Letters from Home: Period Accounts

The Colbrath Journal, part 1

We begin something new in this space, as "Letters from Home" now presents transcriptions of period documents. The Colbrath journal (as transcribed here) was originally found in a trunk in a house in Schenectady, NY. This particular version is found in "Fort Johnson", written by W. Max Reid, published in 1906 by G.P. Putnam's sons, NY. Any discrepencies between this source and the original should be reported to the scribe.

1777 – Journal of the most material occurrences preceding the siege of Fort Schuyler (formerly Fort Stanwix) with an account of that siege, etc.

April 17th – A detachment of Colonel Gansevoort's regiment,
under the command of Major Cochran, arrived to reinforce
Colonel Elmore, who was stationed there.

May 3d – Colonel Gansevoort arrived and took command
of the garrison agreeable to instructions.

May 10th – Colonel Elmore's regiment march for Albany.

May 28th – The remainder of the regiment under the command of Colonel Willett arrived here from Fort Constitution, who informed Colonel Gansevoort that by order of Major Gen. Gates he had relieved Fort Dayton (then in charge of Lieutenant Colonel Livingston), with one captain, two subalterns, two sergeants, one drum and fife and forty rank and file of his detachment. Some Oneida Indians arrived here with a flag from Canada, who informed the Colonel that they had been to Caughnawaga to request them not to take up the hatchet in favor of Great Britain and gave him assurance of that tribe being much inclined to keep the peace, that had for so long a time subsisted between them and their American brethren, and that some of the sachems would be here in eight days on their way for Albany to treat on this subject. And also, as they were going to Canada they met the enemy on their march from thence to Oswego, being destined for this place, and after the treaty was over, which Sir John Johnson was to hold with the Indians in that country at Oswego, we might hourly expect them.

June 25th – Cat. Grigg, with Corporal Maddeson of his company being between the Forts Newport and Bull, about 1 miles from Fort Schuyler, were attacked by a party of Indians who wounded and tomahawked them and scalped them. The captain was alive when found, but the corporal dead.

July 3rd -- Ensign Sporr, being in command of seven men cutting sods for the fort at Fort Newport, were attacked by a party of Indians, who killed and scalped one, wounded and scalped another, and took the ensign and four men prisoners.

July 19th – Capt. Grigg, being much recovered of his wounds,
set off for Albany.

July 19th – Same day arrived Captain Swartwout, Lieutenants Diefendorf, Ball, Welch, McClellan, Bowen, Ostrander and Colbreath and Ensign Denniston, with a number of recruits for the regiment.

July 26th – The sachems of Caughnawaga arrived here with a flag agreeable to the intelligence received from the Oneida Indians. A party of one hundred of the garrison went to guard a number of the militia sent to obstruct Wood creek by falling trees from either side into the creek.

On to Part Two

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