Capture of Captain Abraham Bledsoe's Son

By Emory L. Hamilton

From the unpublished manuscript, Indian Atrocities Along the Clinch, Powell and Holston Rivers, pages 91-92.

Captain Abraham Bledsoe, who was with Col. Evan Shelby on the Chicamauga Campaign of 1779, had a son captured by the Indians whom many writers blandly say was the son of Anthony, or Isaac Bledsoe.

Thomas Bledsoe, a son of Captain Abraham, tells of the capture of his brother in his Revolutionary War pension claim, saying:

The family (Captain Abraham's) moved to about seven miles from the Long Island (Kingsport, TN) on Holston on Reedy Creek, and at this place his father was living when he entered the service of the United States in 1778, as well as he can remember. He again volunteered under the same Captain to go in pursuit of a party of Indians, who had broken in on the frontiers, and had taken away with them, as prisoner, this applicant's brother; that after pursuing for some time, they came up with the rear guard of the Indians, who gave notice to the advance party and they escaped, taking with them their prisoner, and he was not heard of until he was exchanged at the Falls of the Ohio.

Thomas Bledsoe was slightly in error as to the year in which his brother was captured, which is excusable, since he was making a statement from memory forty or fifty years after the event happened. He does not give the date when his brother was released at the Falls of the Ohio, which is today the site of Louisville, Kentucky. The actual date of the capture of the Bledsoe boy is given in a letter written by Col. Arthur Campbell to Governor Patrick Henry, dated 25th April, 1781, (1) a few days after the actual happening, wherein he says:

The Northward (Shawnee) Indians have been troubling the people very much this spring, in small parties; killing and captivating and wounding. They come up Sandy River generally, and on the last occasion, penetrated as far as the settlement on Holston, carrying off a son of Captain Bledsoe's.

Abraham Bledsoe settle don the upper part of Reedy Creek in the year 1772, according to his land survey, but was certainly in the area earlier than this date, for on February 14th, 1770, he was appointed by the Court of Botetourt Co., VA, "Constable in the precinct he lived in upon Reed Creek." He later (after 1772), moved to Moccasin Creek of the North Fork of Holston, where he died near Moccasin Gap in the summer of 1801. His wife was named Catherine, and among his children were: Thomas Bledsoe, born in North Carolina in 1760, and who married on 6 November 1787; Margaret Eakin; Abraham Bledsoe, Jr., and he was perhaps the one who was captured by the Indians; three daughters, Thely who married James Eakin, brother of Margaret who married Thomas Bledsoe; Hetty Bittle and Polly Bledsoe.

(1) Calendar VA State Papers, Vol. II, page 72



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