combat writing badge C O M B A T
the Literary Expression of Battlefield Touchstones
ISSN 1542-1546 Volume 04 Number 04 Fall ©Oct 2006

The Scout

The sun peered over the crest of a hill on Tuesday morning, July 30, 1782, a burnt orange ball hanging in the misty dawn. Already the air was thick, promising a sultry summer day.

In Fort Van Meter, on the northwest Virginia frontier, people stirred at the cooking fires, talking, wiping the sleep from their eyes. Several women fried slabs of cold mush and thick slices of cured ham in iron skillets, sending a tantalizing aroma of the sweet meat and pungent smoke throughout the area. Men gathered the farm implements needed for the day's work – hoes, cultivators, shovels, scythes, and baskets. Others fed the horses and then hitched them to farm wagons.

The fort was crowded with settlers who had left their cabins for Van Meter's safety after the alarm went out. Several times this summer the bell at the fort had clanged the warning of Indian attacks, three sharp tolls. Militia horsemen dashed up the tiny hollows and over the broad shouldered hills to spread the word, from cabin to cabin, from blockhouse to blockhouse: "Injuns.' Git' to the forts."

After breakfast, served on long tables, picnic style, men gathered in small groups assigned to work on the surrounding farms. Despite the danger, the ripening crops needed tending, and the people in the fort were running low on fresh food. New potatoes, corn, and squash languished in the gardens of the surrounding farms. Acres of corn needed cultivation. Ripening blackberries, growing thick among the "fallen timbers" of the forests, hung in clusters, waiting for the eager hands of people craving the delicious cobblers for the evening meal. Armed militiamen joined each work party to serve as guards, stationed around the fields as the men worked.

Two Virginians stood near their horses preparing to leave the frontier outpost, in sullen contrast to the busy scene around them. Major Samuel McColloch, the commander of Fort Van Meter, and his brother, John McColloch, had been up before dawn. Now they checked their guns, flints, powder, rifle balls, and packed cold corn cakes and dried beef into their saddle bags for their journey. They were about to leave the safety of the fort and the work crews to venture alone into the surrounding countryside to scout for signs of Indians.

As the men drifted away from the breakfast tables to gather their tools and prepare the wagons for departure, a few friends joked that the McColloch's should remember them, sweating in the fields, while the scouts were "out lollygagging about the woods." One even ventured the observation that scoutin' beat hoein' any day.

The McColloch's mounted their horses, cradled their long rifles, and set their jaws, bidding farewell to their friends and relatives and promising to "be back directly." Donned in buckskin leggings attached to the waist Indian style, draped with a fringed hunting shirt, their feet nestled snugly into comfortable moccasins, and wearing raccoon caps, Sam and John McColloch epitomized frontier scouts in the upper Ohio Valley during the Revolutionary War era. A red silk scarf adorned their upper arms, a backwoods signal to distinguish scouts from Indians. A tomahawk and scalping knife lay nestled against their sides. The leather thongs that held their shot pouches and powder horns crisscrossed their chests.

The two men rode through the opened gates of the fort, but had traveled just a few yards, when Sam muttered to his brother, "I have to go back for something. You go on and I'll catch up." Back at the fort Sam found his brother's wife. The Major thrust forward a small package containing his watch, some other personal items, and a note for his young bride of six weeks, Mary McColloch, who was away visiting her father, Colonel Mitchell. Before John's wife voiced the anxiety displayed on her face, Sam said, "No, just keep these things til' I git' back."

Major Sam descended the narrow path leading down to Short Creek where he found John waiting for him. The men briefly discussed their options for the scout and decided to follow the creek to the Ohio River. They crossed Short Creek and set their horses to a walking pace.

The horses picked their way along the creek bank, between saplings, through brush, over rocks, and around rotted timber. A light fog hung suspended over the creek. Sam chuckled to himself in remembering the saying, "Fog to the hill brings water to the mill." Sam looked for signs of rain and its accompanying cloud cover to shield the brothers from the hot sun. He listened for the call of the bird the backwoodsmen called the rain crow.' As the lower branches of the trees brushed his face while his horse weaved through the thick foliage, he looked for the slight upward curl of the leaves, another sign for rain. When he noticed spider webs covering the grassy areas near the creek, he knew it would not rain.

