A Journal of the Late Actions of the French at Canada Summary

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

In Obedience to his Excellency’s Command, Peter Schuyler Mayor, with the other Officers under his Command, gave this following Account of their Proceedings since the first Intelligence of the Enemy’s descent into the Country of the Mohaques.

February the 8th, being Wednesday; about 2 a Clock afternoon, we had the Alarm from Schenectady, that the French and Indians had taken the Mohaques Castles; soon after we had the News, that a Young-man, called Jan Baptist van Eps, (taken at Schenectady 3 Years ago) was run over from the French, as they were to attack the first Castle of the Mohaques, and come to Schenectady who related, that the French were 350 Christians and 200 Indians Major Ingoldsby sent forth-with his Warrants, to command in the Farmers of Capt. Gents and Capt. Tunis’s Companies of Militia. This Night Lieut. John Schuyler and Cornet Abeel. with 55 Horse marched to Schenectady.

February 9. Cornet Abeel came express from Schenectady, and desired that Major Schuyler or Major Wessels might be sent thither to pacifie the Indians, who were enraged that no Christians went out in pursuit of the Enemy. Upon which Major Schuyler at his own Request was permitted to go that Evening. As soon as Major Schuyler arrived there, he sent out Scouts to spy the Forts and the Enemies Motion, and withal to go and warn the Tionondoge Indians of the Enemies coming, but they having gone 12 Miles, returned about 12 a Clock at Night, saying, they could not get over the River.

Feb. 10. Major Schuyler sent Lieut. John Schuyler and Lieut. John Sanders, and fix more to view the Mohaques Fort that was possessed by the Enemy, who brought News, that the French were in both the Forts; of all which he gave advice to Major Ingoldsby at Albany.

Feb. 11. Major Schuyler sent 10 Christians and 40 Indians to lie near the Enemy, and to watch their Motion, who made a small Fort to retreat into, and so spyed what the Enemy did.

Feb. 12. News was brought to Schenectady by some of the said Scouts, that they had heard firing at the Mohaques Forts, which was supposed the Tionondoge Indians against the French; which News Major Schuyler sent forward to Albany. Whereupon Major Ingoldsby detached about 200 Men out of the several Companies of the Militia Fuzileers and Troop, commanded by Capt. Peter Matthews, Capt. Arent Schuyler, Capt. Benj. Phips, Capt. Kibad van Renslaer, and Capt. Tho. Gartin, who arrived at Schenectady about 2 a Clock afternoon, and joyned Major Schuyler: The Waggons with Bread arrived that Night. This day our Scouts brought us the News, that the French were there still, and that they had also cut off the third Castle of the Mohaques, called, Tionondoge, and that none of the upper Indians were come down; all which was advertifed to Major Ingoldsby forthwith, and Major Schuyler sent to him for Orders to march.

Feb. 13. This Morning having received no answer of the said Express, Major Schuyler sent another to march, and being pressed with the Indians, who threatned else to desert us, was forced to march the Men over the River without Orders, which came about 1 a Clock in the Afternoon, when most of the Men were got over the River. This very time we had News by our Scouts, that the French had burnt the Mohaques three Castles, and were marched away, which Major Schuyler ordered Lieut. Young to signifie to Major Ingoldsby. We marched 12 Miles that Evening, being 273 Christians. In the Night about 10 a Clock one of our Scouts came in, and told us that 600 of our uppermost Indians were coming down; Major Schuyler forthwith sent the same Messenger, that brought us the News, to Major Ingoldsby, and desired that Provision and Ammunition should be sent after us, not knowing what the Indians might have occasion for.

Feb. 14. About 1 or 2 a Clock in the Morning we decamped, and marched to the small Fort that was made by our 50 Scouts, about fix a Clock in the Morning, where we had Advice, that the Enemy was not above eight Miles from us; upon which Lieut. Harme van Slyk and two Indians were sent to discover the Enemy, who brought us word they were marched; two Indians came to us with News, that there were 300 of our upper Indians within 20 Miles of us, whereupon we sent two Indians back to hasten them up, and to let them know we were there to joyn them. We sent three Mohaques to discover the Enemy; about 4 a Clock in the Afternoon we decamped, and marched to the Place where the Enemy had lain the Night before.

Feb. 15. In the Morning two of our Indian Scouts returned, (the third being run over to the Enemy) who brought us News they had seen the Enemy within ten Miles. Our Indians came up with us about 12 a Clock, being 290 Men and Boys, some Armed, and some without Arms, a Consult being had, we marched about four a Clock, and encamped all together, having marched about ten Miles that Afternoon. This Night a Consult was held, and Spyes sent to discover the Enemy.

Feb. 16. We marched early in the Morning, and having gone ten Miles, found the place where the Enemy had lain two Nights before; we halted there, an Oneyde Indian came from the Enemy, being sent to our Indians to debauch them over to the French, which Messenger we did not think fit to fend back, being one of the Prisoners taken at Tionondoge. We sent an Express to Major Ingoldsby to acquaint him that the Enemy had built a Fort, and were resolved to fight us, and sent for supplies of Provision, Ammunition, and Men. We marched on toward the Enemy, and met with one of our wounded Indians, who informed, that the Enemy stayed for us in a Fort; upon which we marched about two Miles, where a Christian Boy (Arnant the Interpreters Son) came to us, who had been three years a Prisoner among the French, he gave an Account, that the Enemy were about 6 or 700 Men, and within three Miles; we marched forward to find some convenient place to Encamp, and to fortifie our selves from the Enemy that Night: We had Scouts out (Christians and Indians) all Night to watch the Enemies motion, who brought an account in the Morning, that we were within a Mile of their Fort.

