Boys' Book of Frontier Fighters
by Edwin L. Sabin
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[Frontispiece: Custer's Last Stand]





Author of "Boys' Book of Indian Warriors," etc.




Copyright, 1919, by

George W. Jacobs & Company

All rights reserved

Printed in U. S. A.

Ah, where are the soldiers that fought here of yore? The sod is upon them, they'll struggle no more, The hatchet is fallen, the red man is low; And near him reposes the arm of his foe. . . . . . . . . Sleep, soldiers of merit; sleep, gallants of yore. The hatchet is fallen, the struggle is o'er. While the fir tree is green and the wind rolls a wave, The tear drop shall brighten the turf of the brave. —From an Old Poem.


The BOYS' BOOK OF INDIAN WARRIORS told of the deeds by the red Americans in defense of their lives and to keep their homes. This second book tells of the deeds by the white Americans, in defense of their lives and also to clear the way for their homes. It commences with the pioneers and hunters in the East, and continues on to the frontiersmen and soldiers in the West.

These are stories of bravery and of pluck amidst great odds. In many of the stories victory was won by the aid of powder, ball and steel, used manfully. In others it was won by sheer nerve and wit alone—for a good fighter fights with his heart and head as fully as with his hands.

Americans have always been great fighters, when called upon to fight in self-defense. They never quit until they are killed or triumphant; and although many may be killed, those they leave press forward again. In France the Americans "never gave up an inch." We Americans of to-day, looking back, may be proud not only of the part played by our blood in the World War, but likewise of the part it played in the days when, rifle in hand, we were hewing the peace trail in our own country.

Clothes do not make the soldier. Whether in buckskin, wool, cotton gown or army uniform, those men and women—yes, and boys and girls—of frontier times in the forest and upon the plains and prairies were soldiers all, enlisted to face danger.

It is largely the quick, dauntless spirit inherited from the American pioneers, hunters and Indian fighters of the old days that shone so brightly in the recent days when, in record time, we raised a gallant army of fighters, at home and abroad, against a desperate enemy.



I THE CAPTURE OF OLD CHIEF ANNAWAN (1676) Bold Captain Church in the Lion's Den

II THE ATTACK ON LOGAN'S STATION (1777) And the Noble Deed of Captain Logan

III IN THE STOCKADE AT WHEELING (1777) And the Great Leap of Major McColloch

IV BIG TURTLE BREAKS THE NET (1778) And Meets His Father at Boonesborough

V SCOUT KENTON HAS A HARD TIME (1778-1779) How He Paid for his Horse-Stealing

VI THE SCRAPE OF LEWIS AND JACOB WETZEL (1778) And the Nerve of Two Boy Scouts

VII CAPTAIN SAMUEL BRADY SWEARS VENGEANCE (1780-1781) And Broad-Jumps Like a Wild Turkey

VIII THE FLIGHT OF THREE SOLDIERS (1782) On the Trail with the Crawford Men

IX THE BRAVE WOMEN OF BRYANT'S STATION (1782) And the Defeat of the Villain Girty

X BETTY ZANE'S "POWDER EXPLOIT" (1782) How a Girl Saved the Day

XI THE FIVE BOY CAPTIVES (1785) Adventures of "Little Fat Bear" and All

XII ODDS AGAINST HIGGINS THE RANGER (1814) And his Rescue by Heroine Pursley

XIII JOHN COLTER'S RACE FOR LIFE (1808) The Trapper and the Blackfeet

XIV HUGH GLASS AND THE GRIZZLY BEAR (1823) "As Slick as a Peeled Onion"

XV A FRACAS ON THE SANTA FE TRAIL (1829) And the Building of Bent's Fort

XVI A SEARCH FOR A SILVER MINE (1831) And the "Bowie Indian Fight"

XVII THROUGH THE ENEMY'S LINES (1846) The Three Kit Carson Couriers


XIX RELIEF FOR BEECHER'S ISLAND (1868) And a Rattle-Snake in the Way

XX THE DEFENSE OF THE BUFFALO-HUNTERS (1874) When the Comanche Medicine Failed

XXI WHITE MEN AT BAY AGAIN (1874) The "Fight of the Privates"


XXIII THE "SIBLEY SCOUT" (1876) A Famous Army Tale


Custer's Last Stand . . . . . . . . . . . . . Frontispiece

The Great Leap of Major McColloch

At the Siege of Boonesborough

Simon Kenton in Trouble

Lewis Wetzel Leads on the Run

Captain Brady of Pennsylvania

The "Fight of the Privates"

Buffalo Bill, Chief of Scouts





Captain Benjamin Church, born in Plymouth Colony of old Massachusetts, was a rousing Indian fighter. He earned his title when in 1675 the Pokanoket League of nine Indian tribes, under King Phillip the Wampanoag, took up the hatchet against the whites. Then he was called from his farm in Rhode Island Colony, to lead a company into the field. So he bade his family good-by, and set forth.

He was at this time aged thirty-six, and built like a bear—short in the legs, broad in the body, and very active. He knew all the Indian ways, and had ridden back and forth through the Pokanoket country, between his Aquidneck home on Rhode Island, and Plymouth and Boston on the Massachusetts coast. In his Indian fighting he never turned his face from a trail. The famous Kit Carson of the West was no bolder.

King Phillip's War lasted a year and two months, from June of 1675, into August of 1676.[1] Captain Church soon became the Indians' most hardy foeman.

He was constantly trailing the King Phillip warriors to their "kenneling places," routing them out and killing them, or taking prisoners, whom he spared for scouts.

At the terrible battle of Sunke-Squaw, when in dead of winter the colonist soldiery stormed the Indian fort in southern Rhode Island, he was struck by three balls at once. One entered his thigh and split upon the thigh-bone; one gashed his waist; and one pierced his pocket and ruined a pair of mittens—which was looked upon as a real disaster, in such cold weather.

It was while his wounds were still bandaged, and he was yet unable to mount a horse, that the bold Captain Church had a fierce hand-to-hand tussle with a stout Netop, which gave him great renown.

Now the Netops were of the allies in the Pokanoket League, and this warrior had been captured by a Mohegan ally of the Captain Church men. Captain Church wished to save him, in order to get information from him; but owing to a wound in the leg the Netop could not travel fast, therefore the Mohegan was granted leave to kill him, that night.

Accordingly the Netop was seated by the large fire, with a Mohegan at either side of him, to hold him fast until the tomahawk had been sunk into his head. Although Captain Church had seen much blood-shedding and had made short work of many other Indians, to-night he walked away, with his heart a little sick.

The Netop had appeared to be waiting for the tomahawk, as if he intended to die like a brave. But when the Mohegan struck, he suddenly jerked his head aside so cleverly that the tomahawk not only missed him entirely, but flew from the Mohegan's hand and almost killed one of the others.

That was a surprise. With a quick writhe the Netop broke loose, and bolted headlong, fairly into Captain Church himself, among the baggage and the horses. This was a surprise for the captain, too. He grabbed him but could not keep him, because he was a naked Indian and as slippery as an eel.

Away they two went, both lame. The captain had not wished the Netop to be killed, but he was bound that he should not escape. In the darkness the Netop stumbled, and again the captain grabbed him. No use. This Netop was an eel and a panther as well—slippery and strong. A second time he wrenched free. Once more away they went, with the captain now grasping for his hair. On through the surrounding swamp they pelted, crunching the ice so loudly that the captain thought everybody within a mile should hear. And he knew that the swamp was full of other Pokanokets. However, that did not stay the angry Captain Church.

The Netop was getting off, when he was barred by a fallen tree, breast high. He began to shout for help from his own people, hiding in the swamp. Captain Church charged into him—and found himself seized by the hair! The Netop tried to twist his head and break his neck. Captain Church gained a hair hold; and he, too, tried neck-breaking. Thus they wrestled in the swamp, in the darkness, with their hands in one another's hair, and the captain bunting the Netop in the face whenever he might.

On a sudden there was a new sound. Somebody else came running. They could hear the ice crunching under rapid footsteps. Each hoped that it was one of his own party; but the captain hung on, like a bulldog, and called in English.

Horrors! The on-comer did not reply, which was a bad sign for the captain. Very soon the man arrived. They could not see him and he could not see them; and the next thing the captain knew, a pair of hands were feeling him over, as if to pick out a good spot on him. They crept up to where his own hands were fastened in the Netop's hair. While the captain was still hanging on grittily, and expecting to feel a blow, down thudded the hatchet, right between his hands, into the Netop's crown.

It was the Mohegan!

Now that the fight was done, the Mohegan hugged his captain and thanked him for holding the prisoner. He cut off the Netop's head, and together they bore it back to the camp fire.

Of such bull-dog stuff Captain Church was made. His fight with the Netop, in the darkness of the dangerous swamp, raised him high among his scouts.

He finally cornered King Phillip in another swamp, August 12, 1676. There King Phillip fell, with two bullets in his breast from the gun of a deserter. Captain Church's Indians hacked King Phillip into quarters, to be hung upon a tree.

Only a remnant of King Phillip's people were left at large, under two principal chiefs, Tispaquin and old Annawan. Of these chiefs Annawan was the more important; he had ranked as Phillip's head captain. In the swamp battle where Phillip was killed, his great voice had boomed through the mist of morning, calling "Iootash! Iootash!"—"Fight stoutly! Fight stoutly!" But in the mix-up he had escaped, and when the dew had dried the Captain Church scouts could not trail him.

Having shattered the league of the Pokanokets and killed King Phillip, Captain Church withdrew to Plymouth headquarters, to report. For the campaign his men were granted only about $1.10 each, and he himself was well tired out.

But right soon a message reached him, from Rehoboth, of southern Massachusetts north of Rhode Island, that Head Captain Annawan was "kenneling" in Squannaconk Swamp, and plundering the farms outside. Being a true citizen, and knowing that the settlers looked to him for aid, Captain Church, instead of resting up, sought his faithful lieutenant, Jabez Howland, and others of his former company.

"Old Annawan is out," he said. "He is among the last of King Phillip's men. I have reliable word that he is kenneling in Squannaconk and doing much damage. You have been poorly paid, but I want hands to go with me to hunt him."

"We will go with you wherever you please to take us, as long as there is an Indian left in the woods," they answered. Which made him very glad.

