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General St. Clair


The awful disaster which befell the troops under General St. Clair raised a fearful storm of indignation against him. It is admitted by all who knew him, that he was a man of very respectable abilities, of extensive information, of upright purposes, of genial character and manners which endeared him greatly to his friends. He was plain and simple in his dress and equipage,  and equally accessible to all. There can be no question that he was sincerely devoted to the public welfare. Arthur St. Clair was born in Scotland, in the year 1764. After receiving a liberal education in one of the most distinguished universities of his native land, he studied medicine. Being of an adventurous turn of mind, he obtained a subaltern's appointment to accompany General Wolfe, in 1763, to the storming of Quebec.

After the peace he was assigned to the command of Fort Ligonier, and received a grant of a thousand acres of land. In the conflict with Great Britain he warmly espoused the cause of the colonists. He fought bravely, and was promoted to the rank of brigadier. At Princeton and Trenton he gained new laurels. Subsequently he attained the rank of Major General, and was stationed at Ticonderoga. This post he abandoned upon the approach of Burgoyne's army. For this he was unjustly accused of incapacity, cowardice and treachery. A court-marital, after the most careful investigation, declared that Major General St. Clair is acquitted with the highest honor of the charges against him. It had been well and truly said that the works were incomplete, and incapable of being defended against the whole British army. By a brave defense St. Clair might have gained much personal renown. But he would have lost many men, and in the end the fort would unquestionably have been taken. This loss would have presented the subsequent capture of Burgoyne's army. By daring to do an unpopular act, St. Clair exhibited moral courage far superior to that physical daring which often gains a battle.

While residing on his farm at Ligonier, General St. Clair, in 1785, was chosen a delegate to the Continental Congress, and soon was elected president of that honorable body. After the passage of the ordinance for the government of the Northwestern Territory, he was appointed Governor, and continued in the office till the close of the year 1802, when he was removed by President Jefferson.

After his removal from office he returned to the Ligonier Valley. He had laid up no money, but was poor, aged and infirm. He was very careless in money matter, and was very unwisely negligent of his own accounts. He had a claim against the government for a few thousand dollars, which he neglected to present until it was forfeited by the statute of limitation. After two years of harrassing troubles and disappointments, he relinquished the pursuit of  his claim in despair, and returned to his home a broken-hearted, worn-out man, to dwell with a widowed daughter in abject poverty. The State of Pennsylvania, his adopted state, took pity upon him, and, after some time, voted him an annuity of six hundred and fifty dollars. This gave the gallant old soldier a comfortable subsistence for the remainder of his days. He lived, however, but a few years to enjoy this bounty. On the 31st of August, 1818, he died at the age of eighty-four.

The return of St. Clair's routed army to Fort Washington spread consternation and mourning into almost every family. Nearly one-half of the settlers had entered upon this fatal campaign. All the settlements in the Miami country, excepting those in the immediate vicinity of the forts, were abandoned. Many of the terrified pioneers, retreating with the army, continued their flight across the Ohio River into Kentucky, hoping to find safety in the stronger posts which had been established there. The Indians, emboldened by their great victory, ventured by night even into the streets of Cincinnati to spy out the exposure of the town, and the best points upon which to make an  attack upon Fort Washington.

The country generally was so disheartened that it was proposed in Congress to abandon the whole of the Northwestern Territory to the Indians, and make the Ohio River the northern boundary of the United States. The people east of the mountains were weary of these constantly recurring events of disaster and blood, and were reluctant to make any further appropriations for the conduct of such a war. It was nearly a year before the National Government  adopted any decisive measures for the chastisement of the Indians. In the meantime a very cruel and bloody war, with varying success, was surging to and fro all along the frontiers.

A few weeks after the great defeat General Scott dispatched two spies to the scene of the late conflict to reconnoiter the position and movements of the enemy. A few miles from the fatal spot they discovered a large party of Indians rioting over the plunder they had taken. They were singing, dancing,  feasting, and, with great merriment, were riding the bullocks which they had captured.

