« AnteriorContinuar »
The Cayuga Chief, Logan-Some account of his father
SHJKELLIMUS—Residence of Logan-His friendship for the whites interrupted by their provocations-His fami ly misfortunes—The Shawanee SILVER-HEELS--La gan joins in a war of revenge against the ‘Long-Knives -Battle of the Kenhawa-Treaty of Peace with Gov. ernor Dunmore-Logan's celebrated speech—His history completed—BUCKONGAHELAS, the Delaware head War-Chief-His intercourse with the Christian In. dians-Part which he takes in the Revolution-De. feated by Wayne, in 1794—Anecdotes of him-Death and character.
Few Indians names have been oftener repeated than that of Logan, and yet of scarcely any individual of his race is the history which has reached us less complete. He was a chief of the Six-Nations—a Cayuga—but resided during most of his life in a western settlement, either at Sandusky or upon a branch of the Scioto_there being at the former location, a few years before the Revolution, about three hundred warriors, and about sixty at the latter.
Logan was the second son of Shikellimus; and this is the same person whom Heckewelder describes as “a respectable chief of the Six Nations, who resided at Shamokin (Pennsylvania,) as an agent, to transact business between them and the Government of the State.” In 1747, at a time when the Moravian Missionaries were the object of much groundless hatred and accusation, Shikellimus invited some of them to settle at Shamokin, and they did so. When Count Zinzendorff and Conrad Weiser visited that place, several years before, they were very hospitably entertained by the Chief, who came out to meet them (says Loskiel,) with a large fine melon, for which the Count politely gave him his fur cap in exchange; and thus commenced an intimate acquaintance. He was a shrewd and sober man,-not addicted to drinking, like most of his countrymen, because he never wished to become a fool. Indeed, he built his house on pillars for security against the drunken Indians, and used to ensconce himself within on all occasions of riot and outrage. He died in 1749, attended in his last moments by the good Moravian Bishop Zeisberger, in whose presence, says Loskiel, 'he fell happily asleep in the Lord.'
Logan inherited the talents of his father, but not his prosperity. Nor was this altogether his own fault. He took no part except that of peace-making in the French and English war of 1760, and was ever before and afterwards looked upon as emphatically the friend of the white man. But never was kindness rewarded like his.
In the spring of 1774, a robbery and murder occurred in some of the white settlements on the Ohio, which were charged to the Indians, though perhaps not justly, for it is well known that a large number of civilized adventurers were traversing the frontiers at this time, who sometimes disguised themselves as Indians, and who thought little more of killing one of that people than of shooting a buffalo. A party of these men, land-jobbers and others, undertook to punish the outrage in this case, according to their custom, as Mr. Jetferson expresses it, in a summary way.*
Colonel Cresap, a man infamous for the many murders he had committed on those much injured people, collected a party, and proceeded down the Ken. hawa in quest of vengeance. Unfortunately, a canoe of women and children, with one man only, was been coming from the opposite shore, unarmed, and not at all suspecting an attack from the whites. "Cresap and his party concealed themselves on the bank of the river, and the moment the canoe reached the shure, singled out their objects, and, at one fire, killed
* Notes on Virginia.
every person in it. This happened to be the family of Logan.*
It was not long after this that another massacre took place, under still more aggravated circumstances, not far from the present site of Wheeling, Virginia, a considerable party of the Indians being decoyed by the whites, and all murdered, with the exception of a little girl. Among these, too, was both a brother of Logan, and a sister, and the delicate situation of the latter increased a thousand fold both the barbarity of the crime and the rage of the survivors of the family.
The vengeance of the Chieftain was indeed provoked beyond endurance; and he accordingly distinguished himself by his daring and bloody exploits in the war which now ensued, between the Virginians on the one side, and a combination mainly of Shawanees, Mingoes and Delawares on the other. The former of these tribes were particularly exasperated by the unprovoked murder of one of their favorite chiefs, SILVER-HEELS, who had in the kindest manner undertaken to escort several white traders across the woods from the Ohio to Albany, a distance of nearly two hundred miles.t
The civilized party prevailed, as usual. A decisive battle was fought upon the 10th of October, of the year last named, on Point Pleasant at the mouth of the Great Kenhawa in West-Virginia, between the Confederates, commanded by Logan, and one thousand Virginian riflemen constituting the left wing of an army led by Governor Dunmore against the Indians of the North-West. This engagement has by some annalists,—who however have rarely given the particulars of it—been called the most obstinate ever contested with the natives, and we therefore annex an official account of it which has fortunately been brought to light within a few years.
