“I Have Now Made a Path to Virginia”: Outacite Ostenaco and the Cherokee-Virginia Alliance in the French and Indian War

Douglas McClure Wood


Man Killer Ostenaco’s leadership in recruitment, diplomacy, and military campaigns along the Tug Fork, the South Branch of the Potomac River, and the Ohio River tie him directly to West Virginia’s history approximately one hundred years prior to its statehood. His role in the French and Indian War testifies to one facet of the Cherokee people’s long ties to the land we now call the Mountain State. The Cherokees’ personal sacrifices, woods lore, physical stamina, tactical knowledge, and diplomatic skills played pivotal roles in the eventual British victory over the French in North America. Ostenaco’s commitment to his family, his allies, and his English king during the war surely earns this veteran similar honors given his more famous Virginian brothers-in-arms, Andrew Lewis, William Byrd III, and George Washington.


By 1756, Colonel George Washington had been given the daunting task of defending Virginia’s entire three-hundred-mile western frontier from French soldiers and their Amerindian allied warriors. The worldwide conflict Virginia was embroiled in came to be known by English-speaking Americans south of the Canadian border as the French and Indian War. The outcome of this war would determine which of several cultures would dominate the region between the Blue Ridge and the Ohio River.

Having seen a well-supplied, superbly disciplined English army soundly beaten by an inferior force of the enemy during General Edward Braddock’s defeat near Fort Duquesne in 1755, the young Virginia officer understood well the importance of having a military alliance with southern Indians. He wrote Virginia Lieutenant Governor Dinwiddie on September 8, 1756, regarding Dinwiddie’s plan to seek military assistance from Cherokee and Catawba warriors, “They will be of particular service more than twice their number of white men.”1 Neither Virginian leader could foresee the myriad ways the alliance would be strained over the next few years.

Governor Dinwiddie was familiar with several Cherokee leaders, having met with them in the few years prior to the beginning of hostilities on the Virginia frontier. Outacite Ostenaco, a man of action and honor, was one of the principal Cherokee military leaders who responded early when called upon by the Virginia governor for assistance, but even Ostenaco’s commitment to the alliance would be tested by unforeseen circumstances. Grasping the significance of the Cherokee role in the war, modern historian Gregory Dowd wrote, “Before 1759, no Indian people would contribute a larger body of warriors or a more important service to British efforts.”2 Not the least of the Cherokee military leaders’ contributions to the British victory in the conflict was their willingness to train colonial soldiers in the art of Indian war tactics—an art in which American military special forces personnel still receive training today.3

Some of the popular histories of the war have detailed the efforts of the Mohawks on behalf of northern colonies late in the war, but the details of the significant contributions by the Cherokees are underrepresented in even the most recent literature. Dowd compared the efforts of these two British-allied native nations: “In the Seven Years’ War, their [the Cherokees’] martial alliance bore promise; at one time in 1758 they fielded some 450-700 warriors for Britain. Not even the Mohawks in friendship with Sir William Johnson could match that record before 1759, when British victory was imminent.”4 Dowd’s estimate of Cherokee warriors afield is low, but his estimation of their high importance to Britain’s effort to control the Ohio country is right on target. During the course of the war, the Cherokees covered a front of thirteen hundred miles from Fort Presque Isle 5 to near Birmingham, Alabama. Ostenaco and other head warriors led numerous offensive campaigns deep into enemy territory, so the colonial military authorities could focus their attention on defensive efforts in their “back settlements.” The geographic emphasis of the Cherokee offensive actions in the southern half of the North American war theater freed up colonial soldiers from the Carolinas, Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania for duty further north when their services were required. The subsequent history of the Trans-Allegheny regions of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia (including much of present-day West Virginia) hinged upon the effectiveness of the Cherokee-Virginia alliance. In this, one of the 250th anniversary years of the French and Indian War, it is fitting to examine the alliance to ensure that the Cherokee veterans of the war are appropriately honored, and to help students of history understand how important the alliance was to the outcome of the war.

Ancient Enemies and Allies

The war between England and France for control of the Ohio Valley not only pitted European superpowers against one another, but it also incited American Indian nations to war. Enmity between the Cherokees and some of their Amerindian neighbors may have had its roots in the pre- or proto-historic periods of North American history. It surely existed as early as the first few decades of the seventeenth century when the Cherokees captured Amerindian slaves to sell to the English.6 Cherokee traditions as recorded by James Mooney,7 David Zeisberger,8 and others are replete with war stories about the northern Shawnees, Senecas, Ottawas, and Delawares. Western Indians such as the Choctaws and Illinois battled Cherokees at the instigation of the French during Queen Anne’s War (1702-1713) and King George’s War (1744-1748 in North America). Spaniards and French both encouraged Creek Indians to war with the Cherokees, but the decisive battle of Taliwa in 1754 wrested a large territory away from the Upper Creeks and gave the Cherokees a buffer against their traditional southern nemesis throughout most of the French and Indian War.9

At various times before 1750, colonial authorities in Virginia, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and New York attempted to get the northern Indians and southern Indians to make peace with one another. The authorities had varying degrees of success, so by 1753 the Cherokees were not overtly embroiled in hostilities with the Senecas and Delawares to the north, or with traditional enemies, the Catawbas and Tuscaroras, to the east. The Cherokee-Shawnee relationship at this time seemed to be one of sporadic hostility with a relative peace reigning through 1753 into early 1754. Consequently, after France began to flex its muscle in the Ohio country in 175210 by constructing a line of forts between Lake Erie and the Ohio River, Virginia colonial authorities reverted to the older policy of recruiting Indian allies against common enemies. The authorities found fertile ground for alliance among the Cherokees, because by early 1753 those people were increasingly subjected to French-instigated hostilities.11

Like many Eastern Woodland Amerindian peoples of the eighteenth century, the Cherokees did not have an easily identifiable national government.12 Much like the British colonies, clusters of Cherokee settlements, separated by geographical obstacles, were loosely confederated. Most British agents closely associated with the Cherokees recognized three major groupings of settlements: the Lower, Middle, and Upper or Over Hill Cherokee towns. Cherokees in the Lower Towns had both suffered and benefited more from their proximity to the South Carolina colonial capital of Charleston than had the other two confederates. Consequently, the three confederates, like their English colony counterparts, did not always act with unanimity in concerns that we today might deem to be matters of national security such as war.

The Over Hill Cherokees, long unsatisfied with the poorer trade relations they had with South Carolina compared to the Lower Town Cherokees, had moved toward a more open trade with Virginia by sending a delegation over five hundred miles on foot to Williamsburg, the capital, in the summer of 1751. Ata’gulkalu,13 also known as the Little Carpenter, led the delegation, apparently with the approbation of the elder Over Hill headman, Old Hop. In the winter of 1752-1753, Ammnoscosittee, the Cherokee Emperor (as the British referred to him), visited the new Virginian governor, Robert Dinwiddie. Once again, trade was the primary topic of discussion,14 but there was also some talk of impending war between the English colonies and France.15 Since King George’s War, the Over Hill Cherokees had been asking South Carolina to build a fort among their towns on the waters of the Tennessee River as a defense against French-allied Indians. A treaty made in 1730 required the Cherokees to assist the British in time of war.16 The Cherokees complied during King George’s War, yet South Carolina had dragged its feet over the request for a fort since that time. Although South Carolina Governor Glen jealously guarded his perceived position as the king’s sole overseer of the Cherokee trade, Dinwiddie, in a seemingly selfless manner, offered his colony’s assistance in the Cherokee fort project.17

The Upper Cherokees’ need for a defensive fort was great. By the summer of 1754, those Cherokees suffered attacks from the north and west. However, the Cherokees did not cower in their cabins awaiting a delivering hand from their British allies. A number of Cherokee warriors took French scalps and the Little Carpenter went out to war against the French in July 1754.18 South Carolina built Fort Prince George among the Lower Cherokees at their principal town of Keowee.19 However, this provided no comfort to residents of the upper towns who served as the first line of defense for both Carolina colonies, as an aged trader named Ludovic Grant strongly reminded Governor Glen.20 Grant wrote from Tomotley,21 the hometown of Outacite Ostenaco, variously spelled, but translated into English as Man Killer Ostenaco.22 Ostenaco’s town was as much in the way of danger as any of the upper towns. The war became very personal for Tomotley’s leader when the enemy killed his nephew.23

Governor Dinwiddie sent Nathaniel Gist to ask for Cherokee assistance in ousting the French from Virginia lands to the north in exchange for a fort.24 As a result of Gist’s mission and others, the Upper Cherokees continued to protect the back settlements of the Carolinas and southern Virginia for nearly two years before the Virginian government finally built a fort near Echota.25 After the fort was constructed, the Cherokees continued protecting the back settlements of the Carolinas and the Mid-Atlantic colonies for three more years.

