs 213

Major Bowman's Journal, Index,

( vii)

I ntroductory.


L L G E N E R A T I O N S o f A merican people w ill owe a debt, that c an not be measured, to the m emory o f C olonel
G E O R G E R O G E R S C L A R K , and his brave officers and s ol-

diers, for the results o f the campaign the progress o f w hich is so s imply narrated i n the ensuing pages. This is the

o riginal letter sent by C olonel   afterward to the i llustrious revolutionary statesman,

General   Clark, G eorge M ason,

o f V irginia, his friend and p atron. On the second of J anuary, seventeen hundred and

eighty-one, the L egislature o f V irginia declared i n c ertain resolutions passed that day, that " C olonel G eorge R ogers Clark planned and executed the secret expedition by w hich the

B ritish posts between the O hio and M ississippi rivers were r educed." I n this undertaking he had not even the advice or of any other officer, and was years o f age. But for this

o f General Washington, at the t ime only


conquest made by C olonel

Clark for the U nited S tates   

1 and

Introductory. particularly for V irginia   in the midst of the terrible

struggle with England, the boundary of our land, conquered i n the revolution from Great B ritain, w ould, in all probability, have been the eastern bank of the Ohio, or shore of the the

A llegheny mountains, instead of the M ississippi.*


T his whole country between the rivers, in no very definite expressions, had been transferred by France to England by the treaty of Paris, 1763, and possession rather indefinitely delivered in 1765. government as T h e people of I llinois, i n 1771, demanded a

of their own by the people, as free and bold English and American p rinciSouth Carolina ; and in 1772

had .been claimed as an

ple in N e w England and

* T he following letter of M r . Jefferson shows his anticipation o f the importance of this expedition :

" miIiamsb-\
C O L . G E O . R. CLARK,




Sir :
Y o u r l etter and verba * * * by M r . St. V rain was received to-day. Y o u r w * * * attended to. M u c h solicitude w ill be felt for the result of your expedition to the Wabash ; it w ill, at least, delay their expedition to the frontier settlement, and if successful, have an important bearing ultimately in establishing our northwestern boundary. I a m, sir, your most obedient, TH. JEFFERSON."
f A p ortion of the letter has been torn off and lost.

Introductory. they sent through their agent in London, Daniel

B linn,

t heir indignant protest to L o r d D artmouth, the B ritish Secretary, against under the a new government of the crown proposing only. to put them




against which they protested, included Vincennes, which had then been settled more than seventy years. These sole facts

are alluded to as and a cknowledged o f our revolution. Yet


the direct and


dominion of Great

B ritain at the time

Spain and France both contended at Paris in 1782, that

in the prelimthis great l and had

inary negotiations c ould not

be ceded to the

United States,

that they

no legal claim to it.

D r . F ranklin, i n August, this year,

when engaged i n these negotiations at Paris, speaking of the c laim o f Spain to the western country, says : jecture of that court's mountains, is design to " M y con-

coop us up within the I hope Congress

A llegheny

now manifest.

w ill insist on the Mississippi as the boundary, and the free navigation of the river from which they would exclude The us."

claim that Spain made was futile, and could not She could not connect her claim to the

bear examination.

L ower Mississippi with this territory. session could not reach up so far;

T h e constructive posClark had built Fort

Jefferson below the mouth of the O h i o , and Virginia had a ctual possession also between the rivers. T h i s was the of

pretense of Spain; in the winter of 1781, a detachment about sixty-five Spaniards, accompanied by about the




number of Indians, took possession of a small English Fort, called r iver. St. Joseph, situated near the source of the Illinois T hey hoisted the Spanish standard, and pretended its dependencies, the Spanish and king.