So again he set forth, from Plymouth, with Lieutenant Jabez Howland and a few soldiers, and with Scout Captain Lightfoot, the friendly Sogkonate Indian who had charge of the scouts. He led westward across southern Massachusetts to the eastern border of Rhode Island Colony. He arrived there at the end of the week. He had hoped to spend Sunday, at least, with his family on Aquidneck Island, just opposite, in the bay; but in the morning there came a courier to tell him that Indians had been sighted, landing from canoes upon Poppasquash Neck.

Poppasquash Neck was a narrow point, northwest of him, in the upper portion of Narragansett Bay. It is a fork of the same point upon which King Phillip had his "royal seat" of Mount Hope, and upon which the present city of Bristol is located.

Captain Church marched for Poppasquash at once; he was that kind of a man. He had to cross the arm of the bay here in canoes. By the time that he had made a round trip and a half, such a wind was blowing that he was stranded on the point side with only two white soldiers and fifteen or sixteen scouts.

Yet no whit daunted was bold Captain Church.

"My brave boys, if you are willing, we shall march on across to Poppasquash and see whether we may not catch some of those enemy Indians," he said.

March they did, through the thickets and swamps of the base of the main point, to enter the upper part of the Poppasquash Neck. Here the captain sent forward Lightfoot the Sogkonate, with three other Indians, to scout. Lightfoot took with him, as one, a Wampanoag of King Phillip's defeated army, named Nathaniel. He explained that Nathaniel knew the signals of the Annawan band, and would be a good decoy.

"If you come upon any of the rogues, do not kill them but take them prisoner, so that we may learn where Annawan is," Captain Church directed, to Lightfoot; and Lightfoot promised.

Lightfoot was gone ahead a long time. Captain Church and his little band proceeded, until they reached the narrowest part of upper Poppasquash Neck; and here he posted his men, and waited for Lightfoot to drive the enemy to him, or else appear and report.

He waited until dark, but Lightfoot did not come, nor did any of the enemy. So night fell without news or stir. This night he dared make no fire, and they had nothing at all to eat, for the supplies were behind with Lieutenant Howland. The scouts began to fear that Nathaniel had deserted—perhaps had given Lightfoot the slip or tolled him into ambush, for there had been several gunshots in the distance.

In that case, old Annawan himself was likely to turn up and make serious trouble. Therefore the night passed gloomily and hungrily, on this lonely, swampy Poppasquash Neck, with water at two sides.

As soon as day dawned, Captain Church took his party to a better position, on a brushy little hill just outside the neck. Scarcely had he done so, when they saw an Indian come running. It was Lightfoot.

"What news?" Captain Church hailed anxiously.

"Good news, great captain," Lightfoot panted. "We are all safe and sound and we have 'catched' ten of the Annawan people!"

Nathaniel had done this. First there had been sighted two strange Indians skinning a horse in an old Indian burying-ground. Nathaniel had decoyed them on by howling the Wampanoag wolf signal. After they had been taken they had told of eight others near by. Nathaniel had howled those in, also. The ten had been carried to the rude fort built last year on the main point, of Mount Hope. Lieutenant Howland was waiting there, with them.

This August 28 was to be Captain Church's busy day. He and his men had had nothing to eat for twenty-four hours; but without pausing to eat of the horse-flesh brought by Lightfoot they hastened across eastward, to talk with the prisoners, and see what they knew about Chief Annawan.

They found the prisoners happy. Nathaniel had assured his friends that it was better serving Captain Church than hiding in swamps, and they now agreed with him. Indeed, they wished the captain to send out for their families, who were not far away. First the captain ordered that enough horse beef be roasted to last a whole day. Then he easily bagged the prisoners' families, until his captives numbered thirty.

These Wampanoags had been with Annawan only yesterday, but one and all declared that they did not know where Annawan might be to-day, for he never stayed long in one place. Then a Wampanoag young man asked leave to go out and get his old father, four miles distant in a swamp. Captain Church decided to go with him and explore. So taking a soldier, Caleb Cook, whom he especially liked, and five scouts, he went—for he was a man who did things. He never missed a chance.

This time he rode horseback, being tired. At the swamp the Indian who was looking for his father scurried ahead, to howl the wolf signal. While waiting for him, the captain saw an old Indian man coming down through the swamp, with a gun on his shoulder, and with a young squaw close behind, carrying a basket. They were quickly ambushed and seized. The captain questioned them separately, after telling them that if they lied to him they should be killed. He questioned the young squaw first.

"What company have you come from last?"

"We come from Captain Annawan's."

"How many are there with him?"

"Fifty or sixty."

"How many miles is it to the spot where you left him?"

"I do not know how to count in miles," she said. "He is up in the great Squannaconk swamp."

The old man proved to be one of Annawan's councillors. He gave the same answers as the young squaw, his daughter.

"Can we get to Annawan by night?" Captain Church queried.

"If you start at once and travel stoutly, you might get to him by sunset," replied the old man.

"Where were you going when I seized you?"

"Annawan had sent me down to look for some of his Indians who were to kill provisions on this Mount Hope Neck."

"Those Indians have all been taken by me," Captain Church informed him. "They are with my men and will not be harmed. Now I mean to take Captain Annawan."

He asked his little squad if they were willing to pay Annawan a visit. That rather startled them. They made their reply.

"We are your soldiers and ready to obey your commands," said the scouts. "But we know Captain Annawan to be a great soldier, too. He was a captain under Massasoit, Phillip's father, and under Phillip also. He is a man of courage and strong mind, and we have heard him say that he will never be taken alive by the white people. We know the men with him. They are warriors and very determined; and we are but a handful. It will be a pity if after all your great deeds you should throw your life away at last."

"I do not doubt that this Captain Annawan is a valiant man," Captain Church admitted. "But I have hunted him a long time, and not until this moment have I got exact news of his quarters. So I am loth to let him escape again. If you will cheerfully go with me, by the protection of Providence we shall take him, I think."

The scouts agreed to go.

"What is your mind, in the matter?" the captain next asked, of Caleb Cook.

Caleb Cook was brave: a Plymouth man who had been in the fight when King Phillip was killed. Yes, he had tried a shot at King Phillip, there, but his gun had failed him.

"Sir, I am never afraid of going anywhere when you are with me," asserted Caleb Cook.

Captain Church made ready. No time was to be lost, for Squannaconk swamp contained three thousand acres, and if he did not start at once he might lose Annawan in the darkness. He sent his horse back. The old Indian said that the swamp was too thick with brush, for a horse. He sent the Indian young man and two other prisoners back, with the horse. They were to tell Lieutenant Howland to move on to the town of Taunton, but to expect him in the morning on the Rehoboth road—where he would surely come out, if he were alive, with Chief Annawan.

He kept the old man and the girl.

"Now if you will guide me to Captain Annawan, your lives shall be spared," he said to them.

The old man bowed low to him.

"Since you have given us our lives, we are obliged to serve you," he answered. He was a courtly old man. "Captain Annawan and his people are camped under a great rock in the midst of the swamp, north from here. Come and I will show you."

Thereupon Captain Church pressed forward to the vast swamp, with his one white man and five Indians, to capture Chief Annawan and his fifty or sixty.

The old councillor was nimble. He scuttled fast, but whenever he got out of sight from them, he would wait. They traveled all the rest of the day, until sunset. Then when amidst the twilight deep in the swamp they came upon the old man again, he was sitting down. They all sat down.

"What news now?" Captain Church demanded.

"We must wait here," the old man replied. "Captain Annawan is not far. At this time he sends out his scouts, to see that there are no enemies near about. They return at dark, and then we may move without fear."

When the swamp was dark, the old man arose.

"Let us go on," he said.

"Will you take a gun and fight for me," Captain Church invited.

The old councillor bowed lower than before.

"I beg you not to ask me to fight against my old friend, Captain Annawan," he pleaded. "But I will go in with you, and help you, and will lay hands upon anybody that shall offer to harm you."

They moved forward, keeping close together, for the swamp was growing dark indeed. Suddenly Captain Church heard a strange sound. He grasped the old man by the arm to hold him back. They all listened.

"It is somebody pounding corn in a mortar," they agreed; and by that they knew they were approaching the Chief Annawan camp.

Presently a great outcrop of rock loomed before them, and there was the glow of fires. The corn pounding sounded plainer. Now Captain Church took two of his scouts, and crawled up a long slope of brush and gravel to the crest of the rock pile, that he might peer over. He saw the Annawan camp. There were three companies of Wampanoags, down in front of the rock pile, gathered about their fires. And right below, at the foot of the cliff, he saw big Annawan himself.

Chief Annawan and several of his head men had made their own camp here. They had leaned brush against a felled tree trunk to keep the wind from the cliff face. The rocks overhung, forming a sort of cave that narrowed upward in a split; and at the mouth of the cave Annawan and his young son were lying watching the squaws cook meat in pans and kettles upon the fires.

The guns of the party had been stacked along a stick set in two crotches, and covered with a mat to keep the dampness off. Annawan's feet, and his son's head, opposite, almost touched the gun butts.

It was a snug, well-protected kenneling place, surrounded by the swamp.

The face of the rock pile was so steep that there was no way of getting down except by holding to the shrubs and small trees. That did not look very promising. So Captain Church crept back to ask the old man guide if there was not some other trail. The old man shook his head.

"No, great captain. All who belong to Annawan must come in by that way, down the cliff. Whoever tries to come by another way will likely be shot."

"Very well," said the captain. He made up his mind to beard the lion in the den. "You and your daughter shall go down before us, so that Annawan shall suspect nothing. We will follow close behind, in your shadows."

This they set about to do. The old man and his daughter climbed the slope of the rock pile, and passed over, and down by the narrow trail, for the fires at the bottom. Captain Church, his hatchet in his hand, followed close, stooping low and keeping in the shadow of his guides, cast by the firelight. His six men trod after.

The corn pounding helped them. Whenever the squaw paused to shake the corn together, they paused also, and crouched. When she began to pound again, they hastened. The trail ended just at one side of Captain Annawan. The old man and daughter passed on—and suddenly darting forward Captain Church stepped right over the son's head, at Annawan's feet, and stood by the stacked guns.

He was here. They knew him well. The surprise was perfect. Young Annawan, seeing, instantly "whipped his blanket over his head and shrunk in a heap." Old Annawan straightened half up, astonished.