The Alliance Tested

The issue of a fort for the Upper Cherokees continued to test the alliance even after Virginia built the fort. The upper towns expected the Virginians to garrison the fort with one hundred men26 in order to free up warriors to go on the warpath, just as the Cherokees had spelled out to Governor Dinwiddie back in September of 1755. Since the governor did not completely fulfill his promise to provide defenders for the fort, the Cherokees did the governor’s bidding more slowly and with fewer warriors than the Virginians had hoped. The upper towns’ headmen did not let this opportunity pass without reminding South Carolina’s newly appointed royal governor, William Henry Lyttleton, that South Carolina’s promises to build a fort for the Cherokees’ defense still rang hollow.27 That southern colony was jealous of the inroad into the Cherokee skin trade that the Virginia fort represented,28 and built a fort soon after the Virginians.

The poor cooperation between South Carolina and Virginia, despite Dinwiddie’s assistance, also tested the Cherokee alliance. In the summer of 1755, before Braddock’s army had advanced far, eight hundred Cherokee warriors headed northward to assist in the campaign. However, the bulk of this large body of warriors never made it to the rendezvous point. Old Hop’s son informed Governor Dinwiddie, “This Summer a great Number of our People had agreed to come here, and were to have set off with us, but on Receipt of a L’r from G’r Glen a few Days before we came away, they all went to meet him at Congress.”29 Governor Dinwiddie sent a scathing letter to Governor Glen reprimanding him for his handling of the British allies. The way Dinwiddie saw the affair, instead of fervently recruiting Cherokees for General Braddock’s campaign, Governor Glen had been wheedling them out of their land in a dubious conference called at an inappropriate time.30 Glen lost his royal appointment over this affair and was replaced by Lyttleton.

Glen’s failure to consider his action in the context of the British military effort underway caused the Cherokees to miss out on Braddock’s Campaign through no fault of their own. This required Virginia to step up its efforts to recruit the Cherokees for future assistance. Bearing presents, Colonels Peter Randolph and William Byrd III went to the Cherokee nation to engage them in the interest of the colony of Virginia.31 Even faced with the obvious land-grabbing action of South Carolina’s governor, some Cherokee warriors assisted the colonies in the war effort during the summer of 1755.

When 130 Cherokees arrived at Fort Frederick on the New River to go on campaign against the Shawnees in the winter of 1755-1756, they did not receive the appropriate accoutrements of war from their better-equipped allies. Governor Dinwiddie provided them with shorter, but heavier naval guns while he sent to London for lighter trade guns.32 This supply problem continued throughout the war, straining the alliance between the Cherokees and Virginians at more than one juncture. In 1757, Cherokees from the lower towns, under the leadership of Wauhatchee and the Swallow Warrior, composed the first recorded sizeable group of warriors to come to the aid of Virginia’s back settlements during that year. Wauhatchee was obsessed with obtaining presents for his services. This was to be expected since gift-giving was the form of payment the Cherokees had been promised, and they remained sorely disappointed at the failure of the Virginia authorities to fulfill that promise. When Major Andrew Lewis escorted Wauhatchee’s gang of 148 to Winchester, there were no supplies awaiting them. These warriors had traveled approximately five hundred miles to assist the Virginians, who could not outfit them for war. Keerarustikee had stayed on at Winchester through the winter. He discouraged Wauhatchee’s gang even further by informing them that, when he and his men had found no supplies in Winchester, they had been sent two hundred miles to Williamsburg for supplies. Then, in the Virginia capital, the authorities had expressed surprise that the warriors had not been supplied in Winchester! The modern American military slang acronym snafu comes to mind.

As the war progressed, tensions between backcountry Virginians and Cherokee war gangs increased for various reasons. In the spring of 1756, at the same time Cherokees ranged the woods to protect Virginians from northern Indians, Shawnees disguised as Cherokees reconnoitered the Virginia frontier settlements on behalf of the commander of French Fort Miamis, Marie Francois Picoté, Sieur de Belestre II.33 This covert operation and others later34 contributed to the souring of relations between Cherokees and Virginia frontier folk. From many frontier settlers’ points of view, the presence among the plantations of friendly Amerindian warriors and disguised enemy warriors at the same time caused great consternation. In April, Governor Dinwiddie whipped up the militia into an excited state of readiness.35 Some Cherokee warriors, who had gone to Williamsburg to discuss the war effort with Governor Dinwiddie, were returning without militia escort when a Virginia militia captain and some of his neighbors murdered them.36 These ill-timed murders almost led to the deaths of the Virginia commissioners Randolph and Byrd, who at that very moment were negotiating a treaty with the Upper Cherokees. Indeed, these murders and others committed through 1759 contributed in large part to the outbreak of the Cherokee War early in 1760.37

Other actions and issues that threatened the alliance at more than one juncture until the rupture came in 1760 included: failure by colonial leaders to understand Cherokee diplomacy, subordinate treatment of high-ranking Cherokees by British officers, perceived duplicity by each ally towards the other, and racial distrust.38

Fighting in the Indian Way

By 1755, many Shawnees and Delawares finally caved in to the intimidations from the French, and went to war against the English. Those Ohio Indians and other French allies embarked on an extensive campaign against Virginia plantations in the spring of 1755. In May, June, and July, attacks on the Holston and New Rivers left twelve dead and six wounded. The northern enemy took a dozen captives. This campaign continued after Braddock’s defeat (July 9, 1755) through September, and included attacks on the Greenbrier plantations at Muddy Creek near present-day Alderson, West Virginia. The campaigners killed sixteen more, wounded another, and captured an additional fourteen.39

In July, August, and September of 1755, Cherokees went northward and westward to war along the Mississippi and lower Ohio Rivers, making successful attacks as far as Fort De Chartres near the French settlement of Kaskaskias.40 The military actions of Cherokees in July, August, and September dampened the fervor of attacks from French allies during those months. The enemy military action shifted from the southwestern Virginia plantations to the northwestern plantations before significant attacks could be made on the settlements located on the Roanoke and James Rivers’ headwaters.

Many colonial military leaders thought of the potential for greater assistance from the southern Indians; the Cherokees in particular had provided able assistance during King George’s War less than ten years earlier. Christopher Gist, a frontier explorer, farmer, and Indian trader, advised George Washington of speculation in this vein: “[There] is great Expectation that Genl Shirley [Massachusetts’ Lt. Governor and Commander-in-Chief of British land forces in America after General Braddock’s death] will Send Me to Get the Cattawbees Indians for Yr. Assistance and perhaps Woods Men and the Cherokees in Spring.”41 Gist, like his son Nathaniel, was familiar with Cherokee country and Cherokee ways.

