Tuscarora War Documents

A Documentary Narrative of North Carolina’s Tuscarora War, 1711-1713

The Tuscarora War was one of the first great colony wide events in North Carolina that can be richly detailed through a great variety of first hand documents.  We have the original letters of North Carolina’s governing officers, the journals and letters of Baron Christoph von Graffenried who wanted to colonize Swiss miners and German farmers in the area of New Bern, and the letters and journals of the South Carolina Indian warriors who came to the defense frightened Carolinians during the Tuscarora War.  Taken together these documents provide a virtually complete narrative of the bloody war–from the arrest and execution of John Lawson to the burning of Fort Nooherooka.  These were compiled, selected, and edited for the Nooherooka 300 commemoration by  Dr. Larry E. Tise, Professor of History at ECU, and David Fictum, MA degree researcher at ECU.  The following link  contains “A Documentary Narrative of North Carolina’s  Tuscarora War, 1711-1713, and the Tragic Battle at Fort Nooherooka, 21-23 March 1713,” in Neyuheruke 300: Commemorative Book, 21-23 March 2013 (Greenville, NC: Thomas Harriot College of Arts & Science, 2013), pp. 25-65.

Tuscarora War Documents

John Barnwell’s Journal

Although most of John Barnwell’s journal and letters were included in the foregoing documentary volume, these letters taken by themselves reflect the mission-driven account of one of South Carolina’s most famous Indian warriors–”Tuscarora Jack–who with determination and pride sought to subdue many Indian nations, including the Tuscarora peoples of North Carolina.

Barnwell, John. “Journal of John Barnwell,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 5, 4 (April, 1898), pp. 391-402.

Barnwell, John. “Journal of John Barnwell,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 6, 1 (July, 1898), pp. 42-55.

Narhantes Fort, Feb’ry 14, 1711[1712]

May it please your Honr:

I had eight days March from Pedee river where I dated my last to Cape Feare River, being a very bad Road full of great Swamps often pulling our horses out by main Strength and ropes. In the mean time during these 6o miles march I ordered Capt. Bull to take another Circuit among his Indians and meet me at the said River; accordingly he brought about 200 men, some of which were Bowmen. We were two days passing the River on bark logs and Rafts, and when I drew up my forces on this other side I soon perceived a great desertion of the Indians, but mostly of Capt. Bull’s, of which there were 67 remaining. I concealed it as much as I could least of discouraging the rest, who I told were gone another way by my order & would meet us again; however the desertion continued & still continues, for the night before I crossed Neuse River I numbered my men and found it thus:

IN CAPT. STEEL’S TROOP

30

-

-

-

-

white men

158

-

-

-

-

Yamasses

155

-

-

-

-

Essaws

182

-

-

-

-

Capt. Bull’s.

525

With Capt. Bull, Major Mackay, myself is in all 528.

YAMASSE COMPANY

Yamasses,

-

-

-

-

87

Hog Logees,

-

-

-

-

10

Apalatchees,

-

-

-

-

56

Corsaboy,

-

-

-

-

5

158

ESSAW CAPT. JACK’S COMPA.

Watterees,

-

-

-

-

28

Sagarees,

-

-

-

-

20

Catabas,

-

-

-

-

40

Suterees,

-

-

-

-

27

Waxaws,

-

-

-

-

27

Congree & Sattees,

-

-

-

13

155

CAPT. BULL’S COMP.

Watterees,

-

-

-

-

28

Pedees,

-

-

-

-

18

Weneaws,

-

-

-

-

24

Cape Feare,

-

-

-

-

11

Hoopengs,

-

-

-

-

11

Wareperes,

-

-

-

-

9

117

TO HIS COMPANY ALSO.

Saraws,

-

-

-

-

42

Saxapahaws,

-

-

-

-

22

182

My Scouts made no discovery of any men from North Carolina to joyn me at the place concerted between me and Major Gale pursuant to the articles stipulated between your Hon’ & him, in behalf of that Government, by which means I was destitute of Pilots & information; however relying on the justice of war, and the blessing of God upon our arms, who was pleased to grant us the finest weather that could be desired, I crossed Neuse River the 28th of January at night, at a place the Saxapahaws were lately settled, and 30 mile below the place appointed to meet Major Gale, and about 27 above this place, being the greatest and most warlike Town of the Tuscaruros; the Saxapahaws (called by some Shacioes) were forced to desert their settlements in the beginning of this month by reason the Tuscaruros of this town fell upon them and killed i6 of them, because they refused to join with them against the English, they were just come among the Wattomas, when I came and were going to pay their Tribute to your Honr and beg your protection, but I desired them not to do it untill our Return, and go with me, they seeming to me brave men and good.

The 29th I marched hard all day and most of the night, that if possible I might surprise this great town, but to my great dis- appointment they discovered us, being continually upon their guard since the massacre. Tho’ this be called a town, it-is only a plantation here and there scattered about the Country, no where 5 houses together, and then ¼ a mile such another and so on for several miles, so it is impossible to surprize many before the alarm takes. They have lately built small forts at about a miles distance from one another where ye men sleep all night & the women & children, mostly in the woods; I have seen 9 of these Forts and none of them a month old, & some not quite finished.

My next work was to take one of ye forts, and while I was preparing * * & * * to do the same orderly, some of my Yamasees were so mettlesome as to advise to force it by Assault, willing to flesh while they were hot, I immediately ordered the Attack, the Indians were first up, but dropping, they began to cool, when my too few valient white men reinforced them and broke into the fort in three places. Captain Steel was the first in, and I to encourage the men followed, then my Yamassees; but to our great surprise, within the Fort were two Houses stronger than the fort which did puzzle us & do the most damage, but now it was too late to look back, we forced them but the enemy were so desperate, the very women shooting Arrows, yet they did not yield untill most of them were put to the sword.

