appears in the record books of the Valley of Virginia, on 27 Oct 1758, as
a member of a militia company headed by Capt. Henry Speer. The names of
his father, Adam, and his uncle Walter were also listed. On this date,
Edward was fined ten shillings for missing a general muster.
From "Colonial Cunninghams of the Virginias and their Descendants,"
by Kenneth & Marjorie Blech, 1982, page 180:
"On March 3, 1778 [error- 1776], a party of Indians came upon a
number of children playing on the banks of Ten Mile Creek, in the yard of
a house known as Fort Harbert. It was designated as a place of refuge in
case of an Indian attack in the area, hence its name. The children ran
screaming toward the house to appraise [sic] their elders of the Indians'
presence. John Murphy, running to close the door, was shot and fell back
inside. The Indian, who fired the shot and not realizing that there were
others in the cabin, rushed in to scalp his victim, but was instantly
tackled by Mr. Harbert, who threw him to the floor and struck him with his
tomahawk. In his struggle with the Indian, Harbert stood up and was shot
by an Indian from outside the house, killing him instantly. While he was
having his troubles with that Indian, Edward was having his own troubles
with another Indian, who had followed the first one into the cabin. Edward
had attempted to shoot him, upon his entry, but his rifle misfired. He
grappled with the Indian and buried his tomahawk in his back, seriously
wounding him. Meanwhile, Edward's wife, Sarah, was hitting him with an ax,
causing him to flee.
Another Indian in the cabin, was engaged in a struggle with a Mr. Reece
and his daughter. Reece, too, would have been killed had not Edward
wounded his opponent with a tomahawk, causing him also to flee.
In the yard, the Indians had rounded up all the children that they could
find. They killed and scalped three of the children and took five captive,
before they fled into the forest toward their territory in Ohio. The total
casualties of this encounter were: One white adult and three children
slain and four wounded, and one Indian killed and several wounded. It was
in this raid that Joseph, the son of Edward and Sarah, was captured. They
found him hiding under the treadles of a large loom in the weaving house.
He was eight years old.
Joseph was adopted in the Shawnee family and lived with them for sixteen
years, before being released by a treaty, freeing all Indian captives.
After his release, he guided pioneering families and surveyors of the vast
tracks of forests. While he was on one of these surveying trips, he had a
hand encounter with a large black bear. The bear grabbed him by the knee
and would not let go. He killed the bear with his hunting knife and pried
his jaws open to free himself. He was lamed for life by the injury. After
his return to civilization, he was known as "Injun Joe." Joseph
later married a Miss Ayres [Margaret "Peggy" Ayres] and fathered
two daughters and one son. They were: Mrs. Samuel Warne of Parkersburg,
WV, Mrs. George Sires of Clarksburg, WV and Dr. John Cunningham of
Edward and his family were also present in the June 1785 Indian attack
which resulted in the deaths of his brother Thomas' four children and the
capture of Thomas' wife, Phebe.
Edward's will [Harrison County Will Book 1, p. 234] is dated 4 Dec 1800
and it was proved in the Harrison County Court on 4 Apr 1804. He signed
his name as "Edward E. Cunningham." Named in the will are his
wife and children: Sary [Sarah], Joseph, Benjamin, Leah, William, Adam,
Thomas, Enaith [Enoch], Rachel, Ann, Mary Elizabeth, and Kettery [Keturah].
Edward died May 5, 1804. Both Edward and Sarah are listed in the
D.A.R. Patriot Index for their public service during the Revolutionary
War. Edward married Sarah Price on 15 Jun 1770 in VA. (Sarah Price
died on 24 Dec 1800.)