"Howoh (I am taken)!" he gasped.

Then he fell back, without speaking farther, while Captain Church, with his men on guard, gathered the guns. No one dared to resist. None, there, dreamed that he had only the six men.

"Go to those other companies," ordered Captain Church of his scouts, "and tell them that I have taken their captain, Annawan, and it will be best for them to surrender peaceably; for if they try to resist or to escape, they will find themselves entrapped by a great army brought by Captain Church and will be cut to pieces. But if they stay quiet till morning, they will have good quarter and be carried to Taunton, to see their friends already there. As for you," he spoke to Annawan, "you will be well treated, also; and at Plymouth I will ask my masters to spare your life."

The scouts made the talk, and brought in all the guns and hatchets, so that now Captain Church was in possession of the whole camp. His nerve had won out for him.

So far, Chief Annawan had not uttered another word. He seemed dumb with his astonishment.

Captain Church maintained a bold front, as though he truly had a great army at his back.

"What have you for supper?" he asked. "You see I have come to sup with you."

Chief Annawan aroused. He was a strong, burly man, and spoke in a deep voice.

"Taubut (beef)." He called to the squaws, bidding them bring food for the Captain Church men. "Will you have cow beef or horse beef?" he queried.

"Cow beef would pleasure me the most," answered the captain, in Indian. So he supped heartily upon cow beef and the dried corn that the squaw had been pounding into meal in the mortar.

He had not slept any for two days and a night and had traveled hard upon only one meal. Now he stretched himself out by the fire, to sleep for two hours while his party watched. But he was so nervous that he closed his eyes in vain. When he opened them, he saw that everybody was asleep except himself and Chief Annawan!

This was a curious situation—and not very comfortable, either. The moon had risen, flooding the swamp with pale light. He and Annawan lay for a few minutes, eyeing one another—the white captain and the red captain. Captain Church would have given a great deal to know what Captain Annawan was thinking. Presently Annawan cast off his blanket and stood up. Without a word, he walked away through the moonlight, until he disappeared among the trees.

Captain Church did not call out. That would have been sign of fear. But he was much alarmed. He drew the guns closer to him and shifted over to lie against young Annawan, so that if the chief found a gun outside he would not be able to shoot in without risk of hitting his son.

Pretty soon, here came Annawan back again, through the moonlight, with a bundle in his arms. He knelt beside Captain Church and spoke in good English:

"Great captain, you have killed Phillip, and conquered his country, for I believe that I and my company are the last that war against the English. Therefore, these things belong to you."

He unwrapped the bundle. It contained the royal treasures of the Wampanoags. There was a large wampum belt of black and white beads woven into figures of persons and animals and flowers. Hung upon Captain Church, it reached from his shoulders to his ankles, before and behind. There was another wampum belt, with flags worked into it, and a small belt with a star. And these all were edged with red hair got in the country of the Mohawks. There were two fine horns full of glazed powder, and a red blanket.

They had been the tokens of kingship, when King Phillip had sat in state. They had passed to Annawan, as the next chief. Now they had passed to Captain Church, the conqueror of both.

After having given them, Chief Annawan seemed to feel relieved. While the camp slept, he and Captain Church spent the rest of the night talking like brother warriors. Annawan told of the mighty deeds that he had done, as a young man under Phillip's father Massasoit, in battles against other Indians. Captain Church gladly listened. He appreciated bravery.

There was great joy, the next morning, when with all his prisoners Captain Church was met by Lieutenant Rowland on the Rehoboth road—for nobody had expected to see the captain alive again. He sent the most of the prisoners to Plymouth, by way of Taunton, but he took Annawan and the scouts to his home in Rhode Island, and there kept them for two or three days. Then he went with these also, to Plymouth.

If Captain Church had stayed at Plymouth, very likely he would have saved the life of old Annawan, whom he much admired. However, he was ordered out upon another hunt, which resulted in the surrender, this time, of Chief Tispaquin. That over with, he went to Boston; and when he returned to Plymouth from Boston he found the heads of Annawan and Tispaquin cut off and stuck up for all to see.

This is what had occurred: Tispaquin had claimed to be a wizard whom bullets could not harm. "In that case," said the Plymouth people, "we will shoot at you, and if your wicked claim is true, you shall live"; so the government soldiers stood him up and shot at him, and of course he died. And as old Annawan could not deny that he had put some of his prisoners to death, he was shot, also.

Captain Church served New England in other Indian wars through almost thirty more years. He was made commander-in-chief of all the Plymouth Colony forces, and as major and colonel campaigned by horse, foot and boat clear up to Canada. He prospered in business, and likewise grew very large in body, until, in January, 1718, he was killed, aged seventy-eight, by a fall from his horse.

[1] See "Boys' Book of Indian Warriors."




Upon the old Indian frontier of Virginia and Kentucky the year 1777 was known as "the three bloody sevens." The American settlers had crossed the Cumberland Mountains dividing Virginia and Kentucky, to make new homes in a fair land reported upon by the great Daniel Boone.

John Findlay of North Carolina had been the first to explore Kentucky, in 1767. His story of his trip and of the wonderfully fertile realm that he had discovered stirred the hearts of the Boone brothers. In 1769 Daniel Boone, his brother-in-law John Stuart, Joseph Holden, James Mooney and William Cooley, guided by the old but stout-limbed Findlay (a peddler by trade and a hunter by nature) crossed the Cumberland Gap Mountain of eastern Kentucky, and with horses and packs traveled still westward into that country where white foot had only once before trodden.

But they had confidence in John Findlay. Daniel Boone had scouted with him a dozen years back, when General Braddock, his British regulars and his Virginia riflemen, had been shattered by the French and Indians south of Pittsburgh.

They found Kain-tuck-ee to be all that fancy painted. So four years later, in September, 1773, the two Boone brothers, Daniel and Squire, with their families and five other families and a total of forty men, started out to open the way in earnest. But before they had crossed the Gap, on October 10 their rear was attacked by the Shawnees and Cherokees. It was a sad day for Daniel Boone—his oldest son, James Boone, aged seventeen, was killed, and five others.

They had been on the road only fourteen days. So, to save the women and children they turned homeward.

But Kentucky was not forgotten. Nothing stops Americans when their faces are set westward, and the long trail beckons.

The next year Daniel Boone and party went into Kentucky again. They found James Harrod of Virginia building Harrodsburg, south of the Kentucky River in central Kentucky. He had come in from the north; Daniel Boone and companion Michael Stoner from the east.

This James Harrod was a man of valor. At sixteen years of age he was a young soldier in the French and Indian War. He loved the scout trail, and grew up to be one of the best sign-readers among all the "Long Hunters of Kentucky." He was tall, silent, swarthy—as dark as the Indians whom he tracked. They called him the "Lone Long Knife." When he was fifty years of age, or in 1792, he left his wife and daughter, on his last journey through the forests. After that February day he never appeared again, nor did word of him come back.

But in 1774 he had founded Harrodsburg—or Harrod's Fort, as it was known. Daniel Boone visited with him and his thirty. A company was formed of North Carolina and Virginia settlers, who by treaty with the Cherokees purchased all southern Kentucky. In March of the next year, 1775, Daniel Boone led thirty men who with their hatchets blazed a bridle-trail of two hundred miles, from southwestern Virginia across Cumberland Gap and on into the northwest clear to the Kentucky River. "Boone's Trace" and the "Wilderness Road" was the name of the path.

April 1 they commenced Boone's Fort of Boonesborough, on the south bank of the Kentucky eighteen miles southeast of present Lexington. Then there came the women, in September: for Boonesborough, Daniel Boone's wife Rebecca and their daughters; for Harrod's, Mrs. Hugh McGary, Mrs. Hogan and Mrs. Denton. These were the first white women in Kentucky.

There came, also, the same year, from the Holston River in southwestern Virginia, the noble Benjamin Logan, of Irish birth but as dark in hair and complexion as James Harrod. Since the age of fourteen he had been caring for his mother, his brothers and sisters.

While Boonesborough was being built and Harrod's Fort was not yet completed, he founded his own settlement of Logan's Station, or Fort Asaph, at Stanford of to-day, about thirty-five miles southwest of Boonesborough, and twenty miles southeast of Harrod's. Now, by the close of 1775, here was a triangle of three white men's settlements, in central Kentucky. The "Long Hunters" had arrived, to stay. The first homes of any human being had been planted.

No Indians had placed villages in Kentucky. The Indians only hunted and warred here. It was to them the Dark and Bloody Ground. The Cherokees had sold, but the Shawnees and their allies of the Northern Confederacy—the Miamis, Wyandots, and all—with headquarters in Ohio, also claimed Kentucky for their hunting reserve. The Shawnees had not been consulted in the treaty with the Cherokees. Following the fierce and bloody battle of Point Pleasant in October, 1774, peace had been declared between the Northern Confederacy and the Long-Knife Virginians; nevertheless, here just before the war with England, British agents were stirring the Indians up against the colonists. Kentucky, said the Shawnees, must be cleared.

They swooped down upon the young settlements. On the day before Christmas, 1775, they attacked half-finished Boonesborough. After that, through some years, it was rare for a young man to die except from wounds.

By reason of the outbreak of the Revolution, in 1776, the Kentucky settlements seemed to be cut off entirely. The next winter the people of Logan's Station and the post of McClelland's Station fled to Boonesborough and Harrodsburg. In all that region there were only one hundred and fifty white men, to protect the women and children; but they were men such as Daniel Boone and his brother Squire Boone; the tough-skinned Simon Kenton whose touch-and-go escapes are related in Chapter V; tall James Harrod and Benjamin Logan; George Rogers Clark, soon to found Louisville and to conquer the "Illinois country" bordering upon the Mississippi River; William Whitley, captain of Rangers; and many another, every one an expert with the flint-lock rifle.

The year of the "three bloody sevens" dawned peacefully. The Logan's Station families returned home from sheltering Harrodsburg, to till their farms. In March the Kentucky men were organized into a militia: their posts supposed to be Boonesborough, Harrodsburg and Logan's Station; their officers, George Rogers Clark as major, Daniel Boone, James Harrod, Benjamin Logan and John Todd as captains. This same month some two hundred Shawnees entered Kentucky, to wipe out the little forts.

