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tv   Book Discussion on The Heroic Age  CSPAN  September 2, 2015 7:31pm-7:44pm EDT

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revolutionary governor. it was renamed for henry. for wheeling, wheeling was considered the head of navigation on the ohio during the low water season. fort henry and wheeling would have a symbiotic relationship in that a lot of places where forts were built where there was no population, they were abandoned because they were as in. because fort henry had people was not protectedt henry wheeling and wheeling protected fort henry. that was the relationship. theidea -- it is built on sieges and the trilogy of legends. the first occurred september 1,
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1777. the frontiersman had been expecting an attack. they got word that a large scale attack was coming, and they called all their militia groups together. toitia companies together garrison the fort. of course, the indians were nobodies full when it came to warfare. they had spies out, people watching the forge and the had the belief that time spent reconnaissance -- in reconnaissance is never wasted. militiated until the was there, seven were dismissed and to left the garrison. that is when the indians decided to attack. on september 1, 1777. the fact that there was only one company left and one was sent up river to stop the indians. they had wasad -- within their nature of fighting. siege craft is not with they
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did. they were outstanding hit and d in the woods and open fighting, they were the masters of run and gun. the indians were the finest light infantry of their day. in their native forests. by contrast the militia were part-time citizen soldiers and quite poor at it. with the indians had found out over the years watching them, most of the time the militia would never stand unless they were backed by british regulars. the battle seesawed back and forth and the emotional zenith between noon and 2 p.m. that day. people who had gotten to shepherds fort had let the people know that the folks in fort henry were in dire straits. they send express riders out for help. one of the express riders went
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to a small family fort located five miles from here called fort ter.meter -- vanme thee is not a whole lot commander can do. commit occasion could travel no faster -- communication could travel no faster than a man on horseback. tothe only thing he could do bring relief to the fort, he was himself a my his brother john, and another man had the idea that what they were going to do was they were going to approach the fort and when they saw the spurns they would put the to their horses and ride down or shoot down. land like that never work out quite like you want them to. when they put the spurs to their -- sam; was a lot bit
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mccullough was a lot better mounted. national roadp with the indians and hot pursuit. sam's fortunes go from bleak to black. this is at the top of the hill where his monument is. there is another group of indians coming from the other side. he is based between two fighters. preferring a quick death, he puts the spurs to his horse and both of them go down and plan 300 feet below the creek. wheeling creek where m ccullough street is. he got away and would leap into legend. for the rather dramatic escape.
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what it meant in the larger very -- ite was a was a very serious tactical defeat. the indians had a stride there food stuff, livestock, transportation, and inflicting casualties at a rate of five to one. but the fact they had cap the , -- kept theen ohio river open. then the second siege of fort henry took place on september 11, 1782. it was wheeling's own 9/11. what was significant is that it took place, this is almost a year after cornwallis has surrendered. what people do not realize is the war in the east had stopped. negotiations were actively underway and at this
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point, the british still andpied new york, charleston but there were no active campaigns on either side. they were negotiating peace terms. the war in the west never stopped. there is no real federal government. the state government of virginia is bankrupt and these people were left on their own to defend themselves. they knew an attack was coming and the half scouts out. boy is 2016-year-old miles deep into ohio. 242 260 a huge force of indians and they accompany british rangers and heading east toward fort henry. he comes to the edge of the water and fires his rifle as a signal. was the signal is given, it 3:00 p.m. when he gets back and the british and the indians realized they had been made. they make no attempt to conceal
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like in the first siege, you can -- they wait across the river and surround the fort. these people are ringed around by the finest special forces of their day. fort, 110 men, women, and children. these were really intimate dowels -- battles. this was not gettysburg with hundred -- 150,000 men shooting each other. you are there with your family and your neighbor. you are bunched together and that is who you fight with. t know whatdon' fadeaway to if you are taking. chances are it will be bad. they find they are out of
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gunpowder. you wonder why something like us would happen. how come there was not more powder kept in the fort? that was very simple, theft. a couple months prior, ebenezer zane had sent to the commander. , it willve us powder be burned at the enemy. a small supply was kept in the fort with the idea that if an emergency should occur there was enough for a day simply to keep bay becauseat typically, raids only lasted a day or so. what puts that out the window is that the indians have reddish rangers with them and they will you much -- be a much determined enemy. they were out of gunpowder. there is more in the block house
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which is 60 yards away. they look for a volunteer. a 16-year-old girl named betty zane volunteers. and something to the effect that if i fall i will be less missed than a man at the walls. when she takes off, the indians see her. yell at her, but not a shot is fired. she gets there and relates to her brother ebenezer that there is a crisis at hand and these folks need gunpowder in the worst way. they take an apron and feel it with as much gunpowder as she can carry and they tied around her waist and she is sent that. how the runs back, british and indians divined what is going on, no one knew. there was -- she was not going to get past this time.
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everyone who had a right opened up on her. her likets fell around hail and they cut her clothing but she made it back to the fort. it does not sound like much month the idea of a 60 yard -- with-- a 60 yard dash gunpowder. hundred rifles. her dramatic act saved the fort. and she goes into legend. for i have here is history general folks. it, i wasst got into familiar with the zane grey books and things like that. the stories of what actually happened, i found out that he was every bit as exciting as the mythological things that people have attached to it. again, the truth was better than the fiction.
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of ohioing is the seat county, west virginia. up next, we visit the ohio county public libraries historic wheeling room to look at a collection of photography from -- late 19th and early if early 20th centuries. >> wheeling was known as the gateway to the west. the national road came through wheeling. waysuspension bridge was a to get to the west over the river. a four that it was the ferry, ferryboats or things like that. you had to go around. and a transportation hub city full of creeks, streams, and rivers, ridges were an important way to make commerce possible. part of our collection of basis ands was the
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foundation of the archival collection that was donated by a intographer named w.c. brown 1950. these show various wheeling scenes from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. i chose to focus on some of the --toric ridges in wheeling ridges in wheeling. this one was built in -- under construction in 1891. this is the stone arch bridge which is a couple walks from here. it was the longest single span stone arch in the united states in 1892 when he was dedicated. quarrieds were locally and one of them fell on a construction worker who was killed and drowned and his ghost is said to haunt the bridge till this day. the bridge is still in use.


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