xt7dr785j51h https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7dr785j51h/data/mets.xml Henderson, Archibald, 1877-1963. 1918  books b92-133-29323835v1 English North Carolina Society, : Raleigh, N.C. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Shelby, Isaac, 1750-1826. North Carolina History Revolution, 1775-1783. Isaac Shelby  : revolutionary patriot and border hero (vol. 1) / by Archibald Henderson. text Isaac Shelby  : revolutionary patriot and border hero (vol. 1) / by Archibald Henderson. 1918 2002 true xt7dr785j51h section xt7dr785j51h 


    Revolutionary Patriot and
         Border HIero

       PART I.-1750-1780


This page in the original text is blank.


VOL XVI           JANUARY, 1917             No. 3
  N O R TH.... -.... __.............,  ......... CB O O K.........L


    "Carolina!' Ca     ! Heaus bleGgs attend her !
    Whif we livee P   mlc   rot and def n er"

                    Published by

 The objetof Tud BOOKLT Is to aid in developinr and preserving
North Carolin imItory. Tie pro    adlug from Its publeation
will be (C otto patriotic purpos.         EnITo.

                 PINTES AND 1GBD S



                   BIOGRAPHICAL EDITOR:
                   Ias. E. I. MOFFITT.

                      vleg-uEGI -T:
               Mvs. MARS IAlL WILTLIAM .
                    HXONORARY REGENTS.
                  MIs I. 71. MOFFITT.
                  1M118, TJ K. BR    HT.ER,
                  RECORDING SECRETARY:
                  MlS. L E. CO CNGTON.
                  0. ORESPO,'DIN'  SECRETARY:
                  MRS. PAUL H. LEE.
                 MRS. CHAS. LEE SMITH.
                 MISS SARAH W. ASHE.
                   CUSTODIAN OF RELICS:
                   MRS. JOHN E. RAY.

                 CHAPTER REGENTS
Bloomsbury Chapter..         MRS. HUBERT HAYWOOD, Regent.
Penelope BArker Chapter .  . ........ MRS. PATRICK MATTHEW, Regent.
Sir Walter Raleigh Chapter ---------MRS. I. M. MEEKINs, Regent.
General Francis Nash Chapter_____-- Miss REBECCA CAMERON, Regent.
Roanoke Chapter_____ __ _ _    _   __--IRS. F. M. ALLEN, Regenlt.
Mar y  Iotumbn Chapter ----------- IMss G'EORGIE HICKS, Regent
Colonel Thimas Robeson Chapter  ____     AIts. ANN  UIE, Regent

                MRS. SPIER WHITAKER.
                      REGENT 1902:
                  MRS. D. H. HILL, Sn.jt
                    REGEXT 1902-91906:
               MRS. THOMAS K. BRUNER.
                    REGENT 1906-1910:
                  MRS. E. E. MOFFITT.
  Dieod November 25, 1911.
  t Died December 12,1904.

This page in the original text is blank.


                     ISAAC SHELBY               MATTHEW HARRIS JOUETT
From his most famous portrait, never before reproduced, owned by
      William R. Shelby, Esq., of Grand Rapids, Michigan


    The North Carolina Booklet

Vol. XVI  JANUARY, 1917   No. 3

                     Isaac Shelby
        Revolutionary Patriot and Border Hero

                  By ARCHIBALD HENDERSON.

   Among that group of early pioneers whose intrepid daring
and superior sagacity, tested in the crucible of border warfare
and frontier conflict, were potent agencies in laying the foun-
dation stones of the republic, Isaac Shelby occupies a position
of conspicuous leadership in both martial and civil life. De-
ficient in the vision of a Richard Henderson or the craft of a
Daniel Boone, Shelby possessed much of the glorified common
sense which distinguished James Robertson. Temperamen-
tally more phleg natic than bis comrade in, arms, the impetu-
ous John Sevier, he exhibited in the crucial moments of his
career a headlong bravery and an unwavering self-control
which marked him as a trustworthy leader of men. In per-
sonal bravery the match for his friend, George Rogers Clark,
Shelby was a born fighter; and although not endowed with
the tactical brilliance of the conqueror of the Northwest, he
exhibited such unerring judgment in battle and such poise in
leadership as to inspire the confident faith which procures
ultimate victory. His contribution to the cause of American
independence is an integral part of the history of the Revolu-
tion. This chapter which to this very day, in any adequate
sense, remains unwritten, the present monograph purposes to
  It was from a line of Welsh ancestors that Isaac Shelby
derived the phlegmatic temperament and cautious balance
which stood him in such good stead throughout his eventful
and turbulent career. His father, Evan Shelby, was born in
Wales in 1720; and with his father and mother, Evan and
Catherine Shelby, he emigrated to Maryland about 1735. The



