Ohio History Journal




BOWMAN'S EXPEDITION AGAINST CHILLICOTHE

BOWMAN'S EXPEDITION AGAINST CHILLICOTHE.

May-June, 1779.

Draper MSS., Border Forays, 5 D. chap. 27, pp. 1-20.

[The following account of Captain Bowman's expedition against

Chillicothe on the Little Miami, in 1779, is from the original manuscript

of the Draper collection in the archive department of the Wisconsin

Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin. During the past summer (1910).

through the courtesy of Dr. Reuben Gold Thwaites, Secretary of the

Wisconsin Historical Society, we were permitted to examine the exten-

sive and valuable collection of the Draper Manuscripts and select there-

from certain ones for publication in this Quarterly.-Editor.]

In the month of October, 1776, the Commonwealth of

Virginia passed an act dividing the county of Fincastle-then

the most westerly of any in its jurisdiction-into three distinct

counties, to one of which they gave the name of Kentucky,

being, substantially, the present State so-called. The act took

effect on the last day of the year.1    On the twenty-first of

December, John Bowman was appointed by Patrick Henry, jr.,

then Governor, to the office of Colonel of its militia.2 In the

Summer following, he arrived out, reaching Harrodsburgh on

the second of September, when he took upon himself the duties

of his office.3 The Colonel was made Lieutenant of the county,

in 1778, receiving his commission from Thomas Jefferson who

had become Governor.4 By virtue of his office, he had the

general direction of military affairs, at that date, in that dis-

tant region.

By the terms of the treaty made by Lord Dunmore with

the Shawanese in the Autumn of 1774, on the banks of the

Scioto, that nation was to give up all the prisoners ever taken

 

1Hening's Stat's at Large, IX, 257.

2R. H. Collins' Hist. Ky., Vol. I, p. 10.

3Diary of George Rogers Clark, from Dec. 25, 1776, to 22d of Nov.

1777: MS. This Diary has been published-first in Morehead's Ad-

dress-1840.

4Collins' Hist. Ky., I, p. 10.

(446)



Bowman's Expedition Against Chillicothe 447

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by them in war both white people and negroes    and all the

horses stolen or taken by them since the close of the war of

1764; and further, no Indian of that nation for the future was

to hunt on the Virginia side of the Ohio nor any white man

on the other side of that river. This agreement at once opened

the pathway for an advance of emigration into the region

which soon after became the county of Kentucky. However,

even before the treaty-in June, 1774-James Harrod and

others had erected a cabin in that country, upon th  site of the

present Harrodsburgh, Mercer county,-only to be deserted

shortly after, because of the hostilities of the savages.5

The adventurers who came to the Kentucky country in

1775, enjoyed, for that season, almost entire immunity from

savage aggression; only a few killed and wounded; enough,

however, to induce the settlers to be watchful - ever on their

guard. But the next year-1776-the Indians were more

emboldened. With an increase of emigration came an increase

of their attacks. The machinations of the British began to

have an effect upon the Shawanese; and the Mingoes, who, it

will be remembered, were not a party to Lord Dunmore's treaty,

were avowedly hostile. Already the pioneers had ayailed them-

selves of the advantages of rude forts as protections against

the savages: one was commenced and completed in the early

part of April, 1775, near the mouth of Otter creel in what is

now Madison county, and was known as Fort Boone.6 Others

were built as the exigencies of the settlements seemed to de-

mand; among them, that of McClelland's, adjoining the site

of the present Georgetown, Scott county, which, on the twenty-

5"July 24, 1774. Proceeded to the cabin (Harrod's) four miles

further. At our arrival, we were surprised to find every thing squandered

upon the ground, and two fires burning. Mr. Floyd and Mr. Nash went

down to the landing and found these words written on a tree: 'Alarmed

by finding some people killed. We are going down this way.'"-Journal

of a Surveyor.

