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Colonel William Fleming's Journal

From Documentary History of Dunmore's War, edited by Reuben Gold Thwaites and Louise Phelps Kellogg (Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society, 1905), p. 281-91

An Extract from a Journal keept by An Officer in the Army under Colo Andw. Lewis on the expidition against Our Enemy Ohio Indians.

In consequence of a Plan laid down by my Lord Dunmore, in which the Forces under Colo. Andw. Lewis were to Join His Lordship at the Mouth of New River, Camp Union at the big levels of Green Brier was appointed the place of Rendevouse for the Augusta Botetourt & Fincastle County troops, at which place they were Assembling from August ye. 27th. Septr. ye. 2d. we were Alarmed by a report that Stewarts Fort, four miles from Camp was Attacked by Indians. A party being sent out found that only one man had been fired at and escaped, with a verry slight wound but next day Septr. ye. 3d. McGuire a Countryman was brought in from another Quarter into Camp much wounded & had a bullet cut out of his Cheek. Septr. ye 4th. Parties as the day before were sent out in quest of the Enemy, and discovered three or four who had horses, but had no Opportunity of firing on them, tho they recovered the horses, and several Buffalo hide halters a tomhawk &ampc. were found. These Indians being a Party who had, as was customary come in to do what mischeif was in their power, and then push home with as many horses as they could pick up. The 5th. Parties on horseback had orders to scour the woods for two or three miles round camp. And a Capt. &ampc: & fifty private went in pursuit of the Enemy discovered yesterday.

Col: Andw. Lewis Joind the troops Septr. 1st. as Commander in Chief.

6th. Colo. Charles Lewis with the greatest part of the Augusta troops and Arbuckles Compy. from Botetourt march'd from Camp union with all the Cattle collected there at that time and [four] hundred pack horses loaded with Flower, Salt, & Tools, for [the] mouth of Elk River and had orders to build a small store house, for the provisions, And get Canoes made, sufficient to transport the Flower &ampc: from that Place down the New River to the Ohio. The 10th. One of Our Spies came in from Gauly and reported that on the 6th. Inst he discovered a party of Indians with horses on their return from the Inhabitants, And on the morning of the ninth another party coming in, from this time we have reason to believe that Our motions were narrowly watched by the Enemy.

Septr. the 12th Colo. Andw. Lewis with the Botetourt troops & Capts. Shelby Russels & Bufords Compies left Camp Union & took with them all the Beeves & Pack horses that were then Collected. In the Evening a man from Colo. C. Lewis party came into Camp & reported that Colo. Fields from Culpepper County who Joind us with about 30 men & had marchd after Colo. C. Lewis on the 10 Inst. his men being out hunting had one of them [been] shot down by an Indian but that the Indian was kild before he scalpd him. This Indian proved to be a Tawa.

19th Crossed Gauly Mountain, which I take to be a Continuation of that Chain of mountains caled the Alegany Mountain, to the Northward and we Met with sudden & frequent Showers of Rain as is usual near these Mountains. It is pritty difficult to Cross being about a mile & half in Ascent & as much in descent

The 21st we fell in with New River or the Big Kanhaway a little below Kellys Place, and marching down the River Eight or Nine miles passed two curious Springs, the Vapour of which kindles quick as Gunpowder & burns with a surprizing force.

The 23. we Joind Col: C. Lewis who was encamped on the Banks of Elk river about a mile above its influx into New River by Computation 108 Miles from Camp Union.

Imployed to the 30th. in building a storehouse & making Canoes for transporting the stores. The 24th the Scouts were sent different ways for the discovery of the Enimy. The 25th One of the Scouts that had Crosed the Kanhaway returnd & reported that about four miles from Camp, a Small party of Indians had passed them in the Night with horses on their way down the Kanhaway. Colo. Lewis sent some Scouts this Evening to the Ohio to wait on his Lordship, As we expected about this time His Excellency with the Troops from the Northward would be arrived. And the 29th One of them returnd when about 15 miles from the Ohio, on their discovering Indian fires on the banks of the Kanhaway, and this Scout likewise on his way up discovered another party of Indians.

The 30th. Cros'd the Elk & marchd down to its mouth where we encamped. Octr. 1st.

The Troops were ordered to form two Colums in their march from this, each Colum made two grand divisions The Botetourt Troops formd the Right, the Augusta the left Colum. Capt. Jno Lewis of Botetourt with his Company Marchd advanced a little way in the front of the Colums Bullocks & Pack horses fell in betwixt the Front & Rear divisions, and had each Flank covered with One hundred Men. 6th. reach'd the Junction of the Great Kanhaway with the Ohio. we have met with a lettar from My Lord Dunmore The spies sent from Elk came in this Evening, and told us they had quitted their Canoe, after sending back the messenger formerly mentiond, and came by land to the point, where not finding His Lordship, they had continued amongst the hills, without being discovered by several parties of Indians that were hunting Buffaloes. Colo Lewis sent up by some of our Spies a lettar in return to His Lordships to Hockhocking. The 8th. Some messengers from My Lord with lettars came down by water & retumd in a few houres.