Many frontier Euro-American settlers and not a few important colonial military leaders considered the typical Indian manner of warfare to be the best procedure for countering the offensive French and Indian campaign that followed the defeat of Braddock’s army. Colonel Washington’s actions at that defeat, especially his allowing the Virginia provincials to “tree themselves” and to mark their targets before shooting, prevented total panic when the British regulars broke rank and ran into the still-advancing columns. To the frontiersmen, this battle highlighted all that was not right with the regular British method of war. Christopher Gist advised Washington: “Yr. Name is More talked of in Pennsylvania than any Other person of the Army and every body Seems willing to Venture under Your command and if you would Send Some descreet person doubt not but They will Inlist a good Nomber and especially to be erigular for all their Talk is of fighting in the Indian way.”42 The willingness of many colonists to enlist under the leadership of Washington hinged upon the supposition that under his command they would be allowed to fight in this “Indian way.” There were differing methods of this “Indian way” of fighting dependent upon the size of the war party and other variables, but certain key elements distinguished all of them from the regular European method.

Frederick Christian Post described some of these elements when he was on a peace mission to the Ohio Indians in September 1758. Post noted that the elements of surprise, taking deliberate aim, and firing from cover were key characteristics of this style of warfare.43 Aiming intentionally at officers, a tactic deemed worthy of mimicking by many frontiersmen, and later found essential to the success of the American revolutionary army, was a major component of native and French warfare on this continent two decades before the Revolution. These battle tactics were not signs of an undisciplined method of military engagement, as many of the British officers of the day judged the “Indian way” of fighting. As James Smith clearly pointed out, in his 1799 description of Amerindian military methods and discipline, “their officers plan, order and conduct matters until they are brought into action, and then each man is to fight as though he was to gain the battle himself.”44 Smith, who had spent five years adopted among Kahnawakes45 after being captured during Braddock’s campaign, learned the methods of warfare well, and published them in order to affect change in the American style of warfare to better meet the requirements of battling Amerindians in the future.

Later in life, George Washington commented that, during the battle at the Monongahela River, his offer to “head the Provincials, & engage the enemy in their own way” was turned down by General Braddock until it was too late to be effective.46 That devastating experience of the British army, due to the inflexibility of its commanding officer, altered George Washington’s future woodland warfare battle tactics dramatically. Washington commented further, “The folly & consequence of opposing compact bodies to the sparse manner of Indian fighting, in woods, which had in a manner been predicted, was now so clearly verified that from hence forward another mode obtained in all future operations.”47

An Allied Expedition

In order to ensure that this other mode of fighting was taught to Virginia’s troops, military leaders encouraged southern Indians to come north and act as mentors. The Cherokees’ response to these encouragements was swift and strong. They proposed a bold stroke against the Shawnees on the Ohio and Scioto Rivers, and they offered to allow a few Virginians to accompany them. Upon close examination, the military genius of the Cherokee authors of this campaign is evident. As explained by Old Hop’s son, “the Fr. And their Ind’s have done our Nat’n as much Injury as our Brothers. If You, Bro., will supply a small No. of Men with Arms and Amunit’n, and build a Fort on Holston’s and New River. I will engage our Assistance to recover the Land now diverted, and preserve the Grain left by the Inhabitants. . . . Our brothers fight very strong, but can’t follow an Indian by the Foot as we can; and it is not so far to these People (the Shawnas), who have done the Mischief, as You Imagine, for we can go there in seven Nights, and sh’d it be longer, we are going to War and must submit to Hardships to obtain Satisfact’n for the Injuries done us by our Enemies.”48

Figure 1: Cherokee war strategy in 1755. Top: Map 1; bottom: Map 2. Source: Maps compiled by author.

The Cherokees recognized that the Virginians excelled at fort construction, having rapidly erected many along the Virginian frontier. The Cherokees asked for two defensive forts (one on the New River and one on the Holston River),49 but desired that their allies would leave the offensive action to the Cherokees. Along with the fort on the New River (Fort Frederick, as it turned out), the fort in the Upper Cherokee country would anchor a defensive line between the upper towns and the colonial defensive fort line running south to north from Georgia to New York. The Cherokees proposed that one hundred Virginians (supplied with guns and ammunition) garrison each of the forts. To the south were the recently defeated Creeks. To the west were the Cherokees’ allies, the Chickasaws. Therefore, at the moment, threats from the south and west were insignificant. Far to the north, the Cherokees’ traditional enemies, the Iroquois, were mostly neutral. The greatest threats to the Cherokees and the Virginians were from attacks out of Fort Duquesne, forts in the Illinois country, and Lower Shawnee Town (see Figure 1, Map 1).50 The Cherokees proposed that, once the new Virginia-built forts were in place, war gangs would attack the Shawnee towns on the Ohio and Scioto Rivers accompanied by only four or five Virginians (see Figure 1, Map 2). Unlike the French-fortified regions at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, and the confluence of the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers, Lower Shawnee Town had no French fort nearby to serve as a safe keep.

Some of the many north-south “war roads” that passed through the region now within the borders of West Virginia were located in the vicinity of “Sandy Creek,” as the Virginians called the Dry Fork/Tug Fork/Big Sandy River valley corridor, where the Cherokees proposed to march. Governor Dinwiddie advised North Carolina’s royal governor Arthur Dobbs,51 Colonel George Washington, and Captain Peter Hogg52 that the Cherokees planned a campaign, and Dinwiddie desired Virginia forces to accompany them. By January, 140 Cherokees were at the New River readying for the campaign after walking from their hometowns over 250 miles away.53 One of the chief warriors of the Cherokees who gathered at Fort Frederick on the Dunkard’s bottom of the New River54 was Outacite Ostenaco (see Figure 2). Indeed, Governor Dinwiddie identified him as “the head warrior” on the expedition and sent him a military commission.55

Ostenaco had probably done some of the recruiting necessary to get such a large turnout of Cherokee warriors. His eloquence in the rhetoric necessary to instill military fervor in potential recruits was recorded at Fort Frederick where he dictated a letter to the Catawbas.56 The Cherokees planned a winter campaign because the headwaters of the Big Sandy River would be swollen by winter precipitation, allowing travel by canoe to begin further upstream than in summer. The potential absence of many enemy warriors, who had removed upriver to Fort Duquesne,57 was undoubtedly another reason the Cherokees planned a winter campaign. After all, every army seeks to be certain of numerical, tactical, and/or technological superiority over its enemy before engaging in an offensive campaign. Those enemies who remained in their Ohio River towns would fall prey to the large Cherokee force, which could easily destroy the Shawnee towns and take numerous captives and booty—that is, if the Cherokees were left to carry out their campaign with no outside assistance. However, such assistance did come and it proved to be more hindrance than help.

Other authors have ably described the Sandy Creek campaign, particularly from the Virginian perspective.58 A few points about the campaign that bear upon the current subject should be emphasized. The slow European-style pace of the Virginian army was not amenable to the Cherokee method of war, which required moving swiftly without horses, and without much baggage and food. The Cherokees were more than willing to train Virginians in the Indian manner of fighting as Colonel Washington had asked, but the southern warriors wanted to select the men fittest for such difficult duty.59 The Sandy Creek campaign failed due to a number of reasons, including the slow pace, extremely wet weather, very rugged terrain, a poorly stocked commissary, poor hunting, inadequate pasturage for the horses, a power struggle among the Virginia officers, ineffective guides, and mutinous Virginia officers and soldiers. However, there were some beneficial outcomes of the campaign. Namely, some of the Cherokee and Virginia officers formed long-lasting bonds, Cherokee commanders made a strong commitment to recruit more warriors, and the Cherokees began mentoring select Virginians in their methods of warfare. All of these outcomes of the allied expedition contributed directly to the eventual English victory over the French, especially in the southern theater of the war.

Figure 2: This image of Ostenaco is attributed to Joshua Reynolds, the London artist for whom Ostenaco sat while in England in 1762. Source: National Anthropological Archives, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.

