The following transcription was submitted by Gaylene Kerr Banister of Houtson, TX for inclusion at the Genealogy in Washington Co., PA web site in May 1999.
History of Washington County, Pennsylvania With Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men, Boyd Crumrine, L. H. Everts & Co. (Philadelphia, 1882), Chapter VI., pp. 66–74.
In the year 1774 occurred a series of Indian incursions and butcheries (chiefly by the Shawanese) in the white settlements of the western frontier, and a retaliatory and entirely successful campaign carried on against the savages by white troops under command of Lord Dunmore, then Governor of Virginia, and his lieutenants, which operations, extending through the summer and part of the autumn of the year named, have usually been known as "Dunmore's war." In that conflict the territory which is now Washington County saw but little of actual bloodshed and Indian atrocity, yet in the universal terror and consternation caused by the savage inroads and massacres, most of which occurred farther to the west and south, this region came near being as completely depopulated as all the territory west of the Laurel Hill range had been twenty years before by the panic which succeeded the French victory over Washington at Fort Necessity.
Dunmore's war was the result of several collisions which took place in the spring of 1774, on the Ohio River above the mouth of the Little Kanawha, between Indians and parties of white men, some of whom had rendezvoused in that region for the purpose of making explorations in the country farther to the northwest, and others who had gone there to clear lands and make preparations for settlement. Of the latter class was Capt. Michael Cresap, who was the owner of a store or trading-post at Redstone Old Fort (now Brownsville), on the Monongahela, which was his base of operations, but who had taken up (under authority of the colonial government of Virginia) extensive tracts of land at and below the mouth of Middle Island Creek (now Sistersville, W. Va.), and had gone there in the early spring of the year named with a party of men to make clearings and build houses upon his lands there. Ebenezer Zane, afterwards a famed Indian-fighter and guide, was engaged at the same time and in the same way with a small arty of men on lands which he had taken up at or near the mouth of Sandy Creek. Another and larger party had gathered at the mouth of the Little Kanawha (the present site of Parkersburg, W. Va.), and were waiting there for the arrival of other Virginians who were expected to join them at that point, from whence they were to proceed down the river to the then scarcely known region of Kentucky, there to explore with a view to the planting of settlements. A leading spirit in this party (though not, strictly speaking, the leader of it) was George Rogers Clarke, who a few years later became widely famed as the general who led a body of Virginia troops on an expedition (which proved entirely successful) against Vincennes and other British posts in and west of the valley of the Wabash. Many years afterwards Gen. Clarke wrote an account (dated June 17, 1798) of the circumstances attending the commencement of hostilities in the spring of 1774, and of the movements of his party of Virginians and the other parties with Cresap and Zane along the Ohio at that time. His account, which was written at Louisville, Ky., is as follows:
"This Country [Kentucky] was explored in 1773. A resolution was formed to make a settlement in the spring following, and the mouth of the Little Kanawha appointed the place of general rendezvous, in order to descend the Ohio from thence in a body. Early in the spring the Indians had done some mischief. Reports from their towns were alarming, which deterred many. About eighty or ninety men only arrived at the appointed rendezvous, where we lay some days. A small party of hunters that lay about ten miles below us were fired upon by the Indians, whom the hunters beat back and returned to camp. this and many other circumstances led us to believe that the Indians were determined on war. The whole party was enrolled, and determined to execute their project of forming a settlement in Kentucky, as we had every necessary store that could be thought of. An Indian town called the Horsehead Bottom, on the Scioto, and near its mouth, lay nearly in our way. The determination was to cross the country and surprise it. Who was to command was the question. There were but few among us who had experience in Indian warfare, and they were such as we did not choose to be commanded by. We knew of Capt. Cresap being on the river, about fifteen miles above us, with some hands settling a plantation, and that he had concluded to follow us to Kentucky as soon as he had fixed there his people. We also knew that he had been experienced in a former war. He was proposed, and it was unanimously agreed to send for him to command the party. Messengers were dispatched, and in half an hour returned with Cresap. He had heard of our resolution by some of his hunters that had fallen in with ours, and had set out to come to us.
