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Lieutenant Garrett, with his command, consisting of twenty men, about a mile and a half from the village were surrounded, and after surrendering, all were massacred except the Lieutenant himself. Another party of thirty men, who had escaped for three miles, were overtaken by the savages and more than half of them shot and tomahawked, and thus in a brief while a majority of those who were in the retreat were sacrificed. The snow was deep and the cold was intense, so they were unable to march or elude their pursuers. General Winchester and Colonel Lewis were captured a short distance from the village and were taken back to the British lines.
But the British and Indians met a superior sort of courage from within the protected space. The troops there, under Major Benjamin Graves and Major George Madison, formed their men within a line embraced by the picket fence, resolving to sell their lives as dearly as possible. Major Graves, being shot in the knee, bandaged his own wound, telling his men never to mind him but to fight on.
A six-pounder used by the British had been posted behind a small house two hundred yards from the lines of the Kentuckians. Supplies of ammunition had been furnished by a horse and sleigh. The Kentucky riflemen promptly killed the horse and cut off the chance of supplying the six-pounder with ammunition. Again and again was the attempt made to dislodge the little band of Kentuckians, and Proctor was finally compelled to withdraw his forces to the woods and to await the return of his Indian allies, who had pursued the retreating party.
General Proctor, the British commander, resolved to do by strategem and deception what he was unable to do by force. He persuaded General Winchester to send an order to the Kentuckians to surrender. Major Madison was unwilling to obey any such order, taking the ground that since Winchester was a prisoner he had no right to issue such an order. Proctor himself went forward for the purpose of negotiating a surrender. He demanded an immediate surrender, claiming that he would set the town on fire and the Indians would commit an indiscriminate massacre. Major Madison still refused to surrender, saying it had been customary for the Indians to massacre all prisoners after surrender, and he would not agree to any capitulation which General Winchester might direct unless the safety and protection of his men were stipulated. He attempted to bully Major Madison, and asked him if he intended to dictate to him (Proctor), to which Madison replied that he intended to dictate to himself, and he preferred to sell the lives of himself and his men as dearly as possible rather than be massacred in cold blood. Proctor then agreed to make terms, by providing that all private property should be respected; that sleds should be sent next morning to move the sick and wounded to Fort Malden, near Amherstburg, but in the meantime the prisoners should be protected by a guard, and the sidearms of the officers should be restored to them at Malden. As there was but little hope of reinforcement, and as their ammunition had now been reduced to one third of a small keg of cartridges, there was nothing to do but accept these terms.
Shortly after the surrender the prisoners were marched toward Malden, Proctor saying that as soon as his wounded should be taken to Malden the American wounded would be attended to. Doctors Todd and Bowers, of the Kentucky volunteers, were left with the wounded, and the only guard that was left was an English major named Reynolds and two or three interpreters. On the following morning, about sunrise, instead of the sleds which were promised to carry the wounded and sick, a large body of Indians returned to Frenchtown, painted black and red. These Indians held a council, and it was resolved that all the wounded should be killed in revenge for the warriors they had lost in battle.
They then began to plunder the houses of the inhabitants, and break into those where the wounded lay, strip