Fisher Family Genealogy

"The Lochry (Clark's) Expedition" Addenda To the Pathfinders of Jefferson County, Vol. 6, No. 2 & 3, 384-392

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  • Title "The Lochry (Clark's) Expedition" Addenda To the Pathfinders of Jefferson County, Vol. 6, No. 2 & 3, 384-392 
    Short Title "The Lochry (Clark's) Expedition" Addenda To the Pathfinders of Jefferson County, Vol. 6, No. 2 & 3, 384-392 
    Publisher Steubenville, OH: Steubenville Gazette, April-July 1898  
    Repository Ohio History Connection 
    Source ID S430 
    Text (page 384) —————


    The time allotted the compiler by the Society in which to prepare the matter foregoing precluded the possibility of examination of original papers to the extent necessary for an absolutely correct historical statement, and the demand for delivery of copy into the hands of the printer forced completion of manuscript before the compiler could receive information for which he had applied to authorities, and consequently the addenda following appears essential to a clearer understanding of the previous pages.


    The reference to the difficulty of procuring a fuller account of the Defeat of Archibald LOCHRY and his men at the mouth of the Big Miami, resulting in the massacre of many of his soldiers, which, many consider, one of the exciting causes of the massacre of the so-called Moravian Indians at Gnadenhutten, had only reference to the Archives of Pennsylvania. There are other accounts of the defeat, among them, that given by Roosevelt in "Winning of the West," in which according to Consul. W. Butterfield, the most painstaking of all the historians of the West the most noted, the most conscientious, so careful in statement that if at all possible to obtain, he accepts nothing as true without the testimony of the original paper, many errors were made, Roosevelt even spelling LOCHRY "Loughrie." George and not Simon Girty was with the Indians in this battle. He was not commander of the British forces (the Indians), but was under Capt. Brant, who, in a quarrel after the battle, struck Simon Girty on his face with his sword, inflicting a serious wound which disfigured Girty for life. The quarrel was the result of the boast made by Brant that he had captured Col. LOCHRY and his men, Simon Girty at the time of the battle being at Louisville watching

    (page 385) —————

    for the appearance of George Rogers Clark, with whom Lochry was to have gone to Detroit on a very important expedition, the object being the capture of the British garrison at that point. Brant was so elated over his success that he boasted to Simon Girty, whose contingent had failed in the expected capture of Clark, which so angered Simon that he denounced Brant as a liar, whereupon Brant inflicted the wound that augmented the repulsiveness of his countenance. Girty often boasted of the scar as having been received in many conflicts with the Americans.

    The local interest in Lochry's Defeat comes of the fact that descendants of the Westmoreland county rangers are residents of Ohio and Jefferson county.

    The accompanying account of the Defeat of Lochry is the fullest consecutive report of the battle the compiler has been able to obtain, and for it he is indebted to the editor of The Aurora (Ind.) Bulletin.


    The surprise and defeat of Archibald Lochry and the massacre of his men is the first conflict on record between the Indians and the whites on the soil of Indiana. It took place in the last year of the Revolutionary war and was really one of the battles of the Revolution, as the Indians engaged in it were allies of the British. The winding stream which forms the boundary between Dearborn and Ohio counties, at the mouth of which the bloody battle was fought, bears the name of the unfortunate colonel who there lost his life. It is the purpose of this chapter to give all the facts now known concerning Col. Lochry's expedition and its disastrous termination.

    We have accounts of the expedition by two men who participated in it Capt. Robt. Orr and Lieut. Isaac Anderson. Capt. Orr, whose account is published in Western Annals, was wounded by having his arm broken in the engagement; he was carried off a prisoner to Sandusky, where he remained several months; at length, finding that they could not cure his wound, the Indians took him to the hospital at Detroit, whence he was transferred to Montreal in the winter, and exchanged with other prisoners at the end of the war; afterward he was appointed a

    Vol. VI-25

    (page 386) —————

    judge of Armstrong county, Penn., which position he held at his death, in 1833, in his eighty-ninth year. Lieut. Anderson's account is published in McBride's pioneer Biographies of Butler county, Ohio. The date of the engagement, as given by Capt. Orr, is August 25, 1781, by Lieut. Anderson, August 24. The latter is probably the correct date, as Anderson kept a journal during the expedition.