The scouts moved quietly on horseback. Sam's dog "Blue" trotted in unison to the slow canter of the horses. Sam swore that Blue could "smell Injuns before a body could see one." The brothers let their steeds find the path and stopped frequently. Mostly, they watched and listened. They heard a woodpecker pounding a tree; a dove releasing its mournful call; the caw-cawing' of a crow. They peered over the manes of their horses, left and right, inspecting the ground for signs of humans – a broken twig, a footprint in the soft sand, or muddy water. They watched for sudden flights of birds, deer running towards them, or any movement, however slight. They scanned the forest for any unnatural color, such as the glint of a rifle barrel. They listened for the cock of a hammer, a cough, voices, or hoof beats. They were at home in the wilderness, one with the natural world, and keen to detect any change in their environment. They depended on their senses and their knowledge of the forest to protect them from danger.

For hours they scouted the south bank of Short Creek, crossing the narrow stream occasionally to reconnoiter the other side as well. As the morning passed, and the heat rose, they began to feel comfortable about what they didn't hear – the feigned bleat of a fawn, or the artificial gobble of a turkey, signals used by Indians laying in ambush.

The McColloch's followed Short Creek for five miles as it meandered through the narrow valley. War parties often crossed into Virginia where the creek emptied into the Ohio River. At this juncture, Indians raided south toward Fort Henry, north toward Beech Bottom, or directly East, in the direction of Fort Van Meter.

The absence of Indian signs relaxed the brothers a bit. Ever alert, they tensed when a groundhog scurried for its den with Blue in hot pursuit or when a startled deer bolted for the underbrush. They passed the abandoned cabins of several families who were forted at Van Meter's. At each house they stopped to inspect. They looked for signs of broken cabin doors, dead livestock, or moccasin prints. They did not find any burned out cabins.

Listening, watching, and tracking, the McColloch's reached the mouth of Short Creek as the sun reached its zenith. By now the orange globe that greeted them at daybreak was transformed into a blazing orb glowing in a clear blue sky. They stopped to rest in the shade of a large oak tree near the eastern shoreline of the Ohio River. They munched on cold corn cakes and dried meat.

The brothers planned the route for the remainder of their scout. Several options became apparent. They could either go south toward Fort Henry, or north toward the fort at Beech Bottom. They could retrace their path back to Fort Van Meter, or they could return by ascending one of the ridges arising from the river's edge. Finally, after discussing their plans, Sam made the decision when he drawled, "I expect we ought to scout up yonder," jerking a thumb in the direction of Beech Bottom, "then scoot up over the hill at Girty's Point." John nodded his agreement, in quiet deference to his older brother.

Actually, John's respect for Major McColloch ran deeper than filial affection or military rank. Sam McColloch was a hero to the pioneers living in the upper Ohio Valley. The McColloch family descended from Scots-Irish immigrants and settled in the Short Creek area around 1770. The fathers and sons worked hard to carve good farms out of the wilderness. They signed an Oath of Allegiance to the Commonwealth of Virginia, denouncing British rule, and when the Revolution broke out, they helped organize the settlements for defense against the Indians and the British. McColloch's filled the ranks of the militia, and Sam McColloch became a Major in 1777.

In that "bloody year of the three sevens" Fort Henry at Wheeling, eight miles downstream from the spot where the McCollochs stopped to eat their lunch, was attacked by a large force of Indians and British. When word reached Fort Van Meter that the garrison at Wheeling needed help, Major McColloch organized forty horsemen from the Short Creek area to save the fort. After his men entered Fort Henry, Major Sam was cut off, leaving him no choice but to head back in the direction of Fort Van Meter. Riding up "Wheeling Hill" he met another group of Indians arriving to join the siege. With Indians pursuing him from the rear and facing a large war party in front, McColloch was trapped. As the Indians closed in, the Major spurred his wild eyed and bucking steed over the precipice of the hill, which slants at nearly a ninety-degree angle to Wheeling Creek below. The combined force of Indians let loose a volley and as bullets zipped through his buckskin shirt and clipped the branches slapping his torso, he guided his horse between saplings and trees, crashing through the underbrush while maintaining his balance as his horse slipped and stumbled down the steep hill. The anger of his enemies soon turned to awe as the Indians watched McColloch emerge from the tree line below and ride across the creek to safety.

The brothers finished eating, mounted their horses and headed north toward Beech Bottom. They followed the shoreline of the river. The horses walked slowly over and around the driftwood collected at the water's edge while the McColloch's watched the sandy shore for signs. At this stretch of the Ohio River the beautifully forested hills rose in a steep incline from the narrow river plain, providing ample cover for an Indian ambush. The McColloch's admired the lush foliage along the river bank, gently swaying to the southern breezes flowing into the river valley. They noted just a hint of impending fall color evident in the slight discoloration of some leaves. Gazing upstream they appreciated a full panorama of the river with the afternoon sun reflecting upon the shimmering waters gently undulating to the sway of the river breeze.