In this action Capt. Steel & all like rugged braves behaved themselves nobly, so did the Major and young Parence (?) who I made Cornet, throwing the Standard upon the Block House, and calling to the men to recover it, and really every private man behaved himself so well that it was Terror to our own heathen friend to behold us, the word was Revenge, which we made good by the Execution we made of the Enemy.

The Indians when they saw ye Brittains enter, they judging the business was over, Crowded in on all hands to plunder which proved ye destruction of several, and when we forced the log houses while we were putting the men to the sword, our Indians got all the slaves & plunder, only one girl we gott. We were not half an hour in taking this their strongest Fort in this part of the country, with the loss of 7 killed & 32 wounded, Viz: July 3oth in taking ye fort of Narhontes head Town of ye Tuscaruros. Yamases Compa, Peterba King killed, g Yamases wounded Waterkee King killed, 2 Apalachees wounded, Cunaba Tom killed; 3 killed, 11 wounded. Of Capt. Bull’s Comp: 1 Sattack killed, King Robin wotund, 1 Saxapahaw & 4 Wattaw wound. In all, 1 killed & 6 wounded.

Of the Enemy: Yamasees bro’ 17 scalps, Capt. Jacks Comp. 19 scalps, Capt. Bull’s Comp. 16 scalps. Capt. Jack’s Compa: 1 Watteree killed, 4 wounded, 1 Watteree killed, 6 Catabas wounded, 1 Congree wounded. In all, 2 killed & 16 wounded.

Besides those of white men we made about 30 slaves & there were several women killed, I saw IO, I was much concerned at my loss with no greater Execution of the Enemy, but much * * when I found ye Enemy terrified at the quick work made here, quitted all their forts, & left a fine Country open full of provisions, Our Indians presently loading themselves with English plunder of which these Towns are full, and running away from me, nothing left for the white men but their horses tired & their wounds to comfort them.

Next morning ye Tuscaruro town of Kenta came to attack us, but at such a distance I could not come up with them so I ordered two of Capt. Jack’s Company to cross a great Swamp that lay at the back of us and ly close untill they heard our firing, and then to come on the back or rear of the Enemy if possible to surround them, accordingly they did, but being two eager, they did not time * * * but 9 scalps & 2 prisoners which I ordered immediately to be burned alive, we had 2 more wounded this day.

To day having left a garrison in this Fort to look after the wounded men I marched thro’ the 5 Towns of the Enemy whose Country is almost as fine & * * * as Appalatcha, I ordered that ye Fruit trees w’ch are plenty both of Apples & peeches & Quinces to be preserved but destroyed all the rest, being about 374 houses, wherein there could not be less than 2000 bushells of corn and everywhere marks of their * * * against the English. In this days march a scalp was brought to me taken from a wounded man that was left behind by the Enemy.

From that day to the date hereof I am confined in this place by rainy weather, the Indians in the mean time making excursions and destroying the Country, but could meet with no p’son I am in want of Pilots, so am at a great Loss how to steer my Course, and much adverse as I am to neglect of North Carolina, the greatest part of our Indians are unwilling to proceed into unknown Country, where they may be hem’d in by a numerous Enemy and not know how to extricate themselves; but my brave Yamassees told me they would go wherever I led them. They will live and die with me, and Indeed I have that dependance on them that I would not refuse to give battle to the whole Nation of the Tuscaruros with them. The Enemy can’t be less than 12 or 1,400 men, which may be easily judged by their large settlements, but extremely cowardly if they have liberty to run. Our Indians outdo the Enemy very much either at bush or Swamp but the Enemy are Fleeter & has the advantage of knowing the Country.

By the best information I can get there is two navigable Rivers between me and the English Inhabitants, which must be crossed on logs; yet if 200 stays with me I will attempt the forcing my way thither, for what I have hitherto done is but a small matter to the reduction or Extirpating these Indians according to my Instructions. All w’ch by   *   assistance I will either perform before my return or lose myself in the attempt, w’ch for the honour of Carolina I am always ready to Sacrifice. As soon as the bad weather is broke up I will cross a river called by the Indians Caticee but what called by the English I can’t tell. Afterwards to K. Hancock’s fort which they tell me is a day & ½ march from me: they tell me he has some great guns, a great deal of powder, & 300 men, and they suppose most of the men belonging to the towns destroyed will fly there. They confess that young men were wheedled by Hancock to joine in the villanies committed by him, but the old men & chiefs wept bitterly and told them the ill consequences would follow.

I examined several of the prisoners who provoked the Enemy to committ these Murders, and all agree in one story that the beginning of the Quarrel arose about an Indian that the White men had punished for a small fault committed in his drink, that at the same time 12 Senecas came & made peace with them, and told them that the Whites had imposed upon them and that when the whites had used them so, they knocked them on the head, they advised them that they were fools to slave & hunt to furnish themselves with the white people’s food, it was but killing of them & become possessed of their substance, that they did not fear the want of ammunition for that, they would come twice a year & furnish them with it. I inquired whether any white men had incited them to it, they unanimously answered no, only that ye Virginia traders told them that the people Massacred were outlandish men and not English, and so they doubted not but soon to make peace with the English and that they were then about it. They tell me that there is two Senecas still among them.

I cant find upon the strictest enquiry that any Virginia Traders has been here with ammunition or goods since the Massacre.

When I come to Hancock’s Fort I will offer him a battle, which if refused, I will well view the same, & if I think it practicable, I will have ye honr of finishing the war by taking it. Otherwise I will build a Fort by it and expect the assistance of the pusillanimous Governor of North Carolina, can or will send me.

