Allen County Indiana Cemetery Project|
Millett Cardinal, Joseph Duplacy, Jaques Andre, Antoine Rembault
La Balme Massacre
Millett Cardinal, Joseph Duplacy, Jacques Andre, Antoine Rembault
Details of the so-called “La Balme Massacre” which took place on November 3, 1780, are so conflicting that no account of its victims exists. Estimates of the number of Frenchmen involved in the ill-fated expedition against Detroit range from four hundred to forty and the survivors from three hundred to four. Of those who perished, the names of only the following four who were buried at the scene on the banks of the Aboite River near Fort Wayne, Indiana, have come down to us.
MILLETT CARDINAL was a member of one of the influential families of Vincennes, Indiana, during the Old French Period. The Cardinals were among the early settlers in Canada, and three brothers, Nicholas, Jean Baptiste and Jacques were the founders of the family in Vincennes. Nicholas had been a member of a regiment commanded by Colonel George Rogers Clark. Millett Cardinal was a volunteer on La Balme’s march to Detroit, and he is one of those killed year Fort Wayne whose Identity is known.
JOSEPH DUPLACY is another of the volunteers in La Balme’s small army who was buried on the bank of the Aboite River. Nothing whatsoever is known of him although some authorities have felt that he may have been the French engineer, Captain Duplessis.
JAQUES ANDRE, the third of the volunteers to die in the massacre on the Aboite, appears to have been a career soldier. He is listed as a volunteer in a Virginia Infantry unit commanded by Captain Francois Busseron in 1778 and subsequently went with Colonel George Rogers Clark on the successful expedition against Kaskaskia. Andre had apparently returned to Vincennes by 1780 as he again volunteered, this time with La Balme to March against Detroit. The DAR compilation of Revolutionary soldiers buried in Indiana claims that he was survived by his widow, the former Josette Dumay, and at least two children, Therese, who married Michel Tiriac(Theriac)in 1796, and Pierre.
ANTOINE REMBAULT. The only information that we have concerning this fourth known victim of La Balme’s disastrous venture comes from a land claim dated 1805 made by the heirs of Antoine Rembault for a donation tract due their ancestor. Their deposition states:
. . .That Antoine Rembault was here in Vincennes when the Americans took the country; that he was a single man, and lived with his Father until his father left Vincennes. After the departure of his father . . . He lived with his brothers in the house left by their father; that he was killed in the Expedition of La Balme against Detroit. . .
Gwathmey, John H. Historical register of Virginians in the Revolution…Richmond, Virginia: The Dietz Press, 1938.
Law, Judge (John). . . The colonial history of Vincennes. . .Harvey, Mason & Co., 1858.
O’Byrne, Mrs. Roscoe C., comp. & ed. Roster of soldiers and patriots of the American Revolution buried in Indiana. n.p., Indiana Daughters of the American Revolution, 1938.
Somes, Joseph Henry Vanderburgh. Old Vincennes. . .New York: Graphic Books, 1962.
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