Revolutionary War Experiences Of Richard
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Regiment was short of food during the Piqua Campaign. The battle
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.
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
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
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.
24 Sep 1869.
The letter relates how Chief Logan's family adopts George Holman
Logan. The major influence came from
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
June 1780, made a Revolutionary War Pension application
illuminating the return of Richard Rue to
Zinn said after the War, he and 17 other released captives met on
Allegheny River in Pennsylvania, in June 1783.
He tells of being held as more-or-less a slave at
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
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
14 August 1784.
Thus, the trip from
Pittsburgh to Lexington, KY took about 2 ½ months.
After returning home, both George Holman and Richard Rue served
under General Clark in Indian Wars in
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.,
The Piqua Village and Battle Site is now the
Rogers Clark Historical Park, 4 miles West of Springfield, Ohio.
Richard Rue was my Gr4Grandfather.
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