to take possession of the

fort, and

o f the river Illinois, in the

name of

T h i s was what the Spanish minister called a conquest: and he insisted that, i f the country did not belong to the king o f Spain, it did not belong to the Americans, but to the I ndians. F rance could make no c l a i m : she could only dispute the claim of the colonies, or of the United States; and

even this she forebore to do through her principal minister the Count de Vergennes, but Rayneval, the principal sec-

retary of the great m inister, was put forward, to make this dispute. The negotiations at Paris in 1782, as far especially

as Spain and France were c oncerned, were for the matters o f compromises between these powers respectively and Great B ritain; and they so ended as far as these three powers the in

were c oncerned;

and it did not matter to them how T h e object

A mericans came out in these negotiations. regard to the western

country, was to keep it out of the

hands of the United States, and then it could be set off to one or other of the three powers in consideration of something else. issues England was then temporizing with Spain, as the between England, Spain, and

of these conferences

F rance showed to every

observer. face

H o w else c ould Spain o f B ritain ? B ut the

have claimed anything in the

Introductory. E nglish envoy could not pretend that it did not

5 belong

to the colonies that had set themselves States. The conquest

up as the United

had been fully made by Clark in

1778 and 1779;

and in October, 1778, the county of I lli-

nois was established by the General Assembly of V irginia, c overing all the territory, and provision was made for its protection May, by reinforcements to the army of Clark; and in

1780, the act of October, 1778, was continued and and other reinforcements ordered by V irginia.


I n fact, as an almost natural result from Clark's campaign, the land between the rivers was actually under the of gov-

ernment de facto, as well as de jure, it c ould not be denied that the

this country, for of V irginia, w ith the whole region,


some portion to other colonies, covered so that the arms of Clark had

settled the question of

possession, and c ivil, as well as military rule, of this great t erritory, w hich T hese now holds so many millions of the B ritish people. m inister,


facts were before

and before the world.

H e could not say, then, that this

part of the land was in the power of England, any more than V irginia h erself was after the battle of Y o r k t o w n ; and he was too accurate or to hear the a jurist to yield to any claim of Spain, objections of France. But what would

have been the judgment of Great B ritain, beset by France and S pain, and looking to its own aggrandizement, as every c ountry does, if this campaign had never been made ? The

force of conquest, the moving etiquette of treaties of peace, w ould have been lost.

6 B ut conquest. the several there The are

Introductory. additional facts springing out of this to

act of Congress of 1780 recommended to cede t heir out-lands, such as



west o f the Ohio, to Congress, looking, of course, to what had been done by Clark. A n d the act of V irginia o f Octo-

ber 20, 1783, about the transfer of these lands to Congress, recites the act of Congress of 1780 and the V irginia act A n d V irginia, on 2d

o f 1 781, concerning these same lands.

J anuary, 1 781, granted one hundred and fifty thousand acres to the officers and soldiers of Clark, and and the same act the


land for other officers M iami.

soldiers between

r ivers Scioto and L ittle

N o w , the preliminary articles of


and boundary

had been under negotiation for months, and were signed by O swald L aurens w hen, of for England, and by Adams, F ranklin, the 30th of J ay, and 1782,

for America, on


course, these things

had been well understood ;

and afterward, on the 3d of September, 1783, the definite treaty of peace and boundary was signed at Paris by Hartley for E ngland, and Adams, F ranklin, and Jay for the United States. Surely all that had followed the campaign of Col-

onel C lark, had been well debated and considered, and but for our holding the country under military and c ivil r ule, as m uch a part of the United States as any other portion of its t erritory, we would east bank of the have had our the boundary, not the the

M ississippi, but

east bank of

O hio, or the ridge of the Alleghenies. the depth of our gratitude, let us

In contemplating New

think whether



O rleans and St. Louis and all the great c ountry of L o u isiana w ould, in any reasonable probability, have been pur-

chased of the F irst C onsul, and come to us through M r . Jefferson but for not. This this campaign of Clark. N o , certainly this to arid the other north

magnificent now extending

country, made of as one with us


P acific, might to

this hour have been broken from us at shore. H. P.

the mountain's. summit or the river's

B iographical Sketch.