I congratulate your Honr for the success of our army hitherto and for the honr & Glory of virtuious South Carolina whose armies are the same winter gathering Laurells from the Cape Florida and from the Bay of Spiritta Sancta even to the Borders of Virginia.

I am with most sincere Respect, May it please your Honr,

Yr Honr most obedient servt,

JOHN BARNWELL.

 

Pamplico or Bathtown, Feb. 12, 1711-12.

May it please your Honr:

Here follows an account of my proceedings since my last whereof enclosed is a copy because I am doubtful whether it is yet come to yor Honr. This day I marched from the Fort of Narhante’s, which I demolished, for King Hancock’s Town with my whole forces passing thro’ Kenta & came to a town called Tonarooka Seated on a branch of Neuse River, when finding no Canoes we were passing by Same upon Logs when a Seneca Indian, Tom Gils by name, Stragled without his gun to plunder and was met with by three skulking Tuscaruros and shott thro’ the body, of which he will hardly recover. I sent parties out on all hands to intercept the Skulking dogs and in an hour’s time one of my Yamasees brought me one of them alive, which was an acceptable present for I wanted intelligence and Pilotts. But this took us up so much time that not above a third of my men were over before night which gave an opportunity to Capt. Bull’s Indians all every Soul to a man to desert me with Capt. Jack’s men except himself & 23 more. So I had only the Yamassees Company with me; as soon as I per- ceived it I did all I could by fair words and threats to stop them but in vain, only they promised when they had secured their plun- der which was very considerable & their Slaves they would return with a greater number. They likewise carryed away 10 bags of spare bulletts they had in charge which I could not find nor re- cover; the Confusion was so great. And to add to the rest of my ill fate is to have to do with such Soldiers, having a great number of wounded men. To encourage the Soldiers to go with me I dismounted myself and most of my men to send them on horseback, and having secured them on the contrary Side of the River they were so unnatural as to do me the kindness to leave them on my hands, which obliged me & my whole people to walk three score miles on foot thro’ a very bad way.

Febry 5. I called the head men of ye Yamasees & encouraged them to stay with me & proceed in a work So well begun, they answered after some hesitation & argument that they would live & die with me, but that if I should enter them upon action their wounded men would be so many & being in the heart of the Ehemy’s Country and every one of us absolute strangers in the place, our Enemy so numerous, our men disheartened by ye desertion of the rest and * * now reduced to a few and many of them Bowmen & boys, they could propose nothing but rely on us. I answered that the people lived within 2 or 3 days march, that before that time I should get there. I should meet with a good number that was promised me. That in the mean time I would not attempt anything only defend ourselves, and that ye Enemy were terrified & great cowards and that the Tuscaroro prisoner had in his life engaged to pilot me to the English and Lastly that if they would be Entirly obedient and put their Lives in my hands, I did engage to carry them all safe to the English upon which they cryed: Whough! Nemine Contra- dicente. I will not tell your Hone that some white men were prevailed upon by ye Indian argument, however they have upon all occasions behaved themselves worthy of Commendation.

My prisoners told me most of the young men were gone down to Hancock, that the rest were fled towards Virginia as old men women & children, that they were obliged to disperse into small parcells because they had no provisions but must gather hickory nutts and that there would not be less than 500 men in arms with Hancock but not in a body. That there were two roads to the English settlements, one a short road through the woods, the other a round about way thro’ their Indian Settlement.

After a little consideration, I chused rather the Road thro’ the settlements for several Reasons too long to recite, the principal was to carry on the terrore the Enemy was in and not give time to them to recollect & follow us, or discover to them our fear. Another reason was That all my men would be more watchful & cautious in ye Enemy’s Townes than in the woods, where they would perhaps be careless & straggle, apprehending no danger. Another reason was our Horsemen would be more useful in a cleare open country, where I could * * than in the Bushes. Pursuant to these Resolutions I made such a march with 178 Indians & 25 white men, 20 odd whereof were wounded that to the immortal Glory of South Carolina has struck the Dominion of Virginia into amazement & wonder, who a month before with 1,500 men in arms believed (to their great shame) they had obtained a glorious victory, when by the dreadful terrour of their troops they begged a most ignominious neutrality of those cowardly miscreants, which they were so gracious to grant upon Condition to have goods at a cheaper rate and their children brought up at the College.

This is hardly credible, but by heaven it is true, for my eyes saw a copy of the Treaty, attested by the Secretary of Virginia. It is too long to inform your Honr how I ordered my march but by noon I reached a great town called Innennits, their Fort was not finished, here I found 14 White people’s scalps and a world of plunder. So our Indians threw away all their former plunder to load themselves with better, but I ordered my White people not to encumber themselves, being already well loaded with arms, ammunitions and provisions. Not knowing but I might have occasion to come back this way I ordered the town to be burnt. I stayed here 2 hours & marched still thro plantations ever since I left Narhantes, and encamped in one & immediately made a Fortification & sent our Scouts on all hands & kept good watch.

Feb’ry 6. I marched Still thro’ plantations until I came to a deep Brook where our horses Swam, But we had a tree to pass over on. Here I numbered my men as they passed the tree, but very privately so that it was impossible to discover our numbers. The rest of the day I passed thro’ a piney Barren that lay between the Settlements of Neuse & the three Tuscaruro Towns in Pamplico. Here my scouts discovered 5 Enemys w’ch were returning from plundering Some English houses. We pursued them & obliged them to throw away their packs & guns, but as I already observed they out run our Indians, they had delicate parsnips & Turnips with a Turkey & sev” other household goods. At night we arrived upon a very large River which I understood afterwards was Pamplico; here my Indians took 6 Slaves & killed 2 men. In the night I Sent Scouts to discover the hut town called Ucouh-Ne-runt seated 5 miles above us on the River.

