ABOUT the latter end of the month of March, or the beginning of April of the year 1782, the western indians began to make incursions upon the frontier of Ohio, Washington, Youghagany and Westmoreland counties, which has been their constant practice ever since the [...]m­mencement of the present war be [...] [...] United States and Great Britain.

In consequence of these predat [...] [...], the principal officers of th [...] [...] mentioned counties, viz. Colonels, [...] [...] ­liamson [...]nd Marshal, tried every meth [...] [...] their power to set on foot an expedition [...] [...]gainst the Wyandot towns, which they [...] effect no other way than by giving all [...] [...]sible encouragement to volunteers. [...] plan was as follows. Every man [...] himself with a horse, a gun, and [...] months provisions, should be exempted [...] two tours of militia duty. Likewise every one who had been plundered by the Indians, should if the plunder could be fond at their towns, have it again, prov [...]g his property: and all horses lost on the expedi­tion [Page 3] by unavoidable accident were to be replaced by horses taken in the enemy's country.

The time appointed for the rendezvous, or general meeting of the volunteers, was fixed to be on the 20th May, and the place, the old Mingoe town on the west side of the river Ohio, about forty miles be­low Fort Pitt by land, and I think about 75 by water.

Col. Crawford was solicited by the Gen­eral voice of these western counties and districts to command the expedition. He accordingly set out as volunteer and came to Fort Pitt two days before the time ap­pointed for the assembling of the men. As there was no surgeon yet appointed to go with the expedition, Col. Crawford begged the favour of Gen. Irvine to permit me to accompany him, (my consent having been previously asked) to which the General a­greed provided Col. Gibson did not object.

Having obtained permission of the Colo­nel I left Fort Pitton Tuesday, May 1st, & the next day about one in the afternoon arrived at the Mingoe bottom. The volun­teers had not all crossed the river until Fri­day morning the 24th then they distri­buted [Page 4] themselves into eighteen companies, choosing their captains by vote.

There were chosen also, one Col. Com­mandant, four field and one brigade-major.

There were four hundred and sixty five who voted.

We began our march of Saturday May 25th, making almost a due west course, and and on the 4th, day reached the old Mora­vian town upon the river Muskingum, a­bout 60 miles from the river Ohio. Some of the men having lost their horses on the night preceding returned home. Tuesday the 28th in the evening, Major Brenton, and Captain Bean, went some distance from camp to reconnoitre: Having gone about one quarter of a mile they saw two India is up on whom they fired, & then returned to camp▪ This was the first place in which we were dis­covered as we understood afterwards. On Thursday the 4th, of June, which was the eleventh day of our march, about one o'clock we came to the spot where the town of Sandusky formerly stood: the inhabitants had moved 18 miles lower down the creek, near the lower Sandusky; but as neither our guides nor any that were with us, had known any thing of their removal we be­gan [Page 5] to conjecture that there were no Indian towns nearer than the lower Sandusky, which was at least 40 miles distant.

However, after refreshing our horses, we advanced on in search of some of their set­tlements but had scarcely got the distance of three or four miles from the old town when a number of our men expressed their desire to return, some of them alledging they had only five day's provision: upon which the field officers and Captains, de­termined, in council, to proceed that af­ternoon, and no longer. Previous to the calling of this council, a small party of light horse had been sent forward to reconnoi­tre.

I shall here remark, by the way, that there are a great many extensive plains in that country; the woods in general grow very thin, free from brush and underwood; so that light horse-men may advance a consid­erable distance before an army without be­ing much exposed to the enemy.

Just as the council ended, an express re­turned from the above mentioned party of light horse with intelligence, ▪that they had been about three miles in front, and had seen a large body of Indians running [Page 6] towards them.—In a short time we saw the rest of the light horse, who joined us, and having gone one mile further met a number of Indians who had partly gotten possesion of a piece of woods before us, whilst they were in the plains; but our men alighting from their horses and rushing in­to the woods, soon obliged them to retreat from the place.

The enemy being by this time reinforced, flanked to the right, and part of them com­ing in our rear, quickly made the action more serious. The firing continued very warm on both sides from four o'clock until the dusk of the evening: each party main­taining its ground. Next morning about six o'clock some guns were discharged at the distance of two or three hundred yards▪ which continued till day, doing little or no execution on either side.

