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December 13, 2012

A miraculous rescue

From the Otsego Herald

for Saturday, Dec. 12, 1812

Compiled, with comments

by HUGH C. MacDOUGALL

 

Weather: Utica 1812 Almanack: Now flying clouds & chilly winds.

NOTE: The abbreviated date is 12/12/12. It would be almost a century before we again got a matching date like this! [01/01/01 on January 1, 1901]

Fight with Indians

Franklinton, Nov. 19, 1812. An express arrived here this morning with a dispatch from brigadier-general [Edward W.] Tupper, containing his report to Gen. [William Henry] Harrison, of his late expedition to the Rapids of the Miami, for the purpose of driving off a body of Indians and British, who had assembled there to take off a quantity of corn which remains in the fields of the place.

Gen. Tupper arrived with his command at the rapids, undiscovered by the enemy, in the night of the 13th inst. [Nov.]. He immediately made a disposition for passing the river, and some few of our men got over, but the greater part of them missed the ford, and many of them were in great danger of drowning. They were however rescued by the few horses which Gen. T. had with him, but lost a part of their arms.

As soon as the day appeared, and they were discovered by the enemy, the gun and other boats that were in the river, slipped their cables and escaped down the Lake.

The Indians, however, more brave than their allies, crossed over on horses and made several violent attacks upon our troops. They were received with firmness, driven back and forced to recross the river with considerable loss.

General Tupper finding it impossible to cross the river, and being entirely out of provisions, as the men took nothing with them except what they carried on their backs, was obliged to return. Four were killed on our side, and one wounded. The enemy were seen to carry off many of their dead and wounded in the action on the land, and many more were knocked off their horses in recrossing the river.

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