The men returning with this report, General Scott arranged his troops in three divisions, and by forced marches advanced to attack the Indians by surprise. The expedition was a complete success. He fell furiously upon the bewildered warriors, killed two hundred of them, and put the rest to flight. He also recovered the cannon and all the remaining stores which were in the hands of the Indians. This victory was gained with the loss of but six men. General Scott visited the scene of St. Clare's defeat, and gives the following account of the spectacle presented to him there:

"The place had a very melancholy appearance. Within the space of about three hundred and fifty yards lay three hundred skull-bones, which were buried by my men while on the ground. For five miles along the road the woods  were strewed with skeletons, muskets," etc.

Notwithstanding this victory of General Scott, the Indians had acquired great confidence in themselves and great contempt for their enemies on the Ohio. Their incursions were daily becoming more extended and daring. Very vigilantly they guarded the Ohio River to cut off the boats of the emigrants. Still, in the year 1793, about fifty settlers were added to the population of Cincinnati. Three or four frame houses were erected, besides several log cabins. A substantial but very plain house of worship was built. It was a mere box, without the slightest attempt at ornamentation. But as Cincinnati was the head-quarters of the Territorial Army and the seat of Territorial Government, it assumed quite an important air of business. The town was built on what was called the lower terrace, near the river, and consisted of a straggling street, mainly of log cabins, intersected by short cross streets which led to the second terrace. This eminence was crowned by the massive walls of Fort Washington.

The ax had cut an opening in the gigantic forest for the erection of the town. Some of the tough places were leveled, but stumps and logs were yet seen everywhere. This rustic Presbyterian Church was occupied by its first pastor, James Kemper. He was a man of sincere piety and an eloquent preacher. During the summer a school was opened, which taught simply the elements of reading, writing and arithmetic. It was attended by about thirty boys and girls.

Gradually the National Government had been gathering its resources and making preparations for a new expedition to the Maumee country. It was deemed very important, for its influence upon the Indians, that the national reputation should be retrieved. The troops were concentrated at the Falls of the Ohio. The little army was entrusted to the leadership of General Anthony Wayne. The impetuousity of his character had given him the sobriquet of Mad Anthony. It was generally supposed that he was much better calculated to heada charge than to conduct a campaign. His success, however, in this expedition gave him the reputation of being a general as well as a fighter.

General Wayne was born in Eastown, Chester County, Pennsyvania, on the 1st of January, 1745. His father was a farmer who had served in the Indian Wars,  and who had taken his seat in the Provincial Legislature. Anthony received a good common school education, though, as a boy, he was much more fond of military amusements than of his books. At eighteen years of age cautiously along the shores. One would paddle the canoe, while the other, a little ahead, would go on foot through the woods.

Upon one of these tours, two of these spies, Samuel Davis and Duncan McArthur, had encamped at night nearly opposite the mouth of the Scioto. Early the next morning they crossed the river in their canoe, and went a short distance back into the woods, to one of the salt licks, which they knew to be frequented by deer. This lick was about two miles below the present site of Portsmouth, near the house subsequently reared and occupied by Judge John Collins.

It was a beautiful, serene, autumnal morning. A light fog, not yet dispersded by the rising sun, hung over the lowland. With the silent, stealthy tread of the catamount, looking anxiously in every direction to see if any lurking savage were near, they approached the spring. Davis was creeping along through a thicket of wood and brush, when he lifted his head to see if any deer were in-sight. At that instant the crack of an Indian's rifle was heard, and a bullet whistled by his ear; no foe was visible. The slight smoke of the rifle blended with the fog. The Indian, after a moment stepped from behind the tree, which concealed him, to see what was the effect of his shot. The quick eye of Davis caught sight of him, and in an instant the savage fell, shot through the heart.

Davis immediately, without moving, commenced reloading his rifle; under such circumstances that was always the first thing to be done. McArthur, hearing the shots, came rushing to him, and, at the same moment, quite a band of Indians sprung forward, in the clear space around the lick. The two rangers were so concealed in the rank weeds and underbrush, that they were not perceived by the Indians. They immediately commenced flight at their utmost speed, reached their canoe, crossed the Ohio, and were out of danger. Not long after this a boat was ascending the river, and when near the mouth of the Scioto, was fired upon by Indians from the Ohio shore. One man was instantly killed and two severly wounded. The remainder of the crew rapidly pushed the boat towards the other shore, and put back to Maysville. A fresh crew was procured, and the four rangers, who chanced to be then in Maysville, were directed to guard the boat as far as the mouth of the Big Sandy. Here, at the mouth of a small creek, on the Kentucky shore, they found a birch canoe concealed. It was large enough for eight men. A party had evidently crossed the Ohio, and were prowling about somewhere in the country. One of the rangers immediately returned to Maysville to give the warning.

