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To Our McCULLOUGH Ties

Samuel McCullough & Margaret


Our ancestor William Snodgrass married about 1831, to Margaret Chambers, who was born about 1807 in Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Thomas Chambers and Elisabeth McCullough, both of Irish descent, having settled in Pennsylvania prior to the Revolutionary War. Margaret's parents are buried in East Buffalo Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Washington Co., Pennsylvania.

Margaret's grandfather was Samuel McCullough (he b.1750 Belfast, Ireland, d.April 1814 in Washington Co., Pennsylvania), m.1775 in Amwell Twp., Washington Co., Pennsylvania to Margaret Pettigrew (she b.1754, d. about 1825). Samuel's will was written on April 6, 1814, and probated on April 18, 1814. His heirs were named as such:

1-Thomas McCullough.

2-John McCullough.

3-Samuel McCullough, born 1787 Amwell Twp.

4-James McCullough.

5-Elizabeth McCullough, b.1784 Pennsylvania, d.August 9, 1855, East Buffalo Twp., Washington Co., Pennsylvania, m. Thomas C. Chambers (see Personal Information Page for details about this family).

6-Margaret McCullough, wife of John Linn.

7-Sarah McCullough, b.1796 Amwell Twp., d.April 16, 1866, Springfield Twp., Richland Co., Ohio, m.about 1807 in Ohio to John Chambers (see Personal Information Page fro details about this family).

8-Mary McCullough.

In this instance, two McCullough sisters married two Chambers brothers.

These records are of great importance as they not only give us two preceding generations, they also help us to follow family members, thereby piecing together some of those little pieces of the puzzle. The youngest child born to William Snodgrass and Margaret Chambers was James Francis Snodgrass, who was raised by John and Sarah Chambers of Richland Co., Ohio. By tracing the McCullough surname we now know that James' mother's aunt, Sarah McCullough, and her uncle John Chambers raised the child.


Information Pertaining to Samuel McCullough:

1790 Federal Census, (no township listed), Washington Co., Pennsylvania, Roll 9 Book 1, Page 192:
McCullough, Samuel, 1 free while male age 16 and upward; 2 free white males under 16; 3 free white females, including head of household

1800 Federal Census, Amwell Twp., Washington Co., Pennsylvania, Roll 44 Book 1, Page 700:
M'Culloch, Samuel, 1 male under 10; 1 male 10-15; 2 males 16-25; 1 male 26-44; 1 male 45 and over ; 2 females under 10; 1 female 10-15; 1 female 16-25; 1 female 45 and over

1810 Federal Census, Amwell Twp., Washington Co., Pennsylvania, Roll 57 Book 1, Page 62:
M'Cullough, Samuel, 2 males 16-25; 1 male 45 and over; 1 female 10-15; 1 female 16-25; 1 female 45 and over

Washington Co., Pennsylvania Will Abstracts, Will Book #2: McCULLOUGH, SAMUEL: Amwell Twp., pg.504, Dated 6 April 1814, Probated 18 Apr 1814,Executors Samuel McCollough and James McCollough, Witnesses Eleazer Jenkins, David McCracken, Beneficiaries Wife Margaret, Sons Thomas, John, Samuel, James; Daughters Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Chambers, Margaret, wife of John Linn, Sarah, wife of John Chambers, and Mary. ACCT: Mc-51-1816

Samuel McCullough, who emigrated from Ireland and settled in Amwell Township, had three sons,--John, Samuel, and James. John died very young, Samuel went to Belmont County, Ohio, and James to Allen County, Ohio. The old homestead is now in the possession of George W. Moninger: History of Wasahington Co., Pennsylvania - pgs. 652-672, Amwell Twp., by Boyd Crumrine (http://www.savory.org/chartiers/crumrine/twp-amwell.html)

**Worth Noting: Story of Fort Henry, by A. B. Brooks, Volume I, Number 2 (January 1940), pp. 110-118: websitehttp://www.wvculture.org/history/journal_wvh/wvh1-2.html:

Early settlers in the region of which West Virginia is now a part had the problem of dealing with the Indians, many of whom had been provoked to unfriendliness. A combination of scouts and fortresses was the usual method of protecting settlements. The scouts, chosen on account of their skill as woodsmen, were constantly alert to detect the presence of Indians who might be skulking in nearby covers. By this means settlers were warned of danger and could enter a fort if one were available.

***The Wheeling Settlement

An entry in Washington's journal, for October 23, 1770, made during his memorable trip down the Ohio River from Pittsburgh to Point Pleasant and return, contains his only reference to settlers at this place: ". . .About three miles or a little better below this place, at the lower point of some islands which stand contiguous to each other (Sisters and Pike Island) we were told by the Indians with us that three men from Virginia had marked the land from hence all the way to Redstone . . ." The three men referred to were doubtless Ebenezer, Jonathan and Silas Zane who, in the previous year, 1769 had come from the South Branch Valley, Virginia, had marked trees to establish tomahawk claims to the land, and made further preparations for permanent settlement. The land marked covered most of the present site of Wheeling, including Elm Grove. Soon afterward others came. In historical accounts some of the names listed are: McCulloch, Wetzel, Biggs, Shepherd, Caldwell, Boggs, Scott, Lynn, Mason, Ogle, Bonnett, McMechen and Woods.