On March 7 they first attacked Harrodsburg. Harrodsburg resisted so bravely that they drew off, to try Boonesborough. A great storm of sleet and snow halted them, and not until April 24 did one hundred of them appear before Boone's Fort. Daniel Boone and Squire Boone, their less than twenty men and their heroic women fought the good fight and won; but it was a close shave. Daniel Boone almost was tomahawked, and owed his life to young Simon Kenton.

The Shawnees under Chief Black Fish marched for Logan's Station.

They should have tried Logan's Station first. It mustered a garrison of only thirteen rifle-bearers, and was the weakest of the three stockades. Now it had heard from the two other forts, and had done its best to get ready. But it was short of provisions and of ammunition.

The Indians cunningly took their time. At last the Logan people grew hopeful that there would be no attack, for nearly a month had passed since the attack upon Boonesborough. Early in the morning of Friday, May 30, Mrs. Ann Logan, Mrs. William Whitley and a negress servant went out to milk the cows; William Hudson, Burr Harrison, John Kennedy and James Craig were their body-guard. Suddenly, from a brake of cane, there burst a volley. The Indians!

The persons in the fort rushed to the pickets. They saw the three women and James Craig running wildly in. They saw John Kennedy staggering after. He had four bullets to carry. They saw William Hudson, dead, and being scalped, and Burr Harrison limp upon the ground.

In through the gateway rushed the three women and James Craig; protected by the rifles, John Kennedy lurched through, also. The heavy gate was quickly barred, while bullets pattered against the close-set palings. Then there arose the cry:

"Harrison! Look at Burr! He's trying to make in!"

He had fallen in the full open, half way between the fort and the cane brake. Now he was working hard to crawl for the gate. He could drag himself only a few feet at a time. The Indians let him alone; the men and women peered anxiously through the cracks in the palisades—his frenzied wife and children cried piteously, urging him on.

But he collapsed in a patch of thin brush, and lay lax, plain to see.

Captain Logan sprang to the gate.

"Who will go with me to rescue Burr Harrison?" he thundered.

The voices of the women were stilled; the men hesitated, looking one upon another. The Indians evidently were waiting for just such a try. How many lurked in the thicket? Who might tell? A report from those days says fifty-seven; chronicles say one hundred, two hundred. It is difficult to count Indians skulking amidst bushes and trees. At any rate there were plenty. One hundred had attacked Harrodsburg; a like number had attacked Boonesborough; probably one hundred guns commanded the gateway of Logan's Station.

It looked to be certain death for any two men venturing outside.

"Who will go with me to rescue Burr Harrison?" Captain Logan repeated, seeking right and left with his dark face and flashing black eyes. His brave wife uttered never a word to hold him back.

"I'd be your man, Cap, but I'm weakly yet," spoke one.

"I'm sorry for Burr, but in a case like this the skin is tighter than the shirt," muttered another.

"Will you let Captain Logan go alone?" reproached the women.

"No. I'm with you, Cap," exclaimed John Martin. "A man can die but once, and I'm as ready now as I'll ever be."

"Open the gate. Keep the savages off us. That's all we ask," Captain Logan ordered.

He and John Martin stood, braced for their dash. The gate was swung ajar, and instantly they dived through. But as if he had gained strength, Burr Harrison rose to his knees. Seeing, John Martin whirled and leaped back under cover again. He afterward explained that he thought Burr was coming in of himself, and rifles would be needed more in the fort than outside.

Captain Logan only paused; then, crouched, he darted on, for Harrison had toppled. During the space of just a moment or two the Indians were silent. Now, before he had reached his goal, a musket whanged, from the thicket—a second followed—the firing swelled to a volley, while the stockade answered.

Was he down? No, not yet. He had seized Burr, and hoisting him in his two arms was coming at a plunging run through the spatter of bullets and the drift of powder-smoke.

The gate swung wider. He was here—he panted in, out-sped by the balls but still on his feet. Eager hands received him and his burden; the gate slammed to and the bar fell into place.

"Hurt, Logan?"

"No. Never mind me; watch the walls."

There were bullet-holes in his shirt and hat. The gate and the pickets enclosing it were riddled, but by a miracle the lead had not touched his flesh.

The women tended to Burr. He was grievously wounded—he lived six weeks and died in his bed, which was better than dying by torture or the tomahawk. So Captain Logan's hero deed had not been in vain.

The rescue made the Indians very angry. They laid themselves to the siege, and so briskly they maintained it that there was no rest for the little garrison of only ten able-bodied men, nor was there any chance for succor from Harrodsburg or Boonesborough.

Within less than a week the ammunition was almost spent, and the food alarmingly low. Help must be summoned from the Holston settlement on the Holston River in southwestern Virginia, two hundred miles by Boone's Trace.

How many might be spared from the feeble garrison? Not more than two—not more than one; and after a short debate, Captain Logan himself set out, in the night of June 6.

It was a forlorn hope, but he slipped out amidst the darkness, by way of a loosened picket in the rear of the stockade, and vanished. The garrison strained their ears, listening. They heard nothing, and breathed a sigh of relief. For an hour more they listened, fearing sudden burst of whoops and shots. Silence reigned. Good! Captain Logan was through the lines by this time.

But could he make it, when all the surrounding country was being watched by the Shawnee scouts? He had planned to avoid the Boone Trace. That surely would be guarded close; it was the white man's road. He was to follow no trail at all, and the wilderness had swallowed him.

Two weeks passed. There was no token of any nature from Captain Logan. Likely enough he had perished; the bullet, the tomahawk, perhaps the torture stake, had stopped him. His wife was in despair, and the garrison were beginning to despair, for the powder had dwindled, and the Indians had relaxed their relentless circle for never an instant. It seemed impossible that a man could get through them, going or coming.

In the night of June 23 the guards heard a scratching on the loose picket. A trick? Be careful.

"Hist! It's I—Logan."

What! They stood aside, with hatchets lifted; but he it was, for he poked a pack ahead of him, and slipped in after.

He told his story. Five hundred miles, at least, he had trudged, always at top speed, day and night; making his own trail, through tangled vines, across streams, up and down lonely gorges; and now he brought powder, and the promise of reinforcements.

In all his journey eastward and westward he had not been sighted by an Indian. It was a trip long remembered in the border country.

With such a leader, no garrison would yield. Logan's Station was filled with courage and hope renewed. It fought on, day after day, night after night, constantly expecting the reinforcements. Finally it seemed that Captain Logan's venture had been for naught; a month had elapsed since his return, and the reinforcements had not arrived. Once more the powder was low, and by this time the scanty provisions had been reduced to miserably small rations.

This was August 23. The end appeared near. On August 25 gun shots sounded, in the timber behind the Shawnee lines. Indians were running. Relief had come—the reinforcements were breaking through! Hurrah!

No! The gun-fire ceased. Hope died again. The Indians were too thick. Logan's Station settled for another night of waiting.

But the next morning, where were the Shawnees? From the stockade weary eyes searched to locate the shadowy forms. All was quiet. What had happened? If the Indians actually were gone, that could mean only one thing: relief. Could it be true, at last!

Within a short time, amidst the cheers of the men and the sobs of the women Colonel John Bowman led his column of Virginians straight into the widely open gate of the fort.

He had brought from the Holston one hundred rifle-men. He had already been at Boonesborough—therefore his delay. From Boonesborough he had advanced for Logan's Station, sweeping the timber. The Shawnees had ambushed six of his advance scouts, and killed two. But here he was, just in nick of time, with his hardy Long Knives, whose rifles were as much feared as the rifles of the Long Hunters.

Logan's Station, Harrodsburg and Boonesborough were saved, for the present. The Shawnees, Mingos and warring Delawares continued to watch them close.

Benjamin Logan lived on, as scout, soldier and Kentucky statesman, and died peacefully in 1802, aged fifty years.




While from Virginia, North Carolina and soon from Tennessee the American settlers were pushing on through Kentucky for the closed trail of the broad Ohio River, farther north another out-post had been placed at the river itself.

This was the Zane settlement away up in the panhandle of North-Western Virginia; to-day the city of Wheeling, West Virginia.

The Zanes, first there, were three brothers: Colonel Ebenezer, Silas and Jonathan. They all were of the roving "wild-turkey" breed, and bolder spirits never wore buckskin or sighted a rifle. A fourth brother, Isaac, had been taken by the Indians when nine years old, and had chosen to stay with them. He married a sister of a Wyandot chief; rose to be a chief, himself, but never lifted the hatchet against the whites. On the contrary, he helped them when he might.

It was in the summer of 1769 that the three Zanes led a party from present Moorfield, on the South Branch of the Potomac River in eastern West Virginia, to explore northwest into a country where Ebenezer already had spent a season. They reached the Ohio and looked down upon the shining river, and the lovely vales surrounding, where Wheeling up-sprang.

Ebenezer Zane, then twenty-three years old, built a cabin on a knoll near the river above the mouth of Wheeling Creek. The Zane family home was here long after Wheeling became a town. Jonathan lived with Eb; Silas put up a cabin beside the creek. The next year they went back for their wives and children; other settlers returned with them. Among these were John Wetzel, whose five sons, Lewis, Jacob, Martin, John and George grew to be such frontier fighters that Lewis was called the Boone of West Virginia; there were the McCollochs—John, William and Samuel—whose sister Elizabeth had married Eb Zane; and another of the Zanes, Andrew.

Those were days of large families.

Up and down the east bank of the Ohio, north and south of Wheeling Creek, the number of cabins gradually increased, until in the year of the "three bloody sevens" they numbered some twenty-five or thirty.

They were scattered here and there under the protection of a fort that had been built three years before by the Government. At first it was named Fort Fincastle, after Fincastle County of Virginia; the name had been changed to Fort Henry, in honor of the great Patrick Henry, orator and governor of the State of Virginia; but it was known also as Wheeling Fort.

And considerable of a fort it was, too—ranking second to only the famed Fort Pitt at Pittsburgh. It stood near the river edge of a flat bluff about a quarter of a mile up the Ohio from the mouth of Wheeling Creek. Its stockade of sharpened white-oak pickets seventeen feet high enclosed more than half an acre, with small block-houses or bastions in the corners, and with a commandant's log house of two stories, in the middle.

