The first section of the following text is a brief account of Lochry's Expedition of 1781. The purpose of this expedition was to attack the Shawnee, Delaware and Sandusky Indians in Ohio to stop their raiding into Western Virginia and Pennsylvania. In August 1781, Lochry led a force of roughly one hundred Pennsylvania militiamen including Mathias Fisher down the Ohio River. On August 24, Lochry's force was attacked and defeated at the mouth of Laughrey's Creek near present day Aurora, Indiana. The latter half of the text is the transcript of a diary kept by Lieutenant Isaac Anderson chronicling the expedition, his capture, imprisonment, escape and return home to Pennsylvania. The original diary is held by the Cincinnati Historical Society. Mathias Fisher chronicles many of the same events in his account of the expedition.
Mathias was part of Captain Shannon's company. He may have been one of the seven men in the diary dispatched with Shannon at Fishing Creek on Aug 10 to carry the letter from Lochry to General Clark. Mathias' pension declaration does not mention the event, but both Chris McHenry's account of the expedition and the account found in "A Fisher Family History" on state that Mathias was one of the seven, and in fact one of the two survivors picked up at the mouth of the Sciota on Aug 20.
Certainly Mathias was captured and became an Indian prisoner in the aftermath of Lochry's defeat. And like Lt. Anderson, was delivered to the British at Detroit, transported across Niagara, and imprisoned at Montreal. Their stories then diverge, but remain similar. Lt. Anderson was held in Montreal, Mathias at Coteau du Lac island, adjacent to Montreal. Anderson escaped in May 1782. Mathias escaped in July. Both made their way to Newburg, New York to tell the fate of the expedition, Anderson arriving in late June, Mathias in late August or early September. Lt Anderson returned to Pennsylvania in July, 1782. Mathias finally saw his home again on September 12. What a homecoming that must have been for the Fisher family to see Mathias home again after thirteen months with no word of his fate.
For additional information on Lochry's Expedition, see:
Edgar J. Pershing, "Lost Battalion of the Revolutionary War, PA.," National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol XVI, No. 3, (Washington D.C.: National Genealogical Society, Sept., 1928), p 44-51. Includes a history of the expedition, transcripts of communiques between Colonel Archibald Lochry and General George Rogers Clark, some of which were intercepted by the British, and a list of those killed and captured. Also details Mathias Fisher's role in the expedition and credits him with bringing the fate of the expedition back to Pennsylvania.
Chris McHenry, The Best Men of Westmoreland, An Historical Account of the Lochry Expedition, (Lawrenceburg, Indiana: self-published, 1981). Includes a lengthy narrative of Westmoreland history leading to Lochry's Expedition. Also contains records known as the Haldimand Papers from the Canadian National Archives which list men captured from Lochry's Expedition and later imprisoned by the British at Prisoners Island, Coteau du Lac, Quebec, Canada. It also contains photographs of a list of Lochry's men from the original diary Lt. Anderson held by the Cincinnati Historical Society.
[In the summer of 1781, Colonel Archibald Lochry, Lieutenant of Westmoreland county, raised several companies of volunteers, of which he was chosen Commander, for the purpose of joining the force of Col. George Rogers Clark on an expedition against the Shawanese and other Indian towns in Ohio, with scout designs against the British Post at Detroit. The party of one hundred & seven mounted volunteers rendezvoused at Carnahan's Block House, eleven miles west of Hanna's town, on the 24th July, 1781. They began their march on the 2nd of August by way of Fort Pitt to Fort Henry (Wheeling), where they arrived on the 8th, about twelve hours after Col. Clark with all the men, boats and stores he could gather had departed, leaving orders for Col. Lochry to follow and overtake him at the mouth of Little Kanawha. Several days were consumed by Col. Lochry in getting started. In the meantime Clark's men began to desert; and Lochry apprehended Lieutenant Baker and sixteen men who were deserting from Clark at Fishing creek. To prevent desertion Col. Clark was obliged to proceed from the Kanawha leaving a letter affixed to a pole directing Lochry to follow to the Falls of the Ohio. Lochry's stores and forage gave out at this point and he detached Capt. Shannon with seven men in a small boat to overtake Clark and secure supplies. This detachment had not proceeded far when the Indians, who were carefully watching the expedition, captured