Benge's Rock

Norton, VA 24273


About Benge's Rock

Benge's Last Raid, courtesy!geocache/OX1GH7F

An account of the last raid of Chickamauga War Chief Bob Benge, the greatest warrior of Cherokee War Chief Draggin Canoe. Chief Draggin Canoe was angered by the sale of Cherokee lands, and his people being forced from their homeland and hunting grounds by the white settlers. He formed an alliance of young Cherokee, Shawnee, Delaware, and other Native Americans that were called the Chickamaugas or Lower Cherokee by the colonials to wage war upon the white settlers.

April 8, 1794.

The War Party continued in camp until the sun was more than an hour high then they set out slowly and traveled five or six miles and camped near the foot of Powell's Mountain at what is known as Camp Rock near the Big Stone Gap in the Cumberlands. This day Benge, became more pleasant and spoke freely to the prisoners. He told them he was about to carry them to the Cherokee towns, and that along this route in the wilderness was his brother with two other Indians hunting, so that he might have provisions when he returned. Also at that camp were several white prisoners taken from Kentucky with horses and saddles to carry them to the towns. He made inquiry for several persons on Holston, particularly old General Shelby, and said he would pay him a visit during the ensuing summer, and take away all his Negroes. He frequently inquired who had Negroes, and threatened he would have them all off the North Holston. He said all the Chickamauga towns were for war, and soon would be very troublesome to the white settlers. This day two of the party were sent by Benge ahead to hunt.

April 9, 1794.

After traveling about five miles which was over Powell's Mountain, a party of thirteen men under command of Lieutenant Vincent Hobbs of the militia of Lee County met the enemy in front in a area known as Hoot Owl hollow, ambushed and killed Benge the first fire. He was struck in the back of the head with a 1 oz slug from what was discribed as a 20 lb Bear rifle.

After the death of Chief Benge near the Camp Rock was found a sapling with 13 notches cut into it, the last one being fresh. There were 13 known raids by Benge in this area. One of the local hiking trails from the High Knob just about a mile from here that proceeds off of the Mountain to Hanging Rock Park near Dungannon along Little Stoney Creek for almost 20 miles is known as the Chief Benge Scout Trail.

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Region: Norton

Norton, VA 24273

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