Sunday, April 25, 2010

Attack On John Buchanan's Station, 1792.

An account of the attack, by the Creeks and Cherokees, upon Buchanan’s Station, on the 30th September, 1792.

On the 30th September, about midnight, John Buchanan’s Station, four miles south of Nashville, (at which sundry families had collected, and fifteen gunmen) was attacked by a party of Creeks and Lower Cherokees supposed to consist of three or four hundred. Their approach was suspected by the running of cattle, that had taken fright at them, and, upon examination, they were found rapidly advancing within ten yards of the gate; from this place and distance they received the first fire from the man who discovered them, (John Mc. Rory.) They immediately returned the fire, and continued a very heavy and constant firing upon the station, (blockhouse, surrounded with a stockade) for an hour; and were repulsed with considerable loss, without injuring man, woman, child, in the station.

During the whole time of attack, the Indian were not more distant than ten yards from the blockhouse, and often in large numbers round the lower walls, attempting to put fire to it. One ascended the roof with a torch, where he was shot, and falling to the ground, renewed his attempts to fire the bottom logs, and was killed. The Indians fired 30 balls through port-hole of the over jutting, which lodged in the roof in the circumference of a hat, and those sticking in the walls on the outside, were very numerous. Upon viewing the ground next morning, it appeared that the fellow who was shot from the roof, was a Cherokee half- breed of the Running Water, known by the whites by the name of Tom Tunbridge’s step-son, the son of a French woman by an Indian, and there was much blood and signs that many dead had been dragged off, and litters having been made to carry their wounded to their horses, which they had left a mile from the station. Near the blockhouse were found several swords, hatchets, pipes, kettles, and budgets of different Indian articles; one of the swords was a fine Spanish blade, and richly mounted in the Spanish fashion. In the morning previous to the attack, Jonathan Gee, and -----Clayfon were sent out as spies and on the ground, among other articles left by the Indians, were found a handkerchief and a moccasin, known one to belong to Gee, and the other to Clayton, hence it is supposed they are killed.

From the best accounts, the Indians who attacked Buchanan’s station on the 30th September, 1792, appeared to have been, Creeks from 400 to 500;Cherokees, 200; Shawanese, from 30 to 40; of whom, three were killed, and seven wounded. The former were, Tunbridge’s step-son, left on the ground; the Shawanese warrior, dragged off; a Creek chief, dragged off. The latter were, John Watts, with a ball through one thigh, and lodged in the other, supposed dangerous, but now on recovery; Unacata, or White Man-killer, supposed dangerous, but now on the recovery; the Dragging Canoe’s Brother, (alias) the White Owl’s Son, supposed mortal the same who was at Detroit; a young warrior of the Look out, supposed mortal; a young warrior of the Running Water, on the recovery: a Creek warrior, since dead. warrior of the Running water since dead.

Of the signers a the treaty of Holston, besides Watts, there was the Middle Striker and the Otter Lifter. This Unacata mentioned above, among the wounded, left Pensacola the day Watts arrived there, aid making very little halt at his own house came on with his wife to this place, and stayed with me ten days immediately preceding time he set out with Watts for war ate and drank constantly at my table, was treated in the kindest manner an made the strongest professions of friendship during his stay, and at his departure. His visit had not even the color of business, nor could it be extracted from him what he had seen or heard at Pensacola. It would seem as if he had come as a spy.

It also appears that there were sundry young warriors of the Cherokees along with Watts, besides those who live in the five Lower towns, particularly John Walker and John Fields, two young half breeds who have been raised among and, by the white people, in whom every body who knew them had the utmost confidence. The former is quite stripling and apparently thee most innocent, good natured youth I ever saw. They were both at the treaty of Holston, and have been repeatedly here since. They acted as the advance, or spies to Watts’ party, and killed Gee and Clayton.

The Cherokees say the Creeks have long been boasting that they were men. and warriors but that they proved to great cowards, and that most of them kept such a distance from the station, that they could hardly shoot a ball to it. Watts is called Colonel Watts since his return from Pensacola.


Anonymous said...

hello, mr. segelquist i read the account of the buchanan station attack. it was very interesting. i was looking for any mention of the shawnee chief tecumseh's older brother-chiksika-in the article. he was killed in this battle. would you have any information on his death at this battle? i hope to hear from you, denise

Dennis Segelquist said...

Sorry for taken so long to answer I looked at the index and there is no info on Chikslka at the battle.

Anonymous said...

For Chiksika's (Cheeseekau's) death at Buchanan's Station see John Sugden's Tecumseh: A Life.