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History of Washington County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men online

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promptly sent out to be distributed as presents among
the Delawares as the surest way of retaining their
friendship and alliance."^

Col. Brodhead was (as is made apparent by his
letter of October 17th, already quoted) much encour-
aged by the accession of the Delaware war party,
embracing nearly forty chiefs and warriors, to his
forces, believing that it only needed the distribution
of presents among them to insure a continuance of
their friendliness to the Americans. But the desired
goods were not forthcoming, and this fact had a very
depressing influence on the enthusiasm of the Dela-
ware chiefs and warriors. Still worse than this was
the effect produced by a base attempt on the part of
some of the officers and men of the Westmoreland
County militia to murder these same Delawares, an
outrage which Brodhead reported to President Reed
in a letter dated Nov. 2, 1780, as follows:

" In my last I informed you that near forty of the
friendly Delaware Indians had come to aid me against
the Hostile Tribes. Their number has since exceeded
forty, and I believe I could have called out near an
hundred. But as upwards of forty men from the
neighborhood of Hannah's Town have attempted to
destroy them whilst they consider themselves under
our Protection, it may not be an easy matter to call
them out again, notwithstanding they were prevented
from executing their unmanly intention by a guard
of regular Soldiers posted for the Indians' protection.
I was not a little surprised to find the late Captains
Irwin & Jack, Lieu' Brownlee & Ensign Guthrey
concern'' in this base attempt. I suppose the women
& children were to suffer an equal Carnage with the
men." In other communications Brodhead intimated
that a proclamation which had been issued by the au-
thorities offering a reward or bounty on Indian scalps'
and prisoners had much to do with the barbarous
attempt against the lives of the friendly Delawares,
though he had himself advocated the adoption of this
measure of retaliation as against the hostile Indians.

Soon after the occurrences above narrated the Del-
awares began to give evidence of decided disaffection,
a symptom that was more especially manifest when

2 "The Indian captains appointed by the British commandant at De-
troit," said Brodhead, in a letter to the Council, " are cloHied in the most
elegant manner, and have mjiny valuable presents made to them. The
Captains 1 have Commissioned by authority of Congress are naked, and
receive nothing but a little whiskey, for which they are reviled by the
Indians in general. So that, unless a change of System is introduced, I
must expect to see all Indians in favor of Britain, in spite of every ad-
dress in my power."

3 The presidentof the Supreme Executive Council,]
head, dated Philadelphia, April 29, 1780, says,—

" After many Consultations & much Deliberation w
to offer a Reward for Scalps, & hope it will serve as
the young Fellows of the County & others to turn o
dians. I herewith send you several of them. We are
attended with Inconveniences, hut it occurred to u
Necessity & the only effectual Weapon against the Savages ; we hope it
is so guarded that many abuses will not happen." — Penn. Archives^
1779-81, p. 218.

1 a letter to Brod-


: against the In-
ensible it may be
as a Measure of



they were under the influence of the liquor which
was dealt out to them at the fort. " Two Delaware
Indians who in their cups spoke contemptuously of
our service," said Brodhead in a letter to Gen. Wash-
ington, "I have them confined in irons, but am at a
loss what further to do with them until I see what
number join us, and hear what their general conduct
has been." His allusion to the number of Delawares
who might join him had reference to an order which j
had been sent to their towns west of the Ohio re-
quiring all Delawares disposed to continue friendly
to remove without loss of time to the vicinity of Fort
Pitt, where they eould be kept under the eye of the
commandant.' This order brought the matter to a
conclusion, and, together with the other causes which
have been noticed, resulted soon after in an open
espousal of the British cause by the Delawares, though
a few of them still continued friendly to the Ameri-

On learning of the final defection of the Delawares,
Col. Brodhead determined to push forward liis expe-
dition into the Indian country immediately and at all
hazards. Being unable to obtain any troops by draft
from the militia of Westmoreland County,^ he called
for volunteers, and the call was responded to, princi-
pally by men from the territory of the newly-erected
(though not organized) county of Washington. The
force amounted to a little over three hundred men, of
whom about one-half were volunteers. From the
place of rendezvous at Wheeling (Fort Henry) they

1 " A number of Delaware ludiaus from Coochockiug have been here
since my la«t, and appear to be as friendly as ever. I am persuaded that
a few are well affected, but they are now put to the trial by being ordered
to remove hither without loss of time and remain under our protection,
where their daily transactions will be seen and known." — Letter o/ Col.
Brodhead lo Gen. WasMuglon, dated Fort PiU, March 27, 1781 ; Pa. Arch.,
1781-8.'!, p. 39.

