HotFreeBooks.com
Chronicles of Border Warfare
by Alexander Scott Withers
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

[20] The following gentlemen, with others of high reputation in private life, were officers in the battle at Point Pleasant. Gen. Isaac Shelby, the first governor of Kentucky, and afterwards, secretary of war;—Gen. William Campbell and Col. John Campbell, heroes of King's mountain and Long Island;—Gen. Evan Shelby, one of the most favored citizens of Tennessee, often honored with the confidence of that state;—Col. William Fleming, an active governor of Virginia during the revolutionary war;—Gen. Andrew Moore of Rockbridge, the only man ever elected by Virginia, from the country west of the Blue ridge, to the senate of the United States;—Col. John Stuart, of Greenbrier;—Gen. Tate, of Washington county, Virginia;—Col. William McKee, of Lincoln county, Kentucky;—Col. John Steele, since a governor of Mississippi territory;—Col. Charles Cameron, of Bath;—Gen. Bazaleel Wells, of Ohio; and Gen. George Matthews, a distinguished officer in the war of the revolution, the hero of Brandywine, Germantown, and of Guilford;—a governor of Georgia, and a senator from that state in the congress of the United States. The salvation of the American army at Germantown, is ascribed, in Johnston's life of Gen. Green, to the bravery and good conduct of two regiments, one of which was commanded by General, then Col. Matthews.

[21] In order to get a clearer view of the situation, a few more details are essential here. For several days after the battle of Point Pleasant, Lewis was busy in burying the dead, caring for the wounded, collecting the scattered cattle, and building a store-house and small stockade fort. Early on the morning of October 13th, messengers who had been sent on to Dunmore, advising him of the battle, returned with orders to Lewis to march at once with all his available force, against the Shawnee towns, and when within twenty-five miles of Chillicothe to write to his lordship. The next day, the last rear guard, with the remaining beeves, arrived from the mouth of the Elk, and while work on the defenses at the Point was hurried, preparations were made for the march. By evening of the 17th, Lewis, with 1,150 men in good condition, had crossed the Ohio and gone into camp on the north side. Each man had ten days' supply of flour, a half pound of powder, and a pound and a half of bullets; while to each company was assigned a pack-horse for the tents. Point Pleasant was left in command of Col. Fleming,—who had been severely wounded in the battle,—Captains Dickinson, Lockridge, Herbert, and Slaughter, and 278 men, few of whom were fit for service. On the 18th, Lewis, with Captain Arbuckle as guide, advanced towards the Shawnee towns, eighty miles distant in a straight line, and probably a hundred and twenty-five by the circuitous Indian trails. The army marched about eleven miles a day, frequently seeing hostile parties but engaging none. Reaching the salt licks near the head of the south branch of Salt Creek (in the present Lick township, Jackson county, O.), they descended that valley to the Scioto, and thence to a prairie on Kinnikinnick (not Kilkenny) Creek, where was the freshly-deserted Indian village referred to above, by Withers. This was thirteen miles south of Chillicothe (now Westfall). Here they were met, early on the 24th, by a messenger from his lordship, ordering them to halt, as a treaty was nearly concluded at Camp Charlotte. But Lewis's army had been fired on that morning, and the place was untenable for a camp in a hostile country, so he concluded to seek better ground. A few hours later another messenger came, again peremptorily ordering a halt, as the Shawnees had practically come to terms. Lewis now concluded to join the northern division in force, at Camp Charlotte, not liking to have the two armies separated in the face of a treacherous enemy; but his guide mistook the trail, and took one leading directly to the Grenadier Squaw's Town. Lewis camped that night on the west bank of Congo Creek, two miles above its mouth, and five and a quarter miles from Chillicothe, with the Indian town half-way between. The Shawnees were now greatly alarmed and angered, and Dunmore himself, accompanied by the Delaware chief White Eyes, a trader, John Gibson, and fifty volunteers, rode over in hot haste that evening to stop Lewis, and reprimand him. His lordship was mollified by Lewis's explanations, but the latter's men, and indeed Dunmore's, were furious over being stopped when within sight of their hated quarry, and tradition has it that it was necessary to treble the guards during the night to prevent Dunmore and White Eyes from being killed. The following morning (the 25th), his lordship met and courteously thanked Lewis's officers for their valiant service; but said that now the Shawnees had acceded to his wishes, the further presence of the southern division might engender bad blood. Thus dismissed, Lewis led his army back to Point Pleasant, which was reached on the 28th. He left there a garrison of fifty men under Captain Russell, and then by companies the volunteers marched through the wilderness to their respective homes, where they disbanded early in November.—R. G. T.

[22] This is not the view of students in our own day, coolly looking at the affair from the distance of a hundred and twenty years. There now seems no room to doubt that Dunmore was thoroughly in earnest, that he prosecuted the war with vigor, and knew when to stop in order to secure the best possible terms. Our author wrote at a time when many heroes of Point Pleasant were still alive, and his neighbors; he reflected their views, and the passions of the day. That it was, in view of the events then transpiring, the best policy to turn back the southern army, after the great battle, and not insist too closely on following up the advantage gained, seems now incontrovertible.—R. G. T.

[23] Butterfield's History of the Girtys (Cincinnati, 1890) is a valuable contribution to Western history. Simon, James, and George Girty were notorious renegade whites, who aided the Indians against the borderers from 1778 to 1783; Simon and George were similarly active in the Indian war of 1790-95.—R. G. T.

[24] Upon leaving Pittsburg,—where the governor held a council with several Delaware and Mingo chiefs, to whom he recited the outrages perpetrated by the Shawnees since Bouquet's treaty of 1764—the northern division divided into two wings. One, 700 strong, under Dunmore, descended the river in boats; the other 500 went across the "pan-handle" by land, with the cattle, and both rendezvoused, September 30th, at Wheeling, 91 miles below Pittsburg. Next day, Crawford resumed his march along the south bank of the Ohio, to a point opposite the mouth of Big Hockhocking, 107 miles farther down. Here the men, the 200 bullocks, and the 50 pack-horses swam the Ohio, and just above the Big Hockhocking (the site of the present Hockingport) erected a blockhouse and stockade, which they called Fort Gower, in honor of the English earl of that name. A part of the earthwork can still (1894) be seen in the garden of a Hockingport residence. Dunmore's party, in 100 canoes and pirogues, arrived a few days later. While at Fort Gower, he was joined by the Delaware chiefs, White Eyes and John Montour, the former of whom was utilized as an agent to negotiate with the Shawnees—R. G. T.

[25] This was William McCulloch.—R. G. T.

[26] The authority for this is Stuart's Indian Wars, p. 56. Abraham Thomas, in his Sketches, relates that the governor, placing his ear at the surface of the river, said he thought he heard the firing of guns; and Thomas, then a young militiaman, was asked to do likewise, and reported that it was the rattle of musketry. The distance across country to Point Pleasant was but twenty-eight miles, but by the river windings was sixty-six. These anecdotes have been related as proof that Dunmore desired Lewis beaten. White Eyes had notified the governor that a conflict was expected, though he had reported a much smaller Indian army than Lewis's; hence his lordship had no fear of the result. Had he known that the opposing forces were equal in number, and that the whites had been surprised, he doubtless would have sent relief. Knowing the Shawnee warriors were away from home, fighting Lewis, whom he had reason to suppose was very well able to handle them, he determined to advance inland to the deserted towns on the Scioto and destroy their houses and crops. He was upon this errand when met and stopped by the messengers of peace.—R. G. T.

[27] The two wings of the white army had about the same strength—1100 under Dunmore, and 1150 (after leaving Point Pleasant) under Lewis. The fighting quality was also the same, in both. It is to be remembered that in the army under Dunmore there was very little discontent at the issue, and at the close of the campaign the men heartily thanked his lordship for his valuable services in behalf of the people. They did this, too, at a time when they knew from Eastern news received in camp, that the Revolution was near at hand, and Dunmore must soon be fighting against them in behalf of his royal master.—R. G. T.

[28] Dunmore had, through White Eyes, summoned the Shawnee chiefs to treat with him at Fort Gower (not Gore), but they had declined to come in. He then set out, October 11th, to waste their towns on the Scioto, as previously noted, leaving the fort in charge of Captain Kuykendall (not Froman), with whom remained the disabled and the beeves. Each man on the expedition carried flour for sixteen days. Just after the Point Pleasant battle, Lewis had dispatched a messenger to his lordship with news of the affair; Dunmore's messenger to Lewis, with instructions to the latter to join him en route, crossed Lewis's express on the way. The messenger from Lewis found that his lordship had marched up the Big Hockhocking valley for the Scioto, and hurried after him. The governor was overtaken at the third camp out (west of the present Nelsonville, Athens county, O.), and the good news caused great joy among the soldiers. October 17th, Dunmore arrived at what he styled Camp Charlotte (on the northern bank of Sippo Creek, Pickaway county, eight miles east of Chillicothe, in view of Pickaway Plains), and here the treaty of peace was concluded.—R. G. T.

[29] Doddridge's Notes says that the camp was surrounded by a breastwork of fallen trees, and an entrenchment, and Roosevelt's Winning of the West follows him. But Dr. Draper was distinctly told (in 1846-51) by two survivors of the campaign, Samuel Murphy and John Grim, that Withers's account is correct; and this is confirmed in Whittlesey's Fugitive Essays. In the center of the field, a building of poles was erected, in which to hold the council; around this, the army encamped. A large white oak having been peeled, Dunmore wrote upon it in red chalk, "Camp Charlotte," thus honoring the then English queen.—R. G. T.

[30] Logan was the Mingo chief, the massacre of whose family at Baker's Bottom, the previous April, has already been described. He had just returned (October 21) from a foray on the Holston border, bringing several scalps and three prisoners, when the trader Gibson and the scout Simon Girty were sent to him by his lordship.—R. G. T.

