1777 Attack on Fort Henry

Recollections of Mrs. Joseph Stagg

From Frontier Retreat on the Upper Ohio, 1779-1781, edited by Louise Phelps Kellogg (Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society, 1917), pp. 62-65 (12CC236-237)

Col. Ebenezer Zane's cabin was right where the fort stood. The fort was handsomely stockaded, at King's expense. White Eyes came to Fort Pitt, and told them that the Indians were going to take Wheeling home. White Eyes was sometimes thought to be of both sides. Colo. Shepherd sent to Fort Pitt, and obtained 70 men of the militia; but returned them again on Sunday morning, saying they had eaten too much beef for nothing. Immediately after he had sent them away, he sent to Mingo bottom for 25 others. The first company [Captain Shannon's], it was supposed the Indians had seen go away, and by the time the sun was up, on Monday morning, the Indians attacked the fort.

One McMahon sent out some young men, to catch his horses; he and Jacob Drennon were going away. Drennon wouldn't venture so to do [send for horses]. When the Doctor's negro came out to a thick wood, he said, "why this looks as if it might be a good place for the Indians to hide." At that they started up. They had like to have caught the negro, but he got in. John Boyd, a youth was killed with their tomahawks and scalped. Five or six men ran out, tied his hands and feet, got a pole between them, and so got him in. The Indians had gone to another point. Andrew Zane, a brother of the colonel, jumped down a steep, afterwards measured to be 70 feet, without injury. Sammy Tomlinson was out too, and got in; but went out again with 25 and was killed. Capt. Mason commanded the 25 men that came from Mingo bottom, they got in along the port sally gate. The Indians then thought the fort open, and gave wonderful shouts and yells, and rushed to it, and they said they just came, 15 or 20 in a gang, holding each other's hand. The men complained that the women kept so in their way looking out at the portholes, they couldn't do a thing. A great trail was left where the Indians had dragged their dead to the river. Twenty men staid in, 25 went out...The 25 men went out to head them. 15 were killed, I suppose at once and 5 were wounded.

Francis Duke, Col. Shepherd's son-in-law, came from Vanmetre's fort, and couldn't be made to stop (commissary of the fort). Col. Zane had just finished him a good house, all to one window, shingle-roofed. Women ran bullets in frying pans, and two shot. Mrs. Duke cut bullet patches out of a 700 linen piece, like one cutting out shirts. And one Scotchman prayed all day. Rain came up, just after the town was set on fire. The women brought up water in tubs, and scrubbed [drenched] the roofs. That night the Indians left.

Revolutionary War