young braves, whose names were already honor-
ed in the glades of Tennessee
, could not be surrendered to death or servitude; and Oconostata resolved to rescue the hostages.
The commandant at Fort Prince George was allured to a dark thicket by the river side, and was shot by Indians in an ambush.
The garrison had reason to be incensed; but in their anger, they butchered every one of their unfortunate prisoners, and to conceal the atrocity of their crime, invented foolish falsehoods of a plan that their hostages had formed to poison the wells of the garrison.1
At the news of the massacre, the villages of which there was scarce one that did not wail for a chief, quivered with anger, like a chafed rattlesnake in the heats of midsummer.
The ‘spirits,’ said they, ‘of our murdered brothers are flying around us, screaming for vengeance.’
The mountains echoed the warsong; and the braves dashed upon the frontiers for scalps, even to the skirts of Ninety-Six.
In their attack on that fort, several of them fell.
‘We fatten our dogs with their carcasses,’ wrote Francis to Lyttleton
; ‘and display their scalps, neatly ornamented, on the tops of our bastions.’2
Yet Fort Loudoun
, on the Tennessee
, was exposed to the savages, beyond the reach of succor.3
the Cherokees obtained military stores; and, extending their alliance, they exchanged with the restless Muskohgees
the swans' wings painted with red
, and crimsoned tomahawks, that were the emblems of war.5