The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

American Wars and Conflicts - and their Douglas participants

Emerging Civil War

Looking at this poster, I realise what I am about to ask is a huge topic.

Whilst the Douglas Archives covers conflcts within the current boundaries of the United Kingdom, and to a limited extent on Continental Europe, it is sadly lacking repesenting the many wars, 'wars' and battles that have taken place on American (continent) soil.

It is an omission that I would like to rectify.

Any miltary historians out there who would like to work on this topic?

I am keen to link events with people.  Covering an Indian war, as an example, where there is no known Douglas involvement would be outside the scope of this project.

If you are wondering what you are going to do in 2023, then maybe this is it! Do you feel a book coming on? Have you already researched your own ancestors military history, as a start point?

If more than one person steps forward, then maybe a collaborative effort could be the answer.

Let me know what you think. Click the message button or email me.


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Comment by Russell Lynn Drysdale on December 21, 2022 at 16:41
Comment by Russell Lynn Drysdale on December 20, 2022 at 23:05


The Slaying of John Douglas at Little Moccasin Gap
By Emory L. Hamilton

From the unpublished manuscript, Indian Atrocities Along the Clinch, Powell, and Holston Rivers, pages 28-30.

This incident has perhaps suffered more abuse as to correct date than any event on the frontier. L. P. Summers, in his History of Washington County, has John Douglas and William Benham chasing the Indians who had captured the wife and children of Capt. Isaac Newland, near Abingdon in 1789, thirteen years after young Douglas had been killed. Just what age John Douglas was when slain is unknown, but he must have been a fairly young, unmarried man, yet, old enough to have served in the militia as a Sergeant under Capt. William Cocke, August 5, 1774. (1)

Captain William Russell Wrote to Colonel Preston, on July 7, 1776, (2) saying:

Dear Colo. - I wrote you yesterday in great haste intendent to send of the express immediately, but he, being disappointed, shall enclose that one in this. I omitted giving the account of two men (no names Given), being killed at Blackmore’s Fort last week, and since I left Fort Chiswell, poor John Douglas got killed in Little Moccasin Gap, on his way to Clinch. Captain Daniel Smith saw his bones yesterday (July 6th) arriving over here.

Part 2 below 

Comment by Russell Lynn Drysdale on December 20, 2022 at 23:03

As evidenced by Captain Russell’s letter, John Douglas was probably killed either on July 5th or 6th. Tradition has it that Douglas was accompanied by his friend William Benham, and that they, as was customary of most people traveling from Abingdon to the Clinch settlements, had stopped in Little Moccasin Gap, and were seated on a large flat rock, eating their lunch when a rifle cracked and Douglas was killed. A bronze plaque has been placed on the rock, probably by the D. A. R., and just east of the spot a wayside has been built, known as the "John Douglas Wayside", perpetuating the memory of this incident.

It has been written that John Douglas was living in the vicinity of Abingdon at the time, but of this I can find no confirmation. He, at the time, was a young unmarried man, and his parents, Edward and Sarah George Douglas were living on a 400 acre tract of land on both sides of Clinch River at the Flour Ford in Scott County, VA, where they had settled in 1776. The Douglas family and that of Captain John Blackmore had intermarried. Sarah Douglas, a sister of the slain John, having married Thomas, a son of Captain John Blackmore, and Almore Douglas was married to a daughter of Captain John Blackmore to the Nashboro settlement when he rafted down the Clinch to that place in 1779.

There was a connection between the Douglas, Benham and Hobbs families which may account for John Douglas’ friend William Benham being with him at the time of the slaying. For the foregoing data I am indebted to Gordon Aronhime, of Bristol, VA.

A man named John Benham settled on the north side of the North Fork of Holston River in 1769. William Benham was likely his son. He, the elder Benham owned about a thousand acres of land along the Holston River, about four miles or less below the village of Holston. John Benham was evidently a brother-in-law of the elder Vincent Hobbs. Benham had a son named Vincent, and the Benhams and Hobbs lived next farms to each other, coming to the area about the same time. John Benham (died 1800) had a fort between those near Saltville (that of Jeremiah Harrison) and the Anderson Blockhouse near Big Moccasin Gap. Benham had built his fort before the Revolutionary War. William Benham married Mary Kendrick.

John Douglas had probably been visiting with his friends and kindred, Benhams and Hobbs over at Holston, and was returning to the Clinch, along with William Benham when he was slain.

At a court held for Washington County, VA, on September 30, 1777, Edward Douglas (his father) was granted administration of the estate of John Douglas, deceased, with his securities being William Wilson and Richard Stanton, the latter living on Stanton’s Creek, below Dungannon, in Scott County, VA. The appraisers of the estate were John Blackmore, Blackmore’s Fort, Andrew Davis who lived at the mouth of Stoney Creek, near Blackmore’s Fort, and Alexander Ritchie, Sr., who lived on Clinch River, below Dungannon in Scott County.

Who were the two men that Captain Russell says were killed at Blackmore’s Fort?

(1) Shelby Family Papers, Vol. I, Item 412, Library of Congress
(2) Draper Mss 4 QQ 53.

Comment by William Douglas on December 18, 2022 at 17:37
Can someone help tell these stories?

General Orders, No. 7.
II._Capt. John J. Douglas (lOtli Tenn. Inf. vols.) and aid-de-camp is hereby relieved from duty on the staff of the general commanding, by reason of the expiration of his term of service.
The general commanding cannot part with Capt. Douglas without acknowledging the valuable and efficient services he has rendered to his country and government in the capacity both of an enlisted man and as a staff officer.
He has always proven himself to be energetic and faithful in the dis- charge of his official duties, and upon the battle field he has at all times displayed signal coolness and courage.
The general commanding regrets that the injury received by Capt. Dou- glas while making a charge upon the enemy at Kingsport, Tenn., on Dec. 14, 1864, should have resulted in a permanent disability, and can only commend him to the protection of that government he has so devotedly served.
By order of Major-Gen. Alvan C. Gillen.
Edward S. Richards, A. Adjutant General.
Comment by Russell Lynn Drysdale on December 17, 2022 at 14:13 I think some if not all of this information should be referenced.

  *Probably!  Just need to find someone to write the article!  Ed.

Making conections

The more information you can give about the people you mention, the more chance there is of someone else connecting with your family.

Dates and places of births, deaths and marriages all help to place families.

Professions also help.

'My great-grandmother mother was a Douglas from Montrose' does not give many clues to follow up! But a bit of flesh on the bones makes further research possible. But if we are told who she married, what his profession was and where the children were baptised, then we can get to work.

Maybe it is time to update the information in your profile?

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