Dorton, one of the earliest pioneers to come through the Gap. He
served in a volunteer company in the Powell valley region making safe
for other settlers to pass through the Gap.
born on March 19, 1750. In 1773, Dorton moved to Russell count VA
making him one of the first settlers to move there. In the spring of
1776, Shawnee and Cherokee Indians went on the warpath attacking
caravans of new settlers coming into the Cumberland Gap region. Col.
William Campbell ordered a volunteer company be formed to fight the
Indian threat. Dorton joined this volunteer company under the command
of Captain Brickly and traveled to the Powell valley region. Dorton
remained in Powell valley fighting Indians from March- August 1776.
year 1777, Dorton would spend most of his time fighting Indians again.
In April 1777, Indians started attacking settlements in western Va.
1777 would become the worst year for attacks in Southwest VA and along
the Kentucky frontier. During the months of June- august 1777; Dorton
fought Indians along the Holston River near Kingsport TN.
1, 1780, Dorton joined a group of volunteers who fought along who the
Sc militia at Hunts Bluff near Cheraw Sc. Here Major Thomas, Patriot
commander attacked a British Flotilla on the Pee Dee river
transporting Troops to Camden. Thomas captured 100 British troops and
several supply barges.
October 7, 1780, Dorton participated in the battle of Kings Mountain.
Here Ferguson the British commander was killed. Kings Mountain would
become a turning point in the Southern campaign of the revolutionary
December 20, 1780 Dorton was part of Nathaniel Greene’s militia at
Cheraw Sc. Greene wrote Congress a letter saying “He had only a Shadow
of an army who had no weapons or winter clothing.” What Greene was
referring to was that several hundred of the militia had no weapons of
any kind and no winter clothes for the rough winter ahead.
region would play an important part during the Civil war as well. On
January 3, 1865, the 64th Illinois Regiment marched through
Cheraw after their victories at Salkahatchee and Cambahee Ferry.
January 17, 1781, Dorton participated in the battle of Cowpens. Here
Tarleton, the British commander was defeated. It was the first battle
that the Continental army would defeat a British army in the Southern
campaign. Cowpens was another link in the chain of defeats for the
15, 1781, Dorton participated in the battle of Guilford courthouse.
Here Greene nearly won the battle killing or wounding over one fourth
of Cornwallis’s British troops. British Whig Party leader, Charles fox
stated in Parliament after hearing of the British losses,” Another
such victory would ruin the British Army.
Dorton was transferred back to Rock Station Fort in Russell County,
the only fort to remain open during the entire Revolutionary war in
Southwest VA, to fight Indians. Later that year he met Mary Johnson
and was married.
Dorton moved his family through the Cumberland Gap to Floyd county KY
where applied for a Pension. In 1847 at the age of 93 Dorton died and
was buried near his home place.
region Dorton lived in Floyd County would late become Pike county Ky.
During the Civil war, descendents of Dorton fought on both sides. Pike
county KY would suffer greatly during the Civil war with over 30
skirmishes within their county lines.