The following is based on a transcriptions of letters to and from Thomas W. Carter in the Draper manuscript collection. The original transcription was by Danny Dixon, 2005, and presented at his web site. The following places the information in these letters in tabular Q&A format.
|To Ths W. Carter – Rye Cove, Scott Co., VA - May 16, 1883||To Lyman C. Draper Esq. - Rye Cove Virginia - Nov 16th, 1883, completed 26th Nov 1883|
I have before me a letter from your self bearing date May 16th 83. Before answering I will inform you the cause why I did not answer you sooner. At the time it came to hand I was so feeble, the letter was kept from me for a long time & when I had gained health, it had been misplaced – at length it was found. The books you sent are being read by my grand children with good interest I here. Thank you for the presents. Mister Draper I fear there have been reports made to you from this country that are untrue & in answering I may contradict.
|1st When & where did Patk Porter die, his age & was his fort known by any other name than Porter’s Fort?||Your first question relative to Patk Porter. Patrick Porter died in 1810 or 1811 & was between eighty & ninty years of age; his fort was not known by any other name than Porters fort.
|2nd Describe the Devil’s Race Path – what is it where located -- & origin of so odd a name.||2 quest) The Devils Race path Branch is a small branch emptying into a creek called
· 471 Stock Creek, one half mile below the Natural Tunnel through which the creek passed a great natural curiousaty. Two & half miles above where it mouth in to Clinch River the branch heads near the top of a ridge called Purchess Ridge & runs between two spurs of said ridge, rising abruptly on either side to a considerable height; the bed of the branch being the bed of the path which was very difficult to pass on. About 1790, a man by the name of James Paine made a settlement at the mouth of said branch and another man by the name of Simon Dotson at the head; Paine house became the resort of bad men Dotson mad whiskey & sold to those men until it became danger[ous] for travelers to pass through the gorge & received the name of Devils race path branch.
|3rd Judge Wood mentions Chatterrawha on Big Sandy: What is the meaning of Chatterrawha & from who did you learn it?||3 Quest) You speak of Judge Wood speaking of two names being given to Sandy River. I never heard any other name only Big Sandy he must have got that name form some other person.|
|4th About Samuel Porter accompanying Boone on his second trip to Kentucky – in the spring after Boone’s oldest son was killed: One Michael Stoner was then with Boone – I never before heard of Porter going also. Do you feel pretty certain of it?||4th Quest) Boone’s first trip was made the sumer before he started with his first colony; got as fare as where Roallins Creek passes through Wallen Ridge, about fifty miles west of Snoddys fort on Clinch River to which place he fell back after his defeat. About the fifth of May Daniel Boone & Samuel Porter started back to Kentucky another person that eaver [never?] I heard spoke of went with them. They were by then ____ & neaver returned until in the month of October following—
|5th About Cooper who made the long range shot at Boonesboro – was he a Dutchman – where from -- & what finally became of him -- has he descendants to who you can refer me?||5th Quest) Cooper was a young man who had come from Eastern Virginia had stopped at Snoddys Fort, and remained there until he went to the relief of Boone’s fort on the Kentucky river & remained in Ky for some five or six years when he returned back to Snoddys fort stayed there some few days to rest & left to there as he said to go home to father & his mother in Old Virginia he had got tired fighting the Indians – this is the last account I ever heard of Cooper.
|6th Have you any idea when & where Joseph Blackmore died, his age? What part of Yadkin did he come from? Can you refer me to his descendants?||6th Quest Joseph Blackmore never came from the Yadkin; he came from Fauquier County VA & settled on Clinch River built his fort & called it Fort Blackmore which name it bears to day he left this country before the Indian troubles were over with; his entire family escapt one son & one daughter both I have seen my self; they have bin dead siscty years ago. Joseph Blackmore finally settled in the State of Tennessee not fare from Nashville I cannot refer you to any of his descendants.
