Friday 9th. Exercised on Horse-back between 5 and 7 in the morning.
A letter from Genl. Harmer, enclosing copies of former letters; and Sundry other papers, were put into my hands by the Secretary at War. By these it appears that the frequent hostilities of some Vagabond Indians, who it was supposed had a mind to establish themselves on the Scioto for the purpose of Robbing the Boats, and murdering the Passengers in their dissent or assent of the Ohio, had induced an Expedition composed of 120 effective men of the Regular Troops under his (Harmers) command, and 202 Militia (mounted on Horses) under that of Genl. Scott of the District of Kentucky. This force rendezvoused at the Mouth of Lime-stone on the 20 of April; and intended by a detour to fall on the Scioto high up: five Miles above the Mouth of paint Creek (which runs through the finest land in the world, & Surveyed for the Officers of the Virginia line) it accordingly struck the Scioto on the 25th, 50 Miles from its mouth. But the Militia, according to custom, getting tired, & short of Provisions, became clamorous to get home; & many of them would have gone off but for the influence of Genl. Scott; however, the March was continued and on the 27th. the Troops arrived at the Mouth of the Scioto where crossing the Ohio the Militia seperated for their respective homes & the regular Troops proceeded up to their head Quarters at Fort Washington. In this expedition little was done; a small party of 4 Indians was discovered—killed & Scalped and at another place some Bever traps & Skins were taken at an Indian Camp. The detour made was about 128 miles & had the Militia crossed to the East side of the Scioto it is supposed several parties of Indians would have been fallen in with. The Scioto is 65 Miles below the Mouth of Licking.
Among the Enclosures with Genl. Harmers letter, were Captn. Harts report of the Navigations of Big beaver and the Cayahoga, and Country between; & of other waters: also Majr. Hamtrameks report of the distances &ca. from Post Vincennes on the Wabash to Detroit—Copies of which I desired to be furnished with.
Many Visitors (male & female) this Afternoon to Mrs. Washington.
Josiah Harmar (1753–1813), a native of Philadelphia, served as major, lieutenant colonel, and colonel of various Pennsylvania regiments during the Revolution and in Aug. 1784 became commander of the new United States Army. From that time until his resignation in 1792, he served mainly on the Ohio frontier, repelling Indian attacks against the area’s few settlements. In Sept. 1790 he was to engage in an unsuccessful campaign against the Shawnee in the area of the Miami villages on the Maumee River. The letter that GW mentions was probably Harmar’s letter of 9 June 1790 to Henry Knox, although GW must have obtained additional details from other papers submitted by Knox (ASP, Indian Affairs, description begins Walter Lowrie et al., eds. American State Papers. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. 38 vols. Washington, D.C., Gales and Seaton, 1832–61. description ends 1:91–92). Lt. Col. James Wilkinson wrote Harmar 7 April 1790 that for “more than one month past a party of savages has occupied the Northwestern bank of the Ohio, a few miles above the mouth of the Scioto, from whence they make attacks upon every boat which passes, to the destruction of much property, the loss of many lives, and the great annoyance of all intercourse from the northward . . . their last attack was made against five boats, one of which they captured” (ASP, Indian Affairs, description begins Walter Lowrie et al., eds. American State Papers. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. 38 vols. Washington, D.C., Gales and Seaton, 1832–61. description ends 1:91). On 30 May, Ens. Asa Hartshorne of the 1st United States Regiment reported that he and a small party had been attacked near Limestone; “in the afternoon, myself with five men went up to the place where we were attacked; we found one man, one woman, and three children, killed and scalped. . . . There are eight missing; the whole killed and missing is thirteen souls; they took none of the property but one horse” (ASP, Indian Affairs, description begins Walter Lowrie et al., eds. American State Papers. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. 38 vols. Washington, D.C., Gales and Seaton, 1832–61. description ends 1:91). Both of these documents were enclosed in Harmar’s letter to Knox. Limestone was a small post town in Kentucky on the south side of the Ohio River “and on the west side of the mouth of a small creek of its name” (MORSE  description begins Jedidiah Morse. The American Gazetteer . . .. Boston, 1797. description ends ).
Charles Scott (c.1739–1813) was born in Goochland (later Powhatan) County, Va., and served under GW in Braddock’s campaign during the French and Indian War. During the Revolution he was a lieutenant colonel in the 2d Virginia Regiment, colonel of the 5th Virginia Regiment, and in 1777 was commissioned brigadier general in the Continental Army. He was brevetted major general in 1783. In 1785 he moved to Kentucky and represented Woodford County in the Virginia Assembly 1789–90. In 1791 he led Kentucky troops in the St. Clair expedition. Concerning his role in the Scioto expedition, Harmar noted in his letter to Knox that “General Scott detached a small party of horsemen, who fell in with the savages, killed them, and brought four scalps into Limestone” (ASP, Indian Affairs, description begins Walter Lowrie et al., eds. American State Papers. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. 38 vols. Washington, D.C., Gales and Seaton, 1832–61. description ends 1:91).
Jonathan Heart (d. 1791) of Connecticut entered the Revolution in 1775 as a volunteer, became an ensign in 1776, a captain lieutenant in 1779, and a captain in 1780. He served as a brigade major until Nov. 1783 and in 1785 was appointed a captain in the United States Infantry Regiment. In Sept. 1789 he became a captain in the 1st United States Infantry Regiment and served with Harmar’s command on the Ohio frontier. He was killed during Arthur St. Clair’s battle with the western Indians 4 Nov. 1791.
John Hamtramck (c.1756–1803), a native of Quebec, served during the Revolution as a major in the New York line. In 1785 he became captain of a New York company serving under Harmar on the Ohio frontier. Joining the United States forces at Vincennes in 1787 he remained as one of the fort’s officers for the next six years. His “report of the distances” from Vincennes to Detroit was enclosed in a letter to Harmar of 17 Mar. 1790, and is printed in THORNBROUGH description begins Gayle Thornbrough, ed. Outpost on the Wabash, 1787–1791: Letters of Brigadier General Josiah Harmar and Major John Francis Hamtramck and other letters and documents from the Harmar Papers in the William L. Clements Library. Indianapolis, 1957. In Indiana Historical Society Publications, vol.19. description ends , 225–27.