Inland, or east from it, there arose a high hill—Wheeling Hill. Between the fort and the base of the hill were the Ebenezer Zane cabin and the other cabins, on the bottom-lands, forming Wheeling.

To this time young Wheeling had been little bothered by the Indians. But the Ohio River was the border country; it flowed through a No-Man's Land. On the east and south the white people were pressing toward it, on the west and north the red people were seeking to keep its banks clear. The struggle waged back and forth. All the territory of present Ohio was red, and in Ohio and adjacent Indiana the Shawnees, Miamis, Wyandot Hurons, the Mingos, the war Delawares, and such, had their principal towns. The Wheeling settlements in the pan-handle were within short striking distance of the Indian strongholds.

The War of the Revolution had been in full stride for a year. The majority of the Indians of the northwest sided with the British, in the hopes of keeping their country from the Americans. It is said that Isaac Zane, the white Wyandot, sent the word of danger to the commanding officer at Fort Pitt. At any rate, on the first day of August, 1777, Chief White-eyes the friendly Delaware appeared there with warning that the Indians of the Northern Confederacy, helped by the British, were making ready "to take Wheeling home with them."

General Edward Hand of Fort Pitt dispatched a runner to Colonel David Shepherd, of Fort Shepherd, six miles up Wheeling Creek.

"The Indians are planning to attack Wheeling. You will therefore remove your forces from Fort Shepherd and rally all the militia of your district between the Ohio and the Monongahela at Fort Henry."

No regular troops might be spared by General Washington; they were needed at the front—and these were dark days for the Buff and Blue. The home guards, or militia, needs must protect the settlements on the far border. But Fort Henry itself had no garrison of any kind. The settlers around-about were supposed to defend it when defending themselves.

Colonel David Shepherd was lieutenant in charge of the pan-handle—which at that time included a slice of Pennsylvania on the east. He had under him a number of small block-houses. From these and the settlements he summoned eleven companies of militia. He also worked hard to put Fort Henry in good repair.

Had the Indians struck at once, they might have scored heavily, in spite of the fighting Zanes, Wetzels, McCollochs, and all. But they delayed, and by the last week of August Colonel Shepherd reported to General Hand:

"We are well prepared. Fort Henry is Indian proof."

He relaxed, and dismissed nine of the militia companies, so that only two remained: the companies of Captain Joseph Ogle and Captain Samuel Mason, composed mainly of Wheeling men. There were about sixty, in all.

The night of the last day of August Captain Ogle returned to the fort from a scout with twelve of his men. He had been watching the trails.

"Never a sign of Injun anywhere around," he and Martin Wetzel and the others declared.

The warning by White-eyes seemed to have been a false alarm, or else the Indians had learned of the preparations and had backed out.

That very night, however, the Indians cunningly crossed the Ohio below the fort, instead of above; there were almost four hundred of them—Shawnees, Wyandots, Mingos, accompanied by a white man interpreter. They saw the lights in the fort, and planned their favorite morning surprise instead of a direct attack.

So they formed two lines from the river to a bend in the creek, facing the fort and surrounding the settlers' cabins. A corn field hid them. The main road from the fort down through the corn field led right between the two lines. Then they posted six warriors, who should show themselves and decoy the garrison out.

Some of the militia-men were in the fort; others were with their families in the cabins, for after the first alarm the cabins had been used again. Wheeling slept well this night of August 31, with no inkling that three hundred and eighty or more red enemies were occupying its own corn fields.

A heavy fog dimmed the sunrise. Andrew Zane, Samuel Tomlinson, John Boyd (a mere lad) and a negro slave started out to hunt the horses of James McMechen, who had decided to leave. All unsuspecting, they passed right through the first line of Indians. They met the six decoys.

For a few minutes there was lively work. A single shot brought poor young Boyd to the ground; in making for the fort Andrew Zane leaped a terrific distance (the stories say, seventy feet) down a cliff bank; but the six Indians did not pursue far, none of the other Indians took part, and Andrew Zane, Samuel Tomlinson and the negro reached safety.

"How many out there, Andy?"

"Six is all we counted. We saw no sign of more," panted Andrew Zane.

"By thunder, we can't let Boyd lie unavenged, without a try. That's beyond human nature. With Colonel Shepherd's permission I'll take some men and shake the rascals up," Captain Mason exclaimed.

Out he marched, with fourteen of his company. The six Indians decoyed them on. Those scores of fierce eyes that had been peering from trees and corn-stalks, waiting for the morning to break and for this very sally to occur, focussed on the sight.

Suddenly the war-whoop rang. Behind, and on either flank of the Captain Mason party the painted scalps and faces of the Indians rose above the tassels and brush—their muskets belched smoke and lead through the fog.

Wellnigh by the one volley two-thirds of the men fell; the others turned in retreat. Soon it become every man for himself. William Shepherd, son of Colonel Shepherd, almost gained the stockade. Shelter beckoned, faintly seen. But his foot caught in a grape-vine, down he pitched, head-long, and a war-club finished him. Captain Mason and his sergeant burst through the Indian line, and raced up the slope, for the protection of the loop-holes. The captain had been twice wounded, and had lost his rifle.

Midway, the sergeant dropped. Captain Mason paused for a moment, to help him.

"No use, Cap. I've got to stay. Take my gun and save yourself. Better one, here, than two."

It had to be. Captain Mason took the gun. Without a weapon, the brave and crippled sergeant died like a hero.

An Indian, tomahawk in hand, pursued the captain close. Captain Mason sensed the lifted hatchet poised to split his head. He was too weak to run farther—he whirled, to grapple. He had not noticed that the sergeant's rifle was loaded. By a vigorous shove he pushed the Indian backward, down hill, and the tomahawk blade was buried in the ground. The gun! It was loaded and capped! He leveled and fired just in time, and the Indian, at the very muzzle, fell dead.

The captain made onward. He concealed himself under a large felled tree; remained there for the rest of the day and into the night.

The people of the cabins and the fort had heard the fracas out in the fog. They could see little. Still not knowing how many Indians there were, Captain Ogle and twelve men sallied to the reinforcement. They, too, were ambushed, and wiped out. Captain Ogle himself hid in a fence-corner, until darkness. Only Sergeant Jacob Ogle, his son, Martin Wetzel and perhaps one other man, escaped to the fort.

From the Captain Mason party only Hugh McConnell and Thomas Glenn came. Of the twenty-six men under the two captains these five, alone, ran gasping in from the deadly fog; and two had been badly wounded.

By this time the women and children, carrying the babies, and many of them still in their night-clothes, had scurried from their cabin homes into the fort. The mists were lifting; and barely had the gates of the fort been closed again when the Indian lines advanced upon the village. They appeared, marching to beat of drum, with the British flag flying; crossed the corn-field bottom-land and took possession of the village. The cabins and out-buildings swarmed with them.

From a window of a cabin near to the fort the white savage shouted a message. He promised mercy to all the people who would join the cause of their sovereign, King George; he had come to escort them safely to Detroit. And he read a proclamation from Lieutenant-Governor Henry Hamilton, the general commanding the British Northwest, offering pardon to the "rebels" who would renounce the cause of the Colonies. The people here would be allowed fifteen minutes to decide.

There were no faint hearts in Fort Henry. Colonel Ebenezer Zane replied at once.

"We have consulted our wives and children, and we all are resolved to perish, sooner than trust to your savages, or desert the cause of liberty. You may do your worst."

"Think well of that," retorted the Indian's spokesman. "I have a thousand warriors. They are rich with powder and guns furnished by their father at Detroit. Once you enrage them, I will not be able to hold them back. Then it will not be possible for you to escape. Better for you to save your wives and children by accepting the offer of the governor and yielding to your rightful king."

But a rifle bullet made him duck. The attack opened at once.

There were thirty-three men and grown boys in the fort; and as many women and children. Led by the white savage, the Indians charged the gate with battering-ram logs; the log-carriers fell, but a hundred warriors stormed the palisade and tore with their knives and tomahawks and fingers at the pickets.

From the loop-holes the long rifles cracked in a steady drum-fire. Every man and boy who could raise a muzzle aimed and fired and aimed and fired again. Every woman was busy—running bullets, filling powder flasks, loading rifles and leaning them ready for the eager, groping hands, and serving out water and food.

Two of the strongest women, Mothers Glum and Betsy Wheat, took station at loop-holes and shot the same as the men. Border women, they, who well knew the uses of a rifle.

A dummy cannon, of painted wood, had been mounted upon the flat roof of the commandant's quarters. But the Indian soon saw that it did not awaken. They laughed and jeered, and grew bolder.

Within the fort all was a reek of powder-smoke; the stout pickets quivered to the pelting balls—every loop-hole was a target. Never did a garrison work harder; there was not an idle hand, for the wounded crawled about, helping.

The Indians withdrew as quickly as they had come, and from the cover of the cabins shot furiously. In the afternoon they tried once more. They divided, and launched a heavy attack upon the south end of the fort. The garrison rushed to repel. A cry arose:

"Here! In the front! Quick!"

The attack had been a feint—battering-rams were crashing against the gates again. Back to defend the gates ran the men, and the enemy did not get in.

Toward evening the attacks lessened. The little garrison had a breathing space, sorely needed. Their faces were grimy, their eyes wearied, their rifles fouled in spite of the frequent cleanings by the women. Fortunately the fort had its own well—but how long would the ammunition and provisions last!

That proved to be a hideous night. About nine o'clock the Indians rallied, in a third attack. They fired the cabins and out-buildings before the fort; the blaze gave them light. All was pandemonium. Colonel Zane saw his home go up in flame and smoke, while the feathered, shrieking foe danced and capered and deluged the fort with lead. The whole village blazed, and the frightened cows and horses and dogs scampered in slaughter.

The fort showed no lights; the Indians' figures were outlined blackly, and the rifles of the Zanes, the Wetzels, and the others—every man a dead shot—picked them off.

So the night attacks failed. Morning brought a pleasant surprise. Colonel Andrew Swearingen, Captain Bilderdock and Private Boshears entered at the rear of the fort, having climbed up from the river. They brought the news that they had left twelve men, near by, from Fort Holliday, twenty-four miles above. But they had feared, by reason of the burning houses, that Fort Henry had been taken.

"Not yet, sir," reproved Colonel Zane. "Not while we have a bullet for a rifle."

