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Early History of the South-West.

Sketch of the Captivity of Colonel Joseph Brown, of Maury County, Tennessee, by the Indians.


Before we enter upon the thrilling narrative which we propose to lay before the readers of the South Western Monthly, we would say a few words, in introduction of the venerable and esteemed citizen who has furnished the account. We saw him at his residence in Maury County, about fifty miles south of Nashville, only a few weeks since, and although now nearly eighty years of age, he is yet a hale, fine looking man; and notwithstanding the day was one of the most stormy of the season, he had ridden on horseback to Columbia, eleven miles, and returned apparently quite free from fatigue. With noble aquiline features, his eye is that of the eagle's, still; and one may well imagine, who now looks upon him, that in times when men's homes were to be defended from the foray's of the red-man, or the haunts of the latter were to be invaded, no better soldier could be found tracking the war path than the gallant old pioneer whose history we now propose to give to the readers of our magazine.

And in saving from the advance of time one more sketch of the early history of the South-West, we esteem ourselves, in this instance, peculiarly fortunate. Time has spared the venerable narrator beyond the limit assigned to the lives of most men and it is not right that those to whom the country is indebted for it's first step in civilization and prosperity, should be suffered to go down to the grave unhonored by any fitting record of their glorious deeds, to moulder in oblivion. And in regard to this matter, the work of saving these interesting narratives must be done speedily. A portion of the history of the country, — day by day it is becoming more difficult to place it upon record;


and for the simple reason, that gallant old men who were actors in those great events are fast dropping into the tomb. Will not every citizen then, who feels proud of the past, do his duty in this matter, and save what he can of that history, before it is too late?

For one, we intend to do our duty; and we trust that the interesting narrative we give in the present number, will not be the only one, by many, which will grace the pages of the South Western Monthly, in time to come. Certain that the endeavor will meet with favor from all who feel aright upon this matter, we shall enter upon the task with a cheerful spirit; and it will not be our fault, if we do not rescue from oblivion a mass of material, which will at some future period, perhaps, grace a proud chapter in the annals of the past. We now give the narration of Col. Brown:

The Narrative.

I was born in North Carolina, on the 2nd of August, 1772. My father was an active man in the struggle for Independence, during the Revolutionary war with Great Britain, and served as a guide to Col. Washington's, and Col. Lee's troops of horse, when they were in Guilford County, North Carolina, at the time of the battle at that place, on the 15th of March, 1781. For this service he received a certificate, paid afterwards in land, when the office was opened at Hillsborough, 1783. He entered several tracts of land, on Duck river, and on the waters of the Cumberland and Tennessee; and he was endeavoring to get to them, when his boat was taken by the Creeks and Cherokees, as there was at that time no road to Nashville, only a pathway and that by Kentucky. As one or two boats had been built in East Tennessee; in 1786 or 7, and come down the Tennessee and up the Ohio and Cumberland river to Nashville, getting there safely, my father concluded to go the same route; but was discovered by the Indians as he passed the Chickamauga towns, and they sent runners across from Chattanooga to the Running Water and Nickojack towns on the river below, where they procured a man by the name of John Vann, who said he was a white man, and spoke good English; although he was a half-breed. They came up the river, meeting us with flags, and had their guns and tomahawks covered with blankets in the bottom of their canoes. But when they came near, my father said to them, that there "was too many of them coming at one time!" He was answered, by the half-breed, Vann, that it was a peaceable time between them and us, according to the Hopewell and Holston treaties, and they only wanted to see where we were going, and to trade with us, if we had any thing to trade on. By that stratagem, they succeeded in getting on board of us. There were four canoes that came first; but immediately, there were a number of others discovered out in the cane-bottom, as the river was very high. They met us at a mill, above the town of Nickojack, but landed our boat at the mouth of the branch, that ran into the river near the middle of the town. Vann stated to us, that one of them would go with us over the Muscle Shoals, as it was a dangerous place, but this was all intended to deceive my father, and had the desired effect for in twenty minutes afterwards, his life was taken, in consequence, as it would seem, of the successful endeavor to save mine.