Feb. 17. We decamped, and marched towards the Enemy with Scouts before us, and did not take a dirct line, but went round, for fear of an Ambuscade, and came in fight of their Fort about eight a Clock in the Morning, where our Scouts came and shewed us where the Enemy lay; upon which all the Officers were commanded to take their Posts, and make ready to engage, being 250 Christians, and 290 Indians; the Enemy feeing us, gave three Huzza’s, which we anfwer’d with as many, and as loud as they, and made the Woods ring: our Indians went to work to fall Trees, and fortifie; but the Enemy sallyed out immediately; we engaged them, and beat them back into their Fort; our Indians fell to work again, and desired our Christians to help, which they did; the Enemy sallied out with all their Strength a second time, encouraging their Men, crying, They run, we will cut them all off, and get their Provisions; We received them briskly, and beat them back into their Fort, with the loss of several of their Men: Our Men fell to work again about the Fort; the Enemy sallied out the third time, but were as well repulsed as before, and beat into their Fort with considerable loss, our Indians bringing several of their Heads and Scalps into our Fort; after this the Enemy was quiet, and we finish’d our Fort: as soon as this Skirmish was over, we sent an Express to Major Ingoldsby, to acquaint him what had passed, praying him to hasten our Recruits with Provision and Ammunition, for that the greatest part of our Men had not had any Provision in two days time; we sent our Scouts of Christians and Indians all that Night, to discover our Enemies Motion, and lay all Night in our Fort; it was extream bad, cold, snowy Weather.

Feb. 18. Being cold stormy Weather, and Snow, insomuch that we could scarce fee any Tract; our Scouts came in this Morning, which gave Account that the Enemy were in their Fort, some being still popping at our People. About nine a Clock an Indian that left the French in their Fort, told us, He thought the Enemy would retreat, that they were packing up their Baggage. Upon which Major Schuyler ordered the Captains to draw out their Men to march round the Enemy’s Fort to stop them; but the fame time had an Account they were fled; he commanded the Officers to pursue them, and to hinder their Retreat, till Men and Provisions came up; but the Men wanting Provision, refused to march; the Officers, with 60 Christians, and some Indians, pursued the Enemy till they had made a small Fortification; but the Officers not having Men to engage them, nor to make a Fort, returned back, leaving two Officers with 40 Men and 100 Indians to watch their motion, expecting our Provision to come up that Night.

Feb. 19. About 7 a Clock in the Morning we had an Account that our Provisions were near at hand, which came up to us about nine or ten a Clock with 80 Men, commanded by Capt. Simms; the Provisions being immediately distributed among the Men, those that were first served, were commanded away after the Enemy, with five Baskets a Man: About four a Clock, the Van being commanded by Capt. Peter Matthews and Capt. Arent Schuyler, came up near the Rear of the Enemy, the Scouts telling us the Enemy were within less than English Mile; we desired the Indians to joyn with us to fall upon their Rear, till the rest of our Men came up, fending in the mean time to our People, to march up in all haste; but the Indians halted; and could not be perswaded to march, the Mohaques being most unwilling, because the Enemy had dropt several Prisoners, who told them, that if they pursued them, they would kill all their Wives and Children, whom they had Prisoners; after an hours Consultation of the Indians, most of our Men came up, we marched with all speed, thinking to overtake the Enemy before they got to the River-fide; but there being a flake of Ice in one part of the River, and all open above and below, the Enemy got over before we got up: We encamped by the River-fide that Night.

Feb. 20. In the Morning Major Schuyler resolved to march over the River, to pursue the Enemy, ordering the Officers to get the Men ready for that purpose; but many of the Men being wearied with fatiegue, their Shoes being quite wore out, and Provisions scarce, were not able to make any further pursuit: But that which did most of all discourage us, was, that the Indians had great averseness to pursue or fall upon the Enemy, because of their Wives and Children; whereupon we marched back.

In this Engagement we loft four private Souldiers, and four Indians, two Officers, and twelve Christians, and Indians wounded; and we had an Account by some of our Indian Prisoners that made their Escape, that we killed of the Enemy 33, whereof we found but 27, among which was their Commandant, one Captain, and two other Officers, with two of their commanding Indians, and 26 Wounded. We rescued between forty and fifty Prisoners.

Since their Retreat we are informed by divers of the Prisoners who come home daily, that all our Men Prisoners except five, have made their escape, or are set at Liberty, and but few Women and Children left with them, not being able to carry the Prisoners off, by reason of their Wounded Men, whereof they carried thirteen.

As we did not hear, so we could not expect that your Excellency should in so short time (at that Season of the Year) be advanced so near us as to Schenectady, and that so considerable Supplies could be so speedily got together: And we observed it was no small Encouragement to our Indians to fee your Excellency at the head of 300 Men, besides Volunteers, for our Relief, and theirs; of which we are all sensible.

Peter Schuyler, Major.

Peter Matthews, Capt.

K.V. Renselaer, Capt.

Arent Schuyler, Capt.

Benj. Phipps, Capt.

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