Indian Warfare in Southwest Virginia

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Indian Warfare
Southwest Virginia
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Southwest Virginia Project
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A slightly Eurocentric view of Native American Indian Fighting from Source:Thwaites, 1902:139-140

Some of these sieges lasted through several days, taxing the skill and bravery of the inhabitants to their utmost. Indian methods of attacking forts were far different from those that would be practised by white men. Being practically without military organization, each warrior acted largely on his own behalf. His object was to secrete himself, to kill his enemy, and if possible to bear away his scalp as a trophy. Every species of cover was taken advantage of trees, stumps, bushes, hillocks, stones, furnished hiding-places. Feints were made to draw the attention of the garrison to one side, while the main body of the besiegers hurled themselves against the other. Having neither artillery nor scaling-ladders, they frequently succeeded in effecting a breach by setting fire to the walls. Pretending to retreat, they would lull the defenders into carelessness, when they would again appear from ambush, picking off those who came out for water, to attend to crops and cattle, or to hunt for food ; often they exhibited a remarkable spirit of daring, especially when making a dash to secure scalps.
Destroying crops, cattle, hogs, and poultry, stealing the horses for their own use, burning the outlying cabins, and guarding the trails against possible relief, they sought to reduce the settlers to starvation, and thus make them an easy prey. Every artifice known to besiegers was skilfully practised by these crafty, keen-eyed, quick-witted wilderness fighters, who seldom showed mercy. Only when white men aggressively fought them in their own manner could they be overcome.