2 The county lieutenant of Westmoreland, Col. Archibald Lochry, in
a letter to Col. Brodhead, dated Twelve-Mile Run, April 2, 1781, said,
" I collected the principal oflBcers of the county together to send the an-
swer you requested of me. I was not able to attend their meeting, but
requested Col. Cook to send an express to you, with what encouragement
you might depend on, which I hope you have received by this time. I
am just returned from burying a man killed and scalped by the Indians
at Col. Ponieroy's house ; one other man is missing and all Pomeroy's
effects carried off. I have been attempting to get some Militia to cover
our Frontier until some other succourarrives, which lliope will be soon.
I am afraid from the Disposition of the people you have little to e.\pect
from us. If the Cumberland Militia arrive in time for our intended
Expedition they shall go with you, and your humble servant to Boot."
\.. On the same date James Perry, sub-lieutenant of Westmoreland, wrote
Tto Brodhead, saying, "We sent instruction* to the Second and Third
Battalions of Westmoreland Militia, agreeable to your orders, to raise
voluuleers for the Expedition. The Major of the Third Battalion came
to me on Saturday last and informed me that he could not raise one vol-
unteer for the Expedition. The Second has made no return yet, but I
am doubtful they have done nothing.

"I have not yet heard what Col. Lochry has done in the First Battal-
ion; but, upon the whole, I believe you need not depend on any men
from this county, as the people in the interior part of the county live in
a state of indifferent security, and the frontiers dare not well leave their
families."— Pa. Arch., 17S1, pp. 61-62.

The failure of Brodhead to obtain any troops from the militia of West-
moreland County appears to have been the result of ill feeling (amount-
ing to a quarrel) between him and County Lieutenant Lochry, us is evi-
dent from an examination of the correspondence between them, and
between each and the president of the Council, in 178t>-81.


crossed the Ohio, and marched an rapidly oh [Mwitible
and by the most direct route U> the principal village
of the hostile Delawares, which wa-s located on the
Muskingum Kiver, on the lower part of the site of
the present town of Coshocton, Ohio.

When the expedition readied a point near to
Salem, which was one of the three principal vil-
lages of the peaceful Moravian Indians, Home of
the undiscriminating volunteers manifested the same
murderous spirit which afterwards accomplished its
bloody purpose in the campaign of Col. Williamson.
They seemed determined to move upon the town and
destroy it, but were finally prevented from doing so
by the eftbrts of the officers, chiefly by Col. Brodhead.
The commander sent forward a message to the Rev.
John Heckewelder (a Moravian missionary who re-
sided with the Indians in the town), informing him of
the object of the expedition, and requesting him to
send a small supply of provisions, and also to accom-
pany the messenger on his return to the camp. The
old missionary complied with the request, sent the
provisions, and reported in person to Col. Brodhead
at the camp. The colonel inquired of him if any of
his Christian Indians were away from the village,
engaged in hunting or other business in the country
lying on his line of march, as in that case the troops
might do them injury, not being able to distinguish
between them and hostile Indians, a result which he
was most anxious to prevent. Heckewelder .assured
him that none of his people were out, and thereupon
the force was again put in motion, and the missionary
returned to his village after receiving the thanks of
the commander.

Brodhead's expedition reached its first objective
point, the Delaware village of " Coochocking," in the
evening of the 19th of April, and etfected a complete
surprise of the place, as the Indians had not heard
of the march of any white force against them. The
town was destroyed, fifteen warriors killed, about
twenty prisouers taken, and all the crops planted
by the Indians in the vicinity devastated. Another
town, called Indaochaie, was also destroyed, its site
being about two and a half miles below that of the
other villages and on the east bank of the Jluskin-
gum River. After accomplishing these results the
expeditionary force marched up the valley to a half-
deserted village called Newcomers' Town (at or near
the site of the present village of that name in Ohio),
where there were a few Delawares who still remained
friendly. These placed themselves under protection
of Col. Brodhead, and the force flien took up its line
of march on the return to Fort Pitt. The official
report of the campaign, made by Col. Brodhead in
a communication to the president of the Council,
was as follows : '

" Phila., May 22d, 1781.

