A SAD DAY AT TILLABOROUGH
By James Morrison, Historian
The historical marker on Route 10 at the northern end of Ephratah
"TILLABORO RAID took place within a two mile radius of this marker. April 20, 1779. Up this road is site of old Tillaboro Church & Cemetery"
In the afternoon of Tuesday, April 20, 1779, a party of nine Indians entered Tilleborough (Ephrata) settlement undetected.
At this time, Capt. Nicholas Rechtor, who was in command of the militia company was about a mile from his house in an open field, drilling his company.
The Indians on entering the settlement proceeded to the house of Henry Hart. A daughter of Hart saw the Indians approaching and stole away and headed for the place where the men were gathered. The girl on reaching there informed Captain Rechtor that the Indians were at her father's house. Captain Rechtor with Jacob Apply, Peter Shite and two other men went with Rechtor to his house. The other militia men ran to their homes to protect their families.
When the girl had gone to warn Captain Rechtor, the Indians had broken into her father's home. Hart was tomahawked and scalped and his son William was taken prisoner. The Indians then plundered the house and afterwards they set it on fire.
The Indians then proceeded to the house of Jacob Apply which they also plundered and burned to the ground. Next, the Indians went to the house of Captain Rector, which was bigger than the other houses in the settlement.
Two of Rechtor's daughters were in the nearby woods, gathering sap and carrying it to a kettle to be boiled. Henry, the youngest son of Camp Rechtor was playing near the edge of the woods when the Indians arrived. The Indians tomahawked and scalped the boy and then went to the house to plunder and burn it.
The Indians on entering the house took Mrs. Rechtor outside. Just then Captain Rechtor and his men arrived. Rechtor and his men fired at the Indians, killing two and accidently wounding Mrs. Rechtor in the leg. The remaining Indians immediately returned the fire. Captain Rechtor was hit in the arm. Peter Shite was hit in the elbow and Jacob Apply was killed.
The Indians after firing retreated into the woods, thinking that the militia men were superior in numbers. Unknowingly an Indian named Leween was left in the house. He was still plundering and thought the shooting outside to be that of his companions killing the cattle.
Rechtor and his men secured the door and had fixed bayonets, but Leween was determined not to be captured. He attempted to run through them, but he was fired on. Leween was shot in the knee and stabbed in the arm and chest. Leween, although badly wounded, again attempted to run through them brandishing his tomahawk and then grabbed the musket out of one of the soldiers hands and fought his way through. And although the militiamen fired at him, they missed and he escaped into the woods.
Leween, just about dusk, found his companions and camped in the woods but just as he reached them, he passed out. Leween's companions took him back to Canada in thirty days where his family tended his wounds and he recovered.
The two uninjured militia men helped Rechtor, his wife and Peter Shite back to Fort Paris.
The next morning they gathered the dead.
Note: Tillaborough is variously spelled as Tillaborough,Tilleborough, Tillboro and Tillaboro.
Last Updated: 9/21/99
Text Copyright© 1999 - 2012 James Morrison/ Joyce Berry
Photo Copyright© 1999 - 2012 Joyce Berry
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