|7th When & where did David Cox die, & his age? Where a native of? Descendants?||7th Quest Dave Cox died at his home on Stoney Creek one half mile north of Fort Blackmore about 80 years of age[.] He came from North Carolina he came to this county about 1791 he died about the year 1820.|
|8th Was Samuel Porter born in Ireland? What was his age at his death?||8th Quest Where was Samuel Porter born: in Surry county N. Carolina – went to the relief of Boonesborough in Ky – in the Battle with the Indians at Blue Licks – then with Colo Bowman in the fight with the Indians near the line between the states of Ohio & Indiana in which fight he was wounded in the thigh, & was brought to the falls of the Ohio River where now stand the city of Lewisville [Louisville?], he remained there until he was able to travel late in the following November he then went to Boonsborough Ky & in the following June for his home on Clinch River. The Route he took /the valley of the Kentucky River then a wilderness uninhabited only by wild beasts on the 27th days travel he reach Porter’s Fort; his father had erected a mill which he had to pass before reaching the Fort – discovering a light in the Mill house, he with great
caution was approaching the Mill when he was hailed with who comes there in answer to which he gave his answer in masonic language which was answered masonicaly ________ ____ to. In a few minutes ha was directed in to the room where his father provided: you may imagine the scene that passed when he entered the lodge room of which he was a member. I will not continue this part of his history further: he lived but a few years after his return home from fatigue & exposure he died of consumption in 1791 & was buryed in the Porter Fort grave yard he died at the age of thirty-eight.
|9th Do you know when Col. Snoddy died – his age – descendants?||9th Quest Colo Snoddy went with a colony from Virginia to Ky. Settled in Madison County, 5 miles North of Richmond the county seat of said county, where a few years ago his descendants were living.|
|10th Judge Wood mentions Dale Cater – another account I have calls his Deal Carter. Which is correct?||My father Dale Carter was named after him.|
|11th Can you tell me about one Callahan. I don’t know his first name – who figured perhaps in the region of Yokum’s Station. I would like to learn his carear, and what became of him, & about his descendants.||11th Quest Calahan I have heard him spoken of—I cannot give anything that would be correct. For his history I will direct you to Colo Samuel Duff of Whites Burg Letcher County Kentucky whom I think can give you his history.|
|12th Have you any knowledge of any attack on Yokum’s Station by Indians -- & the particulars?||12th Quest. An attack on Youcam Station nothing I fear correct. I will direct you to Colo Duff the only person that knows of that can direct you to that can give you any thing like a correct statement.|
|13th Judge Wood tells me that your uncle had a copy of Carlisle, Ky, paper containing an account of a historical celebration, & much about Boone, If you can find the paper, would very much like to see it.||13th Quest. With regard to the Carlisle Ky papers I have lost that paper & cannot find it.|
|14th Have you any traditions about Gen George Rogers Clark & Logan the Indian Chief.||14th Quest with regard to George Rogers Clarke all I can say with regards to Clark, he came once to Carters Fort in Rye Cove now Scott County as pay master In Colo Lewis Command which my father was a soldier.
The Indian Chief Logan commanded a band of Indians & harassed the settlements in the Clinch Valley several year, which in my next letter I will try & give you some of the particulars. I here stop for the present. To be continued by pages here after: my health to day not good enough to write longer.
Col. Wm Russell writes from So. West VA Sept 1783 to Gov Harrison, that Co. Arthur Campbell had charged Samuel Porter, a returned prisoner from Detroit with adhering to the enemy while in captivity at Detroit. Col. Russell states that Porter had been a worthy citizen of Virginia since 1769, & had proved his attachment to the American cause -- & thinks he is unjustly charged. Virginia Calendar of State Papers Vol. III, 552.
|As Thos Carter says Porter was in the battle of the Blue Licks, I presume it was there he was taken prisoner. His name is not in the list of prisoners in the Haldiman [?] Papers in Vol 2, Vermont Hist. Collections.|
|Memo [on separate, thin piece of paper]
There seems to be some mistake on the part of Thos Cater abt. Sam. Porter having been in Blue Licks battle.