However, as beautiful as the river appeared on a brilliant summer day, the brothers knew that these sparkling waters betrayed a darker purpose. For the Ohio River was a battle line drawn between the white settlements to the east and the Indian towns to the west on the Sandusky and Muskingum Rivers. Carefully, they watched for evidence of an Indian crossing – footprints in the sand, canoes, dead campfires, or human activity on the far shore.

The McColloch's neared the fort at Beech Bottom, three miles north of Short Creek. They knew the fort might shelter families from the surrounding neighborhoods, huddled together for protection from an Indian attack. Rather than alarm the settlers in Beech Bottom Fort by their sudden appearance, they decided to retrace their path. They stopped at a tiny rivulet cascading down the hillside to water the horses and rest in the shade, the beads of sweat dripping into their beards as mute testimony to the intense summer heat. So far they felt pretty good about their mission. They had scouted at least eight miles of prime ambush territory, covering the southern and western approaches to Fort Van Meter from the usual routes followed by the Indian invaders into northwest Virginia. It remained for them to scout Girty's Point, a favorite route for war parties raiding into the interior and named for Simon Girty, an infamous Torie who lived among the Indians.

At Short Creek, the McColloch's headed eastward, following the creek until they reached a steep ravine, about a mile from the river. Until now they had traversed relatively flat country, along Short Creek and the Ohio River shoreline. But to reach Girty's Point they needed to climb a steep hill, almost straight up for about one mile. Before ascending the precipice, they stopped to rest their horses and secure the saddlebags.

The brothers rode in single file, with John in the lead. Slowly they climbed, letting their horses find the best path. Brush and logs impeded their progress and sometimes they had to dismount and lead their skittish horses around obstructions. The trail, like most frontier roads, followed an old buffalo trace, hugging the hillside. The forest canopy practically obliterated the hot sun, and they felt the welcome relief of a cooling breeze flowing from the river. They stopped frequently to watch and listen. Once they paused to rest the horses where a storm had knocked down some trees, allowing them to view the wide expanse of the valley below and the hills stretching as far as they could see, all about the same height, with valleys cut by the force of eroding waters. They watched a hawk soar on the uplifts of wind from the valley below, screeching a call to a mate. They marveled at the sheer beauty of the Ohio River Valley.

They began to talk more now, sensing the end of a successful mission. Strangely, they didn't talk about tracking, scouting, or Indians. Instead they talked about their crops and the prospects for a good harvest. Both had prosperous farms, and they owned hundreds of acres waiting to be cleared. At heart, they were farmers, temporarily serving as soldiers, and itching to pursue horticulture as their vocation, not scouting for Indians.

While the McColloch's followed the trail to Girty's Point, another scout approached the summit from a parallel ravine leading up from Short Creek. Now, he stood motionless as he watched the hawk dart over the tree line, wings bent, and a perfect hunter. A smile of admiration creased his face. If only he could hunt and see like the hawk. With the wave of a tattooed hand, Watook, a Delaware warrior, motioned to his half brother, Tontilengo, to move forward.

The two Indians bent at their waists as they climbed the steep hill, navigating cautiously up the thickly wooded incline. Watook peered skyward, shielded his eyes with one hand, and gauged the daylight left. Soon it would be dark, but he determined enough light remained for his party of warriors climbing single file up the hill behind him, to find a suitable camp near the white settlers.

His thoughts drifted back to the start of his war hunt. At his lodge near Moosh-king'-oong', only four moons ago, he announced his intention to organize a raid on the settlements across the Ohio River, in retaliation for the death of his older brother, recently killed by the whites. Others quickly joined his hunt, including his youngest brother, Tontileango. After a night of singing and dancing, his war party assembled in the morning, and discharging their guns, whooping and hollering, they set off toward the Ohio River, to make war on the hated Virginians. Watook, as the May-a-ooh'-whese', the leader of the raid, chose the route for this mission. He led his men east toward the shores of the Ohio, and they crossed near the old Mingo Town. On the Virginia side of the river, Watook chose to penetrate into the interior by the same route he had taken during the winter, when he helped capture a militiaman and a black slave near Van Meter's. The slave escaped, but the Indians carried the unfortunate white man to their towns on the Moosh-king'-oong, where he was made to run the gauntlet as he passed through each village. On that raid the Indians escaped by the very route Watook now followed.