[31] Colonel Benjamin Wilson, Sen. (then an officer in Dunmore's army, and whose narrative of the campaign furnished the facts which are here detailed) says that he conversed freely with one of the interpreters (Nicholson) in regard to the mission to Logan, and that neither from the interpreter, nor any other one during the campaign, did he hear of the charge preferred in Logan's speech against Captain Cresap, as being engaged in the affair at Yellow creek.—Captain Cresap was an officer in the division of the army under Lord Dunmore; and it would seem strange indeed, if Logan's speech had been made public, at camp Charlotte, and neither he, (who was so materially interested in it, and could at once have proved the falsehood of the allegation which it contained,) nor Colonel Wilson, (who was present during the whole conference between Lord Dunmore and the Indian chiefs, and at the time when the speeches were delivered sat immediately behind and close to Dunmore,) should have heard nothing of it until years after.

———

Comment by R. G. T.—Withers thus shortly disposes of the famous speech by Logan, which schoolboys have been reciting for nearly a hundred years as one of the best specimens extant, of Indian eloquence. The evidence in regard to the speech, which was undoubtedly recited to Gibson, and by him written out for Lord Dunmore's perusal, and later "improved" by Jefferson, is clearly stated in Roosevelt's Winning of the West, I., app. iii.

[32] The reason for the attack was, that the Mingoes were implacable, and Dunmore had learned that instead of coming into the treaty they purposed retreating to the Great Lakes with their prisoners and stolen horses. This Mingo village was Seekonk (sometimes called the Hill Town), 30 or 40 miles up the Scioto. Crawford left Camp Charlotte the night of the 25th, and surprised the town early in the morning of the 27th. Six were killed, several wounded, and fourteen captured; the rest escaping into the forest. Crawford burned several Mingo towns in the neighborhood.—R. G. T.

[33] In remarking on the appearance and manner of Cornstalk while speaking, Colonel Wilson says, "When he arose, he was in no wise confused or daunted, but spoke in a distinct, and audible voice, without stammering or repetition, and with peculiar emphasis. His looks while addressing Dunmore, were truly grand and majestic; yet graceful and attractive. I have heard the first orators in Virginia, Patrick Henry and Richard Henry Lee, but never have I heard one whose powers of delivery surpassed those of Cornstalk on that occasion."



[139] CHAPTER VIII.

Upon the close of the campaign of 1774, there succeeded a short period of perfect quiet, and of undisturbed repose from savage invasion, along the borders of North Western Virginia. The decisive battle of the 10th of October, repressed incursion for a time, and taught those implacable enemies of her citizens, their utter inability, alone and unaided, to maintain a contest of arms, against the superior power of Virginia. They saw that in any future conflict with this colony, her belligerent operations would no longer be confined to the mere purposes of defence; but that war would be waged in their own country, and their own towns become the theatre of its action. Had the leading objects of the Dunmore campaign been fully accomplished,—had the contemplated junction of the different divisions of the army taken place;—had its combined forces extended their march into the Indian territory, and effected the proposed reduction of the Chilicothe, and other towns on the Scioto and Sandusky, it would have been long indeed, before the frontier settlements, became exposed to savage inroad. A failure to effect these things however, left the Indians comparatively at liberty, and prepared to renew invasion, and revive their cruel and bloody deeds, whenever a savage thirst for vengeance should incite them to action, and the prospect of achieving them with impunity, be open before them. In the then situation of our country, this prospect was soon presented to them.

The contest between Great Britain and her American colonies, which had been for some time carried on with increasing warmth, was ripening rapidly into war. The events of every day, more and more confirmed the belief, that the "unconditional submission" of the colonies, was the object of the parent state; and that to accomplish this, she was [140] prepared to desolate the country by a civil war, and imbrue her hands in the blood of its citizens. This state of things the Indians knew, would favor the consummation of their hopes. Virginia, having to apply her physical strength to the repulsion of other enemies, could not be expected to extend her protecting aegis over the remote and isolated settlements on her borders. These would have to depend on themselves alone, for resistance to ruthless irruption, and exemption from total annihilation. The Indians well knew the weakness of those settlements, and their consequent incapacity to vie in open conflict with the overwhelming force of their savage foes; and their heriditary resentment to the whites prompted them to take advantage of that weakness, to wreak this resentment, and involve them once more in hostilities.

Other circumstances too, combined in their operation, to produce this result. The plan of Lord Dunmore and others, to induce the Indians to co-operate with the English in reducing Virginia to subjection, and defeated by the detection and apprehension of Connoly, was soon after resumed on a more extensive scale. British agents were busily engaged from Canada to the Gulph of Mexico, in endeavoring by immediate presents and the promise of future reward, to excite the savages to a war upon the western frontiers. To accomplish this object, no means which were likely to be of any avail, were neglected to be used. Gratified resentment and the certainty of plunder, were held up to view as present consequences of this measure; and the expulsion of the whites, and the repossession, by the Natives, of the country from which their fathers had been ejected, as its ultimate result.—Less cogent motives might have enlisted them on the side of Great Britain. These were too strong to be resisted by them, and too powerful to be counteracted by any course of conduct, which the colonies could observe towards them; and they became ensnared by the delusive bait, and the insidious promises which accompanied it.

There were in the colonies too, many persons, who from principle or fear, were still attached to the cause of Great Britain; and who not only, did not sanction the opposition of their country to the supremacy of Parliament, but were willing in any wise to lend their aid to the royal cause. Some of those disaffected Americans, (as they were at first denominated) who resided on the frontiers, foreseeing the [141] attachment of the Indians to the side of Britain, and apprehensive that in their inroads, the friends as well as the enemies of that country, might, from the difficulty of discriminating, be exposed to savage fury; and at the same time, sensible that they had become obnoxious to a majority of their neighbors, who were perhaps, too much inclined to practice summary modes of punishment, sought a refuge among the Indians, from those impending evils. In some instances, these persons were under the influence of the most rancorous and vindictive passions, and when once with the savages, strove to infuse those passions into their breasts, and stimulate them to the repetition of those enormities, which had previously, so terribly annoyed the inhabitants of the different frontiers.[1] Thus wrought upon, their inculcated enmity to the Anglo-Americans generally, roused them to action, and the dissonant notes of the war song, resounded in their villages. For a while indeed, they refrained from hostilities against North Western Virginia. It was however, but to observe the progress of passing events, that they might act against the mountain borders, simultaneously with the British on the Atlantic coast; as a premature movement on their part, might, while Virginia was yet at liberty to bear down upon them with concentrated forces, bring upon their towns the destruction which had so appallingly threatened them after the battle at Point Pleasant.

But though the inhabitants on the Virginia frontiers, enjoyed a momentary respite from savage warfare; yet were the Indians not wholly unemployed in deeds of aggression. The first attempt to occupy Kentucky, had been the signal of hostilities in 1774; and the renewed endeavors to form establishments in it, in 1775, induced their continuance, and brought on those who were engaged in effecting them, all the horrors of savage warfare.

Upon the close of the campaign under Lord Dunmore, Kentucky became more generally known. James Harrod, with those who had associated themselves with him in making a settlement in that country and aided in the erection of the fort at Harrodsburg, joined the army of General Lewis at Point Pleasant; and when, after the treaty of Camp Charlotte, the army was disbanded, many of the soldiers and some of the officers, enticed by the description given of it by Harrod, returned to south Western Virginia, through that country.[2] The result of their examination of it, induced many to migrate thither immediately; and in 1775, families began to take up their residence in it.

At that time, the only white persons residing in Kentucky, were those at Harrod's fort; and for a while, emigrants to that country [142] established themselves in its immediate vicinity, that they might derive protection from its walls, from the marauding irruptions of Indians. Two other establishments were, however, soon made, and became, as well as Harrod's, rallying points for land adventurers, and for many of those, whose enterprising spirits led them, to make their home in that wilderness. The first of these was that at Boonesborough, and which was made, under the superintendence of Daniel Boone.

The prospect of amassing great wealth, by the purchase of a large body of land from the Indians, for a comparatively trifling consideration, induced some gentlemen in North Carolina, to form a company, and endeavor by negotiation to effect such purpose. This association was known under the title of Henderson and company; and its object was, the acquisition of a considerable portion of Kentucky.[3] The first step, necessary towards the accomplishment of this object, was, to convene a council of the Indians; and as the territory sought to be acquired, did not belong, in individual property to any one nation of them, it was deemed advisable to convoke the chiefs of the different nations south of the Ohio river. A time was then appointed at which these were to assemble; and it became necessary to engage an agent, possessing the requisite qualifications, to attend the council, on behalf of Henderson and company, and to transact the business for them. The fame of Daniel Boone which had reached them, recommended him, as one eminently qualified to discharge the duties devolving on an agent; and he was employed in that capacity. At the appointed period, the council was held, and a negotiation commenced, which resulted in the transfer, to Henderson and company, of the title of the southern Indians to the land lying south of the Kentucky river, and north of the Tennessee.[4]

Boone was then placed at the head of a party of enterprising men, sent to open a road from the Holstein settlement, through the wilderness, to the Kentucky river, and to take possession of the company's purchase. When within fifteen miles of the termination of their journey, they were attacked by a body of northern Indians, who killed two of Boone's comrades, and wounded two others.

