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[353] ‘their villages were agreeably situated; their houses
chap. XV.} 1760.
neatly built; there were every where astonishing magazines of corn, which were all consumed.’ The surprise was in every town almost equal, for the whole was the work of a few hours; the Indians had no time to save even what they valued most; but left for the pillagers money and watches, wampum and skins. From sixty to eighty Cherokees were killed; forty, chiefly women and children, were made prisoners. Those who escaped could live only on horseflesh and wild roots,1 or must fly over the mountains.

Resting at Fort Prince George, Montgomery sent Tiftoe and the Old Warrior of Estatoe through the Upper and Middle Town, to summon their head men to treat of peace, or all the towns in the Upper Nation should be reduced to ashes.2 But the chiefs of the Cherokees gave no heed to the peremptory message; and the British army prepared to pass the barriers of the Alleghany.

From the valley of Keowee, Montgomery, on the twenty-fourth day of June, 1760, began his march, and at night encamped at the old town of Oconnee. The next day he passed from the vale of the Seneca River over the Oconnee Mountain, and encamped at the War-Woman's Creek. On the twenty-sixth, he crossed the Blue Mountains from the head spring of the Savannah to the vale of the Little Tennessee, and made his encampment at the deserted town of Stecoe. The Royal Scots and Highlanders trod the rugged defiles, which were as dangerous as men had ever penetrated, with fearless alacrity, and seemed refreshed by coming into the presence of mountains.

1 Timberlake on the Cherokees.

2 Virginia Gazette, 496, 2, 1.

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