Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Battle of Point Pleasant: A Memorial Day Tribute To My Ancestor, John Frogge, Jr.

In 1774, the Ohio Valley indians were trying to drive back the white invaders from their hunting grounds and the Virginians were seeking only to protect their settlements from the rifle, tomahawk and scalping knife. The call for volunteers went out. John Frogge, Jr. had a young pregnant wife and a three-year-old child at home and hesitated to enlist, but wanting to join his cousins, neighbors and fellow countrymen for their retribution against the Indians, he told his wife that he would only provide an escort for the militia and would return prior to the engagement. He told her that he would only act as a sutler behind enemy lines, providing them with provisions such as blankets and food. So, after organizing, the men marched to Point Pleasant, Ohio. What they did not realize was that the Indians were watching them. After dark on the evening of October 9, the Shawnee, led by chief Cornstalk, crossed the Ohio River and were ready to surprise the Virginians at daybreak...except for one unseen event.

In the early morning hours of October 10, 1774, two soldiers had left camp to hunt deer when they found themselves surrounded by the indians. One of the soldiers was killed. The other managed to escape and ran back to warn the others. The 300-man army suddenly found themselves standing face to face with the entire united force of the enemy, Ohio indians. The battle lasted all day. Just before sunset, the Shawnees mistook a group of reinforcements as fresh troops and fled across the Ohio River and back to their villages. Even though they were greatly outnumbered, the Virginians had managed to win the fight, but the battle had claimed the lives of many men, including John Frogge, Jr., who did not have time to return to his family as he had promised he would.

On the morning of the battle, John Frogge, Jr.'s three-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, was sleeping at the family's home in Staunton, Virginia, when suddenly she awoke screaming that the Indians were killing her father. She was quieted by her mother and again went to sleep, only to wake up screaming not once but twice more repeating what she had said earlier, that the Indians were killing her father. After the third time, the girls mother believed it was a sign that her husband had been scalped by the Indians. Her cries drew together her neighbors and soon all of Staunton was in a state of commotion. Soon...all of Staunton would know that the little girls dream was real.

John Frogge, Jr. was my 5th great uncle on my mom's side.


2 comments:

  1. You have shared such a wealth of information. I have no idea where you found much of it, but thank you for putting it out there for those many others of us who share the Frogge and Strother lineage. John Frogge Jr was my 6th great uncle.

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  2. A great place to study the Frogge line is here: http://wmstrother.org/

    ReplyDelete

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