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Letter from the Camp, on Point Pleasant



For the satisfaction of the publick, in this letter they have a true state of the battle fought at this place, on the 10th instant.

On Monday morning, about half an hour before sun-rise, two of Captain Russell' s Company discovered a large party of Indians about a mile from Camp, one of which men was shot down by the Indians, the other made his escape and brought in the intelligence. In two or three minutes after, two of Captain Shelvey' s came in and confirmed the account. Colonel Andrew Lewis being informed thereof, immediately ordered out Colonel Charles Lewis to take the command of one hundred and fifty of the Augusta Troops, and with him went Captain Dickinson, Captain Harrison, Captain Wilson, Captain John Lewis, of Augusta, and Captain Lockridge, which made the first Division. Colonel Fleming was also ordered to take the command of one hundred and fifty more of the Botetourt, Bedford, and Fincastle Troops, viz: Captain Thomas Burford, from Bedford, Captain Love, of Botetourt, Captain Shelvey and Captain Russell, of Fincastle, which made the second Division. Colonel Charles Lewis' s Division marched to the right, some distance from the Ohio; and Colonel Fleming, with his Division, on the bank of the Ohio, to the left. Colonel Charles Lewis' s Division had not marched quite half a mile from Camp, when, about sun-rise, an attack was made on the front of his Division, in a most vigorous manner, by united tribes of Indians, Shawanese, Delawares, Mingoes, Tawas, and of several other Nations, in number not less than eight hundred, and by many thought to be a thousand. In this heavy attack, Colonel Charles Lewis received a wound, which in a few hours caused his death, and several of his men fell on the spot. In fact, the Augusta Division was forced to give way to the heavy fire of the enemy. In about a second of a minute after the attack on Colonel Lewis' s Division, the enemy engaged the front of Colonel Fleming' s Division, on the Ohio, and in a short time the Colonel received two balls through his left arm, and one through his breast; and after animating the officers and soldiers in a most calm manner, to the pursuit of victory, retired to the Camp. The loss from the field was sensibly felt by the officers in particular; but the Augusta Troops being shortly reinforced from the Camp by Colonel Field, with his Company, together with Captain M' Dowell, Captain Matthews, and Captain Stewart, from Augusta, Captain John Lewis, Captain Paulin, Captain Arbuckle, and Captain M' Clenachan, 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, Colonel Fleming being left in action on the bank of the Ohio. In this precipitate retreat, Colonel Field was killed. During this time, which was till after twelve o' clock, the action continued extremely hot. The close under-wood, many steep banks and logs, greatly favoured their retreat; and the bravest of their men made the best use of them, whilst others were throwing their dead into the Ohio, and carrying off their wounded. After twelve, the action in a small degree abated, but continued, except at short intervals, sharp enough till after one o' clock. Their long retreat gave them a most advantageous spot of ground, from whence it appeared to the officers so difficult to dislodge them that it was thought most advisable to stand, as the line was then formed, which was about a mile and a quarter in length, and had sustained till then a constant and equal weight of the action, from wing to wing. It was till about half an hour of sunset they continued firing on us scattering shots, which we returned


to their disadvantage. At length night coining on, they found a safe retreat.

They had not the satisfaction of carrying off any of our men' s scalps, save one or two stragglers, whom they killed before the engagement. Many of their dead they scalped, rather than we should have them; but our Troops scalped upwards of twenty of their men that were first killed. It is beyond doubt their loss in number far exceeds ours, which is considerable.