Head Quarters, Easton, May 24, A.D., 1779.
When the army shall be fully assembled the following arrangements are to take place:--
Light corps, commanded by Gen. Hand, to consist of - Armandt's, Hubley's, Shott's, 6 companies of Rangers, Wm. Butler's battalion, Morgan's corps, and all volunteers who may join the army.
Maxwell's brigade consists of - Dayton, Shreeve, Ogden, Spencer, forming the right of the first line.
Poor's brigade consists of - Cilley, Reed, Scammel, Courtland, and form the left of the first line. Livingston, Dubois, Gainsworth, Olden, and form second line or reserve.
The right of the first line to be covered by 100 men, draughted from Maxwell's brigade, the left to be covered by 100 men detached from Poor's brigade, each flank of the second line to be covered by 50 men detached from Clinton's brigade, the flanking division on the right to consist of Hubley's regiment, and a draught from the line of 100 men, the flanking division on the left to consist of the German battalion, and 100 draughted men from the line.
Order of March.
The light corps will advance by the right of companies in files, and keep at least one mile in front, Maxwell's brigade will advance by its right in files, sections, or platoons, as the country will admit. Poor's brigade will advance by its left in the same manner. Clinton's brigade will advance by the right of regiment, in platoons, files, or sections, as the country will admit. All the covering parties and flanking divisions on the right will advance by their left; those on the left of the army will advance by their right. The artillery and pack horses are to march in the centre.
Should the army be attacked in front while on its march, the light corps will immediately form to repulse the enemy, the flanking divisions will endeavor to gain the flanks and rear of the enemy. While the line is forming the pack horses will, in all cases, fall into the position on the annexed plan. Should the enemy attack on either flank, the flanking division will form a front, and sustain the attack till reinforced - in which case part of the light corps is to be immediately detached to gain the enemies flank and rear, the covering parties of the 2nd line to move to gain the other flank. Should the enemy attack our rear, the 2nd line will face and form a front to the enemy, the covering parties of the first line will move to sustain it, while the flanking division face about and endeavor to gain their flank and rear. Should the light troops be driven back, they will pass through the intervals of the main army, and form in the rear. Should the enemy in an engagement with the army, when formed, endeavor either flank, the covering party will move up to lengthen the line, and so much as may be found necessary from the flanking division will display outwards to prevent the attempt from succeeding. The light corps will have their advance and flank guards at a good distance from their main body. The flanking division will furnish flank guards, and the 2nd line a rear guard for the main army.
When we find that the light corps are engaged in front, the front of the pack horses halt, and the rear close up, while the columns move in a proper distance, close and display, which will bring the horses in the position they are on the plan for the order of battle. Should the attack be made on either, in flank or in rear, the horses must be kept in the position they are at the commencement of the attack, unless other orders are then given.
[The trees painted by the Indians, between Owego and Chokunut, on the head waters of the Susquehanna, with their characters.]
Wyoming, July 30th, 1779. - Wyoming is situated on the east side of the east branch of the Susquehanna, the town consisting of about seventy houses, chiefly log buildings; besides these buildings there are sundry larger ones which were erected by the army for the purpose of receiving stores, &c., a large bake and smoke houses.
There is likewise a small fort erected in the town, with a strong abatta around it, and a small redoubt to shelter the inhabitants in cases of an alarm. This fort is garrisoned by 100 men, draughted from the western army, and put under the command of Col. Zeb'n Butler. I cannot omit taking notice of the poor inhabitants of the town; two-thirds of them are widows and orphans, who, by the vile hands of the savages, have not only deprived some of the tender husbands, some of indulgent parents, and others of affectionate friends and acquaintances, besides robbed and plundered of all their furniture and clothing. In short, they are left totally dependent on the public, and are become absolute objects of charity.
The situation of this place is elegant and delightful. It composes an extensive valley, bounded both on the east and west side of the river by large chains of mountains. The valley, a mere garden, of an excellent rich soil, abounding with large timber of all kinds, and through the center the east branch of the Susquehanna.
Wyoming, July 31st, 1779. - Agreeable to orders, marched the western army under the command of Major General Sullivan, in the following order, from this place to Tioga.
The army being composed of the following regiments and brigades in following manner, viz.:--
Gen. Hand's brigade, Hubley/German, Regiments, Shott/Spaulding, Independent Corps. - Compose Light Corps.
Gen. Maxwell's brigade, Dayton, Shreeve, Ogden, Spencer. - From main body.
Gen. Poor's brigade, Cilley, Reed, Scammel, Courtland. - From main body.
Took up the line of march about one o'clock, P.M., viz.: light corps advanced in front of main body about a mile; vanguard, consisting of twenty-four men, under command of a subaltern, and Poor's brigade, (main body,) followed by pack horses and cattle, after which one complete regiment, taken alternately from Maxwell's and Poor's brigade, (composed the rear guard.)
Observed the country to be much broken and mountainous, wood chiefly low, and composed of pine only. I was struck on this day's march with the ruins of many houses, chiefly built of logs, and uninhabited; though poor, yet happy in their situation, until that horrid engagement, when the British tyrant let loose upon them his emissaries, the savages of the wood, who not only destroyed and laid waste those cottages, but in cool blood massacred and cut off the inhabitants, not even sparing gray locks or helpless infancy.