6 "On the 14th (of April) the Fort was finished:" Bradford's

Notes. "Thursday, 20 (April, 1775)-Arrived at Fort Boone, on the

mouth of Otter Creek, on Cantuckee River, where we were saluted by

a running fire of about 25 guns:" Henderson's Journal--M S. This has

been published.



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ninth of December, 1776, was assailed by the Pluggy's-town

gang of Mingoes and their famous leader killed2 -the first

regular attack upon any fort in Kentucky.

Early in 1777, the Indians commenced their depredations in

the settlements south of the Ohio.                       More of the Shawanese

now  started upon the war-path from                  their towns upon the

Scioto and Miami. Before the end of the year, a large portion

of that nation had taken up the hatchet. In the Spring, as

there were but very few men interested in keeping possession

of the posts on the north side of the Kentucky river, they broke

up--their occupants removing, on the thirtieth of January,

either to Boonesborough or Harrodsburgh. The whole popu-

lation was then in these two forts and did not exceed one hun-

dred and fifty men fit for duty, with about forty families.

As the months wore away, both posts were attacked,7 but neither

taken. In the meantime, Logan's fort near the site of the pres-

ent town of Stanford, Lincoln county, was occupied ;8 it, too,

was assailed by the savages, but their attack proved unsuccess-

ful.9 So troublesome had been the Indians throughout the year

-so discouraging had their hostilities proved to immigration

-that, at its close, the settlements were restricted to the three

forts just mentioned.

The siege of Boonesborough was the great event of the

year 1778, in Kentucky.   Preparations for this, at the prin-

cipal town of the Shawanese Indians north of the Ohio.10 oper-

ated for a length of time to restrain small parties of savages

from  their incursions into the settlements.  Still, there were

Indian depredations before and after that event.   As to the

siege itself -it is more notorious for what was not accom-

 

2Bradford's Notes on Ky. (Stipp's West. Miscel.), pp. 25, 26.

Clark's Diary-MS. Morehead's Address, p. 161.

7Each twice: Harrodsburgh, on the 7 March and 29 Apr.; Boones-

borough, on the 24 Apr. and 23 May.-Clark's Diary: MS.

8This was in March:" MS. Narr. of Wm. Whitley. Marshall's

Hist. Ky., I, 48.

9This occurred May 30th: Clark's Diary-MS. Compare More-

head's Address, p. 162.

10"Old Chelicothe (Chillicothe), the principal Indian town, on Lit-

tle Miami:" Filson's Kentucke (1784), p. 63.



Bowman's Expedition Against Chillicothe

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plished than for any particular success of the enemy. That

three hundred and thirty Indians with eight Canadians,l1 one

of whom - Captain    Isadore Chene12- commanded the ex-

pedition, should, for eleven days and nights, beleaguer the rude

stockade causing a loss of only two killed4 and four wounded,

notwithstanding at one time nine men were outside negotiating

with the enemy, - is something bordering on the marvelous.

This occurred in September. The savages then dispersed to the

different forts, waylaying hunters but captured no posts.

The time had arrived with the opening of the Spring of

1779, when it was very evident to the settlers of Kentucky that,

of all the Indians who were at that time infesting the country,

the Shawanese were the most active and blood-thirsty. It

seemed exceedingly plain to them that from Chillicothe, on the

Little Miami, came most of the war-parties marauding in the

now  increasing settlements.13  "Why should not that prolific

hive of mischief be destroyed?" was a question then frequently

asked. And it was finally determined, by the settlers, to free

themselves from danger and their settlements from savage

inroads, to carry an expedition against it. John Bowman, re-

siding at Harrodsburgh, as Colonel of militia and Lieutenant

of Kentucky, called for volunteers, resolved to take the com-

mand of them in person;-the first regular enterprise to at-

tack, in force, the Indians beyond the Ohio, ever planned in

Kentucky. Bowman, the year previous, had contemplated an

expedition to the same town, and sent Simon Kenton with two

others to Chillicothe to make discoveries. The settlers were

 

11Jno. Bowman, in Butler's Ky. (2d Ed.) p. 534. "Four hundred

and forty-four Indians-twelve Frenchmen (Canadians) :" Filson, 67,

68. "Five to seven hundred Indians-twelve Frenchmen (Canadians):"

Bradford. Bowman wrote on the 14th of October, 1778-not many days

after the siege was raised.

