Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution - Bill of Rights

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Preservation and Proposition

Our mission is to document the pivotal Second Amendment events that occurred in Frontier Mercersburg, and its environs, and to heighten awareness of the importance of these events in the founding of our Nation.

We are dedicated to the preservation of the place where the Second Amendment was "born" and to the proposition that the Second Amendment (the "right to bear arms") is the keystone of our Liberty and the Republic.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Tragedy in the Making

By JW Ross

For months the militia patrols had been effective in reducing if not completely eliminating Indian incursions and settlement deaths in the Conococheague. James Smith and his militia had effectively made raids in the eyes of the Indians too costly and risky to endeavor. This was an enormous feat as the frontier was 200 miles of extended woodlands in which no man, it was said, "could go to sleep within 10 or 15 miles of the "border" without the danger of having his house burned and himself and his family scalped or led into captivity before the next morning."
In hindsight, of course, James Smith who had been trained by the masters of wilderness combat during his five years of captivity would have known the danger he was putting the settlements in by discontinuing his patrols and leaving the area to join General Bouquet's campaign against the Indians on the Muskingum River. The "vacuum" created by his leaving, the empty fire pits, the lack of footprints, and dearth of broken bush and branches, were all signs to the ever vigilant war parties, who were constantly testing the lines of their enemies, that the patrols were gone.

Although lacking the formal training of the greatest fighting force in the world - the British army, the tribes of the Allegheny lived to fight. This was, as we have come to say, personal. These were Indian lands. Given and taken, more than once. Like the Indians, the settlers had blood on their hands (and scalps nailed to the logs of their houses). So no one, including women and children, were safe. The Indian's ways of war were simple - Know the strength, location, and configuration of your enemy. Strike quickly with brutality. In small groups. Take hostages and retreat. The Enoch Brown raid was text book.

James Smith immediately, upon hearing of the murder of the children at the Enoch Brown School, left Bouquet's command (under threat of the capital offense of desertion) and set out to track down the Indians responsible for the massacre. These children after all were the future of their community. Despite his extraordinary tracking abilities, he and his men apparently never found them.

Passages from "Scoouwa" - James Smith's Indian Captivity Narrative

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