[Footnote 751: Rogers says “about six hundred.” Other accounts say six or seven hundred. The late Abbe Maurault, missionary of the St. Francis Indians, and their historian, adopts the latter statement, though it is probably exaggerated.]
This was the place to which Rogers had requested that provisions might be sent; and the hope of finding them there had been the breath of life to the famished wayfarers. To their horror, the place was a solitude. There were fires still burning, but those who made them were gone. Amherst had sent Lieutenant Stephen up the river from Charlestown with an abundant supply of food; but finding nobody at the Amonoosuc, he had waited there two days, and then returned, carrying the provisions back with him; for which outrageous conduct he was expelled from the service. “It is hardly possible,” says Rogers, “to describe our grief and consternation.” Some gave themselves up to despair. Few but their indomitable chief had strength to go father. There was scarcely any game, and the barren wilderness yielded no sustenance but a few lily bulbs and the tubers of the climbing plant called in New England the ground-nut. Leaving his party to these miserable resources, and promising to send then relief within ten days, Rogers made a raft of dry pine logs, and drifted on it down the stream, with Captain Ogden, a ranger, and one of the captive Indian boys. They were stopped on the second day by rapids, and gained the shore with difficulty. At the foot of the rapids, while Ogden and the ranger went in search of squirrels, Rogers set himself to making another raft; and having no strength to use the axe, he burned down the trees, which he then divided into logs by the same process. Five days after leaving his party he reached the first English settlement, Charlestown, or “Number Four,” and immediately sent a canoe with provisions to the relief of the sufferers, following himself with other canoes two days later. Most of the men were saved, though some died miserably of famine and exhaustion. Of the few who had been captured, we are told by French contemporary that they “became victims of the fury of the Indian women,” from whose clutches the Canadians tried in vain to save them.
[Footnote 752: Evenements de la Guerre en Canada, 1759, 1760. Compare N.Y. Col. Docs., X. 1042.]
NOTE: On the day after he reached “Number Four,” Rogers wrote a report of his expedition to Amherst. This letter is printed in his Journals, in which he gives also a supplementary account, containing further particulars. The New Hampshire Gazette, Boston Evening Post, and other newspapers of the time recount the story in detail. Hoyt (Indian Wars, 302) repeats it, with a few additions drawn from the recollections of survivors, long after. There is another account, very short and unsatisfactory, by Thompson Maxwell, who says that he was of the party, which is doubtful. Mante (223) gives horrible