Ancestor Series

Revolutionary War Experiences Of Richard Rue
by Charles W. Marck

Richard Rue was born 1760, in Kent Co. MD. Orphaned before he was 10 years old, he was taken in by his brother-in-law, and distant cousin, Edward Holman. In 1774, Edward Holman took his family, Richard Rue, and a 12-year-old cousin, George Holman to Monongahela Co. Pennsylvania.

Here, at the headwaters of the Ohio River, they obtained a flat boat, and the necessities to become Kentucky pioneers. In the spring of 1776, they descended the Ohio to the mouth of the Kentucky River. The flatboats were heavy craft, with "musket-proof" thick hardwood gunwales. They were meant to go  one-way, downstream.  But, with 2-3 men armed with muskets  aboard they were no easy prey for Indians in the canoes, in the middle of the Ohio.

They found an abandoned field at the mouth of the Kentucky. A man named Robert Elliot, had attempted settling there, but was run off by Indian attack. One man being killed, and two boys taken captive. The Edward Holman party planted the field in corn, but shortly recognized the folly of trying to settle on the Ohio. They moved on to McLennan's Station, where they put in a crop, and moved on in the fall to Harrodsburgh, where they spent the winter with friends from Monongahela.

In the maple-tapping season of February 1777, a sugar-boiling crew of brothers, James Ray and William Ray, and two hired hands were making sugar, and doing some other  work  for Hugh McGary  at  Shawnee

Springs, some 4 miles from Ft. Harrod.  They were attacked, William Ray killed, Thomas Shores, a worker, was taken prisoner. James Ray escaped to sound the alarm at Ft. Harrod.

Edward Holman's party, and all outlying farm families took refuge in the Fort. All men capable of soldiering and handling a weapon were formed into a Company. George Rogers Clark, then acting as major Clark, was in command. James Harrod was Captain, Levi Todd was Lieutenant. Francis McConnell was Ensign. Edward Holman was First Sergeant. Seventeen-year-old Richard Rue, and fifteen-year-old George Holman were Privates, in their first battle. The next day after the attack on the sugar-boilers, the Indians attached Ft. Harrod. The newly formed Company withstood the first siege, apparently without major casualty.

A month later, the siege was renewed. Ensign Francis McConnell and Private Garrett Pentagrass were killed. Two men were taken prisoner, and many wounded, including Hugh McGary. Richard Rue and George Holman had been in their 2nd battle.

In the spring of 1778, General George Rogers Clark set his Illinois Campaign in motion. He called for volunteers from Ft. Harrod to join him at the Falls of the
Ohio. About eighty men reported to General Clark, including Richard Rue, who was under command of Levi Todd.

Clark's men descended the Ohio in June 1778, landing a little above Massac Creek on the Illinois shore. They took up the march the following morning for Kaskaskia, on the Mississippi River. It was a hard six-day march. They reached the British Fort around midnight, and quickly took the magazine and arsenal; "before the alarm was given" Clark's men occupied Kaskaskia for some time. Richard Rue and some of the men, under Colonel Lynn, were ordered to take the boats, loaded with provisions and ammunition from Kaskaskia back to the Falls of the Ohio in the low water season of late Summer, or early Fall. No small task, even with little current in opposition. It meant poling, winching from trees, or physically pulling rope as the situation dictated.

After reaching the Falls, Richard Rue returned to Harrodsburgh, and was in the Battle of Bowman's corncrib, under Colonel John Bowman. George Holman had been scouting and meat hunting for Ft. Harrod. In 1779, Richard Rue had returned to Militia duty at the Falls of the Ohio. Colonel John Bowman planned to attack the Shawnee at Chillicothe, on the Little Miami in the Ohio Country. He called on the Militia at the Falls, and Richard Rue volunteered. The marched up the Kentucky side to the mouth of the Licking River, across from present day Cincinnati. They were joined by Militia detachments from Harrodsburgh, and Boonesborough.

Timing for the attack was perfect, but dumb luck. Most all of the braves from Chillicothe were at a large council at Wepatomica. The 264 Kentuckians poor intelligence had probably not informed them that
Chillicothe's strength was about 1,000 braves. The Kentuckians crossed the Ohio, and marched up the Little Miami Valley. On the 2nd night they sighted Chillicothe. There were enough warriors in the town to fight a hard battle. Some huts were burned, but without cannon, the Kentuckians were unable to accomplish much. Col. Bowman called retreat about 10pm, and headed south, having lost 9 men. 18 miles south some warriors caught up with Bowman, and another battle ensued.