There was a drunken indian amongst them, although at that time he was sober; but when indians are drunk, they generally want to have something to boast about. The fellow had a sword and my father and myself were in the stern of the boat, whilst my two brothers and the five other men who were all killed the same day, were in the bow. The indian referred to, caught me by the arm, and pulled me to one side; but my father saw him, took hold of him, and informed him that I was one of his little boys, and he must not touch me. He let me go; but as soon as my father turned his back on Rim, he struck him with the sword, cutting his head nearly off. I then ran forward to the bow of the boat. It was near the landing,


but the Creek indians had taken my mother, little brother, and three sisters, out in their canoes, and as I went to the top of the bank, after landing, I saw my mother at a distance, but saw her no more, until I met her in South Carolina a year from the succeeding fall, when Col. Alexander McGillivray the then commander of the Creek nation, brought her in, and one of my little sisters that he had purchased from the Indians who had them in possession. He would have brought my little brother in, also, but the Indian who had him, would not sell him; and we had no Greek Indian prisoners to exchange for him. He remained five years with them, during which period he forgot his mother tongue, but as soon as he got a sight of his book, and recognized the letters, and heard the pronunciation, his language returned to him. I should have mentioned, however, that the next morning after we were taken, the Cherokees followed the Creeks, and took my oldest and youngest sister from them, and brought them back again to the town of Nickojack. My oldest sister was then about ten, and my brother that was left with the Creeks, eight years of age. My little sister that the Cherokees took from the Creeks had just entered her fifth year. My mother had then been the parent of sixteen children, and the sister that was left with her, was, in age, between my little sister and brother.

But to return to my narrative, as to my own movements. When the boat landed, an indian brought an old white man to me, who said he wanted me to go home with him. I enquired, where he lived? He replied, "about one mile out of town!" I then turned to one of my older brothers, for permission, and he said I might go; but that I must be back in the morning, soon; as the half-breed had informed him that the head chief of the town of Nickojack was not at home, but would arrive that night — that he would make the indians give all that they had taken, and we would, all be permitted to go on our journey again.

I then informed the old white man that I could go with him that evening, but that we were going on our journey the next morning; to which he made no further answer, than — "let us go," for, — as I afterwards learned — the indian had told him that they would kill all the men directly, and I was so large, that "very likely when they got into the frolic of killing the others, they might knock me over!" The indian referred to, was the son of the old white man's wife, a half-breed, before she saw old Tom Tunbridge, the white man; and I was large enough to help his mother hoe corn. The wife of old Tunbridge was a white woman, who had been taken a prisoner when a little girl, down about Mobile. She was of a French family, and never could get back to her relatives till she was grown; and then she said that "if she went back, the white people would not think any thing of her after being raised by the indians; and if she stayed there, she would be thought as much of as her neighbors," therefore, she concluded to remain with the indians.

Before we got half way home, I heard the guns firing for the slaughter of my poor brothers and the other young men; but was so foolish, as to suppose that they were only trying the guns they had taken out of the boat, and did not dream of myself being a prisoner. But in about fifteen or twenty minutes after we arrived at our destination, a fat old woman came in, and appeared to be very angry at old Tunbridge and his wife, for bringing me away. She said, "all the rest were killed, and that I was so large, that I would see every thing and be a man after a while; that I would pilot an army there and kill them all!" It was all in the indian language, of which I knew nothing then; but they afterwards told me all that she said. She also stated, that her son would be there directly, and she; knew that he would kill me.

Old Tunbridge then informed me that all my friends were killed, but that I would not be hurt, although the old squaw had that moment declared, that her son, who was a headman from the town of Tuscagee, opposite to Chattanooga, would be there in a few minutes and she knew that he would kill me.


The old man, Tunbridge, then got up and stood in the door of the cabin, and directed me to sit on the side of the bed, which stood behind the door. I did not know what he meant, by his movements; but he kept looking down the road that led to the town. In a few minutes, the old squaw's son came, and was at the corner of the cabin before old Tunbridge saw him, for he came through the cane-brake, and not by the road. The Indian enquired of Tunbridge — whether "there was not a white man in the house?" The answer was — "No! — there was a little white boy in there." The Indian then said, "he knew how big I was," and that "I must be killed."

Tunbridge said "it was not right to kill women and children!"

The indian's reply was — in the words of his mother — "that I would see every thing and be a man after a while — that I would pilot an army there and have them all cut off."

At length Tunbridge informed him that I was his son's prisoner, and that "he must not kill me!" This was a very great insult — to tell him he could not do as he pleased. He came right up to Tunbridge, face to face, and sternly enquired — if "he was going to be a friend of the Virginians?" The reply of Tunbridge was "no!" — for he saw the fellow was furious, and would have tomahawked him in a moment.

Tunbridge then stood back out of the door, and said — "Take him along!" This was the first word, during the dispute, he had spoken in English.

Cutteotoy, — for that was the name of the warrior — followed him right in. He came with his knife in one hand, and his tomahawk in the other; and with as much vengeance depicted in his countenance as I ever witnessed in a human face.

