April 19, 1775: The Shot Heard Round the World

 

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare,
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1837)

 

 

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The British Are Coming

 

 

Each year in April my thoughts turn to the American Revolution as the anniversary of Lexington and Concord approaches.  What a truly remarkable struggle it was, a turning point in the affairs of Man we are still too close to in time to truly fathom.  I have been reading Rick Atkinson’s The British Are Coming, the first volume in his trilogy on the Revolution and I am bowled over by it.   Atkinson achieved notoriety with his Liberation trilogy, looking at the US Army in North Africa and Europe in World War II and it was quite good.  However, I was unprepared for the level of historical insight I am finding in his latest work.  I have read over the years hundreds of books on the American Revolution and I thought that I had little to learn about that conflict, but Mr. Atkinson is showing me that I was in error.  An example is at the beginning where he skillfully, and concisely, lays forth the preparations that the British government was making for war in the winter of 1774-1775.  Now I knew these facts, but seeing them laid out as he does brings home how inevitable Lexington and Concord were.  The British government had decided that military force was going to be needed to bring the American colonies to heel, and once that decision was made war was inevitable.

In his majestic give me liberty or give me death speech of March 23, 1775 Patrick Henry made a statement that has seemed to future generations prophetic:

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

However, based upon the preparations of  the British Crown for war against its own subjects, Patrick Henry was merely stating what any intelligent observer in America in early 1775 would have realized: war was coming, and very, very soon.

And that is the great strength of Atkinson’s work.  He rescues the Revolution from antiquarian study, and makes the readers see it as contemporaries saw it who lived through those grand and awful days.

The writing is in the grand style, mercifully free from the cant of the contemporary academy that makes so many current historical works almost unreadable.  A sample:

“The second consequence was epochal and enduring:  the creation of the American Republic.  Surely among mankind’s most remarkable achievements, this majestic construct also inspired a creation myth that sometimes resembled a garish cartoon,  a melodramatic tale of doughty yeomen resisting moronic, brutal lobsterbacks.  The civil war that unspooled over those eight years would be both more grander and more nuanced, a tale of heroes and knaves, of sacrifice and blunder, of redemption and profound suffering.  Beyond the battlefield, then and forever, stood a shining city on a hill.”

That passage can stand in quality of expression on America’s founding with this passage by Stephen Vincent Benet in his The Devil and Daniel Webster:

And he began with the simple things that everybody’s known and felt–the freshness of a fine morning when you’re young, and the taste of food when you’re hungry, and the new day that’s every day when you’re a child. He took them up and he turned them in his hands. They were good things for any man. But without freedom, they sickened. And when he talked of those enslaved, and the sorrows of slavery, his voice got like a big bell. He talked of the early days of America and the men who had made those days. It wasn’t a spread-eagle speech, but he made you see it. He admitted all the wrong that had ever been done. But he showed how, out of the wrong and the right, the suffering and the starvations, something new had come. And everybody had played a part in it, even the traitors.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough.  Get it and read it cover to cover.  You will thank me.

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April 7, 1776: Lexington Takes Edward

 

On March 14, 1776, that sea going Catholic son of Ireland John Barry, received his commission as a Captain in the Continental Navy.  He wasted no time making his mark.

Barry was placed in command of the USS Lexington, 14 guns, on December 7, 1775.  Captain Barry took the Lexington on its maiden voyage on March 26, 1776.  On April 7, 1776, Barry had his initial victory of the war, taking H.M.S. sloop Edward after a short but fierce engagement.  This was the first naval victory of the new Continental Navy and the first British warship captured by the Americans. Barry had begun his victorious military career and started to earn the proud title of Father of the American Navy.

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Photographs of Veterans of the American Revolution

The American Revolution is not normally associated with photography, but some elderly veterans of that conflict lived long enough to have their pictures taken by the then cutting edge technology of photography.  Among the veterans pictured above is John Gray, the last surviving veteran of the Revolution.  He was born fittingly enough near Mount Vernon.  His father was killed at the battle of White Plains in 1776.  John joined up at 16 in 1780 and was present at Yorktown when Cornwallis’ army marched by in surrender.  He died on March 29, 1868, age 104. (more…)

Published in: on April 5, 2022 at 5:30 am  Comments (7)  
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April 3, 1776: Continental Congress Authorizes Privateers

 WRCAM46251

Congress on April 3, 1776 formally authorized American privateers to raid British merchant ships.  In this Congress was merely recognizing what was already well under way, the patriot governments of the various colonies having issued letters of marque and reprisal since the beginning of hostilities.   The British parliament would authorize privateers against American merchant ships in December 1776.

