German Flats - September 20, 1778

Transcribed by Judy Longley

Onendilla Sept'r 21st 1778


      We returned to this place yesterday evening after destroying all the Buildings and Grain at the German flats from W'm Tygerts to Fort Herkimer on the South Side the River, and from Adam Starings to Edicks beyond Canada Creek on the North Side (excepting the Church and Fort Dayton) and drove of a great Number of Cows and Oxen and a Great Many Horses & Mares, the Oxen were all large New England Cattle kept at the Flats for the Use of the Garrison at Fort Stanwix, and we took them out of the Inclosure at Fort Dayton within pistel shot of the Fort.

      In our Way to the Flats we came up with a Scout at Major Edmonstons three of which we killed but the others made their Escape -- notwithstanding we took every obvious Method to prevent them but prior to that we took five Oneidas prisoners, but the Indians could not be prevail'd upon to keep them, but left them where they were with three other Indians to watch them, on their promising to stay at that place until we shoud return, which promise they broke and in our absence came to Onendella and robbd the people there of very thing they had of any Value and Carried as many of the men as they could find away priseners amongst whom were two of our Sick Rangers. We wou'd in all probability have killd most of the Inhabitants at the German flats, had they not been appriz'd of our Coming by one of the Scouts getting in and warning them of our approach, and perhaps got their Forts. We were also very unhappy in the Weather as it rain'd incessantly all the Night before we attack'd the place and the following Day. We talked to none of the Inhabitants Mr. Shoemakers Family except'd who could not, or wou'd not give us any Acct. of the Armies at Newyork, North River &c. Mr. Hall inquired Specifically about your Family but could learn nothing but that Mrs. Butler had been seen about three months ago at Skenectady. Some people Creat'd a false Report that we were surround'd and taken the better to excuse their own flying which I am afraid will reach you before this. I refer you for particulars of this and every thing else with us to Lt. Fry & am, Sir,

Your Most Obed't

Humble Serv't

W'm Caldwell

To Col. John Butler

(Inclosed in Major Butler's letter to Gen. Haldimand of 4 Oct. '78, No. 14)

From microfilm of the Frederick Haldimand Papers, British Library Additional Manuscripts No. 21,765, folio 42, with thanks to the British Library (London, UK) and by courtesy of the Public Archives of Canada.