Shannon and all of his men but two, and also obtained a letter to Col. Clark detailing Lochry's situation. Joseph Brandtt, with one hundred Indian warriors, lay in wait to attack Clark at the mouth of the Miami River, but Clark passed in the night, but the Indians being afraid of the cannon and the number of men did not molest him, but concluded to wait for Lochry's party. It is said that the Indians placed the prisoners they had taken in a conspicuous position on the north shore of the Ohio River and promised to spare their lives on condition that they would hail Lochry's party and induce them to land and surrender. However this may have been, at about 10 o'clock on August 24th, Lochry having reached an attractive spot about ten miles below the mouth of the Big Miami, near the present town of Aurora, Dearborn County, Indiana, landed on the north side of the Ohio River in the mouth of a creek which has since been called Lochry's Creek. The Ohio River was very low and a large sandbar extended from the south almost across to the north bank of the river. Col. Lochry's party, wearied with their slow and laborious progress, and discouraged by the failure to overtake Clark's army, removed their horses ashore and turned them loose to feed while some of the men cut grass sufficient to to keep them alive until they should reach the Falls. A buffalo had been killed and all were engaged in preparing a meal, when the Indians appeared on both sides of the river, and began firing from the woods. The soldiers seized their arms and made a defense as long as their ammunition held out. An attempt was made to escape by the boats, but they were so unwieldy and the water so low that the Indians cut them off. Unable to escape or defend themselves, Col. Lochry surrendered. Brant, the Indian Chief, says thirty-six, including five officers, were killed and sixty-four made prisoner. One or two escaped, but did not reach home for several months afterwards, Lochry was tomahawked by a Shawanese Indian after the battle while sitting on a log, and all the wounded who were unable to march were similarly dispatched. The prisoners were marched eight miles up the Miami River, subsequently taken to Detroit, and sent from there to Montreal. Of the officers and men, we have the names of only a few, those herewith given.]
Archibald Lochry, killed by the Indians, August 24, 1781.
Richard Wallace, captured and taken to Canada; returned July, 1782.
JOURNAL OF LIEUT. ANDERSON. (a.)
[Lieut. Isaac Anderson, who succeeded to the command of Shannon's company after the capture of the latter, kept a journal of the expedition from the start at Carnahan's including the fight, his captivity and escape, now in the possession of his son living at Venice, Ohio.]
August 1st, 1781. We met at Col Carnahan's in order to form a body of men to join Gen. Clark on the expedition against the Indians.
Aug. 2. Rendezvoused at said place.
Aug. 3. Marched under command of Col. Lochery to Maracle's mill about eighty-three in number.
Aug. 4. Crossed the Youghagania River.
Aug. 5. Marched to Devor's ferry.
Aug. 6. To Raccoon settlement.
Aug. 7. Capt. Mason's.
Aug. 8. To Wheeling Fort and found Clark was started down the river about twelve hours. (Wheeling, WV)
Aug. 9. Col. Lochry sent a quartermaster and officer of the horse after him, which overtook him at Middle Island and returned; then started with all our foot troops on seven boats, and our horses by land to Grave Creek.
Aug. 10. Moved down to Fishing Creek (New Martinsville, WV); we took up Lieut. Baker and sixteen men deserting from Gen. Clark and went that day to middle of Long Beach, where we stayed that night.
Aug. 15. To the Three Islands, where we found Major Craycraft waiting on us with a horse boat. He, with his guard, six men, started that night after Gen. Clark.
Aug. 16. Col. Lochery detached Capt. Shannon with seven men and letter after Gen. Clark and we moved that day to the Little Connaway (Kanawha) with all our horses on board the boats.
Aug. 17. Two men went out to hunt who never returned to us. We moved that day to Buffalo Island.
Aug. 18. To Catfish Island.
Aug. 19. To Bare Banks.
Aug. 20. We met with two of Shannon's men who told us they had put to shore to cook, below the mouth of the Siotha (Scioto) where Shannon sent them and a sergeant out to hunt. When they had got about half a mile in the woods they heard a number of guns fire, which they supposed to he Indians firing on the rest of the party, and they immediately took up the river to meet us; but unfortunately the sergeant's knife dropped on the ground and it ran directly through his foot and he died of the wound in a few minutes. We sailed all night.
Aug. 21. We moved to the Two Islands.
Aug. 22. To Sassafras Bottom.