I was within six feet of the door, but the old French woman begged him not to kill me in the cabin. He did not want to hurt her feelings, and answered — that "he would take me out of the cabin." He was a very large, strong man, and he caught hold of me with one hand, and jerked me to the door. I begged Tunbridge to ask him to let me live one half hour, that i might try to pray; but he said , — "it was not worth while!" As the indian jerked me out of the door, I saw that there were ten of them surrounding it. Some of them had their tomahawks in their hands, others had knives drawn and guns cocked, all ready to dash me into Eternity. But they concluded they would first strip off my clothes, and not bloody them. This delayed them somewhat, and whilst they were at it, the old French woman again interceded with them "not to kill me there, nor on the road where she carried water!" She begged them to "take me out to the mountains, where the wolves would eat me up!" They then answered that "they would take me to Running Water, which was four miles off," that "there were no white people there, and that they would have a frolic, knocking me over."

I, however, knew nothing of what they had said to her, and as soon as my clothing was taken, off, I fell on my knees, to pray, but old Tunbridge told me to get up — that they would not kill me there, but did not inform me that they were going to have a "frolic" over me, at Running Water.

When they came to start, they gave me my pantaloons again, and moving off, had probably gone seventy or eighty yards, when Cutteotoy bethought himself that he was doing a bad business for his own interest. He stopped his men, and told them, — that he must not kill me, and that they must not do it, for as they were under him, it would be as bad if they killed me, as if he were to do it himself — for, he urged, "the fellow that took the white boy is a warrior, and he, Cutteotoy, had taken a negro woman out of the boat, and had sent her up by water, and if he killed me, or if they were to do so, it would be bad for him, for the fellow that took me would go and kill his negro! He did not want to lose his negro;" and he said, further — that all the indians in the nation could not save his negro if he killed me!"

And well might Cutteotoy fear Chiachattalley, for that, in the indian language, was the dreaded warrior's name — although he was generally called by the whites, Tom Tunbridge, after his step-father.


He was still back in town, and as an evidence of his being a warrior, although it had been a peaceable time with the nation from the time he was a boy, and he was then only twenty-two years old, it was said he had killed six white men! He had been off with the Shawnees and Creeks a monster in the shedding of blood, and was afterwards killed in attempting to burn Buchanan's Fort, four miles from Nashville. I was there and saw him a corpse in 1794. The number of men he had killed in six years and four months, from the time I was exchanged to the period when I stood over his lifeless body, is unknown by any one living, but it must have been a large number. He was a man about six feet high, strong and active, the overseer of the town, and the leader of "ball plays" and dances; and I have no doubt if he had succeeded in burning and taking Buchanan's Fort, it would have made him the head man of the Cherokee nation.

To return to myself. After Cutteotoy had given them his "talk," and whilst he was at it, I expected he had only stopped to butcher me. I fell on my knees again and tried to pray, and beg the Lord for the sake of Jesus to have mercy on my poor soul, expecting every moment the tomahawk to sink into my brains; and after I had prayed, possibly five or ten minutes, I remembered the mercy and favor the good Lord showed to Stephen when he was stoned — that he was enabled to see the Heavens opened, and the dear Savior sitting on the right hand of God; and involuntarily opened my eyes! Looking up, as they were gathered all around me, I happened to discover one of them smile; whereupon, casting my eyes around, I saw the countenances of all changed from ferocity to mildness, which was the first gleam of hope I had.

After Cutteotoy had given his reasons why neither he nor his men should kill me, — the wish that he had for a negro to wait upon him and his wretched mother, — ( this pitiful reason quelling all fears before expressed that I might grow up to guide an army there to cut them off, — ) the fat-old woman said she would have my hair, any how; and coming behind me, she took a lock from the crown of my head, cutting it off with an old knife, and holding it up; then kicking me in, the side with a great deal of fury, she bragged that "she had got the Virginian's hair;" which appeared to afford fine fun for the men.

Cutteotoy then called to old Tunbridge to take me back to the cabin that he himself loved me, but that he would not make friends with me then but that he would be back in three weeks and if I lived until then, he would make friends with me! But the others said i was not me he loved, if was the negro!

The above occurrences took place on Friday, the 9th of May, 1788, a clear warm day, the hour about two o'clock The head man of the town of Nickojack was not at home, as the half breed, — Vann, — had said; but he came home that night, and was very much displeased at what had taken place. And he declared — that although he had the command of that town, he never had stained his knife in white man's blood; but in war with the Shawnees had many years before that, stained it.

On Saturday, young Tom Tunbridge and his mother both went to see the old chief, about me; and he directed them to bring me into town the next day , and let him see me. Accordingly the old French woman took me in on Sabbath morning, and when he saw me, he directed the old woman to tell me to come and shake hands with him, which I did. He then directed her to inform me that there was no way I could be saved, but to make an indian of me; and for that purpose he would place me in his own family, and I must call him "uncle," and young Tom Tunbridge I must call "brother!" And as I had long hair, it must be cut off in the indian fashion, and that I must go dressed like the indians.