While the Sandy Creek Campaign was underway, French allied Amerindians raided the Virginia settlements on the New River, Reed Creek, and the Roanoke River. The raiders killed eight settlers and captured two.60 A number of Cherokees returned with Major Lewis to more settled areas of Virginia by April. Even though Colonel Washington recognized the campaign had failed in its primary objective, he laid no blame on the Cherokees who had done what was expected of them: “It is in their power to be of infinite use to us; and without Indians, we shall never be able to cope with those cruel foes to our country.”61 While the Sandy Creek campaign was taking place, other Cherokee parties were afoot against the French and French-allied Indians.62 After the campaign, the Cherokees continued their assistance to Virginia throughout 1756.63

Unreliable Allies?

The outcome of the Shawnees’ intelligence-gathering effort early in 1756 was a highly effective campaign against the southwestern Virginia plantations that summer. Commandant Picoté’s army of “205 Indians and 25 French Canadians”64 marched five hundred miles from Fort Miamis to the New, Roanoke, and Jackson’s Rivers. On June 25, the large war party attacked Fort Vause65 along the Great Road leading from Philadelphia to North Carolina. The army killed at least three defenders, and captured twenty-one. A part of the army continued attacking settlements along Jackson’s River for a few days in September where they killed fourteen and captured thirty.66 Monsieur de Vaudreuil, Governor General of New France, reported to the French Ministry that Picoté passed three hundred abandoned habitations on this campaign.67 Obviously, the campaigns in 1755 and 1756 were resounding successes for the French and their allies. The victors led the Fort Vause prisoners into captivity by a Kanawha Valley route, as alluded to by Captain John Smith after he returned in a prisoner exchange.68

While the French and Indian expeditionary force razed plantations on the southwestern Virginia frontier, French-allied factions of the Shawnees and Creeks circulated war belts among the Cherokees. Ata’gulkalu followed normal diplomatic protocol by receiving emissaries from these factions in a friendly manner. To Andrew Lewis, who was building the long awaited fort amongst the Over Hills Cherokees, the Little Carpenter seemed to be “a great villain and will do everything in his power to serve the French.”69 Many authors have accepted Lewis’s estimation of the Little Carpenter and the Cherokee upper towns at that moment, which was that he was in the French interest and that most of the upper towns wavered in their commitment to the British cause. However, Ata’gulkalu’s actions in the war seasons of 1754, 1757, and 1758 prove that he was a savvy diplomat, keeping the French wolves from entering the door in 1756 until his nation could be guaranteed military supplies for defense, and for offensive action against the enemies of the British colonies and themselves.70

Despite the false perceptions of Cherokee double-dealing, the colonial authorities were glad to receive military assistance from their southern allies in the late summer of 1756, although the large numbers hoped for did not materialize. Colonel Washington anticipated the arrival of Cherokee warriors, saying, “When they arrive, which I pray may be soon, we may deal with the French in their own way; and, by visiting their country, will keep their Indians at home.” The frontier settlements were in a desperate situation. The Maryland and Pennsylvania frontier settlers were fleeing fast, and Virginians had abandoned most of their plantations along the Potomac River in the region now bounded by the West Virginia counties of Berkeley and Jefferson. Governor Dinwiddie instructed the colony’s military leaders most familiar with Ostenaco to get the Man Killer’s assistance in sending warriors to the back settlements. Captain John McNeil wrote a letter to his fellow Sandy Creek expedition veteran on October 28, 1756, to encourage Ostenaco in his recruiting effort. Lewis and Dinwiddie wrote at about the same time, and in early November each of these three men wrote again.71 They repeated the promise that, as soon as warriors arrived in Virginia, the governor would respond by sending soldiers to garrison the Echota fort. Despite the failed Virginia promises to garrison the fort, a few Cherokees magnanimously broke this stalemate by serving Virginia through the remainder of 1756.72

Ata’gulkalu, Ostenaco, twenty other Cherokee headmen, and forty-seven other Upper Cherokees traveled to Charleston, South Carolina, in February 1757 to confer with Governor Lyttleton. One of the outcomes of the conferences was that the editor of the Charleston newspaper, who had held the Little Carpenter in suspicion, concluded that the suspicion “ought to be removed.”73 The Cherokee headmen were proving through both their words and their actions that the British colonies could rely on them as dependable allies.

Recruitment Results

The recruitment effort the Cherokees had previously made among the Nottoways74 was about to bear fruit via Lieutenant James Baker. On April 1, a newspaper in Williamsburg described the southern Amerindians accompanying Baker northward, “39 Tuscaroras, 13 Nottoways, seven Meherrins, and two Sappony’s.”75 By April, large numbers of Cherokees and Catawbas were making their way over hundreds of miles to Virginia and points north.76 A letter excerpted in the April 28, 1757, issue of the Pennsylvania Gazette points out the difficulty in keeping track of the exact numbers of Amerindian allies afield on behalf of the colonies during the war: “One of the Dunkers who live on the Monongahela, had come in [to the Conococheague settlement] and said, that a much greater Body of Indians [Catawbas] than that gone to the Fort [Cumberland] had been at their Houses, and had 17 Scalps with them which they took from the Frenchmen that were employed in cutting Loggs, nine Miles above Fort Du Quesne; and supposed, that the Party that brought in [to Fort Cumberland] the five Scalps and a Prisoner, some time ago belonged to that Body, and that the rest had gone home with the other Scalps.”77 This Catawba party had returned home by way of a settlement of a German Anabaptist sect (mistakenly referred to as Dunkards) on the Cheat River (a large tributary of the Monongahela River) near the present-day community of Kingwood, West Virginia.78 The party had not checked in with military or civil authorities before it headed homeward by way of the Sabbatarian plantation of the Eckerlin brothers on the large bottom still called Dunkard’s Bottom today, where the West Virginia National Guard’s Camp Dawson is seated. There is an irony about this place, named after a pacifistic religious sect, hosting southern Amerindian warriors returning from war 250 years ago, and hosting American soldiers preparing for war today.

With Wauhatchee’s gang of 148 warriors, Keerarustikee’s gang of an unknown number, and eighty Cherokees approaching,79 there were now over 230 Cherokees in Virginia ready for action, but poorly supplied and quite dissatisfied with their treatment by the governor. Wauhatchee got wind of possible better treatment by the Maryland authorities, so he went to that colony on April 29, 1757, where a present of clothes pleasantly surprised him.80 By May 17, the Cherokee warriors had brought in four enemy Indian scalps and two prisoners.81 Maryland paid £50 worth of goods for an enemy Indian scalp, while Virginia paid only £10 worth. By May 22, Wauhatchee and his men at Fort Frederick82 left for Virginia well satisfied with their treatment in Maryland. Part of Wauhatchee’s gang left the Virginia colony under military escort in the first part of June.83 However, many Cherokees remained to fight. The southern warriors now fought on behalf of Pennsylvania as well as the Carolinas, Maryland, and Virginia.84

Edmond Atkin Esq., the southern Indian agent appointed by King George II, had the unenviable task of keeping the Indian allies of the Crown satisfied with their treatment in exchange for their much-needed services. In order to prevent problematic encounters between Indian allies and Virginia’s general populace, Atkin proposed the use of only western frontier forts as the major headquarters for the warriors.85 Fort Dickinson86 and Vause’s Fort served as southern operation bases, from where the war gangs ranged along the Roanoke, James, and New Rivers, and their tributaries. Fort Pearsall87 along with Fort Loudoun at Winchester served as northern Virginia headquarters. Often, Cherokee war gangs went from Winchester to Pearsall’s Fort, to Fort Cumberland, and then on towards Fort Duquesne. The Cherokees also ranged along the South Branch of the Potomac River and its tributaries (the region covered by much of West Virginia’s eastern panhandle today) from one fort to another, attempting to detect enemy war parties.

