JAMES HEATON TO WORTHINGTON
Hamilton Septr 17th. 1813.
This day I received yours dated 19th July, it was forwarded on to me from the Rapids by a friend. I finished my six months tour, and got home early in Aug. I completed my business at the Rapids and returned to St. Marys early in July I did see 20 or 25 of the Hostile Indians, they did not see us I believe and I was and am glad of it, I was in no engagement, nor have I the honor of being shot at, I am however satisfied -- I done my duty, I feel grate- ful for your attention relative to my friend Caldwell I acknowledge that I have not attended to the established regulations of the War department as I would have foreseen the impractibility of what I asked.
Sir as I am now out of the service I will make free to write you some things, but while in the Army there was letters orders &c sufficiently indi- cative of what would be the result if any officers would be so daring as to write any opinions relative to, or concerning the movements of the Army, & I recollect the charge of the Secy at War on this subject (which I think correct) but orders more nervous were received by Genl Wingate from the Com-inchf. I abstained therefore from writing; but as It to do again, I believe I would write wha t I pleased to any Member of Congress ( of my acquaintance) if I was certain of the safe carriage of my letter --
I will state pla.nly therefore, that I do not believe the commander in chief is not as great and accomplished a Genl. as the world thinks (alias thought) -- At the co mencement of the Siege 5th May, he sent Mr. Oliver our[?], who cane up the left line, and informed of the commencement & I was then at St. Mary's Genl Wingateyou recollect had command of that line, and the commander in chf was in Cincinnati, before that this line was informed that the Seige was raised, and t his whole time all the garrisons in a continual State of alarm, and Fort Wayne never knew of the Seige until it had been raised 12 or 18 days. There was 2D or 30 days together when the left line was that weak that I believe 100 Indians could have swept the whole, distroyed all pro- visions, & consequently ended the Campaign, and Genl Wingate continually in- forming him of the situation and I religiously think that had not Genl. Gano sent on 2 or 3 light companies at the Sugestion of Genl. Wingate that that line would have been totally broken up -- I saw all his Orders to the left line, they did app ar to me to be orded in that evasive way, that, whatever the fortune of War might have brought forth, that the commanded officer could have been saddled with unfortunate results.
I will not go to Camp Meigs
While I was there 4 was the lowest and 16 the highest that died each day, the Army appeared not to fear Death by the enmy, but they did from the state of the Garrison, of all places for deathly and motley stinks, in and about Camp Meigs did exceed, I believe a Regt. of poor fellow now I lays in and about that fort under the sod, The Surgeons department appeared to be in no order, or rather the worst order it co-.:ld be in, No Hospital, and shameful to tell, and I t was almost Universally said in ca p that the Surgeons lived high on the wines, spices, rice &c the Government had provided for the unfortunate, and but very little attention paid the men, this I do believe, many instances I did see, and know to oe so,
The Genl. in chf. was hub a few days th re while I was, & his conversation seemed to be fraught with invective on some particular members of Congress from the West -- more than the regulation of the Ca.p and this before subordinate
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