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Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe.. History of the Indian Tribes of the United States: Their Present Condition and Prospects, and a Sketch of Their Ancient Status. Volume 6. . Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo and Co, 1857. [format: book; image], [genre: government document; report]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=schoolcraft6.html


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-- 247 --

attempted to board her; but a sudden discharge of her guns disconcerted them. The following day the vessel dropped down to the mouth of the straits, where she was detained six days by calms. Meantime, Pontiac determining to destroy her, for this purpose floated down burning rafts, which were constructed of the timbers from barns destroyed by the Indians, dry pine, and a quantity of pitch added, to make the whole more combustible. 303 Notwithstanding two such rafts were constructed and sent down the river, the vessel and boats escaped them. A breeze springing up on the 30th of June, the vessel was enabled to hoist sail, and reached the fort in safety.

General Amherst, the commander-in-chief, though weakened by the force withdrawn for the Indian war in the west, was fully sensible of the perilous position of the western posts, in consequence of the Indian hostility, and prepared to send at the earliest period, reinforcements to Forts Pitt, Niagara, and Detroit. The relief destined for the latter post was placed under the orders of his secretary, Captain Dalzell, who, after relieving Niagara, proceeded to Detroit in armed batteaux, at the head of a force of 300 men. To the joy of all concerned, this reinforcement arrived at Detroit on the 30th of July, when the place had been besieged upwards of fifty days. Captain Dalzell, who brought this timely accession to the garrison, proposed a night assault on Pontiac's camp, which the commandant assented to, not, however, without some misgivings. Two hundred and fifty men were selected for this duty, and, with this force Captain Dalzell left the fort, as secretly as possible, at half-past two o'clock on the morning of the 31st. At the same time, two boats were despatched to keep pace with the party, and, if necessary, take off the wounded. The darkness of the night rendered it somewhat difficult to discern the way, and made it a task for them to keep the proper distance between the platoons. After marching about two miles, when the vanguard had reached the bridge over the stream, which has since been known as Bloody Brook, a sudden fire was poured in by the Indians, which created a temporary panic among the troops, from which, however, they recovered. The intense darkness completely obscuring the enemy, a retreat was ordered; when it appeared that there was a heavy force in the rear, through which the column had been allowed to pass. The English were, in fact, in the midst of a well-planned ambuscade. Dalzell displayed the utmost bravery and spirit in this emergency, but was soon shot down and killed. Grant, on whom the command devolved, was severely wounded. The Indians were concealed behind the wooden picketing, which lined the fields, and sheltered the buildings of the habitans; but as the day began to dawn, the troops were enabled to discern their perilous position. They then embarked some of their wounded in the boats which had accompanied them, and, concentrating their forces, retreated toward the gates of the fort, which they entered in compact order. The loss in this attack was seventy men killed, including the commander, and forty wounded; being
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Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe.. History of the Indian Tribes of the United States: Their Present Condition and Prospects, and a Sketch of Their Ancient Status. Volume 6. . Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo and Co, 1857. [format: book; image], [genre: government document; report]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=schoolcraft6.html
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