7th. Not to lose time I ordered Bark Logs to be made in order to cross over. I first ordered 30 stout fellows to swim with their arms to secure our passage in a place where there is an Indian plantation. Next my horses, then the wounded men, then the Baggage. But while this Last was a doing, my Rear was attacked as I expected, so they mete with suitable reception from my brave men. I immediately advanced to them to dis- cover their number but found them not 50. I am sure not 6o. Seeing them so inconsiderable I ordered a halt & to tree it as they call it. Then gave order to 70 or 80 to get half a mile along the River and then strike thro’ the woods & surround them, if this had been done & well performed we should have taken or killed every man of them.’ The situation of the ground was so advantageous to us, being surrounded with deep creeks & swamps all in our possession. But the Yamasse Captain being too eager, turned upon them too soon & notwithstanding we all ran as we could, most of them got away, still out running us Leaving a good many Cloaths & guns & blood all over the Field, but I was presented with no more than 2 scalps & had a Yamassee shot thro’ the thigh. I returned to ferry over leaving more Ambuscades who presently discovered 6 of the enemy creeping, I suppose to carry off the dead, but they discovered the Ambush too soon & ran for it, & were chased by our best Runners for 2 miles, but in vain. Notwithstanding all my diligence, these disturbances made it night before I could transport all my men. So I crossed over & sent back 20 of my best mien to joine the Rest and watch the Enemy’s motion.

Feb. 8. By 12 o’clock I marched, and in the evening came to a deep creek, for the late Rains had set the country all on Flote which were tedious to me, being obliged to walk on foot for the sake of the wounded men who I shewed great kindness to, to encourage the rest to venture the exposing themselves. Here I encamped all night, and rising at my usual hour which is daily since I had this charge on my hands, at 4 o’clock in the morning, and at 5 I had just relieved the Centrys and sat at ye fire when ye Enemy poured a volley upon us, and I had reason to believe most of the shott was directed at me for it made strange work with my things & several shott plunged the tree I leaned against. Our centrys being very quick, fired at the same juncture, wch was followed with 30 or 40 guns more. I could not distinguish ye number of the Enemy’s firing, so that I ordered all to quitt the Fires & to stand to their arms unitil daylight when I perceived the Enemy was fled without doing the least damage only the breaking of the stock of one guin wth a bullett.

9. I marched to a ruined English plantation where killed Beef & hogs & took the rest of the day in ferrying on logs over a broad Creek.

10th. I march’d three Mile & mett a broader Creek, passing well ruined Englislh plantations. These Creeks gave me a world of trouble, and lest I should meet with many more, I ordered 2 Indians & a white man to march towards the head of ye creek and find out the Road web must lead from the plantation to Bathtown & then proceed to Town & disire ye Commander there (if the place was not deserted) to send a perriangr to me to carry down the wounded men, and men to pilot our horse down. According about midnight, 3 perriangr came & next day we all came up here to ye incredible wonder and amazement of the poor distressed wretches here, who expressed such extremity of mad joy that it drew tears from most of our men.

I am, May it please your Honor,

Your most humble servant,

J. BARNWELL.

 

From my camp on yte South Side of Pamplico I5 miles above Bathtown, Feb’ry 25, 17II-I 2.

 May it please yor Honr

No doubt but you admire that in all this time you hear no news of Major Gale who I’m afraid is either cast away or taken, for this government did not know one word of me untill I brought the news myself, and accordingly nio provision made for us…

[Manuscript Lost]

…Amends for his wounds. The Indians being more dextrous than us at taking slaves and be sure send him back for I hope by that time he will be fitt for service, if you order * * will be great encouragement to the rest of my men. I can’t forget to recommend ye miserable condition Of 300 widows & orphans that are here without provision or clothing and ill used * * by the dire effects of the barbarous enenmy’s rage. I cannot mention this without tears and humbly beg the Assembly & yr Honr to commiserate their deplorable case, they are willing upon any Terms to transport anywhere for Relief. I heartily congratulate yor Honr for the continued successes of the prosperous arms of South Carolina.

I am yor Honr most humble serv’t,

JOHN BARNWELL.

 

 New Berne, March 12th, 1712.

May it please your Honr,

According to my usual method by way of Journal I proceed to- give you an account of my proceedings since my last.

Febry. 26. This day I was joined by 67 men most of whom wanting ammunition. I exhausted all Pamplico garrisons to pro- cure them 10 shott a man, leaving not a single Bullett I could hear of, telling the people that they should be speedily supplied by a sloop which was speedily expected from Albemarle with ammunition.

27th. This day I was forced for want of provision to march towards K. Hancock’s town hopeing to find some there, for af- ter a great many promises to supply me day after day with more men provisions and ammunition I waited so long for bread kind until half of meni fell sick and willing to preserve the health of ihe rest, I proceeded to get that of the enemy which was de- layed by my Friends, which was so great an uncertainty that I was drawn by the utmost necessity to pursue such hazardous expedients.

March 1st. I marched on foot wtb 94 white men and 148 In- dians thro’ a bad way for i6 mile for the late rains had raised the water in the swamps that we often waded above otur waists.

2. I proceeded to ye Town I2 miles more, but found it de- serted but to my great joy plenty of corn, but now we wanted pamplico beef. My scouts discovered a numerous enemy on the other side of the River (which is a branch of Neuse), who fired upon them but we being tired we rested that night.