Accordingly, they trimmed my hair the same day, and shaved the entire sides of my head, leaving only a small scalp-lock on the top of it to tie a bunch of feathers to. They also took away my pantaloons, and gave me in exchange their own substitute for the


same,merely a piece of coarse cloth about four feet long, and ten or fifteen inches broad.

Thus dressed, I was sent into the field, with probably fifty Indians, on Monday. As to the rest of my costume for the occasion, I had a short pair of leggins, and a short old shirt, with a brooch in the breast of it, it coming down only to my waist. My neck collar was pulled Open, my thighs and head were bare, and it being a hot day, by ten o'clock, the back of my heck and head were all blistered to a puff, by the intolerable heat of the sun, By twelve, I was really sick, and with a smart fever upon me. But the good Lord sent a thunder storm and drove us out of the field, and it rained to that degree that we could not go back to the field for several days; and during the time, by greasing the sores caused by the sun, in a few days there came a skin upon the place that stood the heat thereafter. I have no doubt, if it had not been for the rain, I should have fainted before night.

The Irishman kept a store; and the indians were often there, trading. I had never been with them previous to this time, consequently, their appearance and every thing they did or said, was new to me, causing me to watch them closely. Old Tunbridge told me I must not do so, for, said he, it always makes an indian angry to look at him. As the road from Running Water town to Nickojack led by our spring, I had been cautioned also not to let the Creek indians catch me out, lest they might kill me; and as I did not know a Creek indian from a Cherokee, the old French woman sent with me her grandson who could talk English, to keep me on my guard against the creeks, when we went to the spring. This lad knew all the indians, and as we were going one day to the spring, about two weeks after I was taken, I saw several indians about, at which the little boy appeared much alarmed, and I knew very well that it was myself who was in danger, if any was really to be apprehended. After looking at them a little while, he said they were Cherookees,and my fears were therefore removed. I went down, lifted my bucket of water, and started for the cabin; when two of them got upon their horses and crossed the branch that ran from the spring. One of them galloped up alongside of me, and checked his horse. As I had been cautioned not to look at them, I had paid little or no attention to his movements, but now, as I glanced my eye up at him, I discovered that he had a scalp hanging at his breast, and one side of his head was painted red and the other black. I felt a little alarmed, but did not know what to do. In an instant, he sprang from his horse down by my side, and struck me on the side of the head with the but-end of a bush about one inch in diameter, and four feet in length. I was so, near him, the first stroke he made, that it did hot hurt me much; but the second blow he gave, I was farther off, and it knocked me out of the road, but still I did not fall; and the third blow only slightly touched me. He belonged to my own family of indians, and had been away with the Shawnees at war; and had had three of his companions killed. He said — explaining his conduct — that when he saw me it made his blood so hot, he could not help whipping me; and if he could have knocked me down, he would have beaten me well.

A few weeks after this occurrence, the old French woman and myself were hoeing corn. The old woman was about two steps ahead of me, when suddenly as she got to the end of her row, she dropped her hoe, sprang to me, and ordered me to run to a house which was about eighty yards off, where some of my indian relations lived. I ran, but saw nothing to run from. She sent one, of the women back after our hoes, and we staid in the town nearly all the days. Late in the evening she took me by a bye way home, riot informing me what was the cause of her alarm, for six or eight months afterwards; when she told me there was an indian in the weeds at the end of my row, painted black, who had his tomahawk drawn ready to dash out my brains as soon as I should have come to the end.

A few days after this, the indian lad


and, myself were again going after water to the spring. I saw a couple of indians there, but directly they took the road to town. I told the little boy to go down and fill our buckets with water, and I sat down with my back to them, for fear they might think I was afraid of them. I was amusing myself by writing in the sand, thinking, meanwhile, they were gone, when I happend to discover one of them creeping up on me ten or twelve feet from where I was sitting. I sprang forward, running from him as fast as I could, and the little boy told me afterwards — that he struck at me several times with his knife, as I rose, but he never touched me. On learning the facts, the head man told Tom Tunbridge to give me a knife with which to defend myself, and if I killed the fellow, I should not, be hurt for it. He was the one who had been the cause of my being beaten. However, I never saw him any more until the fall of the year, when we had pulled some corn for roasting ears and to feed the horse kept for riding, and always at hand. The little boy and myself were taking the horse to the town, — as our field was included in the town fence, — and the road went through our field. As we went along, we passed an Indian on the road, also going the same way. He was walking, and after we had rode; a little past him, the boy asked me — if "I knew that Indian?" I answered, no! He then informed me that he was the one that had caused me to be whipped, and who had chased me with his knife. I felt uneasy when I learned that this was the Indian that had given me so much trouble; but I had noticed as I rode by him, that he had a scabbard for a knife at his side, but no knife in it. As he passed into the town, he came by where we had cut the corn for our stock, and stopped and enquired insultingly — "why I cut his corn?" I had learned to talk some by that time, and I answered that "it was not his corn" — that "I had made the corn!" He answered that "I was a liar," — it "was his corn" — and started towards me.

