Friday, May 15, 2015

Battle of the Embarras

Publication: WEEKLY VINCENNES GAZETTE
Date: April 15, 1865
Title: Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday, which will be to-morrow, is the anniversary of a battle fought on the Embarrass River near Brown's mill, six miles below Vincennes, on the 15th day of April, 1786, between a party of Indians and the command of. Col. Sullivan, in honor of whom the county of Sullivan, Indiana was named after. During the battle Gen. Walter Wilson's father was killed, and also Capt. Howell, of New York.


The researchers found the following information concerning those men who were in the battle by reviewing the Records for Military Donations or grants of land given  to militia men under the Act of 1791.  The Commissioners  followed the requirements that a man had to be in Vincennes on the first of Aug 1790 to receive 100 acres of free land.  They apparently had some trouble concerning 'strict construction of the law' when they were dealing with those who had died before that date.

Joseph Patterson was enrolled in the militia in 1786 was wounded by the Indiana at the battle on Embarras creek, in the same year, staid at Vincennes some time, and went away to have his wounds cured, and has since died.  Claim rejected.

John Glass came to Vincennes in the year 1785; he was in the battle on Embarras creek with the Indians, that he piloted General Harmer from the mouth of the Pidgeon on the Ohio to Vincennes, and died in the latter end of the year 1788. Claim rejected.

Joel Baker came to Vincennes in the year 1785, and did militia duty; was in the battle of Embarras in 1786; sometimes afterwards he went on a hunting party with some Indians, and was heard of no more; common report says he was killed by the Indians. Claim rejected.

Joseph Pancake (Special case for 400 acres by Heirs ) proved that Joseph Pancake was an effective militia man at Vincennes in the year 1786; he was with and under deponent's (John Small) command in the same year the engagement with the Indians on Embarras, where he was killed.  Claim allowed for 100 acres.

Jacob Howell was an effective militia man at Vincennes, in the year 1786; that he commanded a party at the engagement with the Indians on Embarras, wherein he was killed.  Claim allowed by heirs for 100 acres.

Alexander Wilson came to Vincennes in the year 1784; that he lived and did militia duty therein, until the year 1786; when he was killed by the Indians in the Embarras engagement.  Claim for 100 acres to the heirs allowed.

Proved that Daniel Sullivan came to Vincennes in the year 1785; when he did militia duty until 1790, in the month of April of which year he was killed by the Indians. The claim of the heirs allowed for 100 acres.

The Commissioners set forth their reasons in detail, and said they understood "the importance and necessity of an uniform system of decision, but said the the above claims present themselves under a very different aspect.  The persons whose right of bounty  is demanded by their heirs not only did militia duty but lost their lives, some in the actual performance of that duty and all by the hands of the common enemy.  To have peremptorily rejected them would have savored of injustice; to have confirmed would have perhaps been too great a deviation from the letter if not the spirit of the law, so the Commissioners lay the whole in a form of a special report under the view of Congress."


Don't forget to buy your cemetery tickets for Centerville tour Saturday May 30, 2015 10:00 am at Finishing Touch in Lawrenceville if the Museum is closed when you are in town.  Also check out the rules for the photo contest in June by going to the webpage www.lawrencelore.org and clicking on the photo contest flyer at bottom right of page.