My ancestor, Thomas Campbell may be related to or have known Samuel Campbell. 1783 was the year Henry Monroe Campbell was
born. It was also the year Col. Samuel Campbell and his family returned to the site of their Cherry Valley fortress and home
from being a prisoners of war during the American revolution. The relationship, if any, between Samuel and Thomas is not
known to this writer. In any case there is an interesting story to be told.
This is the story of Cherry Valley, New York, and November 11, 1778, which became known as the Cherry Valley massacre. I copied
it from www.sundialcompass.com written by an unnamed author as if an original inhabitant from the town were telling it....
"Reverend Samuel Dunlop, a literary scholar, [arrived at a frontier settlement in what is now upstate New York] with seven
Scotch-Irish families from Londonderry, New Hampshire. It was during the early 1740's that the name Cherry Valley was given
to the settlement due to the many wild cherry trees in its forests. We worked hard to clear the land to raise the crops and
build our homes. By 1743, Rev. Samuel Dunlop established a church and the only classic academy west of Albany at that time.
By 1745, our population increased to 300 people.
We began hearing rumors of raids and attacks on homesteads not to far from here in 1776. We were on the frontier's edge with
no protection against our enemies. We were promised assistance from General Philip Schuyler, but we had to build a stockade
around Colonel Samuel Campbell's home. It was a time of great concern for our families. However, we decided that we wanted
to be free or die.
The British forces with Tories and Indian allies launched a three-pronged strategy in 1777 to destroy all of the areas supplying
provisions to Washington's men. Joseph Brant had help gather 1500 Indians and Tories who were assembled at Unadilla only
40 miles southwest of Cherry Valley. Ft Stanwix fell in August, the burning of the Schoharie Valley in September.
In March 1778, Samuel Campbell, Samuel Clyde, and Jim Willson rode horseback to Johnstown to meet with General Lafayette and
speak of Cherry Valley's plight and request the needed assistance to build a fort and provide soldiers. By July, General
Washington sent orders acknowledging Lafayette's request for the fort to be built in Cherry Valley which was immediately put
into action. Later, even before the fort was completed, Colonel Ichabod Alden and Seventh Regiment arrived from Massachusetts.
Although there were numerous warnings and rumors of an upcoming attack following the Battle of Ft. Stanwix, Colonel Ichabod
Alden chose to ignore and dismiss them as folly, as if his presence was enough to ward off the enemy. He would not allow the
citizens to stay in the fort complex.
It was a bitterly cold snowy day when 50 Redcoats, 150 Tory rangers, and 300 Seneca Indians attacked the frontier settlement.
Cherry Valley Massacre took place November 11, 1778. The Tories attacked Fort Alden leaving the Seneca Indians, enraged by
the Battle at Fort Stanwix in which Colonel Samuel Campbell replaced Herkimer when he was injured, without supervision. The
Indians attacked the homes and farms surrounding Fort Alden. Mohawk Chief, Joseph Brant, tried to stop the savagery, but the
Seneca Indians were temporarily out of control.
The end result was 32 residents were maimed and killed, 16 American soldiers died, and 70 citizens and soldiers were taken
as prisoners including Colonel Samuel Campbell's wife, Jane, and family. They were marched 200 miles and more to various
Indian villages and Canadian forts. The whole town was burned except the fort and the church.
It was two full long torturous years before Jane and Sam were reunited on November 11, 1780 through a prisoner exchange in
Albany. Whenever Jane was asked how she could live through it all, her reply was always the same, "God taught me one can't
always die when one longs for death." They could not yet return to their homeland in Cherry Valley. The village had been
attacked again in April of that year.
Then spring 1783 peace came to America. Colonel Samuel and Jane Campbell with their children and household return home to
Cherry Valley to rebuild their lives once again.
Guess who was our most honored guest in the early days. General George Washington came to visit Colonel Samuel Campbell in
the fall of 1783. He sat in this old rocking chair under the apple tree, and just listened as we shared our experiences.
There were so many painful memories, yet we saw God's keeping power and faithfulness to sustain us, when it was well beyond
our endurance. At times we could even laugh at some of them because it was all over...behind us. We felt proud to have our
brave leader here, and humbled that he shared our experiences. I'm sure he had his own to tell. General Washington gave
Colonel and Mrs. Campbell an enamel snuff box as a token of his appreciation for their hospitality. He continued on the next
day with Gov George Clinton to Otsego Lake."