About 4 o'clock, P.M., arrived at a most beautiful plain, covered with an abundance of grass, soil excessively rich, through which run a delightful stream of water, known by the name of Lackawanna; crossed the same, and encamped about one mile on the northern side of it, advanced about one half mile in front of main body: after night fell in with rain - continued until morning.
Distance of march this day, 10 miles.
Sunday, August 1st. - Continued at Lackawanna waiting for the fleet, which, by reason of considerable rapids, was detained until nearly 12 o'clock this day before the van could possibly cross there. In getting through, lost two boats, chief of their cargoes were saved. About 2 o'clock, P.M., the whole arrived opposite our encampment, in consequence of which received orders for a march, struck tents accordingly, and moved about 2 o'clock, P.M. About one mile from the encampment, entered the narrows on the river, first detachment and left column under the command of Capt. Burk, to koin the right column of light corps, and cross the mountain, which was almost inaccessible, in order to cover the army from falling in an ambuscade. Whilst passing through the defile found passage through exceedingly difficult and troublesome, owing to the badness of the path; we passed by a most beautiful cataract called the Spring Falls. To attempt a description of it would be almost presumption. Let this short account thereof suffice. The first or upper fall thereof is nearly ninety feet perpendicular, pouring from a solid rock, uttering forth a most beautiful echo, and is received by a cleft of rocks considerably more projected than the former, from whence it rolls gradually and empties into the Susquehanna. Light corps passed and got through the defile about 6 o'clock, P.M.; arrived about dusk at a place called Quilutimunk, and encamped one mile in front of the place, occupied that night by the main army.
The main army, on account of the difficult passage, marched nearly all night before they reached their encamping ground. Great quantities of baggage being dropped and left lying that night obliged us to continue on this ground. All the preceding day numbers of our pack horses were sent back and employed in bringing on the scattered stores, &c.; distance of march this day about 7 miles: fine clear evening. Quilutimunk is a spot of ground situate on the river; fine, open and clear; quantity, about 1200 acres; soil very rich, timber fine, grass in abundance, and contains several exceedingly fine springs.
Monday, August 2d. - In consequence of the difficult and tedious march the preceding day, the army received orders to continue on the ground this day, in the meantime to provide themselves with five days provision, and getting every other matter in perfect readiness for a march next morning at 6 o'clock. Nothing material happened during our stay on this ground.
Wednesday, 3d. (sic) - Agreeable to orders took up the line of march at 6 o'clock, A.M. Took the mountains after we assembled - found them exceedingly level for at least six miles. Land tolerable, the timber, viz., pine and white oak, chiefly large. About three miles from Quilutimunk we crossed near another cataract, which descended the mountain in three successive falls, the least of which is equal if not superior to the one already described. Although it is not quite so high, it is much wider, and likewise empties into the Susquehanna, seemingly white as milk. They are commonly known by the name of Buttermilk Falls.
About 12 o'clock we descended the mountains near the river; marched about one mile on flat piece of ground, and arrived at Tunkhannunk, a beautiful stream of water so called, which empties into the Susquehanna; crossed the same, and encamped on the river about 1 o'clock, P.M. Nothing material happened this day excepting a discovery of two Indians by the party on the west side of the river. Indians finding themselves rather near the party were obliged to leave their canoe, and make through the mountains. Party took possession of the canoe, and brought it to their encamping place, for that evening immediately opposite the main army. Distance of march this day, 12 miles.
Wednesday 4th. - The army was in motion 5 o'clock, A.M., and moved up the river for three miles, chiefly on the beach, close under an almost inaccessible mountain. We then ascended the same with the greatest difficulty, and continued on it for near seven miles. A considerable distance from the river the path along the mountain was exceedingly rough, and carried through several very considerable swamps, in which were large morasses. The land in general thin and broken, abounds in wild deer and other game. We then descended the mountain, and at the foot of it crossed a small creek called Massasppi, immediately where it empties into the river. We then continued up the same until we made Vanderlip's farm, discovered several old Indian encampments; one of them appeared to have been very large.
The land, after crossing Massasppi, was exceedingly fine and rich, the soil very black and well timbered, chiefly with black walnut, which are remarkably large, some not less than six feet over, and excessively high. It is likewise well calculated for making fine and extensive meadows. The main army took post for this night on Vanderlip's farm, and the infantry advanced about one mile higher up, and encamped about 1 o'clock, P.M., on a place known by the name of Williamson's farm. Distance of march this day, 14 miles; fine clear day, very hot.