Watook knew that the land on the other side of the peak ahead emptied into rolling hills cut by valleys with meadows and cultivated fields interrupting the vast hard wood forests. He hoped to lead his men to a hiding place near a settler's cabin, or a blockhouse, maybe even a fort, then attack in the early dawn. His thoughts of scalps and captives quickened his steps.

When he reached the top of the precipice and struck the trail leading eastward, Watook heard the first sound of danger. His muscles stiffened when he detected the faint snort of a horse down the trail. He motioned to Tontileango and checked his rifle. Someone was coming up the trail. The two Indians positioned themselves on either side of the path and waited.

Nearly to the apex of the hill, the horsemen appeared silhouetted against the fading light beyond the curvature of the land. Watook motioned to his brother to shoot the lead scout and he would dispatch the second rider.

The warriors rose simultaneously from their hideouts and fired at the McColloch brothers. Sam heard Blue's growl just before Watook's bullet found its mark, piercing the Major's neck, severing the spinal cord, killing him instantly. Tontileango's shot missed John McColloch, whose horse bolted forward to escape the ambush. In a flash, Watook leaped out of the underbrush to claim his prize. Knife in hand he straddled the fallen Major, grabbed the thick hair, and cut the flesh in a circular pattern.

John managed to reign in his steed and turned in his saddle just in time to see the Indian leap onto his brother. Taking careful aim in the fading light, he shot Watook through the head. Tontileango hurried down the hill calling the alarm to the other warriors, "Qua-ah," "Qua-ah." John galloped his horse back down the trail and jumped off to assist his brother. One brief look told him Major Sam MColloch was dead. By now the main party of Indians, whooping and hollering, spurred on by Tontileango's warning cry and the sound of gunfire, arrived at the ambush scene just as John remounted and sped down the trail, escaping a hail of bullets from the war party, and followed by Sam's rider less horse with Blue in hot pursuit.

The Indians gathered around the Major. Tontileango was given the right to finish Watook's crude surgery of the scalp. He held the bloody pulp aloft and shrieked a cry of victory as others in the war party let loose a chorus of exultation. The Indians then turned their attention to their fallen foe. After taking McColloch's weapons and clothing, the warriors cut into his torso, disemboweling him. Amidst the hollering and celebration, one older chief quietly studied the Major's face. "Neep-paugh-whese," the Night Walker, solemnly announced, "This is McColloch." Everyone stopped for a moment. Warriors gathered around "Neep-paugh-whese," who told the story of "McColloch's leap." As the chief spoke, in deference to his authority, the young warriors repeated ke-hel'-lah' to indicate they were paying close attention. Night Walker asked for the heart of the Major. A warrior extracted it from the viscera and handed the bloody organ to the chief, who put the heart on a log and cut it into small pieces. Then he invited anyone in the party to eat the heart of the Major, to make him brave in battle, like the gallant soldier lying at their feet. In silence, the warriors, one by one, picked up a piece of still quivering flesh, and devoured the heart of Major Sam McColloch.

John McColloch stopped at a stream about a mile from the ambush. He examined himself for wounds. Other than holes in his hat and shirt, his only injury was a nick on his hip which oozed blood into his buckskin britches. As he sat on his horse in the twilight of a terrible day, he began to shake. The sight of his dead brother's pale face, with sightless eyes fixed open, haunted his memory. His emotions raced from fear to anger. He wrestled between the need to warn the people in the fort of an imminent Indian attack and his impulse to avenge his brother's death. He asked himself, "How will I tell the people in the fort what happened to Sam?" Tears trickled down his cheek when he thought of Mary Mitchell, Sam's young bride. A faint yelp, resembling an Indian signal, coming from the direction of the ambush site, jolted him to make a quick decision. John reminded himself the Indians might pursue him in hope of claiming another victim. Since there was nothing he could do for Sam, he needed to warn the settlers at Fort Van Meter, but before leaving the stream, he knelt down, and in the fading light, he smeared half of his face with the mud of Huff's Run. Satisfied, he spurred his horse to a gallop in the direction of Fort Van Meter while leading Sam's horse with Blue trailing. He knew that the people of the fort would recognize the gravity of his message when he returned with a rider less horse, and his face half black, the Indian sign for death.

The next morning John McColloch led a group of militia to the ambush spot on Girty's Point. They found the major resting against a sugar tree, his mutilated body a ghastly dark blue. Human viscera adorned the branches above the corpse. Watook's body was nowhere to be seen. The men became angry and wanted to track the Indians and attack them. John argued that Sam's killers might be scouts for an army intending to attack the settlements. Amidst their grumblings and the swearing of oaths, the men strapped the body of Sam McColloch to a horse and retreated to the fort. Inside Fort Van Meter they buried Major Samuel McColloch.


