From the Book:
A History of Dearborn County, Indiana
Today we will visit an historical marker at the Ohio County/Dearborn County line that notes the Revolutionary War battle known as Lochry’s Defeat.
The story is excerpted from my book:
Guide to Indiana’s Historic Sites – South East Edition
Title of Marker:
SR 56 at Ohio-Dearborn County line, 200 feet south of Laughery Creek, north of French. (Ohio County, Indiana). The marker is in Riverview Cemetery just south of Aurora, Indiana on Indiana State Road 56. The marker is actually in Dearborn County on the east side of Laughery Creek.
by the Sons of the American Revolution, 1961
Marker ID #:
On Aug. 24, 1781, Col. Archibald Lochry and 107 recruits for Gen. Clark were ambushed at Lochry Creek by Joseph Brant’s raiders. One-third were killed, the rest captured. Lochry and the wounded were later murdered.
Lochry’s Lost Battalion
Lochery and his battalion of Pennsylvania militiamen were traveling on the Ohio River, proposing to meet up with George Rogers Clark, who was planning an attack on the British garrison at Fort Detroit. The expedition sighted a buffalo standing along the bank of the river, near the mouth of a large creek. They shot it from the river and landed to prepare a meal. Chief Joseph Brant and a band of Indian warriors had been tracking the group of soldiers, and the Indians lost no time in taking advantage of this opportunity. They swept swiftly down upon the unsuspecting militiamen.
The battle raged for only a few minutes. About forty of Lochry’s men were killed in the conflict, and some others, including Lochry, were executed in its aftermath. The rest were taken as prisoners to Detroit. It was August 24, 1781, and the battle is called “Lochry’s Massacre”. A battle of the Revolutionary War had raged for a few minutes at the mouth of Laughery Creek near the banks of the Ohio River, with devastating consequences for the American combatants. Lochry’s name is spelled lochry, however a government clerk on the first documents misspelled the name as ‘Laughery’, and the name has remained unchanged. Riverview Cemetery, the approximate location of the battle near Aurora, contains a monument to Lochry and his men, and a list of the soldiers who took part in the battle.
Laughery Creek is named in honor of Colonel Archibald Lochry, a revolutionary war soldier. Big Laughery is about ninety miles long, beginning in Ripley County and it forms the boundary of Ohio and Dearborn Counties.
Laughery Creek drains the majority of Ripley County. Its source is southeast of Napoleon, in the northwest corner of the County, and exits the county near Friendship, in the southeast corner. The Laughery Creek valley serves as the basin for Versailles Lake in Versailles State Park. The Busching Covered Bridge spans Laughery Creek just south of the Park and east of Versailles, Indiana. It is still an active bridge.
Laughery Creek passes close to the Ripley County Towns of Napoleon, Osgood, Versailles and Friendship. The majority of the Laughery Creek valley in Ripley County is heavily forested. Some of the bottomland provides excellent farmland on the flat bottomlands that border its banks. Its major tributary, Little Laughery, flows from Batesville, Indiana in the north. The junction of the two Laugheries is just southeast of Ballstown, Indiana on Indiana State Road 229. Other tributaries of Laughery Creek in Ripley County include Plum Creek and Ripley Creek.
Laughery Creek in Dearborn County
Length – About 25 miles
Laughery Creek enters Dearborn County from Ripley County about 1.75 miles southeast of Friendship, Indiana and exits into the Ohio River near Aurora, Indiana. Riverview Cemetery is on the east bank of Laughery Creek. It is the approximate scene of “Lochrey’s Massacre.” The cemetery is located on East Laughery Creek Road, just off Indiana State Road 56.
An historic bridge, a triple-intersection Pratt truss, also known as the Triple Whipple Bridge, crosses Laughery Creek near its junction with the Ohio River. The bridge was constructed in 1878. It was restored in 2008.
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