"We thought our army, as we called, complete, and the destruction of the Indians sure. A council was called, and to our astonishment our intended commander-in-chief was the person that dissuaded us from the enterprise. He said that appearances were very suspicious, but there was not certainty of a war; that if we made the attempt proposed he had doubt of our success, but a war would at any rate be the result, and that we should be blamed for it, and perhaps justly. But if we wee determined to proceed he would lay aside all considerations, send to him camp for his people, and share our fortunes. He was then asked what he would advise. His answer was that we should return to Wheeling as a convenient spot to hear what was going forward; that a few weeks would determine. As it was early in the spring, if we found the Indians were not disposed for war, we should have full time to return and make our establishment in Kentucky. This was adopted, and in two hours the whole were under way¼
"On our arrival at Wheeling (the whole country being pretty well settled thereabouts) the whole of the inhabitants appeared to be alarmed. They flocked to our camp from every direction, and all we could say we could not keep them from under our wings. We offered to cover their neighborhood with scouts until further information if they would return to their plantations, but nothing would prevail. By this time we had got to be a formidable party. All the hunters, men without families, etc., in that quarter had joined our party. Our arrival at Wheeling was soon known at Pittsburgh. The whole of that country at that time being under the jurisdiction of Virginia, Dr. Connolly had been appointed by Dunmore captain-commandant of the district, which was called West Augusta. He, learning of us, sent a message addressed to the party, letting us know that a war was to be apprehended, and requesting that we would keep our position for a few days, as messages had been sent to the Indians, and a few days would determine the doubt. The answer he got was, that we had no inclination to quit our quarters for some time, that during our stay we should be careful that the enemy did not harass the neighborhood that we lay in. But before this answer could reach Pittsburgh he sent a second express, addressed to Capt. Cresap, as the most influential man amongst us, informing him that the messengers had returned from the Indians, that war was inevitable, and begging him to use his influence with the party to get them to cover the country by scouts until the inhabitants could fortify themselves. The reception of this letter was the epoch of open hostilities with the Indians. A new post was planted, a council was called, and the letter read by Cresap, all the Indian traders being summoned on so important an occasion. Action was had, and war declared in the most solemn manner; and the same evening (April 26th) two scalps were brought into camp. The next day some canoes of Indians were discovered on the river, keeping the advantage of an island to cover themselves from our view. They were chased fifteen miles and driven ashore at Pipe Creek. A battle ensued; a few were wounded on both sides, one Indian only taken prisoner. On examining their canoes we found a considerable quantity of ammunition and other warlike stores. On our return to camp a resolution was adopted to march the next day and attack Logan's camp on the Ohio, about thirty miles above us. We did march about five miles, and then halted to take some refreshments. Here the impropriety of executing the projected enterprise was argued. The conversation was brought forward by Cresap himself. It was generally agreed that those Indians had no hostile intentions, as they were hunting, and their party was composed of men, women, and children, with all their stuff with them. This we knew, as I myself and others present had been in their camp about four weeks past on our descending the river from Pittsburgh. In short, every person seemed to detest the resolution we had set out with. We returned in the evening, decamped, and took the road to Redstone."
From this account it appears that Clarke's party, well knowing that an Indian war must follow the events here narrated, abandoned the original idea of proceeding to Kentucky, and marched with Cresap's men to his headquarters at Redstone Old Fort, on the Monongahela. They carried with them on a litter one man who had been mortally wounded in the fight with the Indians on the 27th of April. Two others had been wounded but not seriously. The party, in marching from Wheeling to Redstone, proceeded by way of Catfish Camp (now Washington borough), and in the evening of the 29th stopped there at the house of William Huston, who was then the only white resident at that place. A certificate setting forth the circumstances of this occurrence was made in 1798 by Huston, subscribed before David Redick, then prothonotary of Washington County, and placed in his hands. A copy of it is here given, viz."
"I, William Huston, of Washington County, in the State of Pennsylvania, do hereby certify to whom it may concern: That in the year 1774 I resided at Catfish's Camp, on the main path from Wheeling to Redstone; that Michael Cresap, who resided on or near the Potomac River, on his way up from the river Ohio, at the head of a party of armed men, lay some time at my cabin. I had previously heard the report of Mr. Cresap having killed some Indians said to be the relations of Logan, an Indian Chief. In a variety of conversations with several of Cresap's party they boasted of the deed, and that in the presence of their chief. They acknowledged that they had fired first on the Indians. They had with them one man on a litter who was in the skirmish.
"I do further certify that, from what I learned from the party themselves, I then formed the opinion, and have not had any reason to change that opinion since, that the killing, on the part of the whites, was what I deem the grossest murder. I further certify that some of the party who afterwards killed some women and other Indians at Baker's Bottom also lay at my cabin on their march to the interior part of the country; they had with them a little girl, whose life had been spared by the interference of some more humane than the rest. If necessary, I will make affidavit to the above to be true. Certified at Washington, this 18th day of April, A. D. 1798.
(signed) "William Huston."
Immediately after the occurrence of the events narrated as above by Clarke came the killing of the Indians at Captina Creek and the murder of the relatives of the Mingo chief Logan at Baker's Bottom, on the Ohio, the date of the last-named event being April 30th. The so-called speech of Logan fastened the odium of killing his people in cold blood on Capt. Michael Cresap, of Redstone Old Fort. That the charge was false and wholly unjust is now known by all people well informed on the subject. Cresap did, however, engage in the killing of other Indians, being no doubt incited thereto by the deceitful tenor of Dr. Connolly's letters, which were evidently written for the express purpose of inflaming the minds of the frontiersmen by false information, and so bring about a general Indian war.
