General Joseph Martin Chapter

Cumberland Gap, TN


Cumberland Gap Patriot

John "Mill Creek" Hurst

John Hurst was born in 1735 in Orange county VA. In 1759, Hurst married Nancy Nunn and had 9 children from this union.
 In 1781, Hurst joined the Virginia militia and was stationed at Fort Pitt.
During the Revolutionary war, Fort Pitt served as the Western district Headquarters for the Continental army. Troops and supplies were gathered at Fort Pitt for the defense of the new Nation’s frontier. Fort Pitt was the supply depot for all western forts located near the forks of The Ohio River and the Alleghenies.
In 1774, Fort Pitt sent men to participate in the battle of Point Pleasant, the first battle of the Revolutionary war. The battle of Point Pleasant was part of Lord Dunmore’s war which started near Yellow Creek Pennsylvania when family members of Chief Logan were massacred by local settlers. This started Indian wars all along the Ohio River. Virginia militiamen stationed at Fort Pit would soon meet up with Chief Cornstalk of the Shawnee at the battle of Point Pleasant in West Virginia and defeat him. The Treaty of Charlotte ended Dunmore’s war causing the Shawnee to give up territory south of the Ohio which eventually led to the formation of the state of Kentucky.
 During the years of 1778-1782, Virginia militiamen would attack Indian settlements in Pennsylvania at the Indian towns of Conewego, and the Sewickley, and along the Sandusky River in Ohio. Hurst would participate in the expeditions to the Sandusky River in 1781. There they attacked the Shawnee villages burning them to the ground. For this action the Shawnee attacked and burned the town of Hannistown Pennsylvania in 1782. Hannistown is a famous town in Pennsylvania because it is where the Hannistown Resolutions, Pennsylvania’s first Declaration of Independence was signed and ratified on May 16, 1775, almost a year and two months before the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia.
   After the war in 1782, Hurst would move to Russell County Va. In 1789, Nancy his first wife would die. Later that year Hurst would marry Elizabeth Breedwell.  From this Union he would have 8 children. This made a total of 17 children Hurst would have between the two marriages. In 1803, Hurst would move to Elk’s bend located on the Powell River in Claiborne County. By 1810, his sons Thomas and Elijah moved to Claiborne County to be near their father in order to care for him. In 1817, at the age of 83, a tree fell on Hurst killing him. Hurst was buried in the Elk Bend cemetery close by. Today Hurst has thousands of Descendents living in the Claiborne county TN region and the Bell County KY region.


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