I had the knife in my hand that had been given me as a means of defence and was cutting corn with it at the time. l ordered him to stop, or l would put the knife into him. He clapped his hand upon the scabbard of his own knife, and finding the weapon was gone, he swore and raved most desperately, and ran to get a stick with which to make battle.

I was then about eighty yards from the house that had formerly served me as a place of refuge, when the Indian was lying in wait for me at the end of the corn row; and I once more started for it at the top of my speed. When i got to it, I found two or three young men there; and hearing my story, they immediately dashed off with their dogs after the fellow; but he outran them, or I have no doubt he would have fared badly. From that time, I never saw him again, to know him.

A Creek indian one day gave me a very severe blow with a switch, but before he could strike a second time, he was stopped, and the switch taken out of his hand.

(Concluded in next Number)


Early History of the South-West.

Sketch of the Captivity of Colonel Joseph Brown, of Maury County, Tennessee, by the Indians.


The Indian method of bleeding, is singular. They take six or eight brass pins, and push them about three quarters of an inch through a small stick and then fastening that to a corn-cob so that it can be held steadily, they rake it down the breast and back all around as far down as their waists; infact, nearly all over themselves; so that sometimes they will be bloody from, head to foot.

Sometimes they use a gar's bill, of teeth, instead of pins to bleed with; and it


was that instrument they used upon me. They called it "scratching to keep them healthy." This they did twice a year. But, notwithstanding their precautions, I had a long spell of billious fever the fall I was with them, and they used every means that they thought could be useful in order to enable me to recover my health — sweating me over pineboughs, and vomiting me, as well as "scratching" me. Still I was prostrated for a long time; and although not able to do much, I still had to cut their wood and carry their water, as usual.

When the winter set in, I got better; and it was well I did, for our horses strayed off during a spell of rainy weather, which lasted two or three weeks. The Tennessee river got very high, a very heavy snow falling at length. We heard their bells amongst the cane in the bottom, but the water was all around them for four or five miles below where we lived. We got a canoe, however, and cut a straight road to where they were, and found them upon a little mound which was covered with water about three or four feet deep upon the top, for the space of about two rods square. The strongest horses were on the top about belly-deep in water, and the weaker ones on the sides, with the water nearly over their backs. They had been there several days — had eaten every sprig of the cane that they could reach, and the weather was very cold, as there had fallen considerable snow. The first day, all we could do was to prepare to swim the horses to the main land. The next day we went to work in earnest. The snow had begun to melt, but it froze hard enough the night before to make the ice sufficiently strong to bear me, the greater portion of the way, as we went to swim the horses out. We had them to swim about a quarter of a mile, the main river running in mush Ice. Arrived at the spot, they ordered me to get out, catch a horse, and bring him to the canoe, as the canoe could not be turned in the thick cane. I hesitated a moment, but the savage raised his pole in anger, and said if I did not obey he would knock me on the head! I thereupon slid out, holding on by the cane-stalks, until I got to where I could wade. I succeeded in getting hold of a horse, and taking him to the canoe. I then got in, and we paddled, and pushed it with poles where we could reach the bottom, until we got to the hills, taking out in succession by the same process, in all, fourteen horses. We were engaged the whole day until near night, at the task, and out of the whole number so rescued, not one could stand when he first landed, but was compelled to rest awhile in the edge of the water. As soon, however, as they gathered strength, they would start for home. We retained three of the strongest on which to ride home, getting there a little before sun-set, but I could not get off the horse without help, and then they pulled me about the fire for a while until my blood began to circulate. At length I was able to walk, and felt no bad result from this severe day's work, although I was still weak from the attack of fever, before mentioned.

I spent the remainder of the winter at my usual employment, getting wood and water. In the spring succeeding, I was exchanged, by Gov. Sevier, after Col. Martin got defeated near Chattanooga, losing three of his officers in the encounter; the Indians, with a large force, said to have been three thousand warriors, taking Gillespie's station, with many prisoners. They slaughtered all the men, but carried off twenty seven women and children.