family settled in the neighborhood of Hagerstown, near the
North Mountain, then Frederick County. Strength of charac-
ter and an iron constitution, reinforced by the qualities of
tenacity and approved courage, express the dominant charac-
teristics of this famous border character, Evan Shelby, Isaac's
father. In the French and Indian wars which began in 1754,
he served with distinction, first it is presumed, as a private
soldier; but in 1756 his recognized skill as a hunter and
woodsman, acquired in patrolling the border and guarding
the frontier, as well as his bravery, led to his appointment as
Lieutenant of Maryland troops. I It is related that on Forbes'
campaign, "he gave chase to an Indian spy, in view of many
of the troops, overtaking and tomahawking him."' The fol-
lowing letter is like a ray of light flashed into the dim ob-
scurity of the mid-period of the eighteenth century. It is a
letter of Governor Sharpe, of Maryland, to General Forbes :2

                                        lsr oF AUGUST, 1758.
To General Forbes:
  SIB:-This serves to introduce to you Capt. Shelby, who waits on
your Excellency with his company of volunteers to receive your com-
mands. He has served as a Lieut. more than two years in the Mary-
land troops  has always behaved well, which encourages me to hope
that he and his company will be found useful on the present occasion.
The expense I have been at in furnishing his men with blankets, leg-
gins, moccasins  camp kettles is pound;82-3-2 pens currency,  as Capt.
Shelby  his lieut., who was likewise an officer in our Troops until
the end of May last, found themselves under some Difficulties by not
being paid the arrears that were due them, I have let each of them
have pound;15 out of the 510 currency, which, with Your Excellency's ap-
probation, Mr. Kilby is to advance towards paying the Maryland
Forces. I most sincerely wish Your Excellency the perfect Recovery
of Your Health  a successful Campaign,  I am c.

  Serving as Captain of Maryland troops, in the provincial
army destined for the reduction of Fort Duquesne, Evan
Shelby was engaged in a number of severe battles in the
course of Braddock's war. In 1758, in pursuance of Governor
Sharpe's orders, he reconnoitred and marked out the route

'Draper's King's Mountain and Its Heroes, 411.
2Maryland Calendar State Papers, ii, 1757-61, 237.




of a road to Fort Cumberland; and following his report to
the Governor that "three hundred and fifty men might open
such a road as he proposed in three weeks," as it was not
more than sixty miles in length, the road was laid out by him
with the assistance of the desired quota of men, by order of
Governor Sharpe.3 As a soldier he was conspicuous for gal-
lantry in the battle fought at Loyal Hanning (now Bedford),
Pennsylvania; and he led the advance guard of General
Forbes, when he took possession of Fort DuQuesne in 1758.
   Early in the 'sixties, it is reasonable to suppose, he removed
with his family to Pennsylvania-perhaps as the result of un-
certainty in land titles in consequence of the dispute over
territory between Maryland and Pennsylvania. For some
years thereafter he engaged in trade with the Indians of the
Northwest. During the conferences with the Indians, held in
connection with the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, lasting from
October 24 until November 6, 1768, an extensive grant of
land was made by the Six Nations of Indians to twenty-three
Indian traders, most of them from Pennsylvania, to recom-
pense them for very large losses incurred during the war of
1763. In the list of the twenty-three names is found that of
Evan Shelby, along with such other well known names as
William Trent, David Franks, John Baynton, Samuel Whar-
ton, and George Morgan. This grant included all that part
of the present state of West Virginia lying between the Ohio,
the Little Kanawha, and the Monongahela rivers, the Laurel
Ridge, and the South line of Pennsylvania extended to the
Ohio. Trent and Wharton, two of the traders, went to Eng-
land, to endeavor to obtain a confirmation of the grant, which
was named Indiana by those who wished to erect it into a
colony; but while there they were induced to throw in their
interests with Thomas Walpole, Benjamin Franklin, and
others, in securing the grant of Vandalia, which included the