The field officers then assembled and a greed as the enemy were every moment in­creasing, & we had already a number wounded, to retreat that night. The whole body was to form into three lines, keeping the wounded in the centre.

We had four killed & twenty three wounded, of the latter, seven very danger­ously, [Page 7] on which account as many biers were got ready to carry them; most of the rest were slightly wounded, none so bad but they could ride on horse-back. After dark the officers went on the out posts, and brought in all the men as expeditiously as they could▪ Just as the troops were about to form, sev­eral guns were fired by the enemy, upon which some of our men spoke our & said, our intention was discovered by the Indians who were siting alarm guns. Upon which some in front hurried off, & the rest imme­diately followed, leaving the seven men that were dangerously wounded, some of whom however got off on horseback, by means of some good friends who waited for, and assisted them.

We had not got a quarter of a mile from the field of action, when I heard Col. Crawford calling for his son John Crawford his sON-in-law Maj. Harrison, Maj Rose and William Crawford, his nephews, upon which I came up and told him I believed they were before us—He asked was that the Docter? I told him it was; he then replied they were not in front, and begged of me not to leave him—I promised him I would not.

[Page 8] We then waited & continued calling for these men till the troops had passed us.

The Col. told me his horse had almost given out, that he could not keep up with the troops, and wished some of his friends to remain with him: he then exclaimed a­gainst the militia for riding off in such an irregular manner, and leaving some of the wounded behind, contrary to his orders▪

Presently there came two men riding af­ter us, one of them an old man, the other a lad: we enquired if they had seen any of the above persons? they answered they had not.

By this time there was a very hot firing before us, and as we judged, near where, our main body must have been. Our course was then nearly south-west, but changing it, we went north about two miles, the two men remaining in company with us▪ Judg­ing ourselves, to be now out of the ene­my's lines, we took an east course, taking care to keep at the distance of fifteen or twenty yards apart, and directing ourselves by the north star.

The old man often lagged behind, and when this was the case never failed to call for us to halt for him. When we were near [Page 9] the Sandusky Creek he fell one hundred yards behind and bawled out, as usual, for us to halt. While we were preparing to reprimand him for making a noise, I heard an Indian holloe, as I thouht 150 yards from the man, and partly behind him; and after this we did not hear the man call again, neither did he ever come upto us any more. It was now past midnight, and about day-break Col. Crawford's and the young man's horses gave out, and they left them.

We pursued our journey east ward, and about two o'clock fell in with Capt. Biggs, who had carried Lieut▪ Ashly from the fiield of action who had been dangerously wounded. We then went on about the space of an hour, when a heavy rain coming on, we concluded it was best to encamp, as we were encumbered with the wounded officer.

We then barked four or five trees, made an encampment and a fire in which place we remained that night. Next morning we again prosecuted our journey, and hav­ing gone about three miles, found a deer which had been recently killed. The meat was sliced from the bones and bundled up in the skin, with a tomahawk lying by it. We carried all with us and in advancing a­bout [Page 10] one mile further, espying the smoke of a fire. We then gave the wounded officer into the charge of the young man, desiring him to stay behind whilst the Colonel, the Captain, and myself, walked up as cautious­ly as we could toward the fire. When we came to it, we concluded from several cir­cumstances some of our people had encam­ped there the preceding night. We then went about roasting the venison, and when just about to march observed one of our men coming upon our tracks He seemed at first very shy, but having called to him he came up and told us he was the person who killed the deer, but upon hearing us come up, was afraid of Indians, hid in a thicket and made off. Upon this we gave him some bread and roasted venison and proceed­ed all together on our journey: about two o'clock we came upon the paths by which we had gone out. Capt. Biggs and myself did not think it safe to keep the road. but the Colonel said the Indians would not follow the troops farther than the plains, which we were considerably past. As the wounded of­ficer rode Capt. Biggs' horse I let the Cap­tain mine, the Colonel and myself went a­bout [Page 11] one hundred yards in front, the Cap­tain and the wonded officer in the centre, and the two young men behind. After we had travelled about one mile and a half, several Indians started up within fifteen or twenty steps of the Colonel and me. As we at first discovered only three I immedi­ately got behind a large black oak, made ready my piece and raised it up to take sight, when the Colonel called to me twice not to fire: upon that one of the Indians ran up to the colonel and took him by the hand.

