Simon Girty Scouts the Ambush, Ft. Laurens, 1779

On February 22, 1779, the white renegade Simon Girty and a force of over one hundred Wyandot and Mingo warriors arrived undetected at Fort Laurens, the isolated American fort on the Tuscarawas River deep in the Ohio Country. Knowing the trails surrounding the fort, Girty scouted the best spot for an ambush. The next morning, a work detail of 19 men from the fort, sent to get firewood, stumbled into the ambush set by Girty. In the initial volley of gunfire, all were killed or captured, thus signaling the siege of Fort Laurens by the British-allied Indians.

"Simon Girty Scouts the Ambush", a pastel painting by Cecy Rose, illustrates a portion of the back cover, as well as the inside of Robert Thompson's new book, A Woman of Courage on the West Virginia Frontier, Phebe Tucker Cunningham. The author recounts the harrowing story of this courageous woman, from her marriage at Prickett's Fort in 1780 to her return to the shores of the Monongahela. He describes in vivid detail early colonial life in the Allegheny and the ways of the Wyandot, the tribe which Simon Girty led in an ambush at Fort Laurens that signaled the siege of the Fort by the Bristish-allied Indians on February 22, 1979. 

Thompson's book is available online at and

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