***Fort Henry

The fort at Wheeling, first named Fort Fincastle for one of Lord Dunmore's titles, was built early in June, 1774, by Major William Crawford whom John Connolly, the Royal Captain Commandant of West Augusta, then at Fort Pitt, sent down the Ohio River for this purpose.2In Lord Dunmore's war Major Crawford made three expeditions to the Indian territory, in the second of which he built Fort Fincastle.3

An inquiry about Fort Henry addressed to the War Department, Washington, D. C., was replied to by Major General E. T. Conley in part as follows: "This office has no plans for Fort Henry, Virginia, and it has been ascertained from the Chief of Engineers, War Department, this city, that office has no plans of the fort. It was built on the site of Zane's Run, and was originally named Fort Fincastle, 1774. It was renamed Fort Henry, in honor of Gov. Patrick Henry, 1776."4

Descriptions of the site and the construction of Fort Henry are found in many places. Contradictions occur often. The following is chosen as typical of the descriptions:5

"The fort was in the shape of a parallelogram, with wooden towers or bastions at each corner, which projected over the lower story and which were pierced by port holes for the use of rifles and muskets. In case of attack the fighting was carried on almost entirely from these bastions. Between these bastions was stretched a strong and closely-connected line of oak and hickory pickets, surrounding entire enclosure,6 within which were located a magazine powder, barracks and cabins for sheltering those who sought refuge within the stockade. On the roof of the barracks was mounted a swivel gun captured during the French and Indian War by the British. There was also a well of water within the stockade. On the west side of the Fort outside of it was a never-failing spring of pure, limpid water. The main entrance was on the east side, which was closed by a strong wooden gate. The ground in the vicinity was cleared, fenced and cultivated, extending to the base of the hill on the east, about an eighth of a mile distant.

"From the bluff on the south side of the fort extended the bottoms to the bank of Wheeling Creek. The expanse of ground was a level stretch of land and was used for a cornfield. As late at 1810 it was occupied by no buildings of consequence.

"To the southeast of the fort and distant from it about 70 yards stood the residence of Col. Ebenezer Zane, located on a level with the fort, built of rough hewn logs and which at the threatened attack on the fort by the Indians in 1781, was burnt by them. The owner subsequently rebuilt the house, and it was occupied and held by him with a force of five men at the siege of the fort in 1782.

**First Attack on the Fort

"In the year 1774 there was a war against the frontiers of Virginia and Pennsylvania. Murders, retaliations and robberies by the Indians and the settlers early in the summer, caused a general alarm to spread throughout the region west of the Alleghanies. Forts were built to which the people fled for safety; but in many cases this precaution was not sufficient. Victims of savage butchery were numerous."

This situation was greatly aggravated by expeditions sent out to burn Indian villages. Governor Dunmore, of Virginia, sent two armies of 2,000men, to attack the Indians on their own ground. One army went by way of Pittsburgh and Wheeling, to the Little Kanawha. This division was led by Governor Dunmore. The other, under General Lewis, crossed the mountains from Lewisburg, and thence down the Kanawha to Point Pleasant, where the great battle with Cornstalk and his warriors took place.

In August, 1777, General Hand, of Fort Pitt, learned from spies that the Indians were collecting in large numbers for an attack on some part of the country. He believed that Wheeling would be the point assailed. Therefore, all settlers between Fort Pitt and Point Pleasant were warned of the danger.10 Although no Indians were reported by the spies, suddenly, on the morning of September 1, they appeared before Fort Henry. They had assembled, the previous evening and night, on the Ohio side of the River.

