A.D. 1740.] VALLEY OP THE MISSISSIPPI.
summer upon their northern constitutions. Early winter came, and found the ranks more than decimated; and while the atmosphere became wholesome and elastic, and the troops began to assume their wonted vigor, a new enemy threatened them with annihilation. This was famine ; for the supplies of provisions had begun to fail, and all were reduced to short allowance. The invasion of the Chickasa country must now be delayed until supplies were received from New Orleans and from Fort Chartres. Thus was the expedition against the Chickasa towns deferred until the middle of March following, when a large portion of the white troops were so much debilitated by exposure to the inclemency of winter, and by the want of wholesome food, that not more than two hundred effective men could be mustered who were ahle to take up the line of march with the Indian and negro warriors toward the Chickasa towns. With these, M. Celeron had orders to march against the Chickasas, and was specially instructed to lose no opportunity of treating for peace. As he advanced, the Chickasas, at first sight, supposed the whole French army was close behind them, and, as a measure of safety, sued for peace. M. Celeron, taking advantage of their alarm, entered into a treaty of peace and friendship.*
[A.D. 1740.] The Indians promised to remain the true friends of the French, and declared they would renounce the English, who had incited them to hostilities. M. Celeron, in the name of Bienville, promised peace to the Chickasas nation; and a deputation of chiefs and warriors accompanied his return march, to consummate the bonds of peace by a regular treaty, to be concluded' at Fort Assumption. Here Bienville entered into negotiations, which were ratified, after the Indian custom, with presents and festivity.
Fort Assumption was dismantled ; the army retired to Fort St. Francis, on the western bank of the Mississippi. Here Bienville, having discharged his Northern troops and the Indian allies, prepared again to float ingloriously down the Mississippi with the main army. Thus ended the second invasion of the Chickasa country, begun by Bienville to retrieve his military fame, but which sunk it lower than it had been before.
After a long and expensive preparation in two campaigns; after the loss of many lives, many slain in battle, and far more
* Martin's Louisiana, vol. i., p. 308, 309.