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Thrilling Incidents In American History

• Title
• Preface

Revolutionary War
• Opening Of The Revolution
• The Boston Massacre
• Affair of the Sloop Liberty
• Affair of the Gaspee
• The Tea Riot
• The Boston Port Bill
• The First Continental Congress-Consequent Parliamentary proceedings
• Organization of the Minute-Men
• Patrick Henry-Second Provincial Congress-First Military Enterprise
• Battles of Lexington and Concord
• Battle of Bunker's Hill
• Capture of Ticonderoga
• Second Continental Congress-Washington's Appointment
• Siege of Boston
• Incidents at the Evacuation of Boston
• Burning of Falmouth
• Arnold's Expedition to Quebec
• Siege of Quebec, and Death of Montgomery
• Scenes at Quebec during the Siege
• Expedition against Charleston
• The Declaration of Independence
• The Battle of Long Island
• Washington's Retreat through New Jersey-Capture of General Lee
• Battle of Trenton
• Battle of Princeton
• Capture of General Prescott
• Battle of Brandywine
• Battle of Germantown
• Battle of Red-Bank
• Attack on Fort Mifflin-Retirement of the Army to Valley Forge
• Battle of Bennington
• Murder of Miss M'Crea
• Battle of Stillwater
• Battle of Bemis' Heights, and Retreat of Burgoyne
• Capture of Forts Clinton and Montgomery
• Surrender of Burgoyne
• The Treaty with France
• Attack on Savannah, and Death of Pulaski
• Storming of Stony Point
• General Sullivan's Campaign against the Mohawks
• Tarleton's Quarters
• Battle of Camden, and Death of De Kalb
• Arnold's Treason
• The Loss of the Randolph
• The British Prison-Ships
• Capture of the Serapis
• Putnam's Feat at Horseneck
• Battle of Eutaw Springs
• Wayne's Charge at Green Spring
• Capture of the General Monk
• The Mutinies
• Battle of the Cowpens
• Capture of New London
• Massacre of Wyoming
• Surrender of Cornwallis

War With France
• Capture of L'Insurgente
• The Constellation and Vengeance

War With Tripoli
• Burning of the Philadelphia
• Bombardment of Tripoli
• Loss of the Intrepid
• Expedition of General Eaton

Second War With England
• Battle of Tippecanoe
• Capture of the Guerriere
• Tragical Affair of an Indian Chief
• Battle and Massacre at the River Raisin
• Captain Holmes's Expedition
• Capture of the Caledonia and Detroit
• The Wasp and Frolic
• Gallant Conduct of Lieutenant Allen at the Capture of the Macedonian
• Capture and Destruction of the Java
• Siege of Fort Meigs
• Capture of York, and Death of General Pike
• Defence of Sackett's Harbour
• Defence of Fort Stephenson
• Battle of Lake Erie
• Battle of the Thames
• Gallant Action of Commodore Chauncey under the guns of Kingston Citadel
• The Sacking of Hampton
• Capture of the Peacock
• Massacre at Fort Mimms
• Surrender of Weatherford
• Battle of Niagara
• BattIe of New Orleans

War With Mexico
• Battle of Palo Alto
• Battle of Resaca de la Palma
• Capture of Monterey
• Battle in the Streets of Monterey
• Thrilling Scenes in the Battle of Buena Vista
• Bombardment of Vera Cruz
• Battle of Cerro Gordo
• Battles of Contreras and Churubusco
• Storming of Chapultepec


THE village of Wyoming was a small and flourishing settlement, situated in a delightful valley on the eastern branch of the Susquehanna. Unfortunately, the territory was c1aimed both by Pennsylvania and Connecticut, and thus, from the collision of contradictory c1aims, founded on royal charters, the laws of neither state were enforced.

Near this peaceful settlement, embosomed amid the wildest scenes of nature, and remote from all immediate help, the tory partisans of Britain could assemble, and concert their schemes with perfect security. Having ventured, however, within the bounds of the village, a party of them were arrested by the authorities of Connecticut, and sent to Hartford for trial. They were soon set at liberty; but the remembrance of their captivity rankled in their bosoms, and produced u determination of vengeance. They visited the different Indian tribes, painted their wrongs in burning colours, and called upon every one to lift the hatchet against his oppressor. Roused by these fiery appeals, the warriors of the vicinity met in council, and resolved the utter extermination of all the Wyoming settlers.

