Skirmish at Fort Dayton
by James Morrison Jr.
|James Morrison Jr.,
portraying Captain Demuth
The following was kindly submitted by its author, James F. Morrison, Jr.. This article first appeared in The Patriot, January 22, 1975,
on page 6. Mr. Morrison continues to be active in the Third Regiment, Tyron County Militia;
currently holding his position as Colonel Morrison.
Early in the morning of October 29, 1780, Nicholas
Herter left Fort Dayton to go and care for his cattle. Later that
day when Herter didn't return, Captain Hannes Marcus Demuth with
Sergeant John Deavy, Privates John Demuth, George Dockstader, Adam
Hartman, Frederick Riegle, Jacob Widrig and 24 other men from his
company, went in search of Herter and for signs of a possible raiding
party of the enemy.
After marching about a mile,
Hartman in advance spotted an Indian and fired. The Indian fell to
the ground and a Tory near him fired at Hartman. He was hit in the
shoulder and the air was now filled with smoke and whizzing musket
balls. Captain Demuth was wounded in the left arm and John Demuth
was also wounded. Sergeant Deavy was killed and Dockstader, Riegle,
Widrig, Captain Demuth and Herter (who had been taken as a prisoner
earlier), were made prisoners and taken to Fort Niagara. Hartman,
Demuth and the rest of Captain Demuth's Company safely retreated to Fort
Hartman and Demuth were under Surgeon William
Petry's care for three months. After their wounds had healed they
enlisted in new companies in Colonel Peter Bellinger's Regiment of Tryon
County Militia, (Fourth Regiment).
Jacob Widrig was sold
by the Indians to a British officer at Fort Niagara where he acted as a
waiter to the officer until he was released on May 21, 1783. George
Dockstader was released January 6, 1782 and Frederick Riegle obtained
freedom on November 22, 1782.