They were Delaware Indians of the Win­genim tribe. Captain. Biggs fired amongst them but did no execution; they then told us to call these people & make them come, else they would go and kill them; which the Colonel did but they four got off and esca­ped for that time.

The Colonel and I were taken to the Indian camp, which was about half a mile from the place where, we were captured.

On Sunday evening five Delawares who had posted themselves at some distance fur­ther on the road, brought back to the camp, where we lay, Captain Biggs and Lieutenant Ashley's scalps with an Indian scalp which [Page 12] Captain Biggs had taken in the field of ac­tion▪ They also brought in Biggs' horse and mine, they told us the other two men got away from them.

Monday morning the tenth of June, we were paraded to march to Sandusky, about 33 miles distant: they had eleven prisoners of us and four scalps, the Indians being sev­enteen in number. Col. Crawford was ver­y desirous to see a certain Simeon Girty, who lived among the Indians, & was on that account permitted to go to town the same night, with two warriors to guard him have­ing orders at the same time to pass by the place where the Colonel had turned out his horse that they might if possible, find him.

The rest of us were taken as far as the old town, which was within eight miles of the new.

Tuesday morning, the 11th, Col. Crawford was brought out on purpose to be marched in with the other prisoners. I asked the Co­lonel if he had seen Mr. Girty? he told me he had, and that Girty had promised to do every thing in his power for him, but that the Indians were very much enraged against the prison­ers: [Page 13] particularly Capt. Pipe, one of the Chiefs He likewise told me that Girty had informed him that his son-in-law, Col. Harrison and his Nephew William Crawford, were made prisoners by the Shawanese, but had been par­doned. This Capt. Pipe had come from the towns about an hour before Col. Crawford, and had painted all the prisoner's faces black.

As he was painting me he told me I should go to the Shawanese towns and see my friends.

When the Col. arrived he painted him black also, told him he was glad to see him and that he would have him shaved when he came to see his friends at the Wyandot town. When we marched the Colonel and I were kept back be­tween Pipe and Wyngenim, the two Deleware chiefs, the other nine prisoners were sent for­ward with another party of Indians. As we went a long we saw four of the prisoners lying by the path tomabawked and scalped, some of them were at the distance of half a mile from each other When we arrived within half a mile of the place where the Colonel was execu­ted, we overtook the five prisoners that remai­ned alive: The Indians had caused them to sit down on the ground, as they did, also the Col. and me at some distance from them, I was there given in charge to an Indian fellow to be ta­ken to the Shawanese towns.

[Page 14] In the place where we were now made to sit down there was a number of squaws and boys who fell on the five prisoners tomahawked them. There was a certain John M'Kinley a­mongst the prisoners, formerly an officer in the 13th, Virginia regiment, whose head an old squaw cut off, and the Indians kicked it about upon the ground. The young Indian fellows came often where the Colonel and I were and dashed the scalps in our faces. We were then conducted along toward the place where the Colonel was afterwards executed: When we came within about half a mile of the place, Si­meon Girty met us, with several Indians on horseback: He spoke to the Colonel, but as I was about one hundred and fifty yards behind could not hear what passed between them.

Almost every Indian we met struck us either with sticks or their fists. Girty waited till I was brought up, and asked was that Doctor?—I told him, yes, and went towards him reach­ing out my hand, but he bid me begone, and called me a dam'd rascal; upon which the fel­low who had me in charge pulled me along.

Girty rode up after me and told me I was to go to the Shawanese towns.

When we were come to the fire the Colonel was stripped naked, ordered to sit down by the [Page 15] fire, and then they beat him with sticks and their fists. Presently after I was treated in the same manner. They then tied a rope to the foot of a post about fifteen feet high, bound the Colonels hands behind his back and fastened the rope to the ligature between his wrists.

The rope was long enough either to sit down or walk round the post once or twice and return the same way. The Colonel then called to Girty and asked if they intended to burn him? Girty answered yes. The Colonel said he would take it patiently. Upon this Capt. Pipe a Delaware Chief, made a speech to the Indians viz. about thirty or forty men, sixty or seventy squaws and boys.

