Dick Pointer, Hero,
Greenbrier County, West Virginia

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DICK POINTER - Negro slave of Col. Andrew Donnally who was later emancipated for his bravery against Native Americans at the Battle of Fort Donally (May 1778). He died in 1827 and is buried in the Lewisburg Cemetery. He appears in the Greenbrier County Deed Book 2, Page 400, year 1801 - Emancipation of Slave Dick Pointer by James Rodgers, son of John Rodgers & Ann Clendenin.
From the research notes of Carol L. Haynes

An account of the attack on Fort Donnally by the Indians.

"On the second night most of the men went to the second story, having slept none for nearly forty-eight hours. In the latter part of the night they became drowsy and when daylight began to appear were all in a profound sleep. Only three men were on the lower door, -- Hammon, one of the spies, a white servant and a black servant of Colonel Donally. At daybreak the white servant opened the door, that he might bring in some firewood. He had gone but a few steps from the house when he was shot down. The Indians now sprang from their concealment in the edge of the rye-field near to the house, and rushing in a body, attempted to enter the door.*

[*Colonel Stewart says that there was kind of a stockade fort around the house and that it was the kitchen door which the Indians attacked.]

Hammon and the black servant Dick made an effort to secure it, but failing in this they placed their shoulders against a hogshead of water which stood behind, and which they had drawn nearer to the door. But the Indians commenced chopping with their tomahawks and had actually cut through the door and were also pressing to force it open. Having already made a partial opening, Dick fearing that they might succeed in gaining their purpose, left Hammon at his post and seizing a musket which stood near, loaded with heavy slugs, discharged it through the opening among the crowd. The Indians now fell back and the door was secured.

"The black servant, Dick, was more fortunate. His case came before the legislature and his freedom was decreed. It is pleasing to know, that Dick lived near threescore years after this, respected for his industry, probity and other civic virtues."

From the INTRODUCTION TO THE HISTORY OF THE COLONY AND ANCIENT DOMINION OF VIRGINIA, APPENDIX Southern literary messenger, devoted to every department of literature and the fine arts. Volume 14, Issue 1, pp. 17-26, Richmond, Virginia; Publisher, T. W. White [etc.]

Fort Donnally Plaque

Fort Donnally Plaque


Erected by Colonel Andrew DONNALLY in 1771. In May 1778 twenty families gathered in fort withstood fierce attack of 200 Shawnee Indians until relief arrived from Fort Savannah under Captain John STUART and Colonel Samuel LEWIS. Dick POINTER, negro slave of Capt. DONNALLY was a hero of the battle.

Also, see http://www.rootsweb.com/~wvgreenb/history/160th2.htm for more info about Fort Donnally and Dick Pointer.

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