12A. S. De Peyster's "Miscellanies," pp. 247, 261. C. I. Walker's

Address before the State Hist. Soc. Wis., 31 Jan., 1871.

4David Bundrin and a negro named London.

13 "April 1, Robert Patterson, at the head of twenty-five men, com-

menced a blockhouse where Lexington now stands;" George W. Ranck.

Vol. XIX. - 29.



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to plant their corn and be in readiness to rendezvous in May,

at the mouth of Licking. The Shawanese seem not to have

had any apprehensions of such a retaliation for their frequent

invasions of the Dark and Bloody Land. The place of meet-

ing for the volunteers of the interior was fixed at Harrods-

burgh; whence, under Benjamin Logan and Silas Harlan, as

Captains, they marched to Lexington, meeting at that point a

company from Boonesborough commanded by Captain John

Holder.   These two companies were there reinforced by

another headed by Captain Levi Todd; they marched from

Lexington by way of the Little North Fork of Elkhorn, en-

camping the first night near its mouth. Their second encamp-

ment was on a small branch of Mill Creek, about two miles

northward from   Lee's Lick.  Thence, they went down the

Licking, until they finally reached its mouth-opposite what

is now the city of Cincinnati, then a howling wilderness--the

place appointed for the general meeting of the army; the site

of the present city of Covington, Kentucky.14

Previous to this time, William Harrod as Captain had

reached the place appointed for the general meeting with a com-

pany of men from the Falls of the Ohio - Louisville. To stir

up the people that volunteering might go forward with alacrity,

Harrod took "the stump," while his company was forming,

haranguing the settlers, showing the necessity of the expedition,

and that the settlements in the other parts of Kentucky were

desirous of promoting the enteprise. With his force, when

it arrived at the mouth of Licking, were a number of men from

Redstone Old Fort, on their way home, but who proposed to

go upon the expedition. They had visited the Big Bone Lick

and had with them a canoeload of specimens from that in-

teresting locality, which they were transporting up the river.

Harrod had been ordered by Bowman to meet him with boats

to enable the troops to cross the Ohio-two keel-boats and

 

14Just before their arrival, one of the men wandered off hunting.

Ascending a hill, he saw below him a buffalo. The beast taking the

alarm started off at full speed.but stumbled upon some rocks and fell

prostrate. The hunter pursued, jumped upon the animal's back and dis-

patched him with his knife. He was greatly complimented by the troops.



Bowman's Expedition Against Chillicothe

Bowman's Expedition Against Chillicothe.      451

 

three canoes were brought up for that purpose to the place of

rendezvous. The men from the Falls employed their time until

the arrival of the other companies in hunting;- killing buffalo,

bears, and deer, for provisions. They had killed some game

while at the Big Bone Lick.

Colonel Bowman left the men from Lexington, on their

way to the Ohio, - turning off to the right, to go to Licking -

afterward Ruddell's Station. Here he found a few men under

Lieutenant John Haggin. With this force, he started for the

mouth of Licking where he arrived on the twenty-seventh of

May, and immediately began preparations for crossing; as the

troops were now all present and eager to be led into the wilder-

ness. "I had gathered," afterward wrote Bowman, "two hun-

dred and ninety-six men."15

Early in the morning of the twenty-eighth of May, 1779,

immediately below the mouth of Licking river, Colonel John

Bowman and his army crossed the Ohio. Thirty-two men re-

mained to take care of the boats;-two hundred and sixty-

five, including officers, formed into marching order with George

M. Bedinger as Adjutant and Quarter Master, commenced their

march along an Indian trace for the objective point of the ex-

pedition -the Shawanese town, on the east side of the Little

Miami, distant about sixty-five miles in a northeast direction,

piloted by George Clark and William Whitley. The men

were mostly on foot, not very heavily encumbered with pro-

vision-a peck of parched corn and some "jerked" meat to

each man was all. Firing was interdicted after crossing the

 

15Bowman to Geo. Rogers Clark, 13 June, 1779: MS. letter. The

following was the number of men (officers included) belonging to each

company:

Capt. Logan's               Company          ........................48 men.