Although accounts are somewhat conflicting, we shall try to look in on the scene and note what was happening. Within the fort were gathered members of the approximately thirty families of the settlement -- about forty men and twice that number of women and children. On account of being previously warned they had provided themselves with sufficient food and ammunition. The cabins, barracks, and commandant's house furnished shelter. The seventeen-foot solid wall prevented their seeing out, but port holes in walls and bastions provided restricted views and opportunity to use rifles. On top of the commandant's two-story house was mounted a dummy cannon. Col. Silas Zane was in command of the fort.11 On the outside were gathered, in the sheltering cover of the woods about 400Indians of the Shawnee, Wyandot and Mingo tribes (some say 300), supplied with arms and ammunition by the English. Some authorities state that the renegade, Simon Girty, led the Indians, but others deny it. The Indians did not attack openly at first. They carried out an ambuscade which succeeded. Early in the morning a few Indians showed themselves, as decoys. Captain Mason, with 14 men left the fort and went in pursuit. The Indians fled and drew Mason's men into the trap. Only three escaped. Captain Ogle, hearing the firing, went to the rescue with twelve men, nine of whom were killed. This left about a dozen men to defend the fort. Encouraged by success the Indians moved forward for an attack. Their first act was to demand surrender, through a "white man" stationed in a window of one of the abandoned cabins. He offered protection to those who surrendered, emphasizing that he spoke for Governor Hamilton, of Detroit, representative of the British army. The reply to the demand for surrender was answered by a shot at the announcer from a port hole, of the fort. Immediately there was a rush at the gate by the Indians, and repeated attempts to break down the wall by the use of battering rams. Failing in this they attempted to set fire to the stockade, carrying flax and other inflammable materials and piling them against the outside. This also failed. The expert riflemen inside, aided by the women who assisted in loading guns, made good use of the time the Indians were in exposed positions. After twenty-three hours of vain attempts to break down the stockade or destroy it by fire, the attackers turned their attention to destruction of houses and property of all kinds. Every cabin was burned and all stock, including some 300 cattle, was killed. In the meantime, Colonel Andrew Swearingen, and 14 men, from Holliday's Fort came down the Ohio River by boat and entered the fort. Major Samuel McCulloch, with 40men, also arrived from Fort VanMeter. His men rode through the gate, which was thrown open on their approach, but McCulloch was cut off by the Indians and prevented front entering. He was followed by the enemy up Wheeling Hill where he met another body of warriors returning from a foray. Being thus hemmed in he escaped by forcing his horse over a steep declivity. The story of this feat is well known.

An attack on Fort Henry, planned in 1781, was abandoned for some unknown reason; and a contemplated attack in the summer of 1782, was thwarted.

**Second Attack on Fort Henry

In September, 1782, occurred the last siege of Fort Henry, regarded by some as the last battle of the Revolution. A force of forty irregular British soldiers and 238 Indians, under Captain Bradt, made the attack. Between the former siege and this one the homes of the settlers had been rebuilt, including that of Ebenezer Zane. His dwelling contained a store of surplus ammunition and arms and it had been decided to occupy it in case of another attack. Being notified of the approach of the enemy by John Lynn, a scout, preparations were speedily made for the expected attack. Those who remained within the Zane house were Andrew Scott, George Green, Elizabeth Zane (Colonel Zane's wife), Molly Scott, Miss McCulloch, a sister of Major Samuel McCulloch, a negro slave and his wife, "Daddy Sam" and Kate. From all other homes the occupants had entered the fort. Although Colonel David Shepherd was superior officer in the county it appears that Colonel Silas Zane was again in command.

The Indians approached carrying the British flag and asked for surrender, which was refused. During the night of attack the garrison of Fort Henry was re-enforced by the arrival of a few men who had come down in a boat from Pittsburgh. They carried some cannon balls, some of which were taken and used in the real cannon which had been substituted for the wooden one, the rest being appropriated by the attackers.

The first efforts of the enemy were toward destruction of the fort by battering it in every way possible. The first day was spent in futile attempts in this direction. The Indians placed their chief reliance upon burning and during the night made many attempts to burn both the fort and Colonel Zane's house. The negro slave detected the approach of an Indian and killed him as he was about to set fire to the residence. The cannon was brought into play, firing sixteen times during the attack. Being impressed by the effectiveness of the cannon, the Indians and soldiers made one of their own out of a hollow tree which they wrapped with chains found in a blacksmith shop and loaded with the balls taken from the Pittsburgh boat. When they fired it the explosion did no damage to the fort but killed and injured several persons who stood about.

It was during the second siege that the ammunition ran low in the fort and a volunteer, Elizabeth Zane, sister of Ebenezer Zane,13 ran to the cabin and returned under fire with a supply of powder, thus doing her part toward defensc and furnishing the background for a much-repeated story of pioneer days.

At the end of three days the Indians were thoroughly discouraged and, soon after, when Captain Boggs arrived with seventy men, they gave up and turned their attention to Rice's Fort, in the vicinity, where they lost heavily again.

Thus Fort Henry not only saved a large proportion of the inhabitants of the young colony at Wheeling, but played an important, though minor, role in the closing days of the American Revolution. The Second Siege was the last formidable raid of Indians into West Virginia.

**Reconstruction Proposed

Such interest attaches to Fort Henry that patriotic and historically-minded citizens have proposed its reconstruction. The space which it occupied is now built up with houses and crossed by city streets. It would be necessary, therefore, to erect the stockade at some not distant point. It would be desirable to make of the reconstructed fort a local historical museum, exhibiting chiefly such things as belonged to that particular period. In this way it would again serve the community and the state.