Aug. 23. Went all night and all day.
Aug. 24. Col. Lochery ordered the boats to land on the Indiana shore, about ten miles below the mouth of the Great Meyamee (Miami) River, to cook provisions and cut grass for the horses when we were fired on by a party of Indians from the bank. We took to our boats expecting to cross the river, and were fired on by another party in a number of canoes in the river, and soon we became a prey to them. They killed the Col. and a number more after they were prisoners. The number of our killed was about forty. They marched us that night about eight miles up the river and encamped.
Aug. 25. We marched eight miles up the Meyamee River and encamped.
Aug. 26. Lay in camp.
Aug. 27. The party that took us was joined by one hundred white men under the command of Capt. Thomson and three hundred Indians under command of Capt. McKee.
Aug. 28. The whole of the Indians and white men went down against the settlements of Kentucky, excepting a sergeant and eighteen men which were left to take care of sixteen prisoners and stores that were left there. We lay there until the 15th of September.
Sept. 15, 1781. We started towards the Shawnee towns on our way to Detroit.
Sept. 19. Arrived at Chilleclothey, where the Indians took all the prisoners from Capt. Thompson excepting six of us. We lay there until the 26th.
Sept. 26. We marched to Laremes.
Sept. 27. Over the carrying place to the Glaize.
Sept. 28. To the Taway village.
Sept. 29. Continued our march.
Sept. 30. Marched all day through swampy ground.
Oct. 1. Arrived at Roche de Bont and rested there eight days.
Oct. 4. Captain Thompson marched for Detroit and left us with the Mohawks where we lay until the eighth.
Oct. 8. Started in a canoe with the Indians for Detroit and lay at the foot of the rapids all night.
Oct. 9. Got to Stony Point half way to Detroit from the mouth of the Mame (Maumee) river.
Oct. 10. Got to the spring well, four miles from Detroit.
Oct. 11. Taken into Detroit and given up to Major Arent Schuyler Dc Pester who confined us to the citadel.
Oct. 13. Got into good quarters and were well used; had clothing and liberty of going where we pleased round the town until the fourth of Nov.
Nov. 4. We went on board the sloop Felicity bound for Niagara.
Nov. 5. Lay at anchor in Put in Bay.
Nov. 6. Likewise.
Nov. 7. Set sail with a fair wind.
Nov. 8. Wind ahead.
Nov. 9. Sprung the mast by distress of weather.
Nov. 10. Very stormy weather, lower our sails.
Nov. 11. Put in at Presque Isle Bay.
Nov. 12. Lay in said Harbor.
Nov. 13. Sailed for Fort Erie.
Nov. 14. Went to Batteaux to Fort Schlosser one mile above Niagara Falls.
Nov. 15. Went over the carrying place to Niagara Fort and put on board the Seneca.
Nov. 16. Set sail for Carleton Island.
Nov. 17. Arrived at said place.
Nov. 19. Put in the guard house at said place.
Nov. 20. Started in Batteaux for Montreal.
Nov. 21. Continued on our journey.
Nov. 22. Lay at Oswegatchie.
Nov. 23. Crossed the Long Saut.
Nov. 24. Arrived at Coteau du Lac.
Nov. 25. Crossed the Cascades to the Isle of Berrot.
Nov. 26. Was beat by wind up Chateaugay Island.
Nov. 27. Crossed Chateaugay river and went to Caughnawaga, an Indian village and crossed the river St. Lawrence with much difficulty and lay at La Chine all night.
Nov. 28. Drew provisions and were insulted by drunken Indians; went down to Montreal and were delivered to Gen. Spike who put us in close confinement.
Nov. 29. Removed to the long house in St. Mare parish and remained there until May 26, 1782.
May 26, '82. Scaled the pickets about 2 o'clock in the day time and crossed the river at Longueil church and got into the woods immediately, and steered for Sorel River; crossed it that night and went into a Frenchman's barn and killed two lambs and took two horses and rode all night till day break, then we made a halt, skinned and barbecued the lambs.
May 27. Started with our horses, got them about five miles and were obliged to turn them out of hand on account of swampy ground and steered an east course all day, and came to the river Missisque, crossed it on a raft; marched about 2 miles after dark and encamped.
May 28. Marched about daybreak. Had gone one mile when we heard the drums beat the reveille from a block house on said river. We steered that day southeast expecting to strike Heason's road but found it not. We encamped that night on a very high mountain.
