The following is from Baird's History of Clark County,
published 1909, page 147:




The Indiana phase of the War of 1812, which was no small thing to the western settlers, was of more moment to them than a consideration of danger from purely British sources. To be sure, the atrocities of the savage, to a great extent, were instigated by the British to the north, but from British troops themselves, no real danger was ever anticipated. The Pigeon Roost massacre, September 3, 1812, was the last trouble ever experienced in this vicinity, but it had the effect of awakening the settlers to the danger of unpreparedness and resulted in the establishment of a line of some fifteen or twenty stockades, beginning at the one called the "Corner Post" and extending by Charlestown back to the Ohio at the east of the town.


The Pigeon Roost massacre was not an Indian raid as has been so often stated. The Indians passed through the little hamlet which was the nucleus of Vienna and never harmed a soul, while there. There had been bad blood between the Collins family and the Indians for some time. The Collins boys had stolen a fawn from the Indians and refused to give it up, and from this cause and possibly some other, the whole trouble originated. Those other than Collinses were killed only because they lived in that neighborhood. Neither before nor after the massacre were other white people harmed, showing conclusively that it was only a local fight and giving no cause for alarm to other settlers.


The Indians, who were Delawares and Shawnees, are said to have crossed White River at Sparksville. They crossed three or four at a time and after all had crossed formed together and directed their way to the spot now hallowed in the memory of the early victims. During the afternoon of the same day they reached their destination, and Jeremiah Payne, who lived near Vienna, was warned of danger when his cows came bellowing home with arrows stuck in their sides. Taking his wife and only son to the fort at Vienna, the father started on foot to warn his brother, Elias, but when he arrived at the cabin he found the dead and mutilated bodies of the wife [of Elias Payne] and seven children. Elias and his brother-in-law, Isaac Coffman, were in the woods at the time hunting bee trees. They were surprised by ten or twelve Indians and Coffman was instantly killed and scalped. Payne was pursued over two miles before he was overtaken and mortally wounded. Mrs. Richard Collins and her seven children soon fell victims to the redskins' thirst for blood, and Mrs. Henry Collins, although pregnant, was murdered and scalped and the child taken from the womb and scalped, and then laid across her breast. The incentive to such a diabolical deed was the five dollar British reward offered for each scalp. The fiends later massacred the mother, wife and only child of John Morris, and the escape of other settlers was almost miraculous.


A part of Clark County militia under Maj. John McCoy and Captain Devault pursued the Indians and killed one. In June, 1813 some Clark County militia, under Col. Joseph Bartholomew, went on an expedition to punish Indians who were hostile, and returned without any casualties.