North Carolina, USA
|Death: ||Jan. 21, 1859|
Wife of David Musick. Mother of Elexious, Abraham, Elijah, Samuel, and Phoebe Musick.
he David Musick Tragedy
By Emory L. Hamilton
From the unpublished manuscript, Indian Atrocities Along the Clinch, Powell and Holston Rivers, pages 219-225.
The following narrative was prepared by the late Judge Elihu J. Sutherland of Clintwood, VA, for delivery at the dedication of the David Musick monument near Honaker, VA, August 19, 1956.
Judge Sutherland said: I am indebted to my long-time friend, Rev. Grover C. Musick, for this story of David Musick. Grover Musick is a great-great-grandson of the martyred David Musick. He secured this story from his great Aunt, great-granddaughter of David Musick.
The story as told by Mrs. Fletcher is as follows:
My grandfather, David Musick, married Annie McKinney, of Russell County, Virginia, and at the time of his death in 1792, his family consisted of his wife, their children, Elijah, Electious, Abraham and Phoebe. They lived on a farm near the present town of Honaker.
Two of the boys, Abraham and Elijah, went early one morning for firewood with which to prepare breakfast. They were surprised by a party of Indians (not known how many), but were able to reach their home. The doors were barred, and the defense of the house began. David Musick had a flint-lock rifle. He found it would not fire, due to the fact his house had been burned previous to this, injuring the gun. Mrs. Musick touched fire to the gun, hoping to ignite the powder, but to no avail. Mr. Musick was shot through the thigh by an arrow from the bow of the Indians, and fainted from the loss of blood. The Indians broke into the home, killing and scalping him and making prisoners of his wife and children. They then plundered the house and ate what they found of prepared food, their hands gory with blood.
While the Indians were attacking the house, a neighbor, who had come to the Musick home to borrow a plow, on seeing the Indians became so excited he ran with all speed possible. On reaching the yard of his home he fell dead. He must have had a weak heart.
The evening previous to the massacre of Mr. Musick the same band of Indians scalped a girl named Brumley, who lived in the same community. They came upon her late in the evening, while churning at a springhouse some distance from her house. Strange to say they scalped her alive, leaving her to die. The girl crawled some distance to an old stable and hid in some flax, which was stored in the building. She was found alive, and recovered.
But to resume my story of the Musick family and the Indians.
Telling Mrs. Musick and the children to get ready, they started on the long journey back to the Ohio Valley. Before leaving the settlement as they went through a field, they killed a steer. After skinning it they encased part of it in the hide for a supply of meat. Then they found a young mare, and after securing her, they placed the meat on her and had young Abraham, the eldest son, mount her. This boy, Abraham, had red hair, and the Indians were fond of him and treated him very well. Not so, however, with Electious, the youngest son, who refused to eat the raw meat along the way, and cried a great deal. As a punishment they rubbed his face against an oak tree, cutting the flesh deeply. He carried the scars with him to his grave.
The course the Indians and their captives followed led over Big A Mountain into the present county of Buchanan, down a ridge which bears the name of Indian Ridge in memory of this event, following Indian Creek, which also takes its name from this event. They came to Russell Fork River, down which they went through the Sand Lick section of Dickenson County to the junction of Russell Fork River with Russell Prater Creek, where the present town of Haysi is now located.
Night coming on they decided to camp there. Crossing a knoll a few yards above where Russell Prater enters Russell Fork, they forded the river to what was at that time a small island. An Indian brave, who could speak a little English, said as they were crossing: ‘White man no come here.' Little did they know about their peril, for close upon them was a possee of white settlers, who a little later in the night sighting their camp-fire, moved into hiding behind a knoll and anxiously awaited the coming of dawn to attack and release Mrs. Musick and her children. All the Indians undoubtably would have been killed had the orders of the Captain of the possee been obeyed. One of the possee became so excited he fired before the order to fire was given.
When Mrs. Musick heard the firing, she and the children rushed towards the whites, she carrying the baby, Phoebe, in her arms. One of the Indians threw his tomahawk at her, but missed, sticking it in an oak tree. Another Indian threw pieces of burning firewood at her. An overruling of Providence surely must have saved the family.
The result of the attack: One Indian killed, another seriously wounded, but who was able to escape with his companions with much pain, as was indicted by his screams. Some years ago a human skeleton was found under a cliff, near Haysi, supposedly that of the wounded Indian. Then began the long thirty mile trip back to the settlements of the Clinch Valley in Russell County.
The possee being very much worn out by the long and arduous trip, when they reached the foot of Sandy Ridge decided to camp for the night at a large spring. But Mrs. Musick insisted they cross the mountain to Clinch River side before camping. Later discovery proved her fear correct, for the party of Indians had turned back after the fight and pursued the whites, following them to the big spring and camping on the proposed camp site of the whites. They gave up the chase here and returned to the Ohio.
