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Otsego Herald

June 20, 2013

American prisoners killed

From the Otsego Herald

for Saturday, June 19, 1813

Compiled, with comments


Massacre by “His Majesty’s Allies”

When our informant passed through Newark [Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario] the Kentuckians taken in the late engagement at the Rapids, were arriving there in considerable numbers, having been ... liberated on their parole. Their appearance was truly deplorable, having been stripped and plundered by the Indians of every thing valuable. Few of them had any other garment except shirt and trousers, and blankets which had been sent them by [American] gen. [William Henry] Harrison.

The inhabitants had furnished most of them with hats, though many were still without any. The people too were very liberal in supplying them with provisions.

After giving some particulars ... concerning the detachment of 800 militia under command of col. William Dudley, which landed opposite Fort-Meighs [Meigs]; their success in carrying the batteries, spiking the cannon ... and skirmishing with the retreating Indians till they were cut off by the British who were encamped in their rear ...

The prisoners were taken to the old fort where they were counted, and stated by the British officer to amount to about 530. Having been left in the fort under a small guard, the Indians broke in upon them and killed a number. Two of the English soldiers were killed by the Indians, in attempting to defend them; Tecumseh and Col. [Matthew] Elliot soon came to their relief, and put an end to the massacre. Tecumseh, in particular, was much enraged at the conduct of the Indians.

Their loss in killed was variously stated from 60 to 100, one-third of which were said to have been massacred by the Indians after the surrender. Among the killed was col. Dudley and four captains ... They represent the Indians in general to have acted with great cruelty. The British on the other hand, treated them well, took care of the wounded, and used every exertion to protect them from the Indians. They estimate the force of the British at about 1,000 men, and that of the Indians from 15 to 20 hundred. — Columbian

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