Song – St. Clair’s Defeat

WRITER

  • Bob Gibson

PUBLISHER(S)

  • Robert Josiah Music

Song Licensing information

RECORDINGS BY OTHER ARTISTS

  • Modern Folk Quartet
  • Port Calm Two

Song Notes

One-stop license for Gibson & Camp Revisited available through Wixen Music.

LYRIC

St. Clair's Defeat

‘Twas November the fourth
In the year of ninety-one
We had a strong engagement
Near to Fort Jefferson
St. Clair was our commander
Which may remembered be
But we left nine hundred comrades
In that dreadful territory

The Indians attacked our force
Just as the day did dawn
The arrows fell like deadly rain
As we were set upon
One hundred men lay writhing
Before our startled eyes
While horrid yells of savages
Resounded through the skies

‘Twas at Bunker Hill and Kennebec
Where many a hero fell
Likewise at Canandaigua
It is I the truth can tell
But such a bloody carnage
May I never see again
As happened near Fort Jefferson
All on that river plain

Three hours more we fought them
Till then we had to yield
Nine hundred of our comrades
Lay stretched upon the field
Says Major Clark, “My heroes
We can no longer stand
We will strive to form in order
And retreat the best we can”

The word retreat being passed around
There rose a dismal cry
Then helter skelter through the woods
Like wolves and sheep they fly
This well appointed army
Which had fought so brave before
Now fled before the savage
And his bloody kind of war

Alas the dead and dying
How awful to relate
The tomahawk and scalping knife
It was to be their fate
But pity more the wounded
Who were taken in that fray
To writhe in torment at the stake
To close that awful day

‘Twas November the fourth
In the year of ninety-one
We had a strong engagement
Near to Fort Jefferson
St. Clair was our commander
Which may remembered be
But we left nine hundred comrades
In that dreadful territory

New words and musical adaptation by Bob Gibson
© Robert Josiah Music