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Scout to Big Bottom.


Since the fall of 1790 the threat of famine had hovered over the settlers of the Ohio Company. Game was also getting scarce. We suspected that this was not an accident of nature but the Indians work to drive off the settlers. . The winter of 1791 was a difficult one for the settlers of Campus Martius. Having been assigned the duty of scouting for hostiles and hunting for the Fort, ( Daniel Hogue,Marvin Sowers ,Troy Sowers, and myself,K. Beck ,) were out in the cold and freezing weather the first week of January, 1791. I'm sure any of us would have rather been sitting by a warm fire than trudging through the snow, but scouts must do what is expected of them. Thoughts of hot bread and venison stew were winding in my mind but I must stay alert and keep an eye out for game or.... Heaven forbid...HOSTILES.

We (slid) down the steep bank and gazed up the river .We hoped we could make it to the east side of the Muskingum by dark, to the settlement known as Big Bottom. Maybe there we could get some food and relief from the cold before journeying back to Marietta.,hopefully with at least a bit of game to feed the settlers. . The weather had been so cold,the (Muskingum) was frozen .We had seen no game and it was almost too quiet. The sun was going down and we hadn't made it to the settlement yet. Maybe we should make camp before dark.

As we looked for some form of (natural shelter) Daniel thought he could smell smoke .It was likely we were close to our destination so we ventured on. Troy thought we should travel till dark and if we weren't there by then we would make camp. I liked this idea. I kept thinking maybe they would have hot bread and venison stew. Much better than the dried corn and jerk I had been eating for 2 days now. The smell of smoke became stronger and we thought we must have been getting close. It was dark now but we could still see lots of smoke.

(Marvin) spotted their blockhouse. Cold chills went up my spine. The blockhouse had been set on fire and the three small cabins were all but burned entirely .We hastily went on in to see if anyone had been spared .It looked as though they had been sitting down to supper when the attack had occurred. The work of Wyandots and Delawares, no doubt .A women lay slain in the corner, a tomahawk in her hand. She had succeeded in killing one of the red devils by slaying him with a blow to the head. Beside her lay her two children. It was a terrible sight. We found 12 dead. They had evidently taken some prisoner. There was nothing we could do but give them a Christian burial and with the ground frozen hard even this would be a task. Tomorrow a relief party was expected to arrive. We would wait for their help. Till then we shall send Troy south to Campus Martius and give our report to General Putnam. This shall be terrible news to take to the Fort .A sad day for all of us indeed. We shall (travel) Northwest in search of the captives.May God have mercy on us all!

Post Script.

Marvin,So good to have you back in the Ohio Territory for a few days.Take Care Dear friend.