The War Chief of the Ottawas : A chronicle of the Pontiac war eBook

Thomas Guthrie Marquis
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 83 pages of information about The War Chief of the Ottawas .
of August it was hazardous for any one to venture outside the walls; but for nearly a month no attack was to be made on the fort itself.  However, as news of the capture of the other forts reached the garrison, and as nearly all the messengers sent to the east were either slain or forced to return, it was evident that, in delaying the attack on Fort Pitt, the Indians were merely gathering strength for a supreme effort against the strongest position in the Indian territory.

On June 22 a large body of Indians assembled in the forest about the fort, and, creeping stealthily within range of its walls, opened fire from every side.  It was the garrison’s first experience of attack; some of the soldiers proved a trifle overbold, and two of them were killed.  The firing, however, lasted but a short time.  Ecuyer selected a spot where the smoke of the muskets was thickest, and threw shells from his howitzers into the midst of the warriors, scattering them in hurried flight.  On the following day a party came within speaking distance, and their leader, Turtle’s Heart, a Delaware chief, informed Ecuyer that all the western and northern forts had been cut off, and that a host of warriors were coming to destroy Fort Pitt and its garrison.  He begged Ecuyer to withdraw the inmates of the fort while there was yet time.  He would see to it that they were protected on their way to the eastern settlements.  He added that when the Ottawas and their allies arrived, all hope for the lives of the inhabitants of Fort Pitt would be at an end.  All this Turtle’s Heart told Ecuyer out of ’love for the British.’  The British officer, with fine humour, thanked him for his consideration for the garrison, but told him that he could hold out against all the Indians in the woods.  He could be as generous as Turtle’s Heart, and so warned him that the British were coming to relieve Fort Pitt with six thousand men; that an army of three thousand was ascending the Great Lakes to punish the Ottawa Confederacy; and that still another force of three thousand had gone to the frontiers of Virginia.  ‘Therefore,’ he said, ’take pity on your women and children, and get out of the way as soon as possible.  We have told you this in confidence, out of our great solicitude, lest any of you should be hurt; and,’ he added, ’we hope that you will not tell the other Indians, lest they should escape from our vengeance.’  The howitzers and the story of the approaching hosts had their effect, and the Indians vanished into the surrounding forest.  For another month Fort Pitt had comparative peace, and the garrison patiently but watchfully awaited a relieving force which Amherst was sending.  In the meantime news came of the destruction of Presqu’isle, Le Boeuf, and Venango; and the fate of the garrisons, particularly at the last post, warned the inhabitants of Fort Pitt what they might expect if they should fall into the hands of the Indians.

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The War Chief of the Ottawas : A chronicle of the Pontiac war from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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