Betty Zane

Betty Zane

Original Name Elizabeth
Birth
Moorefield, Hardy County, West Virginia, USA
Death 24 Aug 1823 (aged 64)
Saint Clairsville, Belmont County, Ohio, USA
Burial
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Martins Ferry, Belmont County, Ohio, USA
Memorial ID 13414418 · View Source
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Revolutionary War Figure. The siege at Fort Henry at Wheeling lasted three days from September 11th to September 14th, 1782. The attacking forces consisted of forty British soldiers under Captain Pratt and two hundred and sixty Indians led by George Girty. A force of only twenty men, women and children occupied the fort. Elizabeth Zane was with them. During the assaults she occupied the sentry box with her brother Jonathan Zane and a man by the name of Salter, and loaded their guns for them. This position was the post of observation and the best marksmen were selected for it. It was also a prominent mark for the besieging forces. Elizabeth Zane was slightly wounded by the splinters knocked from the oak logs by the bullets of the enemy who kept up a constant fire at the loop-holes of the fort. Col. Zane and a few others occupied his fortified residence under the guns of the fort, and about sixty yards distant. Here the main supply of ammunition was kept as Col. Zane had pledged himself to be personally responsible for it. By reason of the repeated charges and attempts to take the fort by storm the powder in the fort was exhausted. After the mad attack following the bursting of the cannon made from a hollow log only a few loads remained. It was a fearful crisis. Another onset might be made at any moment. A supply of powder must be immediately obtained from Col. Zane’s block-house. It was proposed that one of the fleetest men should endeavor to reach the house, obtain a keg and return with it to the fort. While the men were discussing who should undertake the dangerous race Elizabeth Zane stepped forward and asked that she be permitted to go. She was told that a man would encounter less danger by reason of his greater swiftness. She replied “You need all the men you have to defend the fort. If I go and am killed, I will not be missed like a man. I’ll go if you will let me.” Finally consent was given. She divested herself of her outer garments that her running might not be impeded. The gate was thrown open and she sprang forward toward the house. Her appearance caused such a surprise that the firing temporarily ceased, and the Indians yelled in derision, “A squaw”! “A squaw”! She reached the block-house in safety. A tablecloth was fastened around her waist and a keg emptied into it. She started on her perilous return. The besieging party discovered her errand and the balls whizzed around her so thickly that the dirt was dashed in her eyes and several bullets passed through her clothing, but she reached the fort unhurt and with the supply of powder thus brought the final attack on the fort was repulsed. The demand to surrender the fort was given in the name of the British and under the British colors. This siege was in reality the last battle of the Revolution and it is certain that the last shot fired by a British soldier in that war was fired at Fort Henry in Wheeling. Biography by her great-grandson, Frederick Bruce Jones.


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  • Created by: Madel Lancaster
  • Added: 22 Feb 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 13414418
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Betty Zane (19 Jul 1759–24 Aug 1823), Find A Grave Memorial no. 13414418, citing Walnut Grove Cemetery, Martins Ferry, Belmont County, Ohio, USA ; Maintained by Madel Lancaster (contributor 47329385) .