From Mrs. Phebe Miranda, Morrow, Ohio, and the daughter of Maj. [Benjamin]
Stites, born 3rd December 1774 in Beckley
Maj. Stites was born in Scotch Plains, N. J. Removed from New Jersey
at an early day and settled on Mill Creek, Beckley
Co., Va., and in September 1775 removed to Ten Mile Creek of Monangahela.
Forted first at Henry Enoch's fort, two miles
below where he lived on Ten Mile, at the forks, and two miles above
its mouth. The Enoch's being in the centre of the
settlement, there the settlers resorted of summers, and Maj. Stites
among them. Richard Jackson's fort, nine miles above on Ten
Mile, was on the frontier, and there men from the region of Enoch's
fort had to go to defend Jackson's. Stites commanded a
company and often went with his men to Jackson's fort, going in the
night, for safety, and would frequently when thus absent on
duty, visit his family, going and returning in the night.
In the summer of 1778, of a Sunday, three men went out of Jackson's
fort to a mill on the opposite side of the Creek
(Hathaway's mill) and one of them, Caleb Rinehart, was killed, the
bullet striking a sapling, glanced and struck him on the side
of the head. Rinehart fell, only stunned, and before he could recover,
the Indians ran up and tomahawked him (and very likely,
as Mrs. Kibby says, shook the scalp defyingly) and ran off. The other
two whites escaped.
Capt. Stites and several of the men in the fort ran out with their guns,
and while crossing the causeway over a low wet spot
between the fort and creek, when the Indians shot from over the creek,
and a ball passed between Stites' powder-horn and
shot-pouch and cut both, but without injury to Capt. Stites. His party
returned the fire, and the Indians decamped. Some seven
or eight of them were in view, their whole number not known. A few
days after, a dead Indian was found in a hollow log near
to where he had evidently crawled and died of his wounds, which was
through the body.
In fall of 1779, Samuel and James Miranda, lads, went out from Jackson's
fort to gather grapes, taking their guns with them.
Saw three Indians, as they were gathering grapes and both made good
their escape to the fort. Capt. George Owens, with four
or five others, instantly pursued. The Indians took along the ridge
on the opposite or south side of the Creek, and Capt. Owens
shot and wounded one of the Indians, and then gave him a second wound
with one of the men's guns, Owens not waiting to
load his own. The Indian then fell and was sitting up on his hams when
Owens then others came and observed "hock-hock!"
and making motions for them to tomahawk him. Capt. Owens would not,
but took the Indian's gun, loaded, and shot him dead,
and then took his scalp. From the sign another Indian was wounded,
but escaped. Capt. Owens, in the fall of 1789, was
captured by the Indians down the Ohio and burned, perhaps recognized
as an old Indian fighter of west Pennsylvania.