Old Gov. Sevier followed them, surprised their town on the Coosa river, killed a large number of their warriors, and captured forty or fifty of their women and children. The Indians, thereupon proposed an exchange of prisoners; and it was owing to this that, I escaped. They, however, opposed my exchange, on the score of my coming from North Carolina; and said the East Tennesseans had no right to demand me; but the head-man of the Indians said that Gov. Sevier was "so contrary that he could do nothing with him — that he, the Governor, had possession of his daughter, and therefore I must be released." This settled it; and my exchange followed, as well as that of my two sisters. My youngest sister,


they had had out all the winter, and she could not talk; but when they proposed to take me in, I told them I would not go without my sister, so they sent back for her. But the owner said he would not give her up! Thereupon, the old head chief started back — saying "he would either bring her, or the fellow's head!" Off he went, accordingly, returned with her, and when asked what the fellow said — his answer was — "he said nothing!"

We then went, on into South Carolina. I was, indebted to Gov. Sevier for my liberty, as also were my, two sisters, for theirs. We got back to the residence of an uncle in Pendleton county, after a captivity of eleven months and fifteen days, having been taken on the 9th day of May, 1788, and released the 25th of April, 1789. My mother had in the meantime been taken to the Creek nation. Upon her capture, she had been driven forward with the pack horses, suffering greatly, from fatigue and blistered feet. She was then forty eight years of age. She was released after a captivity of seventeen months; together with my sister, also taken with her to the Creek nation.

I lost in the massacre at the boat, as before stated, my father; and two brothers. Five young men, and an old lady of the party, were killed at the same time.

My next adventure with the Indians was in the fall of 1792, when they made the attack on Buchanan's station, of which fort I was one of the garrison. I had gone home that night to my mother's, three miles below Nashville, on the north side of the river, and there, about midnight, I got word of the attack. I hurried to Nashville, and a body of us went in pursuit of the Indians. On our arrival at the fort, they had left; but there I found the body of my old acquaintance, Chiachattalley, or Tom Tunbridge, who was killed in attempting to set fire to the fort. I knew him at the first glance, and before they had turned him over.

The story, as I learned it, concerning his fate was — that in an altercation with the chief of the beseiging party, under whose orders he was, he became dissatisfied with the conduct of his superior, and with his usual haughty spirit, he called the chief a "woman;" a great insult to an Indian warrior; and told him, he, Chiachattalley, could "burn the fort."

Accordingly, he made the attempt; by getting close under the walls, and trying to kindle a fire. Shot at and wounded in two or three places, and his thigh broken, he still, with indomitable spirit, persevered in the attempt alternately blowing at the flame, and hallowing to the Indians to push on the attack, until at length he was killed. A fiercer spirit hardly ever existed; and much was gained for the peace of the country, when his bloody career was brought to a close.

We followed the Indians, but not coming up with them after a pursuit of twelve miles, we returned, having heard of their attack on Hickman's Station. On our way down to that point, we found the body of old Mr. William Stuart, on the road five miles from Nashville. He had been killed and scalped; but the savages had not stripped him. We laid him in a corn-field until we returned, to keep the hogs from touching him, and his friends met and buried him the next day, at Eaton's Station, five miles below town, on White's Creek, where Eaton lived at that time,

My next encounter with the savages happened on my return from East Tennessee, where I had gone on some business. There I fell in company with Col. Hays, and learned that there were Indians ahead to waylay the express, Col. Hays being the bearer of public documents. The friendly Indians came into Knoxville and told us this. So it was decided to turn off, through Kentucky. We all started; but an accident having happened to a horse of mine, went back, and after, waiting a week, I once more started, in company with Ross, a post-rider, and a Col. Friley.

We went on until we came to Little Laurel river, which we reached on the second day, and the post-rider,having lost his knife on the last trip, we turned aside to look for it. We found it, counted our horses once more, and


started. The Indians must have been close to us, for they fired upon us, as we went along on the edge of the cane brake. I at first thought it was Friley, and was angry at the supposition; but I soon found they were Indians. We all dashed for the ford — unhurt, as yet. The Indians had cut a sapling across, which frightened the horse of Ross, and he turned aside, up the river. We all got safely over, and Ross then asked if we should give them a fire? We had got into a place where the timber had been thrown down very much by a hurricane, and here a single Indian fired on Ross; and this was followed by a heavy fire from several more. The mare of Ross fell into a hole over a log, and threw him. He jumped on his feet, but I saw him no more, for he was killed.

Friley and myself turned our horses and charged down the bank of the river, at a place where it was about ten feet high; and here we were both shot; Friley in the left arm, myself through the joint of the shoulder. My horse, however, went plunging down the river, the Indians firing at us all the time. At length my horse fell, as I supposed, killed; and clearing myself from him, I fortunately saw the mare of Ross rising the bank, and I jumped upon her and went on. Directly my own horse came galloping up behind, and I followed Friley, whom I saw a long distance off. In, a few moments I overtook him, and found him very sick, and in the act of dismounting. I persuaded him to stay on his horse, telling him that if he got down he would never get up again — that the Indians would be upon him in a few minutes. I went on, and he followed, striking the river once more at a spot five miles above.