Capt. Harrods's            Company          ......................99 men.

Capt. Holder's Company ............ ......... 58                                                             men.

Capt.  Todd's                Company          ........................28                                       men.

Capt. Harlan's              Company          .......................43 men.

Lieut. Haggin's           Company          ......................19 men.

Col.  Bowman               ................................. 1

 

Total. .................................296 men.



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river and the whole force marched rapidly on their way, mak-

ing directly for the Little Miami, which stream they were to

follow to the Indian town. One of the pilots upon the ex-

pedition was William Whitley.  The volunteers were armed

with rifles and tomahawks. They arrived within ten miles of

Chillicothe at dusk, on the twenty-ninth when a halt was

ordered. During the whole journey not an Indian had been

seen, and the Commander was sanguine of being able to sur-

prise the savages.16

A council was now called to determine upon the time of

attacking the town. It was resolved to march that night and

invest the place and commence the attack at day-break the

next morning. A point a few hundred yards south-west of the

village, in a prairie, was reached a little after midnight. Bow-

man and his Captains now went forward to reconnoitre. They

were gone about an hour. Upon their return, a disposition of

the force was made preparatory to the attack.17 The men were

separated into three divisions: one under Captain Logan was

to March to the left of the town; another under Captain

Harrod to the right until they met on the north side. The

other division under Captain Holder was to march directly in

front of the village, but to stop some distance away. By this

arrangement there would be an opening south of the two first

mentioned companies through which, when the alarm was given,

the Indians might escape;-they would be allowed to go some

distance from their cabins before encountering, immediately

before them, the Company of Holder. This was a very in-

geniously contrived plan; for, if all the men were to rush up

at once, the enemy would be forced to remain in their wig-

wams where they could fight their assailants at a great advan-

tage on their side. Silently and undiscerned, the three divisions

took the positions assigned them and impatiently awaited the

appearance of day, so as to begin the work of death. The men

under Harrod and Logan, at a given signal, were to commence

16 During the march out one of the men was bitten by a rattlesnake.

He was sent back to the boats accompanied by a comrade, with orders

to be sent back to the Falls of the Ohio.

17 Statement of Henry Hall, a survivor, made in 1844.



Bowman's Expedition Against Chillicothe

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the attack; while Holder's were to lie in ambush, to await the

out-rushing of the frightened savages and pour in upon them,

as they appeared, a deadly fire. It was understood if the men

should be discovered before daylight -Holder's division was

to endeavor immediately to fire the cabins. It was not long

before the Indian dogs set up a loud and persistent barking.

Their owners would come out, in some instances, and encour-

age them on as if they were apprehensive of danger.

The town thus silently encompassed by two hundred and

sixty-three backwoodsmen anxious for daylight to appear, was

the Little Chillicothe of the Shawanese; known, however, to

the frontiersmen of that day as New Chillicothe. The center

of the village was about one hundred and seventy rods east

of the Little Miami. Skirting along on the east side of the town

was a small stream, afterward called Old Town Run, which,

with a course nearly north, empties its tribute into Massie's

creek at no great distance away. On the west side of the vil-

lage was a fine spring, the waters from which run in a south-

westerly direction, soon to mingle with those of the Little

Miami. A prairie lay adjoining the town, on the south; and

the cabins were built some distance upon one, on the North.

A ridge south of the spring, extended from the skirts of the

village in a southwest course to the river; another, just across

the run to the east, has a northeast trend to Massies Creek.18

The site of the village is about three miles north of the present

town of Xenia - county-seat of Greene county, Ohio.

