Book and Journal of Robt. B. McAfee's Mounted Company, in Col. Richard M. Johnson's Regiment, from May 19th, 1813, including Orders, &cc.

June 1813

June 1st--we left Piqua and arrived at Lorimer River & Blockhouse about 12 o'clock, which we had to ferry where we found fine bluegrass for our hourses, & we agreed to camp, Capt. Elliston, Capt. Craig, Capt. Davison & Matson campt with me, two large barges also arrived loaded with 70 barrels of flower [sic] each, also several Delaware Indians came to the east side of the creek and pretended great Friendship. 18 miles from Piqua to Lorimer.

June 2, 1813--as we marched we marched on over the worst road I ever traveled and arrived at Ft St Mary's about nine o'clock and campt about a quarter of a mile below the fort on the Bank of the river on high ground near a fine spring which issues out of the bank of the River. The Col. had arrived before us on yesterday and had issued the following order viz, which we on this day receaved--

"Head Quarters, St. Mary's
June the 1st, 1813--
     At the dawn of the day the trumpet shall sound, at the tent of the Commandant, which shall be repeated at the Tents of the Majors & followed by the Sound of the Company Trumpets at which time the whole Regiment shall parade & Continue under Arms until dismissed. On Thursday Morning at 9 o'clock The Adjutant accompanied by the Lieut-Colonel and Capt. Turner Shall proceed to inspect the Regt. by Companies each Major Shall be present when his Battallion is under Inspection, during the stay of the Regt. at this place. The Majors are directed to cause the Captains of their respective Battallions to Muster their Men and Cause to be performed marching and retreating in line & by heads of Sections and cause the line of Battle to be formed upon the Centre and upon the heads of Sections and to teach the principles of flanking by adding detachments or By Opening or extending the line. The Lieut. Colonel and Adjutant are directed to aid and assist the Captains in Teaching the men these various Evolutions.
     Doctor Ewing is Surgeon to the Mounted Regiment in whom the greatest Confidence is placed as to his attention industry and Capacity, and also kind attention to the officers and men, and he should be respected as Controuling the Medical Department.
     Doctor Coburn Surgeons-Mate to be Considered as attached to the 1st Battallion Commanded by Major Payne.
     Doctor Richardson Surgeons-Mate to the Battallion Commanded by Major Thompson. These young Men are Considered of great Merit and Should be respected as such the Physicians will in all cases in which they Considered it Necessary prescribe such Rules in the police of the Camp as my be conducive to health.

Commandant of the Mounted Regiment

June 3rd--Lay in our encampment on the banks of the St Mary's river and mustered our men by practicing a formation of the line of battle & other evolutions in the evening we received the following order:

Campt at St Mary's
June 3rd, 1813
     It is hereby expressly forbidden to fire a gun within two hundred yards of the camp at this place, and no place without the consent of a Captain and when such consent is given the Captain must attend to see tha thte men are trying their guns.
(Signed) JAMES JOHNSON Lt. Co.

June 4th--We lay at our encampment and drew three days provisions and attended to the repairing of our guns and shoeing horses and at night the following order was issued for marching, viz:

Head Quarters Camp at St. Mary's
June 4th, 1813
     The Mounted Regiment shall march in five lines in the following order:
     Capts. McAfee and Matson will form the right column, Capts. Jacob Elliston, Warfield & Elijah Craig the right Flank, Capts. Sam'l Combs & William M. Rice the left Flank, Capts. Coleman and Payne the center, the Majors lead their respective columns. Each Flank shall furnish videts to their respective lines. The different lines will keep the distance of two hundred yards from each other when the wood will admit. A Spy department shall be organized, which shall furnish a front and rear guard to the regiment spies for the purpose of giving information as to the enemy. This department shall keep spies a mile or further in advance of the advance guard, at night shall place spies at a distance from the regiment if different directions more effectually to to prevent alarms and avoid surprises and in the mornings as soon as it is light before the march of the army, to send out a detachment to reconnoitre the ground around the encampment, those who compose the Spy department will encamp within the lines, the encampment shall be a hollow square, the two companies of Capts. McAfee and Stucker shall file in the right & left and Form the front line. Capts. Matson, Elliston and Warfield the right. Davidson, Combs & Rice the left & Capts. Coleman, Payne & Craig the rear. The Pack-horses shall march in front of the center line and in the rear of the front guard--In case of an attack at night each line shall maintain the line at every Hazzard and in case of any necessity a re-inforcement shall be furnished from the spy corps. In case of attack in the line of march the Front guard will maintain their ground until the line of Battle can be formed then retreat to the centerline and wait for orders--The line of battle shall be formed upon the heads of the right and left columns, the companies of Capts. McAfee and Stucker shall file in as in case of forming the hollow square in case of vacancy it shall be supplyed by the center line. In case of a surplus or supernumeraries they shall join the center line, the ballance of the two columns shall join and thereby extend the line of battle, viz--Capt. Matson shall unite with the line formed by Capt. McAfee, the left flank upon the same principle shall extend the line of battle by flanking in the right with positive orders to outflank the enemy, Capt. Craig's company remaining on horseback until he turns the enemy's flank and thereby gets in his rear, and so of the left column and left flank, Capt. Sam'l Combs extending the line of Battle on the left on the Flanking principle & Capt. Rice shall unite with the line formed by Capt. Combs but being on the extreme left shall never dismount until he has turned the wing the flank of the wing then by getting in his rear the Centre Column will form a line of Battle upon the Centre & wait for orders; But this line shall be divided into four equal divisions that assistance may be given to the right or left wing or to the centre. In case of an attack upon the right flank the flank line will stand still and form, the right column will unite with the right flank upon the head of the line & extend it upon the flanking principles, the centre column will unite to the rear of the line of the right flank, & extend it upon the rear, upon the same principles, the front guard to form the flank upon the head of the line of Battle & the left Column to form the flank to the rear of the line of Battle. Neither of which flanks will dismount until the extreme flank is turned, & the left flank march towards the line of Battle in line with 200 paces, & wait for orders, the same order will be formed in case of an attack on the left flank. In case of an attack in the rear the same order will be observed as in forming a line in front by the lines flanking to the right about, & forming the line of Battle upon the heads of Columns on the rear.
     It will be the duty of every Commissioned officer to Understand this order as soon as possible.
     (Signed) R. M. JOHNSON, Col.

June 5th--We left St. Mary's, I took my position in front of the Right column, and got as far as the crossing of St. Mary's 18 miles at 3 o'clock, the river was up and we could not cross, we campt all night wet and raining, and early on

June 6th--We fell trees across the river and carried our plunder over and swam our horses and campt at a creek seven miles short of Camp Fighton, and on

June 7th--We made an early start, and traveled a very muddy road and arrived at Fort Wayne about one hour by the sun--one hour before we got to the fort the Indians about ten or fifteen in number, shot and scalped two boatmen who had with other viz--18 in number with about 1800 barrels of flour, another man jumped out in the St. Mary's and was drowned. The men were killed at the first bend of the river in sight of the fort. We immediately deposited our plunder in the fort yard and pursued the Indians on the road to Five Medal town on Elkhart river about ten or twelve miles dark overtook us and we were forced to give over the pursuit, it raining very hard.

June 8th--We lay at Fort Wayne drew ten days provisions crossed over into the forks of St. Mary's and St. Josephs and campt all night.

June 9th--We started early the left pursued the Indian trail & the right wings went up the River St Josephs about five miles and then struck across and joined the left wing and pursued our march to Elkhart and campt on a ridge near the first lake on the right hand not far from 18 Mile creek raining and wet, we had to sleep by turns without tents as we inteded to go on but were prevented by the rain.

June 10th--Early start and past over the swamp and brush wood six miles this side of Elkhart with as much difficulty as ever an army marched, wind and mire beyond description, as soon as we crossed the river we formed and marched in order of battle and surrounded Five Medal town and found it evacuated; we had understood that it had been rebuilt since we destroyed it last fall, we campt in a hollow in the Prairie, where there was water and near the ruins of the town. This place is situated on the west side of a prairie about five miles long and three wide the handsomest place the world or Nature ever formed.