Back went the three, to the boat, and the twelve men were brought in.

The Indians had been strangely quiet since before daylight. Had they actually quit, defeated! Who might say? It was decided to send out two scouts, to see. The scouts stole as far as the corn-field and sighted nothing but the plundered, smoking homes, the carcasses of the cattle, and the bloody trail of bodies that had been dragged off. Not a shot was fired at them.

Scarcely had they returned, hopeful, and Colonel Ebenezer Zane was about to lead out a larger force, when they all heard a cheer. They looked. Hurrah! Another company of men, ahorse, were galloping across the bottom, for the top of the bluff, and the fort gates.

"It's Major McColloch! It's Sam McColloch, from Short Creek! Huzza! Huzza!"

Short Creek was a dozen miles north. The McCollochs lived there. Here they came—the Short Creek settlers, business bent.

And on a sudden, as the battered double gates of the fort swung, the Indians sprang from the very ground, and charged to cut off the galloping company. 'Twas a race for life or death. Shooting right and left, the Short Creek riders tore on. They were winning, they were winning. Major Sam McColloch veered aside, to let his men pass. He was resolved that not one should fail. It was a generous act—the act of a real captain. But he lingered too long. The Indians were upon him—they out-stripped him, as he turned late, and before his horse had caught its stride they were between him and the gates.

He wheeled around, and bending low to avoid the bullets he sped at a tangent in the opposite direction, for the timber of Wheeling Hill. The Indians afoot could not catch him, no bullet caught him; he would make it—he would make it; there he goes, up the hill. He was safe—but was he?

He had planned to reach another fort: Van Metre's Fort, a block-house beyond the hill. And he himself thought that he was safe, until, galloping more easily along the brow of the hill, he ran squarely into another band of Indians, trooping to the siege of Fort Henry. The Indians recognized him. They all knew Sam McColloch and his white horse; they asked no better prize.

"Sam! Now we got you, Sam!" They spread, to take him alive.

Again he wheeled. There were foes in front of him, foes closing in hot behind him, and a dusky line extending on his right. On his left the hill ended in a precipice. He chose the precipice, and with his moccasined heels hammered his horse straight for it.

Yelling gleefully, the Indians ran after. Now they had Sam.

Just as the foremost arrived at the spot where Major Sam should be at bay, they heard a crashing of brush and branches, a grinding of rock and gravel. They peered over. It was three hundred feet to the creek below—and plunging, scrambling, now on its haunches, now on its nose, the white horse was bounding, leaping, sprawling, already half way down, with the major firmly astride, reins in one hand, rifle in the other.

For one hundred feet there was a sheer drop that might have daunted even a deer. But the horse had taken it—he had struck on his feet, where the rougher slope commenced; from there he had slid, braced, and scratching fire from the rock; he was still sliding and pitching. Other Indians panted in, to peer. Presently the defiant shout of Major McColloch echoed up to them. He flourished his rifle, and splashing through the creek went clattering into the timbered flat on the other side.

Major McColloch's Leap was a famous spot through many years.

The reinforcements to the fort discouraged the Indians. It was saved. Major McColloch also had been saved, but the red enemy did get him, at last, five years later.

That was the fall of 1782. He and his brother John were looking for Indian sign, out of the same Fort Van Metre which was located east of the Short Creek settlement, over near the Monongahela River. They made a circuit west, almost down to Wheeling, and on July 30 were circuiting back by way of Short Creek, for Van Metre's again, without having discovered a single track, when from the bushes half a dozen guns opened on them.

Major Sam wilted in his seat and fell to the ground dead. John's horse crumpled under him, dead also, but he himself was wounded only by a scratch across his hip.

He saw that Sam was dead; the Indians were yelling—and as quick as thought he had sprung to his brother's horse, and was away, to give the alarm at Van Metre's. He looked back. The Indians were flocking into the trail, and one was about to scalp Sam. John drew rein, threw his rifle to his shoulder, the ball sped true. That Indian took no scalp.

John reached Van Metre's. The next day Major Sam McColloch's body was rescued. The Indians had eaten his heart, to make them as bold, they said in after years, as he had been.




At the beginning of the year 1778 the settlers of Boonesborough found themselves again out of salt. Salt is a habit. White people, red people and all animals get along very well with no salt, until they have learned the taste of it; and then they will travel almost any distance to get it. Salt licks are famous places for deer.

The Licking River of northeastern Kentucky was named by reason of the salty springs along its course. It lay about forty miles northeast from Boonesborough. Boonesborough itself had been planted only some sixty yards from a small salt lick, but this proved not enough. So on January 8 Daniel Boone led thirty men and several horses packed with large "boiling pans," to the Lower Blue Licks of the Licking River.

The process of making salt here was slow. Eight hundred and forty gallons of the water needs must be boiled down, to obtain one bushel of salt. But there was no great hurry. It was the winter season, when the Indians usually stayed home.

Two or three of the men hunted for meat, while the others made salt. They all lived well; game was plenty in the neighborhood of licks. A month had passed. On Saturday, February 7, Daniel Boone was hunting by himself, with horse and rifle, in a snow-storm. He had killed a buffalo, tied the best of the meat upon his horse, and was trudging for camp, when four Indians surprised him.

For a few moments he worked fast, to defend himself, untie the meat, mount his horse and escape. But the thongs were stiff with the cold. He, too, was stiff, and his fingers grew numb. He sprang behind a tree, his rifle ready, but saw himself surrounded.

The four Indians were shielded, likewise. They laughed at his efforts, and waxed bolder. They had Daniel Boone!

"Come out, Boone," they called. "Come out. No fight, no get hurt. Many Injuns near."

So he wisely surrendered before he lost his scalp.

It was well that he had done this. The four Indians took him to their main party. There were one hundred and two Shawnees, altogether, and two white allies, marching down under Chiefs Munseka and Black Fish to attack Boonesborough and avenge the murder, last fall, of the Chief Corn-stalk party when prisoners in the American fort at Point Pleasant on the West Virginia side of the Ohio River.[1]

The capture of Captain Daniel Boone was hailed with great joy. The Shawnees scarcely had expected to achieve this feat. Once before he had been taken, but had escaped while his guards were drunk. He was a hard man to hold; now they were determined to keep him.

They seemed to know that he and his men had gone out from Boonesborough, salt-making. That was why they had chosen this time for the attack. Now they demanded that he tell his men at the licks to surrender likewise.

"We will surprise them, too, and kill them. Or let them surrender and they shall not be harmed," said Black Fish.

Daniel Boone had been thinking rapidly. He understood Indian nature. The Shawnees were treating him kindly—they respected him as a great chief who had always met them fairly. He had killed a number of their warriors, but only when fighting man to man against odds. He trusted the word of Black Fish.

Burdened with prisoners got at a bargain, so to speak, the Shawnees might prefer to go home rather than attack Boonesborough. But if his men fought and killed, they likely enough would be cut to pieces; the Shawnees, blood maddened, would attack Boonesborough—and woe to the women and children!

"I will tell them to surrender," he promised. "I have your word."

"That is good," Black Fish answered. "They shall not be harmed."

In the morning they all marched the few miles to the Blue Licks camp. Covered by the Indians' tomahawks and guns, he stood forth, at the edge of the snowy timber, and hallooed. He stated just what had happened, and what was likely to happen now if they resisted.

The fact that he himself had surrendered scored heavily. He was not a man to give up without good cause.

"Boone is prisoner!"

The sight rather took the tuck out of the salt-makers. They knew him for a man of sound common-sense; his word, in Indian matters, was law; and they surrendered, also. But it was a bitter pill.

However, Chief Black Fish proved true. Two of the camp hunters, Thomas Brooks and Flanders Callaway, were still out; and two of the salt-makers had returned to Boonesborough, with salt and the news that all was prosperous at the Licks. This left twenty-seven to march with the Shawnees.

As Daniel Boone had hoped, instead of continuing on to Boonesborough the Shawnees hastened northward, to display their triumph in their town of Little Chillicothe on the Little Miami River in southwestern Ohio. Twenty-seven prisoners, without the loss of a scalp! And American prisoners were worth money, these days. The British father at Detroit was paying $100 for each one brought in to him.

Knowing this, the Boone men were encouraged to believe that none of them would be tortured; for their bodies were more valuable than their scalps.

It was a ten days' journey, in very cold weather, to Little Chillicothe. Daniel Boone says that on the way his party "received as good treatment as prisoners could expect from savages." The good treatment was not broken. He recalled that last year James Harrod, of Harrod's Fort, had wounded a Shawnee, then had nursed him in a cave and let him go. Possibly this was one reason for the kindness of the Shawnees.

At any rate, he was given the name Big Turtle, because he was so strongly built, and was adopted as a son by Chief Black Fish. Sixteen of the men likewise were then adopted, by chiefs and old women and warriors.

Big Turtle tried to bear his new honors modestly. He and the others worried considerably about their families, down at Boonesborough. What would be the feelings there, when nobody returned from the Blue Licks! Still, they could not help themselves. Big Turtle counseled patience, and set the example. He was a silent kind of a man, who bided his time until the right opportunity should come.

On March 10, about three weeks after their arrival at Chillicothe, he, and the ten men who had not been adopted were taken north to Detroit. There the ten men were sold, for $100 apiece, in goods. Big Turtle was proudly placed on exhibition, but he was not for sale.

The fame of Daniel Boone of Kentucky had spread widely. Now here he was—a tall, strongly-framed, slightly stooped man, with a long and noiseless stride and a low and quiet voice. He wore buckskin. His face was high-cheeked and thin, his nose a little hooked, his chin firm.

The lieutenant-governor at Detroit, General Hamilton, offered Black Fish $500 for him. Black Fish refused.

"I will not sell. He is a great captain. He is my son. He will stay with me. You see that I have him."

The English in Detroit made much of Daniel Boone. They liked his manners. They entertained him, and questioned him about his adventures, and offered him money.

"I thank you," he answered, "but I cannot accept, for I should not be able to repay."

Governor Hamilton also treated him well; insisted that he be ransomed in some way, so that he might return home on parole; otherwise he might yet be killed, should the Indians get angry. But Big Turtle shook his head. He had rather go back to Chillicothe and take his chances.

