One Mitchell Killed on the Wilderness Road

One Mitchell Killed on the Wilderness Road

By Emory L. Hamilton

From the unpublished manuscript, Indian Atrocities Along the Clinch, Powell and Holston Rivers, page 22.

While this incident did not take place in Virginia, it does point up the fact of the abrupt evacuation of Powell Valley in June of 1776, just prior to the outbreak of the Cherokee War.

In an interview with the Rev. John D. Shane (Draper Mss 13 CC 140) Jessee Graddy, who moved from the Virginia frontier to Kentucky, tells the following story:

One Mitchell was the first that I know killed by the Indians on the Wilderness road. That was in 1776. When they got back to the first Station (Martin’s Station) in Powell’s Valley, in June 1776, they found the place all deserted and everything standing, even the milk pails on the stumps, as if they had been abruptly forsaken. Mitchell was killed just on this side (Kentucky) of the Cumberland Mountain. (1)

It is not known who this "one Mitchell" was. One James Mitchell served at Big Crab Orchard Fort (also called Maxwell’s Mills) under Captain Daniel Smith in 1774. (2)

(1) Draper MSS 13 CC 140
(2) Draper Mss 9 DD 2

This file contributed by: Rhonda Robertson

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