We had not gone far, before we came to a place where a company under Col. McFarland had been defeated about a week before — the battle being fought on Monday. We encountered the Indians on Thursday, and the next Tuesday, another large company was defeated at the same spot. We saw the body of a white man lying behind some logs, who had belonged to McFarland's command. The latter, a very brave man and a good marksman, killed three of the Indians one after another, all of whom took a fair shot at him, some of their bullets piercing his clothes. He was obliged to run for it, however, as his men had all been either killed or driven off.

We rode that night to the block-house of a Dutchman, whose name I have forgotten. He lived at the Hazlepatch, and there I staid one day, being very sick and feverish. The Dutchman bound up my shoulder in whisky and sugar, and that was all the surgery I could get.

That night, some horse thieves, (so I learned they were afterwards,) came there, and they told us they saw poor Ross lying stripped, and with his head cut off. Here I foundered my horse; but taking the mare of Ross, I went with her to the Crab Orchard, forty miles further, where I lay six weeks, before I was able to ride home.

The next Indian fight in which I participated, I was out under Capt. Gordon and Col. Rains. The Indians had killed the post-rider from Natchez, Nathaniel Teal, and I borrowed a light gun, as my shoulder was still very lame, from old Mr. Childress, to go on the expedition in search of them. [I may mention here that my shoulder did not heal up for two years.] Mr. Childress had loaded the gun with a heavy charge of buck shot, for a deer, and told me when he handed it to me — that "he wished me to kill an Indian with it."

We followed the trail pretty closely, out on to Cathey's creek. They had stolen many horses, and after a tedious hunt, we found their path below Lawrenceburg, and overtook them at Second creek, a tributary of the Tennessee. We fired upon them, and charged on horseback. We came to a bluff, and Capt. Gordon and myself ran down it into a cane-brake. He outran me, in pursuit of an Indian, and as he jumped over the branch, I saw another one squat in the bed of it, about three rods from me. I fired instantly, and the heavy deer-load tore his head to fragments. Capt.Gordon followed and killed his man and these were all that


were slain on the occasion by Gordon or his men. Rains' men, on the right, killed three, however, and took a boy prisoner. The boy told us there were eleven of the Indians composing that party.

At the Buchanan station, I was under an officer named John Walker, who commanded an independent troop of horse. We were mustered in for two months; and it was our duty to guard the frontiers.

Soon after this, l was mustered in for a month, as a spy, at Hickman's station. Every day it was my duty to go around the Bend, and to the mouth of Marrow-bone. Elijah Gower was killed there about this time, he being out also as a spy. He was shot through the body, but got into Hickman's station, where he died in about ten hours afterwards, There was no mischief done after I commenced my tour of duty. Gower came in wounded the evening after I got there.

After this I was mustered in again, and it was my duty to carry expresses to the different forts or stations for Gen. Robertson. I was always successful in my different expeditions, fortunately. The latter part of that winter, 1792, I went to East Tennessee, and it was on my return, that I had the adventure with Ross. On my way there, I came to the scene of Captain Hanly's defeat; the bodies still lying upon the ground, unburied. The defeat was caused principally, by the wet weather, which prevented the guns from firing. Capt. Hanly himself fought to the last, defending himself with his sword, until he so excited the admiration of Coody, the Indian chief, that he saved him from the fury of his warriors. I happened to be present when Goody took Capt. Hanly into Knoxville, and the Captain introduced the chief to Gov. Sevier and the other eminent men present, with the words — "This, gentlemen, is my deliverer!"

Capt. Hanly died in Lincoln county, in this State, about the year 1846. He was a very religious, as well as eminently a brave man.

Again I was out with Capt. Gordon, and Capt. McRory, near the head of Elk River. We had about fifty or sixty men along. Col. Roberts wanted men to go on a scout; and when I proposed to start, as one, he — as I afterwards heard — said he "did not want invalids"! However, when the muster was made, only three men came forward, Joshua Thomas, Elihu Green and myself, with Col. Roberts.

We went on up the mountains, and on the top we struck the road leading to the Tennessee River. We got over the mountain about sunset, and got down to the river by moonlight. We found no Indians on this side, and concluded to return after a walk of some sixty or seventy miles. We walked all night, nearly, lying down just before day, and resting about two hours. — Starting at sunrise, we were once more on our old trail, and going up the mountain again. We four kept on to Nashville, whilst Gordon and his men went on down Elk river, where Robert McRory was killed.

