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The March of Morgan's Mounted Volunteers
Posted by: Carol Powell (ID *****9811) Date: August 15, 2012 at 18:15:31
  of 18139

Is this the same story or two different instances???
The March of Morgan's Mounted Volunteers. Page 79

When we got there, they had heard nothing of Olmstead and Bennier, so a posse with a light wagon was hastly despatched to hunt them. After a two day's search, they returned with them, nearly starved to death, and about as black as a pot, their eyes sunk in their heads, the very picture of depair. They had got into swamps and lost their horses. There being only two of them, they were not able to pull them out, and had taken their saddles off and hung them up in trees and had succeeded in getting to the trail, after traveling ninedays. They would never have reached camp alone. It was the most pitiful sight. I ever beheld although my eyes had beheld all kinds of suffing, and death, to see my fellow man haggard, the very picture of despair, worse than dead men, crying like children & begging for something to eat.

A couple of differences in the two stories the Biographical Sketch of Hon David Olmsted says It happened after he settled in MN.

Soon after settling here, Mr. Olmsted met with an adventure which well illustrates the dangers and casualties to which the pioneers of a new county are exposed.

In this account the Frenchman's name is Dechoquette not Bennier and it happened after Olmsted arrived in MN not during the march from Wi. His partner was Rhodes not Pratt.

Believing that the road, or trail, from Long Prairie to Sauk Rapids (Which was very circuitous) could be shortened by a new route, he started on horseback in company with an old Frenchman named Dehoqutte to survey and mark out a new route. At that time, the region was a perfect wilderness; no surveys had been made, and Nicollet's map was the only one they made. This was really of no use to them; and after proceeding some distance they became involved in a labyrinth of tamarac aswamps, marshes, sloughs and jungles, until, at the end of the second day, they were utterly lost, and had not the faintest idea of where they were, or how to retrace their way. They now turned their horses loose, and endeavored to pick their way out, but without success. They floundered about in the swamps for seven days longer, wet, torn by briers until they were almost naked, and suffering the pangs of hunger. During this time all the food they had was a morsel of meat, and two sunfish caught in a stream. They finally reached Saul River, where a friend who had gone in search of them providentally found them, more dead then alive. During the last two days of their wanderings, Dechoquette's sufferings had driven him partially insane, and when they were found, neither could walk. Mr. Olmsted's naturally strong constitution was very seriously impaired by the sufferings and hardships of this adventure. It was some time before his strength was measurably restored, and there is no doubt that it was the main cause of his early death at the age of 39, when he should of been in the prime of life.

The March of Morgan's Mounted Volunteers was a day to day diary the last story was related years later after being past from one person to the next.


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