The chief Logan, with a hunting party of his Indians, and having with them their women and children, had pitched his hunting-camp at the mouth of Yellow Creek, about thirty miles above Wheeling, on the west side of the Ohio, and opposite Baker's Bottom on the Virginia side, where lived Joshua Baker, whose chief occupation was selling liquor to the Indians. From the time when Logan had first pitched his camp at Yellow Creek it had been the determination of some of the whites to attack it and kill the Indian party, but in their first attempt to do this they had been overruled in their purpose, chiefly by the influence of Capt. Cresap, as is shown in Clarke's account before quoted. But after Cresap and Clark had departed with their men for Redstone, and while they were making their way from Catfish Camp to the Monongahela, on the day succeeding the night which they spent at William Huston's cabin, the plan to kill the Indians of Logan's party was put in execution (during the absence of the chief) by enticing a part of them across the river to Baker's cabin, where a party of white men lay concealed. There liquor was given them, and then when they or some of them were in a state of partial intoxication the bloody work was done, all the Indians at the house being killed except an infant child. The party who did the perfidious and cold-blooded deed were under the leadership of Daniel Greathouse, a settler on King's Creek near its mouth. Several accounts of the affair have been given, generally agreeing as to the main facts, but disagreeing to some extent as to the minor details. One account has it that in the evening preceding the tragedy a friendly squaw came across the river from Logan's camp and told Baker's wife with many tears that the lives of herself (Mrs. Baker) and her family were in danger, as the Indians were planning to come across and murder them. She wished well to Mrs. Baker, and thus risked her own life to serve her by bringing the information so as to allow the family time to escape. Upon receipt of this warning Greathouse's party was collected in haste at the cabin. No Indians appeared during the night, and on the following morning Greathouse and two or three others crossed to Logan's camp, and in an apparently friendly manner invited the Indians to come across to Baker's and get some rum. A party of them accepted the invitation and came. Most of Greathouse's men lay concealed in the back part of the cabin. Baker was to deal out rum freely to the indians, and did so. When they became intoxicated the concealed men rushed out and killed them. In Mayer's "Logan and Cresap" the following account is given of the massacre:
"Early in the morning a party of eight Indians, composed of three squaws, a child, and four unarmed men, one of whom was Logan's brother, crossed the river to Baker's cabin, where all but Logan's brother obtained liquor and became excessively drunk. No whites except Baker and two of his companions appeared in the cabin. After some time Logan's relative took down a coat and hat belonging to Baker's brother-in-law, and putting them on, set his arms akimbo, strutted about the apartment, and at length coming up to one of the men addressed him with the most offensive epithets and attempted to strike him. The white man_Sappington_who was thus assailed by language and gesture for some time kept out of his way, but becoming irritated, seized his gun and shot the Indian as he was rushing to the door, still clad in the coat and hat. The men, who during the whole of this scene had remained hidden, now poured forth, and without parley slaughtered the whole Indian party except the child. Before this tragic event occurred two canoes, one with two and the other with five Indians, all naked, painted, and completely armed for war, were descried stealing from the opposite shore, where Logan's camp was situated. This was considered as confirmation of what the squaw had said the night before, and was afterwards alleged in justification of the murder of the unarmed party which had first arrived.
"No sooner were the unresisting drunkards dead than the infuriated whites rushed to the river-bank, and ranging themselves along the concealing fringe of underwood prepared to receive the canoes. The first that arrived was the one containing two warriors, who were fired upon and killed The other canoe immediately turned and fled; but after this two others containing eighteen warriors, painted and prepared for conflict as the first had been, started to assail the Americans. Advancing more cautiously than the former party, they endeavored to land below Baker's cabin, but being met by the rapid movements of the rangers before they could effect their purpose they were put to flight, with the loss of one man, although they returned the fire of the pioneers.:
Another account of the Baker's Bottom massacre was given more than half a century afterwards by Judge Jolley, who for many years was a resident of Washington County, Ohio, and who at the time of the occurrence was a youth living on the frontier. His account, as given below, was published in the year 1836 in "Silliman's Journal," viz.:
"I was about sixteen years of age, but I very well recollect what I then saw, and the information that I have since obtained was derived from (I believe) good authority. In the spring of the year 1774 a party of Indians encamped on the northwest of the Ohio, near the mouth of the Yellow Creek. A party of whites, called 'Greathouse's party, lay on the opposite side of the river. The Indians came over to the white party, consisting, I think, of five men and one woman with an infant. The whites gave them rum, which three of them drank, and in a short time became very drunk. The other two men and the woman refused to drink. The sober Indians were challenged to shoot at a mark, to which they agreed; and as soon as they emptied their guns the whites shot them down. The woman attempted to escape by flight, but was also shot down; she lived long enough, however, to beg mercy for her babe, telling them that it was akin to themselves. The whites had a man in the cabin prepared with a tomahawk for the purpose of killing the three drunken Indians, which was immediately done. The party of men then moved off for the interior settlements, and came to Catfish Camp (Washington) on the evening of the next day, where they tarried until the day following. I very well remember my mother feeding and dressing the babe, chirruping to the little innocent, and its smiling. However, they took it away, and talked of sending it to its supposed father, Col. John Gibson, of Carlisle, Pa. who had been for some years a trader among the Indians.
"The remainder of the (Indian) party at the mouth of Yellow Creek, finding that their friends on the opposite side of the river were massacred, attempted to escape by descending the Ohio, and in order to prevent being discovered by the whites passed on the west side of Wheeling Island, and landed at Pipe Creek, a small stream that empties into the Ohio a few miles below Grave Creek, where they were overtaken by Cresap with a party of men from Wheeling. They took one Indian scalp, and had one white man (Big Tarrener) badly wounded. They, I believe, carried him in a litter from Wheeling to Redstone. I saw the party on their return from their victorious campaign¼It was well known that Michael Cresap had no hand in the massacre at Yellow Creek."
The concluding sentence in Judge Jolley's statement was written in refutation of the calumny which was circulated and for many years believed by the majority of the people of the country, that the murder of Logan's men and relatives was done by Capt. Michael Cresap or by his orders. Such an inference might be drawn from the first part of the statement of William, already given, viz., where he says, "I had previously heard the report of Mr. Cresap having killed some Indians, said to be the relations of Logan, an Indian chief." But his memory was evidently at fault. He could not have previously hears of the killing at Yellow Creek, as it did not occur until after the time to which he refers in the certificate. And in the latter part of the same document he disproves his previous statement by saying, "I further certify that some of the party who afterwards killed some women and other Indians at Baker's Bottom also lay at my cabin on their march to the interior." Another statement that seems to be conclusive proof of Capt. Cresap's innocence of any participation in the atrocity at Baker's Bottom is found in an affidavit of the man who shot Logan's brother on that occasion, viz.: "I, John Sappington, declare myself to be intimately acquainted with all the circumstances respecting the destruction of Logan's family, and do give the following narrative, a true statement of that affair: Logan's family (if it was his family) was not killed by Cresap, nor with his knowledge, nor by his consent, but by the Greathouses and their associates. They were killed thirty miles above Wheeling, near the mouth of Yellow Creek. Logan's camp was on one side of the river Ohio, and the house where the murder was committed was opposite to it on the other side. They had encamped there only four or five days, and during that time had lived peaceably with the whites on the opposite side until the very day the affair happened."
