Original Document
Original Document
Description of the Kittanning Raid, 1757.

PHILADELPHIA, September 23.

Saturday last arrived an Express from Colonel ARMSTRONG, of Cumberland County, with Advice, that he marched from Fort Shirley on the 30th past, with about 300 of our Provincial Forces, on an Expedition against Kittanning, a Town of our Indian Enemies, on the Ohio, about 25 Miles above Fort Duquesne. On the 3d Instant he joined the advanced Party at the Beaver Dams, near Franks Town; and on the Seventh in the Evening, being within six Miles of Kittanning, the Scouts discovered a Fire in the Road, and reported that there were but three, or at most four, Indians at it. It was not thought proper to attempt surprizing those Indians at that Time, lest if one should escape the Town might be alarmed; so Lieutenant Hogg, with twelve Men, was left to watch them, with Orders not to fall upon them till Day break; and our Forces turned out of the Path, to pass by their Fire without disturbing them.

About Three in the Morning, having been guided by the Whooping of the Indian Warriors at a Dance in the Town, they reached the River, 100 Perches below the Body of the Town, near a Corn Field, in which a Number of the Enemy lodged out of their Cabbins, as it was a warm Night. As soon as Day appeared, and the Town could be seen, the Attack began in the Corn Field, through which our People charged, killing several of the Enemy, and entered the Town. Captain Jacobs, Chief of the Indians, gave the War Whoop, and defended his House bravely through Loopholes in the Logs. And the Indians general refusing Quarter, which were offered them, declaring they were Men, and would not be Prisoners, Colonel Armstrong, (who now received a Wound in his Shoulder by a Musket Ball) ordered their Houses to be set on Fire over their Heads, which was immediately done by the Officers and Soldiers with great Activity. When the Indians were told they would be burnt if they did not surrender, one of them reply, he did not care, as he could kill four or five before he died; and as the Heat approached, some began to sing. - Some however burst out of the Houses, and attempted to reach the River, but were instantly shot down. - Captain Jacobs, in getting out of a Window, was shot, and scalped, as also his Squaw, and a Lad, called the KingSon. The Indians had a Number of spare Arms in their Houses, loaded, which went off in quick Succession as the Fire came to them; and Quantities of Gunpowder which had been stored in every House blew up from time to time, throwing some of their Bodies a great Height into the Air.

A Body of the Enemy, on the opposite Side of the River, fired on our People, and being seen to cross the River at a Distance, as if to surround our Men, they collected some Indian Horses that were near the Town, to carry off the Wounded, and then retreated, without going back to the Corn Field to pick up the Scalps of those killed there in the Beginning of the Action. Several of the Enemy were also killed in the River as they attempted to escape by fording it: And it was computed that in all between Thirty and Forty were destroyed, though we brought off but 12 scalps. -Eleven English Prisoners were released, and brought away; who informed the colonel, that besides the Powder (of which the Indians boasted they had enough for ten Years War with the English) there was a great Quantity of Goods burnt, which the French had made them a Present of but ten Days before. The Prisoners also informed, That very Day, two Battoes of Frenchmen, with a large Party of Delaware and French Indians, were to have joined Captain Jacobs, to march and take Fort Shirley; and that 24 Warriors had set out before them the preceding Evening; - which proved to be the Party that had kindled the Fire the Night before; For our People returning, Lieutenant Hogg wounded in three Places, and learnt that he had in the Morning attacked the supposed Party of 3 or 4 at the Fire, according to Order, but found them too numerous for him. He killed three of them however at the first fire, and fought them an Hour, when having lost three of his best Men, the rest, as he lay wounded abandoned him and fled, the Enemy pursuing them.- Lieutenant Hogg died soon after of his Wounds.- Captain Mercer, being wounded in the action, was carted off by his Ensign and eleven Men, who left the main Body in their Return, to take another Road, and were not come in when the Express came away. He had four of the recovered Prisoners with him, and some of the Scalps. It is feared he may be intercepted.

On the Whole, it is allowed to be the greatest Blow the Indians have received since the War began, and if well followed, may soon make them weary of continuing it. The Conduct of Colonel Armstrong in marching so large a Body through the Enemy Country, and coming so close to the Town, without being discovered, is deservedly admired and applauded; as well as the Bravery of both Officers and Men in the Action. And we hope their Example may have all the good Effects that are naturally to be expected from it.

Credit: Samuel Hazard, ed., The Register of Pennsylvania, vol.1, (Philadelphia, 1828), 366.
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