Having exhibited him for two weeks, Chief Black Fish and warriors escorted him back to Chillicothe. They left Detroit on April 10, and were fifteen days on the trail: another disagreeable march. Big Turtle made no complaint, he acted as much Indian as they, and they thought more highly of him than ever. They marveled that a white man should equal them.

Pretty soon, as he had not tried to escape, and did not sulk or shirk, they grew to look upon him as one of them forever. Did he not mingle with them, and eat as they ate, and sleep as they slept, and appear perfectly satisfied? Other white men had become Indians; so why not he! The Indian life was the best life, the Shawnees the greatest of nations, and he would be a chief!

A cunning man, was Daniel Boone. They could not see behind his face. At the shooting matches he allowed them to beat him. This pleased them immensely; they did not suspect that he planted his balls precisely where he had purposely aimed; and that he was wise enough to know that if he beat an Indian, the Indian would be his enemy. Instead, he gained a friend with every shot. They sent him out hunting, under guard. He brought in deer, and gave the meat away.

Finally, to test him, they sent him out alone—but they watched him. He did not attempt to run off; he came back, with more meat. He was well aware that they had watched him, but he said nothing about it. Then Chief Black Fish decided to trust him completely. He only counted the bullets, each time, by doling out two or three.

"Here are your bullets. We know you never miss. For each bullet, a deer."

"That is good," replied Big Turtle.

He was smarter than they. In the woods he cut a bullet in two, and used half charges of powder. Two deer, to each ball and each full charge of powder! In this way he gradually laid aside ammunition for future use.

He frequently wondered about Boonesborough. How was the place getting along! How were his family? No words came up from there. But if it had been attacked, he would have heard.

On the first of June the Black Fish family took him eastward to some salt licks on the Scioto River, and put him at work making salt. This caused him to think of home more than ever, if that were possible. After he had been there ten days he was taken back to Chillicothe, and he beheld an alarming sight.

One hundred and fifty chiefs and warriors were already "painted and armed in a frightful manner," about to start against Boonesborough! They had made complete preparations while he was absent. Now he heard the talk, which he pretended not to understand, but he saw that he must escape at once and carry warning.

He had to wait a week before his chance opened. All that time he was on pins and needles, lest the Indians leave before him. Yet he dared not so much as flicker an eye. He had to laugh and loaf and eat and sleep, the same as usual.

He dared not hurry, either. If he tried to hunt, before-time, likely enough he would be frowned upon and maybe tied up. So he waited. He felt certain that once started, he could out-travel the warriors, did they not have too much of a lead.

Toward the close of the first week they were still in the town, waiting for other bands and for orders from Detroit. On the night of June 15 Big Turtle said to his father Black Fish:

"The meat is low. To-morrow morning I will hunt for more."

"You are right, my son. It is time. Go, as you say."

The bullets were doled out: two or three. The powder was measured. Early in the morning of June 16 Big Turtle strode forth, into the forest. He did not hurry; but when far from sight of spies he went to his cache of ammunition, scooped up the powder and lead hidden there, and ran.

Before night there would be four hundred and fifty Shawnee warriors eager for Captain Boone; if he was caught, he surely would be tortured and killed; even Black Fish could not save him. And Boonesborough would fall.

Luckily, the Indians would not be looking for him until later in the day. He was supposed to be hunting. Now, with this head-start, could he but reach the Ohio River! Once across the Ohio, and he would feel safe, for he knew the Kentucky country.

Never had he traveled so fast; never before had he taken such pains to leave a blind trail. He did not stop to eat nor to sleep; and when, on the second day, he emerged upon the banks of the broad Ohio River, the current was swirling full and muddy, swollen by the June freshets.

Daniel Boone was no swimmer to brag of; not with rifle and powder, in such a river. For a moment he was daunted, but he swiftly scouted along the shore, seeking a partial ford, or islands that would aid him. By a miracle he came to a canoe—an old canoe, half concealed in the bushes at the water's edge, with an end stove in.

Laboring rapidly, he stuffed and patched the hole. By paddling with his hands and a branch he crossed, and still he heard no whoop of pursuit.

He was in his loved Kentucky. The Ohio River and the Shawnee country lay behind him.

Near sunset of June 20 he sighted the clearing of Boonesborough. He saw the log walls of the fort, the rudely shingled sloping roofs of the rows of cabins lining it, the supper smoke gently wafting from the clay chimneys. Everything looked to be as when he had left, except that the season was smiling summer instead of white winter. Yes, his home was safe, and so was he. Afoot he had covered one hundred and sixty miles, breaking his own trail through the forest and across the streams, in four days, and had eaten only once. That was a record, white or red.

He hastened down in. His eye rapidly grasped details. The gates of the fort were widely open; women were outside, milking cows; men were chopping wood in the timber; children were fetching water, and playing about, even straying almost beyond call. No guards were posted, on the look-out. The logs of the defences had sagged by weather—some appeared to have rotted. One of the double gates, swung inward, hung crookedly. It was a Boonesborough gone to seed in a fancied peace.

He arrived unchallenged. Indians might have done the same. The first persons whom he met stared at him blankly, then amazed.

"What! Boone? We thought you dead long since man! Hooray!"

At the cry, the people flocked to greet him. He had been absent five months and twelve days; four of these months he had been among the Indians. Shawnee paint was still on his face; his hair was unusually long, and he himself uncommonly thin and gaunt—weary but keen.

"Where's Rebecca? How are my wife and children?"

There was silence. Then Simon Kenton spoke up frankly.

"Well, you see, Dan, they'd give you up. We all thought you dead—you and likely the rest of the boys. You'd escaped once from those same Injuns; 't ain't their nater to let a man escape twice. So Rebecca got heart-sick. After waitin' a bit, and hearin' naught, she packed what she could and took the children, and set out hossback for her father's home in North Caroliny."

Daniel Boone grew pale.



"Did she get there?"

"Yes; all right. Never harmed."

"Thank God. I do not blame her."

"But Jemimy's here. Here's Jemimy! She didn't go."

That was the pleasant surprise. Jemima, aged seventeen, rushed into his arms.

"Father! Father!"

"Gal, gal! Bless you, gal! But why didn't you go with ma?"

"I wanted to be here if you came back, father. I knew you'd come."

Daniel Boone wiped the tears of joy from his tired eyes. He thrust Jemima aside, for sterner duty.

"Gather everybody into the fort. We must repair it and be ready for a siege. When I left Chillicothe four days ago the Injuns had armed and painted for the war-path and they'll be on us any moment."

That changed the scene. There was calling and running. Boone ate a few mouthfuls, while directing. As they all worked he told his story; he answered a hundred questions about the other prisoners; wives and brothers and sisters were eager to know how they were getting along.

Within twenty-four hours Fort Boonesborough had been repaired. It was a roomy fort; the walls of palisades a foot thick and twelve feet high fenced almost an acre. They were helped by the rows of cabins, blank to the outside, the hewn-shingle or "shakes" roofs sloping sharply. In the corners there were block-houses, projecting out like bastions, so as to sweep the walls with their port-holes. Boonesborough had been well planned, and ranked as the strongest settlers' fort in Kentucky.

But the clearing around was small. The brush and forest were within gun-shot, and the river, flowing between high banks, was only sixty yards in front. The old salt lick extended from the very walls. Inside the fort a well had been excavated, at sign of a spring.

The Indians did not appear. Soon second-stories had been added to the block-houses, making double bastions. Then, on July 17, William Hancock came in. He also had escaped from Chillicothe; but he had been twelve days on the way, and was almost famished.

"There was rare racin' and chasin' up yonder when they found you'd cleared out, Daniel," he reported. "It over-set their plans, I can tell you! So they put off their march for three weeks."

Daniel Boone at once sent a messenger eastward to Colonel Arthur Campbell, lieutenant commanding the militia at the Holston settlements in southwestern Virginia; said he expected an attack soon; could hold out three or four weeks—and then "relief would be of infinite service."

Still the Shawnees did not show up. A few spies were seen, near the fort. Evidently they had found the fort rebuilt and ready and had gone back with discouraging news. About six weeks had passed since William Hancock had reported; the cattle collected in the fort were turned out to graze, and with nineteen men Captain Boone the Big Turtle started upon a scout northward to learn what had happened to the Shawnees.

Young Simon Kenton (who was known as Simon Butler) was his lieutenant. Their goal was the Shawnee village of Paint Creek in southern Ohio east from the town of Little Chillicothe on the Little Miami.

They were not far from Paint Creek, when Simon Kenton, scouting before, stole upon two Indians riding a pony through the brush and laughing heartily. He shot them both with a single ball; off they tumbled, pierced through the breast, one dead, the other wounded; away ran the pony; on ran Simon, to finish the business with his tomahawk and take the scalps—and just in the final act he ducked his head aside barely in time to dodge the bullets of two more Indians.

That was a close call. Now the brush seemed full of Indians. He made for a tree. The firing and the galloping pony had carried the alarm to the main party; Daniel Boone and all came in a hurry, and cleared the neighborhood. The Indians had numbered thirty. The wounded warrior was borne off, but Simon took the scalp of the dead brave, after all.

He and his true friend, Alexander Montgomery, were sent ahead, to spy upon Paint Creek town. Paint Creek town was empty.

"Back to Boonesborough!" Captain Boone exclaimed. "The varmints are rallying. We've no time to lose."

At best speed they traveled for Boonesborough. All signs pointed to the fact that the march of the Shawnees was under way. They scouted for the trail of the red army, and found it. It was broad and fresh. On the sixth day southward they were right at the heels of the Shawnees, and circuited their camp at the Blue Licks itself, only forty miles from the fort. Indeed there had been no time to lose.

But the next afternoon they trooped, breathless, into Boonesborough, with word that the Shawnees—in full force—were close at hand.

At ten o'clock the following morning, September 7, the enemy appeared. They had crossed the Kentucky at a ford a mile and a half above the fort, had marched around by the rear, and now filed down for it from a timbered ridge on the south.

They made an imposing sight. They had flags, both French and British. They had horses with baggage. They mustered some four hundred warriors, a dozen Canadian white men, and a negro named Pompey who was an adopted Shawnee. Their red chiefs were Black Fish himself, Moluntha, Black Wolf and Black Beard; their captain was a French-Canadian named Isidore Chene, of the British Indian department at Detroit.

