Friday, January 16, 2015

A Woman of Courage on the West Virginia Frontier

"...Phebe Tucker Cunningham

...own unique way, a very martial people, "ready to sell their lives dearly in defence [sic] of their homes."84 It wasperhaps, this deeply moral foundation among the warrior class that allowed them to resist their European and American opponents for so many decades despite the settler's overwhelming numbers and technological superiority.

Whenever a force oBritish colonial troops approached a village, the typical Indian response was to fight a delaying action and evacuate the village. Indians learned early on in their fight against the Europeans that trying to defend a village was recipe for military disaster. Conversely, if they and villagers retreated to the woods, their enemy would have be content with burning lodges and food supplies. Although this might often create great hardship, it was better than the alternative, which was almost almost certain slaughter of the village's inhabitants. In response to these kinds of attacks, the Indians would typically follow up with a series of ambushes and raids against isolated farms and settlements

This also meant that Indians seldom, if ever, conducted frontal attacks on fortified positionsDuring their alliance with the French, they had seen firsthand such attacks were seldom successful unless you had cannon to knock down the stockade walls. Furthermore, even if a fort was seized, the advantage allowed stockades defenders resulted an unjustifiable number of casualties. Instead the Indians would resort to wholesale burning of nearby crops and homes, which caused the fort's inhabitants to sally forth in an effort to save farms, allowing the Indians to lure them into easy ambushes.