Two days after, they were again attacked by them, and had two more of their party killed and three wounded.[5] From this time they experienced no farther molestation until they had arrived within the limits of the purchase, and erected a fort, at a lick near the southern bank of the Kentucky river—the site of the present town of Boonesborough. Enfeebled by the loss sustained in the attacks made on them by the Indians; and worn down by the continued labor of opening a road through an almost impervious wilderness, it was some time before they could so far complete the fort, so as to render it secure against anticipated assaults of the savages, and justify a detachment being sent from the garrison, to escort the family of Boone to his new situation. When it was thus far completed, an office [143] was opened for the sale of the company's land;[6] and Boone and some others returned to Holstein, and from thence, guarded the family of Boone, through the wilderness, to the newly erected fort. Mrs. Boone and her daughter, are believed to be the first white females who ever stood on the banks of the Kentucky river.[7]

[143] In 1775 Benjamin Logan, who had been with Lord Dunmore at Camp Charlotte, visited Kentucky and selected a spot for his future residence, near to the present village of Stamford, erected thereon a fort; and in the following year moved his family thither.

These were the only settlements then begun to be made within the limits of the now state of Kentucky. As the tide of emigration flowed into the country, those three forts afforded an asylum, from the Indian hostility to which the whites were incessantly subjected; and never perhaps lived three men better qualified by nature and habit, to resist that hostility, and preserve the settlers from captivity and death, than James Harrod, Daniel Boone, and Benjamin Logan. Reared in the lap of danger, and early inured to the hardships and sufferings of a wilderness life, they were habitually acquainted with those arts which were necessary to detect and defeat the one, and to lessen and alleviate the others. Intrepid and fearless, yet cautious and prudent, there was united in each of them, the sly, circumventive powers of the Indian, with the bold defiance, and open daring of the whites. Quick, almost to intuition, in the perception of impending dangers, instant in determining, and prompt in action; to see, to resolve, and to execute, were with them the work of the same moment. Rife in expedients, the most perplexing difficulties rarely found them at a loss. Possessed of these qualities, they were placed at the head of the little colonies planted around them; not by ambition, but by the universal voice of the people; from a deep and thorough conviction, that they only were adequate to the exigencies of their situation. The conviction was not ill founded. Their intellectual and physical resources were powerfully and constantly exerted for the preservation and security of the settlements; and frequently, with astonishing success, under the most inauspicious circumstances. Had they indeed, by nature, been supine and passive, their isolated situation, and the constantly repeated attempts of the Indians, at their extermination, would have aroused them, as it did others, to activity and energy, and brought their every [144] nerve into action. For them, there were no "weak, piping times of peace,"—no respite from danger. The indefatigable vigilance and persevering hostility of an unrelenting foe, required countervailing exertions on their part; and kept alive the life, which they delighted to live.

From the instant those establishments were made, and emigrants placed themselves in their vicinity, the Savages commenced their usual mode of warfare; and marauding parties were ever in readiness, to seize upon, those, whose misfortune it was to become exposed to their vigilance. In the prosecution of these hostilities, incidents of the most lively and harrowing interest, though limited in their consequences, were constantly recurring; before a systematic course of operations, was undertaken for the destruction of the settlers.

The Indians, seeing that they had to contend with persons, as well skilled in their peculiar mode of warfare, as themselves, and as likely to detect them, while lying in wait for an opportunity to strike the deadly blow, as they were to strike it with impunity, they entirely changed their plans of annoyance. Instead of longer endeavoring to cut off the whites in detail, they brought into the country a force, sufficiently numerous and powerful to act simultaneously against all the settlements. The consequence of this was, much individual suffering and several horrid massacres. Husbandmen, toiling to secure the product of the summer's labor, for their sustenance another season, were frequently attacked, and murdered.—Hunters, engaged in procuring meat for immediate and pressing use, were obliged to practise the utmost wariness to evade the ambushed Indian, and make sure their return to the fort. Springs and other watering places, and the paths leading to them, were constantly guarded by the savages; who would lie near them day and night, until forced to leave their covert, in quest of food to satisfy their extreme hunger; and who, when this end was attained, would return to their hiding places, with renovated strength, and increased watchfulness. The cattle belonging to the garrisons were either driven off, or killed, so that no supplies could be derived from them. This state of things continued, without intermission, 'till the severity of winter forced the Indians to depart for their towns; and then succeeded, of necessity, a truce, which had become extremely desirable to the different settlements.

When we reflect on the dangers, the difficulties, the complicated distresses, to which the inhabitants were then exposed, it is really matter of astonishment that they did not abandon the country, and seek elsewhere an exemption from those evils. How women, with all the feminine weakness of the sex, could be prevailed upon to remain during the winter, and encounter with the returning spring, the returning horrors of savage warfare, is truly surprising. The frequent recurrence of danger, does indeed, produce a comparative insensibility and indifference to it; but it is difficult to conceive, [145] that familiarity with the tragic scenes which were daily exhibited there, could reconcile persons to a life of constant exposure to them. Yet such was the fact; and not only did the few, who were first to venture on them, continue in the country, but others, equally adventurous, moved to it; encountering many hardships and braving every danger, to aid in maintaining possession of the modern Canaan, and to obtain a home in that land of milk and honey. If for a while, they flattered themselves with the hope, that the ravages which had been checked by winter, would not be repeated on the return of spring, they were sadly disappointed. Hostilities were resumed, as soon as the abatement of cold, suffered the Indians to take the field; and were carried on with renovated ardor, and on an enlarged scale.[8]

Feeling the hopelessness of extirpating the settlements, so long as the forts remained to afford a safe retreat to the inhabitants; and having learned, by the experience of the preceding season, that the whites were but little, if at all, inferior to them in their own arts, and were competent to combat them, in their own mode of warfare, the Indians resolved on bringing into the country a larger force, and to direct their united energies to the demolition of the different forts. To prevent any aid being afforded by the other garrisons, while operations were leveled against one, they resolved on detaching from their main body, such a number of men as was deemed sufficient to keep watch around the other forts, and awe their inmates from attempting to leave them, on any occasion. This was a course of excellent policy. It was calculated not only to prevent the marching of any auxiliary forces from one to the other of the fortresses, but at the same time by preventing hunting parties from ranging the woods, cut off the principal source, from which their supplies were derived; and thus tended to render their fall, the more certain and easy.

Accordingly in March 1777, they entered Kentucky with a force of upwards of two hundred warriors; and sending some of their most expert and active men to watch around Boone's and Logan's forts, marched with the chief part of their army to attack Harrodsburg. On the 14th of March three persons (who were engaged in clearing some land) not far from Harrod's fort, discovered the Indians proceeding through the woods, and sought to escape observation and convey the intelligence to the garrison. But they too, were discovered and pursued; and one of them was killed, another taken prisoner, and the third (James, afterwards Gen. Ray, then a mere youth) reached Harrodsburg alone in safety.[9] Aware that the place had become alarmed, and that they had then no chance of operating on it, by surprise, they encamped near to it on that evening; and early on the morning of the 15th commenced a furious and animated attack.

Apprized of the near approach of the enemy, the garrison had made every preparation for defense, of which their situation admitted; and when the assailants rushed to the assault, not intimidated by their horrible and unnatural yells, nor yet dispirited by the [146] presence of a force so far superior to their own, they received them with a fire so steady and well directed, as forced them to recoil; leaving one of their slain on the field of attack. This alone, argued a great discomfiture of the Indians; as it is well known to be their invariable custom, to remove, if practicable, those of their warriors who fall in battle. Their subsequent movements, satisfied the inmates of the fort, that there had been indeed a discomfiture; and that they had but little to apprehend from a renewed assault on their little fortress. After reconnoitering for a while, at a prudent distance from the garrison, the Indians kindled their fires for the night; and in the following day, leaving a small party for the purpose of annoyance, decamped with the main body of their army, and marched towards Boonesborough.[10] In consequence however, of a severe spell of March weather, they were forced to remain inactive for a time; and did not make their appearance there, until the middle of April.

In the assault on Boone's fort, the Indians soon, became satisfied that it was impregnable against them; and although their repulse was not as signal here, as it had been at Harrodsburg, yet they soon withdrew from the contest, and marched towards Logan's fort,—having killed one and wounded four, of the whites.[11]

Several causes combined to render an attack on the fort at Logan's station, an event of most fearful consequence.[12] Its inmates had been but a short time in the country, and were not provided with an ample supply either of provisions or ammunition. They were few in number; and though of determined spirit and undaunted fortitude, yet such was the disparity between thirteen and two hundred—the force of the garrison and the force of the assailants, joined to their otherwise destitute situation, that hope itself, could scarcely live in so perilous a situation. Had this been the first point, against which the enemy levelled their operations when they arrived in the country, it must have fallen before them. But by deferring the attack on it, 'till they had been repulsed at the two other forts, the garrison was allowed time; and availing themselves of it, to fortify their position more strongly, the issue was truly, most fortunate, though unexpected.

On the night preceding the commencement of the attack on the fort, the Indians had approached near to it unperceived, and secreted themselves in a cane brake, which had been suffered to remain around the cabins.

Early in the morning the women, went out to milk, guarded by most of the garrison; and before they were aware of impending danger, the concealed Indians opened a general fire, which killed three of the men, and drove the others, hastily within the fort.[13] A most affecting spectacle was then presented to view, well calculated to excite the sympathies of human nature, and arouse to action a man possessed of the generous sensibility and noble daring, which animated the bosom of Logan.