Thursday 5th. - In consequence of orders issued last evening to march this morning at 5 o'clock, we struck tents and loaded baggae. But the boats being considerably impeded by the rapidness of the water some miles below our encampment, could not reach us, and we were obliged to halt all night. Did not join us until 9 o''lock, A.M., all which time we were obliged to halt. On their arrival the whole army was put in motion, and as more danger on this day's march was apprehended than any before, the following distribution of the army took place, viz.: The right and left columns of the light corps, conducted by Gen. Hand, moved along the top of a very high mountain; main body of light corps, under Col. Hubley's command, with an advance of twenty-four men, moved on the beach several miles on the edge of the water. The main army, followed by the baggage, &c., flanked on their right by four hundred men, who had likewise to take this mountain. Thus we moved for several miles, then arrived in a small valley called Depue's farm; the land very good. Observed and reconnoitered this ground for some distance, it being the place on which Col. Hartley was attacked by the savages last year, on his return from Tioga to Wyoming. The country being fine and open, some loss was sustained on both sides; the savages at last gave way, and Col. Hartley pursued his route to Wyoming without further molestation. Continued our march for about one mile, and formed a junction with the parties on the right flank, ascended a high mountain, and marched for some miles on the same. Land poor, timber but small, chiefly pine, after which descended the mountain nearly one mile in length, and arrived in a fine and large valley, known by the name of Wyalusing. The main army took post at this place, and the infantry advanced about one mile on front of them, and encamped about 2 o'clock, P.M. Clear but very warm day; distance of march this day, 10 ½ miles.
This valley was formerly called Oldman's farm, occupied by the Indians and white people; together, they had about sixty houses, a considerable Moravian meeting house, and sundry other public buildings; but since the commencement of the present war the whole has been consumed and laid waste, partly by the savages and partly by our own people. The land is extraordinarily calculated chiefly for meadows. The grass at this time is almost beyond description, high and thick, chiefly blue grass, and the soil of the land very rich. The valley contains about 1200 acres of land, bounded on one side by an almost inacessible mountain, and other by the river Susquehanna.
Friday, Aug. 6th. - The boats not arriving before late this day, the army received orders to continue on the ground. In the meantime to be provided with three days provision, get their arms and accoutrements in perfect order, and be in readiness for a march early to-morrow morning. A sub. And twenty-four men from my regiment reconnoitered vicinity of camp; returned in the evening; made no discoveries. Rain all night.
Saturday 7th. - The heavy rain last night and this morning rendered it utterly impossible to march this day; continued on the ground for further orders.
A captain and thirty men from my regiment reconnoitered vicinity of camp; made no discoveries.
This day received a letter (by express) from his Excellency Gen. Washington, dated Head Quarters, at New Windsor.
Sunday, 8th. - The army moved (in same order as on 5th) this morning at 5 o'clock; crossed Wyalusing creek, and ascended an extensive mountain, the top remarkably level; land poor, and timer small. Arrived about 10 o'clock, A.M., at the north end, and descended the same close on the river side, and continued along the beach for some distance, after which we entered an extensive valley or plain, known by the name of Standing Stone; made a halt here for about half an hour for refreshments. This place derives its name from a large stone standing erect in the river immediately opposite this plain. It is near twenty feet in height, fourteen feet in width, and three feet in depth. This valley abounds in grass, the land exceedingly fine, and produces chiefly white oak, black walnut, and pine timber. After refreshment continued our march along the same valley; land not quite so fine. Arrived about 3 o'clock, P.M., at a small creek called Wesauking; crossed the same, and encamped about one mile beyond it, and immediately on the river.
Four o'clock, P.M. - Since our arrival at this place some of my officers discovered a small Indian encampment, seemingly occupied but a few days since; found near the same a neat canoe, which they brought off. This morning the scout, (of three men,) sent up to Sheshequin some days since, returned without making any discoveries.
General Sullivan, on account of his indisposition, came on in the boat.
Monday, August 9th. - The boats not being able to reach Wesauking, the ground on which light corps encamped preceding evening. The main body in consequence thereof took post and encamped at Standing Stone, about three miles below the light corps encampment, for protection of the boats.
The light corps, on account of their detached situation from the main body the preceding evening, and apprehending some danger, being considerably advanced in the enemy's country, for their greater security, stood under arms from 3 o'clock, A.M., until daylight, where they dismissed, with orders to hold themselves in readiness at a moment's warning. Previous to their dismissal my light infantry was sent out to reconnoitre the vicinity of encampment; returned about 7 o'clock, A.M. - made no discovery.
This morning, 9 o'clock, boats hove in sight, in consequence thereof received orders to strike tents, and be in readiness for a march; main army in the meantime arrived about 10 o'clock; the whole was in motion, marched through a difficult swamp; at north of same crossed a small stream, and ascended a hill; lands poor, and wood but indifferent. About 12 o'clock, P.M., descended the same, and entered a small valley; continued about half a mile, when we ascended a very remarkable high mountain, generally known by the name of Break Neck Hill.
This mountain derives its name from the great height, of the difficult and narrow passage, not more than one foot wide, and remarkable precipice which is immediately perpendicular, and not less than 180 feet deep. One mis-step must inevitably carry you from top to bottom without the least hope or chance of recovery. At north end of same entered a mountainous and beautiful valley called Sheshecununk. General Sullivan, with a number of officers, made a halt here at a most beautiful run of water, took a bite of dinner, and proceeded on along the valley, which very particularly struck my attention. Any quantity of meadow may be made here; abounds with all kinds of wood, particularly white oak, hickory, and black walnut; the ground covered with grass and pea vines; the soil in general very rich. About 4 o'clock, P.M., arrived on the bank of the river; the whole encamped in a line on a most beautiful plain; consists chiefly in meadows, the grass remarkably thick and high. On our arrival here made discoveries of some new Indian tracks, places on which fire had just been, and fresh boughs cut, and appeared as if the place had just been occupied a few hours before our arrival. Distance of march this day, 9 ½ miles.