"Sir, — In the last letter I had the Honor to ad-
dress to your Excellency I mentioned my intention

3 Pa. Arch., 1781-83, p. 161.



to carry an expedition against tlie revolted Delaware
Towns. I have now the pleasure to inform you that
with about three hundred men (nearly half the
number Volunteers from the country) I surprised
the Towns of Cooshasking and Indaochaie, killed
fifteen Warriors, and took upwards of twenty old
men, women, and children. About four miles above
the Town I detached a party to cross the river Mus-
kingum and destroy a party of about forty warriors
who had just before (as I learnt by an Indian whom
the advanced Guard took prisoner) crossed over with
some prisoners and Scalps and were drunk, but ex-
cessive hard rains having swell'd the river bank high
it was found impracticable. After destroying the
Towns with great quantities of poultry and other
stores, and killing about forty head of Cattle, I
marched up the River about seven miles with a view
to send for some craft from the Moravian Towns and
cross the river to pursue the Indians. But when I
proposed my plan to the Volunteers I found they
conceived they had done enough, and were deter-
mined to return, wherefore I marched to Newcomers'
Town, where a few Indians who remained in our
Interest had withdrawn themselves not exceeding
thirty men. The Troops experienced great kindness
from the Moravian Indians and those at Newcomers'
Town, and obtained a sufficient supply of meat and
Corn to subsist the men and Horses to the Ohio
River. Captain Killbuck and Captain Luzerne, upon
hearing of our Troops being on the Muskingum, im-
mediately pursued the Warriors, killed one of the
greatest Villains and brought his scalp to me. The
plunder brought in by the Troops sold for about
eighty Thousand pounds ' at Fort Henry. I had
upon this Expedition Captains Mantour [Montour]
and Wilson and three other faithful Indians, who
contributed greatly to the success. The troops be-
haved with great Spirit, and although there was con-
siderable firing between them and the Indians, I had
not a man killed or wounded, and only one horse

1 Of course Col. Brodhead here hns refereuce to Continental money,
which at that time was neai'ly at its lowest point of depreciation.

! Withers, in his " Chronicles of Border Warfare," pp. 220-21. relates
as follows in reference to the alleged slaughter of prisoners by Brod-
head's men after the destruction of the town. In his narrative (which
by comparison with Col. Brodhead's report seems to be purely a fabrica-
tion) he says, "It remained then to dispose of the prisoners. Sixteen
warriois particularly obnoxious for their diabolical deeds were pointed
out by Pekillon [a friendly Delaware chief who accompanied Col.
Brodhead] as fit subjects of retributive justice and taken into close cus-
tody. A council of war was then held to determine their fate, and
which doomed them to death. They were taken some distance from
town, dispatched with tomahawks and spears and then scalped. The
other captives were committed to the care of the militia to be conducted
to Fort Pitt.

"On the morning after the taking of Coshocton, an Indi.Tn making
his Hppearanceon the opposite bank of the river called out for the ' Big
Captain.' Col. Brodhead demanded what he wished. ' I want peace,'
replied the savage. 'Then send over some of your chiefs,' said the col-
onel. ' May be you kill,' responded the Indian. 'No,' said Brodhead;
'they shall not be killed.' One of the chiefs, a fine-looking fellow, then
came over, and wliile he aud Col, Brodhead were engaged in conversation

While Brodhead's campaign against the Delaware
towns on the Muskingum was in progress, another
and a more formidable expedition was being raised
and organized, having for its object the capture of
the British post of Detroit and the destruf tion of the
Wyandot towns on the Sandusky River. The expedi-
tion was to be composed of infantry, cavalry, and ar-
tillery, and to be led by Gen. George Rogers Clarke,
who had achieved considerable renown by his suc-
ce-sful campaign against the British posts in the Illi-
nois country in 1778, as has been mentioned. The
expedition which he was now to command against
Detroit was to be organized principally at Fort Pitt,
to rendezvous at Fort Henry (Wheeling), and to pro-
ceed thence down the Ohio River to the Great Falls
(at Louisville, Ky.), and from there to march north-
wardly through the wilderness to its objective-points.

