General Joseph Martin Chapter
Cumberland Gap, TN
Cumberland Gap Patriot
William Crawford, leader of the Sandusky Expedition,
one of the last
expeditions during the Revolutionary war, was born in Orange county
Virginia in 1732.
In 1747, Crawford became a surveyor at age 17, and did surveying jobs
with George Washington. In 1760, Crawford and Washington did a survey
job in the area around Point Pleasant, West Virginia, the scene of a
battle in 1774 that many consider the first battle of the American
During the French and Indian War, Crawford and Washington fought
together in the same regiment. Crawford and Washington were at the
Battle of the Monongahela together where Washington had his overcoat
shot to shreds trying to save his men from the Indian massacre taking
place. At the end of the French and Indian war, Crawford joined a
British expedition against the war chief Pontiac during the Pontiac
Rebellion in 1763.
During the Lord Dunmore's war in 1774, Several Virginia militias
were sent to Ohio to fight the Indians in retaliation for their raids
upon Virginia settlers. Crawford led one expedition against the Mingo
tribe, where he burned two villages. On November 5, 1774, another
Virginia militia group wrote and signed the what is considered the first
Declaration of Independence from England at Fort Gowen located near
Hockingsport Ohio on the Hocking River.
On October 11, 1776, Crawford joined the Virginia 7th regiment. While
in this regiment, Crawford fought at Long Island, Trenton, Princeton.
In 1777, Crawford led scouting expeditions during the Battles of
Brandywine and Germantown.
In 1778, Crawford was transferred to Fort Pitt. While at Fort Pitt,
Crawford witnessed the Treaty of Fort Pitt, an alliance treaty with the
Delaware Indians. This treaty ended in bloodshed when in 1779,
frontiersmen killed the Delaware Chief White Eyes. The Delaware soon
joined an alliance with the British after this event..
Crawford retired from the army in 1781, but was soon called back
into service to lead an expedition of 500 men against the Sandusky
Indians in Ohio in 1782. The Sandusky expedition was made up of two
battles, Battle of Sandusky Island and the Battle of Olentangy. At the
battle of Sandusky Island on June 4-5, 1782, Crawford is outflanked by
the Indians and forced to retreat. Crawford leads 250 men with him,
while another officer leads the other men to an abandoned Wyandotte
village where they fight the battle of Olentangy.
Crawford and his men are captured by the Delaware on June 7th 1782.
Four days later on June 11, 1782, Crawford and 11 other soldiers are
burned to death at the stake at Tymotchee creek Ohio in retaliation of
the Gnadenhatten Massacre that occurred in March 1782 when a
Pennsylvania militia massacred a group of Delaware Indians at a
settlement in Ohio by placing them in buildings and setting them on
fire. Crawford was not apart of this expedition, but he paid with his
life for the misdeeds of others.
In July 1782, over 1000 Ohio Indians met at Wakatomica Ohio,
located near Dresden Ohio, to discuss attacking Kentucky settlements in
retaliation of the Sandusky expedition. Only the news that George
Rogers Clark had arrived in Kentucky with Virginia militiamen stopped
this invasion. In November 1782, Clark led an expedition into Ohio, and
burned several Shawnee villages in retaliation for their raids into
Kentucky and for the massacre of Crawford and his men.
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