The killing of the Indians at Baker's was on the 30th of April, as before mentioned. Several accounts of the affair, however, have mentioned different dates. Sappington stated many years afterwards that, according to his memory, it happened on the 24th of May; Benjamin Tomlinson placed it on the 3d or 4th of May; but Col. Ebenezer Zane gave the date as the late day of April, which is undoubtedly correct. It seems to be verified by a letter addressed to Col. George Washington by his agent, Valentine Crawford, who then lived on Jacob's Creek, near the Youghiogheny River, in Westmoreland County. In that letter (dated Jacob's Creek, May 6, 1774) he says, _
"I am sorry to inform you the Indians have stopped all the gentlemen from going down the river. In the first place they killed one Murphy, a trader, and wounded another, then robbed their canoes. This alarmed the gentlemen very much, and Maj. Cresap took a party of men and waylaid some Indians in their canoes that were going down the river and shot two of them and scalped them. He also raised a party, took canoes and followed some Indians from Wheeling down to the Little Kanawha, when, coming up with them, he killed three and wounded several. The Indians wounded three of his men, only one of whom is dead; he was shot through, while the other two were but slightly wounded. On Saturday last, about twelve o'clock, one Greathouse and about twenty men fell on a party of Indians at the mouth of Yellow Creek and killed ten of them. They brought away one child a prisoner, which is now at my brother, William Crawford's¼"
On the 8th of May, Capt. William Crawford (who lived on the Youghiogheny River nearly opposite the site of the borough of Connellsville) said, in a letter addressed by him to Col. George Washington,_
"The surveyors that went down the Kanawha, as report goes, were stopped by the Shawanese Indians, upon which some of the white people attacked some Indians, and killed several, took thirty horse-loads of skins near the mouth of Scioto; on which news, and expecting an Indian war, Mr. Cresap and some other people fell on some other Indians at the mouth of Pipe Creek, killed three and scalped them. Daniel Greathouse and some others fell on some at the mouth of Yellow Creek, and killed and scalped ten, and took one child about two months old, which is now at my house. I have taken the child from a woman that it had been given to. Our inhabitants are much alarmed, many hundreds having gone over the mountain, and the whole country evacuated as far as the Monongahela, and many on this side of the river are gone over the mountain. In short, a war is every moment expected. We have a council now with the Indians. What the event will be I do not know. I am now setting out for Fort Pitt at the head of one hundred men. Many others are to meet me there and at Wheeling, where we shall wait the motions of the Indians and act accordingly¼"
The settlers along the frontiers, and in all the territory that now forms the counties of Washington and Greene, were in a state of the wildest alarm, well knowing that the Indians would surely make war in revenge for the killing of their people at Captina and Yellow Creek, and most of them immediately sought safety, either in block-houses or by abandoning their settlements and flying eastward across the Monongahela and many across the Allegheny Mountains. Valentine Crawford, in his letter of May 6th to Col. Washington (before quoted from), said, "This alarm has caused the people to move from over the Monongahela, off Chartiers and Raccoon [Creeks], as fast as you ever saw them in the year 1756 or 1757 down in Frederick County, Virginia. There were more than one thousand people crossed the Monongahela in one day at three ferries that are not one mile apart."
The general alarm among the inhabitants was well founded. The Indians, burning to revenge the killing of their people on the Ohio, particularly at Captina and Yellow Creek, at once took the war-path and ranged eastward to and across the Monongahela, burning, plundering, and killing. On the 8th of June Valentine Crawford said in a letter to Col. Washington, "Since I just wrote you an account of several parties of Indians being among the inhabitants has reached us. Yesterday they killed and scalped one man in sight of the fort [Fort Burd, at Brownsville] on the Monongahela,_ one of the inmates¼There have been several parties of savages seen within these two or three days, and all seem to be making towards the Laurel Hill or mountain. For that reason the people are afraid to travel the road by Gist's, but go a nigh way by Indian Creek, or ride in the night¼On Sunday evening, about four miles over Monongahela, the Indians murdered one family, consisting of six, and took two boys prisoners. At another place they killed three, which makes in the whole nine and two prisoners. If we had not had forts built there would not have been ten families left this side of the mountains besides what are at Fort Pitt. We have sent our scouts after the murderers, but we have not heard that they have fallen in with them yet. We have at this time at least three hundred men out after the Indians, some of whom have gone down to Wheeling, and I believe some have gone down as low as the Little Kanawha. I am in hopes they will give the savages a storm, for some of the scouting company say they will go to their gowns but they will get scalps." On the same day William Crawford said in a letter to Washington, "Saturday last we had six persons killed on Dunkard's Creek, about ten miles from the mouth of Cheat River, on the west side of the Monongahela, and there are three missing. On Sunday a man who left the party is supposed to be killed, as he went off to hunt horses, and five guns were heard to go off. The horse he rode away returned to the house where the party then was. They set out in search of enemies; found the man's coat and saw a number of tracks, but could not find the man."