One of the men who had fallen on the first fire of the Indians and had been supposed by his comrades to be dead, was in truth though [147] badly wounded, yet still alive; and was observed feebly struggling to crawl towards the fort. The fear of laceration and mangling from the horrid scalping knife, and of tortures from more barbarous instruments, seemed to abate his exertions in dragging his wounded body along, lest he should be discovered and borne off by some infuriated and unfeeling savage. It was doubtful too, whether his strength would endure long enough to enable him to reach the gate, even if unmolested by any apprehension of danger. The magnanimous and intrepid Logan resolved on making an effort to save him. He endeavored to raise volunteers, to accompany him without the fort, and bring in their poor wounded companion. It seemed as if courting the quick embrace of death, and even his adventurous associates for an instant, shrunk from the danger. At length a man by the name of Martin, who plumed himself on rash and daring deeds, consented to aid in the enterprise; and the two proceeded towards the gate. Here the spirit of Martin forsook him, and he recoiled from the hazardous adventure. Logan was then alone. He beheld the feeble, but wary exertions of his unfortunate comrade, entirely subside; and he could not hesitate. He rushed quickly through the gate, caught the unhappy victim in his arms, and bore him triumphantly into the fort, amid a shower of bullets aimed at him; and some of which buried themselves in the pallisades close by his head. A most noble and disinterested achievement, and worthy of all commendation.[14]

[148] The siege being maintained by the Indians, the animation of the garrison was nearly exhausted, in repelling the frequent assaults made on the fort; and it was apparent, that the enemy did not intend speedily to withdraw their forces. Parties of Indians were frequently detached from the main body, as well to obtain a supply of provisions by hunting, as to intercept and cut off any [147] aid, which might be sent to St. Asaph's[15] from the other forts. In this posture of affairs, it was impossible that the garrison could long hold out, unless its military stores could be replenished; and to effect this, under existing circumstances, appeared to be almost impossible. Harrodsburg and Boonesborough were not themselves amply provided with stores; and had it been otherwise, so closely was the intermediate country between them and St. Asaph's, guarded by the savages, that no communication could be carried from one to the other of them. The settlement on the Holstein was the nearest point, from which it could be practicable to derive a supply of ammunition, and the distance to that neighborhood, was considerable.

Logan knew the danger which must result to the garrison, from being weakened as much as it must be, by sending a portion of it on this hazardous enterprise; but he also knew, that the fort could not be preserved from falling, unless its magazine was soon replenished. Prefering the doubtful prospect of succeeding in its relief, by adopting the plan of sending to Holstein, he proposed the measure to his companions, and they eagerly embraced it. It remained then to select the party, which was to venture on this high enterprise. Important as the presence of Logan, was known to be, in the fort, yet as the lives of all within, depended on the success of the expedition and as to effect this, required the exercise of qualities rarely possessed in so great degree by any other individual, he was unanimously chosen to conduct the enterprise.

Accompanied by four of the garrison, Logan, as slyly as possible, slipped from the fort, and commenced his tedious journey.[16] To lessen the chance of coming in contact [148] with straggling bands of Indians, he avoided the pack road which had been opened by Boone; and pursuing an untrodden route, reached the settlement in safety. The requisite supplies were soon engaged; and while they were being prepared for transportation, Logan was actively engaged in endeavoring to prevail on the inhabitants, to form a company as expeditiously as possible and march to their relief. With a faint promise of assistance, and with the assurance that their situation should be immediately made known to the executive authority of the state, he set off on his return. Confiding the ammunition which he had obtained, to the care of his companions, and prudently advising and instructing them in the course best to be pursued, he left them, and hastened to make his way alone, back to St. Asaph. In ten days after his departure from the fort, he returned to it again; and his [149] presence contributed much to revive and encourage the garrison; 'till then in almost utter despair of obtaining relief. In a few days after, the party arrived with the ammunition, and succeeded in entering the fort unperceived; though it was still surrounded by the Indians. With so much secrecy and caution had the enterprise been conducted, that the enemy never knew it had been undertaken, until it was happily accomplished.

For some time after this the garrison continued in high expectation of seeing the besiegers depart, despairing of making any impression on the fort. But they were mistaken in this expectation. Each returning day shewed the continued investiture of the fort, and exhibited the Indians as pertinaciously intent on its reduction by assault or famine, as they were on the day of their arrival before it. Weeks elapsed, and there was no appearance of the succours which had been promised to Logan, when in the settlement on Holstein. And although the besieged were still successful in repelling every assault on the garrison, yet their stock of provisions was almost entirely exhausted; and there was no chance of obtaining a farther supply, but from the woods around them. To depend on the success of hunting parties, to relieve their necessities and prevent their actual starvation or surrender, seemed indeed, but a slender reed on which to rely; and the gloom of despondency overshadowed their hitherto sanguine countenances. But as they were resigning themselves to despair, and yielding up the last hope of being able to escape from savage fury and savage vengeance, Colonel Bowman arrived to their relief, and forced the Indians to raise the siege. It was not however, without some loss on his part. A detachment of his men, which had preceded the advance of the main army, was unfortunately unable to reach the fort, undiscovered by the besiegers; who attacked and killed them before they could enter the garrison. On the body of one of these men, was left a proclamation, issued by the Governor of Detroit promising protection and reward to those who would renounce the cause of the American colonies, and espouse that of Great Britain; and denouncing those who would not. When this proclamation was carried to Logan, he carefully kept secret its contents, lest it might produce an unfavorable effect on the minds of some of his men; worn down, exhausted, and discouraged as they then were.[17]

[150] After the arrival of Colonel Bowman in the country, there was for a time, a good deal of skirmishing between his forces, aided by individuals from the different forts, and those Indians. In all of them, the superiority of the whites in the use of the rifle, became apparent to the savages; and as the feat of Captain Gibson with the sword, had previously acquired for the Virginians, the appellation of the Long Knives,[18] the fatal certainty, with which Bowman's men and the inhabitants of the various settlements in Kentucky, then aimed their shots, might have added to that title, the forcible epithet of sharp-shooters. They were as skilful and successful, too, in the practice of those arts, by which one is enabled to steal unaware upon his enemy, as the Natives themselves; and were equally as sure to execute the purposes, for which those arts were put in requisition, as these were. The consequence was, that the Indians were not only more shy in approaching the garrison, than they had been; but they likewise became, more cautious and circumspect, in their woods operations, than formerly.

The frequent success of Colonel Bowman's men, in scouring the surrounding country, gave to the inhabitants of all the settlements, an opportunity of cultivating their little fields, and of laying in such a stock of provisions and military stores, as would suffice in the hour of need; when that force should be withdrawn from the country, and the Indians consequently be again enabled to overrun it. All that the inhabitants, by reason of the paucity of their numbers, could yet do, was to shut themselves in forts, and preserve these from falling into the hands of the enemy. When the term of those, who had so opportunely came to their relief, expired, and they returned to their homes, there were at Boonesborough only twenty-two, at Harrodsburg sixty-five, and at St. Asaph's fifteen men. Emigrants however, flocked to the country during the ensuing season, in great numbers; and their united strength enabled them the better to resist aggression, and conduct the various operations of husbandry and hunting—then the only occupations of the men.

While these things were transacting in Kentucky, North Western Virginia enjoyed a repose undisturbed, save by the conviction of the moral certainty, that it would be again involved in all the horrors of savage warfare; and that too, at no distant period: The machinations of British agents, to [151] produce this result, were well known to be gaining advocates daily, among the savages; and the hereditary resentments of these, were known to be too deeply seated, for the victory of Point Pleasant to have produced their eradication, and to have created in their stead, a void, to become the future receptacle of kindlier feelings, towards their Virginia neighbors. A coalition of the many tribes north west of the Ohio river, had been some time forming, and the assent of the Shawanees, alone, was wanting to its perfection. The distinguished Sachem at the head of that nation, was opposed to an alliance with the British, and anxious to preserve a friendly intercourse with the colonists. All his influence, with all his energy, was exerted, to prevent his brethren from again involving themselves, in a war with the whites. But it was likely to be in vain. Many of his warriors had fallen at the mouth of the Kenhawa, and his people had suffered severely during the continuance of that war; they were therefore, too intent on retaliation, to listen to the sage counsel of their chief. In this posture of affairs, Cornstalk, in the spring of 1777, visited the fort, which had been erected at Point Pleasant after the campaign of 1774, in company with the Red Hawk, and another Indian. Captain Matthew Arbuckle was then commandant of the garrison; and when Cornstalk communicated to him the hostile preparations of the Indians,—that the Shawanees alone were wanting to render a confederacy complete,—that, as the "current set so strongly against the colonies, even they would float with the stream in despite of his endeavors to stem it," and that hostilities would commence immediately, he deemed it prudent to detain him and his companions as hostages, for the peace and neutrality of the different tribes of Indians in Ohio. He at the same time acquainted the newly organized government of Virginia, with the information which he had received from Cornstalk, and the course which he had taken with that chief, and the others who accompanied him to the garrison.

Upon the receipt of this intelligence, it was resolved, if volunteers could be had for this purpose, to march an army into the Indian country and effectually accomplish the objects, which had been proposed to be achieved in the campaign of Lord Dunmore in 1774. The volunteers in Augusta and Bottetourt, were to rendezvous as early as possible, at the mouth of the Big Kenhawa, where they would be joined by [152] other troops under General Hand,[19] who would then assume the command of the whole expedition.

In pursuance of this resolve, three or four companies only, were raised in the counties of Bottetourt and Augusta; and these immediately commenced their march, to the place of general rendezvous, under the command of Colonel George Skillern. In the Greenbrier country, great exertions were made by the militia officers there, to obtain volunteers, but with little effect. One company only was formed, consisting of thirty men, and the officers, laying aside all distinctions of rank, placed themselves in the line as common soldiers, and proceeded to Point Pleasant with the troops led on by Colonel Skillern. Upon their arrival at that place, nothing had been heard of General Hand, or of the forces which it was expected would accompany him from Fort Pitt; and the volunteers halted, to await some intelligence from him.