At the time of this expedition against the Shawanese their

whole number of warriors at Wapatomica, Machacheek and

Piqua19 on Mad river and at Chillicothe on the Little Miami

was about five hundred, of whom one hundred were in the

latter village with about two hundred squaws and children.

About a month previous, true to the wandering instincts of that

nation, four hundred of their warriors with their families,

under their chiefs Black Stump and Yellow   Hawk, accom-

18 MS. Notes of James Galloway.

19 The birth place of Tecumseh; it was situated on the north side

of Mad river about five miles west of the present site of Springfield, in

Clark county, Ohio.



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panied by the French trader, Laramie, migrated west of the

Mississippi, settling upon Sugar creek, a little distance above

Cape Girardeau in what is now the State of Missouri, then

under Spanish rule. The principal chief of the Shawanese at

Chillicothe when the town was invested by Bowman, was Black

Fish. His subordinates were Black Hoof and Black Beard.

Northeast of the center of the town stood the council house

-a large building, said to have been sixty feet square, built

of round hickory logs, one story high, with gable ends open

and upright posts supporting the roof. Black Fish's cabin was

some thirty yards to the west of this structure. There were

several board houses or huts in the south part of the village

-some ten or twelve.20

Now it so happened while the army of Bowman lay quietly

around Chillicothe, a Shawanese hunter was returning, on its

tail, excitedly of course to the threatened village. As he neared

Holder's division, "puffing and blowing," fearful of falling

into a trap, he suddenly stopped, and made a kind of interrog-

ative ejaculation, as much as to say, "Who's there ?"- when

one of the men very near him, shot, and the savage fell, at the

same time giving a weak, confused yell. Immediately another

soldier ran up and tomahawked and scalped him.21 The firing

of that gun set at naught many of the wise plans and well-laid

schemes depending upon daylight for their execution. A few

Indians came out in the direction of the report, to ascertain the

cause. As they approached Holder's line, the men laid close

and still, only cocking their guns. But this was enough to alarm

the vigilant savages who hastily retreated, receiving a volley as

they fell back, wounding Black Fish severely, the ball ranging

from his knee along up his thigh and out at the joint shatter-

ing the bone; showing that he received the wound in a squat-

ting position. He was taken to his cabin by three warriors.

 

20 Statement of Joseph Jackson: 1884. Jackson was a prisoner to

the Shawnese and in Chillicothe when attacked by Bowman, as will pres-

ently be seen.

21 Statements of Geo. M. Bedinger, a survivor: 1839 and 1843.

Jackson also speaks of the return of this hunter, and his being killed.



Bowman's Expedition Against Chillicothe

Bowman's Expedition Against Chillicothe.   455

 

He called upon them not to leave him but to stand their ground

and all die together.22

The return of the party of observation and the volley fired

by Holder's men, fully aroused the slumbering occupants of

Chillicothe. There was immediately a great out-cry and con-

fusion. About seventy-five warriors taking advantage of the

darkness escaped through the lines which surrounded the town.

The squaws and children with a few men made a rush for the

council house. According to previous orders Holder's division

now advanced and set fire to the town. The men reached the

board shanties on the south, and at once began the work of

plundering, giving the savages ample time to fortify themselves

by fastening securely the door of the huge building they had

congregated in. The houses were set on fire as fast as they

were plundered.  This attracted the attention of the other

divisions, portions of which, without orders, left their positions

and joined in the work of securing valuables.

No sooner were the cabins all ablaze than an attempt was

made to capture the Council house; but the assailants were so

warmly received that they were glad to fall back. It now be-

gan to grow light in the east and Bowman satisfied that it would

be impossible to capture the stronghold of the enemy sent word

to Logan's and Harrod's divisions to fall back to the south of

the town. Meanwhile, in front, a desultory fire was kept up.

between some of Holder's men and those within the Council

house; the stragglers from the other divisions also took part.