The 10th. some men who had left Camp at about three miles distance, fell in with a large Party of Indians a little after day break. One of Capt Russels men was shot down one escaped, & brought us the first intelligence which in a few minutes was confirmed by several Others being chased into Camp. Imagining this to be some scouting party, Colo. Lewis ordered a detatchment from every Company, so as to make up One hundred & fifty men from each line, to go in quest of them Colo. Charles Lewis led the Augusta Detachment And had with him Capts Dickinson, Harrison & Skidmore, & Colo. Fleming the Botetourt. and had with him Capts Shelby, Russel, Buford & Love. & the Augusta line marchd on the Right near the foot of the hills. The Botetourt along the Banks of the Ohio, at about 200 Yards distance: We Marched Briskly 3/4 of a mile or better from Camp, the Sun then, near an hour high, when a few guns were fired on the Right, & succeeded by a heavy fire, which in an Instant extended to the left and the two lines were hotly engaged. Early in the ingagement Colo. Charles Lewis on the Right received a mortal wound, and was led out of the Field. He died in a few houres, much beloved, universally esteemed, & greatly lamented by the whole troops. Soon afterward Colo. Fleming on the left, was daingerously wounded in the breast & Arm & Obleedged to quit the Field. The Fire continuing very warm & the Indians pushing our men, forced them to retreat 150 or 200 Yards, but being timely supported by reinforcements sent from Camp, they recovered the ground they had lost, & in turn drove the Enimy. Colo. Fields who came out with reinforcement was unhappily kild. the Action continued verry warm till near twelve o'Clock, when the Fire tho pritty constant was not so heavy. As the Enimy whenever they met with an advantagious piece of ground in their retreat, made a resolute stand, during which some of them were employed to remove their dead, dying & wounded, in the Afternoon they had gained such an advantagious post that it was thought imprudent to Attempt to dislodge them, & firing ceased on both sides about half an hour before Sunset, from this place the Enemy made a final retreat and crossed the Ohio with their wounded. Some of their dead were slightly covered in the Field of Battle, some were drag'd down, & thrown into the Ohio And others they had scalped themselves to prevent our people, whilst this passed in the Field, Colo. Lewis was fully imployed in Camp, in sending necessary reinforcements where wanted on the different quarters. The Troops were encamped on the Banks of the N[ew] River & Ohio, extending up both Rivers near half a Mile the Point betwixt the Rivers was full of large trees & very brushy, from the furthest extent of the tents on both Rivers he cleard a line across & with the brush & trees Made a breastwork and lined it with the men that were left in Camp. The following is a list of the kild & Wounded Those markd with Asterisks died after the engagement Kild of the Augusta line, Colo. Charles Lewis* Colo. Jno. Field, Capt. Saml. Wilson, Lieutt. Hugh Allen. Eighteen private [s] Wounded of the Augusta line Capts. Dickenson. Skidmore Lieutts. Leard & Vance with 51 private. Kild of the Botetourt line Capts. Murray, Robt. McClennachan* Ward* Thos. Buford*. Lieutts. Bracken & Goldman, with Ensign Cundiff & 17 Private. Wounded Colo. Fleming Lieut. Robison & 35 private. We had the morning of the engagement upwards of Eleven hundred effective men.

About 12 o'Clock at Night Colo Christian with the Fincastle troops came into Camp. the 11th. Large parties were sent out in search of the Enimy when they found all the Indians had crosd the Ohio.

The 12th Imployed in gathering in the dispers'd Bullocks & horses & in clearing the Camp of Underwood. this day the Guns Blankets &ampc taken from the Indians, sold by Vendue amounted to near £ 100. The 13th. the Express that first went to his Lordship returnd with Instructions for Colo Lewis to march towards the Shawnese Towns and Join His Lordship at a certain place by the way

The 14th. 15th. & 16th. imployed in finishing a store house & running up a breastwork, which was Raised two logs high, with part of a Bastion, we cros'd the Ohio the 17, After leaving all our Indisposed, lame, & those Judged unfit for Duty at the point, and their wounds some time after the engagement

Colo Lewis came into Camp last evening, when he had got to some distance from the Towns the Governor sent an Express to inform him that He had very near concluded apeace and that he was to halt his troops there, the place being inconvenient to encamp and Colo Lewis men being fired on that morning he marchd on Next Morning He received another Express informing him the Peace was in a manner concluded that the Shawnese had agreed to his terms and therefor Colo Lewis was to encamp where he was. & that he & any Officers he tho't proper might come over to his Camp. Colo Lewis did not imagine it would be prudent to go to his lordships Cam[p] with only two or three Officers, and therefore marchd thither with a design to Join his Lordship but the Guide mistook the path & took a path that led betwixt the towns & his Lordships Camp. this put the Indians into a fright they expected Colo Lewis was going to Attack their towns they left his Lordship, and run off. His Lordship rode down to Colo Lewis's Camp in the 18th begun Our March for the Shawnese Towns. When about 15 miles from them. we had an Express from His Lordship, Accquainting us a Peace with the Indians was Almost concluded; inviting Colo Lewis & such of his Officers as he choose, to come over to his Camp. we continued to march forward & in some houres afterwards another express arrived with the News that a Peace was concluded & brought orders for the Army to halt, as the place was inconvenient for the Troops to encamp, we marched on to water which the Indians observing struck them with a dread that we were going to Attack their towns, as we by a mistake of the Guide had got rather betwixt his Lordships Camp & the Towns & much nearer than we imagined. All the Indians with his Lordship, immediately quitted His Camp, except White Fish, who with Gibson a trader, Attended His Lordship to Our Army. My Lord informd us the Shawnise had agreed to all his Terms, and that as Our Presence could be of no service, but rather a hindrance to the peace being concluded he ordered the whole to return, which we did the next day. We reachd the Point the 28th where we found the Breast work very near compleated from which Place we filed off homeward by [MS. torn].

Dunmore's War

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