Text & photos
by Janet Gregg
Jr., his brothers Allen and Samuel and George Wood were killed on
the spot. Then the attack swept uphill into the tiny settlement. Isaac,
Sr. was slaughtered in his front yard in front of his wife. Urcey
reportedly screamed at the attackers to shoot her too but they refused.
Barakias Williams was also killed in front of the screaming women,
including his fiancée. Eight settlers, including seven women and children,
were seized by warriors and carried into the forest, never to be seen
or heard from again.
on the Killough Massacre Mounument
on CR-3431, Larissa,
Photo courtesy Janet Gregg, 2005
Mary “Polly” Williams and her 17 year old daughter Elizabeth were
headed to Isaac, Sr.’s house when they met her brother Allen and his
family running from the Indians. Elizabeth joined Allen’s group, which
also included Elizabeth Killough, and fled into the woods. Like the
others, none of them were ever seen or heard from again.
Mary “Polly” returned home to her husband, Owen Williams, who suffered
from rheumatism. His brother Elbert was there and together they saddled
the horses and got Owen and three children mounted. As they fled the
Indians were coming up behind them, shooting and yelling.
Nathaniel Killough, who was watering his horse when the attack began,
rode to his house and hid in a canebrake with his wife Eliza and baby
girl Eliza Jane, who was approximately 11 months to one year old.
Those who were left at Isaac, Sr.’s house included grandmother Urcey,
Samuel Killough’s wife Narcissus and her one year old son William
Boykin Killough, Isaac, Jr.’s wife Jane and her brother William.
William offered to carry the baby because Narcissus was very slight
of build, weighing only 94 pounds. They had only gone a few steps
when they saw the Indians coming back.
William handed the baby back to his mother. He said, “Here’s the baby,
I must go.” He then ran away from the women, likely because the Indians
had a reputation for killing men and capturing women and children.
The Indians did in fact sweep past the women and killed William just
a few yards away.
The Indians returned and ordered them to march two miles North to
Chief Sam Bengs. Two of the women were in favor of doing as they were
told. Narcissus was not. She told the Indians she would die first.
One Indian named Dog Shoot responded that if he had a gun, he would
kill them. Narcissus told him to go get one and while the Indians
were gone, the three women fled with the baby.
They hid in the grass until nightfall, near where the town of
Larissa was later founded. They could hear the Indians yelling
and see the smoke rising from their burning homes. When night came
the small party began the long trek to Fort Lacy.
They had nothing to eat, feared the wild animals in the woods and
feared being caught by the Indians even more. They had to leave the
path often because the Indians searched for them throughout the night.
They were constantly afraid the baby would cry and give them away,
or a small dog following them would bark and draw the Indians toward
them. But the baby didn’t cry and the dog never barked. Instead, he
hid beneath the women’s skirts whenever the Indians were nearby.
They traveled this way, only by night, for two nights. The third day,
with extreme hunger setting in, they decided they also had to travel
by day. They had not gone far and had just reached a fork in the path
when they heard a noise behind them. They turned to look and saw an
Indian holding a gun.... next
|A lone tombstone
by the monument
Photo courtesy Janet Gregg, 2005
|Text and photos
© Janet Gregg
Writer’s Note: As with many stories handed down
verbally from generation to generation, there are some discrepancies
between the various versions that have been put into writing. I have
taken all available information into account and tried to clarify
and resolve those discrepancies, choosing the most likely scenarios
for this article when a concrete resolution to a specific detail could
not be found. - JG
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