The expected attack on Fort Van Meter never happened. The Indians who killed McColloch knew that John's escape foiled their chance for surprising the defenders of the fort, and, probably, they retreated across the Ohio River to their towns on the Muskingum River.

Like many of the heroic stories on the old northwest frontier, numerous versions and conflicting facts have been reported over the years. The McColloch brothers were real historical figures who were leaders in the militia and descended from one of four McColloch brothers who settled on the waters of Short Creek, West Virginia, in 1770.[1] Sam's "leap" to avoid capture or death by the Indians during the attack on Fort Henry in 1777 is celebrated in frontier histories and commemorated by a monument on Route 40 near the downtown area of Wheeling, West Virginia. Ironically, for years, historians debated whether it was Samuel or John McColloch who leaped to safety. In 1851, Wills De Haas proved that Samuel was the brother who escaped from the Indians.[2]

The site of McColloch's death at Girty's Point has been established.[3] However, different versions of the incident have been reported. It is not clear where the McColloch's began their mission. Major Sam commanded Fort Van Meter, but two forts on the tributaries of Short Creek were variously called Van Meter, one at West Liberty, West Virginia, and one at the nearby community of Clinton.[4] From either fort, the McColloch's could scout for signs of impending Indian attack.

All the stories conclude that upon leaving the fort to begin their scout, the brothers headed in a westerly direction toward the Ohio River, a favorite crossing point for war parties invading the frontier. However, historical accounts differ regarding the route taken by the McColloch's once they reached the river. One writer sends the brothers south, toward Wheeling[5], and another north in the direction of the fort at Beech Bottom.[6] One author asserts that the McColloch's traveled as far north as Holliday's Cove Fort, spent the night, and returned to Short Creek.[7] Most sources have the McColloch's ascending the hill rising near the mouth of Short Creek to its apex at Girty's Point.[8]

The accounts of the ambush that took the life of Samuel McColloch differ somewhat. All agree that he and John were ambushed by a party of unknown Indians while following the trail near Girty's Point, and Major Sam fell dead from his horse. It's unclear whether Major Sam was shot by a horde of warriors lying in ambush[9], a few scouts hiding in trees[10], or advanced scouts hiding in the underbrush along the trail.[11] All accounts agree that John rode ahead of his brother when the shots were fired, missing John and killing Sam. At some point in the confusion, John shot and killed an Indian scalping his brother, and then escaped, his clothing perforated by bullets. One account says he suffered a slight wound to his hip.[12] The next day John led a group of men from Van Meter's to the fallen Major where they discovered his heart missing from the viscera.[13] Major McColloch was brought back to Fort Van Meter ( at West Liberty or Clinton) and either buried in the fort[14] or near the fort.[15] The story of eating the heart was told by an Indian, years later, to the people at West Liberty. The Indian remarked, "... they (the McColloch's) had killed a great captain (the Indian shot by John McColloch), but we killed a greater one."[16]

While different versions of the incident exist, the testimony of David McColloch, John McColloch's son, to Lyman Draper in 1845 supports the story that the Indians who killed McColloch were an advanced scout for a larger war party, but not a horde of warriors descending on Fort Van Meter. The story of John McColloch smearing his face with mud to report his brother's death was told by David McColloch to Lyman Draper.[17]

The Indians who killed Sam McColloch are unknown. The Native Americans who fought the settlers for possession of their ancestral hunting grounds in the upper Ohio Valley included numerous tribes, most notably the Shawnee, Delaware, Wyandot, and Mingo. Descriptions of the warriors in this story depict characteristics and habits of Delaware and Wyandot warriors described by John McCullough (not John in the story) who was a captive among the Delaware[18] and Colonel James Smith who lived among the Wyandot.[19]

Of course, most of the frontier stories of this era describe Native Americans as blood-thirsty savages, rather than a people whose very existence depended on the game sustained by the forests which were being destroyed by the ax-wielding, land hungry pioneers. Very little attention to the customs and culture of the Indians making war on the frontier can be found in the early histories or any appreciation for the plight of the Native American tribes.

