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Disposition of Indian Forces and Threat of Smallpox

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CollectionClements Library: Anthony Wayne Letterbooks view image
Document Information
Date July 6, 1792
Author Name Anthony Wayne (primary) Location: Pittsburgh
Recipient Name Henry Knox (primary)
Summary Wayne discusses a number of matters concerning the garrison at Pittsburgh, including the disposition of Indian forces and the threat of small pox. His plan is to separate those troops who have had the disease from those who have not had it.
Document Format Author's Letterbook Copy
Document Notes [not available]
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups Henry Knox; Anthony Wayne; recruits; Judge Addison; Major Ashton; Major Asheton; Captain Cass; Indians; hostile Indians; Captain Brant; British; Captain Brady; woodsmen; Quartermaster General; Colonel Hamilton; Samuel Hodgdon; James O'Hara; ;
Related Places Pittsburgh; Big Beaver; blockhouse; Washington County; Ohio County; the frontiers of Washington & Ohio Counties; New Hampshire; Pittsburgh; Fort Washington; Omee River; ;
Keywords smallpox; inoculation; disease; security; enclosed letters; furlough; resignation; provision; ;
Key Phrases the Indians can't continue long in any considerable numbers for want of provisions unless they are supplied by the British--the reports are they had assembled to the amount of four thousand at that place about the first of June; schedule of the recruits already marched, and ordered to march; small pox; block house; security to the frontiers of Washington and Ohio Counties; intentions of the hostile Indians with respect to peace or war; some Intelligence from that Quarter by the famous Cap. Brady; the present residence & situation of the Hostile Indians; a kind of clashing between the late Quartermaster General's duty & that of the present
Transcription

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To Genl Knox-No/5/
pittsburgh 6th July 1792
Dear Sir, I had the honor of receiving yours of the 22 ultimo , with a schedule of the recruits already marched, and ordered to march;/ after 5 o'clock P.M. the last post Day/ but as it did not require an immediate answer, i did not avail myself of the opportunity of writing to Judge Addison There is one disagreeable, circumstance which I omitted to mention in my last, i.e. that the Small pox prevails in this place at this warm season, which has occasioned the insulation of ten or twelve Soldiers of the Garrison: I have felt very uneasy, lest there should be a considerable number of the recruits, now advancing, who have not had that disease, as I can't bring myself to again to a constant succession of inoculation as the detachments arrive; & to risk their taking it in the natural way would be unpardonable. I have therefore come to this resolution- to seperate those who have not had it-from those who have, previously to their arrival in town, agreeably to the enclosed Copy of a
Letter to major Ashton (who has not yet arrived) there recruits I mean to send to Big Beaver, to take post at the block House, under a competent number of officers--at the same time that they are kept out of the way of what disorder, they will give security to the frontiers of Washington & Ohio Counties, until I have your orders & directions whether to inoculate or not.

The inclosed letters from Cap. [Cals?] will inform you of some of the measures taken in this quarter to obtain the intentions of the hostile Indians, with respect to peace or war: I was not a little astonished at Cap's letter asking for a Furlough to go to New Hampshire, at a period when he cannot well be spared--and at a crisis rather delicate, for a soldier to request it--under those circumstances & with those [undecipherable] I am inclined to accept of his resignation, and have therefore left it in his own choice, to continue in the Command of his post--or quit the Service.

Whilst I am writing, your Letter of the 29th will--with the inclusions arrived; I rather think
that Captain Brant will be too late at the Amie river to be of much Service, as the Indians can't continue long in any considerable numbers for want of provisions, unless they are supplied by the British -- the reports are that they had assembled to the amount of four thousand at that place about the first of June, however I [homly?] expect some intelligence from that Quarter by the famous Cap. Brady -- who with two more active woodsmen, well acquainted with the Country set out from big Beaver, four weeks since, for the purpose of gaining information, of discovering the present residence & situation of the Hostile Indians, of which you shall be duly advised -- at present all is quiet -- You have me sole judge "to direct the Quarter Mc General to stay at Pittsburgh, or to [repair] to Fort Washington." He will therefore remain here for the present. apropos Col.o Hamilton maintained that a systematical direction, for that department, I would be made out & forwarded to me -- it has not yet been sent, at this much wanted, there appears a kind of clashing__between the late [Q.m M2?] Generals duty, & that of the present, therefore, the sooner that department is organized the better.--
I have the honor to be with much Esteem, your most obt & very Huml Serv
Anthy Wayne

The Honble
Major Genl. Knox--Secy of War.