Thursday, February 01, 2018

Describing While Destroying an Indigenous Cultural Landscape (NY - 1779)


As Published in the Elmira Republican of Sept. 11th and 12th, 1855.

Note—In the volume containing the "Journals of the Military Expedition of Major General John Sullivan against the Six Nations of Indians in 1779," prepared by Frederick Cook, Secretary of State, and published by the State in 1887, on page 285 et seq, is published part of the Journal of Nathaniel Webb, and a note says that a portion of the Journal cannot be found.
In a scrap-book originally kept by Thos. Maxwell, Esq., which was recently bought in an old book shop in New York, I find the missing Journal, and give herewith the portion supposed to be lost.
Note—In Col. Gansevoort's Journal of the same expedition, the entry is as follows:
"31st.—Decamped at 8 o'clock,—marched over mountainous ground until we arrived at the forks of Newtown—there entered on a low bottom, (Tuttle's flats), crossed the Kayuga branch, (Newtown creek), and encamped on a pine plain. Much good land about Newtown. Here we left the Tioga branch to our left."
September 1.—The army moved at 8 A. M. Several defiles and a large swamp occasioned our Brigade to encamp about three miles in the rear of the army. The army encamped that night at Catharine's town. The enemy had all fled from this town the night before and left an old squaw.
2.—Our brigade joined the army at Catharine's town. Lay the remaining part of the day for refreshment, &c.
3.—We destroyed some five fields of corn and decamped at 8 A. M. Marched this day about 11 miles. Encamped that night near the banks of the Seneca Lake. Marched this day through a remarkable country for timber.
4.—Decamped at 9 A. M. Burnt a small town on this day's march. Encamped at 7 P. M. The country still remains well timbered.
5.—Decamped at 10 A. M. Marched this day about six miles. Encamped that night at Conoyah, a beautiful town situated between the Seneca and Kengah lakes—distance between those lakes 8 miles. (Gansevoort writes it Kandaiah.)
6.—Lay in encampment. This town is beautifully situated in several respects—a fine level country—some fine fields of corn, a fine apple orchard, about twenty houses—situated about twenty miles from Seneca lake. One white man deserted from the enemy that had been taken prisoner last summer from Wyoming. Several horses were captured at this town. Decamped at 4 P. M., moved about 4 miles. Encamped in a beautiful piece of woods near the Lake. Col. Gansevoort, of our Brigade, was sent to destroy Kengah town joining Kengah lake, where they burnt several houses, got about twenty horses, &c.
7.—Decamped. Marched to Kanadesago, a town situated about three miles from the west end of the lake, the capital of the Senecas. (This was what is called the old Castle near Geneva.) Crossing the Seneca creek (or outlet) and several large defiles occasioned our not arriving in town till some time in the evening. This town consists of about 60 houses. Several large fields of corn. We found a white male child the enemy had left behind.
8.—The army was employed in destroying corn, beans, fruit trees, &c. A detachment sent to destroy a town about 12 miles from this town. (This was Cashong, Kashonguash, on the west side of the Seneca.)
9.—All the sick and lame sent to Tioga. At 11 A. M. we marched, following the road that leads to Niagara. Marched about 13 miles. Encamped near a brook that night.
10.—Decamped at 6 A. M. Marched this day about 13 miles—part of the day through a swampy country, abounding chiefly in beech and maple, some remarkably large white ash trees—latter part of the day through a grassy country. Passed the end of Connandockque lake. Encamped near some fine fields of corn. This town contains about 20 houses.
11.—Decamped at 4 A. M., after destroying the town and vegetables, &c. Marched this day to Hannayouya (Honeoye). This town is situated at the end of a small Lake of the same name—contains about 15 houses—a large flat of excellent land.
12.—The provisions and superfluous baggage of the army were left at this town, with a guard of about 200 men and two field pieces. The army decamped at 11 A. M. and marched towards the Genesee flats. Marched about 10 miles and encamped in the woods—passed this day a small lake called Konyoughojoh.
13.—Decamped at 6 A. M. Marched about two miles and halted at Adjustah. This town contains about 26 houses. While we halted at this town, Lieut. Boyd, with 20 men of the Rifle Corps, was sent to the next town to reconnoiter the enemy. On his return about 700 of the enemy ambushed him, killed and took 18 of the party. After the corn, &c., was destroyed and the town set in flames, we moved off to the next town. Our brigade marched some miles around to gain the rear of the enemy, but as usual they had fled before us. This town contains about 18 houses, situated at the southern end of the Genesee flats, on the banks of a small river that leads into the Genesee river.
14.—9 A. M. the army decamped, passed the river, entered the Genesee flats. This flat is judged to contain near 6,000 acres. We passed the Genesee river. This river runs with a strong current out of a hilly country. Three miles below where we forded, is navigable to lake Ontario. We burnt a small town on the bank of the river and marched that night to Genesee castle. There the body of Lieut. Boyd and one man was found murdered in a barbarous manner, too horrid to mention. This town is the metropolis of that nation; contains about 140 houses. Some fine buildings in it; situated about 40 miles from Niagara, on the south side of the Genesee river. The soil is exceedingly rich for 10 or 12 miles along the river. In and about this town, it was judged there were 800 acres of corn, beans, and vegetables of every kind.
15.—The whole army was employed in destroying the corn, &c. Now the general having completed and fulfilled his orders, after destroying the corn and setting the town in flames, the army passed the river and encamped upon the flats. One woman and one child made their escape from the savages and came to us that evening.
