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Expedition to Omee River

Sources & Images
Source Name Image(s)
CollectionUniversity of Oklahoma Libraries: Berthrong Collection (no image)
Document Information
Date November 23, 1790
Author Name Josiah Harmar (primary) Location: Fort Washington
Recipient Name Henry Knox (primary)
Summary Letter, describes expedition to Omee River; describes lay of land along river; discusses frontier abbreviations for Indian names.
Document Format Manuscript Translation of Letter
Document Notes no digital document is on file.
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups Henry Knox; Josiah Harmar; Captain Gaines; Brigade Major Ormsby; Major Hall; Major McMillan; Major Fontaine; Major Hamtramck; Captain Scott; General Scott; Lieut. Armstrong; Hutchins; Captain Hall; Lieut. Frothingham; Colonel Trueby; Colonel Hardin; Captain Ferguson; Major Wyllys; Major Doughty; Lieut. Denny; ;
Related Places Fort Washington; Nelson County in Kentucky; Fayette; Bourbon; United States; Fort Knox, Vincennes; Wabash River; Kegaiogue; the Ohio; Omee Town; La Source's Old House; Glaise, or Glace, River; English Tawixtwi; Pikkawa fork; Mad River; Great Miami; Old Chillakothe; Chillakothe; Sugar Creek, or Cesar's Creek; Little Miami River; Hill Creek; Kentucky; Pennsylvania; Clarke's old trace; Fort Washington; Au Mi; Au Miami; Omee River; Miami of the Lakes; River St. Joseph; River St. Mary; ;
Keywords slew with his own hand; impressive exertions; obedient & brave; personal courage; rallying a broken body of militia; gallant young officer; soldierly conduct; personal combat of some duration with a mounted savage; bringing off the arms of the antagonist as trophies of the fact; field officers; endeavors; strict attention to discipline; promptitude to obey orders; alacrity in the execution; good consequences will be the result; our loss can be repaired; their's is irreparable; pack horses of the line; shot and stolen; lost in the woods; forage; flour; extraordinary consumption arose of that article; detained in confinement; ideas of superior power, his own insignificance and our contempt of his brethren; trinkets; escort; departed from the garrison with a mixture of sorrow gratitude and joy; economy; operations of the army; different quarters; engaged with various success; body of the Savages; cherished the idea of an attack; gained the unoccupied heights on the right & turned his flank; long and meritorious services claim the grateful remembrances of his country; talents of a cultivated mind he united the best virtues of the heart; middle party; superior members; dead upon the field; free use made of the bayonet; savages experience to their cost; worthy man; behaved with the spirit of veterans; slew numbers of the enemy; met their fate with uncommon bravery; emulous to establish a character over the other; striking proofs of determined courae; slaughter was reciprocal; best information; lost in the course of this affair upwards of an hundred of their prime warriors; men who appeared to fear no danger; squaw or shild; swell the number of the slain; young gentleman of the most amiable manners with a soul formed for enterprize; covered with wounds in singly charging with his sword; killed; few wounded; distinguished themselves; brave and deserving officer; serving as my Aide de Camp; corps; importance the life of every warrior is held among them. Filed off in three columns; enemy studiously avoided coming to a general action; conceiving it improper to leave them in the quiet enjoyment of their late success; partial engagement; Federal Infantry; Kentucky Cavalry; make a movement; diversion to prevent an Union of Indian strength; effecting a junction with our whole force; tolerable prospect of success; original numbers; remainder so worn down with hard service; communication; propriety of employing oxen; openly timbered; light ox carts; provisions; stores; baggage; beef; expence of pack and bat horses; great temptation a savage enemy will feel to steal them; dead loss; hire must be paid; moderate duration; sufficient number of trained oxen; body of regular horse on the frontiers; eyes and feet of an army; scour and cover; rapidity of their movements; cautious how they provoked a pursuit; security; surprise; warriors would be taught to dread the continuance of a war; wives and children; arm of government; regions not otherwise to be protected; humanity and interest; loss sustained by the savages; incensed at the disgraceful conduct; reprehended it in my next orders with great severity; operated as a stimulus to wipe off the