Posted by: unclesamshistory | September 14, 2011

Quaker Cannon

I must apologize for not getting a new blog on line for over two weeks. I was away and couldn’t figure out how to access the proper
page, I’m not very computer literate as you can see.

Fort Henry, overlooking where Wheeling, West Virginia now stands, had bluffed a raiding party with a hollow log painted and
made to look like a real cannon, hence the name Quaker Cannon as the Quakers were known non combatants. Now, however, it had a real artillery piece guarding the fort.

Major McColloch left the fort at Pittsburg with a boat load of supplies for Fort Henry and a detachment to guard them. As they
rounded a bend in the river a man shouted from shore that he needed help. His clothes were in tatters and blood smeared his face. The Major warned his men to watch for an ambush as they put in to shore. No sooner had the men started to step
out of the boat than from the bushes musket fire cut the whole party down. Simon Girty, his brother and their band Indians now had the supplies.

Flush with victory the attackers moved on to capture Fort Henry. The men there were ready and musket and rifle fire kept the enemy at bay. Not only were the men in the fort bottled up but Colonel Zane’s house stood about two hundred yards outside the fort walls and housed the colonel and a group of friends that were visiting. The house was sturdy with thick walls and could withstand the barrage of musket balls splattering against it. The men in the house would fire at the Indians while the women would reload the weapons.

It wasn’t long before those in the house were running low on powder. A young girl, Molly Scott, shouted, “I’m a fast runner,”
and grabbed two empty powder bags and was out the door before anyone could stop her. Running in a zig zag pattern she reached the fort, the guards had seen her coming, and opened the gate just enough to let her in. Filling her bags with powder she was back out the door, out-running the Indians chasing her and made it back to the house.

Girty and his Indians had enough and thinking the cannon was a fake charged the fort. At the appropriate time the cannon bleached flame and grape shot cutting a wide swath in the attacking horde.

A more descriptive narration of the Fort Henry attack may be found in Frontier Preacher.
Both Frontier Preacher and Frontier at Three Rivers are available from Amazon or
or or your favorite book seller..

I invite you to visit my web site


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