"Captain Gilbert Tice's Journal"

October 5th 1781

Transcribed By James F. Morrison


Friday 5th. I received orders from Colonel Johnson to embark on board the Caldwell with One Hundred Indians to joyn Major Ross was embarked about 12 o'clock and sailed at two for Oswego.

6th Was in sight of Great Asodus but a hard gale of wind from the North drove us over to Toronto.

7th. Little wind.

8th. A fair wind, we made for Oswego & arrived the 9th at 10 o'Clock in the morning, found Major Ross there with his Detachment from Carleton Island.

10th. In the evening received order from major Ross to march next day in the front with the Indians. The Rangers to march next to me.

11th. Marched at One o'Clock P.M. encamped at the Half Way Creek. In the evening Lt. Rykman came to me, being sent by Col. Johnson through the Castles to order the Indians to join me at Oswego, but no Indians with him, the Reason they gave for not coming was, because they had no Mockasons, or anything to go to War with these.

12th. Marched to Oswego Falls and encamped.

13th. Marched to the Three Rivers and encamped there. Nine Onandagas met me with a Scalp & a Prisoner taken at the Fall Hill which they delivered up to me according to custom.

14th. The Boats set off from the Three Rivers for Canasarago Creek & arrived at Fort Bruenton, in the evening encamped there - The Indians & Rangers marched by Land.

15th. Set off from Bruenton, arrived at Canasarago Creek at 10 in the morning & proceeded up the Creek about 10 miles, encamped and agreed to Leave our Boats.

16th. The People that went by land arrived in the morning.

17th. Captain David & 10 Indians set out to the German Flats for a Prisoner, we marched the same time & encamped four miles on this side Canajoharere.

18th. Marched & past old Oneida about two miles & encamped. That night Lt. Dachstedder (of the Rangers) was taken very ill, and died next day.

19th. Marched for Herkimer's Lake & encamped at a small Creek running South, Five Onandagas joined me with a Prisoner taken at Little Falls who told us Sir John was at Crown Point with a large army.

20th. P.M. Encamped at a Branch of the Unundella, Captn David joined me in the evening with a Prisoner taken at Fall Hill who told us the same news as the above Prisoner.

21st. Marched & passed Tunnachifts Place & struck for Croghan's Lake instead of Herkimer's encamped at New Town Martin.

23rd. Marched & passed the Upper end of Cherry Valley, & encamped within four miles of Durlach.

24th. Mr. Hare, Ind'n Dept & 10 Indians went on a Scout to take a Prisoner & joined us.

He took 6 Prisoners but found he could not overtake returned to the Boats. We marched same day & passed Durlack & came to Corrys Town, the evening marched down the road to the Mohock River, took a number of Prisoners who informed of Six Hundred Militia being on Schnectady and Four Hundred Continental Troops, & Willet atg Canajohary with Four Hundred more, & Five Hundred at Schohare. We continued our march down the River, crossed Schohare Creek above Fort Hunter at 3 o'Clock in the morning of the 25th. Halted within a mile of Warren's Bush till day break. Then I received orders from Major Ross to detach myself with the Indians & Officers of the Department & some Rangers to destroy the Settlement of Warren's Bush whilst the Troops marched along the main Road to support us in case of an attack from the Enemy. We finished about 10o'clock in the morning & joined Major Ross within 12 miles of Schnectady. Then wheeled about, marched up the Mohock River, crossed at Fort Johnson and took the main road to Johnstown, went through the Town, passed the Hall & halted in the Fields above it, and began to collect Provisions, all this time without any Interruption, from the Enemy.

About 3 o'Clock P.M. I received orders from Major Ross to march with the Indians, the nearest & best way to Carleton Island. When I had got a mile in the woods, I received orders from Major Ross to halt with the Indians & immediately join the Rangers in the Rear that the Enemy was advancing on us very fast in a large Body, Immediately fulfilled his orders & just as I joined the Rangers, the attack began by a Volley from the Rangers, which was immediately followed by the Indian Department -- with their usual yells, & rushing on the Rebels which put them immediately to flight. The Enemy were closely pursued but our whole Body which soon drove them back to the Clear Field, where Colol Willet lay as a Reserve with his best Troops & two Field Pieces, but did not stop their Flight or our pursuit, we followed them across the Fields above half a mile, took one of the Field Pieces with all their Ammunition & killed a number of them, and took seven Prisoners, At this time Col Willet kept possession of the rising ground on our Right and galled us very much & obliged us to return and dislodge them. The dispute was very obstinate on both sides, which lasted till dark when we left the Field, and the Cannon which we took, but destroyed the Ammunition. The Enemy did not pursue us. The Officers and Soldiers in general behaved with a great deal of Spirit during the whole action.

We marched about Six miles on the Rout for Carleton Island and continued it the 26th.

27th. Received orders from Major Ross to send an Express to the Boats.

28th & 29th. Without being disturbed by the Enemy either Front or Rear.

29th. Major Ross told me that as the Six Nations wanted to go home through their own Country he would meet them at my fire place to thank them for their good Behaviour & shake hands with them, which was done.

30th. Major Ross marched for Carleton Island with all the Troops and I for Niagara with the Six Nation Department, about 2 o'Clock that afternoon four Onandagas of Oswegatchy & one Delaware over took me & said Major Ross was pursued by a large Body of Rebels, but as we heard no firing we could not know what to think of it. Continued our march to Fort Stanwix where we arrived on the 2nd Novr. All well, found no Enemy, we went into old Oneida.

3rd Novr. Arrived at the place where we left our Boats, found everything gone, only Six Boats cut to pieces & sunk. That night about 12 o'Clock Six Rangers come up with us and said the Enemy had fallen in with their Rear, the 30th Oct, in the morning & pursued them to the Large Canada Creek, where they were attached and Captain Butler killed. The 4th Novr. finding nothing there we returned to the Broken Boats, hauled one of them up out of the water found five large Holes cut in her, which we stopped with pieces of Boards & nails of the other Boats & went in her to Oswego where we arrived the 7th of Novr in the evening, found Captain Baker there with the Caldwell and all our Boats & people.

From the 25th October to the 7th Novr we had nothing but horse meat to eat, & but little of that.

We sailed from Oswego 11th Novr and arrived at Niagara the 12th.

I had three Indians killed in the Engagement and four wounded. Sagueresa's Brother is one of the killed & two Onandagas & Christian the Oneida is one of the wounded.

(signed) Gilbt. Tice.


Capt Tice's Journal of the
Proceedings with the Indians on
the late Expedition in October 1781.


Source: Gilbert Tice, U.E., Ernest Green, Ontario Historical Society, Vol. XXI, pp 186-197, 1924.

These journal pages were generously typed by Bette Hill, of Virginia, and she writes:  "I know Mark and Martha Cooper both died in Gloversville.  My ancestors lived downtown (37 South Main, 14 Park Street and 57 Forest Street) about 1900.  I think they were Baptists, but I'm not sure about that."


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Copyright 2000, Bette Hill, Jeanette Shiel
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Last updated Tuesday, 13-May-2008 13:37:44 PDT