June 11th--We marched early N. E. thro a neck of the Prararie [sic] then bore round eastwardly and struck the Elkhart river & went down it crosst a large creek with a steep bank about two miles from the Pararie which we called Payne's creek for our Major, we then pursued our march down the river and within ten miles we struck another Indian town which was evacuated, we passed on and in about 7 miles we struck the Prararies which border on the River St Joseph, the most beautiful the sun ever illuminated, we crossed a purling stream which we called pleasant run, we then passed on and in about four miles we crossed a large creek where there were six Indians seen by the Spys and a fresh Indian camp. This creek we called Thompsons creek it nearly swam our horses and in five miles further we crossed another large creek still going up St Josephs River which we called Johnsons creek about 3/4 of a mile up it forked, the left hand we called McAfee creek and the right hand Stucker creek, we went up the left hand fork about 1 mile farther and came to White Pigeon town on the south side of a large Prararie which we found evacuated, we have found the road from Chicago to Detroit which we had been ordered to cross, we staid until 1 hour by sun when we recrossed the creek southwardly and campt on the Bank all night, next morning

June 12th--We left our camp and pursued a south-east course passing part of the way handsome Prararies and open woods the ballance of swamps and brush equal to the worst road in the world. About 2 miles from the creek we campt we passed a large handsome lake on the right hand a mile long and a half a mile wide. We travelled 30 miles this day and campt on a handsome rise on the south side of 2 or 3 lakes the headwaters of Elkhart, we also recrost Elkhart at the distance of about 25 miles as large as Salt River.

June 13th--We left our encampment early and traveled a small trace over swamps and mire as bad as ever was seen, we struck the St Josephs of Lake Erie in about 15 miles and campt on a ridge. Staid all night and next morning passed thro Pararie land and in about 18 miles reached Fort Wayne & campt in the forks of the two rivers. This was

June 14th--It rained nearly every day, it was wet and disagreeable, we have now traveled in the Indian Country nearly 180 miles I believe there are no settlements of the savage tribes this side of St Josephs.

June 15th--We lay in our camp to rest our horses.

June 16th--I sat upon a Court Martial to try some soldiers in fort Wayne and the regiment crosst the St Josephs river in the bottom ready to proceed down the Miami of the Lakes on the north side. We brought down some flour boats opposite our camp about 200 yds below the mouth of the St. Josephs. We lay all night during our stay in camp on the 14th after we returned the following order was issued by the Col. viz--

Camp at Fort Wayne
June the 14th 1813
     Gaming or gambling is prohibited, and the officers of the day & the Captains of the Companies are charged with the execution of this order. The Capts. will cause the arms of their respective Companies to be put in good order tomorrow. On Wednesday the arms of the whole Regt. will be Inspected. The Captains of different Companies will put into requisition his Blacksmith, his Saddler & his Farrier, and cause them to make report of the situation of their respective Companies. The Lieut. Colonel will cause a regimental return to be made of the Regt. & particularly to ascertain the strength of the Regt. when marching against the Indians & to ascertain the number of private & public horses lost on the Campaign. The Guard shall be detailed every morning. Shooting without leave shall be prohibited & the officer of the day & Captains of Companies are charged with the execution of this order.
     Sam'l Theobolds Esq. Judge Advocate to the Regt. is furnished with all the laws respecting the military Establishment and the Articles of War.
     (Signed) RICHARD M. JOHNSON, Col. M. R. Volunteers

     No persons shall cross the river without leave of the Capt. The Captains of Companies shall send to the Fort immediately for the Baggage left there.
     (Signed) R. M. JOHNSON, Col. R. M. V.

June 16th--On the night of the 16th of June our horses broke thro the lines and some of them ran over tents and ran nearly ten miles some up the St. Josephs and some down the Miami.

June 17th--On the 17th we staid in camp waiting for the collecting of horses until 12 o'clock, then moved down the Miami about one mile and campt for the night fine blue grass for our horses. A man who was drowned on yesterday from Capt. Davidson's company was found in the river near our camp and taken out. On this night also our horses ran off.

June 18th--Early on the 18th the Regiment started down the river and marched about 22 miles and campt on the bank of the River on a high bank in open woods just above a spring in a gully near the River. We brought down 17 boats one loaded with Bacon the others with flour.

