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  • ID: I01533
  • Name: Josiah Joseph HART
  • Sex: M
  • ALIA: /Joe/
  • Birth: 1800 1 2
  • Death: 1835 in Dale County, Alabama 3
  • Burial: Weeks Assembly, Coffee Co., Al 4
  • Note:

    Killed in a Indian raid in 1835. This raid was written up in the book, PEA RIVER REFLECTIONS. Written by Marion Bailey Brunson. I quote the story below. Filed at: 2001-2-19

    "Before Coffee County was created and during the early years after its formation, many Indians lived here. They especially lived around the Pea River area and were members of the Creek Nation.

    The Hart family lived in lower Coffee County, in what is now the Fairview and Leverett Communities. Hostile Creeks were on the warpath and the people of the area were in constant danger of Indian attacks. The white settlers were very cautious about their every move. When anyone went outside the home, a man with a loaded rifle was always present in case of surprise attack from hostile Indians.
    Indian scouts cased the home of the Josiah and Bob Hart families in the area. The Indians made sneak attacks on settlers at milking time. They learned that the Josiah Hart family milked their cows at night and the Bob Hart family milked theirs in the morning.

    It was a late Fall afternoon in 1835 when the women in the Josiah Hart family got ready to go to the cowpen. The men, with loaded rifles, guarded the women as they began milking the cows. The fierce Creeks made a sneak attack, and the bloodiest massacre in the history of Coffee County took place. The entire Josiah Hart family was brutally murdered except one small girl that they left behind for dead. Seven members of this family and two year old Melinda, who was left for dead, lay in a bloody heap in the cowpen. After the massacre the Indians returned to the swamp.

    During the night the Indians came out of the Pea River swamp and rode their horses to the Bob Hart home. Bob was a brother of Josiah Hart and they lived several miles apart. The Indians lay in ambush until the break of day because the scouts had learned that they milked their cows early in the morning. Soon the women, guarded by the men, came to the cowpen to milk the cows. The dogs began barking furiously and the alert Bob Hart family ran back to the house. The Indians gave war whoops and dashed forward to continue their massacre. During all the excitement, the smallest girl in the family fell behind and was locked outside the house. When she went screaming around the house, the Harts recognized her horrified screams. As she circled the house a second time, a burly Indian had his tomahawk raised when Mr. Hart held the door ajar and the child squeezed inside just in time to save her little scalp. The terrified mother comforted her child as the battle took place. The men pushed holes through the stick and dirt chimney and fired their muskets through these holes.

    As the men fired the muskets, the women loaded and handed them reloaded guns. Much firing went on as the Indians circled the house, giving out fiendish yells. During this time, the Indians set fire to the house, but the family put out the flames by throwing a churn of buttermilk on it. Bob Hart, his son Mose, and his son in law Dan Powell were expert marksmen, and it was soon evident that several Indians were killed and that their number was decreasing rapidly. The chief, sensing defeat, rode into view of Bob Hart's musket and was shot through the heart. Seeing their chief fall created panic among the Indian braves, and they immediately abandoned the attack. They picked up their dead chief and the other dead bodies and returned to the swamp of Pea River.

    Later in the morning, after ther were sure the Indians had left their immediate area, Dan Powell rode his horse to the Josiah Hart home to check on their safety. He found the most bizarre massacre in the history of Coffee County when he arrived--seven dead members of the family in the cowpen. He quickly returned and the entire Bob Hart family went over and, with broken hearts, picked up the bodies of their loved ones and moved them into the house. They could see a pulse beating through the huge hole in little two year old Melinda's temple and discovered that the child was still breathing. She was rushed inside the house and nursed by her aunt. Melinda survived the awful head injury which the cruel Indians had inflicted on her.

    The settlers in the area of Coffee County gathered at the home of Josiah Hart. They prepared the seven members of this family for burial and they were all buried in one large grave. Cowhides were placed in the bottom of the grave and the dead were placed on the skin and covered over with more skins before dirt was placed over their bodies. They are buried in the Weeks Assembly of God Cemetery in lower Coffee County. Today their grave is marked with several bricks which outline the common grave of the seven murdered Harts.

    Little Melinda was reared by the Bob Hart family and, when she reached maturity, married George Marlowe. They made their home in Geneva County in the Sampson area, and had several sons. George, Tom, John, Bill, and a daughter, Lucinda, who died early in life unmarried. Melinda Hart Marlowe is buried in Geneva County and George, who remarried after Melinda's death, is buried in the Pittman Creek Cemetery in Holmes County, Fla.

    Angry white settlers in the area in Pate's Company chased the Indians down Pea River. At Moates Bay, which is near the bridge west of Samson, the posse overtook the Indians. After a bitter fight, the Indians scattered into the bay. They submurged themselves and breathed through bamboo so the posse could not see them. The men of Pate's Company camped on Pea River near the present bridge site and heard the Indians as they came out of the water and rode away on their horses during the night.

    The next morning, Pate's Company continued to chase the remaining Creek Indians. They crossed into Florida and took refuge on Gum Creek in Walton County at Glendale, Florida. A battle occurred on on May 7, 1836 and thirty seven Indians were killed."

    A different version of the same story was reported in the OPP NEWS, date unavailable, under the headline, INDIANS MASSACRE 7 SETTLERS NEAR OPP IN EARLY 1800'S.

    The following is from Robert D. Cassady, RCass5841@juno.com, and is filed at: 2001-3-16.
    HART FAMILY OF 1836.
    In Coffee County, Alabama, about 5 miles north of Samson, in the Holley Mill Community is located Weeks Assembly of God Church. The Church was set in order on December 24, 1933. The first church was built across the road from the cemetery which had already been in existence for almost a hundred years. John Allen Weeks donated the land and the lumber for the construction of the first church building. The church remained there for the next twenty years.
    In 1953, the building was moved to a site adjacent to the cemetery on land donated by Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Ezell and Mr. and Mrs. Godfrey Holley.
    Among the first persons to be buried in the Weeks Cemetery were seven members of the Hart family, buried in a common grave-all victims of the Indian Massacre of 1835-1836. Under the sponsorship of the Kinston, Alabama Ruritan Club and the untiring efforts of Lelon and Grace Weeks, and Coffee County Judge Marion Brunson, a historic marker in memory of the Hart family was placed in July 1983.

    Father: Moses HART b: 1750 in New Kent County, Virginia
    Mother: Chasey ???? HART

    Marriage 1 ??? HART b: BET 1794 AND 1804
      1. Has No Children Young (1) HART
      2. Has No Children Young (2) HART
      3. Has No Children Young (3) HART
      4. Has No Children Young (4) HART
      5. Has No Children Young (5) HART
      6. Has Children Melinda HART b: 1834

      1. Title: Barbara Martin. barbaramn@earthlink.net. Filed at: 2004-12-1
        Note: Barbara Martin
        Rhonda Fleming Smith
      2. Title: Robert Alan Hart. rhart10@cfl.rr.com. Filed at: 2007-3-7.
      3. Title: Robert Alan Hart. rhart10@cfl.rr.com. Filed at: 2007-3-7.
        Note: Barbara Martin
        Rhonda Fleming Smith
      4. Title: Barbara Martin barbaramn@gnt.net
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