The provisions, for the support of the army in its projected invasion of the Indian country, were expected to be brought down the river, from Fort Pitt; and the troops under Colonel Skillern had only taken with them, what was deemed sufficient for their subsistence on their march to the place of rendezvous. This stock was nearly exhausted, and the garrison was too illy supplied, to admit of their drawing on its stores.—While thus situated, and anxiously awaiting the arrival of General Hand with his army and provisions, the officers held frequent conversations with Cornstalk, who seemed to take pleasure in acquainting them with the geography of the country west of the Ohio river generally, and more particularly with that section of it lying between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. One afternoon while he was engaged in delineating on the floor a map of that territory, with the various water courses emptying into those two mighty streams, and describing the face of the country, its soil and climate, a voice was heard hallooing from the opposite shore of the Ohio, which he immediately recognised to be that of his son Ellinipsico, and who coming over at the instance of Cornstalk, embraced him most affectionately. Uneasy at the long absence of his father, and fearing that some unforseen evil might have befallen him, he had come to learn some tidings of him here; knowing that it was the place, to go to which he had left the nation. His visit was prompted by feelings [153] which do honor to human nature—anxious solicitude for a father,—but it was closed by a most terrible catastrophe.

On the day after the arrival of Ellinipsico, and while he was yet in the garrison, two men, from Captain Hall's company of Rockbridge volunteers, crossed the Kenhawa river on a hunting excursion. As they were returning to the canoe for the purpose of recrossing to the Fort, after the termination of the hunt, Gilmore was espied by two Indians, concealed near the bank, who fired at, killed and scalped him. At that instant, Captains Arbuckle and Stuart (the latter having accompanied the Greenbrier volunteers as a private soldier) were standing on the point opposite to where lay the canoe in which Hamilton and Gilmore had crossed the river; and expressed some astonishment that the men should be so indiscreet as to be shooting near to the encampment, contrary to commands. They had scarcely time to express their disapprobation at the supposed violation of orders, when Hamilton was seen running down the bank of the river, and heard to exclaim, that Gilmore was killed. A party of Captain Hall's men immediately sprang into a canoe and went over to relieve Hamilton from danger, and to bring the body of Gilmore to the encampment. Before they relanded with the bloody corpse of Gilmore, a cry arose, "let us go and kill the Indians in the fort;" and pale with rage they ascended the bank, with captain Hall at their head, to execute their horrid purpose. It was vain to remonstrate. To the interference of Captains Arbuckle and Stuart to prevent the fulfilling of this determination, they responded, by cocking their guns, and threatening instant death to any one who should dare to oppose them.

The interpreter's wife, (who had lately returned from Indian captivity, and seemed to entertain a feeling of affection for Cornstalk and his companions) seeing their danger, ran to their cabin to apprise them of it, and told them that Ellinipsico was charged with having brought with him the Indians who had killed Gilmore. This however he positively denied, averring that he came alone, and with the sole object of learning something of his father. In this time Captain Hall and his men had arrived within hearing, and Ellinipsico appeared much agitated. Cornstalk however, encouraged him to meet his fate composedly, saying, "my son, the Great Spirit has seen fit that we should die together, and has sent you here to that [154] end. It is his will and let us submit;—it is all for the best;" and turning to meet his murderers at the door, received seven bullets in his body and fell without a groan.

Thus perished the mighty Cornstalk, Sachem of the Shawanees, and king of the northern confederacy in 1774: A chief remarkable for many great and good qualities. He was disposed to be at all times the friend of white men; as he ever was, the advocate of honorable peace. But when his country's wrongs "called aloud to battle," he became the thunderbolt of war; and made her oppressors feel the weight of his uplifted arm. He sought not to pluck the scalp from the head of the innocent, nor to war against the unprotected and defenceless; choosing rather to encounter his enemies, girded for battle, and in open conflict. His noble bearing,—his generous and disinterested attachment to the colonies, when the thunder of British cannon was reverberating through the land—his anxiety to preserve the frontier of Virginia from desolation and death, (the object of his visit to Point Pleasant)—all conspired to win for him the esteem and respect of others; while the untimely, and perfidious manner of his death, caused a deep and lasting regret to pervade the bosoms, even of those who were enemies to his nation; and excited the just indignation of all, towards his inhuman and barbarous murderers.

When the father fell, Ellinipsico continued still and passive; not even raising himself from the seat, which he had occupied before they received notice, that some infuriated whites were loudly demanding their immolation. He met death in that position, with the utmost composure and calmness. The trepidation which first seized upon him, was of but momentary duration, and was succeeded by a most dignified sedateness and stoical apathy. It was not so with the young Red Hawk. He endeavored to conceal himself up the chimney of the cabin, in which they were; but without success. He was soon discovered and killed. The remaining Indian was murdered by piece-meal; and with almost all those circumstances of cruelty and horror, which characterize the savage, in wreaking vengeance upon an enemy.

Cornstalk is said to have had a presentiment of his approaching fate. On the day preceding his death, a council of officers was convoked, in consequence of the continued absence of General Hand, and their entire ignorance of his [155] force or movements, to consult and determine on what would be the course for them to pursue under existing circumstances. Cornstalk was admitted to the council; and in the course of some remarks, with which he addressed it, said, "When I was young and went to war, I often thought, each might be my last adventure, and I should return no more. I still lived. Now I am in the midst of you, and if you choose, may kill me. I can die but once. It is alike to me, whether now or hereafter." Little did those who were listening with delight to the eloquence of his address, and deriving knowledge from his instruction, think to see him so quickly and inhumanly, driven from the theatre of life. It was a fearful deed; and dearly was it expiated by others. The Shawanees were a warlike people, and became henceforward the most deadly foe, to the inhabitants on the frontiers.

In a few days after the perpetration of this diabolical outrage upon all propriety, General Hand arrived from Pittsburg without an army, and without provisions for those who had been awaiting his coming. It was then determined to abandon the expedition; and the volunteers returned to their homes.[20]

——- [1] Chief among the fomenters of disorder were the renegades Simon Girty, Matthew Elliott, and Alexander McKee. The dastardly deeds of this trio are fully set forth in Butterfield's History of the Girtys, an important work to all students of the annals of the West during the Revolutionary War.—R. G. T.

[2] James Harrod's father emigrated from England to Virginia, about 1734, and was one of the first settlers on the Shenandoah, in the Valley of Virginia. One of his sons, Samuel, accompanied Michael Stoner on his famous Western hunting and exploring trip, in 1767; another, William, born at the new family seat, at Big Cove, in what is now Bedford County, Pa., served with distinction under George Rogers Clark. James, born in 1742, was twelve years old when his father died, leaving a large family on an exposed frontier, at the opening of the French and Indian War. In November, 1755, a raid was made on the Big Cove settlement, by the Delaware chief Shingiss (p. 45, note), but the Harrods were among the few families who escaped unharmed to Fort Littleton. When James was sixteen years of age he served with his brother William on Forbes's campaign, and very likely saw further service during that war. In 1772, when he had attained wide celebrity on the border as an adept in woodcraft, he helped William settle on Ten Mile Creek, a tributary of the Monongahela; and in 1773 he and several other explored Kentucky, returning home by way of Greenbrier River. We have seen (p. 152, note) that he was surveying the site of Harrodsburg in 1774, when warned by Boone and Stoner. Retiring with his men to the Holston, he and they joined Col. Christian's regiment, but arrived at Point Pleasant a few hours after the battle of October 10. Returning to his abandoned Kentucky settlement March 18, 1775, a fortnight before Boonesborough was founded, he was chosen a delegate to the Transylvania convention, and became a man of great prominence in the Kentucky colony. In 1779 he commanded a company on Bowman's campaign, and the year following was a captain on Clark's Indian campaign; declining a majorship, he served as a private on Clark's campaign of 1782. He was a member of the Kentucky convention (at Danville) of December, 1784, and at one time represented Kentucky in the Virginia legislature. In February, 1792, having made his will, he set out from Washington, Ky., with two men, in search of a silver mine reported to be at the Three Forks of the Kentucky. No more was heard of him or his companions, and it is still the belief of the family that the latter murdered him. He was survived by his wife and a daughter, and left a large landed estate. Harrod, although unlettered, was a man of fine presence and many sterling qualities, and made a strong impress on his generation. He is still remembered in Kentucky as one of the worthiest pioneers of that state.—R. G. T.

[3] The company—successively called The Louisa Company, Henderson & Co., and The Transylvania Company—was composed of Col. Richard Henderson, Col. John Williams, Thomas Hart, Col. David Hart, Capt. Nathaniel Hart, Col. John Luttsell, James Hogg, William Johnston, and Leonard Henley Bullock.

Henderson's paternal great-grandfather was a Scottish immigrant, and one of his grandmothers was Welsh. The family settled in Hanover County, Va., where Richard, son of Samuel Henderson, was born April 20, 1735. Samuel moved with his family to North Carolina, in 1745, and became sheriff of Granville County. Richard had the education of a rural youth of good station, and became a lawyer. In 1767 he was appointed one of the two associate justices of the superior court of the colony, and served with great credit for six years, when the court was abolished. During professional visits to Salisbury, Henderson heard frequently—chiefly through the brothers Hart—of the exploits of Boone, and the latter's glowing reports of the beauty and fertility of Kentucky. Relying implicitly on Boone's statements, these four men energetically resolved to settle the country. In the autumn of 1774, Henderson and Nathaniel Hart visited the Cherokees to ascertain if they would sell their claims to Kentucky, and receiving a favorable reply agreed to meet the Indians in treaty council at the Sycamore Shoals, on Watauga River. On their return home, they were accompanied by a wise old Indian (Little Carpenter), and a young buck and his squaw, delegates to see that proper goods were purchased for the proposed barter. These goods were bought in December at Cross Creek, now Fayetteville, N. C., and forwarded by wagons to Watauga.

Boone was then sent out to collect the Indians, and when the council opened (March 14, 1775) had twelve hundred assembled at the Sycamore Shoals—half of them warriors. The council proceeded slowly, with much characteristic vacillating on the part of the Indians; but on the third day (March 17) the deed of sale was signed to what came to be known as "the great grant:" The tract from the mouth of the Kentucky (or Louisa) River to the head spring of its most northerly fork; thence northeasterly to the top of Powell's Mountain; thence westerly and then northwesterly to the head spring of the most southerly branch of the Cumberland; thence down that stream, including all its waters, to the Ohio, and thence up the Ohio to the mouth of the Kentucky. The Indians were conscious that they had sold what did not belong to them; and Dragging Canoe and other chiefs were outspoken in their opinion that the whites would have difficulty in settling the tract. The Indians were much dissatisfied with the division of the goods. These "filled a house" and cost L10,000 sterling, yet when distributed among so many greedy savages each had but a small share. One warrior, who received but a shirt for his portion, said he "could have shot more game in one day on the land ceded, than would pay for so slight a garment."