In a short time the enemy assembled together, to the number of eleven hundred, of whom two hundred were Indians. As commander, they chose Colonel John Butler, a man notorious for every species of crime. In July, 1778, he appeared in force before a small fort, situated near the village, and demanded its surrender. As the works were in a miserable condition, and the garrison but a handful, the demand was obeyed. A part of the garrison had previously retired to Forty Fort, near Kingston; and before this place Butler now appeared, summoning it to surrender. Colonel Zebulon Butler, the commander, answered by proposing a conference at the bridge without the works. This was agreed upon, and the commandant, with his officers and the greater part of the garrison, repaired to the spot; but, not meeting the enemy, they indulged the pleasing hope that the latter had fled; and, instead of returning to the fort, commenced a hurried pursuit. Over three miles they continued their reckless march, when they suddenly came in sight of a few straggling Indians. On these they fired, but in a moment were convinced of the withering fact, that they had been drawn into an ambuscade. With one wild shout the tories and savages commenced their attack, levelling and riddling the crowded masses before their terrible fire. A cry of horror rose, and for a moment the Americans paused; but the officers rushed forward, restored order, and returned the enemy's fire. Then those brave men stood, up against fate, and, though in full view of a hidden foe, exerted long but vain efforts to drive back their assailants. Undismayed by the havoc on all sides, they continued the conflict until the Indians had gained their rear, and cut off all retreat. Then they offered to surrender; but that offer was received with a fiendish laugh, that spoke terribly to those devoted men. Still the cries for mercy went up, and then that savage yell, and the rattling of hundreds of muskets. The sufferers flung away their weapons, and on their knees implored, with lifted hands, for the pittance of life. Then they hurried in crowds from side to side, wild and overcome with terror. Some threw themselves among the mangled dead, and lay as though senseless; while the fierce wrestlings of the soul, in the agonies of despair, were sent up in broken prayers to Heaven. But all was vain. Shower after shower of iron hail came crashing among them, sweeping everything in its course, and mingling the screams of the wounded with the petitions for life. Of four hundred and seventeen who had left the fort, but fifty-seven escaped.

After this dreadful scene, the murderers marched to the fort and again demanded its surrender. Accordingly, articles of capitulation were signed, securing to the people in the fort their effects. Thirty men, and two hundred women then crossed the river, and commenced a distressing march through the woods to Northampton county. The hardships of these unfortunate victims of barbarity were great; many of the women were overwhelmed with grief at the loss of their husbands, brothers, or friends. Most of the provisions had been left behind, and sadness, disease, and hunger, accompanied their weary steps. Unable to support their miseries, several lay down under trees and prayed for death. Mutual sufferings caused the deepest sympathy, and these sorrowful ones were carried the remainder of the journey by their companions. At length, emaciated with hunger, sickness, and fatigue, they arrived among the Pennsylvania settlements.

In November, another massacre was perpetrated at Cherry Valley by one Brandt, who had been active in the former one. Accompanied by Walter Butler, son of Colonel John Butler, and by seven hundred men, he approached the fort at that place on the 9th. The commandant, Colonel Ichabod Alden, had received numerous intimations of danger; but, instead of concentrating his forces to meet it, he had discouraged the inhabitants from taking refuge in the fort, and merely despatched a few scouts, to give alarm in case of seeing an enemy. These built a fire, and went to sleep. In this condition, they were surprised and captured by Brandt. The settlement was invested on every side, and all the inhabitants put to death- some by shooting, some by fire, others by various tortures; but the greater part were crowded into barns and houses, which were then consumed in one general conflagration. Between thirty and forty prisoners were reserved for future barbarities.

After this diabolical act, the assailants proceeded against the fort. But its garrison of two hundred men defended themselves with a desperation which recent scenes had imparted to them, and the savages were obliged to retire. Colonel Alden, however, paid for his carelessness with his life.