March 3d. I made sev” marches & Countermarches along the river to get over, but I found it in no place possible, for the floods were very high and the enemy had scuttled all the canoes & often fired at us. However I discovered a proper plan to make rafts, and was resolved next morning to pass there, it being  *  too late and the enemy watching us. Our scouts tooke a scout of the enemy’s who being tortured told me that the enemy had a strong Fort on the Contrary side of the river with about 130 men in it, and that they had sent out to call in all their party. That they had but little powder wch they bought with gold of white people, and that they hid the captives & their own women & children in a swamp, & that he will shew us ye canoe he came over in. I sent my major with 8o men to get it, but he returned about midnight with an account it was gone.

4. I ordered Lt. Col. Brice before day to imarch with 70 men 3 or 4 miles up the river with the trumpeters to seek a passage, but if he could find none, then to order the trumpeters to sound & huzza, and make as great noise as he could with his hatchetts, which having done for half an hour to return to me. In the mean time I marched down ye river very silently with the rest of the forces at the place appointed. I threw up a breast work with Fashines & made a raft that held 5 men, but before I could get men over, Brice returned & ye enemy waiting on him at ye contrary side and imediately to firing we went; I ordered the Raft off, the enemy wounded 2 of the men thereon, I got 2 nore to supply it, and they got over safe, and tho’ contrary to my orders they imeadiately mounted the bank before more got over, yet as soon as they did the enemy run like deer, upon which our Indians tooke ye river one & all wch before I could not prevail with them to do, and pursued the enemy by night. We got all over & marched a mile when in some hours we found a Deer & a Turkey, wch was a sure sign that the Enemy did not expect us to pay them a visit on that side of the river. They were 5 South Carolina men that went first over on the Raft, for I could not prevail with one of this Country Cowardly Crew to venture, wch was a presage of what followed.

5. Before day I marched with about 100 men thro’ the woods to get on the back side of ye Fort & left orders w’” mv major & Brice to march in ye road way by daylight with the remainder, and if I heard any shooting I would intercept ye ambuscades; but we all got to the Fort without any trouble. I imeadiately viewed the Fort with a prospective glass and found it strong as well by situation on the river’s bank as Workmanship, having a large Earthen Trench thrown up against the puncheons with 2 teer of port holes; the lower teer they could stop at pleasure with plugs, & large limbs of trees lay confusedly about it to make the approach intricate, and all about much with large reeds & canes to run into people’s legs. The Earthern work was so high that it signified nothing to burn the puncheons, & it had 4 round

Bastions or Flankers; the enemy says it was a runaway negro taught them to fortify thus, named Harry, whom Dove William- son sold into Virginia for roguery & since fled to the Tuscaruros. Yet hoping to finish the war by this stroke, where now all the principal murderers were in a pen, I encouraged my men by promises, &c. I ordered 200 Fashines to be made which ye palatines well understood to do. I had them presently done. It is too tedious to inform yor Honr all the particulars how I ordered the Attack; but in short, when we were got within 10 or 12 yards of the Fort the enemy made a terrible fire upon us without the least damage in the world, but this country base, cowardly people hearing the shott strike their Fashines, threw both them & their arms away & run for life, we’ not only left themselves exposed but also all those that went under their shelters; this encouraged the enemy to renew the firing, who deservedly shott sevll of them in their arses. In the mean time my brave South Carolina men * 23 of this country undauntedly kept their order. I ordered them to keep their stations until I brought up the runaways. But all my endeavour was in vain, tho’ I mauled sevll wth my cutlass, and as soon as they saw me running towards them they would scamper into the swamp that was hard by. I, seeing the confusion’& being afraid that the number that drew the enemy’s fire was insufficient to come at the Fort by assault, I ordered a retreat which was bravely managed, for every man got his Fashine on his back, and of my own number I had but one wounded; the most of them had 10 or more shott in his Fashine, but of the runaways there were 1 killed & 18 wounded, and of the 23 that stood by my men there were 3 killed & 2 wounded, in all 4 killed and 20 wounded. It rained smartly during the attempt, wch proved a great hindrance. I ordered the Indians to make a false attack on the contrary side, which they did with such caution that they had not a man hurt. At night I ordered some of my men to go up & bring off the dead men wch was performed, only I man they could not find. I endeavored to encourage the men to renew the attack in the night, but in vain, for I could get but i6 with my own men, who never refused me any thing I putt them upon.

March 6. I being uneasy how to dispose of my wounded men, I marched with 30 men along the River side for 6 mile, where it flows into Neuse to view the country and send an express to Neuse Garrison to bring up canoes to carry off ye wounded. In this march we mett 2 enemys who were so hard chased, that they threw away their packs & Guns & took the River. When I came to the Ferrying place on Neuse, ye enemy on the other side fired at us, so I considered it impracticable to send an ex- press without a strong detachment which I could not spare. At this 6 mile were new houses abuilding & plantations a clearing by ye Cove & Neuse Indians confederates to the Tuscaroras who deserted their other towns to be nearer the main body. As soon as I returned to the camp I ordered wooden spades to be made & more Fashines & poles got ready, and in the dark of the evening I crept on my belly within 30 yards of the Fort & perceived a curious plan to make a breastwork, that had more com- mand of the enemys canoes & water than they had themselves. To work I went & by morning had a reintrenchment that held 50 men. I doing of this I had 2 of my own brisk men wounded.

7th. The enemy being terrified at our near approach, began to quit the Fort, but my men fired so hard at ye canoes that obliged them to retturn, I imeadiately ordered a party over the River, and so blocked up the Fort on all sides, then the enemy when they wanted water would send down the bank one of the English captives to fetch it, our men called to them to have patience, for by next morning they should be delivered, at which the enraged desperate enemy began to torture them and in our hearing put to death a girle of 8 years of Mr. Taylors, upon this the relations of the other captives, came crying & beging of me to have compassion of the innocents, wch was renewed by Cryes & lamentations of the Captives being about 35 or 40 yards of them, at last I was prevailed upon to call to the enemy, who sent out Mrs. Perce to me to treat about their delivery, she having 5 children within, wch ye enemy refused on any terms to do but on condition I would raise the siege, otherwise they would put them all to death and fight themselves to the last man & beat us off.