Capt. John Gass[?] in his notes states that Porter, who was badly wounded on Bowman’s campaign, returned to Boonesboro & before his wounds had fully recovered he started for Powell’s Valley country & his wounds broke out afresh & he died on the way, in the fall of 1779.
|[Appears to be a continuation of letter to Draper from Carter]
Rye Cove Scott County VA December 5th 1883 Mr Lyman C. Draper Esq Dear Sir I now write you relative to the Indian Chief Logan.
|Capt John Logan supple and clean, he always wrote his name as above, he wrote three letters – he left one at the spring at Snoddys Fort after Snoddys fort was broke up & Snoddy moved to Kentucky, Mr. Cowen erected a fort on his land one & half miles west of Snoddys Fort where my grand Father Patrick Porter went with his brother in law William Cowen. The nesct summer the Chief Logan left at Cowens Fort a letter giving the reason why he became the enemy of the white people. He stated that another tribe of Indians made war on his Father’s tribe & killed all his people he being but a boy he fled to the whites, who taught him to read books & write letters for which he loved them; but a company of white men came on his wife & five little children & killed them all & there & then was not a human being through his vains flowed the blood of Logan. He was determined to have the scalpes of seven white men – not woman & children but warriors. The women & children never need fear Capt. John Logan supple & clean & his brave following. The nesct June following when they opened the fort gates & men went out to search out danger, if any, Katharine Porter, the youngest child of Patrick Porter, then a small girl with her bucket, was the first to reach the spring & to her great surprise she there found a pile of clubs beautifully painted & a letter laying on top of them. She sat down her water vessel, gathered up the war clubs in her apron & letter in hand started to the fort holloring as loud as she could, frightening every one in fort, men came running, gun in hand -- her father & brother Samuel in lead. Her father said to her – “well cate, you have had a powerful fright with the Indians – you have whipped sixteen Indians & took there war clubs from them.” I have heard my mother tell the above more than a hundred times. In examining the letter it was signed by Logan & that as he had got revenge for his wife & children, he came to let them know that the Indians would be on them soon in great force – make your fort strong & be ready for them, that he his brave followers in evidence of friendship for the white people, had left the war clubs, they being vary tired had taken each a fine horse to ride home & hoped that Capt. Porter & his brave men would forgive them -- do not think that this is a lie. Sincerely your friends for ever,
|My mother, for she was Patrick Porters youngest child, kept the war club & letter for years. I myself have seen the club & letter, the writing on the letter had faded out so you could not read it – the club had Logan’s name wrote on it, the club was taken by some one – she never knew who it was. The account will be on Logan of Pages 11. I am not write long. T W Carter
|The summer following Col Lewis had the fight with Indians on the Ohio river: account of the fight I refer you to the history of the Indian wars. Patrick Porter was Comm in charge under Lewis – remained there several days – Capt Logan came in the camp – he discovered Porter – he walked straight forward, his hand extended toward Porter, with a smile – “I know you – you are Patrick Porter; I want to be your friend – you don’t know me – I am Capt John Logan. Many times I could have killed you; but I loved you and would not.” He made inquiry about his son Samuel Porter. At that moment he say Samuel coming toward them; he points & says “yonder he comes” – when Samuel came to them, he says to him: “I am Logan; & was your friend – many times could have killed you , but would not. You were too good a man – you guarded the women & children, which made me love you & your Father & regard you as my friends forever.” They gave him there assurance of perpetual love and friendship. He then rehersed several occurrences that had taken place – one with regards to a large fine horse that was hitched to the fort gate. He had watched the horse all day; when night came on, he took a shock of top fodder that stood near the horse & put over him & gradually approached the horse but at this moment a child fell out of the bed & broke its arm, which caused such a fuss that he left the fodder and left. Did
you ever discover or notice that shock of fodder? “Yes,” said Samuel Porter, “The braking of the child’s arm saved Logan. I was on guard & guarding the fort gate & discovered the fodder moving towards the gate my gun cocked in the very act of shooting when you abandoned the fodder & ran away, I was in twenty feet of you with as good a gun as was ever fiard.” Logan replied the great spirit did not let one friend kill another; the day before they before they commenced there march for there homes Logan brought an Indian boy about 15 years old to Patrick Porter & requested him to take the boy home with him & educate him; he was an orphan without father and mother, & wanted to live with the white people & learn their books & wear clothes as they did. P. Porter refused to carrying the boy with him for fear it might insult the Indians. The third day after they had started at night the Indian boy came to P. Porter’s tent with a letter in his hand from Logan, stating that the Indians thought the boy was drowned in the river while they were crossing & that here would never be any fuss about it. The name of the Indian boy was Dale – to which they added Arter henc[e] he was known as Arter Dale he grew to manhood, married a white woman, raised a large family of respectable children; his descendants are yet living in VA. Arter Dale at an early age professed religion attaching him self to Methodist church & an able preacher in that church. My health has been very bad for some time. Yours Fraternally,
