Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

The Frontiersmen of New York
by Jeptha R. Simms
Albany, NY 1883

Volume II, Page 274 Scalping of Capt. Gregg and his Companion.-- This certificate is without a date, but the scalps were obtained as follows: June 25, 1777, Capt James Gregg, left Fort Stanwix with Corporal Madison, probably of his own company, and both of Col. Gansevoort's regiment, to shoot pigeons. Col. G. said they left the fort, contrary to orders, soon after breakfast. When distant one and a half miles northerly from the fort, they were shot down by two Indians; at least Capt. Gregg saw but two, and Madison was killed and scalped. The Capt. was shot and tomahawked, and feigning death, suffered his scalp to be removed; which after an incision around the head, was done by the Indian's teeth. After his foes left him, the Captain looked at his watch and found, as he assured the Colonel, it was just 10 o'clock. Supposing his death at hand, Capt. Gregg thought his suffering would be mitigated could he but pillow his head upon the body of his companion, a few rods distant; but after several attempts he gained that position: to find himself annoyed by the caresses and whining of a favorite little dog. Too sick at heart to bear with his faithful canine friend, he addressed him as though a rational being--"If you desire so much to help me, go and call some one to my relief!"

To the surprise of the sufferer, the dog ran off to a couple of men of the garrison, who were fishing in the Mohawk, nearly a mile distant. By his unusual action and pitiful moans, the men, knowing whose dog it was, agreed to follow him and have the mystery solved. After proceeding some distance, they hesitated, fearing a decoy, when the little messenger increased his cries, intercepted their path, and with his teeth, endeavored to lead them onward. The fisherman now resolved to follow the dog at all hazard, and he soon brought them to his suffering master. This, says Col. Gansevoort, was about two o'clock in the afternoon. They at once reported what they had discovered at the fort, when the Colonel sent a party to bring in the Captain, as also the body of Corporal Madison, arriving at the fort a little after three, P.M. The Corporal was buried from the fort, and the Captain was as well cared for as circumstances would allow; but was afterwards removed to the hospital at Albany, and fell under the immediate care of Dr. Thatcher, who thus speaks of him: "He was a most frightful spectacle; the whole of his scalp was removed; in two places on the fore part of his head, the tomahawk had penetrated through the scull; there was a wound on this back from the same instrument, besides a wound in his side and another through his arm by a musket ball. This unfortunate man, after suffering extremely for a long time, finally recovered, and appeared to be well satisfied in having his scalp restored to him, though uncovered with hair." At the end of a year or two he was again on duty, and survived the war several years. Col. Gansevoort's report to Gen. Schuyler; Dr. Dwight's narrative, and Dr. Thatcher's Military Journal.

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