Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

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

Volume II, Page 614

Capture of the Shults Brothers in Palatine-In July, 1781, three brothers, Henry, William and John Shults, sons-says Benjamin Getman-of John Shults, with a lad named Felder Wolfe, and Joseph, a slave in the family, were at work on the farm long owned by Stephen Shults-now the Sidney Gray place, and situated two miles north of the Stone Arabia churches. John was then married, and his brothers well in their teens-all being older than young Wolfe. The party were mowing in a field skirted, on one side by woods, and had taken their guns along and stacked them at the edge of the field. A watchdog growled as they neared the woods, but not discovering cause for alarm, they commenced mowing from the woods. They had not proceeded far, when a party of 12 Indians sprang from their rustic concealment upon them, and unable to regain their firearms, they were easily captured and hurried into the dark forest. The guns of the mowers were very desirable plunder for the enemy. As the laborers did not return home, their fate was readily apprehended by the decimated family, and confirmed by finding their scythes in the field. They were all retained as prisoners to the end of the war.

Joseph, a younger brother and two sisters were yet at home to comfort their parents. One of those sisters afterwards married Peter Cook, and the other Henry Keyser. I have no assurance that this war party made any other prisoners, scalps or plunder in that neighborhood, yet it is not improbable that they did. They pursued the northern or Sacondaga route to Canada, on which account I suppose the invaders were a band of Mohawks. They were pursued by the Americans, but with the start of one day they escaped. They were greatly straitened for food on the way, eating what frogs they could catch, one rattlesnake and part of a dead horse left by a preceding party. And withal they had one grand feast, for they killed, roasted whole and ate the Shults dog-and a dog was ever one of their greatest luxuries. On the march the boys were tied two and two, and at the end of their journey they were surrendered upon Buck's Island, where their captors were rewarded. When an exchange of prisoners took place, these captives except the colored man came home together-begging their way among the patriotic families of New England, as scores of others had done ; but William Shults was homesick from the time he was captured ; started to come home with his brothers, but died near Boston. The Wolfe boy had grown so that few recognized him on his return. Henry Shults lived to be 99 11-12 years old.-Facts from Joseph I. Nellis, Daniel, a son Henry Shults, and -Benjamin Getman.

Richard Loucks, of Stone Arabia, brother of the late Henry Loucks, Esq., of Palatine Bridge, said George M. Bauder, was stricken down, scalped and left for dead, as believed by the party which captured the Shults brothers. Loucks recovered and lived many years after the war.

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