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Revolutionary allies and enemies

Michelle Boyd tells the story and puts it in context. Please note that This same story is repeated almost word for word in various online genealogies, but none of them, to my knowledge, provides any information about Brant, the Renegade.

The British hired Brandt, a renegade, to lead the Indians in attacks on the Colonists. The British paid the Indians for all the scalps they could obtain.

In 1780, Jerimiah Van Auken was dragged out of school while in session, was killed and scalped. While the boys were being tomahawked outside, Brandt made a mark with ink on the apron of a girl, saying it would save her life. He then went outside to help catch the boys as they were trying to escape. The other girls then marked their aprons, in the same way with ink, to save their lives.

Because of this atrocity, troops and scouts were rushed in. Brandt and his Indian friends were located on Raymondskill Creek over the Delaware River in Pike County, Pennsylvania. During the night, reinforcements were called. Captain Van Etten, Captain Westbrook, (note: Van Etten and Westbrook were also related but I’m not sure in what manner) and our Lieutenant Ennis came, rushing their troops toward Raymondskill Creek.

On the way, the troops were ambushed by the Indians. Many fled, but Captain Westbrook and Lieutenant Ennis stood their ground. On that rainy day, April 12, 1780, Lieutenant Ennis and twelve other men were killed. Their bodies were buried in the Old Minisink Cemetery near the Old Ennis Home.

At this point it seems that settlers were attacked by Mohawk allied to the British. The names Westbrook, Gonsales, van Etten and Ennis are all attached to ancestors who lived in the Conashaugh area at this time.

John Van Campen to Pres. Reed
Southfield, April 24, 1780.

Honr’d Sir:

I hope my last by Mr. Mixer has come to hand informing you of the incursion of the Indians at the house of Manuel Gunsaleyes. I herewith inform your Honor of their late attempts. James McCarte with his family was removed to the Jersey on the 20th inst., his sons went to their home to feed the cattle, the farm was in Pa. about three miles below Milford, discovered signs of Indians, returned to the Jersey immediately and acquainted Major Westbrook and Captain Westbrook and the signs they had discovered: they sent immediately for some of their best men and crossed the River that night.

About sun rise the morning following discovered the Indians nigh the barn and began the attack: the number of the enemy is supposed to be about fourteen: the Major received no damage with his party: the Indians retreated to the woods.

The Major was reinforced by Cap. Van Etten with three of his sons and son-in-law: pursued the Indians by the blood and about two miles came up with them.

As it is without doubt three of them was wounded: renewed the attack, drove the Indians to the edge of a thick wood. Captain Van Etten maintained his ground with his few men, the Major with his men also.

Captain Westbrook’s men left at the first fire from the enemy in the woods, which was the ruin of the whole, but the ground maintained for some time and the retreat secured by the Major and Van Etten.

Killed and missing on the part of the Major and Van Etten,
—Captain Westbrook missing,—not yet found
Benjamin Ennis killed, son-in-law to Captain Van Etten
Richard Rosecrans killed and two more wounded.

Of the enemy killed, two found,
—one an officer appearing by his dress, —found in his pocket a regular Journal from the first of March till the 16th instant.

As appears by his Journal there is Three Hundred and Ninety marched from Niagagari, divided into different parties. The officer was a white man.

Respected Sir, now under difficulties of march, what the event will be God only knows. The people are determined to evacuate the country as there appears no prospect of relief by the Militia. I am, sir, with due respect,

Your most humble Servt.,

John Van Campen

P. S. The said Mc.Cartee, where the attack began, is about two miles below Wells Ferry on the banks of the Delaware. Capt. Van Etten lives in Delaware Township one mile below Mc.Cartee’s.