DANIEL WASHBURN'S ACCOUNT OF THE WYOMING MASSACRE, 1846
Contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by Kenneth R. Maxwell(WASHBURN).
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The following story is from a book Titled "Proceedings and Collections of the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society for the year 1901". Edited by Rev. Horace Edwin Hayden, M. A., volume VII, Wilkes-Barre, PA., Printed for the Society, 1902. The following account of the Massacre of Wyoming was taken from a hand written account by Daniel Washburn whom was 83 years old at the time of this writing and includes all the mistakes.
page 82 Echoes of the Massacre of Wyoming.
Daniel Washburn's Account of the Massacre of Wyoming.
I lived in Shawny at the commencement of the battle, the Nanticoke company come up to Shawny and I joined it with them under Capt Witleste we all marched up to fortifort that night I was one of the Guard it was woods all around the fort I stood on the north corner the next morning we Saw the flag of the enemy Coming with two men and one Carried the flag and the other played on the fife they had a letter for our Col from what I could understand telling us to give up the fort the Col told them he would not give up the fort. after they had left orders was given by our Col Butler that we must go and meet the enemy and we Started off about 12 o'clock before we Started our Capt pased a pail full of rum of which I partook a small dram Col Butler mounted his horse and the word march was given upon which we all marched about 2 miles Capt Franklin discivert an indian catching a hog the Capt shot the Indian so that we discovert much blood we then marched about 1 mile further and Came to the guards the first thing we knew we heard 3 shots of the guards we then and not till then knew whare we was the first orders was for every man to hord [halt] wich was answered by the enemy we all marched in single file we then recieved order to wheel to the right so as to face the enemy then commenced the fireing with us and the enemy I think it was about 2 o'clock when the battle comenced and we fought on till about 3/4 of an hour before sundown the Indians and torys occupied the right wing the Col gave the Command to retreat 40 rods in the rear and then halt this was done because the enemy had nearly surrounded us and the began shooting us on our backs but when they commenced retreating they could not be stoped and ran on asfast as they Could me and some of the rest was helping a wounded soldier who was shot in the rip and was helping him on Col Butler horse whilst I was helping this man on to the horse a rifle ball came and took the back of my boot away When Butler Started with this wounded man their was only 3 of us left a Mr Butler and other man his name I do not know and myself we then commenced and ran takeing a different course from the rest of our companions they takeing toward the river and we ran a more strait course away from the enemy. Mr Butler and myself kept our rifles the other man lost his rifle hat and shoes we persed our course toward the fort about 1/2 mile this side of the fort at cleared field about 5 acres when we got their we perseived 3 Indians pursuing us with rapid speed they were about 50 yards behind us I told Mr Butler we must give these lads a fire as we where almost out of breath Mr. Butler and I then turned about and shot I saw the largest 1 of 3 fall to the ground the other 2 ran into the woods I told Mr Butler we would not keep the road and go to the fort but would go aside of the road and rest as the report of the guns were heard in all directions toward the fort it was at this time geting dark and I knew that enemy would soon cease of roaming about in the night as we intended to go down to Shawny fort through fields and woods till we came to ross hill where we came in the main road and went to the fort we came to the fort about midnight and to our great suprise the fort was occupied by no one except my father Jese Washburn and my Brother Caleb my step mother with 2 small children and Mrs Woodring the wife of Wm Woodring who was killed in the battle Mrs had 5 children 4 sons and 1 daughter we all remained till day break when we could see no one else round the fort being full of provisions and store of goods beding and house furniture in the morning we 3 father Caleb and myself caried rails and mad a raft at 9 o'clock we had our raft finished about this time we heard the report of the enemy shooting at the Wilkesberre fort and knew it to be the enemy we then got aboard of our rail raft my father and Mother Caleb and 2 children and Mrs Woodring and her 5 children takeing with us provisions to last us to cross the blue Mountains we then set sail with our rail raft and went on very well till we got to nanticoke falls when we saw 2 boats fast on a rock they called to us to help the loose, there were in these boats men women and children we then landed our raft on the Shawny side we then went and and helped them loose and helpt them below the rifts safe for wich the paid us but when we where geting the boats loose we saw a man come out of the woods he was naked and not a stich of clothes about him he had swam the river about fortifort and had come down through the woods he spoke to us from the other side and told us his happy escape and then went on again when we had them all loosed it was about 12 o'clock in the day then we pushed off our rail raft again and Sailed on very well till night when we landed at or a little above the mouth of little Wapwallopen and put up for the night in a small Cabin that stood where Jacob and Joseph Hess now lives a man by the name of Dewey had moved out about 2 days before here we stayed all night in the morning we again persued our Journey a long the old Indian path this day we travailled beyont the buck mounten and put up for the night in the woods Mrs Woodring and her 5 children being still with us the next morning we againg renewed our Journey an on the third Day we landed at a place Called Graden head in Northampton County [Gnadenhutten]
I was about 15 years old at the Wyoming battle and went for my father am now 83. [The MS. to this point is probably in Washburn's handwriting.]
When we got to Wapwallopen we met a man with a horse & some cows which he wished us to assist him in driving to Northampton. The women and children rode alternately upon the horse Had mich Trouble in driving the Cattle. [This paragraph was added in another and better handwriting.]
[Endorsed probably by Hon. Steuben Jenkins.] Daniel Washburn's account of the Massacre of Wyoming furnished me in 1846 by J. W. Campbell.
END OF ACCOUNT EXACTLY AS WRITTEN
Witleste was Capt. Asaph Whittelsey, killed in the massacre.
Forti fort is Forty Fort
Shawney is where Plymouth now stands.
Col. Butler was Col. Zebulon Butler
Gnadenhuetten was where Weissport now stands.
Daniel Washburn is of course a survivor of the Wyoming Massacre. He is also an ancestor of mine. He fought in the revolution at the young age of 15 years old. He died in 1846 soon after recording this. J. W. Campbell was his son-in-law. He could also have been the longest living survivor of the Wyoming Massacre, but we may never know.This Page was submitted by Kenneth Maxwell
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