Governors Martin, of North Carolina, and Dunmore, of Virginia, issued proclamations against the purchase, as contrary to the royal proclamation of 1763. But those who were present at the treaty—among them such prominent borderers as Daniel Boone, James Robertson, John Sevier, Isaac Shelby, Felix Walker, the Bledsoes, Richard Callaway, William Twitty, William Cocke, and Nathaniel Henderson—were heedless of such proclamations, and eager to become settlers under the company's liberal offer made to them on the spot: for each man who assisted in the first settlement, and went out and raised a crop of corn that year, a grant of 500 acres for L5 sterling, clear of all charges.

Boone, as the company's agent, started out at once (March 10) with twenty men, soon reinforced to thirty; with their hatchets they blazed a bridle path over Cumberland Gap, and across Cumberland, Laurel, and Rockcastle rivers, to the banks of the Kentucky, where, after a running fight with the Indians, they arrived April 1, and founded Boonesborough. Henderson, at the head of thirty men conveying the wagons and supplies, arrived at Boonesborough April 20; with him were Luttsell and Nathaniel Hart. May 23, there met at Boonesborough the Legislature of Transylvania, in which sat eighteen delegates from the little group of four frontier forts, all established at about this time—Harrodsburg, Boiling Springs, and St. Asaph's (or Logan's Station), lying some thirty or more miles southwest of Boonesborough, the capital of this little western colony. Withers does not mention this first legislative assembly held in the Mississippi Valley. It is an interesting and suggestive episode in American commonwealth-building, and deserves careful study. Roosevelt gives it admirable treatment, in his Winning of the West. The journal of the convention is given at length in the appendix to the second edition of Butler's Kentucky; Hall's Sketches of the West, i., pp. 264, 265; Louisville Literary News-Letter, June 6, 1840; and Hazard's U. S. Register, iii., pp. 25-28. Henderson's MS. Journal is in the possession of the Wisconsin Historical Society, and has never yet been published.

Virginia and North Carolina did not favor an independent government in Kentucky, and annulled the title of the Henderson company—but Virginia (1795) granted the proprietors in recompense 200,000 acres on Powell's and Clinch rivers.

We hear little more of Richard Henderson, in pioneer history. In 1779, he was one of the North Carolina commissioners to extend the western boundary between that State and Virginia. During the winter of 1789-90 he was at the French Lick on Cumberland, where he opened a land office. His last public service was in 1781, when a member of the North Carolina house of commons. He died at his country seat in Granville County, N. C., January 30, 1785, in his fiftieth year. Two of his sons, Archibald and Leonard, attained eminence at the bar of their native State.—R. G. T.

[4] Among Dr. Draper's manuscripts I find this succinct review of the aboriginal claims to Kentucky: "There is some reason to suppose that the Catawbas may once have dwelt upon the Kentucky River; that stream, on some of the ancient maps published a hundred years ago, was called the 'Cuttawa or Cawtaba River.' But that tribe of Indians, so far as we know, never laid any claim to the territory.

"It would appear from the historical evidences extant, that the Shawanoes were the earliest occupants of Kentucky of whom we have any certain knowledge. Colden, the primitive historian of the Iroquois Confederacy, informs us, that when the French commenced the first settlement of Canada in 1603, the Five Nations, who then resided near the present locality of Montreal, were at war with the powerful Adirondacks, who at that time lived three hundred miles above the Three Rivers, in Canada. The Iroquois found it difficult to withstand the vigorous attacks of their enemies, whose superior hardihood was to be attributed to their constant devotion to the chase, while the Iroquois had been chiefly engaged in the more peaceful occupation of planting corn. Compelled to give way before their haughty foes, the confederates had recourse to the exercise of arms, in order, if possible, to retrieve their martial character and prowess. To raise the spirits of their people, the Iroquois leaders turned their warriors against the Satanas or Shawanoes, 'who then,' says Colden, 'lived on the banks of the lakes,'—or, as other historians assert, in Western New York, and south of Lake Erie,—and soon subdued and drove them out of the country. The Shawanoes then retired to the Ohio, along which and its tributaries they planted numerous settlements. Some of them, however, when driven from Western New York, seem to have located somewhere on the Delaware, for De Laet, in 1624, speaks of Sawanoos residing on that river.

"The Jesuit Relations of 1661-62, allude to their residence in the West under the name of Ontouagannha or Chaoueanons; they seem to have been the same as were called Tongorias, Erighecks, Erieehonons, Eries, or Cats, by the early missionaries and historians; and the same, moreover, known in the traditions of the Senecas as Gah-kwahs, who resided on Eighteen Mile Creek, a few miles southwest of Buffalo, in Western New York, which the Senecas still call Gah-kwah-gig-a-ah Creek, which means the place where the Gah-kwahs lived. In 1672, the Shawanoes and their confederates in the Ohio Valley met with a disastrous overthrow by the Five Nations at Sandy Island, just below the Falls of Ohio, where large numbers of human bones were still to be seen at the first settlement of the country. The surviving Shawanoes must then have retired still farther down the Ohio, and settled probably in the western part of Kentucky; and Marquette, in 1673, speaks of their having twenty-three villages in one district, and fifteen in another, all lying quite near each other: At length the Shawanoes departed from Kentucky, and seem to have gone to the upper part of the Carolinas, and to the coast of Florida, and ever after proved a migratory people. They were evidently 'subdued,' as Colden, Evans, and Pownall inform us, and the decisive battle was fought at Sandy Island, where a vital blow was given to the balance of power on the Ohio, which decided finally the fall of Kentucky with its ancient inhabitants.

"It was this conquest that gave to the powerful Iroquois all the title they ever acquired to Kentucky. At the peace of Ryswick, in 1697, their right to their western conquests was fully acknowledged; and at the treaty of Lancaster, in Pennsylvania, in 1744, they ceded to Virginia all their lands west of that colony. In 1752, the Shawanoes and other western tribes, at Logstown on the Ohio, confirmed the Lancaster treaty, and sold their claim to the country south of the Ohio; and, at the treaty of Fort Stanwix, in 1768, the Six Nations made a new cession of their claim to Kentucky as low as the Cherokee or Tennessee River. Up to this period, the Cherokees never so much as thought of contesting with the Iroquois their claim to the Kentucky country; for some of the visiting Cherokees, while on their route to attend the Fort Stanwix treaty, killed game for their subsistence, and on their arrival at Fort Stanwix, tendered the skins to the Six Nations, saying, 'They are yours, we killed them after passing the Big River,' the name by which they had always designated the Tennessee. But probably discovering that other Indian nations were driving a good business by disposing of their distant land rights, the Cherokees managed to hatch up some sort of claim, which they, in part, relinquished to Virginia, at the treaty of Lochaber in 1770; and when Col. Donelson ran the line the following year, the boundary was fixed, at the suggestion of the Cherokee deputies, on the Kentucky River as the south-western line, as they delighted, they said, in natural landmarks. This considerably enlarged the cession, for which they received an additional compensation.

"In 1772, the Shawanoes made no claim to Kentucky; and at the treaty of Camp Charlotte, in October, 1774, they tacitly confirmed their old sale of that country in 1752, by agreeing not even to hunt south of the Ohio. Thus, then, we see that the Iroquois had twice ceded their right to Kentucky as low as the Tennessee River, and twice received their pay; the Shawanoes had disposed of their claim, such as it was, and received for it a valuable consideration; and the Cherokees, finding it profitable to lay claim to some valuable unoccupied region, sold their newly assumed right to the country south and east of Kentucky River. Their claim, if indeed it rises to the dignity of a claim, south and west of the Kentucky, was fairly purchased by Henderson and Company, and thus with the subsequent purchase by treaty, of the Chickasaws, of the strip between the Tennessee and Mississippi, the Indian title to the whole Kentucky country was fully and fairly extinguished."—R. G. T.

[5] The first attack occurred the morning of March 25, when the party were encamped near the head of Taylor's Fork of Silver Creek. Capt. Twitty and Felix Walker were severely wounded, and a negro servant killed; Twitty subsequently died from his wound. The other attack was on an outlying company, probably on Tate's Creek; this occurred the 27th, and "Thomas McDowell and Jeremiah McFeeters were," Boone wrote to Henderson, "killed and sculped."—R. G. T.

[6] The purchase of Henderson and company, was subsequently declared by the legislature of Virginia, to be null and void, so far as the purchasers were concerned; but effectual as to the extinguishment of the Indian title, to the territory thus bought of them. To indemnify the purchasers for any advancement of money or other things which they had made to the Indians, the assembly granted to them 200,000 acres of land, lying at the mouth of Green river, and known generally as Henderson's grant.

[7] Boone set out from Boonesborough, June 13, 1775. He left the settlement in a state approaching anarchy; there were several good men in the district, but the majority were shiftless wanderers who would brook no exercise of authority. The buffalo were fast moving westward, and all game was now getting scarce—"hunt or starve" was the motto of the hour. A diarist (Capt. Floyd) estimated that there were then a total of 300 people in all the Kentucky settlements—not reckoning "a great many land-jobbers from towards Pittsburg, who go about on the north side of Kentucky, in companies, and build forty or fifty cabins a piece on lands where no surveying has yet been done." Among the best of the numerous arrivals, were George Rogers Clark, Simon Kenton, Benjamin Logan, and Whitley, who came to be very prominent characters in Kentucky history. Boone, with his wife and daughters, and twenty-one men, arrived at Boonesborough September 6 or 7. "My wife and daughters," writes Boone, "were the first women that ever stood on the banks of Kentucky river." Mrs. McGary, Mrs. Hogan, and Mrs. Denton arrived at Harrodsburg the 8th of September, and were the first white women in that settlement. With the arrival of these families, and fresh fighting men, the Kentucky colony began to take on a permanent air, and thenceforward there was better order.—R. G. T.

