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101. The Last Shawano Invasion

Perhaps a year after the raid upon Tïkwäli'tsï, the Shawano again, under the same leader, came down upon the exposed settlement of Kanuga, on Pigeon river, and carried off a woman and two children whom they found gathering berries near the town. Without waiting to make an attack they hastily retreated, with their prisoners. The people of Kanuga sent for aid to the other settlements farther south, and a strong party was quickly raised to pursue the enemy and recover the captives. By this time, however, the Shawano had had several days' start and it was necessary for the Cherokee to take a shorter course across the mountains to overtake them. A noted conjurer named Kâ'lanû, "The Raven," of Hiwassee town, was called upon to discover by his magic arts what direction the Shawano had taken and

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how far they had already gone. Calling the chiefs together he told them to fill the pipe and smoke and he would return with the information before the pipe was smoked out. They sat down in a circle around the fire and lighted the pipe, while he went out into the woods. Soon they heard the cry of an owl, and after some interval they heard it again, and the next moment the conjurer walked out from the trees before yet the first smoke was finished.

He reported that he had trailed the Shawano to their camp and that they were seven days ahead. The Cherokee at once followed as The Raven guided, and reached the place in seven days and found all the marks of a camp, but the enemy was already gone. Again and once again the conjurer went ahead in his own mysterious fashion to spy out the country, and they followed as he pointed the way. On returning the third time he reported that their enemies had halted beside the great river (the Ohio), and soon afterward he came in with the news that they were crossing it. The Cherokee hurried, on to the river, but by this time the Shawano were on the other side. The pursuers hunted up and down until they found a favorable spot in the stream, and then waiting until it was dark they prepared to cross, using logs as rafts and tacking with the current, and managed it so well that they were over long before daylight without alarming the enemy.

The trail was now fresh, and following it they soon came upon the camp, which was asleep and all unguarded, the Shawano, thinking themselves now safe in their own country, having neglected to post sentinels. Rushing in with their knives and tomahawks, the Cherokee fell upon their sleeping foe and killed a number of them before the others could wake and seize their arms to defend themselves. Then there was a short, desperate encounter, but the Shawano were taken at a disadvantage, their leader himself being among the first killed, and in a few moments they broke and ran, every man for himself, to escape as best he could. The Cherokee released the captives, whom they found tied to trees, and after taking the scalps from the dead Shawano, with their guns and other equipments, returned to their own country.

Next: 102. The False Warriors Of Chilhowee