Wednesday, May 19, 2010

North Carolina Indians Attacks 1759 & 1760.

The families of North Carolina who lived on the waters of the Yadkin and Catawba rivers and lived with the Creeks and Cherokees, the Indians had been friendly with the English. families for many years but in the year of 1759, the Indians declared war on the English. This page tells some of he stories of some of those families, and their fight to save their homes and their very lives.

Authors note. This information comes from a book called. “The History of North Carolina from 1584 to 1783.

October, 1759, the people who had made their homes on the waters of the Yadkin and Catawba heard with dismay that the Creeks and Cherokees, theretofore friendly, had declared war against the English. Bands of Indians began to pass the defiles of the mountains and roam along the foothills. A reign of terror set in. Accounts of atrocities and butcheries and of destroyed homes came thick and fast to Salisbury and Bethabara. They were intensely harrowing, while some of the escapes were marvellous. Many brave men, reluctant to abandon their homes, fortified them with palisades, and forts or stronghouses were erected where neighboring families could assemble for safety. The men slept with their rifles at hand, and the most resolute were in dread of stealthy attack, of ambush and of having their houses burned at night. It was then that Fort Defiance and other forts in that region were hastily constructed by the people.

The narratives of those who escaped massacre were heartrending, while many men, women and children fell victims to the cruel tomahawk of the merciless foe. Few particular accounts of these individual experiences have been preserved; but all the section west of the Catawba and of the upper Yadkin was desolated. Fort Dobbs, where Colonel Waddell was stationed, was, on February 27, 1760, unsuccessfully assailed by the hostiles; and information came through the "Little Carpenter" that Bethabara would be attacked, and preparations were made for the defense. At length a large body of Cherokees stealthily surrounded the town ; but hearing the village bell ring, they supposed themselves discovered and retired.

Again they approached just as the night watchman blew his trumpet, and they withdrew, and then desisted, although during that spring they remained for six weeks in the vicinity devastating the country. Among those who found refuge at Bethabara was a farmer named Fish and his son, who had escaped from their home on the Yadkin. Anxious to see if their house had been burned, they prevailed on another refugee, a stranger, to return with them to ascertain. On the way they were ambushed. Fish and his son fell, while the stranger was pierced by several arrows, one of which, passing through his body, protruded from his back.

However, he escaped the Indians, and seeking to return, forded the Yadkin, where he soon saw another company of savages approaching. Again plunging into the river, he crossed and succeeded in eluding them. A storm set in, and he wandered all night in a pelting rain, suffering torture from his wounds, and in dread of being overtaken. Thus passed twenty-four hours, when at length he reached Bethabara, where the arrows were skilfully extracted by the good Dr. Bonn. Unfortunately the name of this man was not recorded.

A detachment of soldiers marched out to give burial to the w»inm bodies of Fish and his son. On their way they found a deflated farmer besieged and defending his home, which the savages had already succeeded in setting on fire. They quickly drove the hostiles off and saved the farmer and his children. The next day, March 12th, came an appeal for help from Walnut Cove, which was surrounded by the Indians. A company hastened to their rescue and brought in the survivors. A farmer, Robinson, had constructed a palisade around his house and resolutely made defense. Eventually he was driven from it into his log house, where he continued the struggle. At length his last load of powder was exhausted and he and his wife and children fell victims to the bloody tomahawk. Soon, however, sufficient soldiers arrived to secure protection, and on Easter Sunday, 1760, as many as four hundred soldiers attended the church services at Bethabara.

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