Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee to the End of the Eighteenth Century (1853)

59

ESCAPE OF CAPTAIN STUART.

“Captain Stuart was much alarmed at his present situation, and from that moment resolved to make his escape or perish in the attempt. He privately communicated his design to Attakullakulla and told him that the thought of bearing arms against his countrymen harrowed his feelings, and he invoked his assistance to accomplish his release. The old warrior took him by the hand—told him he was his friend, and was fully apprised of the designs of his countrymen, and pledged his efforts to deliver him from danger. Attakullakulla claimed Captain Stuart as his prisoner, and resorted to stratagem to rescue him. He told the other Indians that he intended to go a hunting for a few days, and to take his prisoner with him. Accordingly they departed, accompanied by the warrior’s wife, his brother, and two soldiers. The distance to the frontier settlements was great, and the utmost expedition was necessary to prevent surprise from Indians pursuing them. Nine days and nights did they travel through a dreary wilderness, shaping their course by the sun and moon for Virginia. On the tenth they arrived at the banks of Holston’s river, where they fortunately fell in with a party of three hundred men, sent out by Colonel Bird for the relief of Fort Loudon. On the fourteenth day the captain reached Colonel Bird’s camp on the frontiers of Virginia. His faithful friend, Attakullakulla, was here loaded with presents and provisions, and sent back to protect the unhappy prisoners till they should be ransomed, and to exert his influence with the Cherokees for the restoration of peace.”

After Captain Stuart’s escape, he lost no time in concerting measures of relief to his garrison. An express was at once forwarded to the Governor of South-Carolina to inform him of the disaster at Fort Loudon, and of the designs of the enemy against Fort Prince George. The prisoners that had survived the hardships of hunger, disease and captivity, at Loudon, were ransomed and delivered up to the commanding officer at Fort Prince George.

This account of the siege and capitulation of Fort Loudon, and of the attack upon the retiring garrison, has been copied or condensed from “Hewitt’s Historical Account of South-Carolina and Georgia,” as republished in the valuable historical collection of Carroll. Being written in 1779, soon after the transactions which it relates took place, Hewitt’s work is considered authentic, and may be fully relied on as being generally correct. Still in some of the details other historians differ from him. One of them gives another version of the assault upon the camp the morning after the evacuation of the fort. Haywood says: “At this place, about day-break, the Indians fell upon and destroyed the whole troop, men, women and children, except three men,


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