Database

Black's Fort.

What:
Black's Fort,Attacked by Indians 24 July 1776; several dead; wounded

Other names: Abingdon

Where:
36.711534,-81.971757, Black's Fort, Washington County VA

Maps: [map notes]

  • 36.711534,-81.971757, Black's Fort
  • ACME Mapper.
  • National Map
  • Google
  • Confidence: 4

    Sources:

    • GoogleSummers, Lewis Preston, History of Southwest Virginia, 1746-1786, J.L. Hill Printing Co., 1903. p.229
      About the 20th of July, 1776, Capt. James Montgomery, who had settled on the south fork of Holston river, about eight miles from Black's Fort, came to the fort, he and two other families having decided to defend their own homes. He came in quest of intelligence, and was earnestly besought by the people of the fort to bring in the families, to which he agreed, and men and horses were sent to assist him. This company soon returned to the fort with the families and some of their property, and went back to bring in the rest of the property when, to their surprise, they found the houses plundered and in flames. The company thereupon hastily retreated to the fort, and spies were sent out to locate the Indians if possible, but no discoveries were madefor some days, when at length the spies came in one night and reported that they had discovered a fire on the bank of the river above Montgomery's whicli they supposed to be the Indian camp.
      Upon receipt oi this information an express was sent to Bryan's Port requesting their mento meet the men from Black's Fort at a certain place that night. The two companies met according to agreement, and the spies conducted them to the spot where they had seen thefire, when the Indians were surrounded from the river below to the river above them, with strict injunctions to the mento preserve a profound silence till the report of the captain's gun should give the signal for a general discharge; and in this position they waited for daylight. At the dawnof day, when the Indians arose and began to stir about the camp, the crack of the captain's rifle was followed by a well-directed fire from every quarter. The Indians fled across the river, exposed all the wayto the fire of the whites. Eleven Indians lay dead at and around the camp, .and the number that fell and sank in the river is not known.
      .....
      Several days thereafter three companies prepared to go out from the fort to visit their plantations and on other missions. The first company to leave the fort was composed of John Sharp, his two sons, and two sons-in-law. They went early and were unmolested. The second company to leave the fort on that day was composed of Arthur Blackburn, William Casey and his sister Nancy, who was about sixteen years of age, Robert Harold and several others, and about the same time a third company left the fort to visit the house of Rev. Charles Cummings to bring his books and some of his property into the fort. Both of these parties were attacked by the Indians at the same time within hearing of the fort, where an indescribable scene of disorder took place, the women and children screaming, wives clinging to their husbands, mothers to their sons and sisters to their brothers, to prevent them from going out of the fort.
      However, a number of them left the fort and ran to the rescue of the companies as fast as possible, but before they arrived upon the scene the Indians had done their work and gone. Of the second company to leave the fort Arthur Blackburn was shot, tomahawked, and scalped, but was found alive, brought in, and recovered from his wounds. Along with this same company was William Casey and his sister Nancy, a beautiful little girl about sixteen years of age. As Casey was running for his life to the fort he discovered the Indians in hot pursuit of his sister, and seeing Robert Harold, another young man, close by, he called to him to come and help him save Nancy. Harold obeyed, and, although there were from four to seven Indians in pursuit, these young men rushed between them and the girl, and by dexterously managing to fire alternately, still keeping one gun loaded when the other was discharged, they kept the Indians at bay till they gave up the pursuit and the girl was brought in safe. The author of this account says, "Such acts of generous bravery ought at all times be held as examples to our youth." The third company was composed of the Rev. Charles Cummings, his servant Job, William Creswell, the driver, James Piper and one other; and when they had reached a point called Piper's Hill, they were attacked by a band of Indians, and at the first fire William Creswell, who had taken part in the battle of Long Island Flats, was killed and two of the other men were wounded, James Piper having his finger shot off, but the Rev. Charles Cummings, with the remaining man, and his servant Job, held the Indians at bay until he obtained help from Black's Port, when he brought off the wounded men in safety.

    • Black’s Fort historical marker
      The fort, built in 1776, stood a short distance to the south. Here the first court of Washington County was held, January 28, 1777.
      36° 42.693' N, 81° 58.305' W (36.71155 -81.97176)

  • RevWar75 RevWar75  
    July 1776 listing: 7/24/1776 Black's Fort. American victory.

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    12-6-16