3Cf. Sharpe to Capt. Evan Shelby, June 15, 1758; Maryland Calen-
dar State Papers. Letter Book III, 206; Sharpe to Calvert, Letter
Book I, 358-9. For Capt. Evan Shelby's report from Frederick, June
25, 1758, cf. also Maryland Calendar State Papers, Letter Book III,




grants to the Ohio Company and to William Trent and his
associates, and extended to the mouth of Scioto. Although
the draft of the royal grant had actually been prepared in
the spring of 1775, it ultimately failed of confirmation by
the Crown.4
   During the third quarter of the eighteenth century, ranches,
or "cow-pens" were established at many places in the Pied-
mont region of Virginia, North Carolina, and South Caro-
lina. The more adventurous farmers, taking advantage of
the fertile pastures of the uplands, pressed far beyond the
ordinary farmer's frontier, and herded in large flocks of cat-
tle and stock. Many of these were wandering wild upon the
country; as a contemporary observer says, "notwithstanding
every precaution, very great numbers of black cattle, horses
and hogs-run at large, entirely wild, without any other pro-
prietors than those of the ground they happened to be found
upon."5   In 1771, according to the best authorities, Isaac
Shelby, the son of Evan Shelby, was residing in Western Vir-
ginia, living the life of the rancher, and engaged in the bus-
iness of feeding and attending to the herds of cattle over the
extensive ranges of the uplands.6 And in this same year, as
Draper states, the Shelby connection removed to the Holston
country, in that twilight zone of the debatable ground between
North Carolina and Virginia.7 Evan Shelby settled on the
site of the present Bristol, Tennessee; and in conjunction
with his friend, Isaac Baker, purchased the Sapling Grove
tract, of 1946 acres, Robert Preston dividing it equally be-
tween them.

  4Plain Facts, Philadelphia, 1781. New Governments West of the
Alleghanies Before 1780, by G. H. Alden, Madison, Wis., 1897. C0.
also, Hanna's The Wilderness Trail, ii, 59-60.
  5J. F. D. Smyth: A Tour in the United States of America, ii. 1434.
  6L. C. Draper: Kings Mountain and Its Heroes, 411.
  7Summers, in his Southwest Virginia, 1903, 671-2, states that "in
the year 1765 or shortly thereafter, Evan Shelby and Isaac Baker left
their homes in Maryland and came to the Holston country." The
facts, as stated above, would indicate that the date, 1765, is incorrect,
with reference to the migration to the Holston country. of Evan
Shelby, at least. It may be that Isaac Baker preceded Evan Shelby
to the Holston country, and induced him to remove thither.




  Isaac Shelby was born near the North Mountain, in the
vicinity of Hagerstown, Maryland, on December 11, 1750,
being the eldest son of Evan Shelby and his first wife, Letitia
Scott, of Frederickstown, Maryland. The intimacy between
Evan Shelby and his friend Isaac Baker is shown by the fact
that Shelby named one of his sons Isaac and Baker named
one of his sons Evan. Endowed, like his father, with an iron
constitution, and reared in a martial atmosphere, Isaac early
adapted himself to the strenuous life of the pioneer and be-
came expert in the arts of hunting and woodcraft. Even be-
fore he reached man's estate he served as Deputy Sheriff of
Frederick County, Maryland-a tribute to his self-control
and personal prowess.8
  Despite the fact that the country was continually harrassed
with a succession of Indian wars, young Isaac nevertheless
succeeded in obtaining the rudiments of a plain English edu-
cation. After the removal of the Shelbys to Kings Meadows
(near Bristol), Evan Shelby and his four sons, Isaac, Evan,
Moses, and James, continued to herd and graze cattle on an
extensive scale along the Virginia border, about forty miles
north of Watauga.9
  An authentic account of the career of Evan Shelby and his
services to the cause of American independence would con-
stitute an extended chapter in the history of Indian battles
and border warfare. As indicative of the high estimation in
which he was held in his former home, one may cite the fol-
lowing fragment of a letter to Captain Evan Shelby from
General William Thompson, bearing the address, "Carlyle,
6th July, 1775."
  "Had General Washington been sure you could have joined
the army at Boston without first seeing your family (you)
would have been appointed Lieut. Colo. (of the) Rifle Battal-
ion and an express sent by you being so--------------the