[ The following sketch of the Life of General Clark is given
in Lewis Collins' H I S T O R I C A L S K E T C H E S O F K E N T U C K Y . ]

and conspicuously prominent i n the conquest and settlement o f the whole w est, was b orn i n the c ounty o f A lbemarle, i n the State o f V irginia, N ovember 19, 1752. e ducation, but l ittle is k nown. O f his early years and I n his y outh, he engaged i n the









deservedly celebrated i n the early history o f K entucky,

business o f land surveying, which appears to have presented to the enterprising young men o f that day, a most congenial and attractive field for the exercise o f their energies. I t is w orthy o f remark, that many o f the most opulent and i nfluential families o f K entucky were founded by men engaged i n this pursuit. How l ong Clark engaged i n t his vocation, is u nknown. He commanded a company i n D unsmore's w ar, and was engaged i n the o nly active operation o f the r ight wing o f the i nvading a rmy against t he I ndians. A t the close o f this w ar, he was offered a c ommission i n the E nglish service, but, upon consultation w ith his friends, he was induced by the t roubled aspect o f




the relations between the colonies and Great B ritain, to decline the appointment. I n the spring of 1775, he came to Kentucky, drawn hither by that love of adventure which distinguished him through life. H e remained in Kentucky during the spring and summer of this year, familiarizing himself with the character of the people and the resources of the country, u ntil the f all, w hen he returned to V irginia. D uring this visit, he was temporarily placed in comI n the spring of the f olmand o f the irregular m ilitia o f the settlements; but whether he held a commission is not known. lowing year (1776), he again came to Kentucky, with the i ntention o f making it his permanent home; and from this time f orth, his name is closely associated with the progress of the western settlements in power and civilization. H is m ind had been very early impressed with the immense importance of this frontier country to the security of the parent State of V irginia, as well as to the whole confederacy; and his reflections on this subject led him to perceive the importance of a more thorough, organized, and extensive system of public defense, and a more regular plan of military operations, than the slender resources of the colonies had yet been able to effect. W i t h the view of accomplishing this design, he had been in K entucky but a few months, when he suggested to the settlers the propriety of convening a general assembly of the people at H arrodstown (now Harrodsburg), to take steps toward forming a more definite and certain connection with the government and people of V irginia than as yet existed. T h e immediate necessity for this movement grew out of the memorable and well k nown c onflict between Henderson & C o . and the legislature o f V irginia, relative to the disputed claim of jurisdiction over a large portion of the new territory. T h e excitement which

Col. George Rogers


arose out of this dispute, and the prevailing uncertainty whether the south side of Kentucky river appertained to V irginia o r N o r t h C arolina (the latter claiming by virtue of Henderson's purchase of the Cherokees at the treaty of Wataga), added very greatly to the perplexity of the settlers, and rendered it necessary that the disposition of V irginia s hould be distinctly ascertained. T h e proposed meeting was accordingly held at Harrodstown on the 6th of June, 1776, at which Clark and Gabriel Jones were chosen members of the assembly of V irginia. T h i s , however, H e wished was not precisely the thing contemplated by Clark.

that the people should appoint agents, w ith general powers to negotiate w ith the government of V irginia, and in the event that that commonwealth should refuse to recognize the colonists as w ithin its jurisdiction and under its protection, he proposed to employ the lands of the country as a fund to obtain settlers and establish an independent State. T h e election had, however, gone too far to change its object when Clark arrived at H arrodstown, and the gentlemen elected, although aware that the choice could give them no seat i n the legislature, proceeded to W illiamsburg, at that time the seat o f government. After suffering the most severe privations in their journey through the wilderness, the delegates f ound, on their a rrival i n V irginia, that the legislature had adjourned, whereupon Jones directed his steps to the settlements on H olston, and left Clark to attend to the Kentucky mission alone. H e i mmediately waited on Governor Henry, then lying s ick at his residence in Hanover county, to whom he stated the objects o f his journey. State. These meeting the approbation of the g overnor, he gave C lark a letter to the executive council of the W i t h this letter in his hand he appeared before the c ouncil, and after acquainting them f ully w ith the condition and




