The American Revolution


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 Dayton.

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. 




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