May 29. Found a large quantity of snow on said mountain. Crossed the river Missique and another mountain that day and encamped.
May 30. Crossed three mountains and camped.
May 31. Came to a level country and crossed four creeks, one very difficult to cross, that emptied into Lake Memphremagog. We were obliged to camp on bad ground that night and our provisions were done.
June 1. Our provisions being done we were obliged to kill our dog and eat him, lost our compass but Providence favoured us with clear weather that day and part of the next. We steered our old course, southeast and encamped.
June 2. Struck a branch of the Passumpsic river and kept down it, and in the evening made a raft, expecting to go by water but was dissapointed by drift wood. We encamped in the forks of said river all night.
June 3. Kept our old course and struck an east branch of said river. We kept down it by reason of dark weather. We encamped that night on dead running water.
June 4. Made two rafts and never got any service of them, by reason of rapid running water, and kept our old course that day and encamped.
June 6. Continued our march onward and struck the settlement of Cohorse on said river, that evening at one Smith's We came down the Connecticut that night and crossed below the forks where we staid all night.
June 7. Came past Ebr. Willoughby and to Richard Salmon's where we stayed all night 12 miles from where we struck the settlement.
June 8. Came to Brig. Gen. Bayley's and rested there two days.
June 10. Crossed the river to his son's, Ephr. Bayley's where we got a pair of shoes, and went to James Woodward's, Esquire where we stayed all night.
June 11. To Capt. Ladd's 21 miles.
June 12. To Col. Johnson's, two miles.
June 13. To Capt. Clement's on our way to Pennycuik, 11 miles.
June 14. To Emerson's, Esq., 21 miles.
June 15. To Capt. Favor's, 19 miles.
June 16. To Col. Garrishe's, 14 miles.
June 17. To Col. Walker's in Pennycuik, 12 miles, where the general court was. There we made application for money and next day got a little.
June 18. Went to Capt. Todd's 11 miles.
June 19. To Capt. Walker's where we eat dinner; and left the Merrimac river, and got on the great road for Fishkill's to headquarters, and stayed that night at the sign of the Lion, 30 miles.
June 20. To Mr. Holton's four miles from Lancaster in the Bay State 25 miles.
June 21. To Worcester and from there to Mr. Sergeant's where we stayed three nights, and got two pair of trowsers made.
June 24. To Benj. Cotten's, 35 miles.
June 25. To Springfield and crossed the Connecticut river and came to Mr. Eansee's in Connecticut province, 32 miles.
June 26. To Mr. Camp's in Washington town, 40 miles.
June 27. Came past Bull's works and into York province to Thos. Storm's Esq., where we lay all night.
June 28. Came to Fishkill's landing 15 miles and crossed the North river to Newberg to headquarters expecting to get a supply of money, but his Excellency was gone up the river to Albany and we could not obtain any. From thence to New Windsor, 2 miles, where we met with a friend, but no acquaintance who lent us money to carry us to Philadelphia, which was a great favor. We came that night to John Brousters, 11 miles.
June 29. To Mr. Snyder's tavern, Jersey province, 32 miles.
June 30. Came through Hackettstown and came to Mr. Hassett, 27 miles
July 1. Through Phillipsburg and from there we crossed the Delaware river at Howell's ferry and got into Pennsylvania to William Bennett's, in Bucks Co., 43 miles and 27 from Phila.
July 2. Came to Phila., 27 miles and stayed there until the 4th.
July 4. Started for Carlysle about 3 o'clock in the afternoon and came to the Sorrel House, 13 miles.
July 5. To Capt. Mason, 42 miles.
July 6. Came through Lancaster and from thence to Middletown, where we lay all night, 37 miles.
July 7. Crossed the Susquehanna river and came to Carlysle about 1 o'clock. 26 miles and rested 3 nights.
July 10. Started and came through Shippensburg to Capt. Thos. Campbell's, 36 miles.
July 11. Rested at said Campbell's.
July 12. To Mr. Welch's about 5 miles.
July 13. To crossing at Juniata, 28 miles.
July 14. Came through Bedford to Arthur McGaughey's, 21 miles.
July 15. To Loud's in the Glades, 32 miles.
July 16. To Col. Campbell's, 28 miles.