When it became broad daylight, a few men, in their endeavors

to get as near the building as possible in hopes of killing some

of the inmates, found themselves so much exposed that to at-

tempt a retreat would be certain to draw upon them a volley

from the council house. They had taken a position behind a

large white oak log not over thirty yards from the enemy.

Some of the party in moving their bodies to get a good position

for delivering their fire, were killed.  The survivors finally

heard a voice calling to them to retreat; but how this was to be

done was the question, Adjutant Bedinger concluded to make

 

22These interesting details are given by Jackson.



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the attempt. The spot where the men lay was south east of

the Council house. Bedinger sprang up, ran a very zigzag race

across the stream east, and escaped unhurt, although a volley

was fired at him. The rest of the party immediately ran to

an empty cabin near by reaching it before the enemy had time

to reload their rifles.

The men remained in the hut some time, trying to devise

means to escape. Finally a novel plan was hit upon. Each one

provided himself with a plank and holding it upon his back

slantingly so as to protect his body from the bullets of the

savages, started upon the run.  This movable backwork-

rather than breastwork - proved amply sufficient to save the

lives of all; for they all escaped over the fork of Massie's

creek near by; dropping, each one, his puncheon as he entered

in safety the cornfield at that point.23

During all this time the scenes being enacted within the

Council house were of a strange character.  Assatakoma, a

conjurer, nearly one hundred years old, kept constantly calling

out, encouraging the few  warriors congregated there-not

over twenty-five in number, with about fifteen boys who could

shoot; but quite a number had no guns to use. The squaws

and children kept up a great noise- screaming and whooping.

The Indians managed to make what answered for port-holes,

between the logs and in the roof of the building, through which

they fired. Joseph Jackson who had been a prisoner to the

Shawanese since February of the preceding year, calmly sur-

veyed the scene - tied as he was to a post in the midst of the

shrieking crowd. At the first alarm, he had seized a rifle and

started for the woods, but was overtaken by a warrior, brought

back, and secured, as just related.

As soon as Bowman determined not to attempt the cap-

ture of the Council house, deeming it too strong to be assailed

with rifles only, and had called back the divisions to the south-

west of the town, the principal effort was to secure horses - a

large number being found near by in a kind of commons-

 

23 Statement of Bland W. Ballard, a survivor; 1844. Jackson, Bed-

inger and others are corroborative.



Bowman's Expedition Against Chillicothe

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evidently driven in from the woods by the flies. One hundred

and eighty were captured.24 The army was thus engaged when

the surviving stragglers who had been in such close quarters

behind the oak log, arrived. The sun was then about two hours

high. The amount of plunder taken from the cabins that had

been burned and from others on the west side of the town

not fired, was considerable, consisting of silver ornaments-of

which a large number was found - and clothing. By nine

o'clock everything being arranged marching orders were given

and the army started upon its return having lost eight men

killed in exposing themselves to the fire of the savages within

the Council house and one wounded. The trail out was the

route taken; the men, as is usual with volunteers and militia

upon such occasion, being at first in considerable confusion.

the principal cause, however, was this: soon after daylight

a negro woman came out of the Council house as if having

escaped the savages, and reached the army without harm. She

declared that Simon Girty with one hundred Shawanese from

Piqua-twelve miles distant-was hourly expected.      The

commander gave little credence to this tale; but the story get-

ting among the men and the number of Girty's savages increas-

ing to five hundred by the time of starting, caused some con-

sternation - resulting in a disposition of many to be off re-

gardless of the manner of their going; but order was soon re-

stored and the march continued.

After making fourteen miles, Indians were discovered in

pursuit, soon commencing an attack.  Bowman with great

courage and steadiness called a halt, formed his men in a hol-

low square-ready to meet the savages should they appear in

force. It was soon discovered there were but a few of them,

but as they continued their annoyance, wounding some of the

men, a small detachment charged out and routed them. One

of their number was killed and scalped. Bowman had three

of his men wounded, in all, during the afternoon,-none

killed. After this, they were not again molested by the Indians.

