Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Battle of Sideling Hill

Sometime in late March of 1756, a band of approximately 100 Delaware warriors left their village of Kittanning in Western Pennsylvania on the Allegheny River to raid the English frontier settlements to the east. The Delaware were allied with the French who provided them with supplies, arms, and ammunition. This band was led by their two most famous warrior chiefs, Shingas and Captain Jacob. 

At some point in their march they divided into two equal groups which proceeded separately. The plan called for the two groups to rendezvous at this same location after the completion of their bloody mischief for their return to Kittanning.
On April 1, 1756, one of the groups, believed to be led by Shingas, stormed Fort McCord in western Pennsylvania, where they captured or killed 27 settlers.

In response to the Delaware raid, a gathering of 50 militia, Commanded by Captain Alexander Culbertson, were sent in pursuit. Three days later near present day Maddensville, Pennsylvania, Culbertson's company caught up with the Delawares who were camped on Sideling Hill Creek, awaiting their rendezvous with Captain Jacob's band. 
At dawn April 4, Culbertson's group attacked. 
The timing of the rendezvous of Shingas and Captain Jacob could not have been more perfect for the Indians or any worse for Culbertson and his men. In a two-hour engagement the colonists were driven off by the arrival of Captain Jacob's reinforcements.
Twenty of the rescue party had been killed, including Culbertson, and another twelve wounded. Only five of the captives were able to escape.

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