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That Dark and Bloody River: Chronicles of the Ohio River Valley
1995


This large volume of narrative history, a companion to The Winning of America series but not itself actually part of that series, was runner-up for the 1996 Spur Award by the Western Writers of America. It traces the struggle for control of the great Ohio River valley from the first known human occupancy, about 700 a.d. to the advent of steamships on that stream about 1800. It centers most specifically, however, in the Indian Wars that raged throughout the Ohio River drainage -- western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. It shows the movement of the encroaching whites into Indian territory and the efforts of the Indians to halt them and force them back. Rich with anecdotal material, among the incidents covered is the massacre of the family of the Mingo (Cayuga) chief, Talgayeeta -- Logan -- by ruffian frontiersmen and the brutal retaliation that followed; the formation of the Ohio River border patrol of Rangers headed by Samuel Brady and their amazing exploits; the remarkable -- and often remarkably vicious -- exploits of the Indian-fighting Wetzel brothers, Lewis, Jacob, John and Martin; the invasion of the Ohio country by a force under Colonel David Williamson and the massacre they committed upon innocent Moravian Indians at Gnadenhutten; the follow-up invasion led by Colonel William Crawford against the Indians -- largely Wyandots -- and the victory of the Indians over them at the Battle of Sandusky, resulting in Colonel Crawford being burned at the stake. Published in both hardcover and trade paperback. Originally published in 1995 by Bantam, New York City, and still in print.

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