After an hours consideration, having consulted all the officers, upon this I with two more went up to the Fort gates to speak with the head man who dare not come out to me, I perceived two reintrenchments within the Fort & perceived a great number of men. I ordered one of my men to go in but they would not let him, pleading he might have pocket pistols, I perceived ye head men & others to tremble exceedingly. I found that in case I broke in, I should have hard work against a parcel of desperate villains who would do all the mischeif they could before their death. I knew I had not 30 men I could entirely depend upon, which if some of them were killed or wounded the rest of them would leave me in the lurch. Ammunition was so scarce with the North Carolina men, that some of them had not above 4 charges. I considered that if the place was relieved by the up- per towns the enemy brag’d of as much as of the assistance of the senicas, most of my men would run away, & it would be 2 nights more before I could penetrate the Fort for want of spades & Hods, the ground being so rooty our wooded tools worked but slowly. And lastly I had more wounded men than I knew well how to take care of, and if the number should increase upon meeting a repulse I should be forced to leave them to the mercy of ye most Barbarous enemy. All wch considerations obliged me to agree. That upon their delivering me up 12 Captives then in the Fort immediately & 2 canoes (wch I pretended was to convey ye captives down) and on the 12th day after deliver me up 22 more captives 24 negroes that were hid in other places I would raise ye seige and that there should be a truce for the 12 days that they may find out & bring the captives securely to Batchelours creek which is within 6 mile of New Bern where also the head men of the Tuscaroras was to meet me to treat about Peace, then I suffered 2 to go out to give notice along the Neuise River to their partys not to shoot at ye canoes when they went down, this they performed very faithfully, for the canoes met with sevll that spoke kindly to them, and told them they hoped before long to be good friends. Now for the delivery of the rest of the Captives I have only the faith of savages and the 19th instant will discover it.

March 8. I left ye Fort & that night crossed ye River of Neuse at 6 miles off by the help of the canoes.

9th. I marched 20 long miles, in which march I passed thro’ Core town wch certainly is the most lovely, pleasantest, Richest piece of land in either Carolina upon a navigable River. The Cores deserted it, and hid their corn, wch is in abundance, in a great Swamp on the contrary sides of the River. I sent partys to search for it, for we are in extreme necessity. This day arrived here, being ye seat of the wise Baron. By the enclosed memorial sent to the Assembly here now sitting, you will perceive the barbarous entertainment I have had, which the Govr could not help, for the people regard him no more than a broom staff, they pay much more deference to my cutlass which I now & then send some of their toping Dons.

I must not forget one Mr. Mitchell, a Swiss brave gentleman, who for true valor & presence of mind in ye midst of action, accompanied with a gentle obliging carriage & ingenious to a great degree rendered him ye most acceptable companion in this, my last Ramble. This good tempered gentleman is an agent here & in Portsmouth for the Canton of Bern, he had a mind to see South Carolina. I whetted his inclination as much as I could by showing the differance between both Governments.

I am, Your Honrs Most Obedient humble Servant,

JNO. BARNWELL.

 

 Fort Barnwell, April 20th, 1712.

 May it please your Honr:

I will pursue my usual method of informing yotu of my proceedings by way of Journal. Inclosed in my last you will find a memorial presenting to view ye miserable condition I was reduced to by the wilfull neglect, designs & controversies of this government, who starved us here lest we should get provisions to enable us to depart their ungrateful service. Between ye date of my last & the 25th of March, Myself, Major Makay, Capt. Bull & sevll of my men fell sick & a great number of Indians of whom 4 or 5 died.  My Major is just recovered. Capt. Bull not yet & more of my men in ye like case, all this occasioned thro’ scarce & bad Diete & great cold. This prevented my meeting ye Enemy ye 19th instant at the place appointed, so I got Capt. Mitchell to go, but ye Enemy were worse than their words, we’ to make them sensible of I ordered my * * out who returned with 3 scalps. In the mean time the Assembly answered my Memorial with a paper full of Resolutions & addresses, wherein they tell me they passed an act in emulation of South Carolina but they are so choice of it that tho’ it was a month ago they & some of them out of some refined kind of Politics keeps it private to themselves. I say some of them because I spoke both to some of the Council & Assembly men who gave their votes & signed it that protested they could not inform me whether their men had 3d. or 12d. a day, this is extremely ridiculous & so hardly credible that when any body reads this & not consider that I write to ye government who placed me in this hon’ble post, they could not give credit to it. When I examined a little further I found that 2 or 3 of ye Assembly supplyed ye rest of their wise Brethren with such plenty of punch that they voted, acted, signed & strip’d stark naked & boxt it fairly two & two, all the same day, Govr Hyde with Collo. Boyd a member of ye Council, the only ragged gown parson with Mr. Speaker, the Provost Marshall with another honble member and so round it went. A good deal of such stuff as this made me laugh heartly since I came here where truly I had but small inclination to mirth and I fancy you will do so when I tell you Col. Boyd informed me I was the occasion of all this for they were so long drinking my health that they knew not what they did, while poor me drink cold water, wishing for a little salt to season their grass & wampee I fed on instead of bread. I ought have gone this time to Little River & have partaken with ye rest, but then I should return to Charlestown Commander in Chief of myself & slaves, put ye government to another £4000 charge when they should be in so good a humor as they were this time. Col. Daniel will inform you ye distance between Coretown & Little River is above 200 miles. Excuse me for this Stuff. I am obliged to lay things naked that your Honr may not puzzle yourself to conceive the true Reason of ye rest of their seeming unaccountable Politicks.