In was the Indian chief Logan, he whose former friendship for the whites had been turned into bitterest hatred by the killing of his people, who came in with his band to ravage the settlements on the west side of the Monongahela, throwing all that country into a state of the wildest alarm. The present counties of Washington and Greene were almost entirely deserted by their people. Dr. Joseph Doddridge, in his "Notes," says, "The massacres of the Indians at Captina and Yellow Creek comprehended the whole of the family of the famous but unfortunate Logan, who before these events had been a lover of the whites and a strenuous advocate for peace; but in the conflict which followed them, by way of revenge for the death of his people, he became a brave and sanguinary chief among the warriors."
In the meantime, Capt. Cresap and George Rogers Clark, upon their retirement from Wheeling by way of Catfish Camp to Redstone Old Fort, had proceeded from the latter place eastward, Clark going to Winchester, Va., and Cresap to Old Town, Md., where he had left his family, and where his father lived. There he at once commenced raising a company of men for the purpose of taking part in the Indian hostilities which he knew must follow the occurrences on the Ohio. They sent a messenger to Lord Dunmore at Williamsburg, Va., notifying him of the situation of affairs; and an express was also sent to the Governor by Connolly from Pittsburgh, informing him of the events which had occurred upon the frontier, and the necessity of immediate preparations for an Indian war, among which necessary preparations he suggested the propriety of sending a force to Wheeling to erect a fort there. Upon receipt of this communication Dunmore sent messengers to the settlers who had already gone forward to Kentucky, notifying them to return at once for their own safety, and on the 20th of June he wrote Connolly at Pittsburgh, approving his plan of building a fort at Wheeling, and of carrying war into the Indian country; also directing him to keep in communication with Col. Andrew Lewis, who was then in command of Virginia troops on the Kanawha and New Rivers; also advising him to send Capt. William Crawford with what men could be spared to co-operate with Col. Lewis, "or to strike a stroke himself, if he thinks he can do it with safety." "I know him," said Dunmore, "to be prudent, active, and resolute, and therefore very fit to go on such an Expedition; and if anything of that kind can be effected, the sooner 'tis done the better¼I would recommend it to all Officers going out on Parties to make as many Prisoners as they can of Women and Children, and should you be so fortunate as to reduce those Savages to sue for Peace, I would not grant it to them on any Terms till they were effectually chastised for their Insolence, and then on no Terms without bring in six of Their Heads as Hostages for their future good behavior, and these to be relieved annually, and that they Trade with us [Virginians] only for what they want."
But before receiving this authority from the governor, Connolly had already put some of the militia in the field, with orders to march to Wheeling and commence the construction of the proposed fort. On the 11th of June a party of militia from the Monongahela, moving up the valley of Ten-Mile Creek on their way to Wheeling to join Connolly's other forces there, and also being in pursuit of Logan and his band, who were burning and murdering in that section, were attacked by the Indians, and their captain and lieutenant wounded, the former mortally. Governor Penn was informed of this occurrence, and of the outrages which had been committed in this region by Logan's marauders, in a letter written at Pittsburgh on the 14th of June by Eneas Mackay (afterwards colonel of the Eighth Pennsylvania Regiment in the Revolutionary army), in which letter, after detailing some civil troubles between the Virginia and Pennsylvania partisans at that place, he thus proceeds, in references to Indian outrages and alarms:
"On the other hand, we don't know what day or hour we will be attacked by our savage and provoked Enemy the Indians, who have already massacred sixteen persons to our Certain knowledge. About and in the neighborhood of Ten-Mile Creek last Saturday, a party of the militia consisting of one Captain, one Lieutenant and forty privates, were on their march to join Connelly at the mouth of Whaling [Wheeling], where he intended to Erect a stockade fort, when on a sudden they were attacked by only four Indians, who killed the Captain on the spot & wounded the Lieutenant and made their Escape without being hurt, and the Party, after Burrying their Captain Returned with their wounded Lieutenant, so that Connelly's intended Expedition is knocked in the head at this time."
The captain who was mortally wounded by Logan's party on this occasion (and who died almost immediately) was Francis McClure. The lieutenant, who was severely wounded, was Samuel Kincaid, who had then recently been commissioned justice of the peace in Westmoreland County. They were both considerably in advance of the main body of their company, and were not taking proper precautions against surprise when they were fired upon. Arthur St. Clair, of Westmoreland, in a letter of June 16th to Governor Penn, informed the latter of the occurrence, stating that the captain and lieutenant were killed, but afterwards, in the same letter, said, "I was mistaken in saying two people were killed on Ten-Mile Creek. Mcclure was killed and Kincaid wounded; however, it would have been no great Matter if he had been killed, as he had accepted a Commission in the Service of Virginia so soon after the Notice you had been pleased to take of him at the request of his Father-in-law, Col. Wilson¼Before this Accident Mr. Connolly had determined to March from Ft. Pitt (which he now calls Fort Dunmore) with three or four hundred men he had embodied for the purpose of chasing the Shawanese, to erect Forts at Wheeling and Hockhockton to overawe the Indians, and thence to carry the War into their own Country; of this he was pleased to inform me by letter, and to desire I would act in concert with him."