    Early in the summer of 1781 Col. Archibald Lochry, who was county lieutenant of Westmoreland county, Penn., was requested by Col. George Rogers Clark to raise a military force and join him in a contemplated military movement against the Indian tribes of the Northwest. Capt. Orr, by his own exertions, raised a company of volunteer riflemen. Capts. Stokely and Shannon commanded each a company of rangers, and Capt. Campbell a company of horse. The party amounted to 107 men. Col. Lochry was the only field officer in command. It was Col. Clark's original intention to rendezvous at the mouth of the Great Miami, and to proceed up that river with his expedition, but he subsequently changed his plan and ordered Col. Lochry to follow him to the falls of the Ohio.

    The force was rendezvoused at Carnahan's block-house, eleven miles west of Hannastown, July 24, and on the next day they set out for Fort Henry (Wheeling) by way of Pittsburgh, where it was arranged that they should join the army under Clark. On arriving there they found that Clark had gone twelve miles down the river, leaving for them some provisions and a traveling boat, with directions to follow him. After preparing some temporary boats for the transportation of the men and horses, which occupied ten days, they proceeded to join Clark. Arriving at the place where he had halted, they found he had gone down the river the day before, leaving Maj. Creacroft with a few men and a boat for transportation of the horses, but without either provisions or ammunition, of which they had an inadequate supply. Clark had, however, promised to await their arrival at the mouth of the Kanawha River, but on reaching that point, they found that he had been obliged, in order to prevent desertion among his men, to proceed down the river, leaving only a letter fixed to a pole directing them to follow.

    (page 387) —————

    Their provisions and forage were nearly exhausted; there was no source of supply but the stores conveyed by Clark; the river was low and they were unacquainted with the channel, and could not therefore hope to overtake him. Under these embarrassing circumstances Col. Lochry dispatched Capt. Shannon with four men in a small boat with the hope of overtaking the main army and securing supplies, leaving Capt. Shannon's company under the command of Lieut. Isaac Anderson. Before Capt. Shannon and his men had proceeded far they were taken prisoners by the Indians, and with them was taken a letter to Clark, detailing the situation of Lochry's party. About the same time Col. Lochry arrested a party of nineteen deserters from Clark's army, whom he afterwards released, and they immediately joined the Indians.

    The savages had been apprised of the expedition, but had previously supposed that Clark and Lochry were traveling together, and through fear of the cannon which Clark carried, refrained from making an attack. Apprised now by the capture of Shannon and his men and by the reports of the deserters, of the weakness of Lochry's party, they collected in force below the mouth of the Great Miami with the determination to destroy them. They placed these prisoners in a conspicuous position on the north shore of the Ohio, near, it was said, the head of an island, and promised to spare their lives on condition that they would hail their companions as they passed and induce them to surrender. This island is about three miles below the mouth of the creek named after the commander. Col. Lochry and his men made slow progress in descending the Ohio, and despairing of overtaking Clark's army, they landed, August 24, about 10 o'clock in the morning, at a very attractive spot on the north side of the Ohio at the mouth of a creek, about ten miles below the mouth of the Great Miami. Here they removed their horses ashore and turned them loose to graze. One of the party had killed a buffalo, and all, except a few set to guard the horses, were engaged around the fires which they had kindled in preparing a meal from it. Suddenly they were assailed by a volley of rifle balls from an overhanging bluff, covered with large trees, on which the Indians immediately appeared in great force. The

    (page 388) —————

    men thus surprised, seized their arms and defended themselves as long as their ammunition lasted, and then attempted to escape by means of their boats. But the boats were unwieldy, the water was low, and the force too much weakened to make them available, and the whole party, unable to escape or defend themselves, were compelled to surrender.

