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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

Brief History Of The Military Career Of Francis Dunlavy

Contributor:
Dallas Bogan on 6 September 2004
Source:
original article by Dallas Bogan
Return to Index to see a list of other articles by Dallas Bogan

The writer inserted an article in this newspaper, dated August 10, 1997, that highlighted an account of Francis Dunlavy. At this time I shall draft a brief history of his military career.

Francis was born the son of Anthony Dunlavy on December 31, 1761; near Winchester, Va. Anthony emigrated from Ireland about the year 1745 and soon afterward married Hannah White, sister to Judge Alexander White of Virginia. This marriage produced four sons and four daughters of whom Francis was the eldest.
About 1772 the family located from Winchester to the area of western Virginia, west of the Allegheny Mountains, and settled near Catfish, now Washington, in what is now Washington County, Pa.
This frontier was in the vicinity where the Revolutionary War broke out. And as history has recorded, Indian assaults were most frequent. Due to these circumstances, the men of the new settlements were constantly called upon to defend their homes.
Dunlavy volunteered as a private on October 1, 1776, under Captain Isaac Cox. His company encamped in the woods at a point called Holliday's Cove on the Ohio River. The location was opposite a large island in Brooke County, West Virginia, now known as Brown's Island, just above Steubenville, Ohio.
The company quickly constructed a chain of log cabins and blockhouses. The fortress was located on the line of defense from Fort Pitt to Gravel Creek, it being one of several erected as a protection to the border against the Indians. In performance of their cause the company scouted in pairs up and down the river for a distance of 12 miles. Dunlavy's tour of duty ended on December 20th, just over two months after signing up.
Prior to his discharge he and others were sent down the Ohio River about 12 miles where Decker's Fort was constructed, the company being called upon to protect the inhabitants while they gathered in their corn crop.
Dunlavy signed up again in the militia in July 1777 at Fort Pitt, where he served 14 days. He volunteered as a substitute for his father, Anthony, who had been drafted for a month and had served half of it. General Hand had just arrived at the fort with no troops, and Francis, being a militia man, performed his duty under regular army officers.
Two of the officers assigned to the fort were Capt. Harry Heath and Col. John Gibson, with some of the latter's 13th Virginia Regiment being represented. (Simon Girty, more commonly known as the "white Indian," was also present. Girty was totally taken up with and continually mingled with the Indians.)
Dunlavy again volunteered on March 1, 1778, for one month's service at Cox's Station on Peters Creek. Colonels Isaac Cox and John Canon organized the men. However, the militia surrendered their arms eight days later to some recruits of the regular army. This maneuver allowed the militia to return home and plant their crops.
On August 15, 1778, Dunlavy was again drafted for one month at Pittsburg. This tour was served under Lieut. John Springer with the troops being fixed to the command of Captain Ferrol, who had a company withdrawn from the 13th Virginia Regiment.
They roamed the woods visiting the stations on the frontier line between Pittsburg and Wheeling, and subsequently relieved a company of men from Hampshire County, Va., which was commanded by Capt. Daniel Cressap. Dunlavy was discharged at Pittsburg at the end of his month's service.
He again entered the service on October 5th where he spent his time as a substitute for Andrew Flood, the unit being under the command of Capt. John Crow. His battalion commander was Capt. Hugh Stevenson and his regimental commander was Col. William Crawford.
The army was then under the command of Brig. Gen. Lachlin McIntosh. Others that were present were Colonel Evans, Col. John Gibson of the 13th Virginia, and Daniel Broadhead, Colonel of the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment. It was this army that built Fort McIntosh at the mouth of Beaver Creek.
Journeying into the wilderness on November 5th, they crossed the forks of the Muskingum where they built Fort Lawrence on the west bank. Dunlavy later returned to Fort McIntosh and was discharged on December 20th.
He was again drafted on August 25, 1779, this time at Fort Pitt. He spent three days at the "King's Orchard" on the Allegheny River and, under Colonel Broadhead, they then marched up the river. (Personnel in this army also included Colonel Gibson, Captain Ellis, Lieutenants John Hardin and Samuel Brady, the latter two being famous Indian fighters.)
John Monteur, a half-breed, escorted the expedition, which consisted of some light horses and about sixty Indians. The army traveled up the east bank of the Allegheny and crossed the Kiskiminitas at its mouth and arrived at Kittaning, where a garrison was located. Their station was established at an old Indian town on the river about 12 miles above the Kittaning.
Next they proceeded up the river and crossed about 15 miles below the mouth of French Creek. Crossing this creek, they then maneuvered toward the Monsey towns and, not quite reaching their destination, defeated a small body of Indians, possibly about thirty or forty.
Jonathan Zane was leader of the expedition and who, along with four others, was wounded. (Jonathan, who along with his brother, Ebenezer, cut Zane's Trace from Wheeling to Maysville, Ky.)
Upon arrival, it was found that the Monsey settlements were deserted. The army established themselves in the villages for nearly a week, destroying several hundred acres of growing corn on the banks.
(While returning a man named John Ward was injured severely by a horse falling on a rock in a creek. This incident took place in Butler County, Pa., where later there was a township and post office called Slippery Rock.)
Dunlavy was discharged from this duty on September 29th of the same year.
Mr. Dunlavy was a man of high intelligence. He was admitted in the spring of 1782 as a student of Rev. Thaddeus Dodd's Latin and mathematical "log cabin" school at Ten Mile in Washington County.
His school work did not last long for in April of that year he again volunteered for army life against the hostile Indians. James Marshall, Lieutenant of Washington County, was leader. The men gathered at Decker's Station on the east bank of the Ohio, and within a few days they were discharged.
He was absent from home for only ten days when the campaign against Sandusky was announced. He once again carried out his duty, and by May 15th he had returned to Decker's Station. Immediately after he crossed the Ohio to Mingo Bottom and was made a Lieutenant in Capt. Craig Ritchy's company.
With the Sandusky campaign being concluded, and overall peace being settled, Dunlavy returned home and entered Dickenson College.
He later became a student of divinity under Rev. James Hoge of Winchester, Va. Sometime later he taught a classical school in Virginia, graduating several students who were celebrated for their talents and education.
Dunlavy moved with his father's family to the area of Washington, Ky., in about 1790. In 1792 he emigrated to Columbia, now a part of Cincinnati. Here he opened a classical school along with John Reiley of Butler County. This school was maintained for several years. Afterward Dunlavy moved to Lebanon.
Among his credits are that he was twice a member of the Legislature of the Northwest Territory, and was afterward elected to the convention that formed the first Constitution of Ohio. He was a member of the first State Legislature and was chosen Presiding Judge of the Court of Common Appeals of the First Circuit, an office he held for 14 years. The First District encompassed the counties of Hamilton, Butler, Montgomery, Greene, Warren and Clermont.
This old hero now lies in the Pioneer Cemetery in Lebanon. The modest monument reads: "In memory of Francis Dunlavy, who died October 6, 1839, aged seventy-eight years."


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