An Historical Account of the Expedition Against Sandusky

An Historical Account of the Expedition Against Sandusky

               The Best book ever written about the American Revolution on the western frontier.


    On the early frontier during the Revolution, Indians from the many tribes were encouraged by the British to attack American settlements.  In March of 1782, Pennsylvania militiamen under Lt. Col. David Williamson murdered 90 peaceful, neutral, Christian Indians at Gnadenhutten in reprisal for these raids. These Indians were of the Delaware nation but called themselves Moravians after being converted to Christianity.

     In May of 1782, Colonel William Crawford, a close friend of George Washington, led an expedition of 500 militiamen into the Ohio County with the primary purpose of destroying the towns of enemy Indians along the Sandusky River in present day, northwestern Ohio.  The expedition was a failure.  This book chronicles the events leading up to this ill-fated expedition, the subsequent defeat of the militiamen and the capture of Colonel Crawford and others. It also contains the firsthand account of Crawford’s torture and burning at the stake as the Indians took out their revenge for the Gnadenhutten massacre on him.  This graphic account was written by Dr. John Knight who was to also face the same fate, but managed to escape. 

    The author, C. W. Butterfield, tells it like it was, with graphic descriptions of the atrocities committed by both sides.  An interesting note, Lt. Col. David Williamson, the perpetrator of the Moravian massacre, was part of Crawford’s expedition but got away.  Had the Indian’s captured him, Crawford might have been spared.