Tuesday, August 10th.- Set in with rain, and boats not reaching this place before 9 o'clock this morning; army received orders to continue on the ground until further orders. Men drew and cooked two days provisions.
One regiment from each of the brigades attended General Sullivan. The general and field officers of the army whilst they were reconnoitering the river and ground near Tioga branch, about three miles above this place, returned without any discoveries worthy of remark about 4 o'clock, P. M.
Wednesday, August 11th. - Agreeable to orders the army moved this morning at 8 o'clock, A. M., in the usual order. Light corps moved half an hour before the main army, and took post on the banks of the river near the fording place. On the arrival of the main army and boats, Col. Forest drew up his boat at the fording place, and fixed several six pounders on the opposite shore in order to scour the woods and thickets, and prevent any ambuscade from taking place. In the meantime the light corps marched by platoons, linked together, on account of the rapidity of the water, and forded the same, and effected a landing about 9 o'clock; they immediately advanced about one hundred yards from the river, and formed in line of battle, in order to cover the landing of the main army, which was safely effected about 10 o'clock, A. M., after which came on pack horses, cattle, &c., covered by a regiment which composed the rear guard. About half past ten o'clock the whole moved in following order.
Previous to our arrival on the flats we had to pass about one and a half mil through a dark, difficult swamp, which was covered with weeds and considerate underwood, interspersed with large timber, chiefly buttonwood. We then entered the flats near the place on which Queen Esther’s palace stood, and was destroyed by Col. Hartley's detachment last fall. The grass is remarkably thick and high. We continued along the same for about one mile, and arrived at the entrance of Tioga branch into Susquehanna about 1 o'clock; we, crossed the same, and landed on a peninsula of land which extends towards Chemung, and is bounded on the east by Susquehanna, and on the west by Tioga branch, and continued up the same for about two miles and a half and encamped. This peninsula is composed of excellent meadow and upland: grass is plenty, and timber of all kinds, and soil in general good; distance of march this day, three miles. Since our arrival a scout of eight men was ordered up to reconnoitre Chemung, and endeavour to make discoveries of the number of savages, and their situation, if possible.
Thursday, August 12th. - Tioga Plain. This being a plain calculated to cover the western army during the expedition to the northern part of it, a garrison for that purpose is to remain until our return. Sundry works for the security of the same are now erecting about two and a half miles distant from where Tioga branch empties into the Susquehanna, and where the two rivers are about 190 yards distance from each other; those works to extend from river to river.
Captain Cummings with his scout (sent out last evening) returned this day 11 o'clock, A. M.; made several discoveries at Chemung; an Indian village twelve miles distance from this place; in consequence of which a council of war sat, and determined an expedition should immediately take place for the reduction of the same. The army (two regiments excepted received orders to be in readiness for an immediate march. Eight o'clock, P. M., the whole were in motion, and proceeded for Chemung.
August 13th, 1779. - Eight o'clock, P. M., the army having marched last evening in the following order, viz.: Light corps, under command of Gen. Hand, led the van, then followed Gens. Poor and Maxwell's brigades, which formed main body, and corps de reserve, the whole under the immediate command of Maj. Gen. Sullivan. The night being excessively dark, and the want of proper guides, impeded our march, besides which we had several considerable defiles to march through, that we could not possibly reach Chemung till after daylight. The morning being foggy favoured our enterprise. Our pilot, on our arrival, from some disagreeable emotions he felt, could not find the town. We discovered a few huts, which we surrounded, but found them vacated; after about one hour's march we came upon the main town. The following disposition for surprising the same was ordered to take place, viz.: Two regiments, one from the corps, and one from main body, were ordered to cross the river and prevent the enemy from making their escape that way, should they still hold the town. The remainder of the light corps, viz., two independent companies, and my regiment, under command of Hand, were to make the attack on the town. Gen. Poor was immediately to move up and support the light corps. We moved in this order accordingly, but the savages having probably discovered our scouting party the preceding day, defeated our enterprise by evacuating the village previous to our coming, carrying off with them nearly all their furniture and stock, and leaving an empty village only, which fell an easy conquest about 5 o'clock, A. M. The situation of this village was beautiful; it contained fifty or sixty houses, built of logs and frames, and situate on the banks of Tioga branch, and on a most fertile, beautiful, and extensive plain, the lands chiefly calculated for meadows, and the soil rich.
