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arrived two Indians of the Onondaga's to give Notice that Oswego was surrounded four days since by a considerable Number of French and Indians from Cadaraqui and Niagara. That they had heard the Cannon of Oswego for half a day after they left their Castle, and that the General Rendezvous of the Enemy was about twelve Miles from Oswego.
That upon the receipt of Col. Bradstreet's Letter he had determined to set off with what Militia he could get together immediately, and to order the rest to follow him to the German Flats, and in his way to take the two Mohawk Castles with him. That he hath been informed of the Weak state of the Forts Edward and William Henry and that the Garrisons apprehended an attack, and had therefore ordered the Militia to March to the Relief of these Forts on Notice of the approach of an Enemy.
His Excellency informed the Council that he had upon former Intelligence which he had received of the danger the Garrison of Oswego was exposed to, wrote to the Commanding Officers of the King's Troops at Albany and Schenectady, representing the great importance of that Post, and the bad consequences the loss of it must be attended with, and therefore that he hop'd they would march the Troops or such part of them as they should find necessary for the relief of that place.
The Council declared His Excellency had taken all the measures in his power on this Occasion.
[N. Y. Mercury May 31. 1756.)
Oswego May 17. 1756. I arrived here three days ago, after a Tedious Time occasioned by the large Train I was with, consisting of 200 Whale Boals, and 200 Battoes, excepting two Whale Boats, and two Battoes that were lost at the Falls, twelve Miles from hence, & four Men drowned in them. On my arrival I heard, that a few days before, a Party of Indians came on some ship Carpenters cutting Timber not 300 yards from the Town ; & before a Party could be turned out, Killed and carried off Twelve: They were pursued by the Party, but they could not get sight of them : Our People found one Killed, which they Scalped, & threw his Boily in the River, besides several Blankets shot thro', Knives, Muskets &c. by which 'lis thought some more of the Enemy have been Killed. About eight o'Clock this Day we heard a firing up the River which we took to be an attack on one Lieut Blair, who went up this Morning to the Reefs, with 24 Men, two miles off, for a Guard to the Battoes at that Place; upon which Numbers of People, with a few Mohawks run from the Town that Way. The Firing still continued; and soon after a man came in with an Indian Scalp, and brought Word, that Blair's Parly was attacked by a Party of French & Indians, himself and one Soldier Killed : Upon which upwards of 500 Battoe Men were sent different Ways into the Woods. We soon further heard, that a brave Mohawk, who went out on the Alarm, with some Battoe Men, was killed by a French Indian, after he (the French Indian) had received a Wound in the Thigh, the Mohawk attempting to take him alive, and by that Means he lost his Life ; but a Battoe man that stood next to him soon despatched the French Indian, and Scalped him; another they found dead, which they Scalped also; two more they are certain are Killed, as they saw thein drawn off. Lieut Blair, though a Young Gentleman not more than 18 or 19, behaved like a brave Soldier; for being wounded the first Fire, he begged his Men to TREE ALL, and fight on, for he was a dead Man, and that they might soon expect assistance ; Soon after he received another Ball in his Throat, when he immediately fell. The Sergeant, with the Men, bravely maintained their Ground, till they were relieved by Numbers, on whose Approach, the Enemy soon made off, and the Woods being now green, our People stood no chance in following them. Another Soldier is mortally wounded, one slightly, and a Ship Carpenter, who went out without any Fire Arms some Time after the Attack, was shot in the Leg, the Bone not hurt. Our People have brought in several Blankets, Knives, Small Arms &c. by which we hope they have had a warm Reception. They had not Time to Scalp our Dead. Lieut Blair, the Mohawk & Soldier were interred this afternoon, with all the Honors of War. - We are busy getting the Vessels here ready for the Lake, and
hope to be out in Eight Days. As yet, little is done to the new Ones, and will not, till we are reinforced, that we may have a Strong Guard to cover our Men in the Woods. At the Falls, (12 Miles from hence) a good Stockaded Fort is building, to defend that Pass. Plenty of fresh Beef and Fish, the latter of which, in three Hawls of a Seine, filled a Battoe, so hope soon to have a very healthy Garrison.
[From the same, 14 June 1756.] The Names of the Carpenters & Sawyers that were killed & Missing at Oswego, about a Month since, are, Edmond Banton, John Mitchell, Henry Jackson & Philip Philips of New York ; the three former Killed & Scalped, & the latter Missing ; John Jordan, Samuel Mash & Lewis Dunham of Brunswick, the two former Killed, the latter Missing; Michael Murray, Killed; James Grant, John English & Charles Carter, of Philadelphia, the two former Killed, & the latter Missing ; James Flanagan missing, one Soldier Killed and another Shot in the Knee.