The other three, having seen the packet boat to the mouth of the Big Sandy, commenced their return in a light canoe. The obvious danger was, that they might be fired upon by savages, in ambush on the banks. To obviate this peril, while one paddled the canoe, two advanced on foot to reconnoiter. Should there be signs of savages, the rangers could cross to the other shore. Should they be pursued, they could, from behind trees, take deliberate aim at the Indians in their canoe, and shoot them down rapidly.

Encountering no foe, they reached the mouth of the Scioto in safety. Here McArthur went back a little distance, among the hills for game. He approached the deer lick, of which we have before spoken, and concealing himself, waited a hour for the approach of a deer. At length he saw two Indians coming to the lick; they were so near that it was impossible for him to escape without being discovered. They were burly savages, thoroughly armed with rifles, tomahawks and scalping knives. The situation of McArthur seemed desparate. In their line of approach they would certainly soon catch sight of him. Instantly he decided upon his mode of action.

When the savages were within fourteen paces of him, he fired, and shot one through the heart. He had supposed that the other one, not knowing the number of foes who might be concealed, would instantly take to flight. In this he was mistaken. The Indian did not even dodge, as his companion sank dead by his side. Grasping at his rifle, he looked sternly around in search of his invisible foe. McArthur's gun was discharged. The Indian's rifle was loaded. A personal conflict was hopeless. There was no chance for McArthur but in flight; and he was not a fleet runner.

But he broke from his concealment, and was rushing along, at his highest possible speed, when, his feet becoming entangled in the boughs of a fallen tree, he stumbled and fell. At that instant the savage fired, and the ball whistled by him, just singeing his hair. He sprang to his feet and rushed towards the savage, who was now on an equality with him, as both guns were discharged. But at that moment several other Indians came rushing through the thickets, with unearthly yells.

He turned again in his flight, the savages pursuing, like baying bloodhounds, and continually firing upon him. One of their bullets struck his powder-horn, and effectually shivered it, scattering all its contents. Terror lent wings to his flight. To his surprise, he gained upon the Indians, and at length they either lost sight of his track, or, for some other reason, relinquished the pursuit. When he reached the banks of the river he found his companions paddling up and down in the canoe, watching for him. They had heard the firing, had rightly judged its cause, and had despairingly hoped that their comrade might possibly escape. McArthur was hastily taken on board, and the canoe crossing rapidly to the other side of the river, they all soon found themselves safely in Maysville.

President Washington was well aware of the atrocities which had been perpetrated upon the Indians, and he was anxious to do everything in his power to secure friendly relations with them. Congress met in Philadelphia on the 5th of November, 1793. In his speech on that occasion, the President said:

"The reiterated attempts which have been made to effect a pacification with the Indians, have issued only in new and outrageous proofs of perservering hostility on the part of the tribes with whom we are at war." 

In September of this year General Wayne had so organized his army as to be ready to move forward into the Indian country. By rapid marches, he advanced up the Valley of the Great Miami to Fort Jefferson, which was about five miles southwest of the present Town of Sidney. At this spot he established a camp, strongly fortified it, and called the place Greenville. Here he wintered, preparing for the campaign of the next Summer, should all efforts at peace be unavailing. Commissioners in the meantime, had been sent to confer with the chiefs. Elated with their success, they demanded that all the white settlements should be removed to the other side of the river, and that the Ohio should henceforth and forever be the boundary line between their hunting grounds and the American settlements.

This demand, of course, could not be complied with. Both parties prepared to renew the war. On the 17th of October, 1793, Lieutenant Lowry and Ensign Boyd, with about ninety men, were escorting to the camp at Greenville, twenty wagons, loaded with grain and stores. The Indian chief, of whom we have before spoken, Little Turtle, at the head of a party of Indians, attacked them. He had superior numbers, and the battle was fought with great desparation on both sides. The Americans were totally routed, with the loss of fifteen men, including both of the officers in command. The rest of the troops fled, abandoning everything. The Indians, who had begun to despise their opponents, captured seventy horses with all the wagons.

