Dale Carter Killed At Blackmore's Fort

By Emory L. Hamilton

From the unpublished manuscript, Indian Atrocities Along the Clinch, Powell and Holston Rivers, pages 18-19.

On the same day that Colonel Shelby's Negro girl was captured, Logan, who must have split his raiding party, sending one part against Ft. Blackmore which secretly approached the fort and got within 75 yards before being discovered. Most of the men were sitting upon some logs which lay a short distance from the gate. Evidently seeing this the Indians decided to make a bold push and enter the fort before the men could recover from their surprise. Creeping along the river bank, hidden by the bank and a fringe of brush and trees, they were just ready to push into the fort when they were discovered by Dale Carter, who was about fifty-five steps from the fort and who cried, "Murder! Murder!"

Upon hearing Carter's alarm, the men ran towards the fort and succeeded in reaching the gate before the Indians. Frustrated in their designs of entering the fort they turned upon Dale Carter. One Indian shot at him, but missed him; another shot him through the thigh, inflicting a wound which rendered him too lame to escape into the fort. Another Indian ran up to Carter, tomahawked and scalped him.

In a letter (1) dated October 12, 1774, from Major Arthur Campbell to Col. William Preston, he says:

It is remarkable that Captain Shelby's wench was taken the same day, and about the same time of day, that this affair happened on Clinch. So many attacks in so short a time, give the inhabitants very alarming apprehensions. Want of ammunition and scarcity of provisions are again become the general cry. Since I began this, I am mortified with the sight of a family flying by. If ammunition does not soon come, I will have no argument that will have any force to detain them; and if our army is not able to keep a garrison at the Falls (Louisville) the ensuing winter, I expect we shall be troubled with similar visits the greater part of the coming season.

At a court held for Washington County, on March 18, 1778, Thomas Carter, brother of Dale, was appointed Administrator of his estate, with Richard Stanton and William Houston as his securities. The estate was appraised by Archibald Scott, Joseph Butcher, John Carter (another brother) and Richard Stanton.

The Carter brothers, John, Thomas, and Dale, had settled on the north side of Clinch river, near Blackmore's Fort about 1772. Their land grants were surveyed for them and entered in the Fincastle Survey Book on March 26, 1774.

Dale Carter was born August 9, 1744, and was married to Mary Ann Bickley, daughter of John Bickley of Red Hill, Amherst County, VA and a sister of Charles Bickley who settled in Castlewood. There is a tradition that young Charles Bickley (1759-1839) came to the frontier to escort his widowed sister back to Amherst County, but liked the country and decided to stay. There is no evidence o f his being on the frontier prior to this date and 15 years would have been a tender age for a boy to settle at a frontier outpost without family ties. Dale Carter was a son of Charles and Lucy Morgan Carter and a direct descendant of Captain Thomas Carter (1672-1733) perhaps the first of the line in Virginia.

Capt. Daniel Smith with 26 men went in pursuit of Indians who killed Carter (Arthur Campbell to Preston, October 12, 1774, Draper Mss 3 QQ 18). The next day October 13, 1774, Daniel Smith wrote Preston of their unsuccessful pursuit of Indians and mentions petition of lower settlers that Boone be appointed Captain (Draper Mss 3 QQ 119).

(1) Draper Mss 3 QQ 118.

Note: See the latest information posted with the story of John Carter's Family Killed on Clinch which apparently proves that this Dale Carter was in fact not a son of Charles Sr. & Lucy Carter as is mistakenly stated above.



This file contributed by: Rhonda Robertson


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