A List of the Company of Militia Under the Command of Capt. Joseph Martin in PITTSYLVANIA CO.VA 1774
Joseph Martin, Captain; John Cunningham, Lieutenant, David Chadwell, Ensign, William Cox and John Turner, Sergeants, Robert Perryman, Clerk
Benja Dillion, Carter Dillion, Henry Dillion, Edmd Lyne, Michael Barker, John Barker, Mordicai Hoard, Henry Bradbury, Robert Searcy, John Witt(en)?, John Stamps, WILLIAM HOLLAND, THOS HOLLAND, James Short, James Spencer, John Walker, Henry Tate, Nathl Tate, Edmond Graves, Joseph Baker, John Palphrey, Humphry Posey, John Noe Senr, John Barker, Joel Barker, Chars Barker, Josiah Cox, Prier Noe, James Godard, William Dotson, Alex Jarves, Wm. Collyer, Jos Laurence, Chas Foster, John Turner Geo Reaves, Daniel Smith, Josiah Turner, Wm Turner, Josh Byrd, Richd Baker, Wm Mullins Senr, William Mullins Junr, John Mullins, Ambrose Mullis, Wm Standly Sr, Wm Standly Jur, Richd Standly, John Standly, Saml Packwood, Baine Carter, Pleasant Duke, Charles Dunkan, Wm Reed, John Goin, Richd Colliar, William Bays
The majority of information shown on these pages (other than individual contributors as noted), comes from the writings of Snyder E. Roberts, and his wife, Pauline Halburnt Roberts. The most frequently-quoted book is his Roots of Roane County, TN – 1792- , published in 1981. Also his first book, Roberts Families of Roane County, TN, published in 1969—now out of print. (Reprints of Roots available from Oliver Springs Historical Society)
The call had been directed in response to reports of British attempts to stir the Indians into active warfare against the western settlements of the Colonies. This campaign against the overhill Cherokees lasted a year and involved an extended overland trek as far west as what is now Knoxville, Tennessee. Armstead would have become knowledgeable of the Cumberland Gap and Tennessee Valley during this campaign. He served under the command of Capt James Lyon. No record of Capt Lyon's company has been found. Upon completing this campaign he joined the company of Joseph Martin (also of Pittsylvania county) in protecting the property of the Powell Valley settlers. Joseph Martin had just two years earlier attempted to start Martin's Station in the Powell Valley and had been driven out by hostile Indians. He had returned to Pittsylvania county and had been instrumental in the political campaigning to initiate the campaign against the Indians. He had left his associate John Redd in Powell Valley at Martin's station. Upon the arrival of the militia in the Holston Valley, John Redd became the sergeant major of Joseph Martin's company. Details of Martin's company actions in this campaign are available from the writings of John Redd and from the Draper Papers. Joseph Martin's orderly book from these campaigns is in the manuscript division of the Library of Congress. I provide some descriptions below to give the reader a sense for the 'action' of this campaign. [Source: The Gulf States Historical Magazine, Vol I, Sept 1902, page 141.] The opposing Indian forces were under the command of Chief Dragging Canoe. He retreated down the Tennessee rather than engage the 1,500 men under General Christian and subsequently established the Chickamaugua tribal settlement and continued in later years to oppose the white intrusion into Cherokee lands. As the Indians retreated before the militia several Indian villages were burned along the tributaries of the Tennessee River. Singled out was the village, which earlier that year, had burned a white captive alive. At one river crossing, believed to be the French Broad, the militia anticipating that the Indians would await the crossing and attack as they were in the water, Joseph Martin's company (30 men) was placed in the lead. Martin personally carried two of his ill militia across the river ford. Another 600 men were sent up river the evening before to ford the river and be prepared to attack the Indian positions. However the Indians had fled and the crossing was uneventful. As the crossing was made a tremendous uproar could be heard in a nearby wood and the militia thought that this was the Indians preparing to attack. Upon investigating it turned out to be a frightened heard of Eastern Buffalo. On another occasion two of Martin's militiamen played a practical joke on one who was exceptionally frightened of Indians. They led him away from his guard post one night with stories of a strayed horse. One of the men slipped away and discharged his weapon, the other fell as if struck dead, while the first rushed toward the unnerved man crying 'Indians!' As the two of them rushed toward the camp, the fallen trooper, rose from behind them and discharged his weapon, at which point the other conspirator fell as if dead, leaving the terrified picket to rush toward the camp alone to alert it to the 'Indian attack'. They had intended according to later testimony to stop him before he got to camp, but were unable to catch him in pursuit. The 'joke' was not amusing to Gen. Christian who had the two arrested. Martin arg ued for there release as they were good men, and eventually had to force their release at sword point. This act of insubordination damaged Martin's opportunities with the militia. General Christians order book contains the order prohibiting the firing of weapons at night which was issued in response to this incident. After the burning of the Indian Villages, the elderly chiefs of the Cherokee sued for peace and the Treaty of 1777 was signed at Long Island, Tennessee. This ceded all the northeastern lands of the Cherokee Indians to the United States. Joseph Martin was established as Indian commissioner for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and moved to Long Island, TN the following year where he lived with his Indian wife, Nancy Ward half-sister of Dragging Canoe. During the latter part of 1777, Joseph Martin, John Redd and Armstead Anderson and 80 or so militiamen were stationed at Rye Cove to guard the Powell and Clinch Valleys against Indian raids. This was a small settlement on a plateau of the Allegany mountains. Enroute they were ambushed by Indians under Little Fellow, while proceeding single file along a steep hill. One of the company was wounded by 5 or 7 balls. Later another ambush killed another militiaman. Armstead mentions an attack that killed one of his fellow militiamen. This is potentially the same incident. It is interesting to compare John Redd's relating of these stories to Armstead's. Clearly the similarity substantiate Armstead's pension testimony
1783 deed mentions lines of Roland Horslee Birks on Goblingtown Creek
1785, he sold 100 @ to Richard Collear. ( Goblintown Cr. is in Patrick
Above two parcels of land received by patent 1 Mar 1781 as recorded in
Henry County Patents, Book D, p. 715.
A look at Henry County records reveals, that the last mention of Rowland Horsely Birk and wife Sarah, is in 1785 when he sold 100 acres of land "where said Burke now lives" to Richard Collier - recorded 24 Mar 1785. Henry County became a county in 1777, formed from Pittsylvania County (formed from Halifax Co. 1767) so he could have been in Pittsylvania and just the county name changed.