16.—Lay by to destroy corn along the flats. Decamped at 10 A. M. Encamped at Aojuhtah.
17.—Decamped at gun firing. Encamped at Honeoye.
18.-Decamped at 10 A. M. that day to Canandaigua. Encamped on the east side of the Lake.
19.—Marched to Connadasago.
20.—A party of 900 men was detached under command of Col. Butler, to destroy the Kengah tribe, and a party of 100 men under command of Col. Gansevoort to destroy part of the Mohawk tribe. Decamped at 3 P. M. and encamped on the east side of Seneca Lake.
21.—A party of 100 men was detached under Col. Dearborn to destroy the towns on the west side of Kenkah lake. Decamped at 8 A. M., passed Candiah about three miles and encamped at 4 P. M.
22.—Decamped at 7 A. M. Encamped that night within seven miles of Catharine town.
24.—(23d.?) Decamped at 7 A. M., passed Catharine town and encamped near the Big Swamp that night.
24.—Decamped at 5 A. M., passed the swamp and halted some time for refreshment. Encamped that night at Fort Reed, where we met provisions and stores for the reception of the Army. Upon our arrival at this place, (now Elmira), 13 cannon were discharged from the fort and was returned from one of our pieces 15 times. The latter was discharged in the space of one minute and a half. Dried provisions, &c.
(Colonel Gansevoort's Journal notes the proceedings of this day as follows: "Passed the swamp so much dreaded from its badness, without any difficulty and arrived at the forks of Newtown, where Capt. Reed with a detachment of 200 men had thrown up a breastwork to guard some stores and cattle brought forward from Tioga for the army in case of necessity. Saluted by 13 rounds of cannon from the breast-work, which number we returned from our artillery.")
Fort Reed was on the west side of the Newtown creek and on the north bank of the Tioga, where the creek falls into the river. It was a breast-work and was surrounded by palisades including some three or four acres. The western line of palisades can be traced on the west side of the junction canal and on the east side of Water st., a little south of the Fair grounds. The Journal continues.
25.—All the loaded muskets in the army were discharged at 5 A. M. The army was drawn up in one line and fired three rounds per man. After the discharge of 13 cannon, for our new ally the King of Spain, several oxen were killed for the officers and men.
(Col. Gansevoort's Journal thus describes this affair: "25.—This morning the small arms of the whole army were discharged at 5 o'clock. The whole were drawn up in one line, with a field piece on the right of each brigade, to fire a feu de joie—1st. thirteen rounds of cannon; 2d. a running fire of musketry, from right to left—repeated twice. Fifty oxen were killed on this joyous occasion, one delivered to each Brigade and one to the Artillery and staff. This was done in consequence of Spain having declared war against Britain.")
26.—At 12 A. M., the party under command of Col. Dearborn came in after destroying a fine country on the west side of the Kengah Lake. They brought in two squaws with them.
27.—400 men under the command of Col. Courtland, was employed in destroying corn up the river. 30 boats arrived from Tioga.
28.—All the sick were sent to Tioga. The party under the command of Col. Butler, returned from destroying the Kengah tribe. They found a most beautiful country abounding in vast quantities of corn and vegetables of all kinds; the same party under command of Col. Courtland, was employed up the river; also, 500 men were employed down the river, towards Tioga, destroying corn and vegetables on the flats.
29.—Decamped 6 A. M. Encamped that night 3 miles below Chemung and within 3 miles of Tioga.
30.—Decamped at 6 A. M., arrived at Fort Sullivan at 1 P. M. Upon our arrival the garrison discharged 13 cannon and we returned the same. Pitched tents on the ground we occupied before.
October 3.—A party of 500 men turned out to load the boats and demolish Fort Sullivan. The army drew 6 days' flour to carry them to Wyoming.
4.—Decamped at 6 A. M. Passed the river and encamped that night within 5 miles of Standing Stone, near the river.
5.—All the cattle, stores and horses were sent down to Wyoming. The whole went on board the boats. The fleet got under way at 6 A. M.
6.—The fleet got under way at 9 A. M. Arrived at evening at Shawney Flats.
7.—The whole fleet got under way at 9 A. M., and arrived at Wyoming at 2 P. M. When it hove in sight 13 cannon were fired by the garrison and returned by the fleet. The army encamped near the garrison.
8.—Two hundred men were detached to repair the road from this post to Easton and to remain there until the army arrives.
10.—Gen. Sullivan set out for Easton, leaving the command to Gen. Clinton. Decamped at 11 A. M. Encamped that night at Bullock's tavern.
11.—The rear of the army came up to camp at 9 A. M. Marched this day and encamped between the Shades of Death and the Big Swamp.
12.—Decamped at 7 A. M. Encamped that night at the White Oak Run.
13.—Decamped at 8 o'clock in the morning. The army moved that day to Brink's Mills.
14.—Decamped at 10 A. M. Passed the Wind Gap and encamped that night within 12 miles of Easton.
15.—Decamped at 6 o'clock in the morning and arrived at Easton at 2 P. M. Encamped in the Forks of the Delaware on the bank of the Lehigh.
17.—Our Brigade mustered. The Rev. Parson Evans delivered a discourse to the army in the German church.
In the same volume is given a table of distances as traveled by the army from Easton to Genesee Castle, as surveyed by Mr. Lodge, Surveyor to the Western army:
From Easton to
Tunkhannock Creek
Vanderlip's Farm
Wysaching Creek
Forks at Newtown
French Catharines, or Evoquagah
Condiah, or Appleton
Outlet of Seneca Lake
Canadesaco, or Seneca Lake
Genesee Castle

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Proceedings of the New York Historical
Association [1906], by Various

No comments:

Post a Comment