Not knowing that a possee had gone out from the New Garden section in pursuit of the Indians, Captain Andrew Lewis, who was then in charge of the militia on the frontier and stationed at Rye Cove in Scott County, got word of the event and went himself in pursuit of the same party, not knowing that the prisoners had already been recaptured. He tells of his pursuit in a letter to the Governor written from Ft. Lee on the 24th of August, 1792, (1) in the following words:
On Monday night last I returned from pursuit of the Indians that did the mischief in New Garden on the 12th instant. I had started with 34 men to Kentucky to rout some Indians that I was informed was camped there, and supposed to be the ones that visited this county. I had not marched more than 7 or 8 miles, when an express came to me of the mischief done in the Garden, in the following words: ‘that 4 persons were killed, 12 or 14 prisoners taken; the number of Indians not known, but not less than 40'. I immediately changed my route, and I suppose such a chain of mountains was never crossed by any set of men before and 15 days provisions on our backs. The distance I had to march before I would strike their trail was 150 miles, unless I had fell in too far behind them. My intention was, if possible, to strike Sandy River low down, so as to be before them or shortly after. On the 17th in the evening, I struck the river, about four miles below the Station evacuated by our people last spring. We found there only the sign of some coming into the settlements, which we supposed to be the same. There was no person with me that had ever been to the Station. (2) and I expected if I could find it to see more sign, but unluckily took the wrong side of the river and thick cane brakes, and was at a loss to find it. I halted and sent two of the Scouts in search of it. They had not been gone but a few minutes before they returned and said from the noise and fire and smoke that the houses were then fired, but could not cross the river to be certain. I then found myself in a disagreeable situation, as I fully expected they were there, and I knew nothing of the recovery of the prisoners. As we had made considerable sign on both sides of the river, and were then on the contrary side from them, I knew delay would not do. I expected if the Station was afire that they were about to move off, and would of course, fall on our sign on which they would immediately murder the prisoners. To prevent this, as I had chosen men and my anxiety to save the prisoners, I divided my men, determined to risk a battle with half their number, as I had then no reason to believe their number to be under 40. I sent one half down the river to cross, and marched the other party up and crossed a small distance above them, so had they left the place we would meet. As soon as I got over we found the houses were not fired, but had encamped in the yard by the direction of the smoke, for the weeds, cane, and hemp was so tall that we could not tell their number, nor even see them until we were within fifteen steps of them, and just as we got sight of them, and our guns presented, they discovered us and run. Several guns were fired at them, but as they were in a few steps out of sight, cannot be certain that any were killed, except one.
We got every kind of arms and accoutrements they had and nine horses they had stolen from the Garden, which I restored to the owners. As they are gone naked and without either arms or ammunition. I doubt their ever seeing their own country. It may be thought this murder might have been prevented; the Garden was considered safe, for since the first settling of it there has been but one person killed, and that five or six years past...
Just to show how events in retelling can balloon out of proportion the following news item appeared in the Knoxville Gazette of August 25, 1792. Knoxville, August 25. On Saturday the 11th instant, a party of Indians attacked a house at New Garden, in Russell County, (Virginia) killed sixteen persons, and took a woman and four children prisoners. They were followed by a company of horse, who soon came up with them, and re-took the prisoners. (Page 23, The Gazette, part II, August 1792, American Museum).
R. M. Addington, History of Scott County, Virginia, page 335, in his biography of Charles Cromwell Addington, relates the story of the Musick family, thusly:
...When Charles Addington first came to Russell County, that section was often visited by hostile Indians. His home was located near a fort to which the family often had occasion to flee for safety. He frequently related, in substance, the following story as having occured near his home:
In the year 1790 (should be 1792) the Indians made several raids in the neighborhood of Hayter's Gap. On one of these raids the house of a neighbor, named Musick, was attacked just at the break of day. Stealthily approaching the house, the Indians shot and killed Musick through a crack in the wall. They then forced an entrance and took his wife and nine children prisoners. It was three or four hours before the depredation became known in the neighborhood. Musick's dead body was accidentally discovered by someone who called at his house on an errand. As soon as the murder became known, the riflemen of the neighborhood gathered at the Musick homestead, and women and children were rushed to the fort for protection. The trail of the Indians was soon found, and the riflemen went in hasty pursuit. But the enemy, by this time, were about nine hours travel ahead of their pursuers. Late the third evening the scouts came in sight of the Indians as they were kindling their first campfire. A council of war was held to determine the best manner of attack to rout the enemy and save the lives of the prisoners. It was decided an attack should not be made until dawn the next morning. The plan of attack was: All were to charge the camp at full speed, one third of the company were to discharge their guns into the air over the camp to make the Indians believe they were being shot at, the remaining two-thirds were to hold their fire in reserve, and shoot to kill if necessary. It was hoped in this way to so frighten the Indians that they would break camp and run without killing any of the captives. The plan succeeded admirably; the Indians fled headlong, leaving the prisoners unharmed, and much valuable plunder behind. Thus Mrs. Musick and her children were restored to their friends. (Note: children were put into the care of Mike Oxer, see pension record of James Oxer.)