[8] In the winter of 1776-77, McClelland's Station and Logan's Station, (indifferently styled Fort or Station) were abandoned because of Indian attacks, and the settlers huddled into Boonesborough and Harrodsburg—although possibly Price's settlement, on the Cumberland, maintained a separate existence throughout the winter. There were at this time not to exceed a hundred and fifty white men in the country, available for active militia duty. As during January and February, 1777, the Indians were quiet, confidence was restored in some degree, and during the latter month, Logan, with his own and some half dozen other families, left Harrodsburg and re-occupied Logan's Station. Thus far, each settlement had chosen its own military leader, and discipline was practically unknown. March 5, under order and commissions from Virginia, the militia of Kentucky county were assembled and organized at Boonesborough, Harrodsburg, and Logan's Station, with George Rogers Clark as major, and Daniel Boone, James Harrod, John Todd, and Benjamin Logan as captains.—R. G. T.

[9] This foray took place March 6—not the 14th, as in the text—at Shawnee Springs, four miles north-east of Harrodsburg. The whites—James Ray, William Ray, Thomas Shores, and William Coomes—were sugar-making, when attacked by about seventy Shawnees, under Black Fish. William Ray was killed, and Shores taken prisoner. James Ray outran his pursuers and gave the alarm. The unsuccessful attack on the incomplete fort of Harrodsburg occurred early the following morning, the 7th. Other brief attacks on Harrodsburg, were on March 18 and 28.—R. G. T.

[10] A small detachment from Black Fish's party made a dash on workers in the Boonesborough fields, the day after the Harrodsburg fight—killing a negro, and wounding several whites.—R. G. T.

[11] This assault on Boonesborough occurred the morning of Thursday, April 24. The Indians numbered about one hundred. Boone was wounded, and very nearly lost his life, in a sortie. The story of the fight abounds with instances of heroism on the part of both women and men.—R. G. T.

[12] It occurred throughout Friday, May 30. The Indians are reported to have numbered fifty-seven.—R. G. T.

[13] Those who went out early in the morning to milk the cows, were Mrs. Ann Logan, Mrs. Whitley, and a negro woman. They were guarded only by William Hudson, Burr Harrison, John Kennedy, and James Craig. The women and Craig escaped into the fort unharmed; Kennedy, with four balls in his body, contrived also to escape; Hudson was killed outright, and Harrison fell wounded. He was supposed by friend and foe to have been killed. The story of his final rescue by Logan, is related by Withers below. As told to Dr. Draper, by Capt. Benjamin Biggs, and as recorded in Whitley's MS. Narrative, in possession of the Wisconsin Historical Society, the story in Withers is substantially correct. It is said that Logan rolled a bag of wool before him, and thus approached Harrison under cover; then making a rush towards the latter, he picked him up in his arms and dashed successfully into the fort. These accounts make no mention of Martin's intervention. Harrison died of his wounds, June 13.—R. G. T.

[14] Benjamin Logan was by birth a Virginian; and at the age of fourteen was left by the death of his father, to provide for his mother and her other children, and with the other cares of a family upon his infant hands. He discharged the duties thus devolving on him, with the utmost fidelity; and having provided amply for the support of his mother, and placed the other members of her household in eligible situations, he removed to the Holstein, married, purchased land, and commenced making improvements. From thence he went to Kentucky, where he spent the balance of his life, in the discharge of every social and relative duty, with credit to himself and advantage to the community. He was a delegate to the Virginia legislature from the county of Kentucky in 1780; was soon after commissioned county Lieutenant, (then the highest military title in the militia of a county) and in the various battles, as well as in the many skirmishes, which he fought with the Indians, his conduct and bearing were such, as fully established for him the reputation of a brave, skilful, prudent and meritorious officer. In private life, and in his intercourse with his fellow men, his whole course was distinguished by the most uncompromising honor, and expanded philanthrophy. The heroic adventure, by which he saved his wounded comrade, from the tomahawk, the scalping knife, and from fire, was but one of many such exploits, whereby he achieved good to others, at the most imminent hazard of his own life.

[15] This was the name given to the station of Logan.

[16] Whitley's MS. Narrative and Cowan's MS. Diary, in the Wisconsin Historical Society's library, say that Logan left alone during the night of June 6. Logan returned to his fort on the 23d, having travelled almost incessantly, and brought news that relief would soon come. Soon after Logan's expedition to the Holston, other messengers were sent to the East, clamoring for help—McGary and Hoggin to Fort Pitt, and Smith to the Yadkin; and twice Harrod vainly went forth to meet expected troops. But the Continental army was hard pressed in those days, and despite the rumor on the coast that Kentucky was in a sad way, it was long before relief could be sent.—R. G. T.

[17] Bowman arrived at Boonesborough the first of August, with two companies from Virginia, under Capts. Henry Pauling and John Dunkin—the latter being soon succeeded by Isaac Ruddell. The force numbered 100 men. August 25, while six of Bowman's men were on their way to Logan's, they were attacked by Indians, two being killed and one wounded. Before escaping, the Indians left on the body of one of the men, several copies of a proclamation addressed to Clark and Logan in person, by Lieut.-Gov. Henry Hamilton, at the head of the British forces at Detroit, offering immunity to repentant rebels.—R. G. T.

[18] See pp. 79, 80, note, for origin of the term "Long Knives."—R. G. T.

[19] Edward Hand was born in Ireland. He came to America in 1774 as a surgeon's mate in the Eighth (Royal Irish) Regiment, and soon settled in Pennsylvania as a physician. When the Revolution broke out he joined a Pennsylvania regiment as lieutenant colonel, and served in the siege of Boston. In April, 1777, he was appointed brigadier-general in the Continental army, and the first of June assumed command of Fort Pitt. Lieut.-Gov. Henry Hamilton, of Detroit, under orders from London, was actively engaged in stirring up the Northwest Indians to forays on the Virginia and Pennsylvania borders, thus harrying the Americans in the rear. Hand, in whose charge was the frontier from Kittanning to the Great Kanawha, determined on an aggressive policy, and in February, 1778, undertook a campaign against the savages. An open winter, with heavy rains, prevented the force of about 500 men—chiefly from Westmoreland county—making satisfactory headway. Finally, the expedition was abandoned when it had proceeded no farther than Mahoning Creek. From the fact that this first American movement against the savages, during the Revolution, resulted only in the capture of non-combatants, in the almost deserted villages, it was long known as "the squaw campaign." Hand was a competent officer, but was much pestered, at Fort Pitt, with the machinations of tories, who were numerous among the borderers. Succeeded at Fort Pitt in 1778, by Brig.-Gen. Lachlan McIntosh, Hand in turn succeeded Stark in command at Albany. We find him, in 1779, actively engaged on Sullivan's campaign against the New York Indians, and in 1780 he became adjutant general. A member of congress in 1784-85, he was in 1790 a member of the constitutional convention of Pennsylvania, and died at Rockford, Lancaster County, Pa., September 3, 1802—R. G. T.

[20] See p. 172, note 2, for sketch of life and death of Cornstalk.—R. G. T.



[156] CHAPTER IX.

While Cornstalk was detained at Point Pleasant, as surety for the peace and neutrality of the Shawanees, Indians, of the tribes already attached to the side of Great Britain, were invading the more defenceless and unprotected settlements. Emerging, as Virginia then was, from a state of vassalage and subjection, to independence and self-government—contending in fearful inferiority of strength and the munitions of war with a mighty and warlike nation—limited in resources, and wanting in means, essential for supporting the unequal conflict, she could not be expected to afford protection and security from savage inroad, to a frontier so extensive as hers; and still less was she able to spare from the contest which she was waging with that colossal power, a force sufficient to maintain a war in the Indian country and awe the savages into quiet. It had not entered into the policy of this state to enlist the tomahawk and scalping knife in her behalf; or to make allies of savages, in a war with Christians and civilized men. She sought by the force of reason and the conviction of propriety, to prevail on them to observe neutrality—not to become her auxiliaries. "To send forth the merciless cannibal, thirsting for blood, against protestant brethren," was a refinement in war to which she had not attained. That the enemy, with whom she was struggling for liberty and life as a nation, with all the lights of religion and philosophy to illumine her course, should have made of them allies, and "let loose those horrible hell-hounds of war against their countrymen in America, endeared to them by every tie which should sanctify human nature," was a most lamentable circumstance—in its consequences, blighting and desolating the fairest portions of the country, and covering the face of [157] its border settlements, with the gloomy mantle of sorrow and woe.

There is in the Indian bosom an hereditary sense of injury, which naturally enough prompts to deeds of revengeful cruelty towards the whites, without the aid of adventitious stimulants. When these are superadded, they become indeed, the most ruthless and infuriated enemy—"thirsting for blood," and causing it literally to flow, alike from the hearts of helpless infancy and hoary age—from the timorous breast of weak woman, and the undaunted bosom of the stout warrior. Leagued with Great Britain, the Indians were enabled more fully and effectually, to glut their vengeance on our citizens, and gratify their entailed resentment towards them.