 

24 MS. Notes of James Ray, a survivor, taken in 1833 by Mann

Butler.



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The army reached the Ohio just above the mouth of the Little

Miami, early on the first day of June, where they found the

boats in waiting. The men were soon conveyed across the

stream - the horses swimming. The number of the latter cap-

tured from the savages, reaching the Kentucky shore, was one

hundred and sixty-three.25  The boatmen, while the army was

absent, had remained in the batteaux and canoes moving up

and down the river, for greater safety.

The army now feeling greatly at ease moved leisurely some

three or four miles to the rear of the elevated hills which skirted

the Ohio until a fine spring was reached where it halted. Hunt-

ing and fishing soon supplied the camp and what with rest and

sleep enjoyed, soon gave new life and vigor to all. They were

again in Kentucky where pea-vines, wild clover and wild rye

furnished an abundance of food for the half famished horses.

It was now agreed to have a sale of the horses and other booty;

and then, an equal division was to be made of the amount

realized. The captains were to keep the account of the amount

purchased by their respective companies and when it should be

ascertained that any one had bid in property exceeding the

amount of his dividend he was to pay the surplus- having a

credit of one year--to his commanding officer. The several

sums thus collected were to be divided among such as did not

purchase to the full amount of their dividend. The vendue

realized a little over thirty-two thousand pounds, giving to each

one of the two hundred and ninety-six about one hundred and

ten pounds, Continental currency.26  Many purchased more

than that amount; but, as these debtors were scattered after-

ward from Red Stone Old Fort on the Monongahela to the

Falls of the Ohio and Boonesborough, no collections were ever

made, or if made were never paid over to those who were

justly entitled thereto; so, it resulted in each one securing, in

most cases, just what was struck off to him at the vendue.

The Monongaheleans now took to their canoes and made

their way up the Ohio to their homes; while the residue scat-

25 MS. Statement of James Patton, a Lieutenant in Capt. Harrod's

Company.

26Patton's Statement, just cited.



Bowman's Expedition Against Chillicothe

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tered to their various places of abode-the general impression

being that the expedition was far from a failure. The amount

of booty obtained was large; the march had been conducted

outward with great secrecy; and it was evident to all, but for

the accident of the return just as that inauspicious moment of

the Shawanese hunter, the whole village would have been cap-

tured;-as it was, not only many of their cabins were burned,

but much corn was destroyed. It is very evident from the jour-

nals of that day, that the enterprise was looked upon as a suc-

cess.27 The noted leader of the Shawanese nation, Black Fish,

died of his wound in about six weeks from that date. One of

the assailants supposed to have been killed behind the white

oak log near the Council house and numbered among the dead

of the expedition, was found soon after the return march began,

fast asleep and entirely free of any wound. An aged warrior

begged to have the opportunity of killing him; as it would be,

doubtless, the last chance he would ever have of wreaking his

vengeance upon the foe. The request was granted, and he

tomahawked the soldier, who made not the slightest resistance

-who uttered not a single word-as the old savage assailed

him  with the instrument of death;-a priceless boon to the

unhappy man, who no doubt fully expected as his fate horrible

tortures at the stake.

 

27Extract from the Va. Gaz., July 10, 1779 (No. 22): "By a

gentleman from the frontiers we are informed, that Captain Bowman

with 200 volunteers marched from Kentucky against Chillacoffee, the

lower Shawanese town, and surrounded it the 29th of May last (being

the night the moon was totally eclipsed) without being discovered. At

daybreak the next morning he made an attack, and after a short engage-

ment, the Indians with a number of British troops, fled to a small

block house which the red coats had provided for a safe retreat. Captain

Bowman burnt the town, together with a great quantity of corn, ammuni-

tion and stores. He has taken from the enemy 163 valuable horses,

loaded with goods to the amount of 32,000. The Indians had five killed

at the town and were repulsed with loss in two attacks they made on

our party on their return. We had seven men killed in this expedition."