On the 24th of August, General Wayne was reinforced, by the arrival of  General Scott from Kentucky, with about sixteen hundred mounted volunteers. In December, he moved forward to the battle-field where St. Clair was routed. Here he again erected defensive works, and named them Fort Recovery. They reached the place on Christmas day, and pitched their tents on the battleground. One of the party writes:

"When the men went to lie down in their beds at night, they had to scrape the bones together, and carry them out, that they might make their beds at night, they had to scrape the bones together, and carry them out, that they might make their beds. The next day holes were dug, and the bones remaining above ground were buried. Six hundred skulls were among them. The flesh was entirely off the bones, and in many cases the sinews yet held them together. After this melancholy duty was performed, a fortification was built, and named Fort Recovery, in commemoration of the ground in 1791. On the completion of the fort, one company of artillery, and one of riflemen were left, while the rest returned to Greenville."

General Wayne then advanced about sixty miles, along the banks of the Auglaize, until he reached its junction with the Maumee. Here he constructed, in the heart of the enemy's country, very strong and scientifically arranged works, which he named, not inappropriately, Fort Defiance. Directly between the junction of the two streams he erected four strong, massive blockhouses. These homes were connected by stout palisades, enclosing an area of one or two acres. Just outside of the pickets there was a wall of earth, faced with logs. Beyond that, there was a ditch, fifteen feet wide and eight feet deep, fed by water from the Auglaize.

The fort was on the site of a large Indian settlement, which had extended several miles up and down the Maumee River. The situation was very beautiful and commanding. The Indians in this region, having long been in friendly intercourse with the French, were far advanced in civilization. Vegetables of almost every kind were in abundance. There were more than a thousand acres waving with corn, and there were also large apple and peach orchards.

Having erected and garrisoned this fort, General Wayne returned to Greenville. The whole body of troops under his control, occupying these forts, and ready to march beneath his banners, amounted to about three thousand men. The Indian warriors preparing for battle amounted, so far as General Wayne could ascertain, to two thousand men. Many British officers were associated with them, besides a large number of Canadian troops.

The British authorities in Canada did not disguise the interest they took in the success of the savages. They encourage them to a vigorous resistance, leading them to hope, as the Indians testified, in the co-operation of their arms. Lord Dorchester issued a proclamation to the savages, in which he told them that it was probable that England would soon join them in the war against the United States, and that the Indians, in that case, would be able to select their own boundary line, meaning clearly that the line of the Ohio, which they claimed, should be forced upon the United States. He wrote: 

"From the manner in which the people of the United States push forward, and talk, I should not be surprised if we were at war with them in the course of the present year. In that case a "line will have to be drawn by the warriors".

President Washington had given General Wayne very minute instructions respecting the campaign. He suggestion the order of march, the way to guard against surprises, the mode of forming speedily in order of battle in the thick woods. The camp at night was always to be in the form of a hollow square, protected by a breastwork of fallen timber or of earth. The cavalry and baggage were to be within the square. The troops were to be kept under the highest possible state of discipline, and to be especially exercised in loading and firing with rapidity and accuracy. Particularly they were to be taught to load while running. The general was entreated not to spare powder or lead in giving the troops skill in these practices, so essential in Indian warfare.

The Indians had carefully watched the proceedings of the troops in erecting Fort Recovery, on the ground rendered memorable by the defeat of St. Clair. They resolved to make a desparate effort to destroy the small garrison left in guard there, and to gain the fort for themselves. On the 30th of June, 1794, a large force, consisting of fifteen hundred Indians, with several companies of Canadians, with blackened faces and in Indian costume, led by British officers, in full dress, made a furious attack upon the fort. Major McMahon was encamped just outside of the works, with about one hundred and fifty troops. Mr. Burnet, in his Notes, gives the following account of this important conflict.

"On the 30th of June a very severe and bloody battle was fought, under the walls of Fort Recovery, between a detachment of American troops, consisting of ninety riflemen and fifty dragoons, commanded by Major McMahon, and a very numerous body of Indians and British, who at the same instant rushed on the detachment and assailed the fort on every side with fury. They were repulsed with a heavy loss, but again rallied and renewed the attack, keeping up a heavy and constant fire during the whole day, which was returned with spirit and effect by the garrison.