8This statement is made on the authority of Cecil B. Hartley, in
his sketch of Isaac Shelby, published in 1860, along with The Life and
Adventure8 of Loui8 Wetzel.
9James R. Gilmore: The Rear Guard of the Revolution, 1903, 64.




general concluded it (would not be ) for you to take the
field before seeing your family. I leave for Boston on Mon-
day night."
   Upon his Sapling Grove plantation Evan Shelby built a
fort named Shelby's Station, where hundreds were sometimes
forted during the Revolution. At this fort the Shelbys
kept a store, which supplied the pioneers with ammunition,
dress stuffs, articles of food and drink. Daniel Boone pur-
chased supplies here in preparation for his ill-timed and ill-
fated expedition in 1773. The stout old Welshman, stern
though he may have been, was evidently not averse to con-
viviality; on an old ledger, dated Staunton, Va., Nov. 22,
1773, conspicuous in the account against Evan Shelby are
such entries as: "1 Bowl tody," "1 Mug cider," "1 Bowl
Bumbo," "To Club in Wine." His first wife, Letitia Cox,
died in 1777, and is buried at Charlottesville, Va. Late in
life he was married to Isabella Elliott; and the records show
that this prudent lady required one-third of his estate to be
deeded to her before marriage. In 1794 Evan Shelby died,
at the age of 74, and his widow afterwards was married again
to one Dromgoole. His remains now repose in Bristol, Tenn",
on the lot now occupied by the Lutheran Church, on the corner
of Fifth and Shelby streets."1
  It was not long after the settlement of the Shelbys at Sap-
ling Grove that they formed the acquaintance of such leading
men of the border as James Robertson, John Sevier, Daniel
Boone, and William Russell. A little incident indicative of
the experience of even the most expert pioneers of the day at
the hands of the treacherous and furtive red men is recorded
in that valuable repository of historical lore, Bradford's Notes
on Kentucky. "In 1772," records Isaac Shelby in one of
these notes, although we know from other sources that he
should have said 1771, "I met Daniel Boone below the Hol-
stein settlements alone; he informed me that he had spent
the two years preceding that time in a hunt on Louisa river

lHUf. Oliver Taylor: Historic Sullivan, 1909. Also L. P. Summers:
Southwest Virginia, 1903.




(now Kentucky), so called by all the Long Hunters; that he
had been robbed the day before, by the Cherokee Indians, of
all the proceeds of his hunt."
   It was at the instance of the Shelbys that Sevier moved to
 the Holston settlements. In 1772 John Sevier attended a
 horse race at the Watauga Old Field, and witnessed the theft
 of a horse by a burly fellow named Shoate. Sevier was about
 to leave, disgusted by the incident-for the thief pretended
 that he had won the stolen horse as the result of a wager-
 when Evan Shelby remarked to him: "Never mind the rascals;
 they'll soon poplar"-by which he meant, take a canoe and
 get out of the country. One of the first measures taken by the
 Watauga settlements was the passage of laws to protect them
 from horse thieves. The following year the Seviers removed
 to Keywood, about six miles from the Shelbys, later settling
 in Washington County.12
 It was not long before Isaac Shelby, young though he was,
 came to be regarded as a man of promise in the frontier set-
 tlement. In 1774 he was appointed Lieutenant in the militia
 by Colonel William Preston, the County Lieutenant of Fin-
 castle County. The anecdote is related that, when Isaac
 thoughtlessly sat down instead of remaining at attention
 while his commission was being written out by Col. Preston,
 his father, with characteristically imperious manner, sternly
 admonished him:
 "Get up, you young dog, and make your obeisance to the
 Colonel !"
 Whereupon the young officer, considerably abashed, arose
 and made the amende honorable to his superior officer. In
 time to come the graceless "young dog" was to prove himself,
 as soldier an- statesman, the superior of his bull-dog father,
 the grizzled veteran and Indian fighter.
 Endowed, like his father, with an herculean frame, though
 built on a somewhat larger scale, he presents a formidable
 and impressive appearance in the portraits that have come

 12Draper Mss.; also cf. F. M. Turner: Life of General John Sevier,




down to us-with firm, compressed lips, heavy chin, massive
features, beetling brows over fixed, deep-set eyes-a man of
"uncommon intelligence and stern, unbending integrity."

