Warriors in the next month [August]-
Sargent did not believe this force was assembling for a concerted offensive against the American frontier, but rather to protect the Maumee villages.153 At the time of the American attack, however, there were no Wabash Indians available to assist the Miami on the Maumee; the Wabash Indians were all engaged in combatting Hamtramck's abortive expedition up the Wabash.
On October 17, 1790 Harmar and his American forces consisting of most of the regular United States Army or about 320 men plus 1,333 Kentucky and Pennsylvania militiamen, arrived at the head of the Maumee River. A few days before Harmar's arrival the Indians had burnt their towns, but the American forces found "a few pretty good gardens with some fruit trees, and vast fields of corn in almost every direction." Two days after arrival at the head of the Maumee River a detachment composed mainly of militia was ordered to "reconnoitre the country and to make some discovery of the enemy." Less than ten miles from the Miami villages approximately 100 Shawnee and Potawatomi warriors met this force and defeated it.
In the four days spent at the Maumee villages the American army pillaged the ruined towns of all useful articles and
destroyed as much food, principally corn, as possible. On October 21, 1790 Harmar ordered his men to retreat southward toward the American settlements. That night, however, he sent a detachment of 400 men back to the Maumee villages "intending to surprise any parties that might be assembled there." Again the American troops were repulsed by the Indians; this time the Indian forces included Shawnee, Miami, Ottawa, and Delaware warriors. After this second defeat the Americans continued their retreat, leaving the Indians in control of the region.154
According to information received and reported by Hamtramck, then at present Vincennes, Indiana, the majority of the Miami, after burning their villages, had retreated to the "Elk River.'' There is no Elk River in northeastern Indiana, but there is an Elkhart River which heads some 25-30 miles northwest of Fort Wayne. In all probability it was this river, the Elkhart, that Hamtramck referred to.155 Apparently the Miami did not stay on the Elkhart very long, because in January, 1791 Hamtramck again reported that it was rumored the Miami had gone to Detroit.156
154. Pennsylvania Historical Society, Memoirs, vol. 7, pp. 345, 348-353; Dft. Ex. 105. Historical Collections of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society, vol. 24, pp. 105-108, 133-134; Dft. Ex. 82.
The Miami returned to their villages at the head of the
the Indians of that place [
By June, 1791 a second American expedition against the Wabash and