circumstances of the colony, he made application for five h undred weight of gunpowder for the defense of the various stations. B ut with every disposition to assist and promote the g rowth of these remote and infant settlements, the council felt i tself restrained by the uncertain and indefinite state of the relations existing between the colonists and the state of V irginia, from c omplying f ully w ith his demand. proprietary c laimants, Henderson & her jurisdiction of the new territory. c ould o nly offer to lend the T h e Kentuckians had C o . , were at this time T h e council, therefore, A t the same time not yet been recognized by the legislature as citizens, and the exerting themselves to obtain from V irginia a r elinquishment of gunpowder to the colonists as

friends, not give it to them as fellow-citizens.

they required Clark to be personally responsible for its value, in the event the legislature should refuse to recognize the K e n tuckians as citizens, and in the mean time to defray the expense o f its conveyance to Kentucky. U pon these terms he did not He reprefeel at liberty to accept the proffered assistance.

sented to the council that the emissaries of the B ritish were e mploying every means to engage the Indians in the war; that the people in the remote and exposed stations of Kentucky might be exterminated for the want of a supply which he, a private i ndividual, had at so much hazard sought for their relief, and that when this frontier bulwark was thus destroyed, the fury o f the savages w ould burst l ike a tempest upon the heads o f their own citizens. T o these representations, however, the c ouncil remained deaf and inexorable; the sympathy for the frontier settlers was deep, but the assistance already offered was a stretch of power, and they c'ould go no farther. T h e keeper o f the public magazine was directed to deliver the powder to C lark ; but having long reflected on the situation, prospects and

Col. George Rogers



resources of the new country, his resolution to reject the assistance on the proposed conditions, was made before he left the c ouncil c hamber. He determined to repair to Kentucky, and, H e accordingly as he had at first contemplated, exert the resources of the country for the formation of an independent state. returned the order of the council in a letter, setting forth his reasons for declining to accept t heir powder on these t erms, and i ntimating h is design of applying for assistance elsewhere, adding, " that a country which was not worth defending, was not worth claiming." O n the receipt of this letter the council recalled C lark to their presence, and an order was passed on the 23d of A ugust, 1776, for the transmission of the gunpowder to Pittsburg, to be there delivered to Clark or his order, for the use of the people of Kentucky. T h i s was the first act in that long and affectionate interchange of good offices, which subsisted between Kentucky and her parent state for so many years ; and obvious as the reflection is, it may not be omitted, that on the successful termination of this negotiation, hung the connection between V irginia and the splendid domain she afterward acquired west o f the Allegheny mountains. A t the f all session of the legislature of V irginia, M essrs. Jones and Clark laid the Kentucky memorial before that body. T h e y were, of course, not admitted to seats, though late in the session they obtained, in opposition to the exertions of Colonels H enderson and Campbell, the formation of the territory which n ow comprises the present state o f that name, into the county o f K entucky. O u r first political organization was thus obtained through the sagacity, influence and exertions of George Rogers C lark, w ho must be ranked as the earliest founder of this commonwealth. T h i s act of the V irginia legislature first gave it f orm and a political existence, and entitled it under the constitu-



