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September 27, 1777: Captain William Foreman and 21 Men Killed by Indians at Present McMechen

WV Humanities Council

On September 27, 1777, Captain William Foreman and 21 men, including two of his sons, were killed by Indians at present McMechen in Marshall County. The latter half of 1777 was a time of bloody conflict between settlers and Indians in the Ohio Valley. Four weeks earlier, Indian warriors aligned with the British in the Revolutionary War had attacked Fort Henry at Wheeling.

After the assault on Fort Henry, a call went out on the frontier for troops. Among those to respond was Captain Foreman of Hampshire County. When further reports of Indian raids came in, Foreman, Captain Jacob Ogle, and 44 men were sent to check on Fort Tomlinson at present Moundsville. The search party discovered the fort had been attacked and abandoned within recent weeks. On their return back to Wheeling, Foreman and his column of 21 men were ambushed in their camp at McMechen.

The next day, a small group from Wheeling buried the slain men in a common grave near the scene of the ambush. In 1875, their remains were transferred to Mount Rose Cemetery in Moundsville.

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