|To Ths. W. Carter – Rye Cove Va|
|1st Tell me more fully abt Boone & Saml Porter’s Kentucky trip -- all the particular you can recall about it – what incidents occurred on the trip – what they went for – What parts of Kentucky they visited – Whether they met with Whites or Indians.||March 13th 1884 I have been so feeble & health so bad for the last two months I had to cease trying to write. I am very feeble at this time, but will do the best I can & try & finish for fear I shall not live long. I will do the best I can with regard to Boone & Porter’s trip to KY. They went to ascertain where the Indians lived; they feared they had a settlement in Kentucky. They went down the Sandy River to where it emptied into the Ohio River, & down the Ohio came to a small river – up that river which they named Little Sandy turning west after traveling some distance they came to another large river; they followed that river & late one evening they came to an Indian camping ground. The appearance was fresh. In examining they found fire, they drew off & secreted themselves until morning. They found they (the Indians) had left. They followed the trail to the Ohio river, where they had crossed – they crossed on a raft which was tied on the Ohio side of the river. They returned back to the Indian camp – examined the place found a poke of salt made by the Indians & a small camp kettle in which they had made it. The place was a moving of Buffaloe, Elk & deer, they killed one fine fat buffalo & several deer one fine elk -- salted the meats with the Indian salt _____ the ____ noting which they used for bread; took some of the salt & traveled [Draper’s handwriting]--*Wm Licking Blue Licks. LCD.|
|2nd What was Cooper’s first name?|
|3rd Cooper or Porter, made the long shot at the siege of Boonesboro, killing an Indian in a tree – what were the particulars?|
|4th Do you remember any incidents of Porter in the Blue Lick battle?|
|5th Do you know any trees or rocks on which Boone cut his name & date – if so, describe their locality.|
|6th Do you feel certain that Blackmore’s first name was Joseph? Why I have any doubts about it is that Haywood in his History of Tennessee published nearly 60 years ago call him Capt. John Blackmore that he moved to this Nashville on Cumberland County in 1780, with Jas Robertson & Col. Donelson’s immigrants, by water down the Tennessee, that
Blackmore was killed on the journey. Think of this matter, & write me.
|7th Can you give any new facts about Boone’s defeat at Wallen’s Creek? How far was the spot of this defeat from Martin’s Station -- & how far from Cumberland Gap? Do you know the names of any of the families with Boone at this defeat?|
|Shall be glad to received the statement about Capt. Logan the Mingo Chief|
|Dec. 14th 83:|
|1. J. H. Duff says Boone lives in a fort at the mouth of Stock Creek – give the name of this fort, what you know of Boone’s living there. It seems to me a mistake.|
|2nd. Please make for me a rough map of the Counties of Blackamore’s Fort – Cowan’s at the union of a small stream next above Castles Run & Moore’s Fort a little below the mouth of Castle’s Run & between that & Sinking Creek.||[Thomas W. Carter’s handwriting]
March 13th - 20th 1884
I cannot write more at this time and shurly very feeble the weather very cold for the season – snowing at this time. I will try & write every day that my health will admit. I am certain you will be bothered to read & understand the rough ___ map on this sheet. I intended to draw this sheet anew, but feared I would not be able. I ___[?] send to you & finish the map on my nesct page.
March 20 1884 Yours truly TW Carter
|So far as I have got information, particularly from an old man in Ky 40 years ago, who was a boy in Moore’s Fort, Boone lived in Moores or Cowans. Can you confirm this view – or give other information, from who derived?|
|Feb 14th 1884|
|Any traditions that Maj. Hugh McGass was one of Boone’s party of _____[?], when defeated by Indians, driven back in 1773 from Powell’s Valley? --Saml Porter a prisoner at Detroit –
Va Calendar State Papers, III, 552
|Rye Cove Scott County Virginia April 7th 1884, [to] Lyman C. Draper Esq –|
|[I offer?] my kindest respects & hoping your health is good. I am feeble – hardly able to write. You will please accept my thanks for the Kings Mountain History which you have presented to me which I highly appreciated. I have heard the old heroes that were in the fight talk the fight over time & again. Tow of them lived hear neighbours to my father. William Stewart & David Duly: both drew pensions for their services: Stewart lived to age of 96 years, & Neely lived to the age of 102 years – retained his mind until his death -- one month before his death, I visited him, & in conversation I brought up the Kings mountain Fight which seemed to stimulate him: he lead off in talk for over on hour the [?] of Colonel Campbell declared he was the bravest man he ever saw; he said the person who told him that Campbell left the fight & hid himself told a lie, for he was in 20 feet of Campbell when Ferguson’s army surrendered. He was a Christina & member of the Methodist Church for 75 years.