The army continued for some small space in the town. Gen. Hand, in the meantime, advanced my light infantry company, under Capt. Bush, about one mile beyond the village, on a path which leads to a small Indian habitation called Newtown. On Capt. Bush's arrival there he discovered fires burning, an Indian dog, which lay asleep, a number of dear skins, some blankets, &c.; he immediately gave information of his discoveries, in consequence of which the remainder part of the light corps, viz.: the two independent companies, and regiment, under Gen. Hand's command, were ordered to move some miles up the path, and endeavour, if possible, to make some discoveries. We accordingly proceeded on in the following order, viz.: Captain Walker, with twenty-four men, composed the van, the eleventh regiment, under my command, after which the two independent companies, the whole covered on the left by the Tioga branch, and on the right by Capt. Bush’s infantry company of forty men. In this order we moved somewhat better than a mile beyond this place. The first fires were discovered, when our van was fired upon by a party of savages, who lay concealed on a high hill immediately upon our right, and which Capt. Bush had not yet made. We immediately formed a front with my regiment, pushed up the hill with a degree of intrepidity seldom to be met with, and, under a very severe fire from the savages. Capt. Bush, in the meantime, endeavoured to gain the enemy's rear. They, seeing the determined resolution of our troops, retreated and, according to custom, previous to our dislodging them, carried off their wounded and dead, by which means they deprived us from coming to the knowledge of their wounded and dead. The ground on the opposite side of the mountain or ridge, on which the action commenced, being composed of swamp or low ground, covered with underwood, &c., favoured their retreat, and prevented our pursuing them, by which means they got off.
Our loss on this occasion, which totally (excepting two) fell on my regiment, was as follows, viz.: two captains, one adjutant, one guide, and eight privates wounded, and one serjeant, one drummer, and four privates killed. Officers' names: Captain Walker, (slight wound,) Captain Carberry, and Adj. Huston, (I fear mortal.)
After gaining the summit of the hill, and dislodging the enemy, we marched by the right of companies in eight columns, and continued along the same until the arrival of General Sullivan. We then halted for some little time, and then returned to the village, which was instantly laid in ashes, and a party detached to cross the river to destroy the corn, beans, &c., of which there were several very extensive fields, and those articles in the greatest perfection. Whilst the troops were engaged in this business, Gens. Poor and Maxwell's brigades were fired upon, lost one man, killed, and several wounded. The whole business being completed we returned to the ruins of the village, halted some little time, and received orders to return to Tioga Plain, at which place we arrived at 8 o'clock, considerably fatigued. Lest the savages should discover our loss, after leaving the place, I had the dead bodies of my regiment carried along, fixed on horses, and brought to this place for internment. The expedition from the first to last continued twenty-four hours, of which time my regiment was employed, without the least intermission, twenty-three hours; the whole of our march not less than forty miles.
Saturday, August 14th. - This morning 10 o'clock, A. M., had the bodies of those brave veterans, who so nobly distinguished themselves, and bravely fell in the action of yesterday, interred with military honours, (firing excepted.) Parson Rogers delivered a small discourse on the occasion.
Was employed greater part of the day in writing to my friends at Lancaster and Philadelphia, which were forwarded the same evening.
Sunday, 15th. - Ageeable to orders of yesterday, seven hundred men were ordered -to march on the grand parade for inspection, and to be furnished with ammunition and eight days provision, for the purpose of marching up the Susquehanna and meeting General Clinton, who is now on his march to form a junction with this army.
Two o'clock, P. M., a firing was heard on the west side of Tioga branch, immediately opposite our encampment. A number of Indians, under cover of a high mountain, advanced on a large meadow or flat of ground, on which our cattle and horses were grazing. Unfortunately, two men were there to fetch some horses, one of which was killed and scalped, the other slightly wounded, but got clear. One bullock was likewise killed, and several public horses taken off. My regiment was ordered in pursuit of them: we accordingly crossed the branch and ascended the mountain, marched along the summit of the same for upwards of two miles in order to gain their rear but the enemy having too much start, got clear. After scouring the mountains and valleys near the same, we returned, much fatigued, about 5 o'clock, P. M.
Monday, 16th. - The detachment under General Poor's command, agreeable to orders, moved this day, 1 o’clock, P. M., up the Susquehanna for the purpose of forming a junction with Gen. Clinton.
Several of our Continentals alarmed the camp by firing off several guns about 1 o'clock in the morning, in consequence of which light corps stood under arms. Several patrols were sent out to reconnoitre the front of encampment, returned near day-break, but made no discoveries -- alarm proved premature. Gen. Hand, being ordered with the detachment under Gen. Poor, the command of light corps devolved on me during his absence.
Thursday, 17th. - Seven o'clock , P. M., a firing was heard about five hundred yards immediately in front of light corps' encampment. A party of fifty men was immediately detached to endeavour to find out the cause of it; returned at 8 o'clock, P. M.; reported that a party of Indians, eleven in number, had waylaid a few pack horsemen, who were just returning with their horses from pasture; that they had killed and scalped one man, and wounded another; the wounded man got safe to camp, and the corpse of the other was likewise brought in.
An alarm was fired by a continental about 11 o'clock, P. M., but proved false.
