Thursday, August 6, 2015

When McCullough Was Killed

Map From The Lucas Journal

See Firsts blog:

The first United States soldier to be killed in the War of 1812 was Captain McCullough, killed in this battle of Brownstown, and he was scalped by an Indian before he was dead.[Source]

A short period previous to the battle [of Brownstown] one McCullough had sought and obtained the assent of the commander-in-chief that Lucas, himself, Fowler, and Stockton should accompany Major Vanhorn in the expedition upon the enemy.

The march was commenced on the following morning. Lucas and McCullough proceeded together. Near the big apple tree McCullough alighted from his horse. Capt. Barrier accompanying Lucas, they moved immediately forward. The road here forked, one leading to the right of an Indian cornfield, a little in advance, and the other to the left of it.

They took the right hand path. McCullough, on coming up, fortunately took the left hand road, in company with a servant of Major Vanhorn. They were fired upon by a party of a dozen ambushed Indians, and McCullough and another of the detachment were killed, scalped and tomahawked before relief could reach them.

This was in the rear of the main engagement. Lucas paid the last sad duties to the unfortunate travelling companion, by conveying it a short distance, placing it upon a plank, and covering it with bark all the funeral rites which the darkness and dangers of the hour would permit... . [Source]

This account characterized the group as "spies."

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