History of  Gallatin County, Part 30


A heavy rain began at noon and soon the clouds of fog hung heavily about the hill tops and drifted up the valley.  The autumn frosts had turned the forests a somber hue, which, showing under the dull and leaden sky, aroused a sense of melancholy.  There had been heard the hooting of owls from different points in the woods since the rain began.  While it was not unusual for the owls to call from hill to hill on dark and rainy days, yet there was apprehension that this hooting heard this day came from Indians signaling to one another.  Indians always used the sound of wild animals as such signals.  The Indians were expected at any time in those days.  The settlements were scattered, only a few

lost creek

Lost Branch

men were in each settlement, and the attacks were usually made at night, therefore the little hamlet of Sparta felt great fear at times.

It was late in the day when Jacob Carlock and his party returned from a neighborhood settlement where they had been to assist at raising some log houses. Foggy darkness was settling over the Eagle Creek valley when they found several neighbors collected at the settlement at the mouth of Ten Mile.  Distress and anxiety overcrowded their faces.  They discussed matters for some time without arriving at a satisfactory conclusion.  A boy who had gone to drive home the cows had been gone twenty-four hours and there were grave suspicions that he had been captured ad carried away by Indians.

A few weeks before, a man had been shot from ambush and scalped, i n the Paint Lick settlement and that had caused quite a bit of alarm and uneasiness.  At last they decided to form scouting parties, and search the wooded hills for miles around.  Parties started out headed by George Jackson , Wm. Swango, John and Jacob Carlock with about twenty men armed with long range cap and ball rifles that would hit where they were centered.  They soon found signs of Indians.  They had camped in the neighborhood of the mouth of Craig's Creek and taken the buffalo trail down the Ohio River.  The trail was lost somewhere between the present site of Warsaw and Ghent where they crossed the river in canoes and sunk them on the Indiana shore.  No child was ever located.  No one ever knew what was his fate, whether he was lost in the forest and perished from hunger and cold, of fell victim to an Indian who has been lost to oblivion.

A small stream that has cut a deep chasm thru the rock ribbed hills forming a deep green gorge where wild flowers nod in the evening zephyr and the water passes with a soft, dark babble and seems to still be singing a requiem for the long lost soul, is a gentle reminder of the historic tragedy, and has been named in honor of the lost boy and is known as "Lost Branch."

John Carlock, who possessed an iron constitution and could endure more fatigue and privation than any of his associates decided to descend the Ohio thinking they might come down the Indiana side and cross over and fall upon the weaker settlements along the river between Ghent and Port William [Carrollton], or possibly they might be hiding themselves and the canoes by day and floating down stream by night in order to make a night attack.  He was a dead shot with the long rifle, as were his men, which numbered about 35.  He was infatuated with the life of the woodsman and the danger of the frontier.  In woodcraft and Indian warfare, it is doubtful if there was a superior among the county's frontiersmen.  However, the failed to overtake Indian's, altho they were in hot pursuit of them at one time.


February, 1930, from the Gallatin County News