Capt. Jos. McMurtry, 1791
Drafted at Lexington into a company of 60 militia under the command of Capt. Jos. McMurtry. They were divided into 3 companies. One at the mouth of the Ky., under the Captain. One at Big-bone Lick, under the Lieutenant, I think named Williams. The other at a point between The Ky. and Louisville. Three sets were picked out in each company to spy. They went out at day-break, camped out over night, and returned the 2d night from an opposite direction. The company rendezvoused the 1st day of March 1791. Was drafted for 2 months but had to stay ½ mos. Longer till we were relieved by another company.
11th of April, 1791. Dickey, Obrien, Strong, (son of old Capt. Strong, who was then in the regular army at Cincinnati,) James Walker. We had heard that there were some Indians committing depradations, and the Captain ordered me out with these 4 men, to way-lay them. We came across the Indians, 7 in number, 5 miles below our station; they had 8 horses, and had come that day about 40 miles. It was one O’Clock when we met them. Took 7 or 8 blankets, 2 or 3 bridles that they had taken with the horses, a brass kettle holding about a gallon, ½ bushel of jerk, Bear’s gist 1 1/2 or 2 yards long full of Bear’s fat, and 7 or 8 deer-skins.
Scott’s campaign to White-water country, middle of May, 1791. Crossed the Ohio at Battle Creek, about 5 miles below the mouth of Kentucky, Block-house, Ensign’s command.
We went out early in the morning, and crossed over Big Kentucky and Little Kentucky. But just before we came to Little Kentucky, we came across a fresh indian trail, and followed that to the river. It was not more than ¾ of a mile from the Garrison. There was a sand-bar there, and we followed their footprints to where they could see our men at the fort, scampering about, as we could when in their foot-prints. They here found some dead buckeye, which they tied with leatherwood and grapevine. (Would hold not more than 2 men.) They then drifted it down to the old crossing place, and there left it, and made a larger one. The others went by land. From their trail we should judge they had a mare and foal. (An old horse and a yearling.) O’Brien there found a Squaw’s axe, which I had just stepped over, which they had left behind. Their numbers we did not know. I wanted O’Brien to throw that in, and let us see who would have it by drawing. He wouldn’t. From there we turned back to come to the station. Thought our Indians were gone. After we got to the head of back-water, we had waded Battle Creek, and set down on the sand-bar to eat a bite, and let our feet dry, before we put on our moccasins. While we were eating we spied the Indians coming with the horses just the way we were returning. Walker was setting beside me, and spied them first. We said if they passed without seeing us, let them, & we would follow them to the ford. Just as they got opposite us, the 2d one behind spied us, & gave a war yell, and they were all down in a minute. They were coming along the hill-side, on the other side of the Creek, going to where we come from. (The crossing was on the other side of Battle Creek.) I dropped a big butcher knife, and snatched up my gun, and ran over the Creek, and up the bank. Just as I got there, an Indian was coming, whooping and yelling. When he saw me, he turned his back, and I fired. He just darted into a spice-wood ticket to the right. I saw no more of him. The Indians all then treed immediately. And while an indian was watching two of the party that was on the left, his breast was exposed to a fair shot from me, unperceived. I fired, and he fell on his elbow with a follow, and 2 Indians ran and took him up and carried him off, moaning, till it died on our ears. He had coon-skin cap on his head, with a long tail hanging down. Strong was at a tree to my right, and held his fire – though it was so fair a shot at the 2 Indians. What the rest did, I do not know. We gathered up our plunder, and went to the fort, not pursuing the Indians farther. Scott’s men were said to have found 2 Indians – one in a hollow log, and one in a hollow stump, that were thought to have been these.
About 12 men came down from the settlement, while we were gone to the fort. We told the Captain, and he came out with a company to the battle-ground. When we came to their trail, we thought another party of Indians had bone on, & I and Walker were sent forward to spy. They had found a bark-canoe we had not seen and cut it with their tomahawks. After giving them an alarm, and frightening them to their bushes, we returned to the fort, and they got their horses. We got some leggings, and other things, this time, and OBrien wanted now to throw in, but they wouldn’t let him. OBrien came to us, not till after the Indians had left us. He shot from 200 yards.
Jacob Boon’s, that warehouse at Maysville. Daniel McKinney had the first houseware that I ever saw at Maysville. It was log, and right at the point of the Creek. Benj. Sutton lived there then too.
There had been some cabins built and deserted, at the mouth of the Kentucky, which we occupied. The others had to build block-houses.
from the Draper Papers, 13CC239+