The Cherokee efforts began to pay off quite well by early June of 1757. Lieutenant James Baker, assigned to a Cherokee war party ranging out of Fort Cumberland, penned a letter to Colonel Washington detailing the difficulties and the successes of a sortie.88 This was a tough service. The party of fifteen Cherokee warriors and five Virginia soldiers had started their ranging service on May 20. They had walked approximately 115 miles from Fort Cumberland to the head of Turtle Creek, engaged ten Frenchmen who had recently parted with fifty Shawnees, and then carried back a wounded warrior 115 miles without having anything to eat in four days, except wild onions.89 Washington instructed Lieutenant Baker to move to Pearsall’s Fort and remain there with his company. Baker was to encourage the Cherokees to bring the surviving French officer to Winchester.90 The officer was none other than the commander of French Fort Miamis, Marie Francois Picoté, Sieur de Belestre II, the leader of the 1756 summer campaign that had ravaged the Virginia settlements and destroyed Fort Vause. The French suffered a significant loss by his capture. As late as October 1758 Picoté was still a captive in Cherokee country even though the governors of Virginia and North Carolina attempted to pay for his release. The loss of their war leader, the Swallow, in the raid that acquired Picoté, meant that the Cherokees would not easily give up their important prisoner.91

While the Swallow and Lieutenant Baker conducted the raid toward Fort Duquesne, Ostenaco made his way to the front line.92 Washington informed General Stanwix that Ostenaco and his warriors left Winchester for Fort Duquesne before July 8, 1757, but Ostenaco became ill and had to stay behind on the South Branch (probably at Pearsall’s Fort), while one of the Virginia officers and nineteen of Ostenaco’s warriors continued on toward Fort Duquesne from Fort Cumberland on July 9. Ostenaco returned from Pearsall’s Fort to straighten out a royal mess caused by Edmond Atkin in Winchester when he imprisoned Mohawk and Cherokee peace emissaries heading toward Cherokee country. Washington, according to his own account, saved the day by sending an express (messenger) with an Indian “to their nation to prevent a massacre of all the traders and white people there.”93

Some time in mid-August Ostenaco headed home with presents for his people.94 Colonel Washington intimated to Governor Dinwiddie that Agent Atkin had left the state of Indian affairs on the frontier in a tangle. Washington wrote, “The Chief of the Cherokee party, who went last to the Branch [the South Branch of the Potomac River], (and is said to be a man of great weight among that nation), was so incensed against what he imagined neglect and contempt, that, had we not supplied him with a few necessaries, without which he could not go to war, he threatened to return, fired with resentment, to his nation.”95 As Washington feared, the Man Killer of Tomotley carried a negative report of the treatment by Virginia authorities towards himself and his warriors. However, Ostenaco’s disappointment targeted only the Virginians. He remained firmly supportive of the British in general. He intended to continue the war effort, although not in the vicinity of Virginia’s settlements.

Winter Hunts Delayed

The Cherokees continued to assist the colonies on their western frontiers throughout the winter moons, taking more scalps and bringing in more prisoners for interrogation.96 The Little Carpenter and the Great Warrior of Echota (Oconostota) led their gangs totaling thirty-two warriors down the Tennessee River to Chickasaw territory.97 The two gangs brought in two Frenchmen, one Miami woman, six French scalps, and six Miami scalps.98 This type of successful action in the backyard of the enemy Indians, especially the taking of a female captive, had a strong influence over the outcome of the war. South Carolina Captain Paul Demere equipped, as best he could, another gang of twenty-one Cherokees headed toward one of the French forts,99 and he advised Colonel Henry Bouquet that “about 130 Cherakees [sic] are gone lately to the assistance of Virginia.”100

While Ata’gulkalu and Oconostota were striking fear into the hearts of the French and their allies on the lower Tennessee and Ohio Rivers, other Cherokee head warriors led their gangs against the enemy on the upper Ohio River. Since September of 1757, the Round O Warrior had ranged 845 miles with his gang from the Cherokee towns to Fort Duquesne101 (presumably by way of the Ohio River), finally arriving in Winchester around the first of March 1758. Other Cherokees had overwintered at Maryland’s Forts Cumberland and Frederick, as well as at Winchester.102

Washington directed Christopher Gist to compile a record of warriors assisting in the war effort in northern Virginia.103 This instruction resulted in Captain Abraham Bosomworth’s “exact Return taken from the Deputy Agent for Indian Affairs and the Provincial Interpreter.” This compilation of Amerindian warriors who came to Winchester (and a few to “Augusta,” perhaps at Fort Vause) in the spring of 1758 reveals a good deal about the British allies: names and nationalities of commanders, names of their hometowns, when they arrived in Winchester, when they left and for what destinations, and how many warriors accompanied them.104 In addition to the fifty-seven warriors who arrived with Chesquoterone (Yellow Bird) on November 16, 1757, and marched on to Maryland’s Fort Frederick to overwinter with the colonial troops in the frontier forts, 598 others came into western Virginia in March and April for a total of 652. Of the Catawbas, there were 113, but the remaining 539 were Cherokees under the command of twenty Cherokee officers. Many (238) of these southern Amerindian warriors remained at Winchester through April. The others marched from Winchester to range out of other forts. From Winchester, 198 warriors marched to the South Branch of the Potomac River (most likely to Pearsall’s Fort) and Fort Cumberland. To Fort Frederick, 165 made their way. To the James River (probably Dickinson’s Fort), twenty-six marched, and to Pennsylvania’s Fort Loudoun, twenty-five marched.

Also from this list we can ascertain that a number of head warriors who had served in previous years returned to assist again in 1758. Yellow Bird and Round O had been on the Sandy Creek campaign in 1756, where Major Andrew Lewis had given them captain’s commissions.105 Both of them had also served in 1757, along with Wauhatchee and Yautonau. These returning commanders and some of the men in their gangs traveled over three thousand miles (mostly on foot) in the service of the alliance. With the exception of Andrew Lewis and some men in his company, very few militia or provincial regimental soldiers could claim the same travelog at the end of the war. Few, if any, regular British soldiers could boast of similar continental distances in service to the king.

By the time Bosomworth compiled his return, Cherokee gangs were ranging towards Fort Duquesne from forts on the South Branch of the Potomac River. Washington penned the details of one such foray to St. Clair: “Dear Sir: I have now had an opportunity of examining Ucahula, an Indian Warrior, who brought in the scalps mentioned in my last. His account is nearly the following.”106 As students of Indian war tactics, Nathaniel Gist and six other soldiers accompanied Ucahala’s gang of thirty Cherokees to Fort Duquesne. Gist was injured in a fall, so the soldiers and a few warriors stayed with him, while the other warriors divided into three smaller parties. Ucahala’s party killed two Frenchmen and reconnoitered the strength of the fort. The gang also found evidence of two large enemy parties heading toward Virginia. This intelligence was extremely important, but it arrived too late to Washington to allow him to prevent the destruction of Forts Upper Tract and Seybert on April 27 and 28, alluded to in this letter as “the back-inhabitants of Augusta-County.” Two West Virginia communities still bear the names of these fallen forts.

Despite this setback, the scalps, prisoners, and intelligence brought in by mixed parties of Cherokee warriors and Virginia soldiers to Pearsall’s Fort in the spring of 1758 must have been welcome sights for the war-weary eyes of the South Branch plantation owners. Those “back-inhabitants” had stayed on during the dangerous years when a seemingly invincible English army had been soundly beaten by inferior numbers of the foe, and when the enemies had carried on raid after raid in their neighborhoods. We can imagine the excitement of the forted-up settlers every time another Cherokee war gang arrived with evidence of success over their foes—evidence that the tide of war was turning toward the favor of the South Branch farmers, millers, weavers, and their families, desperately hoping against hopelessness to maintain their toeholds in the fertile valleys they had come to call “home.”

As more Cherokees arrived to join British forces for an expedition against Fort Duquesne in 1758, General John Forbes planned the campaign strategy from his headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Cherokees would play a critical role in the lead of a massive army, scouting back and forth between the Forks of the Ohio River and the army.107 By May 28, the Winchester wing of the army had been beefed up by many soldiers and by several more Cherokee warriors.108 The accountable number of southern warriors who assisted the British in the initial stages of the Forbes campaign was approximately 690. As the correspondences from South Carolina officers make clear, other Cherokees fought on the western front around Fort De L’Ascension, making the total number of fighting Cherokee allies even greater than those ready to march with Forbes’s army.