Next came the famous Nickojack compaign. The expedition was organized in the month of August, l794, under Major Orr. Col. Whitely came from Kentucky with a force, and altogether we had about six hundred men. We killed four steers, stretched their hides, and thus made two, hide-boats to carry our arms over the Tennessee river. On my arrival there, I found myself right in my old horse-range, whilst with the Indians, and of course capable of serving as a guide or pilot. Findleston, a half-breed Indian, in whom I had no confidence, was the regular guide; and he proposed to swim the river, build a fire on the other bank to guide the rest and the two boats, and wait for us. But my brother Daniel G. Brown, and William Topp swam over with him, and staid by him until the men, about two hundred and thirty in all, who could swim, got across. Many however, who could swim, were afraid of taking the cramp from so long and immersion in the water. It certainly appeared a desperate adventure, at first sight, to swim a river half a mile wide in the night, to fight a horde of savages who had never been chastised. However, into the river we went, and


fortunately not one was drowned, as, had any been in danger, the two little hide-boats, as fragile as they were, and laden with arms, would have been of no service to aid in saving life. The men swam and pushed over the boats. Some pushed over rafts they had made, rather than wait for the boats to be shoved backwards and forwards, and Col. William Pillow was one of the number who made the raft. Major Joseph B. Porter, who could not swim one rod, got a little bunch of cane, tied them together, and holding on to them, kicked himself across, landing in safety. Major Orr had nominally the command; but Col. Whitely, of Kentucky, old Col. Mansco, of Sumner, and such other old men and officers as Edmonston, Rains, Gordon, Pillow, and Johnson, were summoned in council upon the movements of the expedition.

We kept the hide-boats going back and forth, carrying arms and clothes, until it was day; and we did not get off until, after sunrise. We went straight onward along between Nickojack town and Long Island town, and up the fountain, coming in opposite Nickojack. I was sent off with twenty men to head the Indians at the mouth of the creek, supposing they should run that way.

There I lay for an hour, hearing the Indians frolicking, they not dreaming of danger until the guns fired at the upper end of the town, when myself and men dashed forward, and we had a severe fight of it in the cane-brake. We killed a good many of them. I took a squaw prisoner, and got into the mouth of the creek, where I found the main body of our men, with many prisoners. [Sure enough I had made good the fears of the Indians, expressed when I was a prisoner amongst them, — l had "grown up to be a man and piloted an army there to cut them off!" I found in a canoe across the creek, a wounded Indian; and on turning him attacked me, and after a hard struggle in which he tried to throw me overboard, I nearly scalped him, and he cried — "Enough!" I told him, In my wrath, it was not "enough;" and throwing him overboard, one of the men shot him in the water.

I went on with the squaw to a cabin, and saw a good deal of whispering amongst others of them whom I found there, they having recognized their old prisoner. They were much gratified when I told them in Cherokee — that "we did not intend to massacre them!"

One of the women told me that she "had often warned her husband that such would be the result, in return for their cruelties," and in reply, I told them, "we were compelled to fight them, because they would not let us remain at peace!"

They asked — "how we got there at that time of day" — whether, "we came out of the clouds, as they knew nothing of our approach."

We took twenty four prisoners; and on the road from Nickojack to Running Water, we had another fight, and my brother-in-law, Joshua Thomas, was shot; the wound being mortal. He, however, was carried home, and lived six weeks. He was the first man fired at near Eaton's fort; and the only one killed on this expedition.

We killed about seventy of the Indians, as near as we could make out; most of them being killed in the water. A nephew of my old capturer, whom I afterwards saw at Tellico block-house, told me their loss was about seventy.

We started home, and Gen. Robertson sent back a squaw, with a message to the Indians — telling them we did not want to fight them, but that they would compel us to do it; and that message brought on the peace between the Indians and whites. We had no more difficulty with them afterwards.

Next year I was engaged as a spy and guard at Fort Blount, for twelve months.

I was out afterwards for four months with Gen. Jackson, in the Creek war, and was at the battles of Tallahatchee and Talladega. Gen. Jackson sent to me, on learning that I was elected Colonel of the 27th Regiment, wishing me to take command of the Cherokees, as was the only officer who spoke their


language, but the East Tennesseeans kept them back, and so they were not brought under my orders.

On the morning of the battle of Talladega, Gen. Robertson came to me, desiring me to act as aid-de-camp; the men having faith in my experience as an Indian fighter. I consented to do so, in case I had no new order from Gen. Jackson. I went with Major Conn's column, of eighty men; and by some mistake, we were thrown obliquely to the right, and in contact with some five hundred Indians, in one body, when we had a severe battle. Here about seventy Indians were killed. They fled — such as could flee — and fairly ran the gauntlet between the two lines, our men following them several miles.

This was my last battle with the Indians. I returned home, and have led a peaceful life ever since. I have tried also to be a religious man, but have not always, in a life of so much adventure and strife, been able to act consistently.