At the time the Virginians rendezvised near the Black Fort organized under Colo. Campbell to drive back Ferguson.
Patrick Porter raised 42 men in the Clinch Valley & met them at Blacks Fort & joined the Regiment [?] Campbell. At night they had a council of war, when it was agreed to send Porters company back to the Clinch Valley to guard the Frontier, expecting the move of Ferguson was to form a junction with the northern Indians. Next morning Porter with his company returned to the Clinch settlement[?] sent spies to the Cumberland Mountain range. There to keep a vigilant watch for the Indians. Several of them went as far as the Ohio River but no Indians appeared. As soon as the glad news came of the destruction of Ferguson & Tory Clan, Porter disbanded his company, they returned to their homes—
I have been trying to, & have every time I was able, answer your inquiries & furnishing the map I forwarded to you, which you state came safe to hand. I have now finished 2 more pages, but will finish 2 more pages before forward it to you.
Yours truly T.S. Carter
|Rye Cove Scott County Va. January 1st 1885 [to] Lyman C. Draper Esq.|
Yesterday I received your favour of the 3d Dec. 1884 propounding to question relative to the capture of s. Porter by the Indians I had answered that with other inquiry last summer. I wrote foreen pages & mailed to you; from your letter, it was mislayed – never came to your possession – the cause I had not wrote sooner I supposed you needed no further information from me. Samuel Porter never was captured by the Indians – the person who informed you about Porters capture by the Indians I suppose knows little or nothing with regard to the first settlers of Clinch Valley. S. Porter & J. Arter were what was then known as rangers; they guarded the passes in the Cumberland Mountains, and often discovered them crossing the mountain, when they would travel by & night to give the whites notice of their coming & thwart the Indians of their savage purpose of killing the whites. I will give an out line of the service rendered by S. Porter to his country which I received from my mother in my youthful days, which I have never forgot. Porter & Arter on the top of Cumberland Mountain some twelve miles west of now known as Pound one day discovered 27 Indians approaching near to themselves down the they chasing each three Indians & at both fired at the same time, each killing three Indians.
When the Indians took them selves down the one mountain & were directly out of sight loading their guns, they made there way back to the settlements & gave notice of the Indians, but they never came. He was in the fight under Colo Lewis on the Ohio River went to the relief of Boone’s fort of the Ky River was under Daniel Boone in the fight at the Blue Licks where his partner Arter was killed went with Colo Boman on the other side of Ohio River when he was wounded in the knee? carryed from the battle field by Cooper who killed the Indian. So grate was the distance at Boones Borrow, Porter was carryed to the Hills of Ohio now Lewisville in November. He went to Boons Fort of the Kentucky River & the June following to his Fathers at Porters Fort on Clinch River his health failing he lived there until his death which I have heretofore informed you. [The following paragraph is ink-stained causing difficulty reading.]
With regards to the sickness raging in this county I have ____ from its actack a grate many have died it is nothing more nor less than bluddy Fl___ the most of the deaths asided____ by too much m____ set medicin. The nusepapers has given to the wor__ the most exagerated statements I eaver read though fatal enough my health as usual not g____ gradually waring _____ you can ___ to me for any information you ____ I can give & I will trie the best I can to ______ to gone I hope this letter will not _________ mailer as did my last. Yours with _______ TW Carter
|[Draper’s handwriting] To TW Carter – Jan 28th 1885|
|Your letter of last summer, I am sorry to say, failed to reach me. Refer to my letter of Apl. 25th so as to suply again to the inquiries there, b_____ the one abt. Saml Porter’s captivity. I do not want to lose anything from you.