Shortly after the failed raid by Colonel Bowman, Gen. George Rogers Clark led an expedition against
Chillicothe, and Piqua on the Mad River, with 970 men and a 6-pound brass cannon. Richard Rue, again, volunteered. Hugh McGary's Company was meat hunting in the Ohio Country for the Regiment. They were attacked and lost 10 men. Clark's Regiment was short of food during the Piqua Campaign. The battle line at Chillicothe was over a mile long. And the fight raged for 3 hours. General Clark's men took Chillicothe, and destroyed the Town, and burnt the corn. The next day, they attacked Piqua, destroyed the corn and huts. Clark's strategy at Piqua was charge, fire from behind a tree, reload, charge, etc. They lost 14 men at Piqua. They had marched some 70 miles North of Ohio. The Militia from the Falls of the Ohio was back at the Falls by August of 1780. The Piqua Campaign was a hard 25 days.

In February of 1780, a Wagoner, Evan Hinton was assigned to drive a load of barrels, used to salt and store meat, from the Falls of the Ohio to Boone's Station. George Holman and Richard Rue were assigned to escorts. There was a wet snow, and to keep their muskets reliable, the two soldiers periodically fired and reloaded.

The wagon party found itself in trouble about 8 miles from the Falls (now Louisville, KY). Thirteen Shawnee and Wyandot, let by Simon Girty had the trio surrounded. The trio was taken up the Great Miami Valley to the Mad River Valley, with Girty and his band showing off their prisoners at the many villages in the valleys. At some point, Evan Hinton escaped. He had a family in Kentucky, and the need to be a father and husband overcame all else. He was recaptured, brought back, and burned at the state before the eyes of his Compatriots. He was still alive when Girty brought the prisoners to the notorious Shawnee town, Wapatomica (near the present village of Zanesfield, Ohio). A letter from Alexander McKee, British Loyalist, to Major Depeyster, British Commandant at Ft. Detroit, describes Girty and his bank of
Shawnee and Wyandot bringing three young male prisoners from a Kentucky raid to Wapatomica, in March of 1781, while McKee was there.

How many times the young men were forced to run the gauntlet is not recorded. But, it was great sport at Wapatomica and other Shawnee towns. Their captivity would last some three years.

George Holman and Richard Rue eventually were taken to the big Shawnee town of Wapakoneta (at the site of the Ohio City of the same name). Chief Logan's family lived at Wapakoneta. Logan had recently been killed in the fall of 1781. Draper's Manuscript, J36, P171 is a letter from George Holman's son, Joseph to Lyman C. Draper,
24 Sep 1869. The letter relates how Chief Logan's family adopts George Holman to replace Logan. The major influence came from Logan's widow and family. According to the letter to Draper, the adoption kept George Homan from being burnet at the stake.

A John Zinn, who was captured during the raids of Ruddle's and Martin's Stations in
Kentucky, June 1780, made a Revolutionary War Pension application illuminating the return of Richard Rue to Kentucky. Zinn said after the War, he and 17 other released captives met on the upper Allegheny River in Pennsylvania, in June 1783.

He tells of being held as more-or-less a slave at Ft. Detroit. Apparently, being released at the end of the War, the Kentuckians went across northern Ohio, rather than trying to head straight Sought Through hostile territory.


On the Allegheny, the released men made bark canoes, and descended the Allegheny to
Pittsburgh. He says that with Richard Rue, Benjamin Cottingkon, Thomas McGuire, and Ransom Tinsley, on 28 June 1784 they started down the Ohio, once again it would take some time to get a flatboat built, and get whatever gear they needed to descend the Ohio River in the 1780's. So it appears at least John Zinn was in Pittsburgh area for about a year.

John Zinn says they landed at Limestone (now Maysville, KY) and went overland to
Lexington, arriving 14 August 1784. Thus, the trip from Pittsburgh to Lexington, KY took about 2 months.


After returning home, both George Holman and Richard Rue served under General Clark in Indian Wars in
Indiana and Ohio in 1784. George Holman and Richard Rue are in Captive Cave Johnson's Co in 1786, and Richard Rue in Capt. William Steele's Company later in 1786.

George Holman and Richards Rue entered land in now Wayne Co., Indiana in 1805. They were visited there by their former captors. The letter form Joseph Holman to L.C. draper, Draper's Mss J36, P171. . . suggests that the esteem in which the Indians had held Chief Logan had transferred to the adopted surrogate, George Holman. "Meeting they would cry out in full tone 'Muche he, Logan, Chief Logan' and shake hands heartily"

Wapatomica is now an undeveloped property of the Ohio Historical Society, in Logan Co.,
Ohio. The Piqua Village and Battle Site is now the George Rogers Clark Historical Park, 4 miles West of Springfield, Ohio.

Richard Rue was my Gr4Grandfather.
 

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The Order of Indian Wars of the United States