In the commencement of Indian depredations on North Western Virginia, during this war, the only places of refuge for the inhabitants, besides private forts and block-houses, were at Pittsburg, Redstone, Wheeling and Point Pleasant. Garrisons had been maintained at Fort Pitt and Redstone, ever after their establishment; and fortresses were erected at the two latter places in 1774. They all seemed to afford an asylum to many, when the Indians were known to be in the country; but none of them had garrisons, strong enough to admit of detachments being sent, to act offensively against the invaders. All that they could effect, was the repulsion of assaults made on them, and the expulsion from their immediate neighborhoods, of small marauding parties of the savage enemy. When Captain Arbuckle communicated to the Governor the information derived from Cornstalk, that extensive preparations were making by the Indians, for war, and the probability of its early commencement, such measures were immediately adopted, to prevent its success, as the then situation of the country would justify. A proclamation was issued, advising the inhabitants of the frontier, to retire into the interior as soon as practicable; and that they might be enabled the better to protect themselves from savage fury, some ammunition was forwarded to settlements on the Ohio river, remote from the state forts, and more immediately exposed to danger from incursion. General Hand too, then stationed at Fort Pitt, sent an express to the different settlements, recommending that they should be immediately abandoned, and the individuals composing them, should forthwith seek shelter in some contiguous fortress, or retire east of the [158] mountain. All were apprized of the impending danger, and that it was impracticable in the pressing condition of affairs, for the newly organized government to extend to them any effective protection.

Thus situated, the greater part of those who had taken up their abode on the western waters, continued to reside in the country. Others, deeming the means of defence inadequate to security, and unwilling to encounter the horrors of an Indian war, no better provided than they were, pursued the advice of government, and withdrew from the presence of danger. Those who remained, sensible of dependence on their individual resources, commenced making preparations for the approaching crisis. The positions which had been selected as places of security and defence in the war of 1774, were fortified anew, and other block-houses and forts were erected by their unaided exertion, into which they would retire on the approach of danger. Nor was it long before this state of things was brought about.

In June 1777,[1] a party of Indians came to the house of Charles Grigsby on Rooting creek, a branch of the West Fork, and in the county of Harrison. Mr. Grigsby being from home, the Indians plundered the house of every thing considered valuable by them, and which they could readily carry with them; and destroying many other articles, departed, taking with them Mrs. Grigsby and her two children as prisoners. Returning home soon after, seeing the desolation which had been done in his short absence, and unable to find his wife and children, Mr. Grigsby collected some of his neighbors and set out in pursuit of those, by whom the mischief had been effected,—hoping that he might overtake and reclaim from them the partner of his bosom, and the pledges of her affection. His hopes were of but momentary existence.

Following in the trail of the fugitive, when they had arrived near to Loss creek, a distance of but six miles, they found the body of Mrs. Grigsby and of her younger child, where they had recently been killed and scalped. The situation of this unfortunate woman (being near the hour of confinement,) and the entire helplessness of the child, were hindrances to a rapid retreat; and fearing pursuit, the Indians thus inhumanly rid themselves of those incumbrances to their flight and left them to accidental discovery, or to become food for the beasts of the forest.

[159] Stimulated to more ardent exertions by the distressing scene just witnessed, the pursuers pushed forward, with increased expectation of speedily overtaking and punishing, the authors of this bloody deed; leaving two of their party to perform the sepulture of the unfortunate mother, and her murdered infant. But before the whites were aware of their nearness to the Indians, these had become apprized of their approach, and separated, so as to leave no trail by which they could be farther traced. They had of course to give over the pursuit; and returned home, to provide more effectually against the perpetration of similar acts of atrocity and darkness.

A short time after this, two Indians came on the West Fork, and concealed themselves near to Coon's fort, awaiting an opportunity of effecting some mischief. While thus lying in ambush, a daughter of Mr. Coon came out for the purpose of lifting some hemp in a field near to the fort, and by the side of the road. Being engaged in performing this business, Thomas Cunningham and Enoch James passing along, and seeing her, entered into conversation with her, and after a while proceeded on their road. But before they had gone far, alarmed by the report of a gun, they looked back and saw an Indian run up to the girl, tomahawk and scalp her. The people of the fort were quickly apprised of what had been done, and immediately turned out in pursuit; but could not trace the course taken by the savages. It afterwards appeared that the Indians had been for some time waiting for the girl to come near enough for them to catch and make her prisoner, before she could alarm the fort, or get within reach of its guns; but when one of them crossed the fence for this purpose, she espied him and ran directly towards the fort.—Fearing that he would not be able to overtake her, without approaching the fort so as to involve himself in some danger, he shot her as she ran; and going up to her he tomahawked and scalped her. In endeavoring then to secure himself by flight, he was shot at by James, but at so great distance as to prevent the doing of execution.

In the neighborhood of Wheeling, some mischief of this kind was done about the same time, and by Indians who acted so warily, as to avoid being discovered and punished. A man by the name of Thomas Ryan was killed in a field some distance from the house, and a negro fellow at work with him, [160] taken prisoner and carried off. No invasion however, of that country, had been as yet, of sufficient importance to induce the people to forsake their homes and go into the forts.—Scouting parties were constantly traversing the woods in every direction, and so successfully did they, observe every avenue to the settlements, that the approach of Indians was generally discovered and made known, before any evil resulted from it. But in August the whole country bordering on the Ohio, from Fort Pitt to Wheeling, became justly alarmed for its fate; and the most serious apprehensions for the safety of its inhabitants, were excited in the bosoms of all. Intelligence was conveyed to General Hand at Fort Pitt,[2] by some friendly Indians from the Moravian towns, that a large army of the north western confederacy, had come as far as those villages, and might soon be expected to strike an awful blow on some part of the Ohio settlements. The Indian force was represented as being so great, as to preclude all idea of purchasing safety, by open conflict; and the inhabitants along the river, generally retired into forts, as soon as they received information of their danger, and made every preparation to repel an assault on them. They did not however, remain long in suspense, as to the point against which the enemy would direct its operations.

Wheeling Fort, although it had been erected by the proper authorities of the government, and was supplied with arms and ammunition from the public arsenal, was not at this time garrisoned, as were the other state forts on the Ohio, by a regular soldiery; but was left to be defended solely by the heroism and bravery of those, who might seek shelter within its walls.[3] The settlement around it was flourishing, and had grown with a rapidity truly astonishing, when its situation, and the circumstances of the border country generally, are taken into consideration. A little village, of twenty-five or thirty houses, had sprung up, where but a few years before, the foot of civilized man had never trod; and where the beasts of the forest had lately ranged undisturbedly, were to be seen lowing herds and bleating flocks, at once, the means of sustenance, and the promise of future wealth to their owners.—In the enjoyment of this, comparatively, prosperous condition of things, the inhabitants little dreamed, how quickly those smiling prospects were to be blighted, their future hopes blasted, and they deprived of almost every necessary of life. They [161] were not insensible to the danger which in time of war was ever impending over them; but relying on the vigilance of their scouts, to ascertain and apprize them of its approach, and on the proximity of a fort into which they could retire upon a minute's warning, they did not shut themselves up within its walls, until advised of the immediate necessity of doing so, from the actual presence of the enemy.

On the night of the first of September, Captain Ogal, who with a party of twelve men, had been for some days engaged in watching the paths to the settlement and endeavoring to ascertain the approach of danger,[4] came into Wheeling with the assurance that the enemy were not at hand. In the course of that night, however, the Indian army, consisting of three hundred and eighty-nine warriors,[5] came near to the village, and believing from the lights in the fort, that the inhabitants were on their guard, and that more might be effected by an ambuscade in the morning, than by an immediate and direct attack, posted themselves advantageously for that purpose. Two lines were formed, at some distance from each, extending from the river across the point to the creek, with a cornfield to afford them concealment. In the centre between these lines, near a road leading through the field to the fort, and in a situation easily exposing them to observation, six Indians were stationed, for the purpose of decoying within the lines, any force which might discover, and come out to molest them.

Early in the morning of the second, two men, going to a field for horses, passed the first line, and came near to the Indians in the centre, before they were aware of danger.[6]—Perceiving the six savages near them, they endeavored to escape by flight. A single shot brought one of them to the ground: the other was permitted to escape that he might give the alarm. Captain Mason (who, with Captain Ogal and his party, and a few other men had occupied the fort the preceding night) hearing that there were but six of the enemy, marched with fourteen men, to the place where they had been seen. He had not proceeded far from the fort, before he came in view of them; and leading his men briskly towards where they were, soon found themselves enclosed by a body of Indians, who 'till then had remained concealed.—Seeing the impossibility of maintaining a conflict with them, he endeavored to retreat with his men, to the fort; but in [162] vain. They were intercepted by the Indians, and nearly all literally, cut to pieces.[7] Captain Mason however, and his sergeant succeeded in passing the front line, but being observed by some of the enemy, were pursued, and fired at, as they began to rise the hill. The sergeant was so wounded by the ball aimed at him, that he fell, unable again to get up; but seeing his Captain pass near without a gun and so crippled that he moved but slowly in advance of his pursuers, he handed him his, and calmly surrendered himself to his fate.

Captain Mason had been twice wounded, and was then so enfeebled by the loss of blood, and faint from fatigue that he almost despaired of ever reaching the fort; yet he pressed forward with all his powers. He was sensible that the Indian was near him, and expecting every instant, that the tomahawk would sever his skull, he for a while forgot that his gun was yet charged. The recollection of this, inspiring him with fresh hopes, he wheeled to fire at his pursuer, but found him so close that he could not bring his gun to bear on him. Having greatly the advantage of ground, he thrust him back with his hand. The uplifted tomahawk descended to the earth with force; and before the Indian could so far regain his footing as to hurl the fatal weapon from his grasp, or rush forward to close in deadly struggle with his antagonist, the ball from Captain Mason's gun had done its errand, and the savage fell lifeless to the earth. Captain Mason was able to proceed only a few paces farther; but concealing himself by the side of a large fallen tree, he remained unobserved while the Indians continued about the fort.

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13     Next Part
Home - Random Browse