was written in 1854, by Captain John Carr, to Dr. Lyman C. Draper. John
Carr was a son of William and Hannah Carr and was born on Carr's Creek
in Russell County in 1773. It was for them that the creek was named.
father, William Carr (sometimes spelled Kerr) died on Carr's Creek
to November 18, 1778 and his widowed mother sometime in the 1780's
with her children to the Cumberland settlement in Tennessee.
This family of
were sheltering in Moore's Fort in 1774, for Hannah Carr was one of the
women who went out from the fort with Rebecca, wife of Daniel Boone and
one of Boone's daughters to shoot off their rifles like Indians to
the men who had become indolent and careless in defending the fort,
ran into the fort and closed the gates, leaving the careless men
The Carrs were sheltering in Houston's Fort in 1776, when the Indians
Samuel Cowan and attacked the fort. John says that he recalls his
holding him up to a port hole to see the Indians firing on the fort. At
that time he would have been a three year old boy. In the story written
to Draper, he says:
on the head of Big Moccasin with some 15 or 20 families from Houston's
Fort. The Indians became so troublesome that he built a new fort; it
called Tate's Fort, where we stayed in the summer and returned home in
the winter. (Note: This was the home of John Tate). There was a fort
8 or 10 miles from ours, on the water of Clinch River, called Dales
owned by Abraham Dale. (This was Glade Hollow Fort). A circumstance
place there that is worth relating. There was a man by the name of
who lived in that fort, and had a wife and child. He was a brother of
big Crabtree of Boonesboro.
at Boonesboro. He was the active man in all the country. He was like
among the people.
He went out
one day and as he returned about the middle of the evening, at a place
called Elk Garden about 3 miles from the fort, the Indians lay in
by the path. They shot his mare out from under him and never touched
Before he could get clear of his horse, they sprang upon him like
took him a prisoner, and tied his elbows, back. They appeared to be
elated at their prize. They viewed him from head to foot, and the
man would come and stand by him.
untied him, stripped him, viewed him again, felt his limbs, patted him
on the back, and told him he should have a squaw when they got home.
put on his clothes again, tied him and two of them came to scuffle with
him. He said he soon discovered that if his hands were loose, he could
handle both of them. He said he became so taken with his new
that had it not been for his wife and child, he would have gone with
but when he thought of them he resolved to make his escape the first
shoats and skinned part of his mare, and made preparations for a great
supper. When the supper was ready, they invited him up to eat. He said
he partook with them without either bread or salt. When bedtime came
they laid him down and tied his feet, guarding him securely all the
The next morning they had early breakfast and started on toward the
He said he knew their intention was to take the fort, there being some
25 or 30 of them. He said no human being could describe his feelings,
think his wife and child were to be murdered and he there a captive.
They went on
a point on a ridge where they could overlook the fort, it being in a
about three quarters of a mile off. There they stopped and the chief
his men a talk and they kept pointing to the fort. He knew they could
it, for the men were careless; the gate would be open, and the men
At length the
laid him down, tied his feet together, left a couple of boys, with one
gun, to guard him. They had not gone far before one of the Indians came
running back and took the gun, which was a very fine looking gun, from
the boys, and gave them a small shot-gun. He said that did him good,
he was determined to make an effort to effect his escape. They had not
stopped far from the path that led out from the fort, the Indians had
more than got out of sight, when as Providence would have it, a man
riding along, either going to or from the fort.
discovered him, although the man was unaware of them. They immediately
commenced untying his feet and motioned to him that they must go
The moment he was on his feet, his hands loose and his elbows tied
him, he sprang to the boy that had the gun, jerked it out of his hands,
broke it over his head and knocked him down. He kicked the other boy
over head, gave him a stamp, and then started at the top of his speed
get to the fort before the Indians. He was very swift and succeeded in
getting there, though tied.
it very strange of him staying out at night. He speedily told them
in the fort) the circumstances. He was untied, the men collected in,
fort closed, and every arrangement made for their defense.
the Indian boys ran and overtook the company, and they lost their great
prize, for no attack was made upon the fort. It was ever viewed as an
of Providence, for if Crabtree had not been taken prisoner, there was
doubt the fort would have been taken. Crabtree was a man of great
and it would amuse anyone to hear him tell about the evening and night
spent with his new acquaintances.