Waddell's Annals of Augusta County, Virginia, from 1726 to 1871


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WILLIAM CHRISTIAN,

son of Israel, was born in Augusta in 1743. He was a member of the House of Burgesses in 1774 (from Botetourt), and leaving Williamsburg he raised a company and hastened to join General Andrew Lewis, but failed to overtake him till the night after the battle of Point Pleasant. In 1775 he was chosen Lieutenant-Colonel of the first Virginia regiment of which Patrick Henry was colonel. In 1776, however, he became colonel of the first battalion of Virginia militia, and commander of an expedition against the Cherokee Indians. The troops under his command consisted of two battalions from Virginia and one from North Carolina, which, with other men employed, composed an army of one thousand six hundred to one thousand eight hundred men. The campaign lasted about three months. Not one man was killed, and no one died. The Indians fled at the approach of the army, but many of their towns were destroyed and their fields wasted. On the return of the army to the settlements, Fort Henry was built at Long Island, in the Holston, near the present Virginia State line, and supplies were taken to it from Rockbridge and Augusta counties. The fort was then supposed to be in Virginia.

In 1780 he commanded another expedition against the Cherokees. In 1781 he was appointed by General Green at the head of a commission to conclude a treaty with the Indians, his Virginia associates being Arthur Campbell, William Preston and Joseph Martin. In 1785 he removed to Kentucky, and settled near Louisville. The year following he and others pursued a party of marauding Indians across the Ohio river, and overtook two of them near the spot where Jeffersonville, Indiana, now is. There he was shot and killed by one of the Indians, both of whom were instantly killed by Christianís companions. His body was carried home, and the inscription on his tombstone states that he was killed April 9, 1786, aged 43. His wife was a sister of Patrick Henry. Colonel Bullitt, of Kentucky, was his son-in-law. His only son died while a youth.


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