"The preceding night was foggy and dark, and gave the Indians an opportunity of carrying off their dead by torch-light, which occasionally drew a fire from the garrison. They, however, succeeded so well that there were but eight or ten bodies left on the ground, which were too near the garrison to be approached. On the next morning McMahon's detachment having entered the fort the enemy renewed the attack, and continued it with great desperation during the day, but were untimately compelled to retreat from the same field on which they had been proudly victorious on the 4th of November, 1791.

"The expection of the assailants must have been to surprise the post and carry it by storm, for they could not possibly have received intelligence of the movements of the escort under Major McMahon, which only marched from Greenville on the morning preceding, and on the same evening deposited in Fort Recovery the supplies it had conveyed. That occurrence, therefore, could not have led to the movement of the savages.

"Judging from the extent of their encampment and their line of march in seventeen columns, forming a wide and extended front, and from other circumstances, it was believed that their numbers could not have been less than from fifteen hundred to two thousand warriors. It was also believed that they were in want of provisions, as they had killed and eaten a number of pack horses in their encampment the evening after assault, and also at their encampment on their return, seven miles from Fort Recovery, where they remained two nights, having been much encumbered with their dead and wounded. 

"From the report of Major Mills, adjutant general of the army, it appears that twenty-two officers and non-commissioned officers were killed, the thirty wounded. Among the former was Major McMahon, and among the latter, Lieutenant Drake. Captain Gibson, who commanded the fort, behaved with great gallantry, and received the thanks of the commander-in-chief, as did every officer and soldier of the garrison, and the escort, who were engaged in that most gallant and successful defense.

"Immediately after the enemy had retreated, it was ascertained that their loss had been very heavy; but the full extent of it was not known, till it was disclosed at the treaty of Greenville. References were made to that battle, by several of the chiefs in council, from which it was manifest that they had not, even then, ceased to mourn the distressing losses sustained on that occasion. Having made the attack with a determination to carry the fort or perish in the attempt, they exposed their persons in an unusual degree, and, of course, a large number of the bravest of the chiefs and warriors perished before they abandoned the enterprise.

"From the facts afterwards communicated, it was satisfactorily ascertained that there were a considerable number of British soldiers and Detroit militia engaged with the savages on that occasion. A few days previous to that affair, the general had sent out three small parties of friendly Indians, Chickasaws and Choctaws, to take prisoners, for the purpose of obtaining information. One of these parties returned to Greenville, and reported that they had fallen in with a large body of Indians, at Girtystown, near the crossing of the St. Mary's River, on the evening of the twenty-seventh of June. They were apparently bending their course towards Chilicothe, on the Miami. There were a great many white men with them. The other two parties followed the trial of the hostile Indians, and were in sight when the assault on the post commenced. They affirm, one and all, that there were a large number of armed white men with painted faces, whom they frequently heard conversing in English, and encouraging the Indians to persevere; and that there were also three British officers, dressed in scarlet, who appeared to be men of distinction, from the great attention and respect which were paid to them. These persons kept at a distance in the rear of the assailants.

"Another strong corroborating proof that there were British soldiers and militia in the assault is, that a number of ounce balls and buck-shot were found, lodged in the block-houses and stockades of the fort, and that others were picked up on the ground, fired at such a distance as not to have momentum sufficient to enter the logs. It was supposed that the British who were engaged in the attack, expected to find the artillery that was lost on the fatal fourth of November, which had been hid in the ground, and covered with logs by the Indians, in the vicinity of the battle field. This interference was supported by the fact that, during the conflict, they were seen turning over logs and examining different places in the neighborhood, as if searching for something. There were many reasons for believing that they depended on that artillery to aid in the reduction of the fort. But, fortunately, most of it had previously been found by its legitimate owners, and was then employed in its defense."

It will be remembered that St. Clair, after his awful defeat, was compelled to abandon his artillery. General Wayne succeeded in recovering all these pieces, except one, which could not be found. Nearly twenty years after his day this piece was accidently discovered, buried deep in the mud. It passed into the possession of an artillery company in Cincinnati, who may, probably, still retain it.