June 19th--We continued our march down the river over very Bad swampy roads, and small creeks that nearly swam the horses and came 21 miles farter in the old Delaware or Seneca town on the Banks of the river, all grown over with bluegrass and Brush, where we campt all night and it rained very much on us and early in the morning of

June 20th--We went down the river about one mile and swam our horses with great difficulty over to the south side of the river and crossed over in the flat Boats ourselves. We marched on down on the south side of the river to Fort Winchester at the mouth of the Auglaise and campt about 1/2 a mile in a fine bluegrass plain on the Auglaise above the mouth. It rained again upon us, which during this month has not ceased for three days at a time which has operated much against our horses which are reduced and many gave out and it was agreed to stay four or five days.

June 21st--On the 21st a fine pleasant day our men turned out to fish in the Auglaise but about one o'clock an Express arrived giving information that Camp Meigs at the Foot of hte Rapids was again about to be invested and beseiged by the British and Indians. Marching order was immediately given and tho our horses were weak and exhausted we swam them over the Miami of the Lakes to the North side and my company, Capt. Elliston, Warfield and Rice and the two Spy companies of Church and Berry went down River six miles to Camp No 3 on the Bank of the River made by Genl. Winchester and campt all night.

June 22--At sunrise the Ballance of the Regiment came up and we marched on only halting a moment in the Prararie de Rouche where a Frenchman has lived and stopt and eat and grazed our horses it began to rain again upon us and we marched again without halting passing the head of the Rapids at 5 o'clock and Roche-de-bou at dark leaving our boats loaded with flour at the head of the Rapids and about ten o'clock at night arrived on the Bank opposite Fort Meigs and campt for the night. We met an Express advising us to be cautious in our approach to the Fort, and on the next morning,

June 23rd--When the morning gun fired from the Fort at Daybreak our horses became alarmed and 3 or 4 hundred of them ran off towards the River Raisin. We purused them and got nearly all and then crossed over to the Fort and campt in the flat and on the Bank of the River above the fort, the head of one line at which I was campt at a spring near the head of a small Bio.

June 24th--We lay in camp and was in fort Part of the day. Spys were sent out in Different directions but made no discoveries of importance and the following order was issued by the Col. viz--

In Camp near Fort Meigs,
June 24th, 1813

     Each Capt. of the Mounted Regiment will every morning on or before 7 o'clock report to the Quarter Master the Quantity of provisions, clothing, camp Equipage or any thing else he may want on that--

Align=RIGHT>(Signed) RH. M. JOHNSON, Col. M. Rgt.

Also the following order from the Caption of the Artificers:

     Capt. McAfee will proceed to put his guns in the neatest and best order for complete inspection by tomorrow at 9 o'clock.

June 24th, 1813,
(Signed)SAML. TURNER, Capt. Artificers

In obedience to which last order we proceeded to put our Arms in good order and on Friday--

June 25th--We paraded and had our Arms inspected. We also sent out Spy detachments in different directions and in the evening some guns were stated to have been heard down the River from the Fort. By the direction of the Col. I ordered out fifty men (as officer of the day) to cross the River and Reconnoitre, which was immediately done with promptitude and zeal. After crossing the river and proceeding as far as the site of the old British garrison two young men who had gone after horses were met which put an end to further sensations. This is a moment when great exertions ought to be made for our country.

Saturday, June 26th--A Picket guard was sent out to prevent horses from running away, also a detachment under the command of Capt. Davidson was sent down on the north side of the River to Reconnoitre the country and look for horses, this place appears to assume new life & action.


The appearance of the country on our scout thro the Indian lands--

From St Marys on the road to Fort Wayne, 10 miles good land level and intermixed with some few swamps, there we crossed a large creek and in about two miles open prararie lands for 8 miles to the crossing of the St Marys, then in general level swampy land with some good land intermixed for about 30 miles, then 7 miles part very good land swampy, & some poor and bad.

