On Meeting an Indian in 1779

This is taken from Our County and Its People: A Memorial Record of St. Lawrence County by Gates Curtis, 1894.
“So far as the knowledge of the writer extends nothing of great importance happened to break the monotonous life of soldiers at Fort Oswegatchie, save for the following…
“April 1st of 1779, Lieutenants McClellon and Hardenbough of the Colonial Army were dispatched from Fort Schuyler (Utica, NY) at the head of a body of soldiers and Indians, on an expedition against the British garrison at Oswegatchie, their plan being to steal upon it and take the place by surprise. But falling in with some straggling Indians, several shots were imprudently fired, which warned the garrison of their approach.
“The day preceding the arrival at Oswegatchie the following incident happened to a little boy, about 12 years old, who belonged to the military party and served as a fifer to the company, which shows in an amiable light the finer feelings of the Indian character, and will serve as an offset up for some of the darker phrases of Indian warfare.
“Lighthearted and innocent he tripped along sometimes running in advance to gather flowers and sometimes, lingering behind to listen to the music of birds which made forest vocal with their songs. Seeing the unguarded deportment of the lad, his captain cautioned him against wandering from the company fearing that some hostile Indian who might be lurking in the thicket, to take him off.
“The warning was heeded for some time, but ere long forgotten, and the lad found himself many rods in advance of the party, culling wildflowers, which are scattered in his path and inhaling the fragrance which the morning air with it’s exhilarated freshness, inspired him. He was suddenly startled by a rude grasp upon his shoulder, which, upon looking around, he saw was that of a sturdy Indian who had secreted himself behind a rock and had darted from his concealment upon the unsuspecting victim.
“The boy attempted the scream but fear paralyzed his tongue and he saw the glittering tomahawk brandished over his head which the next moment would terminate his existence with a blow. But this savage, seeing the unarmed and terror-stricken child with no warlike implement but his fife, and doubtless touched with the innocent terror of his trembling prisoner, relaxed his grip, took the fife from under his arm, and having playfully blew in its end, he returned it to its owner and bounded off into the forest.
“According to Hughes history the subject of this adventure afterwards for several years he resided in Saint Lawrence County, and when age made him infirm often related the incident to the one from whose lips the account is written. He said that he would weep with emotion when relating this perilous adventure and always ended with a lot heartfelt acknowledgement, thanking God who always protected him and guarded him from danger seen and unseen from childhood to old age.
“The expedition returned to Fort Schuyler on the 20th of April without affecting their purpose.”

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