Clashes between the Cherokee and British brothers-in-arms arose regularly due to their different ways of viewing their military alliance.109 Many Cherokees left as summer approached,110 but those who remained were a dedicated lot. In mid-June, Colonel Henry Bouquet (General Forbes’s second in command) assessed the numbers of allied warriors he felt he could depend on through the remainder of the campaign. He advised General Forbes in a letter dated June 16, 1758, that ninety-nine Cherokees and twenty-seven Catawbas “resolved to follow us everywhere you may want to lead us. . . . I assure you, Sir, that I was astonished to find so much spirit, imagination, strength, and dignity in savages.”111 Bouquet’s astonishment at the good character of his woodland allies reveals a racial prejudice that plagued the Cherokees throughout the Forbes campaign. Several more Cherokees accompanied the Virginia regiment of Colonel William Byrd III, boosting to more than two hundred the total number of Indian warriors (117 Cherokees, eighty Wyandottes, and twenty-seven Catawbas) the army could count on.112

The Cherokees who remained did not disappoint their brothers-in-arms, for they carried on mission after mission over hundreds of miles to Forts Duquesne, Machault,113 and Presque Isle. They conducted reconnaissance, captured prisoners for interrogation, terrorized the French and their allies, and they continued to instruct provincial soldiers and militiamen how to fight in the Indian manner. They had taught Andrew Lewis, Richard Pearis, John McNeil, John Draper,114 and others the art of wilderness war on the Sandy Creek Campaign. In 1757, they tutored James Baker, Alexander Spotswood, and other Virginia soldiers stationed along Virginia’s western frontiers, while they showed them the war roads of the Trans-Allegheny region. In 1758, the training continued for Virginians like Thomas Bullitt, Colby Chew (veterans of the Sandy Creek Campaign), William Crawford, and Andrew Vaughn. With the express approval of General Forbes and Colonel Bouquet, the training grew to include select provincial soldiers of Pennsylvania and Maryland too. Colonel Bouquet’s plan included cutting the soldiers’ hair into scalp locks, as well as painting, dressing, and accoutering them in warrior fashion,115 just as Colonel Byrd of Virginia had already done with select troops.116

Lieutenant Chew and Sergeant Vaughn escorted a Cherokee party headed toward Fort Duquesne. After nine days of gathering intelligence about the fort and the war roads, the Cherokees held a war council and determined that since the provisions were low, all but seven should turn back. Chew, Vaughn, and five Cherokees continued to reconnoiter the next day. Chew reported their scouting activities to Colonels Washington and Bouquet. The report details the difficulties and dangers of scouting in enemy territory, including daily long-distance travel and avoidance of large enemy parties. One passage from his report points out the lengths to which men such as Chew and Vaughn would go to learn the art of Amerindian warfare, and it reveals their mentors’ dedication to teaching those soldiers every aspect of that art: “We went down the River within ¾ of a mile of the Fort then turned S. E. and went upon a Stony Ridge where the Chief Warriour took his Conjouring Implements and Tyed them about the Neck of three Indians, and told them they could not be hurt. round my neck he tyed an otter skin in which his Conjouring Emplyment had been kept and round the Sarjts he tyed a bagg of paint that had been kept with the Rest of his Conjouring things. he then told us that none of us could be shot for those things would turn the Balls from us he then made us strip of all our Cloath Except our brich clouts and Mokesons, shook hands with us and told us to go and fight like men, for Nothing could hurt us.”117

Enemies Trembling with Fear

From April through August of 1758, at least seventeen parties of Cherokee warriors or mixed parties of warriors and soldiers went from the British forts in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania to points westward of Allegheny Mountain.118 Six of these parties carried the war to Fort Duquesne and its environs, one went to Fort Machault, and two of the seventeen went to the environs of Fort Presque Isle. The destinations of the other parties are under current investigation. The success of all of these parties is not known, but four of the parties, including one to Presque Isle, killed a total of eight enemies and took a total of five scalps. This tally does not include parties of Catawbas mentioned in the books cited, nor does it include Cherokee war parties operating out of their own towns.

The taking of women’s scalps in 1758 undoubtedly struck terror into the hearts of the Ohio Valley Shawnees, Delawares, and Mingos, who now faced the horrors of war in their own backyards. No longer was it only their warriors afield who faced danger, but now the women and children risked death or captivity when they collected wood, washed clothes, tended the gardens, or picked berries. The demoralizing effect of the southern Indian campaigns upon the Ohio Valley “French Indians” is made evident in the testimony of a Delaware named Shamokin Daniel, who revealed to Shingas, a principal French-allied Delaware war commander, that the English had recruited a large number of mercenaries from among the Delawares’ traditional enemies. On August 28, 1758, a Moravian minister, the Reverend Frederick Post, on a peace mission to the Ohio Valley French confederates (i.e., Delawares, Shawnees, and Mingoes), recorded: “Then Daniel interrupted me and said [to Shingas] [‘]don’t believe him, he tells nothing but, Idle Lying Stories, for what did the English hire twelve hundred Indians to kill us,[’] I protested against it, he said [‘]God Damn you for a fool did you see the Woman lying in the Road that was kill’d by the Indians the English hired?”119 Given the strong influence that women had in most of the Eastern Woodland Indian cultures in the mid-eighteenth century, there can be no doubt that the Cherokee successes in the midst of the enemies’ towns drove the women to speak loudly and with unanimity in their community councils on behalf of peace—“Enough is enough!”

Ostenaco continued to lead a war gang in 1758, although he did not return to the Virginia forts. Operating the western jaw of a pincer, Ostenaco and Oconostota led war gangs in September120 along the Ohio River from present-day Kentucky upstream to Fort Duquesne (along present-day West Virginia’s western border) and beyond, while the Round O Warrior and others forming the eastern pincer jaw led gangs from the Potomac forts to the same targets.121 These war gangs ranged over six hundred miles from their homes. Like his warrior brethren Round O and Yautonau, Ostenaco traveled a total of over three thousand miles in three war seasons (see Figure 3). This testimony to Cherokee prowess in taking scalps deep within enemy-held territory speaks volumes about the great progress of the Cherokee offensive efforts from 1756 through 1758.

This penetration into enemy territory, and its intimidating effect upon the French war effort, was extremely important to the outcome of the Forbes Campaign. The effective offensive campaigns of the Cherokees and other southern Indians into the “French hunting ground,” on a front over thirteen hundred miles long from Lake Erie to Choctaw-held territory along the Mississippi River, had a great deal to do with the falling away of the French allies in the Ohio Valley. The French decided to abandon Fort Duquesne rather than resist Forbes’s army, so the British forces marched to the fort’s smoldering remains unopposed.

Figure 3: Ostenaco’s war excursions on behalf of Virginia and Great Britain Source: Map compiled by author.

The numbers of Cherokees, Catawbas, Tuscaroras, Nottoways, Chickasaws, and other southern Amerindians fighting on behalf of the British is not certain, but there is a good deal of evidence that the warriors numbered above one thousand in 1758, as Shamokin Daniel testified. Approximately nine hundred of these were Cherokees.122 Despite the uncertainty of exact numbers of southern warriors who contributed to the English victory in the southern theater of the war, the results are clear. This allied victory permitted the shifting of British troops and supplies to more northern theaters of the war, and this contributed directly to the eventual English victory in the war.