[From the same, June 28, 1756.) By Several Letters received from Albany we have the following Intelligence from Oswego vizt That on the 16th Instant, about 4 o'clock in the Morning, a Party of 3 or 400 French & Indians, attacked the Forts Oswego and Ontario and Killed & Scalped five of the Battoe Guard, sent from Fort Ontario on that side of the River : That they took one Prisoner, mortally wounded another, and slightly wounded a third, but were repulsed, and not without considerable Loss, as the Cannon play'd upon them for an Hour and a Half; that they went quite off about Eleven o'Clock: That two Whale Boats were sent to make Discoveries on the French Shore, the same Day, and after rowing about 11 miles, they saw a Smoak, and about 100 Yards farther, a man running from the Shore into the Woods; that they immediately fired a Volley from the Boats, when the Smoak was put out, & about ten Minutes after, upwards of 1000 French and Indians appeared upon the Beech, and drew up in a Line three deep, reaching almost a Mile, and gave the Boats a Volley, some of their Shot droping within 5 yards of them: That they fired about five Minutes, when the Boat gave them another Fire, three Huzza's & row'd off, and returned to Oswego about 5 o'Clock: That the three Vessels were returned from a Cruize of about two weeks, but have made no Discoveries : And that another, and more formidable Attack was hourly Expected.
Albany June 27. 1756. Friday last Harkamers Son came down from Oswego, with Letters from Col. Merser, for General Shirley: He says, there had been a smart Skirmish at Fort Ontario ; that a Body of about a thousand French and Indians had attacked the Fort, but were beat off by Colonel Schuyler, and those that were in Garrison there, after an Engagement of two Hours; that Col. Schuyler lost 26. Men and the Regulars, 6.
EARLY NAVAL OPERATIONS ON LAKE ONTARIO.
[From the same.]
His Majesty's Sloop Oswego; ?
Oswego, July 21, 1756. Ş. I have been out with Commodore Bradley on two cruises. On the first we were out twelve days, endeavoring to get to Niagara, but the wind blowing constantly from the westward, were forced to return, having made no discovery but what related to a further knowledge of the Lake. Last Wednesday, seven nights, we sailed on a second cruise, and the Sunday following, at day dawn, as we were steering a course for Oswego, (having promised Col. Mercer to return off the harbor in four days,) we saw four sail of French vessels, from whom we were glad to make all the sail we could. As I make no doubt this affair will be variously represented at New York, I shall give an impartial account of the same, which is as follows: At half past two, A. M., we saw two sail standing towards us from the N. W., on which we immediately made the signal for the Ontario to chase, and got all ready for action, wore ship, and stood for them. At three quarters past three, we saw two more sail from the same quarter. At this time, one of the two vessels, which proved to be the Commodore, fired two guns to leeward and hoisted a French flag at his foretop mast
head, which we took for a signal for the two sternmost vessels to make sail and join, as he and the next to him directly hauled on the wind, and clewed up their main top sails. At 5 o'clock, being then about one and a half miles from them, we found they were all four schooners, and the two whose distance I have just mentioned, very large vessels with several guns of a side. The other two appeared as large, but of what force we could not see, they being farther off. On which, Capt. Lafory came on board and a council being called, it was thought most prudent to avoid an engagement, the enemy being far superior to us, and the utmost consequence our welfare was to Oswego. Our force consisted : first, the Oswego, Com. Bradley, with only 4 pounders, 1 three pounder, and 45 seamen and soldiers ; the Ontario, Capt. Lafory, with 4 four pounders, 1 three pounder, and 45 seamen and soldiers ; a small schooner not bigger than a four cord boat, under the command of Mr. Farmer, with 6 swivels, and 13 seamen and soldiers. At half past five, wore and made the best of our way to Oswego. On which the enemy gave chase, and had the French Commodore behaved at the time as he ought, he must have brought us to action very soon and taken us: but he was unwilling to attack without his little fleet close together, and in chasing fired single shot at us; to do which, he was obliged to luff up in the wind, having no bow chase, by which means he lost every time, twice his length. At 7 o'clock, he being little better than half a mile off, first luffed up in the wind, then clapt his helm hard a-weather, wore round, and fired his broadside at Capt. Lafory, astern of us, and left off chase-none of which, or those before, did any execution. At our first making off, we found Mr. Farmer to drop astern very fast, on which the Commodore hailed the Ontario to tell him to bear up more large. The two sternmost schooners gave chase to him, and soon after saw him baul up to the northward, for what reason we know not, and the two vessels in chase of him firing at him, which guns by the report they made were heavy. We soon after lost sight of him and the chase and at 11 o'clock heard firing again. At three P. M. we got into Oswego.
The new brigantine and sloop are to be launched to morrow;