When the speech was finished they all yelled a hedious and hearty assent to what had been said. The Indian men then took up their guns and shot powder into the Colonel's body, from his feet as far up as his neck. I think not less than seventy loads were discharged up­on his naked body. They then crowded about him, and to the best of my observation, cut off his ears: when the throng had dispersed a little I saw the blood running from both sides of his head in consequence thereof.

The fire was about six or seven yards from the post to which the Colonel was tied: it was made [Page 16] of small hickory poles, burnt quite through in the middle, each end of the poles remaining a­bout six feet in length. Three or four Indians by turns would take up, individually, one of these burning pieces of wood and apply it to his naked body, already burned black with powder. These tomentors presented them­selves on every side of him, so that which ever way he ran round the post they met him with the burning faggots and poles. Some of the squaws look broad boards upon which they would put a quantity of burning coals and hot embers, and throw on him, so that in a short time he had nothing but coals of fire and hot ashes to walk upon. In the midst of these ex­treme tortures he called to Simeon Girty and begged of him to shoot him: But Girty ma­king no answer he called to him again. Girty then by way of derision, told the Colonel he had no gun, at the same time turning about to an In­dian who was behind him, laughed heartily and by all his gestures seemed delighted at the horrid scene.

Girty then came up to me and bade me pre­pare for death. He said, however, I was not to die at that place, but to be burnt at the Shawanese towns. He swore by G—d I need not expect to escape death, but should suffer it in all its extremities.

[Page 17] He then observed that some prisoners had given him to understand that if our people had him they would not hurt him; for his part, he said, he did not believe it, but desired to know my opinion of the matter; but being at that time in great anguish and distress for the torments the Colonel was suffering before my eyes, as well as the expectation of under­going the same fate in two days. I made lit­tle or no answer. He expressed a great deal of ill will for Col. Gibson, and said he was one of his greatest enemies, and more to the same purpose, to all which I paid very little attenti­on.

Col. Crawford at this period of his suffer­ings, besought the Almighty to have mercy on his soul, spoke very low, and bore his tor­ments with the most manly fortitude. He continued in all the extremities of pain for an hour & three quarters or two hours longer, as near as I can judge, when at last being almost spent he lay down on his belly: They then scalp­ed him & repeatedly threw the scalp in my face, te ling me "that was my great Captain."—An old squaw (whose appearance every way answered the ideas people entertain of the devil) got a [...]ard, took a parcel of coals & ashes & laid them on his back and head after he had [Page 18] been scalped: He then raised himself upon his feet and began to walk round the post: They next put a burning stick to him as usual, but he seemed more insensible of pain than before.

The Indian fellow who had me in charge, now took me away to Capt. Pipe's house, a­bout three quarters of a mile from the place of the Colonel's execution. I was bound all night and thus prevented from seeing the last of the horrid spectacle. Next morning, be­ing June 12th, the Indian untied me, painted me black, and we set off for the S [...]wanese town, which he told me was somewhat less than forty miles from that place. We soon came to the spot where the Colonel was burnt [...] was partly in our way; I saw his bones [...]ying amongst the remains of the fire, almost burnt to ashes, I suppose after he was dead the had laid his body on the fire.

The Indian told me, that was my Big Captain and gave the scalp halloo. He was on horseback and drove me before him.

I pretended to this Indian I was ignorant of the death I was to die at the Shawanese town, affected as cheerful a countenance as possible and asked him if we were not to live togeth­er as brothers in one house when we should get to the town? He seemed well pleased, and [Page 19] said, yes. He then asked me if I could make a wigwam? I told him I could—he then seemed more friendly—we went that day as near as I can judge about 25 miles, the course partly south west—The Indian told me we should next day come to the town the sun be­ing in such a direction, pointing nearly south.

