Letter From Morgan Jones

Submitted by Phyllis Slater


Letter from Morgan Jones to his parents: 1777

Dear Parents: - This comes to let you know our distressed situation at present. Last Saturday night the Indians came and drove off my two horses, and two of Joseph Tomlinson's, shot a mare of his dead and took a valuable mare of John Hartnesses, and one large horse of Samuel Harris and one of Zaphiniah Blackfords, and some young creatures, and with their arrows shot four of Mr. Zodger's cattle and two of Yeates Conwells. The cattle came home with the arrows sticking in them twelve inches, which cut a shocking aspect; upon which we immediately turned out all that was fit for action, which was only twenty-three, leaving not eight effectual men in the fort, and went down the river to the mouth of Fish creek, by water and then crossed the Ohio and marched by land to Sunfish creek, and then took the tracks of the Indians and it was partly dark, the road was plain and followed up the creek by moonshine a few miles with great hopes of overtaking them, and discovered their fire and as we were surrounding them, John McClean's gun went off by accident and they returned the fire smartly and only one of our men were in proper view of the Indians, who shot twice and they then fled from their camp, and scolded us for some time.

We immediately took possession of a hill that joined their camp and discovered two more fires, and not thinking ourselves sufficient for an attack, we retreated and got a reinforcement and sallied down and went up the creek, but finding they were two days gone we concluded to cross to our side of the river, and look for some that we expected on that side, we took the advantage of a rifle, two of our canoes being advanced close to the shore in order to land, the Indians fired their shots as thick as hail upon them, our men all fell flat in the canoes only two that steered and pushed back under cover of our guns, and got safe back to the savage shore without the loss of a man, we exchanged many shot but to no purpose we then pushed up and crossed the river below Fish Creek, and lay on our arms until morning, and found a number of tracks coming up the river which we followed with all speed to our fort and was agreeable surprised to find them a party of Capt. Pigman's company that had been at the Little Kanawha, and so you won't fail to come down with five or six horses with all speed to help us up to your parts. The sign of the Indians is very numerous over the Ohio, having numbers of camps, and one large bark camp below Fish Creek. I was in both actions and saw the signs myself....
Morgan Jones
Grave Creek