Author: John L. Moore
Book Type: Paperback
Months after the October 1781 surrender of the British army at Yorktown, pro-British Indians continued to raid American frontier settlements along the Ohio River.
To stop these raids, a militia force of nearly 500 Pennsylvanians and Virginians, all of them on horseback, invaded Ohio in early 1782. Led by Colonel William Crawford, the militia intended to destroy the villages of the Delaware, Shawnee, and other hostile tribes. Accustomed to fighting in the forests, the troops ventured as far west as the prairies of the Sandusky River Valley.
Drawing upon first-person accounts, the nonfiction Border War tells the story of this disastrous campaign. Author John L. Moore reports that the Indians were expecting them. As the chiefs told an American missionary afterward, the warriors had been waiting “under cover of a grove of trees.” When the militia soldiers “reached a certain spot in an open prairie, where they had no hiding places,” the Indians “engaged them, compelling them to fight.”
The fighting lasted several hours. “The battle was very hot till night, which put a stop to firing,” a British officer said afterward.
On the second day, so many warriors arrived as reinforcements that Colonel Crawford realized the foe had become “vastly superior to us in numbers,” Lieutenant John Rose reported later. When the hostiles “kept pouring in hourly from all quarters … prudence dictated a retreat.”
Intended as a nighttime retreat, the maneuver quickly deteriorated into a rout. In the darkness and confusion, many men became separated from their companies. Even Colonel Crawford got lost. Border War doesn’t flinch in detailing the fates of Crawford and others captured by the Indians.
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