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Baranof’s battlefield wounds prevented him from leading the battle. Lisianski took command, but he had no immediate plan of action other than to bombard the fort from his ships. By late morning Lisianski began a cannon bombardment that lasted all day long as he attempted to find the range of fort Shís'gi Noow.

In the early afternoon the Russians stopped their cannon fire and sent a messenger ashore under a flag of truce.

The Kiks.ádi were surprised to learn that the message was a demand for them to surrender. They rejected it out of hand.

They sent back a counter-demand that the Russians surrender. It was rejected by the Russians.

The cannon fire resumed, but it stopped at nightfall.

The Kiks.ádi were on the alert all day long but the Russians made no attempt to land forces to launch another ground attack. After dark the Kiks.ádi met to consider the situation. Each house group was short of gunpowder. Too much gun powder had been used the day before.

The lack of a Russian ground attack convinced them that the Russians were unable to launch another attack. They all believed that the Russians suffered too many losses the day before.

The shaman were consulted to see if they could see the northern tribes, but they reported no change in the situation. No warriors were on the way to join them in Sitka.

As a side note, let me say that it is my opinion that Captain Lisianski acted very, very cautiously throughout this battle. The battle was his to win if he took decisive action.

He chose, instead, to act cautiously. He wrote a better battle than he fought. He did not want to endanger his main mission, which was to be the first Russian to circumnavigate the world—a job he had been commissioned to do by the Czar of all the Russias.

Now, on day two of the battle, the lack of gun powder and the failure of the northern tribes to come to the assistance of the Kiks.ádi made victory seem less likely. In fact, the possibility of defeat on the battlefield had to be seriously considered.

Holding the fort without gun powder looked more and more like a lost cause. Desperate times need desperate measures. The house chiefs all agreed on one thing—delaying tactics were in order. Every possible method of delaying a Russian attack had to be used to give the northern tribes time to arrive.

In the free-ranging discussion someone proposed leaving the battlefield and marching to the north. Abandon Shís'gi Noow. Live to fight another day!

We cannot be defeated on the battlefield if we are not on that battlefield to be defeated.

A committee was appointed to consider the pros and cons of a survival march to the north. A march on foot.

Actually, this was a reasonable alternative, for the Tlingit people were a strong, healthy people who walked everywhere they went, usually carrying a heavy load. When not walking they paddled their canoes wherever they went.

Day Three