Wednesday, 18th. - In order to entrap some of those savages who keep sneaking about the encampment, the following parties ordered out for that purpose, and to be relieved daily by an equal number until we leave this ground, viz.: one subaltern and twenty men on the mountain opposite the encampment; one subaltern and twenty men on the island, about a mile and half above the encampment, on Tioga branch, and one subaltern and twenty men in the woods, about a mile and a half immediately in front of light corps' encampment, with orders to waylay and take every other means to take them.
This day, by particular request of several gentlemen, a discourse was delivered in the Masonic form, by Dr. Rogers, on the death of Captain Davis of the 11th Penn., and Lieutenant Jones of the Delaware regiments, who were, on the 23d of April last, most cruelly and inhumanly massacred and scalped by the savages, emissaries employed by the British king, as they were marching with a detachment for the relief of the garrison at Wyoming.
Those gentlemen were both members of that honourable and ancient Society of Freemen. A number of brethren attended on this occasion in proper form, and the whole was conducted with propriety and harmony. Text preached on this solemn occasion was the first clause in the 7th verse of the 7th chapter of Job, "Remember my life is but wind."
Thursday, 19th. - Nothing remarkable this day.
Friday, 20th. - This day arrived Lieut. Boyd, of Col. Butler's regiment, with accounts of Gen. Clinton's movements on the Susquehanna, and that a junction was formed by him with Gen. Poor's detachment, Chokoanut about thirty-five miles from this place. Rain very heavy chief part of the day.
Saturday, 21st. - The detachments under Gens. Clinton and Poor, on account of the very heavy rain yesterday, did not reach this encampment as was expected.
Sunday, 22d. - This day, 10 o'clock, A. M., Gens. Clinton and Poor's detachments, with about two hundred and twenty boats, passed light corps' encampment for the main army, about one and a half miles in their rear. On their passing, they were saluted with thirteen rounds from the park; the light corps being likewise drawn up, and received them in proper form, with Col. Proctor's music, and drums and fifes beating and playing.
Monday, 23d. - This day a most shocking affair happened, by an accident of a gun, which went off, the ball of which entered a tent in which was Capt. Kimball, of Gen. Poor's brigade, and a lieutenant; the captain was unfortunately killed, and the lieutenant wounded.
Gen. Clinton having formed a junction with the army at this place yesterday, the following alterations in the several brigades were ordered to take place, viz.: Col. Courtland's regiment to be annexed to General Clinton's, Colonel Older to General Poor’s, and Colonel Butler's regiment, with Major Parr's corps, to General Hand's brigade.
Tuesday, 24th. - This day employed hands to make bags for the purpose of carrying flour; hands employed all day and night in this business.
Agreeable to orders a signal gun was fired for the whole army to strike tents, 5 o'clock, P. M., and marched some small distance in order to form the line of march. Seven o'clock, P. M., another signal gun was fired for the army to encamp in proper order, and to be in readiness for an immediate march. Col. Butler’s regiment, with Major Parr's riflemen, joined light corps, and encamped with them this day, 7 o'clock, P. M.
Colonel Shrieve took command of Fort Sullivan this day agreeable to orders. Flying hospital and stores were moved this day to the garrison.
Wednesday, 25th. - This morning was entirely devoted to packing up and getting every thing in readiness for an immediate march. A heavy rain fell at 11 o'clock, continued greater part of the day, which prevented our movements.
Thursday, 26th. - The army not being perfectly ready to march at 8 o'clock, A. M., agreeable to yesterday's orders, the signal gun for a march was not fired until 11 o'clock, when the whole took up the line of march in the following order, namely: Light corps, commanded by General Hand, marched in six columns, the right commanded by Colonel Butler, and the left by myself. Major Parr, with the riflemen, dispersed considerably in front of the whole, with orders to reconnoitre all mountains, defiles, and other suspicious places, previous to the arrival of the army, to prevent any surprise or ambuscade from taking place. The pioneers, under command of a captain, subaltern, then followed after, which preceded the park of artillery; then came on the main army, in two columns, in the centre of which moved the pack horses and cattle, the whole flanked on right and left by the flanking divisions, commanded by Colonel Dubois and Colonel Ogden, and rear brought up by General Clinton's brigade; in this position the whole moved to the upper end of Tioga flats, about three miles above Fort Sullivan, where we encamped for this night.
This day disposed of one of my horses to Mr. Bond, captain, on account of his indisposition, obtained leave to continue either at Fort Sullivan, or go to Wyoming, until the return of the regiment from the expedition.
Friday, August 27th. - On account of some delays this morning army did not move until half past eight o'clock, A. M. Previous to the march the pioneers, under cover of the rifle corps, were advanced to the first and second defile, or narrows, some miles in front of our encampment, where they were employed in mending and cutting a road for the pack to pass. The army marched in same order of yesterday, the country through which they had to pass being exceedingly mountainous and rough, and the slow movements of the pack considerably impeded the march. About 7 o'clock, P. M., we arrived near the last narrows, at the lower end of Chemung, where we encamped in the following order: Light corps near the entrance of the defile or narrows, and in front of some very extensive corn-fields, some refugee Tories, now acting with the favour of the main army, about one mile in our rear, and immediately fronting the corn-fields. After encamping had an agreeable repast of corn, potatoes, beans, cucumbers, watermelons, squashes, and other vegetables, which were in great plenty, (produced) from the corn-fields already mentioned, and in the greatest perfection: distance of march this day, six miles.