Under a white flag, Captain Chene demanded the surrender of Fort Boonesborough. Counting the old men and boys, and several slaves, Daniel Boone had sixty persons who could handle a rifle; only forty of them were really shooters. He asked for two days in which to consider surrendering, but his mind was already made up.

The Shawnees had not donned their war paint for nothing; old Black Fish had come, looking for his "son"—and the rest had come, looking for whatever they might get.

Captain Chene, a pleasant enough man, consented. He posted his hideous array in the forest, to cut off any escape; Captain Boone spent the two days in gathering loose cattle into the stockade and putting last touches upon the defences. He looked in vain for the militia from Virginia.

Of course, while he knew what he himself would rather do, he had no right yet to speak for the rest. He held a council with them. If they surrendered, he said, likely enough their lives would be spared, but they would be prisoners in far-away Detroit, they would lose all their property, their fort and homes would be burned. If they fought, they might hold out, but the Indians were led by white soldiers and it would be a desperate siege, much worse than the other sieges. If they were overcome, they could expect no mercy, for the few whites would be unable to keep the tomahawks and scalping-knives from them.

Every voice declared:

"Let us fight."

Therefore on the morning of the third day Captain Boone made reply to Captain Chene.

"Sir, we have consulted together and are resolved to defend our fort whilst a single one of us is living. But we thank you for giving us notice, and time in which to provide for our wants. As for your preparations, we laugh at them. We do not fear painted faces. You shall never enter our gates."

"We know that you are brave men," Captain Chene the soldier courteously answered, and the daubed countenances of the Shawnees, peering from the thickets behind him, tried to leer. "Governor Hamilton appreciates your situation. The force against you is over-whelming, but he has charged me not to destroy you. He does not wish even to treat you with harshness. If you will send out nine of your men for a talk, we will come to some agreement by which you will evade further trouble, and I will then withdraw my forces and return whence we came."

Governor Hamilton certainly had acted kindly toward Daniel Boone, in Detroit. The "hair-buying general," he was dubbed by the American colonists because he gave out rewards for scalps and prisoners taken by the Indians. But he had a good side, and Captain Boone felt moved to experiment again. His men agreed with him. There was a slim chance of favorable terms.

He took his brother Squire Boone, Stephen and William Hancock, Colonel Richard Callaway, Settler Flanders, and three others. They carried no arms, for Captain Chene was unarmed.

"We will halt within fair rifle-shot," said Captain Boone, to the remaining men. "Do you cover us well and watch every movement."

The nine sallied out and met Captain Chene about forty yards in front of the gates. Captain Chene proposed the terms. He was all politeness and smiles. So were the Shawnee chiefs—although Black Fish eyed the Big Turtle rather darkly. He thought him a very ungrateful son.

The terms were these, said Captain Chene: only these. If the Boonesborough men would but sign a paper, promising not to fight against His Britannic Majesty King George, and submitting to the rule of Governor Hamilton, the whole garrison might march away unharmed, with all their goods.

The nine looked upon each other questioningly. "That's ag'in all reason," thought Daniel Boone; and so thought his comrades. Those four hundred Indians would never permit it. They had been fooled by him twice; they had come a long distance for plunder; they had been led to expect rich prizes as their reward. Merely to see the garrison move out, leaving a bare fort, would not satisfy them. Indians go to war for scalps, horses, guns, powder, iron, captives.

"We will sign," remarked Daniel Boone. It was the quickest way to learn what would happen next. Something was due to happen, whether they signed or not.

Now Chief Black Fish had his turn. He stood forward and made a speech. An oily old rascal, he. This was a treaty between two great white nations, and with a red nation, too, he said. It must be sealed in Indian fashion. Each Long Knife chief should shake hands with two Indians. Such was the Shawnee custom. Then they would be as brothers.

That struck the Daniel Boone men as something new. However, they had got in too deep to stick at trifles, but they smelled a mouse.

"It is good," said Daniel Boone. His muscles tense, his eyes bright, he stretched out his hand; he was strong and active, the Hancocks, Colonel Callaway, Squire Boone, Flanders, and all—they were as stout as buffalo and as quick as panthers; rifle muzzles that rarely missed were resting upon the port-holes only forty yards to rear, and the gates were open, waiting.

He stretched out his hand; two Indians at once grasped it—clutched his arm—

"Go!" shouted Chief Black Fish, exultant.

Instantly Captain Big Turtle was being dragged forward; other Indians had sprung at him—his eight comrades were wrestling and reeling—with a twist and a jerk he had flung his captors sprawling—his comrades had done likewise with theirs and while muskets bellowed and rifles spat they ran headlong for the gates; got safely in, too, with only Squire Boone wounded; the gates creaked shut, the bar fell into place, the peace treaty had been broken almost as soon as made, and Fort Boonesborough was in for a fight.

A deluge of hot lead swept against the walls. The bullets drummed upon the logs and the palisade, whined through the port-holes, tore slivers from the roofs. Urged on by the white men, the Indians charged under cover of the muskets. They were bent backward, and broke and fled, leaving bodies. With flaming arrows they set fire to a roof; their sharpshooters, in trees, would keep water from it. A stripling young man scrambled on top, stood there, seized the buckets passed up to him, doused the blaze and amidst cheers leaped down again.

Some of the brave women, Jemima Boone and other girls, donned men's clothes and showed themselves here and there, to deceive the enemy. Jemima was wounded; two of the men were killed. Somebody, in the timber, was doing good shooting, with a rifle.

It was the black Indian, Pompey. He was known to be a crack marksman. They watched for him. Daniel Boone glimpsed him, high up in a tree; waited for a chance, took quick aim—and down from the tree crashed Pompey, dead before he struck the turf. After the siege they found him, shot through the head by Daniel Boone's long-barreled "Betsy," at a distance of one hundred and seventy-five yards.

Directed by Captain Chene, the Black Fish Shawnees started a tunnel, from the river bank, to under-mine the walls. The clay that they threw out behind them made the river current muddy, and the keen eyes in the fort saw and read.

The defense started a counter tunnel, which should meet the other and cut a trench across its course. The Indians' tunnel became rain-soaked and caved in; they knew that the fort was digging also, and after having bored for forty yards, they quit. Fighting was more to their taste than burrowing like moles.

More than a week passed, without a let-up day or night. The powder smoke hung, veiling the clearing and the edge of the forest, and the surface of the river. Inside the fort there was not an idle hand, among the living. The losses had been very small indeed, in spite of the hubbub; no one had any notion of surrender, yet.

Then, on the morning of September 20, the sun rose in silence. After a parting volley the enemy had gone. The siege was lifted.

Daniel Boone sent out scouts. They reported the coast clear. The gates were opened. The corpses of thirty-six Indians and the negro Pompey were awaiting. How many other bodies and how many wounded had been carried away was never learned.

One hundred and twenty-five pounds of lead were gathered, inside the fort and outside; nearly as much more had entered the logs. That proved the fierceness of the ten days' attack, but did not pay for the cattle killed or stolen, astray in the timber.

However, this was the last siege of Boonesborough. The Shawnees gave up hopes of ever getting their Big Turtle, but they admired him none the less.

[1] See "Boys' Book of Indian Warriors."




When Boonesborough was besieged this last time, Daniel Boone's most trusted man (excepting his own brother) did not take part in the defence. Young Simon Kenton—or at present Simon Butler—was absent, with his friend Montgomery also.

After the gleeful Simon had shot the two Indians at once, near Paint Creek town, and had spied upon the town itself, he and scout Montgomery had stayed while the others hastened back to Boonesborough. They were not at all satisfied to have come so far and to have taken only one scalp.

Now this Simon Butler or Simon Kenton was a dare-devil pure and simple: a youth of roguish but extremely obstinate spirit. He had started upon the adventure trail at sixteen, and here at twenty-three he already had many hair-breadth escapes in his memory and many notches in his rifle-stock.

First, when he was sixteen he had fallen in love, at his home in Virginia, and had fought a rough-and-tumble with his man rival, by name William Veach or else Leitchman. He seemed to be holding Leitchman pretty even, too—until his rival's friends jumped in and pummeled Simon well.

Lad Simon limped away, bruised and bleeding, scarcely able to walk—for such fights were wild-cat fights with claws and teeth. He bided his time; he grew rapidly, and by April, 1771, being six feet tall at last (the true border height) and strongly muscled, he challenged Leitchman again.

They stepped into the timber, and fought. It was nip and tuck. No friends were at hand. But Simon was still too young; down he went, under the rain of blows, and Leitchman, taunting him with the loss of his sweetheart, proceeded to "give him the boots."

Simon lay and took it, saying no word. His mind was active. He noted his enemy's long hair, reaching to the waist—a fashion among the border beaux. An idea occurred to him. He grasped one of the piston-like legs and sank his teeth into it. Yelling, Leitchman dragged him and sought to get free. Down he tumbled, also, tripped in his efforts. Simon grabbed at his hair, wound it around the trunk of a small sapling, and had him!

He saw red, did Simon; a moment more, and the man was gasping as if dying. This was more than bargained for. Horrified, Simon plunged into the wilderness, just as he was. He was a poor boy, a hard worker on the Kenton farm, and had not learned even to read or write; now he thought himself a murderer; he changed his name to Butler and the forests swallowed him.

In those days there was always hunting and exploring and Indian-fighting to occupy the wanderer. Anybody accustomed to a rifle could be of use in opening new country. He speedily fell in with another wanderer, driving a pack-horse. They lived like Indians in the Alleghany Mountains region of southwestern Pennsylvania.

Two years passed. In March, 1773, Simon Butler, aged eighteen, was camped with two other hunters, named Strader and Yager, beside the Great Kanawha River of northwestern West Virginia. They were trappers as well as hunters: white Indians who traded their furs in at Fort Pitt.

This day Indians attacked the camp; Yager toppled over, dead; and when Simon and his older comrade, Strader, managed to gain the highway of the Ohio River, westward, they were nearly dead, too, from starvation.

Simon soon became a scout. He achieved fame as a spy against the Indians. From Fort Pitt he and another Simon—Simon Girty—employed by the military government of Virginia traversed the forests far and near, watching the movements of the Indians. Simon Girty deserted to the Shawnees, during the Revolution, and was a cruel enemy to all his former fellow-Americans; but Simon Butler remained true blue.

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