The project seems to have been originated by the
government of Virginia, although it afterwards re-
ceived the sanction of Gen. Washington for the United
States, and was also promoted by the Executive
Council of Pennsylvania. As early as Jan. 22, 1781,
Col. Brodhead, in a letter written at Fort Pitt and
addressed to President Reed, of the Pennsylvania
Council,^ said, " I sincerely wish there was no occa-
sion to trouble you with a 'further tale of misfortune.
But as the United States in general, and our State in
particular, are immediately interested in retaining in
this District all the Grain that has been raised in it, it
might appear criminal in me were I to remain silent re-
specting certain Instructions lately sent by Governor
Jefferson (of Virginia) for the purchase of 200,000 Ra-
tions on this side the mountains, for the use of the Troops
under Col. Clark ; for which purpose he has already
advanced 300,000 pounds, and promises to furnish,
upon the first notice, any further Sum that may be
necessary to compleat the payment of that purchase.
Because this contract, together with the Consumption
of multitudes of emigrants arrived and expected in
this District (chiefly to avoid militia Duty and Taxes),
will scarcely leave a pound of flour for the Regular
or other Troops which it may be necessary to employ,
either offensively or defensively, against the Enemy
for the Defence of this part of the Frontier Settle-

" It seems the State of Virginia is now prepar-
ing to acquire more extensive territory by send-
ing a great body of men under Col. (whom they in-
tend to raise to the rank of Brigadier) Clark to at-
tempt the reduction of Detroit. I have hitherto been
encouraged to flatter myself that I should sooner or

in the bosom of his hi
hinder part of his head.
" This savage deed wa
enormities. The army c
a mile from Coshocton v
menced murdering then

id with a tomahawk \
nting-shirt struck bin
The poor Indian fell a
the precursor of otbe

hich he bad concealed
I a severe blow on the
id immediately eKpired.
• and equally atrocious

n its return bad not proceeded more than half

'hen the militia guarding the prisoners com-

1. In a short space of time a few women and

children alone remained alive. These were taken to Fort Titt, and after

awhile exchanged for an equal number of white captives."

s Pa. Archives, 1779-81, p. 707.



later be enabled to reduce that place. But it seems I
the United States cannot furnish either Troops or
resources for the purpose, but the State of Virginia

In February following, Gen. Washington issued
orders to Gen. Clarke to proceed in the raising and
organizing of his force for the purpose mentioned ;
and on the 25th of that month Gen. Brodhead re-
ported to President Reed:' "I have just received
instructions from his Excellency the commander-in-
chief directing me to detach all the field-pieces, Howit-
zers, and train, also apartof my small force,underCol.
Clark, who I am told is to drive all before him by a
supposed unbounded influence he has amongst the in-
habitants of the Western country. I sincerely wish his
Excellency's expectations may be fully answered . . . ."
Again, on the 10th of March, he wrote the presi-
dent of the Council : ^ " I have likewise received in-
structions from his Excellency the Commander-in-
Chief to order the Maryland Corps to Richmond in
Virginia, and to detach with the artillery and field-
pieces under Brig.-Gen. Clark a major or Capt's Com-
mand from my small remaining number of Troops.
. . . Gen'. Clark is come over the mountain, and his
commissaries are purchasing great quantities of flour
and Indian corn ; but he appears to be doubtful of
carrying his grand object, and I shall not be surprised
to see his Expedition fall through, for it is clear to
me that wise men at a great distance view things in
the Western country very differently from those who
are more immediately acquainted with circumstances
and situations."

Although Clarke was a Virginian oflicer and had
entirely favored the claims of that State in its territo-
rial controversy with Pennsylvania, he was not averse
to enlisting men from the latter State to make up the
force necessary for his expedition, and accordingly
he at once entered into correspondence with the Ex-
ecutive Council to obtain its consent to the project.
The letter which he addressed to President Reed' on
the subject was as follows :

" March 23, 1781.