Saturday, August 28th. - Fore part of this day being employed by the general and principal officers of the army in reconnoitering the river and finding out some fording place for the artillery, pack horses, and cattle to cross, to gain Chemung, the defile or narrows mentioned in my yesterday's journal being so excessively narrow, and, indeed, almost impracticable for them to pass.
The following disposition for the marching of the army took place accordingly, namely: The rifle corps, with General Maxwell's brigade, and left flanking division of the army, covering the park, pack horses, and cattle, crossed to the west side of the river, and about one and a half mile above recrossed the same, and formed a junction on the lower end of Chemung flats with the light corps, Generals Poor and Clinton's brigades, and right flanking division of the army, who took their route across an almost inaccessible mountain, on the east side of the river, the bottom of which forms the narrows already mentioned. The summit was gained with the greatest difficulty; on the top of the mountain the lands, which are level and extensive, are exceedingly rich with large timber, chiefly oak, interspersed with underwood and excellent grass. The prospect from this mountain is most beautiful; we had a view of the country of at least twenty miles round; the fine, extensive plains, interspersed with streams of water, made the prospect pleasing and elegant from this mountain. We observed, at some considerable distance, a number of clouds of smoke arising, where we concluded the enemy to be encamped.
Previous to the movement of the army this day, a small party of men were sent across the river in order to destroy some few Indian huts, which were immediately opposite our encampment. Before the business was quite effected they were fired upon by a party of Indians, who, after giving, the fire, immediately retreated; the party executed their orders, and all returned unhurt to the army.
The scout sent out last evening to reconnoitre the enemy near Newtown, (an Indian village so called,) returned this day, and reported they discovered a great number of fires, and that they supposed, from the extensive piece of ground covered by the fires, the enemy must be very formidable, and mean to give us battle. They likewise discovered four or five small scouting parties on their way towards this place, it is supposed to reconnoitre our army. Since our arrival here a great quantity of furniture was found by our soldiers which was concealed in the adjacent woods. After forming the junction above mentioned, we took up the line of march, and moved to the upper Chemung town, and encamped about 6 o'clock, P. M., for this night. Distance of march on a straight course, about two miles. From the great quantities of corn and other vegetables here and in the neighbourhood, it is supposed they intended to establish their principal magazine at this place, which seems to be their chief rendezvous, whenever they intend to go to war; it is the key to the Pennsylvania and New York frontier. The corn already destroyed by our army is not less than 5,000 bushels upon a moderate calculation, and the quantity yet in the ground in this neighbourhood is at least the same, besides which there are vast quantities of beans, potatoes, squashes, pumpkins, &c., which shared the fate of the corn.
Saturday, August 29th. - This morning at 9 o’clock the army moved in the same order of the 26th; the riflemen were well scattered in front of the light corps, who moved with the greatest precision and caution. On our arrival near the ridge on which the action of the 13th commenced with light corps, our van discovered several Indians in front, one of whom gave them a fire, and then fled. We continued our march for about one mile; the rifle corps entered a low marshy ground which seemed well calculated for forming ambuscades; they advanced with great precaution, when several more Indians were discovered, who fired and retreated. Major Parr, from those circumstances, judged it rather dangerous to proceed any further without taking every caution to reconnoitre almost every foot of ground, and ordered one of his men to mount a tree and see if he could make any discoveries; after being some time on the tree he discovered the movements of several Indians, (which were rendered conspicuous by the quantity of paint they had on them,) as they were laying behind an extensive breastwork, which extended at least half a mile, and most artfully covered with green boughs, and trees, having their right flank secured by the river, and their left by a mountain. It was situated on a rising ground - about one hundred yards in front of a difficult stream of water, bounded by the marshy ground already mentioned on our side, and on the other, between it and the breast works, by an open and clear field. Major Parr immediately gave intelligence to General Hand of his discoveries, who immediately advanced the light corps within about three hundred yards of the enemy's work’s, and formed in line of battle; the rifle corps, under cover, advanced, and lay under the bank of the creek within one hundred yards of the lines. Gen. Sullivan, having previous notice, arrived with the main army, and ordered the following disposition to take place: The rifle and light corps to continue their position; the left flanking division, under command of Colonel Ogden, to take post on the left flank of the light corps, and General Maxwells brigade, some distance in the rear, as a corps de reserve, and Colonel Proctor's artillery in front of the centre of the light corps, and immediately opposite the breast-work. A heavy fire ensued between the rifle corps and the enemy, but little damage was done on either side. In the meantime, Generals Poor and Clinton's brigades, with the right flanking division, were ordered to march and gain, if possible, the enemy's flank and rear, whilst the rifle and light corps amused them in front. Col. Proctor had orders to be in readiness with his artillery and attack the lines, first allowing a sufficient space of time to Generals Poor, &c., to gain their intended stations. About 3 o'clock, P. M., the artillery began their attack on the enemy's works; the rifle and light corps in the meantime prepared to advance and charge; but the enemy, finding their situation rather precarious, and our troops determined, left and retreated from their works with the greatest precipitation, leaving behind them a number of blankets, gun covers, and kettles, with corn boiling over the fire. Generals Poor, &c., on account of several difficulties which they had to surmount, could not effect their designs, and the enemy probably having intelligence of their approach, posted a number of troops on the top of a mountain, over which they had to advance. On their arrival near the summit of the same, the enemy gave them a fire, and wounded several officers and soldiers. General Poor pushed on and gave them a fire as they retreated, and killed five of the savages. the course of the day we took nine scalps, (all savages,) and two prisoners, who were separately examined, and gave the following corresponding account: that the enemy were seven hundred men strong, viz., five hundred savages, and two hundred Tories, with about twenty British troops, commanded by a Seneca chief, the two Butlers, Brandt, and M’Donald.