The Indians were very adroit in their stratagems, and the utmost caution was requisite in a conflict with them. Captain Shaylor was in command of the little garrison at Fort Jefferson. Immediately after the retreat of the savages from their signal defeat at Fort Recovery, as no Indians were around, and it would take sometime to re-organize new war parties, all the garrisons felt much at their ease. Captain Shaylor, as the Indians well knew, was very fond of hunting. One pleasant summer morning the captain heard the gobble of a flock of turkeys in the woods at a little distance from the fort. Calling his son, they eagerly sallied forth to shoot some game for dinner. They fell into an ambuscade, the son fell, fatally wounded. The gobble of the turkeys was but a decoy for the Indians. The captain turned and fled to the garrison, the Indians, with loud yells, pursued, hoping either to capture him, or to enter the gates at his heels. They were, however, disappointed. He rushed in, though with an arrow quivering in his back, and the gates were immediately closed after him.

General Wayne, in all his movements, followed very closely the instructions given him by President Washington. In his marches the army generally halted about the middle of the afternoon. The quartermasters, with the quartermaster-general, surveyor and engineers, selected the ground, and laid off the encampment of each company. They went a little in advance, so that the troops, as soon as they arrived, proceeded in pitch their tents. Each company fortified twenty feet in front of its position. This was done either by throwing up the earth, or by cutting down trees, and piling up the logs. The whole breastwork, around the encampment, was usually completed before dark. Fort Defiance, at the mouth of the Auglaize, was one hundred and three miles from Greenville. During the construction of the fort the cavalry scoured the whole of the highly cultivated region for miles around, destroying the crops and burning the deserted villages. Having finished and strongly garrisoned the fort, Wayne pressed forward, down the banks of the Maumee, a distance of forty-five miles, where, at what is called the Rapids, and within seven miles of the old English Fort Miami, he constructed Fort Deposit. It is said that the army which he assembled here amounted to two thousand regulars, besides eleven hundred riflemen, commanded by General Scott. General Wayne was very careful to guard his camp by scouts, who ranged the forest in all directions. One of the scouts, who obtained great distinction, was William Wells. He was captured by the Indians when a mere child, and was adopted into the family of Little Turtle. Here he was treated with the utmost kindness, and he became strongly attached to all the inmates of the lodge. Indeed he became an Indian, in all his sympathies, character and manners. He was one of the most valiant in their war parties, and in his paint and plumes could not be distinguished from other Indians. He commanded three hundred warriors in the attack upon St. Clair, and so directed their fire as to annihilate the artillerists.

Notwithstanding this great victory, he felt assured that, in the end, the whites would triumph. He therefore decided to abandon the Indians, and return to his countrymen. One morning he said to Little Turtle, his adopted father,  pointing to the heavens:

"When that sun reaches the meridian, I shall leave you for the whites. And whenever you meet me in battle, you must kill me, as I shall endeavor to do by you."

It is very remarkable, that after this abrupt departure, the ties of friendship continued unbroken between these highly gifted men. Wells soon joined Wayne's army. His knowledge of Indian haunts and modes of warfare, rendered him an invaluable acquision to the troops. After peace was restored he returned to his foster father, Little Turtle, and their friendship remained uninterrupted until his death.

In one of his excursions, Captain Wells, upon approaching the banks of St. Mary's River, discovered a group of Indians ascend the stream in a canoe. He was himself in Indian costume, and spoke their language like a native. The Indians, perceiving him, and not suspecting any danger, turned their canoe towards the shore. As they approached, Captain Wells recognized, among the rest, his Indian father and mother. At the same moment he heard his companions, who were lying in ambush cocking their rifles, to pour a deadly fire into the canoe.

Captain Wells, alarmed at the danger to which his friends were exposed, turned to his men and ordered them to desist, declaring that he would shoot down the first man who should fire into the boat.

"That family," said he, "has fed me when hungry, clothed me when naked, and nursed me when sick, and has treated me with as much affection as one of their own children."

