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Indiana Historical Bureau

George Rogers Clark > 225th Anniversary Exhibit > March to Vincennes - February 23, 1779 - Warriors Island March to Vincennes - February 23, 1779 - Warriors Island

From Clark's Memoir:

[Food and cooking supplies were captured from an Indian family, and the troops were fed.]

"This little refreshment and fine weather, by the afternoon, gave new life to the whole.

"Crossing a narrow, deep lake in the canoes and marching some distance, we came to a copse of timber called the Warrior's Island. We were now in full view of the fort and town, not a shrub between us, at about two miles' distance. . . ."

"We moved on slowly in full view of the town; but . . . marched and countermarched in such a manner that we appeared numerous."

[Colors (flags) brought from Illinois were displayed to make it appear there were more soldiers].

Clark Warns People of Vincennes

On February 23, Clark's men were within sight of the fort and town.

From Clark's Memoir:

" I . . . wrote the following placard to the inhabitants and sent it off by the prisoner just taken, who was not permitted to see our numbers:

To the Inhabitants of Post Vincennes:

GENTLEMEN--Being now within two miles of your village with my army, determined to take your fort this night, and not being willing to surprise you, I take this method to request such of you as are true citizens and willing to enjoy the liberty I bring you, to remain still in your houses; and that those, if any there be, that are friends to the king of England, will instantly repair to the fort and join his troops and fight like men. And if any such as do not go to the fort should hereafter be discovered that did not repair to the garrison, they may depend on severe punishment. On the contrary, those who are true friends to liberty may expect to be well treated as such, and I once more request that they may keep out of the streets, for every person found under arms, on my arrival, will be treated as an enemy.

(Signed) G. R. CLARK."

225th Anniversary Exhibit