The infantry pushed on towards Newtown; the main army halted and encamped near the place of action, near which were several extensive fields of corn and other vegetables. About 6 o'clock, P. M., the infantry returned and encamped near the main army.
The prisoners further informed us that the whole of their party had subsisted on corn only for this fortnight past, and that they had no other provisions with them; and that their next place of rendezvous would be at Catharines town, an Indian village about twenty-five miles from this place.
Distance of march (exclusive of counter-marches) this day, about eight miles.
Monday, August 30th. - On account of the great quantities of corn, beans, potatoes, turnips, and other vegetables, in destroying of which the troops were employed, and the rain which set in the after part of the day, obliged us to continue on the ground for this day and night. The troops were likewise employed in drawing eight days provisions, (commencing 1st day of September.) The reason of drawing this great quantity at one time was, (however inconsistent with that economy which is absolutely necessary in our present situation, considering the extensive campaign before us, and the time of consequence it will require to complete it,) the want of pack horses for transporting the same, and in order to expedite this great point in view, are obliged to substitute our soldiery for carrying the same.
From the great and unparalleled neglect of those persons employed for the purpose of supplying. the western army with everything necessary to enable them to carry through the important expedition required of them, General Sullivan was at this early period under the disagreeable necessity of issuing the following address to the army, which was communicated by the commanding officers to their corps separately, viz.:
GENERAL SULLIVAN'S ADDRESS.
"The commander-in-chief informs the troops that he used every effort to procure proper supplies for the army, and to obtain a sufficient number of horses to transport them, but owing to the inattention of those whose business it was to make tile necessary provision, he failed of obtaining such an ample supply as he wished, and -greatly fears that the supplies on hand will not, without the greatest prudence, enable him to complete the business of the expedition."
"He therefore requests the several brigadiers and officers commanding corps to take the mind of the troops under their respective commands, whether they will, whilst in this country, which abounds with corn and vegetables of every kind, be content to draw one half of flour, one half of meat and salt a day. And he desires the troops to give their opinions, with freedom and as soon as possible."
"Should they generally fall in with the proposal, he promises they shall be paid that part of the rations which is held back at the full value in money."
"He flatters himself that the troops who have discovered so much bravery and firmness will readily consent to fall in with a measure so essentially necessary to accomplish the important purpose of the expedition, to enable them to add to the laurels they have already gained."
"The enemy have subsisted for a number of days on corn only, without either salt, meat, or flour. and the general cannot persuade himself that troops, who so far surpass them in bravery and true valour, will suffer themselves to be outdone in that fortitude and perseverance, which not only distinguishes but dignifies the soldier. He does not mean to continue this through the campaign, but only wishes it to be adopted in those places where vegetables may supply the place of a part of the common ration of meat and flour, which will be much better than without any."
"The troops will please to consider the matter, and give their opinion as soon as possible."
Agreeable to the above address, the army was drawn up, (this evening,) in corps separately, and the same, through their commanding officers, made known to them, and their opinions requested thereupon, when the whole without a dissenting voice, cheerfully agreed to the request of the general, which they signified by unanimously holding up their hands and giving three cheers.
This remarkable instance of fortitude and virtue cannot but endear those brave troops to all ranks of people, more particularly as it was so generally and cheerfully entered into without a single dissenting voice.
Tuesday, August 31st. - Took up our line of march in usual order at 9 o'clock, A. M.; marched about four miles and a half through a broken and mountainous country, and an almost continuous defile on the east side of Cayuga branch, the west of the same for that distance was an excellent plain, on which large quantities of corn, beans, potatoes, and other vegetables stood and were destroyed bv us the preceding day. We then crossed Cayuga branch, where it forks with a stream of water running east and west, and landed on a most beautiful piece of country remarkably level. On the banks of the same stood a small Indian village, which was immediately destroyed. The soldiers found great quantities of furniture &c., which was buried, some of which they carried off, and some was destroyed. About 2 o'clock, P. M., we proceeded along the path which leads to Catharines town, (an Indian village,) and leaves the Cayuga branch on its left. About 5 o'clock, P. M., we encamped on a most beautiful plain, interspersed with marshes, well calculated for meadows. Wood chiefly pine, interspersed with hazel brushes, and great quantities of grass; distance of march this day, 10 miles.
Note: Journal written by Lt. Col. Adam Hubley.