Friday, October 31, 2014

Near Peoria

Below is a letter about Russel's Indian Expedition.

Camp Russel, October 31st, 1812.

This will inform you, that I arrived at this place, from Vincennes, after general Hopkins had marched his mounted riflemen up to fort Harrison. I took with me, a part of three companies of United States' rangers, where I was joined by governor Edwards, with his mounted riflemen; the whole of our strength amounted to 360 privates. We penetrated very far into the Indian country, with an expectation of co-operating with general Hopkins, who, by appointment, was to meet us at the Peoria, on the Illinois river. In this, we were sadly disappointed, as we could get no intelligence of his army. This prevented us from tiding as much damage to the Indians, as otherwise we could have done. As our numbers were too weak to make any delay in that quarter; as this was farther than any troops had hitherto penetrated, we stole a march upon the celebrated Pimartam's town, situated about 21 miles above Peoria, and immediately at the head of Peoria lake. This was a well built town, and contained a number of Indians; between the town and river, was a
dismal swamp, in which they immediately flew for shelter, returning a few scattering shots. Our men nobly pursued them through the swamp; and also others, as they were crossing the Illinois river. 

Riverbank Near Peoria

The men also pursued them to the opposite bank, and brought back some of their canoes, and several dead bodies — the governor states, to be upwards of 20 killed, of the enemy. This was a flourishing town, with an immense deal of Indian plunder in it, together with a great deal of corn; all of which was committed to the flames. I believe not less than 80 horses fell into our hands belonging to the enemy. Several white persons' scalps were also found among their plunder. I had the immediate command of the battalion, and the superior command was retained by his excellency the governor. On this expedition we were fortunate; we had but 4 men wounded, none of which is mortal. This tour was performed from camp, and back to the same place, in 13 days.

I have the honour to be yours, &c.

Colonel 7th Dist. Comdg.

[To] The Secretary of War.

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