“Monday morning, (the 10th,] about half an hour before sun-rise, two of Capt. Russell's company discovered a large party of Indians about a mile from Camp; one of which was shot down by the Indians. * Jefferson.
The other made his escape and brought in the intelligence; two or three minutes after, two of Capt. Shelby's men came in and confirmed the account.
Col. Andrew Lewis being informed thereof, immediately ordered out Col. Charles Lewis to take the command of one hundred and fifty men, of the Augusta troops ; and with him went Capt. Dickinson, Capt. Harrison, Capt. Wilson, Capt. John Lewis of Augusta, and Capt. Lockridge, which made the first division; Col. Fleming was ordered to take command of one hundred and fifty more, consisting of Botetrout, Bedford and Fincastle troops_viz: Capt. Bufort of Bedford, Capt. Love of Botetrout, and Capt. Shelby and Capt. Russell of Fincastle, which made the second division. Col. Charles Lewis's division marched to the right some distance from the Ohio; Col. Fleming, with his division, up the bank of the Ohio, to the left. Col. Lewis's division had not marched quite half a mile from camp, when about sun-rise, an attack was made on the front of his division, in a most vigorous manner, by the united tribes of Indians, Shawanees, Delawares, Mingoes, laways, and of several other nations, in number not less than eight hundred, and by many thought to be a thousand. In this heavy attack Col. Lewis received a wound which in a few hours occasioned his death, and several of his men fell on the spot; in fact the Augusta division was forced to give way to the heavy fire of the enemy. In about a minute after the attack on Col. Lewis's divis the enemy engaged the front of Col. Fleming's division, on the Ohio; and in a short time the Colonel received two balls through his left arm, and one through his breast, and after animating the officers and soldiers, in a spirited manner, to the pursuit of victory, retired to camp:
The loss of the brave Colonels from the field was sensibly felt by the officers in particular; but the Augusta troops being shortly after reinforced from camp by Col. Field, with his company, together with Capt. M'Dowel, Capt. Mathews and Capt. Stuart, from Augusta, and Capt. Arbuckle and Capt. M'Clenahan, from Botetrout, the enemy, no longer able to maintain their ground, was forced to give way til they were in a line with the troops of Col. Fleming, eft in action on the bank of Ohio. In this precipitate retreat Col. Field was killed. Capt. Shelby was then ordered to take the command. During this time, it being now twelve o'clock, the action continued extremely hot.
The close underwood, and many steep banks and logs, greatly favored their retreat, and the bravest of their men made the best use of them, whilst others were throwing their dead into the Ohio and carrying off their wounded.
After twelve o'clock the action, in a small degree, abated; but continued, except at short intervals, sharp enough till after one o'clock. Their long retreat gave them a most advantageous spot of ground, from whence it appeared to the officers so difficult to dislodge them that it was thought most advisable to stand as the line was then formed, which was about a mile and a quarter in length, and
had till then sustaineil a constant and equal weight of the action, from wing to wing. It was till about half an hour of sunset they continued firing on us scattering shots, which we returned to their disadvantage; at length night coming on, they found a safe retreat. They had not the satisfaction of carrying off any of our men's scalps, save one or two stragglers, whom they killed before the engagement. Many of their dead they scalped rather than we should have them; but our troops scalped upwards of twenty of those who were first killed. It is beyond a doubt their loss in number far exceeds ours, which is considerable."*
The Virginians lost in this action two of their Co. lonels, four Captains, many subordinate officers, and about fifty privates killed, besides a much larger number wounded. The Governor himself was not engaged in the battle, being at the head of the right wing
* Niles's Kegister, Vol. XII.