The general tone of the above letter seems to show that (on the part of the Pennsylvania adherents at least) even the imminent danger which threatened all the inhabitants west of the Laurel Hill could not make the partisans of the two colonies forget their animosities and act in concert for the general welfare. In a letter dated Ligonier, June 16 1774, St. Clair informed Governor Penn that a very large party of Indians had been discovered crossing the Ohio below Wheeling and moving eastward. He added, " 'Tis some satisfaction the Indians seem to discriminate between us and those who attacked them, and their Revenge has fallen hitherto on that side of the Monongahela which they consider as Virginia, but least that should not continue, We are taking all possible care to prevent a heavy stroke falling on the few people that are left in this country." Thus the people east of the Monongahela were congratulating themselves that it was not on them, but on the more exposed (but then almost entirely deserted) settlements west of the Monongahela that the savages were wreaking their vengeance. "It is said," wrote William Thompson, in a letter to Governor Penn, dated June 19th, "that the Indians have fixed a boundary [the Monongahela River] betwixt the Virginians and us, and say they will not kill or touch a Pennsylvanian. But it is not best to trust them, and I am doubtful a short time will show the contrary."
But notwithstanding the supposed immunity of the people east of the Monongahela from Indian inroads, the panic there was nearly as great and as general as on the west side of the river. "Nothing can be more surprising," said St. Clair, in a letter written on the 12th of June to Governor Penn, "than the dread the people are under, and it is truly shameful that so great a Body of People should have been driven from their Possessions without even the appearance of an Enemy, for certain it is as yet no attempt has been made on what is understood to be Pennsylvania, nor any other mischief done than the killing the family on White Lick Creek, which I informed you of before, and which from every circumstance appears rather to have been private revenge than a national stroke. A fresh report of Indians being seen near Hanna's Town, and another party on Braddock's road, Set the People agoing again Yesterday. I immediately took horse and rose up to inquire into, and found it, if not totally groundless, at least very improbably, but it was impossible to persuade the People so, and I am certain I did not meet less than a hundred Families and I think two Thousand head of cattle in twenty miles riding. The People in this Valley will make a stand, but yesterday they are moved into this place [Ligonier], and I perceive are much in doubt what to do. Nothing in my Power to prevent their leaving the Country shall be omitted, but if they will go I suppose I must go with the stream. It is the strangest infatuation ever seized upon men, and if they go off now, as Harvest will soon be on, they must undoubtedly perish by Famine, for spring crop there will be little or none."
When Lord Dunmore, early in May, received intelligence of the hostilities which had been commenced at Yellow Creek and other points on the Ohio, he took measures without delay to carry on a vigorous aggressive campaign against the Indians. It has been mentioned that he sent to Connolly, of Pittsburgh, his approval of the plan of building a fort at Wheeling, and that Connolly gave orders to that effect to the militia. Soon afterwards Col. McDonald was ordered to move west on Braddock's road, with a force of about five hundred men, to proceed from Laurel Hill to Fort Burd, thence across the Monongahela and the present county of Washington to Wheeling, to complete the fort, and afterwards to cross the Ohio and attack the Indians on the Muskingum. Capt. Michael Cresap had raised a company of volunteers in Maryland, and marched them west across the mountains to the Monongahela, which he reached about the 10th of July. On the 13th of that month, while nine men were at work in a cornfield on Dunkard Creek, they were suddenly attacked by a party of Indians, who killed six of them, the three others making their escape. Whether the Indian party was composed of Logan's Mingoes or not is certainly known. Connolly reported that they were Shawanese, thirty-five in number. Cresap, being in the vicinity with his company, pursued the savages, but they had nearly a day the start of him, and made good their escape. Under these circumstances he gave up the pursuit, and marched with his company to Catfish Camp, where "his advance was stopped by a peremptory and insulting letter from Connolly, in which he was ordered to dismiss his men." Thereupon he turned back, marched to the Monongahela, and thence across the mountains to Maryland, where he met Lord Dunmore, who gave him a commission as captain of Hampshire County, Virginia, militia; and in this capacity he served during the later operations of the campaign. The reason why Connolly had treated Cresap so cavalierly and refused the services of his company is not apparent, as in the preceding April, when George Rogers Clarke and Cresap were encamped with their followers at Wheeling, the latter had received proof of high consideration from Connolly. that he was regarded with disfavor by the Pennsylvania partisans is shown in a letter from St. Clair to Governor Penn, dated July 4th, in which the former says, "With such officers as Cresap no good can be expected; so that it is very doubtful all attempts to preserve the tranquility of the country will be fruitless."
It has been already mentioned that Col. McDonald was ordered to march with a force of about five hundred men to Wheeling, and thence into the Indian country west of the Ohio. Under these orders he marched to the Muskingum, where he surprised the Indians and punished them sufficiently to induce them to sue for peace, though it was believed that their request was but a treacherous one, designed only to gain time for the collection of a larger body of warriors to renew the hostilities.
But the main forces mustered by Dunmore for the invasion of the Indian country were a detachment to move down the Ohio from Pittsburgh, under the Governor in person, and another body of troops under Gen. Andrew Lewis, which was rendezvoused at Camp Union, now Lewisburg, Greenbrier Co., Va. These two columns were to meet for co-operation at the mouth of the Great Kanawha River. Under this general plan Governor Dunmore moved from Williamsburg to Winchester and to Fort Cumberland, thence over the Braddock road to Fort Pitt, which in the mean time had been named by his partisans, in his honor, Fort Dunmore. From there he proceeded with his forces down the Ohio River, and arrived at Fort Fincastle (the stockade work which had then recently been built according to his directions at Wheeling) on the 30th of September. Maj. (afterwards colonel) William Crawford, of Stewart's Crossings on the Youghiogheny, was one of Dunmore's principle officers, and stood high in the favor of his lordship.