At night when we went to rest I attempted very often to unite myself, but the Indian was Extremely vigilent and scarce ever shut his eyes that night. About day break he got up and untied me: He next began to mend up the fire, and as the gnats were troublesome I asked him if I should make a smoak behind him? he said, yes, I then took the end of a dogwood [...] which had been burnt down to about eighteen inches in length: It was the longest stick I could find, yet too small for the purpose I had in view: then I picked up another smaller stick and taking a coal of fire between them went behind him: then turning suddenly about I struck him on the head with all the force I was master of; which so stunned him that he fell forwards with both his hands into the fire, but seeing him recover and get up, I seized his gun while he ran off howling in a most fearful man­ner—I followed him with a determination to shoot him down, but pulling back the cock of [Page 20] the gun with great violence I believe I broke the main spring. I pursued him, however a­bout thirty yards still endeavouring to fire the gun, but could not; then going back to the fire I took his blanket, a pair of new mokkisons, his hoppes, powder horn, bullet bag, (together with the gun) and marched off, directing my course toward the five o'clock mark; about half an hour before sunset I came to the plains which I think are about sixteen miles wide. I laid me down in a thicket till dark, and then by the assistance of the north star made my way through them and got into the woods before morning. I proceeded on the next day about noon crossed the paths by which our troops had none out: These paths are nearly east and west but I went due north all that afternoon with a view to avoid the enemy.

In the evening I began to be very faint, and no wonder; I had been six days a prisoner; the last two days of which I had eat nothing, and but very little the first three or four: There were wild gooseberries in abundance in the woods, but being unripe required mastication, which at that time I was not able to perform on account of a blow received from an Indian on the jaw with the back of a tomahawk: There was a weed that grew plentifully in that [Page 21] place, the juice of which I knew to be grate­ful and nourishing; I gathered a bundle of the same, took up my lodging under a large spread­ing beach tree and having sucked plentifully of the juice, went to sleep. Next day I made a due east course which I generally kept the rest of my journey.

I often imagined my gun was only wood bound and tried every method I could devise to un­screw the lock but never could effect it having no knife nor any thing sitting for the purpose; I had now the satisfaction to find my jaw be­gan to mend and in four or five days could chew any vegetable proper for nourishment, but finding my gun only a useless burden left her in the wilderness. I had no apparatus for making fire to sleep by so that I could get but little rest for the gnats and musquetoes; there are like­wise a great many swamps in the beach ridge which occasioned me very often to lie wet:—This ridge through which I travelled is about twenty miles broad, the ground in general very there are, however, very few springs, yet wells might easily be dug in all parts of that ridge; the timber on it is very lofty, but it is no easy matter to make a strait course through the same the moss growing as high upon the south side [Page 22] of the trees as on the north. There are a great many white oaks, ash and hickory trees that grow among the beach timber; there are likewise some places on the ridge, perhaps for three or four continued miles where there is little or no beach, and in such spots, black, white oak, ash, and hickory abound. Sugar trees grow there also to a very great bulk: The soil is remarkably good, the ground a lit­tle uneven, with some small rivulets and a few springs. When I got out of the beach ridge and near the river Muskingum the lands were more broken but equally as rich; abounding with brooks and springs of water: There are also several small creeks that empty into that riv­er the bed of which is more than a mile wide in many oaks, walnut, hickory and sugar trees in the greatest abundance. In all parts of the country through which I came the game was very plenty, viz. deer, turkies and pheasants. I likewise saw a great many vestiges of bears and and some elks.

I crossed the river Muskingum about three or four miles below Fort Laurence, and crossing all the paths aimed for the Ohio river. All his time my food was gooseberries, young net­tles, the juice of herbs, a few service berries, [Page 23] and some May apples, likewise, two young blackbirds and a turripine which I devoured raw. When my food sat heavy on my stomach I used to eat a little wild ginger which put all to rights.

I came upon Ohio river about five miles be­low Fort M'Intosh in the evening of the 21st, day after I had made my escape, and on the 22d, about seven o'clock in the morning, being the 4th, day of July, arrived safe, though very much fatigued, at the Fort.

[Page 24]


COL. CRAWFORD, was about 50 years of age, had been an old warrior a­gainst the savages. He distinguished himself early as a volunteer in the last war, and was taken notice of by Col. (now Gen) Washing­ton, who procured for him the Commission of Ensign. As a Partisan he showed himself very active, and was greatly successful: He took several Indian towns, and did great service in scouting, patrolling and defending the fron­tiers. At the commencement of this war he raised a regiment in the back country by his own exertions; He had the Commission of Col. in the Continental army, and acted brave­ly on several occasions in the years '76, '77, and at other times. He held his Commission at the time he took command of the militia, in the aforesaid expedition against the Indians; most probably he had it with him when he was taken: He was a man of good judgment singu­lar good nature, great humanity and remark­able for his hospitality to strangers; no man therefore could be more regretted than the wor­thy and amiable Crawford.


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