A Most Troublesome Situation – The British Military and the Pontiac Indian Uprising of 1763-1764

22 Apr 2010

Winner of the Historical Society of Michigan’s award for the “Outstanding Michigan History Publication” for 2006.

This new book on the Pontiac Uprising uses numerous excerpts from period accounts to retell this important story. The words of the British officers and soldiers caught up in battle, as well as those of French habitants and some of the Indians themselves, reveal that dedication and deceit, as well as heroism and treachery, could be found on both sides of the conflict. This fair and objective narrative is further brought to life by the beautiful artwork of noted historical artists Robert Griffing and Gary Zaboly, as well as by the use of rare period portraits, prints, and maps. The main text is supplemented with appendices explaining the makeup of the garrisons of the various posts, the condition of the sites today, and an account of the remarkable Indian captivity of John Rutherford.
 

The focus of the book is on the British military and their reaction to the Indian uprising inspired by Chief Pontiac.  Extensive research into the manuscript records of Major General Jeffrey Amherst and Major General Thomas Gage in conjunction with many published sources provide the scholarly underpinnings for this study.  Many of the sources are quoted at length.  New insights are provided into the organization and utilization of seven composite Platoons composed of soldiers from numerous regiments which were organized to assist in the relief of besieged Detroit.  Also, the 1764 Indian ambush at Roche a Davion of the British expedition to occupy the French forts in the Illinois Country by way of New Orleans and the Mississippi River is recounted in detail.  Several very helpful appendices including a chronology of major events, a listing of British forts and garrisons in 1763; the status of the fort sites today, and the rosters of the Platoons add to our understanding of the complexities of Pontiac’s Uprising.  Anyone interested in Pontiac’s Uprising will want to add this book to their library.
Dr. David A. Armour, Retired Deputy Superintendent, Mackinac State Historic Parks

 

The lessons learned during “Pontiac’s War,” fought across the vast wilderness of the Great Lakes and the Ohio Country, would influence British policies and tactics in the West for the rest of the eighteenth century . . . Tim Todish and Todd Harburn present a straightforward narrative account of these soldiers’ activities in the field against an elusive and resilient opponent.  Readers of all sorts will find a useful guide to “Pontiac’s War” in the details the authors present on the military actions, organization, and locales of the fighting.
Brian Leigh Dunnigan, Curator of Maps and Head of Research and Publications,
The William L. Clements Library

*****

A “Most Troublesome Situation”: The British Military and the Pontiac Indian Uprising of 1763-1764, by Timothy J. Todish and Todd E. Harburn, with a Foreword by Brian Leigh Dunnigan and art by Robert Griffing and Gary Zaboly.

Trade paperback, 8.5″ x 11″, 224 pp., Purple Mountain Press, Fleischmanns, New York, 2006, $20.00

ISBN # 1-930098-72-3