{John} Roberts Suffers From Indians

     The same John Roberts who, along with his family, was massacred by Chief Logan on September 29, 1774 had brothers William, Henry and David, and a sister, Rachael, who had married a Mr. Anderson. These brothers and sister lived in the same vicinity as John Roberts, just across the line from Gate City in Sullivan County, Tennessee. John Anderson, a son of Rachael Roberts Anderson left an unpublished memoir relating the sufferings of his relatives by the Indians. In this memoir he relates the incidents of the attack by the Indians on the home of his Uncle Henry Roberts, and the killing of another Uncle David Roberts' thusly:
     "In the year of 1778, the Indians from the north side of the Ohio paid us another visit. In the summer of that year on a certain morning about daybreak Henry Roberts and his family were attacked by a small number of Indians. They attempted to break in the house by force. Henry Roberts being a brave, resolute man, and an old soldier of great experience, fought like a hero and prevented them from getting into the house during the contest which was perhaps upwards of one hour. He had a small axe in his house and aimed to strike one of the Indians out of a window, but the handle of the axe being short he could not reach him. During the shuffle another Indian, from the corner of the house, shot Roberts in the neck and he fell back in the house. He had two daughters, who were young women, and when they saw him fall they broke out of the house and ran through a cornfield that was near the house. After they had run through the field several times one of the girls was caught by the Indians. The other ran back to the house and entered by which time Henry Roberts had gotten up from the floor. He had bled considerable, but the shot he received did not appear to injure him too much.
     Roberts had a mill not far distant from his house and he concluded to take his wife and the balance of his family, that he had yet, and go into the mill. He accordingly did. During the time he was in the mill with his family several people came to the mill, among whom was an old man McNeal and two girls. Henry Roberts informed them to push off with all speed for there was Indians about. They went off as fast as they could, but the Indians saw them and pursued them upwards of two miles, overtaking them and killing Mr. McNeal, but the two girls got home safe."
     The "Old Man McNeal" whom Anderson says was killed, was Archibald McNeal, and the Court of Washington County, Virginia, on the 19th of November 1778, ordered Joseph Kincaid, James Brigham, Benjamin and John Looney to appraise the estate of Archibald McNeal, deceased. Inventory and appraisal of the estate recorded June 16, 1779.
     John Anderson continues his narrative:
     "Among many others that went to the mill that morning was a certain old Mr. McMillian, who lived within a half a mile of the author of these remarks. The Indians took him prisoner, and the young woman above mentioned (Henry Roberts' daughter) and conveyed them home to the Shawnee Towns.
     The said Mr. McMillian continued to live with the Indians for a space of five years, during which time he experienced many hardships. The young woman taken never returned. She died in that savage country."
     The Mr. McMillian referred to above was probably William McMillian, whose wife was Mary, and who owned 400 acres of land on Beaver Creek, where he had settled in 1773.
     John Anderson continues to say that, "Henry Roberts had a brother that was on his way to his house that morning and was also killed by the Indians near the home of Henry Roberts."
     This brother was David Roberts whose will was probated in Washington County, Virginia Court, February 16, 1779. In the will he leaves his estate to his daughter, Sarah Roberts, and on March 16, 1779, Susanna Roberts, widow of David, renounces her husband's will and claims her right of dower.


 
 

 
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