The force under Gen.Andrew Lewis, eleven hundred strong, proceeded from Camp Union to the headwaters of the Kanawha, and thence down the valley of that river to the appointed rendezvous at its mouth, which was reached on the 6th of October. Gen. Lewis, being disappointed in his expectation of finding Lord Dunmore already there, sent messengers up the Ohio to meet his lordship and inform him of the arrival of the column at the mouth of the Kanawha. On the 9th of October a dispatch was received from Dunmore saying that he (Dunmore) was at the mouth of the Hocking, and that he would proceed thence directly to the Shawanese towns on the Scioto, instead of coming down the Ohio to the mouth of the Kanawha as at first agreed on. At the same time he ordered Lewis to cross the Ohio and march to meet him (Dunmore) before the Indian towns.
But on the following day (October 10th), before Gen. Lewis had commenced his movement across the Ohio, he was attacked by a heavy body of Shawanese warriors under the chief Cornstalk. The fight (known as the battle of Point Pleasant) raged nearly all day, and resulted in the complete rout of the Indians, who sustained a very heavy (though not definitely ascertained) loss, and retreated in disorder across the Ohio. The loss of the Virginians under Lewis was seventy-five killed and one hundred and forty wounded. Dunmore and Lewis advanced from their respective points into Ohio to "Camp Charlotte," on Sippo Creek, where they met Cornstalk and the other Shawanese chiefs, but as the men of Lewis' command were inclined to show great vindictiveness towards the Indians, Dunmore, fearing an outbreak from them, which would defeat the object he had in view (the making of a treaty of peace with the chiefs), ordered Lewis to return immediately with his force to Point Pleasant. After their departure a treaty was finally concluded with the principal chiefs; but as some of the Indians were defiant and disinclined for peace, Maj. William Crawford was sent against one of their villages, called Seekunk, or Salt Lick Town. His force consisted of two hundred and forty men, with which he destroyed the village, killed six Indians, and took fourteen prisoners.
These operations and the submission of the Indians at Camp Charlotte virtually closed the war. Governor Dunmore immediately set on his return, and proceeded by way of Redstone and the Great Crossings of the Youghiogheny to Fort Cumberland, and thence to the Virginia capital. Maj. William Crawford also returned immediately to his home on the Youghiogheny, where, on the day after his arrival, he wrote Col. George Washington, the friend of his boyhood as follows:
"Stewart's Crossings, Nov. 14, 1774.
"SIR,_I yesterday returned from our late expedition against the Shawanese, and I think we may with propriety say we have had great success, as we made them sensible of their villany and weakness, and I hope made peace with them on such a footing as will be lasting, if we can make them adhere to the terms of agreement, which are as follows: first, they have to give up all the prisoners taken ever by them in war with white people, also negroes, and all horses stolen or taken by them since the last war. And, further, no Indian for the future is to hunt on the east side of the Ohio, nor any white man on the west side; as that seems to have been the cause of some of the disturbance between our people and them. As a guarantee that they will perform their part of the agreement, they have given up four chief men, to be kept as hostages, who are to be relieved yearly, or as they may choose. The Shawanese have complied with the terms, but the Mingoes did not like the conditions, and had a mind to deceive us; but Lord Dunmore discovered their intentions, which were to slip off while we were settling matters with the Shawanese. The Mingoes intended to go to the Lakes, and take their prisoners with them, and their horses which they had stolen.
"Lord Dunmore ordered myself with two hundred and forty men to set out in the night. We were to march to a town about forty miles distant from our camp up the Scioto, where we understood the whole of the Mingoes were to rendezvous upon the following day, in order to pursue their journey. This intelligence came by John Montour, son of Cap. Montour, whom you formerly knew.
"Because of the number of Indians in our camp. we marched out of it under pretense of going to Hockhocking for more provisions. Few knew of our setting off, anyhow, and none knew where we were going to until the next day. Our march was performed with as much speed as possible. we arrived at a town called the Salt Lick Town the ensuing night, and at daybreak we got around it with one-half our force, and the remainder were sent to a small village half a mile distant. Unfortunately one or men was discovered by an Indian who lay out from the town some distance by a log which the man was creeping up to. This obliged the man to kill the Indian. This happened before daylight, which did us much damage, as the chief part of the Indians made their escape in the dark, but we got fourteen prisoners and killed six of the enemy, wounding several more. We got all their baggage and horses, ten of their guns, and two white prisoners. The plunder sold for four hundred pounds sterling, besides what was returned to a Mohawk Indian who was there. The whole of the Mingoes were ready to start, and were to have set out the morning we attacked them." This assault on the Mingo town by Maj. Crawford was the last act of hostility in the Dunmore war.
The "settlers' forts" and block-houses, of which there were many in the territory that is now Washington County, and which by affording shelter and protection to the inhabitants prevented an entire abandonment of this section of the country in Dunmore's war, were nearly all erected during the terror and panic of the spring and summer of the year 1774. These forts were erected by the associated efforts of settlers in particular neighborhoods upon the land of some one, whose name was thereupon given to the fort, as Vance's fort, Beelor's fort, etc. They consisted of a greater or less space of land, inclosed on all sides by high log parapets or stockades, with cabins adapted to the abode of families. The only external openings were a large puncheon gate and small port-holes among the logs, through which the rifle of the settler could be pointed against the assailants. Sometimes, as at Lindley's, and many of the other forts in the adjacent country west of the Monongahela, additional cabins were erected outside of the fort for temporary abode in time of danger, from which the sojourners could in case of attack retreat within the fort.