March 25th. As soon as I recovered I ordered a garrison at Durhams over against Bath Town on ye South shore of Pamplico, to render ye communication between Pamplico & Neuse more practicable by Land, it being but 25 miles across the necke & 30 miles by water.

28. I ordered all the horses & Baggage to be transported from North side of Pamplico to ye Southside of Neuse that I might be ready to go home as soon as I could get provisions for 6 days unto ye Cape Feare Indians.

29th. Willing to inform myself whether the Enemy maintained their Fort & to get some corn if possible, I marched with 15 white men & 30 Indians (not having provisions for a greater party) though this may be called a rash attempt, yet the Success answered ye opinion I had of the enemy I took Drums & Trumpets. I encountered nothing till I came to Handcock’s town where scouts surprised a party of the Enemy who were conveying corn into their Fort & brought in * * As soon as I heard the war whoop I ordered ye Drums & Trumpets to alarm & immediately marched up to 300 yards of the Fort & stayed a quartr of an hour in wch time I got & secured some corn. I found they had built a new fort that extended from the old one to the ground of my former attack, a large ditch surrounded ye palisadoes & tho’ there were in 6 y’ds of it I retreated to this place discovering 100 bushels of corn hid up & down in the swamp. I pitched upon a place so naturally fortified that with a little Labour 50 men could keep off 5000. It lyes nigh the middle of Core Town on a point between Neuse River & a fine Branch two sides being 30 feet high full of hanging rocks & springs, and the 3d side gently inclining to the plane like a natural Glacis which I fortified for I80 feet to make each side equal, it is t500 paces to the next wood, only on ye sides of ye hill and on both sides the brook there are large timber trees & firewood intirely wthin command of the Fort & lyeth 20 miles above New Bern & 7 mile from K. Hancock’s town, it is a very charming place.

30th. I sent express to New Bern to bring up some boats & tools; in the night they arrived. I imeadiately sent to bring into my Fort some corn & built Hutts to preserve it in, & sent for all my Indians (to encamp there), being dispersed all over the country to subsist the better.

31st. This day my Yamisees brought me a scalp belonging to one of ye enemy’s scouts. I ordered the Indians to get parched corn flouer ready in order to return as soon as my horses come.

April 1st. At last I received an express from Gov. Hyde that Collo Boyd was coming to join me wth 70 men. That there was 2 sloops sailed with provisions and that a new Turn was given to affairs, and for the future I should have no reason to complain. This rejoiced me so that I sent express to ye sevall Garrisons of Neuse to join me with all their able men; I ordered the new arrived corn to be brought to my Fort, and this night came up to me to gallons of rum, 2 casks of cider & a cask of wine.

April 2nd. The fame of this liquor encouraged my white men in few days to 153 but was much surprised when I could not furnish them with more than 7 bullets a man & ye powder, & one of ye sloops having 115 bushels of corn to maintain the people that was coming to joine me gave out all but 52, wch together wth all the corn I got with ye hazard of my life they devoured before they left me. As to the South Carolina sloop wch was barbarously stopt untill this day & my letter from yr Honble kept from me under ye pretense of loading corn for ye army, was sent to Bathtown with rum to sell for the Govr and the corn put ashore there above 120 mile from ye army. Pray take Capt. Adlar’s Deposition.

3. My scouts brought me a scalp of one of ye enemy’s scouts this day. From this to ye 6th instant I waited for ye sevall detachments. All ye Field officers came without a dram, a bit of meese bisket or any kind of meat but hungry stomachs to devour my parcht corn flower, and they began to grumble for better victuals wch putt me in such a passion at all kind of ill usages since I came here that I ordered one of their majors to le tyed neck & heels & kept him so, and whenever I heard a saucy word from any of them I imeadiately cutt him, for without this they are the most impertinent, imperious, cowardly Blockheads that ever God created & must be used like negros if you expect any good of them. I gott 2 three pounders, 2 patteraros, 7 Gra- nardo shells, 22 Great Shott but hardly powder enough for 10 discharges. Collo Mitchell contrived sevll sorts of Ingenious Fireworks, & a mortar to throw them into the Fort; these things I gott without any help from ye Publick.

7th. At night I marched with 153 white men & 128 Indians to K. Hancock’s Fort, and before day blockt it up on all hands without any loss, For we were there before ye enemy was aware of us. From this to the 17th the siege lasted wch was by way of approach, by wch time we gained ye ditch & sevll times fired ye pallisades wch ye enemy like desperate villians defended at an amazing rate. This siege for variety of action, salleys, attempts to be relieved from without, can’t I believe be parallelled agst Indians. Such bold attacks as they made at our trenches flinted the edge of those Raw soldiers, that tho’ they were wholly under ground yet they would quitt their posts and with extreme difficulty be prevaled upon to resume them. The subtell Enemy finding the disadvantage they were under in sallying open to attack our works took ye same method as we did and digged under ground to meet our approaches, wch obliged us to make sevll traverses and false approaches to deceive them. At last we got to the ditch and ye enemy had a hollow way under their pallisades that as fast as we filled ye ditch they would carry away the Fashines, & tho’ we fired ye pallisades yet we could not maintain it. My men were so cowardly in ye trenches I was afraid to venture them to assault ye pallisades, and if I had gained them it would have been nothing towards reducing ye Fort. So as I was resolved to let the pallisades stand & work up to them, and then they would prove as good to us as the enemy; but this 15 foot cost us so much time untill I was thro’ extreme famine obliged to hearken to a capitulation for the surrending thereof upon articles, wch leaves above 100 murderers unpunished besides the women & children of those villians killed & executed. Since my former attempts Virginia furnished them with 400 buckskins worth of ammunition wch I was informed of by Govr Hyde’s letters and ye relation of ye redeemed captives. If North Carolina had but furnished me with but 4 days provision more I had in spite of all enemys, without firing many gunns more, entirely made a glorious end of the war. This Fort in both attacks cost me 6 white men & 1 Indian killed & 35 white men & 1 Indian wounded, but it is * *. believe ye Report ye Captives give of ye enemy’s loss considering how they were fortified but it proceeded from their foolish salleys, wch as they were desperate attempts so it is inconceivable what they meant by it, for we had 40 to one when they entangled themselves amongst our Trenches. If I have time before the Fleet sails I will in a sheet give you a journal of the seige, and in the mean time here are the heads of the Articles, Viz:

First. To deliver up all the white captives and negroes imeadeately that are in ye Fort the rest in io days at my Fort.

2. To deliver lip K. Hancock & 3 men notorious murderers that are alive & shall be named by ye Governor.

3rd. To deliver up all the horses, skins & plunder what in ye Fort imeadiately & the rest at my town in ten days.

4th. To come yearly to the Governor in March & pay Tribute.

5. To deliver 3 hostages immediately, viz: The brothers of the Tuscarora king & the cove king.

6. To furnish me with all the corn in ye Fort for the departure of my Indians.

7. To make complaints regularly to Magistrates upon any quarrel between them & whites.

8th. To plant only on Neuse River the Creek the Fort is on quitting all claims to other Lands.

9th. To quitt all pretensions to planting, Fishing, hunting or ranging to all Lands lying between Neuse River & Cape Feare, that entirely to be left to the So. Carolina Indians, and to be treated as Enemys if found in those Ranges without breach of peace, and the Enemy’s line shall be between Neuse & Pamplico * fishing on both sides Bear River.

10th The flanks next the attack to be demolished imedeately and the English have Liberty to march thro’ the same with all Ensigns of honr and the rest of the Fort to be demolished in 2 days & never to build more Forts.

Lastly. In 20 days wait on the Governor & sign these & such other articles as shall be agreed upon; all these articles were per- formed thus:

1st. 24 Captives children were delivered & 2 negroes one of wch being a notorious Rogue was cutt to pieces imediately.

2d. King Hancock was gone to Virginia they will deliver him and 3 others when the Governor names them. 3d. Most of the horses skins & plunder they sold the Virginia. Traders, the remainder we but little they delivered. 4. They would yearly come to pay tribute. 5. They delivered 2 sons of the Tuscaroras King & a Brother of the Cove King. 6. This was the hardest article, however, I got as much as furnished 40 Indians Essaws and Palatchees & sent them away, but to my great loss one of my slaves ran away with them. I gave Mr. C. £35 for him & I suppose he is gone thither. Let me beg your Honr favour to get him for me.

7, 8. 9. Intirely agreed to by ye Tuscaruro Indians, but gruntted at by the Coves upon which they quarrelled, and had I but 4 days provisions I had contrived the matter so well that in that time I could oblige ye Tuscaroras to have delivered all the Coves for slaves. I will take another time to tell you how.

10. They broke down Flanker. I ordered 2 files of So. Carolina men to take possession of the breach. Then I drew the whole body up before the breach & marched them into ye Fort. 2 Trumpets, 2 Drumms, So. Carolina Standard, Yamassee & Apalatchka, Col. Boyd, Coll. Mitchell, Major Makay, Major Cole, myself gentlemen volunteers 2 & 2, So. Carolina men 2 & 2, ye Yamasse Captn 2 & 2. I refused these country men to march with me Friday, but after I had gone thro’ ye Fort (which amazed me) they had Liberty, for I never saw such subtill contrivances for Defence, but I found a good fire would have made greater Havock than I expected. There was a good number of sick & wounded & a very great mortality which with their nastiness produced such stink that I as soon as the Colour was raised on the Fort and the great guns fired & shrill huzzas, I made a short sharp speech to ye Rebells who hid all their arms & prostrated themselves their wives & children in mv power, hoping I would be as good as my word & not take this advantage to murder them.

I might see by the strength of the place a good many would be killed before it could be forced. Some base people was urging to take this opportunity but I would sooner die. In truth they were murderers, but if our Indians found that there could be no dependence in our promises, it might prove of ill consequence besides 70 odd were not there wch was a number sufficient to hinder all North Carolina from planting & I told them if they did approve of what I had done they might mend it which put them to silence. When we began the siege besides hardy boys that could draw bow there were 46 men at the Fort. I ordered 200 Volunteers to number them at this time. Tho’ none agreed in the exact number yet they all agreed as there was above 8o so there was not one hundred. I am wild exclaiming against this place in writing but when I kiss your Hand I have such a tale to tell of the barefaced villainys daily committed here as will make yr Honr for the future use this country as Virginia does. To spare my horses I walked on foot and came here, but now I find 2 of my horses rid to death the other 2 stolen, for after 10 days are not found, svll of my men are in the same case.

If yor Honr doth not think fitt to send back the shallop for me * * I would come by this opportunity but am unwilling to leave men * * * of whom 1 is killed, 10 wounded & 4 sick, so have not above 7 or 8 well with me.

May So. Carolina flourish when I bleed & suffer * * * body do ten times more than I can pretend to do for its advancement.

May  * * me and my poor men, and send some corn to help ye poor Yamassees home, they * * when all others Left me in the midst of my greatest extremity.

I am with * *

Your Honrs most obedient Servant,

BARNWELL.