October 1791 Fort Washington (Present day Cincinnati, Ohio)
Since the defeat of General Harmar and Colonel Hardin’s forces in October 1790, attacks on white settlers increased with a vigor. On Janary 2, 1791, just 30 miles north of the Marietta Settlement where the Ohio Company Associates had their headquarters on the Muskingum River, an attack by Wyandot and Delaware warriors on settlers occurred. The warriors stuck a half-finished blockhouse and massacred eleven men, one woman, and two children. On January 11, 1791, at attack lead by the “white Indian” Simon Girty against Dunlop Station resulted in several deaths before Girty and his Delaware, Shawnee, Miami, and Pottawatomie warriors were driven off, mostly because of weather. The area was settled by settlers, farmers, and some New Jersey land speculators. The fort was manned by regular American troops, thirteen in all, lead by Lt. Kingsbury. Shortly after the attack began, a man named Cunningham was captured and scalped, and murdered. Another man, Abner Hunt was taken captive. Hunt was later executed. This execution was blamed on Simon Girty, however, there is some evidence that the Shawnee chief Blue Jacket may have been in charge of killing him.
As a result of these continued raids and massacres by the tribes of the Northwestern confederacy, appeals were sent directly to George Washington for help. Washington responded to these cries from the frontiersman by promoting Arthur St. Clair, Governor of the Northwest Territory, to a Major General, and ordered him to raise an army and march against Little Turtle’s principal town at Kekionga. An army of almost two thousand men was raised and assembled at Fort Washington. St Clair headed 600 regular American soldiers, with 800 levi soldiers (6 month conscripts) being placed under General Butler. Lt Colonel Oldham was at the head of 600 Kentucky militia. The food and other supplies were poor, there were not enough horses, and those they had were old and not very serviceable. The men themselves were poorly trained and were in no way ready to engage a force of battle-hardened warriors lead by Little Turtle, Blue Jacket, and Buckongahelas. They were delayed in getting started, but in October, 1790, they set out from Fort Washington accompanied by 250 camp followers consisting of wives, children, laundresses, and, of course, the camp prostitutes.
” We have been watching this army of Shamanese who are moving very slowly to attack our towns. We have fired upon them several times now to see how they fight. Our Great Spirit Grandmother has shown us that these White soldiers are frightened and cannot fight well. Yet they continue to march on our towns with the hope of destroying us. The White man calls my land his own. After these many years he still has not learned that these lands are sacred to us and they will never be abandoned by us. Our warriors will stand and fight and die for them. We are not like these Long Knives, who run at the sound of too many muskets. True, those who are the real soldiers will stand and fight honorably. But there are not as many of them as there are these militia men who are just farmers pretending to be soldiers. They are sent here by their leaders to chastise the children of the forest, and to drive us from our lands. They do not understand that they are being sent here to die. Their scalps will hang in front of our wigwams. Those of them we capture will dance in the flames before our people as they scream for a quick death. At the end of their march, Little Turtle waits with over a thousand well trained warriors who will cut these Long Knives to pieces. The evil spirit Moshee Manitoo will be sure to punish them. ”
Lame Wolf, Kispoko Shawnee