  Daniel Boone's attempt, without shadow of title, to make a
settlement in Kentucky, in September, 1773, had met with a
bloody repulse on the part of the Indians. In a letter to
Dartmouth, Dunmore said in regard to the "Americans," the
pioneer settlers: "They acquire no attachment to place: But
wandering about Seems engrafted in their Nature; and it is
a weakness incident to it that they Should for ever Imagine
the Lands further off, are Still better than those upon which
they are already Settled."'13 The continued encroachments of
the white settlers upon the Indian hunting grounds fanned to
flame the smouldering animosity of the red man. The Six
Nations, at the Treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1768, had sold to
the Crown, through Sir William Johnson, their unwarranted
claim to a vast stretch of territory extending as far to the
southward as the Kentucky River. The Southern Indians,
the aboriginal occupants of the soil, indignantly denied the
right of the Six Nations to this Territory. The Indians along
the border were aroused to a pitch of excessive hostility by the
continued incursions of the whites. A succession of attacks
by the Indians upon outlying and scattered settlements soon
led to bloody reprisals on the part of the whites. The open
letter of Conolly, Governor Dunmore's agent, calling upon
the backwoodsmen to prepare to defend themselves from the
attacks of the Shawnees, was issued on April 21, 1774, and
the barbarous murder of Logan's family at the mouth of Yel-
low Creek on April 30, by one Greathouse and a score of
carousing white companions, rendered the conflict inevitable.
Yet actual hostilities were slow to commence, and it was not
until the summer of 1774 that Daniel Boone and Michael
Stoner were dispatched by Dunmore to Kentucky, to conduct

ILDraper Mss., 15J4-48.




into the settlements the various parties of surveyors scattered
about through the Kentucky area. The war was now begun,
and Lord Dunmore, hoping to reconcile the differences be-
tween the colonists and England by a successful campaign
against the Indians, proceeded vigorously to carry the war
into the enemy's country.
   There were two divisions in Lord Dunmore's army, one of
fully twelve hundred men under the command of the earl in
person, the other of about eleven hundred strong, under the
command of General Andrew Lewis, a stalwart backwoods
fighter. For some inexplicable motive, which has been sus-
pected, no doubt, erroneously, as an attempt at treachery to
the Americans, Dunmore decided not to unite his force with
that of Lewis; and after a long march he took up his position
at the mouth of the Hockhocking, erected a stockade styled
Fort Gower, and awaited news of Lewis's brigade. The divis-
ion of Lewis reached the mouth of the Great Kanawha River
on October 6 and encamped at Point Pleasant. On the ninth
the order came to Lewis from Dunmore to join him at the
Indian towns near the Pickaway Plains. The sagacious
Cornstalk, the Indian leader, divining the plan of the whites,
resolved to hurl his entire force of one thousand warriors upon
the sleeping army at Point Pleasant.
  Of the several commands under Lewis one was composed of
the Fincastle men, from the Holston, Clinch, Watauga, and
New River settlements, under Col. William Christian. The
Holston men were the advance guard of civilization at this
period, the most daring settlers who had pushed farthest out
into the western wilderness. In Col. Christial's command
were five captains, Evan Shelby, Russell, Herber, Draper,
and Buford; and under Evan Shelby were his sons, Isaac, a
lieutenant, and James; and James Robertson and Valentine
Sevier, orderly sergeants.
  The battle which ensued has been described in such accurate
and graphic terms in a letter to John Shelby, by Isaac Shelby,




who played an important part in the fierce engagement, that
his letter is given here in full :14

