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of the day, in order to keep pace with the cavalry in front, the infantry marched on the half run.
On the 3d of October, by the break of day, the American army was in line. A few hours' march brought them to the mouth of the Thames, where it empties into Lake St. Clair. Here the spies under Chaplain Suggett discovered a small party of dragoons; they pursued and captured the dragoons, who had undertaken to destroy a bridge over a small creek at the mouth of the river. Five of these British soldiers had crossed the Thames River in a boat, but they were forced by Captain Berry, of Colonel Johnson's spies, to bring back the boat and surrender.
Here, unfortunately, one of the horses belonging to the dragoons made his escape, and his wild run into the British lines gave Proctor the first intimation of the approach of the American troops. The sight of the red-coats and of the captured men gave renewed zeal and animation to the American forces.
The second night the Americans camped ten miles above the mouth of the Thames, and next morning at daylight resumed the rapid gait of the day before, with the belief on their part that during the day they would be able to force the British to stand and give battle.
About midday, at the Fork of the Thames, the Indians and British attempted to dispute the passage of the right
hand fork and had torn the planks off the bridge. After a warm skirmish the Indians were driven away from the upper bridge, which was seized by Colonel Johnson with a loss of two men killed and seven wounded. Among the wounded was Captain Elijah Craig, who subsequently died. The Indians had thirteen killed and a large number wounded.
During the day, Walk-in-the-Water, a Wyandot chief, had deserted the British with a company of warriors. On the preceding day he had a conference with General Harrison, and offered to make a treaty, to which the General replied that this was not the time to make treaties, and if he desired peace he had better abandon his British friends and get out of the way of the American army.
After marching about six miles it was found impossible for the troops to proceed farther. Burdened with their heavy muskets, their ammunition and blankets, required as they were to carry all their baggage on their persons, it was impossible to make any further advance; so they camped for another night, but with the consciousness that their enemies were not far away. At this point two twenty-four pounders and a large quantity of bullets and shells were captured. The troops consequently slept on their arms behind a breastwork of wood, logs, and brush which was found around the encampment.
Until ten o'clock General Harrison rode around superintending and inspecting the arrangements for the night, and during the entire night Governor Shelby was on active duty, passing from one part of the line to another to see that proper diligence was observed, and for a short time before daybreak he rested on a blanket on the ground with one of his soldiers. The troops were aroused at dawn, and by the time it was fully light the whole army was in motion.
Colonel Johnson's regiment took the lead, with which was General Harrison and his staff, and the infantry followed, as rapidly as was possible, under the command of Governor Shelby.
By nine o'clock the Americans reached a mill, where there is a rapid in the river, at which place it was possible to ford the river on horseback. Here several boats and barges loaded with military stores and prisoners had been captured early in the morning. In the mill, on the north side of the river, some of the Americans who passed over found a British lieutenant and eight privates, and from them the information was received that the allied force of British and Indians had determined to give battle at no very great distance east.
The old military trail and road at this point crosses over to the north side of the river, and General Harrison determined to march forward on this trail. The river being fordable for horsemen, each of Colonel Johnson's mounted militia took an infantryman behind him. This put twelve hundred of the footmen on the north side, and the balance were crossed over in canoes, which were quietly floated down the river to this point. As soon as the troops were all over, the line of march was formed, and the entire force advanced at the former rapid gait.
The road had been laid out straight; the river being tortuous, it was only now and then that the two converged. At every such point a large amount of military stores, provisions, and clothing was found, which the enemy had left on their hurried retreat.
Eight miles from the crossing, after a march of two and a half hours, the Americans camped upon the place where Colonel Warburton and the British soldiers had rested the night before. Here it was learned that General Proctor and his Indian allies were about four miles above, or at least had been on the preceding day.
It now became evident that the enemy was close at hand, and Colonel Johnson's mounted men were directed to march with all possible rapidity to procure the necessary information and to bring the enemy to bay.
Two miles from the camp the advance guard captured a British wagoner, from whom it was learned that the