The evidence is strong that Arthur was a Majore at Detroit – (citing Col. Wm Russell’s letter of Sept. 1783, from Va Calendar Vol 3, 532 – def__ting Col Ar. Campbell’s charge that Porter while a prisoner at Detroit, adhered to the enemy. As Russell lives on Clinch, he must have known Porter well. Much better than Campbell could, who lived some 20 odd miles, east of Abingdon, at the Royal ___, & it must have been in Russell’s company, ___ on Clinch, that Porter served on the Point Pleasant campaign, 1774.
How or when Porter was captured, I have no means of learning. Very likely his sufferings while a prisoner tended to shorten his life. Once when Indians stole horses from some of the Clinch stations, a party pursurers overtook the enemy & had something of a fight, recovered the horses. You speak of Porter & Arthurs meeting 27 Indians, some 12 miles west of Pound Gap, & firing on them. May there not have been others, with them -- & was the affair to which I have allude? When you say 12 miles west of Pound Gap – do you mean over the Mountain, for the heads of some of the streams, in now Letcher[?] County, Ky? Tell me the exact locality – or as exact as you know it.
Do you remember any incidents connected with Lewis’ battle at Point Pleasant which your mother use to relate – which she learned from Samuel Porter? If so, please note them down for me. That was a hard fought battle, & I want to learn all I can about it.
|Tell me any thing further of J. Arthur – his first name in full – where from originally, & whether he was among the earliest settlers on Clinch?|
On the map you sent me, you mark Boon’s path or trace by the way of Abingdon. Do you feel pretty certain that that was his route when he moved to the Clinch country -- ___ his son, & fell back to the Clinch forts? There are those who think he went by, or near where Elizabethtown now is, & thence on to Big Moccasin Gap. If you have any traditions about his route, tell them to me, & from who derived. Did Jos. Blackmore leave descendants now in your part of Virginia? Did Arthur leave descendants? LCD
[TW Carter’s handwriting] Rye Cove Scott Co. Va April 18th 1885 To Mr. Lyman C. Draper Esq. After a long & severe sickness I will try to answer your favour of the 28th January 1885 – very feeble which you will see from bad writing. Samuel Porter, my uncle, neaver was a prisoner with the Indians. Capt Russell you speak of was sent by Colo Lewis with an order to march immediately into near where Colo Lewis then lived, now ______k County Va. which order caused the Clinch Valley men to travel over one hundred & fifty miles further than necessary. Saml Porter told him while they were traveling around the world to get to the Ohio river, the Indians might come & lay the Clinch settlements waste, & kill the helpless men and women. Campbell ordered him to hush – if he spoke another word he would have him _____ ____ under guard ____ Colo Lewis _____. Porter told him, Campbell, he would not do that, he was not subject to his orders; he was with Arthur employed by the Governor of VA as rangers, working under orders as such. Campbell says “you are a damned liar; you & Arthur wants to run and warn the Indians of Lewis coming on strong”; to which Porter returned to him “that’s God Damned lie,” Campbell drew his sword & made at Porter. Porter stepped to his gun picked it, cocked it, brought it to his shoulder in the act of shooting, when his father, Patrick Porter, took hold of his gun & prevented his son from killing Campbell. He then ordered the Holston men to shoot Porter, where some 30 Clinch men took their guns, stepped from the crowd some forty yards distant, formed line, deterring the first man that raised his gun to shoot Porter. ...[unexplained elision]...They knew Porter he was a true man & good Christian ______man. For a few minutes all stood in suspense. Russell went to S. Porter’s father to taking a minute S. Porter to the Clinch men Russell to the Holston men talking with them; all was quiet in a few minutes. Then Clinch men proposed if Campbell & a few others would leave, they would lay down their arms & come to some agreement for further improvements. Campbell & about six or eight left. In less than one hour the arrangement was complete of the Clinch Valley men for their homes to _____ for a quick march the ____ ____ _____ Colo Lewis He traveled the Indian warpath that led them to a place where the Indians had made a ___ place, where ____ Russell ___ them; resting one day – then moved to the place where they were to meet Colo Lewis. Campbell _____ charges against Porter – Russell informed Porter of the charges – Porter stood his trial & Russell defended him & he was honorably acquitted. Porter and Campbell never after met. The nesct morning where Lewis encamped the night before, John Arther & Wm Duncans horses strayed from the encampment, Arther & Duncan went in search for them, before they went forth of a mile, the Indians fired on