Fort Wayne is upon a high commanding level opposite the mouth of the St Josephs River on the south side of the Maume River up the St Josephs River on the west side fine rich land, Northwest fine land for ten miles then poor oak Barren swampy also prararie land for twelve miles to Elliston creek where there is fine Bluegrass--then 5 miles good land, then 12 miles open prararie land delightful to the eye but not very Rich--some fine lakes on the right & left and two or 3 small Creeks, then 9 mils thro rich land fine sugar trees and some few swamps to Elkhart River, then 3 miles to five Medal town thru fine open grassy land no small growth. Where the town is a delightful prararie 4 miles long by 3 wide, a long open corner to the N. E. down Elkhart River for 4 miles, then 8 miles to the strawberry village near Bushy, poor oak lands and swampy then open prararie lands up the St Josephs River of Lake Michigan for 20 miles to the White Pidgeon village near a very large handsome prararie, then S. E. 10 miles fine open land to where we recrost the Elkhart about 25 miles above Medal village, and on to the St Josephs River of Lake Eri [sic], for 3 miles below Fort Wayne on the N. side fine level Bluegrass planes, then some rich land, bad swamps and 4 or five creeks with steep Banks. The Banks of the Miami on the N. side are generally high and command the south, the old Delaware village 6 miles above Fort Winchester is rich then crossing the River you pass thro Bushy woods for 4 miles then open white oak barren plains down to the Fort, the land on the river below Winchester is rich beyond description large walnuts, sugar trees, Buckeye &c. for 14 miles then open white oak land 10 miles to the Prararie-de-Roche then oak land the balance of the way 6 miles to the head of the Rapids, then some prararie land and open woods to a large rock in the river called Roche-de-bou from thence 8 miles to Fort Meigs. Keeping near the river and in an open prararie Bottom for 2 miles, then across a woodland point where Gen'l Harrison Built a Block-house and his provisions then in an open prarie Bottom 1/4 of a mile wide 2 miles to Fort Meigs.

June 27th--Sunday--I was ordered with 100 hundred men under my command to ascend the Rapids three miles above Roche-de-boo which is about 8 miles from the Fort for some flour the boats we brought with us had left. I accordingly with Capt. Sam'l Combs & 85 men started about 2 o'clock with boats canoes and skifts ascended the River with great difficulty and campt on the bank of the N. E. side of the River about 250 yards below a large rock in the middle of the River called Rock-de-book early on

June 28th--We went on up the River passing between the Rock and the right hand shore which is a ledge of Rock about 30 feet high for half a mile, passed over several bad riffles and loaded our canoes & boats from the point of the 1st Island above the rock just below the full rapids where there are several old cabbins and immediately descended the River again, having to get out in the water and drag our perogue over the Rocks. Doct. Hamilton 1st Lieutenant of Capt. Craig's Company and Hawkins Craig managed our Perogue with a Frenchman called Mr. Poll we got back about 11 o'clock with about 150 barrels of flour and received considerable credit for our expedition in bringing in the flour. A great waste takes place in the provisions of the Army 1/3 of the flour is spoilt before it gets to the Fort Meigs by being brought in open boats.

In the evening of this day about 3 o'clock Gen'l Harrison arrived at the fort with his suit which caused great joy and firing of cannons and about 5 o'clock Col. Anderson with between 2 & 3 hundred regulars from Tennessee arrived to the great joy of the fort and campt on the River above us. Warm sultry weather.

June 29th--Col. Rh. M. Johnson and Col. James Johnson went by order of Gen'l Harrison with 150 men to the River Rezin to explore the situation of the enemy. They got to Frenchtown where Gen'l Winchester had his battle about midnight and took ten French prisoners two of whom were real Canadians and at light

June 30th--100 more men started & at 1 o'clock the whole returned bringing in two Prisoners having discovered a trail of Indians coming to Fort Meigs. They say there are fine fields of wheat at Rezin River. They receaved considerable credit for their expedition having marched 72 miles in 25 hours. The account was that a considerable body of Indians were collecting at Browntown and that 19 Indians had started yesterday for Fort Meigs and 100 to Lower Sandusky, to steal horses and kill people.

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  • Transcriber's Notes:

    Updated May 27, 2000. This transcription is copyrighted by . It may be freely used for non-commercial purposes and family research, but must not be used for any other purpose without written permission from the transcriber.