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MICHIGAN CHAPTER 12

Complete Defeat of the Savages

To this Gladwin sent a defiant negative. The attacks were renewed with increased viru-lance. The savages were reinforced by one hundred and fifty Ojibwas from Grand River. These fresh arrivals were eager for the fray while the men in the fort were nearly exhausted with their ceaseless vigilance. For weeks, in all kinds of weather, the soldiers walked guard and slept upon the ramparts. * To make the situation worse, the supply of provisions was running short. In fact, the garrison must have been completely starved out, but for the assistance of the French, especially of Mr. Baby and others living upon the opposite side of the river, who under cover of night brought over in boats beef, pork and other supplies, without the knowledge of the savages. The latter on their own part were beginning to feel the pinch of hunger. An immense army had been gathered and in the camp was a great horde of women and children, so there were many mouths to feed. This army had no organized commissary. It lived on the country. The French farmers up and down the river felt the effects. The savages made free with their cattle, pigs, chickens, ravaged their fields and gardens, and wasted and destroyed as much as they used. Thereupon the farmers sent a delegation to Pontiac to protest against the outrage. The council was held at the house of Mr. Meloche, where Campbell and McDougall were still detained as prisoners. To their complaints Pontiac replied that doubtless some of the injuries complained of were committed by his young men who did not realize what they were doing, but he reminded his friends that the war of extermination which he was waging against the English was as much in their interests as his own; that the movements of an army were necessarily more or less destructive to the region which it occupied and through which it must move. He said he only asked for provisions for himself and his men. These they could well afford to supply, since it would be to their interests In the end.

MICHIGAN


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