                                            October 16th, 1774.
  DR. UNCLE:-I Gladly imbrace this opportunity to Acquaint You
that we are all threel5 yet alive th(r)o Gods Mercies  I Sinceerly
wish that this may find you  your Family in the Station of Health
that we left you. I never had anything Worth Notice to quaint you
with since I left you till now, the Express seems to be Hurrying
that I Cant write you with the same Coolness  Deliberation as I
would; we arrived at the mouth (of) Canaway Thursday 6th. Octr.
and incampd on a fine piece of Ground with an intent to wait for the
Governor  his party but hearing that he was going another way we
Contented our selves to stay there a few days to rest the troops c,
when we looked upon our selves to be in safety till Monday morning
the 10th Instant when two of our Compys. went out before day to
hunt. To wit Val. Sevier  Jas Robison  Discovered a party of
Indians; as I expect you will hear something of our Battle before
you get this I have here stated this affair nearly to you.
  For the Satisfaction of the people in your parts in this they have a
true state of the Memorable Battle faught at the mouth of the Great
Canaway on the 10th. Instant; Monday morning about half an Hour
before Sunrise two of Capt. Russells Compy. Discovered a large party
of Indians about a mile from Camp one of which men was killed the
Other made his Escape  brought in his intilligence ;18 in two or three
minutes affter two of Capt Shelbys Compy. Came in and Confirmed
the Account. Colo. Andrew Lewis being Informed thereof Immediatery
ordered Colo. Charles Lewis to take the Command of 150 men from
Augusta and with him went Capt. Dickison. Capt. Harrison. Capt.
Willson. Capt. Jno. Lewis from Augusta and Capt. Lockridge which
made the first division. Colo. Fleming was also ordered to take the
Command of one hundred  fifty more Consisting of Botetourt Fin-
castle and Bedford Troops Viz. Capt. Buford of Bedford Capt. Love
of Botetourt Capt. Shelby  Capt. Russell of Fincastle which made
the second Division. Colo. Lewis marched with his Division to the

  l4The copy here used is made directly from the original in the
Draper Mss., 7 ZZ 2. The text used by Roosevelt (Winning of the
West) is drawn from a manuscript copy of Shelby's letter, In the
Campbell Mss.
  l5Captain Evan Shelby and his two sons, Isaac and James.
  lOThese were Joseph Hughey, of Shelby's company, and James
Mooney, of Russell's. The former was killed by a white renegade,
Tavenor Ross, while the latter brought the news to camp. Mooney
was a former neighbor of Daniel Boone, upon the Yadkin in North
Carolina, and had accompanied him upon the disastrous Kentucky
hunting expedition of 1769. He was killed at Point Pleasant. Cf.
Dunmore's War, edited by Thwaltes and Kellogg, 271-2.



                         ISAAC SHELBY                       119

Right some Distance up from the Ohio. Colo. Fleming with his
Division up the banck of the Ohio to the left: Colo. Lewiss Division
had not marchd. little more than a quarter of a mile from Camp;
when about sunrise, an Attact was made on the front of his Division
in a most Vigorous manner by the Undid tribes of Indians-Shaw-
nees; Delewares; Mingoes; Taways,17 and of several Other Nations
in Number not less than Eight Hundred and by many thaught to be a
thousand; in this Heavy Attact Colonel Charles Lewis received a
wound which soon after Caused his Death and several of his men
fell in the Spott in fact the Augusta Division was forced to give way
to the heavy fire of the Enemy. I In about a second of a minute after
the Attact on Colo. Lewiss Division the Enemy Engaged the Front of
Colo. Flemings Division on the Ohio; and in a short time Colo. Flem-
ing reed. two balls thro his left Arm and one thro his breast; and
after annimating the Captains and soldiers in a Calm manner to the
pursuit of Victory returned to Camp, the loss of the Brave Colonels
was Sensibly felt by the Officers in perticular, But the Augusta
troops being shortly Reinforced from Camp by Colonel Field with his
Company together with Capt. M'Dowel, Capt. Mathews  Capt.
Stuart from Augusta, Capt. John Lewis, Capt. Paulin Capt. Arbuckle
 Capt. M'Clanahan from Botetourt, the Enemy no longer able to
Maintain their Ground was forced to give way till they were in a
Line with the troops left in action on Bancks of Ohio, by Colo Flem-
ing   in this precipitate retreat Colo. Field was killed, after which
Capt. Shelby was ordered to take the Commd. During this time
which was till after twelve of the Clock, the Action continued Ex-
treemly Hott, the Close underwood many steep bancks  Loggs
favoured their retreat, and the Bravest of their men made the use
of themselves, whilst others were throwing their dead into the Ohio,
and Carrying of(f) their wounded,  after twelve the Action in a
small degree abated but Continued sharp Enough till after one
oClock Their Long retreat gave them a most advantages spot of
ground; from whence it Appeared to the Offlcers so difficult to dis-
lodge them; that it was thought most adviseable to stand as the line
then was formed which was about a mile and a quarter in length, and
had till then sustained a Constant and Equal weight of fire from wing
to wing, it was till half an Hour of Sun sett they Continued firing on
us which we returned to their Disadvantage at length Night Coming
on they found a safe retreat. They had not the satisfaction of scalp-
ing any of our men save One or two straglers whom they Killed be-
fore the Engagement  many of their dead they scalped rather than
we should have them   but our troops scalped upwards of twenty of
those who were first killed;  Its Beyond a Doubt their Loss in
Number farr Exceeds ours, which is Considirable.
  Field Offlcers killed Colo. Charles Lewis, and Colo. Jno. Fields,
Field Officers wounded Colo. Willm. Fleming; Capts. killed John

