1777 Attack on Fort Henry

Portion of reminiscences
of Mrs. Lydia Cruger

From Frontier Retreat on the Upper Ohio, 1779-1781, edited by Louise Phelps Kellogg (Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society, 1917), pp. 65-68 (2S148-151)

Mason received a flesh wound in the hip, and hid himself in a fallen tree top, full of green leaves. Indians hunted all around him, he seeing them, in the night he escaped to some neighboring fort. Captain Ogle escaped to the cornfield with a wounded man, and concealed themselves in the high horse weeds; and while there, a wounded Indian, blood running down and crying, and another Indian with him, both sitting on the fence within a hansel of Ogle; and Ogle expecting every moment to be discovered, he lay with gun cocked, intending if discovered to sell his life as dearly as possible. Those Indians remained on the fence, and finally went away. In the night Ogle took the wounded man with him into the fort.

Three of the men, William Shepherd (oldest son of Col. David Shepherd), Hugh McConnell, and Thomas Glenn started from the defeated spot for the fort, and young Shepherd (only nineteen) as he neared the fort, his foot caught in a grapevine and threw him, and before he could recover, the Indians tomahawked and scalped him. Glenn was chased above the fort a little distance up the river, and was overtaken and killed. McConnell reached the fort. John Caldwell escaped to Shepherd's Fort, six miles from Wheeling at the Forks of Wheeling [Creek], where the neighborhood forted; though Colonel Shepherd himself was at Wheeling. Town lots had been sold, and several had built cabins and lived in them, outside of Fort Henry; and at this alarm, unexpected, the people flew to the fort, leaving all their property in their cabins, all which was plundered; and some of the cabins were burned, and others were seized and occupied by the Indians from which to fight. Francis Duke (a son-in-law of Colonel Shepherd, and deputy-commissary) came from the Beech Bottom Station, above, about noon, and came among the Indians, before he was aware of danger, and made a dash for the fort and was shot dead, some seventy-five yards from the fort, so near that the Indians did not venture for his scalp, until after nightfall, when they dragged his body into one of the cabins and scalped and stripped him. The Indians shot down large numbers of cattle, hogs, geese, and took a good many horses. Soon after dark they decamped, thought to have been 300 Indians; probably Girty was not with them

The first siege of Wheeling was on Monday, 1st September. That was muster day at Cat Fish Camp under Capt. John Boggs and Capt. Reasin Virgin, and while mustering, towards evening, an express came that Wheeling was attacked and Boggs and Virgin and their men immediately resolved to start off, and marched all night and reached Wheeling early Tuesday morning, all the Indians had gone, helped to bury the dead; and haul off the swollen dead cattle into the river.

Revolutionary War