Brodhead's Coshocton expedition

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Coshocton Expedition
Part of American Revolutionary War
Date April 1781
Location Coshocton, Ohio
Result American victory
 United States
Flag of Ohio.svg US aligned Delaware people
Flag of Ohio.svg Delaware people, Moravian Converts
Commanders and leaders
Daniel Brodhead
Captain Pipe
284 80
Casualties and losses
? 36 killed, 20 prisoners

Brodhead's Coshocton Expedition was a campaign by the United States against the Delaware Indians, also known as the Lenape Indians. Led by Daniel Brodhead, the Americans massacred the Delawares as well as peaceful Moravian converts.


On April 7, Brodhead, 150 regulars, and 134 militiamen headed out along the Ohio River. Fearing the neutral Delaware Turtle Tribe of Coshocton would soon be joining the British as the more aggressive Wolf Tribe had, they embarked with the initial purpose of securing the Turtle Tribe's alliance. However the ever increasing attacks made by the Wolf Tribe on settlers caused many within Brodhead's ranks to seek retribution and the mission became an active military campaign. Brodhead first reached the main Turtle tribe village of Gekelmukpechunk, now known as Newcomerstown, Ohio. He requested a peaceful discussion between the main chiefs of the village and three were sent to meet him. His initial hope was to secure the allegiance of the villagers and enlist new warriors into his campaign. Unfortunately, a militiamen known as Lewis Wetzel attacked and killed one of the peaceful chiefs just as they had crossed the river to meet him. Fearing massive losses and an unplanned battle, Brodhead retreated and instead refocused his troops on their initial goal of reaching Coshocton.

On April 20, Brodhead and his men, including some U.S. aligned Delaware, raided and destroyed the peaceful Moravian settlement of Indaochaic also known as Lichtenau.Then the troop, aided by Delaware chief Gelelemend, traveled to the nearby village of Goschachgunk, now known as Coshocton, Ohio. He divided his men into three regiments, and laid their village to waste. 16 warriors were captured the first night, taken south of the village and slaughtered, another 20 were killed in battle and 20 civilians were taken prisoner.

Feeling his expedition at end and his troops' anger satiated, Brodhead returned to Pennsylvania.


In 1782, colonists from Pennsylvania came back to the area. This was a privatized militia, made up of mostly Pennsylvanians settlers who were attempting to avenge the increase of Native attacks on settlers in Western Pennsylvania. Misled about their enemy by U.S. friendly Delaware they attacked the peaceful Moravian/Christian Settlement of Gnadenhutten in what would become known as the Gnadenhutten massacre. This is also the settlement which housed many of the surviving people from the previously raided and destroyed settlement of Lichtenau.

There is now a historical marker located in the village of Coshocton at 40° 16.554' N, 81° 50.659' W.


[1] By State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Lyman Copeland Draper, Reuben Gold Thwaites, Milo Milton Quaife

[2] By, The Historical Marker Database, William Fisher Jr., Keith W.

[3] By Ohio History Central