    Immediately the Indians fell upon and massacred Col. Lochry and several other prisoners, but were restrained by the arrival of the chief who commanded them, the celebrated Brant, who afterward apologized for the massacre. He did not approve, he declared, of such conduct, but it was impossible entirely to control his Indians. The murder of the prisoners was perpetrated in revenge for the massacre of the Indian prisoners taken by Broadhead's army on the Muskingum a few months before. The Indians engaged numbered 300 or more, and consisted of various tribes, among whom the prisoners and plunder were divided in proportion to the number of warriors of each tribe engaged.

    The next day they set out on their return to the Delaware towns. There they were met by a party of British and Indians, commanded by Col. Caldwell and accompanied by the two Girtys and McKee, who professed to be on their way to the falls to attack George Rogers Clark. They remained there two days. Brant, with the greater part of the Indians, returned with Caldwell toward the Ohio. A few only remained to take charge of the prisoners and spoils. These they separated and took to the towns to which they were assigned. The prisoners remained in captivity until the next year which brought the Revolutionary war to a close. More than one-half of the number who left Pennsylvania under Col. Lochry never returned.

    The foregoing account is substantially that given by Capt. Orr. Some doubt has been expressed whether Brant was the leader of the Indians. James McBride, in his sketch of Isaac Anderson, says that the Indians who were waiting opposite the island below to intercept the party, were informed of the landing of the whites by runners. According both to McBride and Anderson there were two attacking parties of Indians, one in the woods and the other in canoes on the river.

    (page 389) —————

    Lieut. Isaac Anderson kept a daily journal from the time he set out on the expedition until his return. Without abridgment we insert the first part of the journal covering the month of August, preserving the original spelling of proper names.


    "August 1, 1781. We met at Col. Carnahan's in order to form a body of men to join Gen. Clark on the expedition against the Indians.
    "Aug. 2d. Rendezvoused at said place.
    "Aug. 3d. Marched under command of Col. Lochry to Maracle's mill, about 83 in number.
    "Aug. 4. Crossed Youghagania river.
    "Aug. 5. Marched to Dover's ferry.
    ‘”Aug. 6. To Raccoon settlement.
    "Aug. 7. To Capt. Mason's.
    "Aug. 8. To Wheeling Fort, and found Clark had started down the river about twelve hours.
    "Aug. 9. Col. Lochry sent a quartermaster and officer of the horse after him, which overtook him at Middle Island and returned; then started all our foot troops on seven boats and our horses by land to Grave Creek.
    "Aug. 13. Moved down to Fishing Creek; we took up Lieut. Baker and 16 men, deserting from Gen. Clark, and went that day to middle of Long Reach, where we stayed that night.
    "Aug. 15. To the Three Islands, where we found Maj. Creacroft waiting on us with a horse-boat. He with his guard, six men, started that night after Gen. Clark.
    "Aug. 16. Col. Lochry detailed Capt. Shannon with 7 men and letter after Gen. Clark, and we moved that day to the Little Connaway (Kanawha) with all our horses on board the boats.
    "Aug. 17. Two men went out to hunt who never returned to us. We moved that day to Buffalo Island.
    "Aug. 18. To Catfish Island.
    "Aug. 19. To Bare Banks.
    "Aug. 20. We met with two of Shannon's men, who told us they had put to shore to cook, below the mouth of the Siotha

