Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Doctor Samuel M'Keehan 1813.


On the 31st January last I was ordered, by General Harrison, to proceed to the river Raisin, with a flag of truce, and from thence to Maiden, if not stopped by the Indians. We arrived at the foot of the rapids of the Miami, at dark, and not finding a company of rangers as expected, we encamped in a cave, the horse and carryall before the door, and the flag standing by them. About midnight the Indians fired in upon us, killed Mr. Lemont, wounded myself in the foot, and made us prisoners. After dispatching Mr. Lemont with the tomahawk, scalping and stripping him, they seized my horse, harness, great coat, blankets, and other clothing, and one hundred dollars in gold, which the General had sent to procure necessaries for the wounded of General Winchester’s army.

That night I was made to walk more than twenty miles, to where Captain Elliot was stationed with a party of Indians. The captain treated me politely, and sent me to Colonel Proctor. I was scarcely seated before the Colonel began to exclaim against Gen. Harrison; said he had been used to fight Indians and not British; found fault with my instructions, and said the flag was only a pretext to cover a bad design. I rebutted his insinuations with indignation, which I believe has been the cause of all my troubles since. I was not recognized, in my official character, until the 5th of February, when I was informed by Proctor’s aid that I should attend on the wounded with Doctor Bower, and that I would be sent to the United States, but by a different route from that which I came. Doctor Bower in a few days was sent home and I detained.

On the 2d of March, I was arrested, by order of Colonel Proctor, and accused of carrying on a private correspondence. On the 8th, without having any trial, ordered to Montreal, and hurried on from Port George, night and day, although thinly clothed, and the weather very cold. Front Kingston to Prescott, I was made to eat with the officers’ servants. This course of torture being finished, on the 28th, when I arrived. in Montreal, and without being asked any questions, or suffered to ask any myself, I was put into the dungeon, eight or ten feet below the surface of the ground, where find neither bed nor bedding, chair, bench, or stool denied pen, ink, anti paper, or even the use of a book, for two weeks. The only current of air that passed through my apartment came through the bowels of the privy! Here I was kept thirty-three days, when I was, to my great joy, put up with the American prisoners, and with them permitted to remain, till last Monday, when I was liberated by the intercession of Lieutenant Dudley, of the navy. Colonel Baynes, aid to the Governor, told me the outrage which had been committed on my person was contrary to his orders.

I left fourteen American prisoners in gaol, viz: George H. Rodgers, United States’ army; Wm. Hollenback, Onis Hooker, Philaster Jones, Harry Jones, Lewis Minor, Zebina Conkey, Phiney Conkey, Canton; Seth Barnes, Camden; Jared Witheril, John Campbell, Schoharie; Major Watson, Ogdensburg; Alexander M’Gregor, Balston, who were kept in close confinement, notwithstanding Colonel Lethbridge and Major Shackleton had pledged their words to Captain Conkey, before he left Montreal for Quebec, that they should have the liberty of the town during the day. But the Captain was scarcely gone, when the pledge was either forgotten or disregarded. The prisoners now are not permitted to procure such things as their small stock of money would provide. Sometimes they are half a day without water, and two or three days without wood; and if they complain they are cursed and abused by the gaoler, and told they are only allowed a quart of water in the day. I am requested to represent their situation to General Dearborn, which I intend to do as soon as I arrive at Sackett’s Harbor.
This is a sketch of the indignities I have had to put up with since the last of January.
I am, yours, &c.
SAMUEL M’KEEHAN, Surgeon’s Mate 2d Regiment Ohio Militia.


Geo. H. Rodgers, U. S. Army.
Gains Hooker.
Jared Witherall.
Lewis Minor.
Pliny Conkey.
Wm. Hollenback.
Philaster Jones.
Major Watson.
John Campbell.
David Johnston.
Seth Barns.
Danny Jones.
Alex’r M’ Gregor.
Zebina Conkey.

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