t ion o f V irginia to a representation in the assembly, as well as to a judicial and military establishment. H aving obtained these important advantages f rom their m ission, they received the intelligence that the powder was s till at Pittsburg, and they determined to take that point in their route home, and bring it with them. The country around T hese c irP ittsburg swarmed with Indians, evidently hostile to the whites, who would no doubt seek to interrupt their voyage. cumstances created a necessity for the utmost caution as well as expedition in their movements, and they accordingly hastily embarked on the Ohio with only seven b oatmen. T h e y were h otly pursued the whole way by Indians, but succeeded i n keeping i n advance u ntil they arrived at the mouth of Limestone c reek, at the spot where the city of Maysville now stands. T hey ascended this creek a short distance with their boat, and concealed their cargo at different places i n the woods a long its banks. They then turned their boat a drift, and directed their course to Harrodstown, intending to return with a sufficient escort to insure the safe transportation of the powder to its destination. T h i s in a short time was successfully effected, and the colonists were thus abundantly supplied with the means o f defense against the fierce enemies w ho beset t hem on all sides. T h e space allotted to this brief sketch, w ill not admit of a detailed narrative of the adventures of Major Clark after his return to Kentucky. Let it suffice to say, that he was u niversally looked up to by the settlers as one of the master spirits o f the time, and always foremost in the fierce conflicts and desperate deeds o f those w ild and t hrilling days. Passing over that series o f private and solitary adventures i n w hich he embarked after he returned from V irginia, and i n w hich he appears to have taken a peculiar pleasure, but of which

Col. George Rogers



no particulars have been preserved, we shall proceed at once to notice his successful expedition against the B ritish posts of Kaskaskia and Vincennes ; one of the most important events, if we estimate it by its consequences, immediate and remote, in the early history of the west. I t was at the same time marked by incidents of romantic and t hrilling interest, and a striking display o f the qualities of courage, perseverance, and fortitude, w hich b ring to m ind the heroic deeds o f antiquity. T h e war in Kentucky previous to this time had been a true border war, and conducted in the irregular and desultory manner i ncident to that k ind o f hostilities. Nearly all the military operations of the period resembled more the predatory exploits o f those sturdy cattle-drovers and stark moss-troopers of the Scottish h ighlands, whose valorous achievements have been i mmortalized by the graphic pen of the author of Waverly, than the warfare of a civilized people. m uch h imself. Every man fought pretty bis own hook,"':, and waged the war in a fashion to suit He selected his own ground, determined upon the T h e war

t ime, place, and manner of attack, and brought the campaign to a close whenever his own inclinations prompted. indeed was sustained, and its "sinews supplied," by the adventurous spirit of private individuals. T h e solitary backwoodsman w ould sharpen his hunting knife, shoulder his rifle, and provide h imself w ith a small quantity of parched corn as a substitute for bread, and thus equipped for service, start on an expedition into the Indian country, without beat o f drum or note of warning. A rrived on hostile s oil, he would proceed with the caution of a panther stealing on his prey, u ntil he reached the neighborhood o f a v illage, when, concealing himself in the surrounding thickets, he would lie in wait u ntil an opportunity presented of shooting an Indian and stealing a horse, when he would return to the




c ultivation o f his farm and the ordinary pursuits of his business. E ven those more ambitious enterprises which occasionally diversified this personal warfare, were the result rather of the spontaneous combination of private individuals, than of any movement by the state. T h e perseverance and gallantry of the backwoodsman was left to sustain itself, with little assistance f rom the power of V irginia, at that time engaged in the tremendous struggle of the war of Independence, which demanded all her energies and taxed all her resources. T h e state had not disposable means to act on so remote a frontier, nor does she appear to have been distinctly aware of the important diversion o f the Indian force, which might be made by supporting the exertions of Kentucky. i n the west. state. A s little did she perceive the r ich temptations offered to her military ambition in the B ritish posts Y e t every Indian engaged on the frontier of K e n tucky was a foe taken from the nearer frontier of the parent A n d in those remote and neglected garrisons of Kaskaskia, V incennes, and Detroit, was to be found the source of those I ndian hostilities which staid the advancing tide of emigration, and deluged the whole west i n the blood of women and children. T hese combined views, however, began to acquire weight w ith the V irginia statesmen, with the progress of the revolution, and the rapid increase of emigration to K e n t u c k y ; and they were particularly aided and enforced by the impressive representations of Major Clark. T o his m ind they had been long H e was thorf amiliar, and his plans were already matured.

oughly acquainted with the condition, relations, and resources of the country, and with that instinctive genius which stamps him as the most consummate of the western commanders, he saw at a glance the policy required to develop the nascent strength and advantages of the infant settlements. A t a glance, he discov-

