Monday, May 20, 2019

Try To Become A Seargeant Or Corporal

From The Sherrard Family Of Steubenville:

"After Captain Peck got home, my brother John wrote to us from camp at Fort Stephenson, suggesting that if any of us were drafted we had better try to secure a position as sergeant, or even as corporal, rather than come out as a private soldier, and under this persuasion I rode over to see Captain Peck, and inquired of him if there were any openings in his company for. sergeants." 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

View Of The Fort's Remains

From The Sherrard Family Of Steubenville:

The next day [in 1824] I and Colonel Chambers went down to the town of Lower Sandusky, which was my first view of it, and it was a poor-looking town. It had two middling stores in it at the time, — one kept by a man named Umstead, and the other by a man named Sears. These stores carried on a constant trade with the Seneca Indians both on Sunday and every day in the week. As we went around the town, I was shown the place where Fort Stephenson once stood, at which place and around it my brother John and his comrades had spent three months in the campaign from the middle of February to the middle of May, 1813. But I could now see little signs of a fort, for the pickets had been cut down, and nothing remained but the stumps of them to show where the fort had been.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

News That's Fit To Print

"On the morning after the commodore sailed the following appeared in the New York Columbian: 'It is undoubtedly a fact that dispatch boats with information have been sent off to the British vessels which were cruising off the harbor since the declaration of war. By whom they were sent off it is not necessary at present to mention."'


"But this much may and ought to be said: that if it was done by an American citizen, he has committed treason by the laws of the United states, and deserves, and may receive, hanging for it. There is no suspicion, however, entertained that such an infamous act has been done by an American. As it has, therefore, been the act of the subjects of the king of England, whether they are in or out of office, the act is a violation of the hospitality which tolerates their residence in our city, and calls loudly upon the constituted authorities to put the laws immediately in force against alien enemies, and to rid the city of spies, or at least such as disgrace their character by acting in so infamous a capacity."' [Source]

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The First Expedition

The First Expedition.

So emboldened had the Indians become, and so grave the fear of an invasion by the British and Indians upon our northwestern frontier, that Ninian Edwards, Territorial Governor of Illinois, on March 27, 1813, wrote the Secretary of War: "If the British erect a fort at the mouth of the Wisconsin, and should be able to retain it two years, this, and Missouri Territory will be totally deserted ; in other words, conquered."

Mississippi River Near Moline, Illinois

At the beginning of the year 1814, it was decided to take measures whereby the Indians of the upper Mississippi river could be controlled.

The first operation decided on, was to build a fort at the village of Prairie du Chien. General Howard being absent. Governor Clark of Missouri, fitted out an expedition of one hundred and forty men, mostly of the Seventh Regiment of Rangers, and sent them up the Mississippi in five armed barges or keel boats. [Source]

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Organizing The New Army

 The Secretary of War Eustis, desiring Lieut. Col. Macomb, to assist him in organizing the new Army, called him from his duties as Chief Engineer for the Southern States, and appointed him, on the 28th April, 1812, Adjutant General at the seat of Government. In this momentous exigency, he was charged with the most important trusts. Every thing was to be remoulded and cast into a warlike frame." [Source]

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Rector's Boat

Campbell's Island (Illinois) On The Mississippi River

From "The battle of Campbell's Island":

Rector's boat had among its crew many of the French from Cahokia who were experienced sailors. The wind was still a raging tempest, and the fire of the Indians was becoming more destructive to the boats; at this time Black Hawk says: " I prepared my bow and arrows to throw fire to the sail, which was laying on the boat, and after two or three attempts succeeded in setting the sail on fire."

Black Hawk

Campbell's boat was soon in flames. Lieutenant Rector could not remain inactive and witness the horrible death of Campbell and his companions. In the face of the tempest and the galling fire of the foe, he cut his anchors, a number of his men got out into the water, keeping the boat between them and the Indians, they pushed their boat against the fire of the Indians up to Campbell's boat. The wounded in Campbell's boat were first transferred to Rector's boat, and then those who were unhurt; so loaded was Rector's boat that the water was running in at the oar holes and almost all of their  provisions were thrown overboard to lighten the boat. The Indians all the time kept up a murderous fire. In taking the men from Campbell's boat the Major was shot through the body. Black Hawk in his autobiography states at this time : "We wounded the war chief."