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MICHIGAN CHAPTER 12

Complete Defeat of the Savages

It had been his custom to act independently, to shoot from ambush, to avoid exposing himself in the open. Such a thing as marching in a body in the face of fire to assault a fortified position was wholly inconceivable to him. He could never be brought to do it, though Pontiac besought his French allies to show his people how the thing was done. When the English were fully convinced of this they breathed easier. They had only to watch against surprise and treachery.
The desultory shooting and skirmishing went on without event of importance until September. Then the schooner Gladwin returning from Niagara was attacked in the river at night and a most desperate fight ensued. The savages were driven off, however, with a loss of fifteen killed and as many more wounded. The schooner lost her captain and four of the crew. The men who so bravely defended the ship were later on rewarded with medals of honor. Shortly afterwards came rumors of the approach of Major Wilkins with reinforcements and this led the savages to relax their warlike plans. Accordingly the great chief of the Mis-sissaugas visited the fort and made overtures of peace to Gladwin. The latter declined to treat but granted an armistice of which he took prompt advantage to fully provision the fort for the winter. In November came news that Wilkins' detachment had been overwhelmed by a storm on the lake; the boats were wrecked and all the supplies and ammunition were lost, while seventy of the men perished. The Indians departed for their winter hunt. Pontiac retired to his camp on the Maumee and Detroit was left to enjoy a s«son of undisturbed repose. In the spring hostilities were renewed, but in a desultory sort of way. It was not safe for an Englishman to wander far from the fort or go into the forest in search of game. He was in great danger of being shot or scalped, so numerous and belligerent were the savages.

MICHIGAN


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