The story of the Indians' eating the heart of Major McColloch is attributed to a warrior who told the story to the people of West Liberty years later. There is no way to absolutely authenticate the incident, except to note that similar atrocities occurred on the frontier. For example, after the massacre of the garrison at Fort Dearborn (Chicago) in August, 1812, the Indians cut off the head of Captain William Wells and ate his heart. Captain Wells was an adopted son of Little Turtle, a Miami war chief.[20]

It seems that the pioneers marked the spot of the Major's death. David McColloch reported to Lyman Draper that when the men reached the fallen Major on the next morning, they found him leaning against a sugar tree, which had been "recently cut down" (1845).[21] J. G. Jacob, a local historian, said the initials "S.McC" were engraved on the tree. Jacob lamented that after the initialized sugar tree disappeared, a "more enduring monument should be erected to mark the place."[22]

Finally, this story of Major Sam McColloch is intended to give the reader a feel for warfare on the northwestern frontier during the Revolutionary War between the Indian tribes in Ohio and the Virginians living on the frontier in northwest Virginia during the late nineteenth century. It is based upon the known facts of the Major's last scout and the author's interpretation of a likely scenario leading up to the ambush. Descriptions of life in a frontier fort, scouting techniques, and the habits of Indians who attacked the settlements are drawn from the various sources cited, particularly the accounts of captives who lived among the tribes who frequently made war on the Virginians.

Despite the lament by J. G. Jacob that an enduring monument should be erected to mark the spot where Major Samuel McColloch was killed, few edifices have been erected to honor the pioneers of the upper Ohio Valley or to pinpoint the location of significant events during the Revolutionary War era. While another monument to commemorate a hero and soldier such as Samuel McColloch and to preserve a bit of frontier history may serve a good purpose, the early settlers deserve a larger tribute. Americans are the custodians of their pioneer legacy, and each generation must understand the importance that the first generation played in the settlement of the west and the founding of America. As long as we remember and appreciate the sacrifices that the pioneers of the old northwest endured, their monument to greatness will transcend mere brick and mortar for it will live on as a kindred spirit, alive in the hearts and minds of every American.


[1]: Joseph Doddridge, EARLY SETTLEMENT AND WARS OF WESTERN VIRGINIA AND PENNSYLVANIA (1834: Reprint, Parsons: McClain Printing Co., 1960), 274.
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[3]: Bruce Bonar, "The Death of Major Samuel McColloch: Historical Record and Oral Traditions," WEST VIRGINIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY JOURNAL, (October, 2004) Vol. XVIII, No. 4, 1-10; Samuel McColloch, MCCOLLOCH FAMILY OF OHIO COUNTY, W.VA (Katy, Texas, 2002).
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[7]: Allan W. Eckert, THAT DARK AND BLOODY RIVER (New York: Bantam Books, 1995), 412.
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[8]: Doddridge, EARLY SETTLEMENT AND INDIAN WARS, 276; De Haas, HISTORY OF THE EARLY SETTLEMENT, 342; Draper MSS, 2S, 275-276.
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[9]: Doddridge, EARLY SETTLEMENT AND INDIAN WARS, 277; J.H. Newton, ed. HISTORY OF THE PAN-HANDLE (Wheeling: J.A. Caldwell, 1879), 124.
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[11]: Draper MSS 2S275-276.
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[14]: Ibid.
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[16]: De Haas, HISTORY OF THE EARLY SETTLEMENT, 342-343. It is interesting to note that Samuel Sprigg Jacob who wrote the manuscript A HISTORY OF THE CLINTON COMMUNITY said that Vincent Vanmeter told him the story of the Indians' eating Major Sam's heart. Mr. Vanmeter said that after the Indian wars ended, some warriors came back to West Liberty and told people they ate the Major's heart to make them brave like McColloch. Jacob claimed that Vincent Vanmeter was his neighbor and a truthful and responsible citizen.
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[17]: Draper MSS, 2S275-276.
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[18]: John McCullough's Narrative, in Archibald Loudon, A SELECTION OF SOME INTERESTING NARRATIVES OF OUTRAGES COMMITTED BY THE INDIANS IN THEIR WARS WITH THE WHITE PEOPLE (1808) Vol. I, edited by Dale Van Every (Arno Press: New York Times), 1971.
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[20]: John K. Mahon, THE WAR OF 1812 (University of Florida Press: Gainesville, 1972), 53.
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[21]: Draper MSS 2S275-276.
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by Bruce D. Bonar
... who is a professor in the College of Education at Eastern Kentucky University, with his previous publications being in the education field. As a native of northern West Virginia, he has a keen interest in the history of the upper Ohio Valley.

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C O M B A T, the Literary Expression of Battlefield Touchstones