foul stain; reputatuion; provisions laid up for their subsistence; Ouiattanon; Weeah; part of the detachment; main body of the army; body of Indians appeared and advance to the attack; militia made no resistance but fled; handful of federal troops to their fate; escaped; fell lamented by his acquaintances; houses on the bank; Delawares; scattered town; Shawanee; habitations; nation; ordered to be burned; bushels of corn in the ear; consumed or destroyed; name of an influential chief; driven from their town; retired in some other spot; Indians were killed and scalped by the cavalry; killed at night; lost a great number of horses; negligence of the militia guards; disobedience of Orders; appearances confirmed accounts; consternation into which the savages and their trading allies had been thrown by the approach of the army; valuables of the traders were destroyed in the confusion; vast quantities of corn; grain and vegatables; secreted in holes dug in the earth; hiding places; traders houses; rendezvous of a sett of Indian desperadoes who infested the settlements & stained the Ohio and parts adjacent with the blood the defenceless inhabitants; ; reconnoitre the country; enemy's pulse; army advanced; the weather rainy; avages & traders; worst savages of the two; evacuated; appearances of precipitation; burnt the principal village; Cavalry took a Shawaoe prisoner; availed myself of this evet to obtain some intelligence of the force and probable designs of the enemy; ruins of an old French fort; extensive prairies skirt both sides of the river; subsequent part of our march described the segment of a circle; discovered many tracks of the savages; fertile; abundantly watered; dead flat excepting a solitary eminence with a soil much inferior; scarcely a stream of water; woods were open free from underwood and the timber was chiefly white oak; suffered extremely through want of water; deluged every spring with standing water and rendered impassable; so stones of any kind except in one spot were seen during the whole march from the place of departure to the point of destination; further description; ruins of a French store; burnt; utmost point to which, in this diredtion, they ever penetrated the Indian country; general face of the country; rapid stream running through pleasant country of the greatest fertility; j low wet glade; impassable for the pack horses; stream; rich and level; weather proved wet and disagreeable; map; joined me with a few soldiers; reinforcement; first frost this season; Indian town destroyed; route lay in an open fine country beautifully checkered with prairies; several horses supposed to have been stolen last night by the savages; face of the country was open and level generally rich bottom or lowland diversified with small prairie or natural meadows; army marched; previously recrossed this river; Kentucky Militia; employed in making arrangements; Pennsylvania Militia; cattle; pack horses; level face covered thickly with underwood; substitutes and by no means equal either in spirit or appearance to the generality of their countrymen; whole force; troops of cavalry; deduct as good for nothing; encamping at night on the waters; halt till further orders; militia had been draughted; ordered to advance; men including non-commissioned officers; proceeded to join the militia; brass pieces of ordnance; six pounder; three pounder; 5 1/2 inch howitz; Captain Ferguson's Company of Artillery; consisting of two battalion; commanded; took the field with such of the Federal troops as were then assembled; corruptions or contractions universally used among the French Americans in pronouncing Indian Names; hurry occasioned on my return by disbanding the militia; detail of facts; object of the following sheets to supply that Omission; submitting to your notice any occurrence and transaction of any consequence that happened during the expedition; remarksas may tend either to elucidate events and connect their order or convey an idea of the country through which we passed; plans of the several dispositions for forming the order of the march; the order of encampment; order of battle; explanatory of the route taken by the army; actions which took place; severllay and particularly laid down; rivers in the North Western Territory all bearing the name Miami; Omee towns; frontier; deliver you the latter of those letters; contains the substance of the late expedition undertaken against the savages of the Miami of the Lakes; duplicates enclosed; adjutant; ;
Key Phrases [not available]
Transcription

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