(1) Virginia State Papers, Vol. VI, page 40.
(2) This was Harman's Station in Kentucky, which had been abandoned the previous spring because of Indian danger. This is the same Station to which Jenny Wiley found her way when she escaped from the Indians in the winter of 1790.
Broderbund WFT Vol. 2, Ed. 1, Tree #4074, Date of Import: Apr 21, 1996
HISTORY: Notes from: Jim Parker
The Killing of David Musick and the Capture of His Family From "The Musick Book" by Egbert S. Musick, 1978.
In 1790-1792, the Indians in the Northwest Territory, particularly in present-day Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio, on being supplied with British arms became hostile and were encouraged by the British to use the arms against the newly formed United States. In the interim, a force of them sprang an attack on Gen. Arthur St. Clair's forces on the St. Mary's River in Ohio on Nov. 4, 1791, and inflicted a crushing defeat. With a loss of 900 men, their defeat became a panic-stricken rout, and St. Clair's remaining forces fled 29 miles from the battle scene that day. After the Indians defeated St. Clair they deployed South and Southeast 2-3 hundreds of miles to raid the homes of white settlers in Russell, Tazewell, and Washington Cos., along the Clinch River Valley in Southwestern VA. Most of the Indian raiders were from the Shawnee tribe, who lived principally in the Scioto and Muskingum River valleys in Ohio. From Ohio, they apparently used two routes to reach Southwestern VA. One of these was via the Tug River valley through SW WV, and the other w s via Russell Fork River valley through the VA cos. of Buchanan and Dickenson. In the early morning on Aug. 12, 1792, a band or force of the Shawnee attacked the home of pioneer settler, David Musick. His home was on what was (in 1964) called the Johnson-Combs farm, on VA State Highway 80, about 4 miles North of Honaker in Russell Co., VA. A few (2 to 4) miles west of his home lay Big "A" Mountain, which is the dividing line between Russell and Buchanan Cos. of VA. Minutes before the Indian attack, David's two oldest sons, Abraham and Elijah, had gone into the adjacent pastures to drive in the milk cows and bring in fire wood for preparing breakfast. As they approached the house on their return, they detected the Indians hiding in a thicket of bushes. On seeing them they sped to the house to sound a warning before the Indians reached it. David barricaded quickly the house doors and windows and prepared to defend his family and home. However, his weapon and barricades were not sufficient to repel the Indian raiders. Mrs. Annie Fletcher, a granddaughter of David Musick, told me (the author) that his fire-damaged and defective rifle would not likely fire the cartridges or shells in it. However, it is known that he tried to fire on the Indians through a porthole in his log home, but the Indians seized the end of the rifle and wrested it from him. At this time, David was shot through the thigh and fainted from the loss of blood. The Indians then smashed down the door; entered the house, killed and scalped David. Next, with bloody hands, they made prisoners of Mrs. Musick and her five children. Then they plundered the house and ate the edible food. Before starting on their journey back to Ohio with their captors, the Indians killed one of the family's young steers. They used the steer's hide as a carrying sack and loaded it with fresh beef onto the back of one of the family's young horses. With their journey underway, the Indians, being fond of red hair, took a liking to red-haired Abraham, David's oldest son, then 15-16 years old. He was extended the privilege of riding horseback while the rest of the family walked. The route taken by the Indians was to the west across Big A Mountain, into present day Buchanan Co. On the west side of this mountain, they traveled down "Indian Ridge" (named for this event); thence down and along Indian Creek, also named for this event; to Russell Fork River, a tributary of Big Sandy River. They then followed Russell Fork River to its junction with the Big Prater River, at present day Haysi, VA.
On arrival at the Big Prater and Russell Fork Rivers junctions, in Dickenson Co, approximately 30 miles west of the Musick home, the Indians set up camp for the night on a small island. One of the "Braves" who spoke English, said, after examining the island, "White man no come here."