Man Killer Ostenaco’s leadership in recruitment, diplomacy, and military campaigns along the Tug Fork, the South Branch of the Potomac River, and the Ohio River tie him directly to West Virginia’s history approximately one hundred years prior to its statehood. His role in the French and Indian War testifies to one facet of the Cherokee people’s long ties to the land we now call the Mountain State. The Cherokees’ personal sacrifices, woods lore, physical stamina, tactical knowledge, and diplomatic skills played pivotal roles in the eventual British victory over the French in North America. Ostenaco’s commitment to his family, his allies, and his English king during the war surely earns this veteran similar honors given his more famous Virginian brothers-in-arms, Andrew Lewis, William Byrd III, and George Washington.


This article was previously published in West Virginia History, Vol. 2, No. 2, 2008.

Author’s Note: Readers who are familiar with the Cherokee War that broke out in 1760 amidst the French and Indian War may wonder why I have given it only a cursory treatment. Historians have considered the Cherokee War with varying degrees of accuracy, often skipping over the previous years or interpreting them through the “lens” of this later war. Unfortunately, this tendency to fast forward does an injustice to the significant sacrifices made by Cherokee warriors and their families on behalf of their British allies during the French and Indian War. It is safe to say that, during the period 1754-1758, no one knew that such a great rift would form between the Cherokees and the British colonies, resulting in war between the former allies. In order to focus attention on the contributions the Cherokees made to end the French threat in the southern theater of the War for Empire in North America, I have left readers to explore the Cherokee War in numerous other documents that highlight this subject.

1 John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799, 39 vols. (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1931), 2:463. Accessible through the Library of Virginia website at: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/washington/fitzpatrick/index.html

2 . Gregory Evans Dowd, “‘Insidious Friends’: Gift Giving and the Cherokee-British Alliance in the Seven Years’ War,” in Contact Points: American Frontiers from the Mohawk Valley to the Mississippi, 1750-1830, edited by Andrew R. L. Cayton and Fredrika J. Teute (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998), 115.

3 Richard W. Stewart, American Military History, Volume 1: The United States Army and the Forging of a Nation, 1775-1917 (Washington, DC: Center of Military History, U.S. Army, n.d.), 41, <http://www.army.mil/cmh/books/AMH-V1/ch02.htm#d> (accessed May 4, 2006).

4 Dowd, “Insidious Friends,” 150.

5 . Present-day Erie, Pennsylvania. See S. K. Stevens, Donald H. Kent, and Autumn L. Leonard, eds., The Papers of Henry Bouquet, Volume 2 (Harrisburg, PA: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1951), 34, 52.

6 Wilma A. Dunaway, “Transition to Capitalism in Southern Appalachia, 1700-1860,” in The First American Frontier (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996), 32-34.

7 James Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1995), 15.

8 David Zeisberger’s History of the Northern American Indians, trans. and annotated Archer Butler Hulbert and William Nathaniel Schwarze (written 1779-1780, orig. pub. 1910; n.p.; image clarified and copyrighted by Arthur W. McGraw, 1991), 109.

9 Mooney, Myths, 38.

10 Randolph C. Downes, Council Fires on the Upper Ohio (1968; repr., Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1989), 56-57. A prime example of this French intimidation is the attack on the English-allied Miami band of La Demoiselle at Pickawilliny.

11 Armand Francis Lucier, French and Indian War Notices Abstracted from Colonial Newspapers, 2 vols. (Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 1999), 1:145.

12 Mooney, Myths.

13 This spelling was rendered by Mooney (Myths, 510). Variant spellings of this name are many, as are alternative names for the same individual, such as Ukwaneequa and Choconunto. This common practice in colonial documents has caused confusion among historians ever since the colonial period.

14 Patricia Givens Johnson, The New River Early Settlement (Blacksburg, VA: Walpa Publishing, 1983), 98, 105, 106.

15 Governor Dinwiddie to Lord Halifax, Oct. 25, 1754, in The Official Records of Robert Dinwiddie, Etc., 2 vols., edited by R. A. Brock (Richmond: Virginia Historical Society, 1883 and 1884), 1:368.

16 William O. Steele, The Cherokee Crown of Tannassy (Winston-Salem, NC: John F. Blair, 1977), 146.

17 Brock, Dinwiddie, 1:368-69.

18 Ludovic Grant to Governor Glen, July 22, 1754, in Colonial Records of South Carolina Documents Relating to Indian Affairs, 1754–1765, edited by William L. McDowell Jr. (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1958), 16.

19 Near present-day Keowee in Abbeville County, SC.

20 Grant to Glen, July 22, 1754, in Colonial Records, 16-17.

21 Near present-day Toqua Beach Recreation Area in Monroe County, TN.

22 John Gerar William De Brahm, De Brahm’s Report of the General Survey in the Southern District of North America (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1971), 127. Also see Samuel Cole Williams, Lieut. Henry Timberlake’s Memoirs, 1756-1765 (Signal Mountain, TN: Mountain Press, 2001), 94. Man Killer was the second-highest rank in the Cherokee military service and it was a fairly common rank (De Brahm, Report, 109). There were several Outacitas, Tessatees, Wootassities, etc. from various Cherokee towns recorded in 18th-century documents. The commonness of this title has led to much confusion among historians about which Outacite mentioned in colonial documents was Ostenaco.

23 McDowell, Colonial Records, 17.

24 Ibid., 40-45.

25 Head town of the Over Hill Cherokees, located near present-day Fort Loudoun State Historic Site in Monroe County, TN.

26 Raymond Demere to Governor Lyttleton, July 10, 1756, Colonial Records, 132.

27 Demere to Lyttleton, Aug. 11, 1756, in ibid., 162.

28 Ibid., 133; Patricia Givens Johnson, General Andrew Lewis of Roanoke and Greenbrier (1980; 2nd ed., Blacksburg, VA: Walpa Publishing, 1994), 60.

29 Brock, Dinwiddie, 2:188.

30 Dinwiddie to Glen, Sept. 25, 1755, in ibid., 1:213.

31 Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington, 1:237.

32 Brock, Dinwiddie, 2:324.

33 Isabel M. Calder, ed., “Extract from the Journal of Major John Smith, 1756-1757,” Colonial Captivities, Marches and Journeys (New York: MacMillan Co., 1935), 137. Also see Patricia Givens Johnson, William Preston and the Allegheny Patriots (1976; repr., Blacksburg, VA: Walpa Publishing, 1992), 49.

34 Lucier, War Notices, 2:231.

35 Brock, Dinwiddie, 2:392-93.

36 Johnson, Preston, 43.

37 Dowd, “Insidious Friends,” 143-48. For a detailed account of one such murder that occurred in 1758, read John Echols’s deposition to Abraham Maury, Oct. 26, 1758, in Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts, 1652-1781 Preserved in the Capitol at Richmond, Vol. 1, edited by William P. Palmer (Richmond: Public Printing Office, 1875), 254-57.

38 For more thorough treatments of these and other causes of the ruptured alliance, read David H. Corkran, The Cherokee Frontier: Conflict and Survival, 1740-1762 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1992); Matthew C. Ward, Breaking the Backcountry: The Seven Years’ War in Virginia and Pennsylvania, 1754-1765 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003); and Tom Hatley, Dividing Paths: Cherokees and South Carolinians through the Revolutionary Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995).

39 Anonymous, “A Register of the Persons Who Have Been Either Killed, Wounded, or Taken Prisoners by the Enemy, in Augusta County, as also Such as Have Made Their Escape,” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 2 (the year ending June 1895): 399-401.

40 John Elliott to Glen, Sept. 25, 1755, in Colonial Records, 79. Also see Little Carpenter’s description of war gangs on p. 78.

41 Christopher Gist to Colonel Washington, Oct. 15, 1755, in Letters to Washington and Accompanying Papers, edited by Stanislaus Murray Hamilton (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1898).

42 Ibid.

43 Charles Thomson, Causes of the Alienation of the Delaware and Shawanese Indians from the British Interest (1759; repr., Philadelphia: J. Campbell, 1867), 169.

44 James Smith, Scoouwa: James Smith’s Indian Captivity Narrative (1978; 3rd ed., Columbus: Ohio Historical Society, 1996), 162.

