Attack on Fort Randolph

Frontier Advance on the Upper Ohio, 1778-1779
(Madison: The Wisconsin Historical Society, 1916)

Capt. Matthew Arbuckle to Gen. Edward Hand.
Greenbrier June 2nd 1778.


I was unfortunate anaugh after my return from Williamsburg to this place in a persuit after a party of Indians to receive a wound in by [my] Knee occasioned by a fall on some rocks, which disabled me from returning to my post as soon as I expected. I have since my recovery waited the arival of the draughts from Rockbridge county, as I had a considerable quantity of Lead &C. to carry down, & before this Instant have never been informed, them people totally refuses going on the command. I shall now set off in a few days & thought absolutely necessary to acquient you, in this way of the accts recd from Capt McKee ye 27th last month, on the 16th Sd Instant, Lieut Gilmore was wounded by the Indians a little distance from the garrison, but got in, a soldier going to the place where he was shot at soon after, was Kill'd, immediately they found themselves surrounded on all quarters, & a smart fire on the fort insued, - Capt McKee sent out the granadeer squaw to speake to her friends, with a speech from the governor; they made a pretence of makeing peace & scopatha with one more was sent out under cover of the guns, to meet three of them, one of which came into the fort, Capt [McKee] apprehended by him he was only trifleing with them in order to get an advantage, & the only thing they larned was from Ketty she says there was three hundred that they Intended up the Kenawa, & to Keers creek, that a number were to meet them there, on their return and the garrison they would have, after telling the people in the garrison they might as well surrender for they had Killed all their Cattle, (which is actualy so) out of one hundred, one only is left, which came daily to the fort. I must threfor beg the garrison may get proper supply in time, otherwise we shall be greatly distressed Capt McKee dispatched two soldiers to give notice of the aproach of the indians on this place, which passed them, at the meadows within 20 miles, the people were in the utmost confusion, every one flying to forst, & no men were imbodyed here, on ye 29th may they attacked Colo Donnallys fort gaured only with 25 men, who made a brave diffense from sunrise till 3 oclock in the evening when Colo Saml Lewis & myself with a party of 66 men, determined to relieve them march'd up, fired on the enemy who gave way on every side & let us pass in every man unhurt. seventeen of the Indians were Kill'd dead in the spot. the[y] continued their siege till night when they hall'd nine of their men away, the rem'd we sculped in the morning, they came well aquipped with pack horses and driveing cattle, but the campaign I believe is partly broake up, no mischief has been done since the Battle, three men were kill'd that day, by their imprudance & one shot through a port hole in the fort. as their first attack was voielent & had at first possession of the most of them, but was soon obld to retreat.

I am your Exclny Obd Servt
Mathew Arbuckle

Exploration, Settlement and Conflict (1600-1799)