This speech touched the hearts of his comrades, who knew of his previous history. They dropped their rifles, and shook hands cordially with the trembling Indians. Such are the joys of peace and friendship. Captain Wells assured the family that they had nothing to fear. He, however, told Little Turtle that General Wayne was approaching with a force which the Indians could not resist, and that the best thing they could do was immediately to make peace. Urging his father to keep, for the future, out of danger, they took an affectionate leave of each other. The Indians seemed very grateful for this manifestation of kindness, and paddled rapidly from the shore. Another of the scouts, under the command of Captain Wells, was a man of remarkable history, by the name of Henry Miller. He, and a younger brother,  Christopher, had been captured by the Indians when children, and had been kindly adopted into an Indian family. He lived with the Indians until he was twenty-four years of age. Though he had fully adopted the Indian's mode of life, and had entirely identified himself with the tribe, he began to yearn for a return to civilized life. He could not, however, persuade his brother to accompany him in his contemplated flight. Many years passed away, during which the brothers heard nothing of each other. Henry escaped through the woods, and safely reached his friends in Kentucky. Henry and Wells had known each other when residing with the Indians.

There were four other men, united with these two, who usually went out together, as scouts, making a party of six. In June, 1794, while the headquarters of the army were at Greenville. General Wayne dispatched Wells and his corps on one of their excursions. They were particularly requested to bring sone Indian into camp, as a prisoner, from whom the movements of the savages could be ascertained. They crossed the St. Mary's River, and, as they were proceeding along the banks of the Auglaize, they discovered a slight smoke curling up through the tree-tops, at a distance.

With great caution three of them crept along with the stealthy tread of an animal, seeking to plunge upon its prey, till they reached a spot screened by the dense boughs of a fallen tree, from which they saw three Indians, within half gun-shot distance, making themselves very merry around the camp-fire. They had just killed a deer, and were feasting upon the savory cuts. The plan of the scouts was immediately formed. Wells and Miller were to shoot two of the Indians, one on the right and the other on the left. Immediately, upon the report of the guns, McClellan, who was fleet of foot as a deer, was to  
spring forward and seize the center Indian, while instantly supported by his comrades.

The guns were fired, and the two Indians dropped dead, shot through the heart. McClellan, with uplifted tomahawk, rushed upon his victim. The Indian, without even grasping his rifle, bounded down towards the river. At that place there was a bluff bank, nearly twenty feet high. Giving a tremendous leap, he landed in the stream but a short distance from the shore, and sank in the soft oozy bottom of mud, up to his waist. He was effectually imprisoned. McClellan sprang up after him, and found himself in about the same predicament. As they were both floundering in the mire, the Indian drew his knife. McClellan, brandishing his tomahawk, ordered the Indian to throw his knife into the water, or he would instantly cleave his brain. He did so, and surrendered without further opposition. By this time Wells and his companion came to the bank and discovered the two struggling in the mire. Their prisoner being secure, they selected a place where the bank was less precipitous, went down, dragged the captive out and tied him. He was sulky, and refused to speak either English or Indian. Some of the party went back for their horses. The captive was painted, as was usual with the Indians, and was covered with mud. Upon washing off the mud and paint, they found, much to their suprise, that he was a white man.

He however seemed very sullen, and refused to answer any questions. He was manifestly, in all his character, thoroughly an Indian, although the blood of the white man flowed in his veins. Henry Miller, for some cause, began to suspect that this might be his long, lost brother, Christopher. After looking at him very closely, he came up and called him by his Indian name. The man stared in great surprise, seemed bewildered, and asked him how he could possibly know his name. The mystery was soon solved. The captive was indeed Christopher Miller. His escape from death seemed to have been providential. Had he chanced to have stood either upon the right or the left of the little group of three, he would certainly have been shot.

Christopher was still not at all disposed to make friends of his captors. They took him to Greenville and placed him in the guard-house. General Wayne questioned him very closely, respecting the intentions of the Indians, but could get nothing from him. His brother and Captain Wells exhausted all their powers of persuasion in the endeavor to induce him to abandon the Indians, and return to civilized life. It is, however, a remarkable fact, that while it is easy, so to speak, to make an Indian of a white man, it is very difficult to lead one from the savage to the civilized state. The descent is easy, the ascent laborious and painful.

Gradually Christopher became more reconciled and genial. At length he promised that, if they would release him from confinement, he would join them. To this arrangement General Wayne consented, though he had but little faith that his captive would keep his word. They equipped him in a new uniform,  and mounted him upon a very fine horse. He joined the company of Captain Wells, and continued through the war a faithful and intrepid soldier.


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