    (page 390 ) —————

    (Scioto) where Shannon sent them and a sergeant out to hunt. When they got about half a mile in the woods they heard a number of shots which they supposed to be Indians firing on the rest of the party, and they immediately took up the river to meet us; but, unfortunately, the sergeant's knife dropped on the ground and it ran directly through his foot and he died of the wound in a few minutes. We sailed all night.
    "Aug. 21. We moved to the Two Islands.
    "Aug. 22. To the Sassafras Bottom.
    "Aug. 23. Went all day and all night.
    "Aug. 24. Col. Lochry ordered the boats to land on the Indian shore, about 10 miles below the mouth of the great Meyamee (Miami) river to cook provisions and cut grass for the horses, when we were fired on by a party of Indians from the bank. We took to our boats, expecting to cross the river, and was fired on by another party in a number of canoes, and soon we became a prey to them. They killed the Col. and a number more after they were prisoners. The number of our killed was about forty. They marched us that night about eight miles up the river and encamped.
    "Aug. 25. We marched eight miles up the Meyamee river and encamped.
    "Aug. 26. Lay in camp.
    "Aug. 27. The party that took us was joined by one hundred white men under the command of Capt. Thompson and three hundred Indians under the command of Capt. McKee.
    "Aug. 28. The whole of the Indians and whites went down against the settlements of Kentucky, excepting a sergeant and eighteen men, which were left to take care of sixteen prisoners and stores that were left there. We lay there until the fifteenth of Sept.
    "Sept. 15, 1781. We started toward the Shawna towns on our way to Detroit."

    Return of the men killed and taken August 24, 1781, upon the Ohio river under the command of Col. Lochry.

    Killed: Col. Lochry, Capt. Campbell, Ensigns Ralph Maxwell and Cabel.

    (page 391) —————

    Prisoners: Maj. Creacroft, Adj't Guthree, Quartermaster Wallace, Capts. Thomas Stokely, Samuel Shannon and Robert Orr; Lieuts. Isaac Anderson, Joseph Robinson, Samuel Craig, John Scott, Milr Baker; Ensign Hunter.

    Privates killed and taken prisoners in Capt. Stokely's company:
    Killed: Hugh Gallagher, Isaac Patton, Douglass, Pheasant, Young, Gibson, Smith, Stratton, Baily and John Burns.
    Prisoners: John Trimble, William Mars, John Seace, Michael Miller, Robert Watson, John Allenton, Richard Fleman, James Cain, Patrick Murphy, Abraham Anderson, Michael Haire.

    Capt. Campbell's company:
    Killed: William Allison, James McRight, Jonathan McKinley.
    Prisoners: William Husk, Robert Wilson, James Dunseth, William Weatherington, Keany Quigley, Ezekiel Lewis.

    Capt. Orr's company:
    Killed: John Forsyth, William Cain, Adam Erwin, Peter Maclin, Archibald Erskin, John Black, John Stewart, Joseph Crawford.
    Prisoners: Adam Owry, Samuel Lefaver, John Hunter, Joseph Erwin, Mans Kite, Hugh Steer, Hugh Moore.

    Capt. Shannon's company:
    Killed: Ebenezer Burns, killed by accident.
    Prisoners: Solomon Aikens, John Lever, Jonas Fisher, George Hill, John Porter, John Smith.

    Lieut. Baker's company:
    Killed: D'Allinger, George Butcher, John Rowe, Peter Brickman, Jonas Peters, Jonas Brooks.
    Prisoners: John Catt, Vol Lawrence, Jacob Lawrence, Christopher Tait, Charles Martlin, William Rourk, Wnd. Franks, Abraham Righley, George Mason.

    Lieut. Anderson's company:
    Killed: Samuel Evans, Sergt. Zeanz Harden, Matthew Lamb, John Milegan, John Corn.
    Prisoners: Norman McLeod, Sergt. James McFerson, William Marshall, Denis McCarty, Peter Conely, John Ferrel.

    (page 392) —————

    Taken prisoners in Maj. Creacroft's company:
    Thomas James, Thomas Adkson, John Stakehouse, William Clark, Elihu Risely, Alexander Burns.

    Forty-eight privates and twelve officers taken; five officers and thirty-six privates killed. (From History of Dearborn and Ohio Counties, Ind. 1885.)

  •  Notes