them killing Duncan & slightly wounding Arther but did not prevent him from fighting. He fought through the entire day. The battle commenced at sunrise & continued till near the setting of the sun, when the Indians fled from the field. You wrote for incidents occurring on the day of the battle. When Arther was shot at by the Indians, he ran for the camp down a slopping ridge covered with green briars – jumping high over the briars hollowing “______ & marrow bones” – telling Colo Lewis...that the entire hill was covered with Indians, and looked as black as blackbirds, but of the number he had no idea – but there were enough to give us a good fight, which proved true. Both sides fought bravely. About ten o’clock, the Indians were re-enforced by from two to three hundred fresh warriors, beating back the whites to within three hundred yards of the baggage – when Col. Lewis ordered a retreat. His son* Capt. Lewis, ran to his father, telling him that a retreat would end in the destruction of almost the entire army -- & ordering the camp guard of two hundred men at least to form line & follow him on double-quick. And up the hill they went, every man hallooring at the top of his voice, and drove the Indians back near half a mile, where they took a strong position which they held until late in the evening – when Col. Lewis ordered a company to make a flank movement, which was promptly made falling upon the Indians near, fired a deadly volley into their back before they were apprised that the whites were in their rear – when they fled like scared turkeys. (*His brother, Col. Chs Lewis, I believe. LCD)
|May 5th – I have been unable to write for a long time – a little improved; I hope, as the weather is becoming more better, that I shall improve in health, and I will be able to answer your questions, which I would like to do.|
|John Arther was an orphan boy – came to Clinch with Col. Snoddy. Saml Porter and Arther were employed by the Governor of Virginia as Indian Rangers at $6 per month – which service would commence the 1st of May & close the 1st of November, which service they performed for several years.
(1774) They knew the Indian traces, and it was while guarding one of those trails that they killed the Indians, and fled to the settlements to let the whites know of the approach of the Indians. The place was in a very low gap in the Cumberland Mountains, through which there has been a horse path for several years. The range of the Mountain is NE to SW.
|I will close this sheet at present, & will commence another when I rest.
Yours truly – TW Carter
|Samuel Porter’s Captivity|
|John Gass of Bourbon Co. Ky, who knew Samuel Porter at Boonesboro, told me or wrote me, that Porter after recovering from his broken leg on Bowman’s campaign in May, 1779, started for Powell’s Valley on Clinch, his ____ breaking put afresh up Kentucky river – in the fall of that year, or something to this effect.
Porter’s nephew, T.W. Carter, denies that Porter was captured & taken to Detroit. But as TW Carter was born till long after Porter had died, & had his information from his mother – Porter’s sister – I conclude as he remembered nothing of the captivity, he therefore concluded it could not have been so. I should say this is the best explanation of the ____ that I can suggest. That on the way to Clinch, in the fall of 1779* (*Or in June 1780, as Ths W. Carter states.)
|Porter in company of others, encountered an Indian party too strong for them, in the melee, Porter was captured & taken to Detroit -- & perhaps there feigned to sympathize with the British in order to render his condition easier. At length as the war closed, he was sent to the States. Col. Ar. Campbell had an old wrangle with Porter, as TW Carter’s letter, Apl 10, 1885, show; & probably Campbell’s prejudices let him to adopt the story of Porter’s sympathy with the British when a prisoner at Detroit. Had he really such feelings, he would no doubt have remained there like the Girtys, McKees & others.
|Very likely some of those who accompanies Porter in the fall of 1779, when he was captured, escaped, & returned to Boonesboro, reporting what they believed that he had been killed & through Capt Gass got his impression.
It must be an error that Porter was in Kentucky, as TW Carter states, in 1782, & served on the Blue Lick Campaign. If he had been in Ky after the fall of 1779, Capt. Gass would have known it – for his memory was good on historical matters -- & was especially bright & reliable on all Boonesboro matters.
|Col. Alex r Bennett, of Russell Co. Va. wrote May 15, 1792
“On the 20th of April a band of Indians came into the Rye Cove settlement & carried off 3 boys, two of them name of Carter, & a negro belonging to the same name but did not kill any in the settlement. One of the boys captured is a son of Mr. Thos Carter a representative of the county.
|J.H. Duff writes, Big Stone Gap, Va, April 18th 1887, that “TW Carter died about a year ago.”|