Col. George Rogers


ered what had so long escaped the perspicacity of the V irginia statesmen, that the sources of the Indian devastations were D etroit, V incennes, and Kaskaskia. It was by the arms and c lothing supplied at these m ilitary stations that the merciless f erocity of these b lood-thirsty warriors was stimulated to the c ommission o f those fearful ravages w hich " drenched the land to a mire." I f they could be taken, a counter influence would over the Indians, and the streams of human be established

b lood, w hich deluged the fields of Kentucky, would be dried up. So strongly had the idea of reducing these posts taken possession of the m ind and imagination of Major Clark, that in the summer of 1777 he dispatched two spies to reconnoiter and report their situation. O n their return they brought intelligence o f great a ctivity on the part of the garrisons, who omitted no o pportunity to promote and encourage the Indian depredations on the Kentucky frontier. T h e y reported further, that although the B ritish had essayed every art of misrepresentation to prejudice the French inhabitants against the Virginians and K e n tuckians, by representing these frontier people as more shocking barbarians than the savages themselves, s till there were to be seen strong traces o f affection for the Americans among many o f the inhabitants. I n D ecember, 1777, Major Clark submitted to the executive of V irginia a plan for the reduction of these posts. The result was a f ull approbation of the scheme, and the governor and c ouncil entered into the undertaking so warmly that every p reliminary arrangement was soon made. \_We omit here Collins' sketch of the campaign in Illinois, which is more fully recorded in Col. Clark's Letter.^




Soon after this Louisville was founded, and he made it his headquarters. sippi. In 1780 he built Fort Jefferson, on the M issisI n the course of this year he led an expedition against

the Indians of Ohio, the occasion of which was as follows : O n the 1st of June, 1780, the B ritish commander at Detroit assembled six hundred Canadians and Indians, for a secret expedition under C o l . B yrd, against the settlements in Kentucky. This f orce, accompanied by two field pieces, presented itself on the 2 2d, before Ruddell's station, which was obliged to capitulate. Soon after Martin's station shared the same fate, and the inhabitants, loaded with the spoil of their own dwellings, were hurried off toward Canada. A prompt retaliation was required, and when Colonel Clark called on the m ilitia o f Kentucky for volunteers to accompany his regiment against the Indians, they flocked to his standard w ithout delay. T h e point of rendezvous was the mouth of T h e y were supL icking r iver, where the forces assembled.

plied w ith artillery, conveyed up the river from the Falls. W h e n a ll assembled, the force amounted to nearly a thousand men. T h e secrecy and dispatch which had ever attended the movements of this efficient commander continued to mark his progress on this occasion. T h e Indian town was reached before the enemy had received any intimation of their approach. w ith an equal loss on the part of the whites. laid waste. A sharp

conflict ensued, in which seventeen of the savages were s lain, T h e Indians then fled, the town was reduced to ashes, and the gardens and fields C o l . Clark returned to the Ohio and discharged the m ilitia, and the Indians, reduced to the necessity of hunting for the support of their families, gave the whites no further trouble that season. F or a l ong time the ever active m ind o f Clark had been

Col. George Rogers



r evolving a scheme for the reduction of the B ritish post at D etroit, and in December of the year 1780, he repaired to R ichmond, to urge the government to furnish him with means to execute this long-cherished design. His views were approved, but before the necessary arrangements could be completed, a B ritish force from N e w Y o r k , under A rnold, carried hostilities i nto the heart of the State. Clark took a temporary command under Baron Steuben, and participated in the active operations o f that officer against the marauding traitor. A fter several months had been spent in indefatigable efforts to raise a force of two thousand men, for the enterprise against D etroit, the several corps destined for the service were designated, and ordered to rendezvous on the 15th of M a r c h , 1 781, at the falls of the Ohio, and Clark was raised to the rank of brigadier g eneral; but unexpected and insuperable difficulties arose, and the ardent genius of the commander was confined to defensive