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Captain Elisha Golay's Company

Abstracted by Robert W. Scott


The massacre of settlers at Pigeon Roost in Scott County was part of a series of Indian hostilities that began in the fall of 1810. To halt threats in Jefferson County, along the modern Ripley County border, a company was formed under the command of Captain Elisha Golay and ordered to proceed from Madison on May 16, 1812 by David Hillis, Lt. Col. of the Sixth Indiana Militia Regiment. In the initial order, given May 10, Hillis, through Major John Vawter, commanded Golay to convene a battalion of fifteen privates, two corporals and two sergeants. He also gave Golay the power to draft men if there were not enough volunteers in order to add three privates and one sergeant. The list here has twenty privates and four sergeants. It is not known if they were volunteers.

This account was given by Perret Dufour, whose writings from the 1860s, have been collected as “The Swiss Settlement of Switzerland County, Indiana.” Dufour gives verbatim transcripts of the orders. Golay was ordered to arrive at the frontier and “without delay to build a block house of such size and form as will most securely and conveniently accommodate a detachment of from thirty to forty men and officers.” Dufour says this blockhouse was Buchanan’s Station. This account places that fort’s construction a year earlier than the 1813 date often given. The company was ordered never to fire after sunset, unless at an enemy, and also never to engage in conversations with Indians unless circumstances required it. Although Dufour does not specifically say so, the company included men who lived in both Jefferson and Switzerland County. (Switzerland Co. was created from Jefferson in 1814.)

Golay’s Company

Captain:
Elisha Golay

Lieutenant:
William Blankenship

First Sergeant:
Luke Oboussier

Second Sergeant:

Beverly Vawter

Third Sergeant:
Peter Storm

Fourth Sergeant:
Thomas Whitson

First Corporal:
John Hall

Second Corporal:
Abraham Cline
Privates:

Lewis Golay
John Tague
James Picket
Peter Mosbyer
James Edwards
Samuel Lattimore
James Hicks
Achilles Vawter
Joshua Tull
William Chambers
Lewis Blankenship
Squire Hall
Osborn Monroe
Williamson Dunn
Thomas Taylor
Booth Thomas
Daniel Demaree
William Laughridge
Stephen Rutherford
William Fidds