James Madison Papers

Joseph Wheaton to James Monroe and James Madison, 1 May 1813

Joseph Wheaton to James Monroe and James Madison


Ohio Delaware May 1. 1813.


I arrived here on My way to upper and lower Sandusky ordered there by Major J.C. Bartlett D.Q. Master General who entered on the duties of his office in the place of Col Morrison this day1—at 6. p.m. on reaching this met the post Rider, direct from upper Sandusky who presented Governor Meigs (who is also here with two hundred Men going on to Sandusky) with a letter from General Harrison—that General directs that no letters be forwarded by Mail from Frankinton, or on this rout to Fort Meigs—the post rider relates that all last Night a Cannonade was heard distinctly and to day untill he reached Scioto Block House—I Send of an express this Night by advice of his Excellency to ascertain if possible the correctness of the posts information from Sandusky—a letter of the 27. inst. from F Meigs States that considerable bodys of Indians had Made their appearance near the fort on our Side—and it has become very desirable to be informed if Genl. Harrison is attacked or not2—I have the Satisfaction to inform you also that accident has brought together—Govr. Meigs—Myself—and Mr. Bucknel from detroit who I mention’d in my late letter to you respecting the arrangement of the post office on this line to the rapids.3 Governor Meigs is convinced of the correctness of my Statement to you on that Subject—and believes it demands redress—the governor has read this letter and Says it is correct & right. I am Sir faithfully your Obdt. Servt

Joseph Wheaton

Not any appointment has reached me in the Q.M. Generals department under the New act—and I am at a loss—but continue to execute My orders as received—as heretofor.

RC (DNA: RG 59, ML). Addressed to Monroe “& the President.” Cover docketed by Monroe.

1John C. Bartlett of Kentucky was commissioned as quartermaster general on 12 Apr. 1813. JM submitted his nomination to the Senate on 15 June, and the appointment was confirmed on 23 June (Senate Exec. Proceedings description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America (3 vols.; Washington, 1828). description ends , 2:355, 371, 374).

2Harrison had been at Fort Meigs since 12 Apr., preparing for an attack by the British. Forces under Gen. Henry Procter began to bombard the fort on 1 May and continued the siege, albeit with little effect, for four days. When Kentucky militia reinforcements arrived on 5 May, Harrison ordered attacks on the British batteries to the south and north of the fort. The former resulted in a large loss for the militia under Lt. Col. William Dudley, but the latter was successful. Faced with the desertion of many of his discontented Canadian militia and Indian forces, Procter withdrew on 8 May (Quimby, The U.S. Army in the War of 1812, 1:189–98).

3No letter from Wheaton to JM or Monroe mentioning post office arrangements or a Mr. Bucknel has been found.

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