[History of Five Southern Families, by Ethel Evans Albert, also says at this point "Thus far, the journey had been not only taxing but fearful as well. Elexious, the youngest son of David and Annie Musick, who was only 4 years old at the time of their capture, cried a great deal on the way and one of the Indians rubbed the young boy's face viciously against the bark of an oak tree. As a result of this ill treatment, Elexious carried scars the remainder of his life."] In the interim, back in Russell Co., word had spread rapidly around the countryside of the Indian raids, the killing of David Musick, and the capture of his family. Consequently, a posse of settlers was organized quickly to follow the raiders and rescue, if possible, the captives. John Fletcher was made captain of the posse. This posse managed to track the Indians and locate them by the light of a campfire on the island, but it was decided that an attack to rescue the captives should be delayed until early the next morning, August 13.
During the night, the posse hid behind a knoll on the side of the Russell Fork River, overlooking the Indian campsite. The plan to attack the Indians was to begin with Capt. Fletcher's order to fire, to be followed with the posse's rush toward the campsite. However, one man became excited in the tense moments as dawn approached and prematurely fired his rifle. This premature shot caused the posse to fire, in unison, on the Indians. During this firing, Mrs. Musick, with her baby, Phoebe, in her arms, ran, with the other children following her, toward the posse's positions. The Indians threw chunks of burning wood at the escaping captives. A tomahawk thrown at Mrs. Musick missed her and struck a tree.
Their escape from the Indians without injuries was said to be miraculous. During their escape and the posse's firing, one Indian was killed and one was wounded. The wounded one ran screaming from the scene and the rest of them fled the area. A human skeleton found under a cliff near Haysi, VA many years ago was believed to be the remains of the wounded Indian.
Mrs. Musick told after their rescue that the Indians had tried to force her and the children to eat raw beef, and had threatened to kill them if they refused to eat it. The Indians had, however, relaxed their demands, because when the posse fired on them, Mrs. Musick was boiling beef for the morning meal. On the return journey from Haysi to Russell Co., the posse and family decided to camp overnight at a large spring at the foot of the Sand Ridge's west side. Sandy Ridge's top is the dividing line between Russell Co. on the west and Dickenson and Buchanan Cos. on the east. Notwithstanding their having been tired from strain, fear, and about forty miles of walking in two days, Mrs. Musick insisted to the posse that they continue their return journey across Sandy Ridge into Russell Co. before stopping for an overnight camping. We shall never know if it was intuition, or the fear of a reprisal from the same Indians for attacking their campsite, which caused Mrs. Musick to insist they forego an overnight camp at the west base of Sandy Ridge and move on for about 15 miles before stopping. Her insistence proved her to have been wise. It was soon learned that the Indians had pursued them from Haysi and camped on the site near the large spring at the west base of Sandy Ridge, where the posse had planned to camp. The posse, with the Musick family, had crossed Sandy Ridge into Russell Co. through a low gap in the mountain where the Rasnake, VA Post Office (now discontinued) was located for many years. The gap was used frequently as a passageway between Buchanan and Russell Cos. by pioneers. When the rescuing party arrived at their homes they buried David Musick about one-quarter mile from his home on his farm.
Unfortunately for other persons, the David Musick family on Aug 11, 12 and 13 1792, did not bear the brunt of the Indian Raid on Russell Co. For instance, on the afternoon or evening of the 11th, a band of Indians, supposedly the same that hit the Musick home on the 12th, came upon a girl named Brumley, the daughter of a neighbor, who was churning in a spring house not far from her home. Usually, the Indians killed their victims before scalping them, but they only scalped her and left her to die. She, however, managed to crawl to a nearby stable and hide in a pile of flax. Fortunately, she was found soon by family or friends, and strange as it may seem, she recovered. Moreover, a neighboring farmer, on approaching David's home on the morning of the 12th, saw the Indians attacking. He became excited and ran to his home, where he fell dead, perhaps from a heart attack. The End of The Killing Story and Its Related Disturbance s _____________ The Historical Dept of VA erected a roadside marker on State Highway 80, near Haysi, where the Musick family was rescued. It reads as follows:
In 1792, Indians attacked the home of David Musick, near Honaker, Russell Co., VA, killed him and captured his wife and children. Near here, the Indians were overtaken by the pursuing settlers and the captives were retaken. - The Musick Book, by Egbert Musick
From Frieda Davidson:
Annie was the 2nd wife of Ephriam Hatfield. They had 6 children including one son named George (b. 1804) who married Nancy Whitt
David Musick (1752 - 1792)
Ephraim Hatfield (1765 - 1847)
Samuel Musick (1783 - 1836)*
Elijah Musick (1786 - 1847)*
Elexious Musick (1788 - 1874)*
Phoebe Musick Evans (1792 - 1860)*
George Hatfield (1804 - 1883)*
Jeremiah Hatfield (1807 - 1913)*
Anderson Hatfield Memorial Cemetery
Maintained by: Michael Dye
Originally Created by: Debbie Rowe Clarkston
Record added: Aug 07, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 40398737