The War Chief of the Six Nations eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 100 pages of information about The War Chief of the Six Nations.
whom Butler had with him were Senecas, while the rest were Indians from the western tribes, and that Brant’s tribe, the Mohawks, were not present.  Nevertheless the Wyoming slaughter differs only in degree from other scenes of bloodshed and plunder in which Brant took part.  In the month, indeed, in which the vale of Wyoming was being bathed in blood, he swept down on the little hamlet of Andrustown, and, bearing away a few captives and much booty, disappeared with his followers in the surrounding forest.

It was now nearing the time of harvest, and in the Mohawk valley the grain had ripened to a golden brown.  Even amid the din of war men must live, and so the settlers began to garner the season’s crop.  Nowhere on the river were there fuller barns than in the populous district that went by the name of the German Flatts.  Bordering the Mohawk river on either side, it stretched for ten miles along the valley, rich in soil, and with broad green pastures and plenteous herds.  The settlers knew that the enemy was not far off, and they grew more afraid of attack with each passing day.  They had two strongholds to which they could flee in case of trouble, Fort Herkimer on one bank of the river, Fort Dayton on the other; but these would be of little use to the settlers if they had not sufficient warning of the approach of the enemy.  Mindful of this, they sent four of their number to act as scouts and to warn the settlement of any danger.  While on this mission three of the party met with death at the hands of their adversaries, but the fourth escaped and hastened back to the German Flatts.  One evening, just before sunset, he arrived with the fearful tidings that Brant was moving up the river with a large band of Indians and would soon be upon them.  The alarm was spread through the valley, and men, women, and children gathered up what articles of value they could take with them in their hurried flight, and rushed pell-mell to the forts.  During the evening some carried off a portion of their household effects in small boats.  In the meantime Caldwell, commanding a party of rangers, with Indians under Brant, had come to the outskirts of the settlement.  Then, even before the first gleam of daylight had begun to slant across the valley, the Indians were flitting like ghostly spectres in and out among the buildings.  Almost at the same moment flames arose in every direction, flashing and darting against the morning sky.  Powerless to stay the destruction, the settlers, huddled behind their defences, witnessed a melancholy sight.  Houses and barns, everything that could be given to the fire, were soon a heap of smoking embers.

Caldwell had no means of laying siege to the forts, as he was without cannon; so he made no effort to effect their capture.  But he did not check his warriors from roaming at will over the valley.  Running down the slopes into the pasture land, they rounded up the horses, the herds of black cattle, and the browsing sheep; and, having collected these together, they drove them from the meadows and disappeared with them among the trees.  Before sundown they were many miles away, leaving behind desolation and blank dismay.

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The War Chief of the Six Nations from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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