  l7The Ottawas, a Northwestern tribe.



Murray Capt. Saml. Willson Capt. Robt. MeClanahan, Capt. Jas.
Ward, Captains wounded Thos Buford John Dickison  John Scid-
more, Subbalterns Killed Lieutenant Hugh Allen, Ensign Mathew
Brakin Ensign Cundiff, Subbalterns wounded, Lieut. Lard; Lieut.
Vance Lieut. Goldman Lieut. Jas. Robison   about 46 killed 
about 80 wounded   from this Sir you may Judge that we had a
Very hard day its really Impossible for me to Express or you to
Concieve Acclamations that we were under, sometimes, the Hidious
Cries of the Enemy and the groans of our wound (ed) men lying
around was Enough to shuder the stoutest hart its the general Opin-
ion of the Officers that we shall soon have another Ingagement as we
have now got Over into the Enemys Country; we Expect to meet the
Governor about forty or fifty miles from here nothing will save us
from another Battle Unless they Attact the Governors Party,  five
men that Came in Dadys (daddy's) Company were killed,  I dont
know that you were Acquainted with any of them Except Marck Wil-
liams who lived with Roger Top. Acquaint Mr. Carmack that his son
was slightly wounded thro the shoulder and arm  that he is in a
likely way of Recovery we leave him at mouth of Canaway  one
Very Carefull hand to take Care of him; there is a garrison  three
Hundred men left at that place with a surgeon to Heal the wounded
we Expect to Return to the Garrison in about 16 days from the
Shawny Towns.
  I have nothing more Perticular to Acquaint you with Concerning
the Battle, as to the Country I cant now say much in praise of any
that I have yet seen. Dady intended writing to you but did not know
of the Express till the time was too short I have wrote to Maam (m) y
tho not so fully as to you as I then expected the Express was Just
going. we seem to be all in a Moving Posture Just going from this
place so that I must Conclude wishing you health and prosperity till
I see you and Your Family in the meantime I am yr truly Effectionate
Friend  Humble Servt                          ISAAC SHELBY.
To Mr. John Shelby Holstons River Fincastle County favr. by Mr.
    Benja. Gray.

  This recital, written by the young Isaac Shelby, modestly
omits any mention of the very important part which he him-
self played in the battle. Upon the death of Colonel John
Field, Captain Evan Shelby was ordered to the command,
and upon so doing he gave over the command of his own com-
pany to his son, Isaac, who, while only holding the rank of a
lieutenant, acted in the capacity of a captain during about
half the battle. Cornstalk, Logan, Red Eagle, and other
brave chieftains, fighting fiercely, led in the attack; and above
the terrible din and clangor of the battle could be heard the




deep, sonorous voice of Cornstalk encouraging his warriors
with the injunction: "Be strong! Be stronTg!" The Indians
led by Cornstalk adopted the tactics of making successive
rushes upon the whites by which they expected to drive the
frontiersmen into the two rivers, "like so many bullocks," as
the chief later explained. So terrific were the onslaughts of the
red men that the lines of the frontiersmen had frequently to
fall back; but these withdrawals were only temporary, as they
were skillfully reinforced each time and again moved steadily
forward to the conflict. w About half an hour before sunset
General Lewis adopted the dangerous expedient of a flank
movement. Captains Shelby, Matthews,