45 French Mohawks, also called Praying Indians.

46 Fred Anderson, ed., George Washington Remembers: Reflections on the French & Indian War (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2004), 19.

47 Ibid., 21.

48 Brock, Dinwiddie, 2:188.

49 Present-day Tennessee River below the confluence of the North and South Forks of the Holston River.

50 Lower Shawnee Town straddled the Ohio River in the vicinities of Portsmouth, OH, and South Shore, KY.

51 William L. Saunders, ed., The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. 5 — 1752-1759 (1887; repr., New York: AMS Press, 1968), 446-47.

52 Dinwiddie to Washington, Dec. 14, 1755, and Dinwiddie to Captain Hogg, Dec. 15, 1755, in Letters to Washington.

53 Lucier, War Notices, 2:10.

54 Under present-day Claytor Lake, VA.

55 Brock, Dinwiddie, 2:322, 336.

56 Ostenaco to Hagler, Jan. 13, 1756, in Colonial Records, 97-98.

57 Washington to Dinwiddie, Jan. 14, 1756, in Writings of Washington, 1:286.

58 Lyman C. Draper, “The Expedition against the Shawnee Indians in 1756,” Virginia Historical Register, and Literary Advertiser 5 (1852). See also David E. Johnston, A History of the Middle New River Settlements and Contiguous Territories (Huntington: Standard PTG & Publishing Co., 1906). Also see Otis K. Rice, “The Sandy Creek Expedition of 1756,” West Virginia History 13, no. 1 (Oct. 1951): 5-19. Also see Johnson, Andrew Lewis, 44-55.

59 Edith Mays, ed., Amherst Papers, 1756-1763 (Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 1999), 44.

60 Anonymous, Register, 401.

61 Washington to Dinwiddie, Apr. 7, 1756, in Writings of Washington, 1:301-2.

62 Old Hop to Glen, Mar. 20, 1756, in Colonial Records, 108.

63 Dinwiddie to Colonel Innes, Apr. 23, 1756, in Records of North Carolina, 577-78.

64 Calder, “Extract,” 137.

65 Near present-day Shawsville, VA.

66 Anonymous, Register, 401-2.

67 Johnson, Preston, 49.

68 Calder, “Extract,” 139.

69 Andrew Lewis to Lyttleton, Sept. 14, 1756, in Colonial Records, 205, quoted in Johnson, Andrew Lewis, 67. Also see Lewis to Lyttleton, Sept. 30, 1756, in Records of North Carolina, 612.

70 James C. Kelly, “Notable Persons in Cherokee History: Attakullakulla,” Journal of Cherokee Studies 3, no. 1 (Winter 1978), 15. This article details Ata’gulkalu’s war efforts on behalf of the British from the beginning of the war through 1759. Using documentation from the period, Kelly’s article dispels the commonly repeated misconception that Ata’gulkalu was in the French camp during the first few years of the war. Also see McDowell, Colonial Records, 139 and 434-35, and William Hand Browne, ed., Archives of Maryland, Volume XXXI, Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, August 10, 1753 - March 20, 1761. Letters to Governor Horatio Sharpe, 1754-1765 (Baltimore: Lord Baltimore Press, 1911), 266.

71 Mays, Amherst Papers, 1-5.

72 Lewis to Washington, Oct. 28, 1756, in Letters to Washington.

73 Lucier, War Notices, 2:193, 204.

74 Ibid., 2:56.

75 Ibid., 2:217.

76 Ibid., 2:229.

77 Ibid., 2:230.

78 Glenn D. Lough, Now and Long Ago (1969; repr., Parsons, WV: McClain Printing Co., 1994), 54.

79 Mays, Amherst Papers, 14.

80 Browne, Archives of Maryland, 193.

81 Ibid., 196.

82 Present-day Fort Frederick State Park in Maryland.

83 Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington, 2:46.

84 Washington to Dinwiddie, June 10, 1757, in ibid., 2:48.

85 Mays, Amherst Papers, 36-39.

86 On Cowpasture River approximately four miles downstream from present-day Millsboro, VA. See Louis K. Koontz, The Virginia Frontier, 1754-1763 (1925; repr., Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 1992), 115.

87 Near present-day Romney, WV, on the South Branch of the Potomac River. See William H. Ansell, Frontier Forts along the Potomac and Its Tributaries (1984; repr., Romney, WV: Fort Pearsall Press, 1995), 166.

88 James Baker to Washington, June 10, 1757, in Letters to Washington.

89 Washington to Dinwiddie, June 12, 1757, and Washington to General Stanwix, June 15, 1757, in Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington, 2:57-58, 60-61.

90 Ibid., 2:59.

91 Henry Bouquet to Francois Le Marchand, Sept. 1758, in Papers of Bouquet, 2:540.

92 Dinwiddie to Washington, June 16, 1757, in Writings of Washington, 2:76.

93 Ibid., 2:80-115.

94 Edmond Atkin to Old Hop, Aug. 21, 1757, in Mays, Amherst Papers, 21-22.

95 Washington to Dinwiddie, Oct. 5, 1757, in Writings of Washington, 2:140-41.

96 Washington to Dinwiddie, Nov. 5, 1757, in ibid., 2:157.

97 Ata’gulkalu to Captain Demere, Jan. 4, 1758, in Colonial Records, 434-35. For identification of “The Breed Nation” as Chickasaws, see John R. Swanton, The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 145-1953 (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1953).

98 Demere to Bouquet, Feb. 21, 1758, in The Papers of Henry Bouquet, Volume 1, edited by S. K. Stevens, Donald H. Kent, and Autumn L. Leonard (Harrisburg, PA: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1972), 306.

99 Probably Fort De L’Ascension built earlier that year on the Ohio River near the mouth of the Tennessee River in the vicinity of present-day Metropolis, IL.

100 Stevens et al., Papers of Bouquet, 1:307.

101 This gang followed the entire length of present-day West Virginia’s western border along the Ohio River. For details of Round O’s trip, see Thomas Bullitt’s letter of March 2, 1758, in Archives of Maryland, 281.

102 Browne, Archives of Maryland, 278-82.

103 Washington to Sir John St. Clair, Apr. 12, 1758, in Writings of Washington, 175.

104 Papers of John Forbes, Box 2, Folder 133, Forbes HQ, SC-MCGR-X: MSS 10034: 2094910-1001:1, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville.

105 Johnson, Andrew Lewis, 47.

106 Washington to St. Clair, May 4, 1758, in Writings of Washington.

107 General Forbes to Bouquet, May 20, 1758, in Papers of Bouquet, 1:347.

108 Ibid., 1:376.

109 Ibid., 1:403.

110 Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington, 200.

111 Stevens, et al., Papers of Bouquet, 2:95.

112 Ibid., 2:95-96, 100.

113 Ibid., 2:143. Present-day Franklin, Pennsylvania.

114 Brother of now famous frontier woman Mary Ingles. Draper later was an effective scout during Dunmore’s War, and fought at the battle of Point Pleasant.

115 Bouquet to Forbes, June 21, 1758, in Papers of Bouquet, 2:124.

116 Forbes to Bouquet, June 27, 1758, in ibid., 2:136.

117 Ibid., 2:400-3.

118 Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington, Hamilton, Letters to Washington, and Stevens et al., Papers of Bouquet, 2.

119 A Daily Journal Kept by Frederick Post Commencing July 15th, 1750, Papers of John Forbes.

120 Paul Demere to Lyttleton, Sept. 30, 1758, Fort Loudoun, Letterbooks of William Henry Lyttleton 1756-1760, released Jan. 24, 2003, <www.accessgenealogy.com/lyttelton.htm> (accessed May 4, 2005).

121 Demere to Lyttleton, Nov. 27, 1758, in Browne, Archives of Maryland, 268, 270.

122 Atkin to Major General Abercrombie, May 20, 1758, in Mays, Amherst Papers, 63-64.