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Title:[Letter] 1812 Oct. 26, Fort Winchester [to] William Henry Harrison / James Winchester : a machine readable transcription of an image
Author:Winchester, James

This work is the property of the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, TN. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching, and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text. For all other use contact the Tennessee State Library and Archives, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37243-0312. (615) 741-2764.

Date: October 26, 1812
Extent: 4p
Summary:This is a letter dated October 26, 1812 from James Winchester to brigadier general William Henry Harrison, commander of the Left Wing of the army in the Northwest. Written during the war of 1812, Winchester informs Harrison that the Kentucky volunteer regiment is ready, and well prepared to face the British. He also details some logistical strategy, and supply conditions the army will face. William Henry Harrison would go on to become the ninth president of the United States.
Collection:James Winchester Papers

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[added: copy__]

Camp__ Fort Winchester
26th Octo [October]. 1812 Sir

I have just had the honor, to receive your dispatch of the 21st inst [instant]. which has been read with attention, an do concern to learn that reasons exist to delay the advance of this army, which is in high spirit and anxious to approach the lines of the enemy, indeed they are so much so, that [added: they] could not easily reconcile the idea of a few weeks detention.__

The Kentucky Volunteers, are now pretty well disciplined; and I am satisfied, that I hazard nothing as an officer, in saying there is not in the United States a more efficient militia, than the three Kentucky Regiments now at this place. I fear a reluctance in communicating to the ardent spirits, which compose this army, the prospect of a moments delay, in the great work of retaliation.__

Spies who were detached for the purpose returned yesterday, from the rapids, and report that the place is entirely evacuated; with the and many of the houses burned.__ They also state that many hundred acres of corn were yet standing in the field, with the fences open, and [unclear: stock ] let into them.

I have made arraingements [arrangements] to march down, and my intention was to have secured the corn, in the first place,__ made a strong camp__

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and then build Blockhouses and provided for salting Beef and pork.__ This course I deemed important, to the promotion of the great object of the government.__ It being the rendezvousing point for the north western army, and the intersection of the three great high roads, along which at its supplies must pass__

If this were to be made the principal place of deposit, I fear the river might be closed by frost at the time we should want to navigate it, in which all would depend upon land transportation, which would be a serious object for the flesh part of the ration, and would be obviated if the hogs and beef cattle could be at once drove to the rapids, and there [unclear: slaughtered and saved ].__

I have made sixteen pirogues, which will carry all the flour and whiskey we have forty eight wagons and teams now here, will carry all the baggage.__ For the Quarter Masters store a few more pirogues could soon be made. The leives could be driven, and we could make a good road, and march to the rapid; in a week, if military, policy did not forbid it.__

I have now in store 75,000 rations of flour,__ about 70:000 of beef 200,000 of salt, and 25,000 of whiskey, and five about 22,00 daily, now there can be no

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no doubt but hogs, could be driven to the rapids in time to meet our demand, and if pack hordes are relied upon for the flour, I think that also could be furnished in time.__ But of that your situation will enable you to judge more correctly.__

There is still one consideration might come in view.__ It is this, theKentucky volunteers is detained here six weeks longer, would begin to look forward to the expiration of their term of service; An events that might in a measure extinguish that ardent zeal to press forward, which they now have.

I shall however wait anxiously for your final answer, which I will hope to receive by express, and will be governed accordingly.

I have a letter from the commadent [commandant] at Fort Wayne asking for a reinforcement and supply of provisions, and have ordered a company from Colonel Bartces regt [regiment] for that purpose .__ I had ordered Colonel Pogues regt to garrison the Fort, but shall move countermand that order, until your final determination on the subject of our march is known.__

The cloathing [clothing] is a primary object, and I have full confidence so far as depends on your exertion it will be hastened to the army. It is painful to the feeling mind to see the situation of the regulars in a frosty morning.

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I did not know to what place my communications should be directed or I would have written to you more frequently__ I have repeatedly ordered a supply of fixed ammunition without effect,__ you will please to turn your attention to that subject.__ The extract from the Secretary at war alluded to in your letter was not enclosed__

I have the [gap] with high esteem__ Yr [Your]. Hl [Honorable]. Servt [Servant]. J Winchester B. Genl [Brigadier General][added: Comding [Commanding]. Left Wing. N W [Northwest] army. Genal [General] William Henrey Harrison Copy.__ Lettery, no. 1 To Genl [General] W. H. Harrison [unclear: Dah ]. Fort Winchester [unclear: veto ] 20th 1812__]

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