Doddridge, in his "notes on the Early Settlements and Indian Wars," says the "settler's fort" of those days was "not only a place of defence but the residence of a small number of families belonging to the same neighborhood. As the Indian mode of warfare was an indiscriminate slaughter of all ages and both sexes, it was as requisite to provide for the safety of the women and children as for that of the men. The fort consisted of cabins, block-houses, and stockades. A range of cabins commonly formed one side at least of the fort. Divisions or partitions of logs separated the cabins from each other. The walls on the outside were ten or twelve feet high, the slope of the roof being turned wholly inward. A very few of these cabins had puncheon floors, the greater part were earthen. The block-houses were built at the angles of the fort. They projected about two feet beyond the outer walls of the cabins and stockades. Their upper stories were about eighteen inches every way larger in dimension than the under one, leaving an opening at the commencement of the second story to prevent the enemy from making a lodgment under the walls. In some forts the angles of the fort wee furnished with bastions instead of block-houses. A large folding gate, made of thick slabs, nearest the spring, closed the fort. The stockades, bastions, cabins, and block-house walls were furnished with port-holes at proper heights and distances. The whole of the outside was made completely bulletproof. It may be truly said that necessity is the mother of invention, for the whole of this work was made without the aid of a single nail or spike of iron, and for the reason that such things were not to be had. In some places less exposed a single block-house, with a cabin or two, constituted the whole fort. Such places of refuge may appear very trifling to those who have been in the habit of seeing the formidable military garrisons of Europe and America, but they answered the purpose, as the Indians had no artillery. They seldom attacked, and scarcely ever took one of them."
Among the number of forts of this kind that were erected in what is now Washington County were Vance's fort, on Cross Creek; Lindley's fort, in Morris township; Well's fort, at Wells' Mills, on Cross Creek; Wolfe's fort, in Buffalo township; Froman's fort, on Chartiers Creek; Beelor's fort, on Raccoon Creek, near the site of the village of Candor; Dillow's fort on Dillow's Run, now Hanover township; Cherry's fort, in Mount Pleasant township; Beeman's blockhouse or fort, on the north fork of Wheeling Creek; Doddridge's fort, in what is now Independence township; Rice's fort, on the Dutch Fork of Buffalo, in Donegal; Miller's fort or block-house, also on the waters of Dutch Fork, in the same township; and there were a number of others of the same class in other parts of the county. Nearly all these were built, as has been mentioned, during the panic of 1774; but they continued to be used as places of security for settlers' families through a long series of Indian wars and alarms, that were most frequent and serious from 1778 to 1783, but which continued to some extent until 1794, when a lasting peace with the savages in the Ohio Valley was gained by Wayne's victory on the Maumee.
In reference to the causes which led to the Indian hostilities of 1774, an extract is given below from a letter written upon that subject, dated at Redstone Old Fort, on the Monongahela, in October, 1774, immediately after the close of Lord Dunmore's successful campaign against the Shawanese. It is not know who was the writer, but he was evidently a person of position under Lord Dunmore, and had been present with the Governor in the campaign and at the treaty which followed it. The letter is found in American Archives, vol. i, p. 1016, viz.:
The country around Pittsburgh was then claimed by both Virginia and Pennsylvania, but Clarke, being a Virginian, viewed the matter entirely from the Virginian stand-point.
Dr. John Connolly, a nephew of George Croghan, the deputy superintendent of Indian affairs.
All this region was at that time claimed by Virginia to be within its "West Augusta" District.
The Mingo chief Logan, the murder of whose family in this war was charged on Capt. Cresap; but the whole tenor of this letter of Gen. Clarke goes to prove the injustice of the charge.
A number of surveyors who rendezvoused at the mouth of New River, on the Kanawha, Thursday, April 14, 1774, to go down the latter river to the Ohio, there to locate and survey lands warranted to certain officers and soldiers in the Old French war under proclamation of the king of England, dated Oct. 7, 1763. The claimants to those lands were notified to meet the surveyors at the place and time mentioned. The intention was to locate the lands on the bottoms of the Ohio River.
Some of them, however, stood their ground and remained at their cabins, braving the danger rather than abandon their homes. James Chambers, in a deposition made at Washington, Pa., April 20, 1798, before Samuel Shannon, Esq., said that after the massacre at Baker's in 1774 all the settlements broke up along the Ohio River, and that he (being then settled on the river) fled with the rest, but stopped at Catfish Camp, where he remained for some time at the cabin of William Huston. Not a few of the settlers in what is now Greene County lost their lives by attempting to hold their homes.
Judge Jolley, who lived on the frontier at the time of the killing of the Indians at Captina Creek and Baker's Bottom, says in his statement (before extracted from) in reference to those occurrences and their results,--
Penn. Archives, 1774, p. 517.
Penn Archives, 1774, p. 519
Ibid, p. 514
Mayer's Logan and Cresap.
Who had been a captain under Washington in the Fort Necessity campaign of 1754.
Valentine Crawford, brother of William, and agent of Col. George Washington, wrote the latter from Fort Fincastle under date of Oct. 1, 1774, in which letter he said," His Lordship arrived here yesterday with about hundred men, seven hundred of whom came by water with his L'd'p. and five hundred came with my brother William by land with the bullocks. His L'd'p has sent him with five hundred men, fifty packhorses, and two hundred bullocks to meet Col. Lewis at the mouth of Hockhocking, below the mouth of Little Kanawha. His Lordship is to go by water with the rest of the troops in a few days." In accordance with the plan mentioned in this letter, Maj. William Crawford proceeded to Hocking, on the Ohio side of the river, and there erected a stockade which was named Fort Gower. Dunmore arriving with the main force in time to assist in the construction of the work.