" D. Sir, — Though unacquainted, I take the liberty
of writing to your Excellency on a subject I hope
will Consern you so much as to Honour my propo-
sition. I make no doubt but that you are fully ac-
quainted with the design of the enterprise. I am
order'd to Com'' of the greatest consequence to the
Frontiers of Pennsylvania and Virginia, if our Re-
sources should not be such as to Inable us to Remain
in the Indian Country during the fair season, I am
in hopes they will be suflicient to Visit the Shaw-
anees, Delawares, and Sandusky Town, defeating the
Enemy and laying those Cuntrees waste, would give
great Ease to the Frontiers of both States, whom I
think equally Interested. But Sir nothing great can
be expected without the assistance of numbers of

1 Pa. Arch., 1779-81, p. 743. 2 Ibid., p. 766. s Ibid., 1761-83, p. 23.

men from the Country on tliis Bide of the Ijav/reU
Hill, many living within the boundary of Pennnyl-
vania are willing to go on the Expedition, many more
would go if it was not for a timid, Him[>le diM(xwition,
fearing it would disoblige y' Excellency & Council!,
at least they make use of sucli argunienls sui an Ex-
cuse, others alternately shifting from <ine sUite to the
other, to screen themselves from any Military Duty
that might be Required of them, hut as I am Con-
fident from the nature of the intended Expedition
you would wish to give it every aid in your power, I
hope sir that you will inform the Inhabitants on this
side of the M' that such is your sentiments. They
are fully able to spare five hun'' men, I don't think
they could be better imployed to the advantage of
themselves or Country, I should have solicited y*
governor of Virg° to have made this Request of you,
but the want of time for it to go through that Chan-
nel, and Confident of its meeting with your approba-
tion Induced nie to do it myself I hope S' that you
will Honour me with an immediate answer P' Ex-
press, as it is of the greatest Consequence to us & that
the fate of the Indians at present appears to depend
on the Resolutions you may take.

" With esteem I beg leave to subscribe myself,
Y' very Ob. Serv',

" G. Clark, Brig. G."
To this communication of Gen. Clarke President
Reed replied under date of May 1.5th as follows : *

" Sir, — I received your Letter of the 23d March a
considerable Time after its Date. The Enterprise you
refer to has never been officially communicated to us,
but from common Report we learn that an Expe-
dition under your Command is destined ag' Detroit.
We are very sensible of its Importance to this State
as well as Virginia, & there is no Gentleman in whose
Abilities & good Conduct we have more Confidence
on such an occasion. After this it seems unnecessary
to add that it will give us great Satisfaction if the
Inhabitants of this State cheerfully concur in it; &
we authorize you to declare that so far from giving
Ofl'ence to their Government, we shall consider their
Service with you as highly meritorious. At the same
Time we must add that from the exhausted State of
our Treasury — from the great Demands made upon
us by the Congress & Gen. Washington and other
Contingencies, we are in no condition to answer any
Demands of a pecuniary kind, and therefore do not
mean, by any Thing we have said, to raise an Ex-
pectation which we cannot answer. We have above
two Mouths ago wrote to Col. Brodhead, most earn-
estly requesting him to forward your Views, inform-
ing him that they are highly approved by us — we
shall be most concerned if we should be disappointed
in this respect. We have had a correspondence with
Gov' Jeflerson on the Subject & explained our Sen-
timents to him very fully. We have also sent for-


ward by our member from Westmoreland, Encourage-
ment to the People there to co-operate with you in all
Respects, & hope it will be attended with good effect.
Wishing you Success equal to your Merit and good
Intentions I remain," etc.

The member of the Council from Westmoreland
referred to in the above communication was Chris-
topher Hays, and it was understood to have been
largely through his influence that the Council decided
favorably to Clarke's views. Under the authority
conferred by the President's communication, Gen.
Clarke, on the 3d of June, addressed the " Council
of Officers" of Westmoreland to secure their con-
currence and assistance. The result was that the
matter was laid before the people of that county at a
public meeting held for that purpose on the 18th of
June, at which meeting it was :

" 1". Resoleed, That a Campaign be carried on with QenI Clark.

" a*. Resolved, Tliat Genl Clark be furniBhed with 300 men out of Pom-
roy's, Beai'd's, and Davises Battalion.

"S'i'y. Jfesoiiiei', That Coll. Arcli^ Lochry gives orders to sil CoUa. to
raise their quota by Volunteers or Draught.

t'4ihly. Eesolved, That £6 be advanced to every volunteer that marches
under the command of Genl Clark on the propos'' Campaign.

"St*". And for the further Incouragement of Voluntiers, that grain be
raised by subscription by the Different Companies.

" 6"i'y. That Coll. Lochry coucil with the Officers of Virginia respecting
the manner of Draughting those that associate in that State and others.

" 1^^. Resolved, That Coll. Lochry meet Geul Clark and other ofgcers

Online LibraryBoyd CrumrineHistory of Washington County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 22 of 255)