Revolutionary War Days
|A REAL HEROINE
If the heroine of a story could be transformed into a real person, her life would have in it an important element of happiness. Such cases, vice versa, have occurred--that is, a woman who has shown herself heroic has lived to an old age in the enjoyment of her honors.
During the American Revolution a small palisade fort erected on the site of the present day of Wheeling was the center of a small settlement. The dwelling of Colonel Ebenezer LANE stood about 200 feet from the palisade, and in it were kept many of the supplies of the fort. One morning--it was Sept. 1, 1777--a man rode up to the place, threw himself from his horse and excitedly announced that one Simon GIRTY, with a large number of savages, was advancing to its capture. This man GIRTY was descended from the lowest order of people, his father having been an outlaw and his mother a disgrace to her sex. Simon had inherited the worst proclivities of both. Captured by the Indians when a boy, he [GIRTY] had become one of them, and then savage practices were as natural to him as f he had been born an Indian. Such was the man who was advancing at the head of several hundred red men to murder the men, women and children within the palisade. The place was made ready for defense, and Colonel LANE's house, occupying a a favorable position for resistance, was made a part of the inclosure [sic] to be defended. There were but a dozen men to protect the women and children who were huddled together in the palisade, expecting the worst possible fate.
|The party came up, and GIRTY demanded the
surrender of the fort, which was of course refused. Then commenced
a fire from besieged and besiegers which was kept up till night, when it
ceased. At midnight the negro cook Sam, seeing a flicker of
light through a crevice in the palisade, looked for the cause and saw an
Indian outside attempting to fire the palisade. Sam shot the man
dead and averted the danger.
The next morning the attach was renewed with a hollow log bound with chains for a cannon, but the log burst at the first discharge and killed several of the besiegers [i.e. the Indians]. Enraged at the failure, GIRTY attempted to carry the fort by storm, but the rifles within were true, and he lost many men without accomplishing his object.
It was now discovered that the supply of powder in the fort was exhausted. There was a keg in the LANE house, but to procure it some one must go nearly 200 feet and return with it exposed [while being] to the fire of the Indians. The commander called for a volunteer to make the attempt, an attempt that would almost surely result in death. Every man in the fort volunteered.
More about Simon GIRTY, page ONE from a 1939 newspaper
More about Simon GIRTY, page TWO from a 1942 newspaper
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