Privateers were a traditional part of European naval war which fitted in well with the American national character.  Private operations, a common seamen on board a privateer after a successful cruise of capturing several British ships, could come back home with a small fortune in his pocket, often enough to purchase a small farm, or an inn, or set himself up in trade.  Privateers led by more daring commanders would even make prizes of several smaller ships of the Royal Navy.  Of course the risks were commensurate with the rewards, with death by sinking, or the slow death of rotting away in a British prison hulk if a crew was captured, ever a possibility.  Most American sailors were eager to take the risk, so many that the Continental Navy often found it difficult to man its ships. (more…)

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Greene Reports on the Battle of Eutaw Springs

 

The last major engagement of the Southern Campaign, the battle of Eutaw Springs was fought on September 8, 1781.  The sides were numerically evenly matched with each side having about 2000 men involved.  Although tactically a draw or a slight British victory, strategically the battle was an American victory with the British left in control of only Charleston and its environs.  Along with Savannah and Wilmington, the British attempt to conquer the South was clearly failing, a result only underlined by the surrender of Cornwallis in the following month.  Here is the text of General Greene’s report on the battle to Washington.

 

 

 

Head Quarters, Martins Tavern, near Fergusons swamp So. Carolina
September 11th 1781

Sir,

In my dispatch of the 25th of August I informed your Excellency that we were on our march for Frydays ferry to form a junction with the State Troops, and a Body of Militia collecting at that place; with an intention to make an attack upon the British Army laying at Col. Thompsons near McCords ferry. On the 27th on our arrival near Frydays ferry I got intelligence that the Enemy were retiring.

We crossed the River at Howells ferry, and took post at Mottes plantation. Here I got intelligence that the Enemy had halted at the Eutaw Springs about forty miles below us; and that they had a reinforcement, and were making preparations to establish a permanent post there. To prevent this I was determined rather to hazard an Action, notwithstanding our numbers were greatly inferior to theirs. On the 5th we began our march, our Baggage and Stores having been ordered to Howells ferry under a proper Guard. We moved by slow and easy marches; as well to disguise our real intention, as to give General Marion an opportunity to join us, who had been detached for the support of Col. Harding, a report of which I transmitted in my letter of the 5th dated at Maybricks Creek. General Marion joined us on the evening of the 7th at Burdells plantation, 7 miles from the Enemies Camp.

We made the following disposition, and marched at 4 o’Clock the next Morning to attack the Enemy. Our front line was composed of four small Battalions of Militia; two of North, and two of South Carolinians; one of the South Carolinians was under the immediate command of Genl. Marion, and was posted on the right, who also commanded the front Line; the two North Carolina Battalions under the command of Col. Malmady was posted in the center, and the other South Carolina Battalion under the command of General Pickens was posted on the left. Our second Line consisted of three small Brigades of Continental Troops, one from North Carolina, one from Virginia, and one from Maryland. The North Carolinians were formed into three Battalions under the command of Lieut. Col. Ash, Majors Armstrong and Blount, the whole commanded by General Sumner, and posted upon the right. The Virginians consisted of two Battalions commanded by Major Snead and Captain Edmonds and the whole by Lieutenant Colonel Campbell and posted in the center. The Marylanders also consisted to two Battalions, commanded [by] Lt. Colonel Howard and Major Hardman, and the Brigade by Col. Williams Dy. Adjutant General to the Army, and was posted upon the left. Lieut. Col. Lee with his Legion covered our right flank, and Lieut. Col. Henderson with the State Troops commanded by Lieutenant Colonels Hampton, Middleton, and Polk, our left. Lieutenant Col. Washington with his Horse and the Delaware Troops under Captain Kirkwood formed a Corps de reserve. Two three Pounders under Captain Lieutenant Gaines advanced with the front Line, and two fives under Captain Browne with the second.

The Legion and State Troops formed our advance and were to retire upon the flanks upon the Enemy’s forming. In this order we moved into the attack, the Legion and State Troops fell in with a party of the Enemy’s Horse and foot about four miles from their Camp, who mistaking our People for a party of Militia charged them briefly, but were soon convinced of their mistake by the reception they met with, the Infantry of the State Troops kept up a heavy fire, and the Legion under Captain Rudolf charged them with fixed Bayonets, they fled on all sides leaving four or five dead on the ground, and several more wounded. As this was supposed to be the advance of the British Army our front Line was ordered to form and move on briskly in Line, [while] the Legion and State Troops take their positions upon the Flanks. All the Country is covered with Timber from the place the Action began to the Eutaw Springs. The fight began again between two and three Miles from the British Camp. The Militia were ordered to keep advancing as they fired. The Enemies advanced parties were soon driven in, and a most tremendous fire began on both sides from right to left, and the Legion and State Troops were closely engaged. General Marion, Col Malmady and General Pickens conducted the Troops with great gallantry and good conduct and the Militia fought with a degree of spirit and firmness that reflected the highest honor upon this class of soldiers but the Enemies fire being greatly superior to ours, and continuing to advance, the Militias began to give ground. The North Carolina Brigade under General Sumner was ordered to their support. These were all new levees, and had been under discipline but little more than a month, notwithstanding which they fought with a degree of obstinacy that would do honor to the best of veterans, and I could hardly tell which to admire most, the gallantry of the Officers or the bravery of the Troops. They kept up a heavy and well directed fire, and the Enemy returned it with equal spirit, for they really fought worthy of a better cause, and execution was done on both sides. In this stage of the Action the Virginians under Lieut. Col. Campbell, and the Maryland Troops under Col. Williams were led on to a brisk charge with trailed Arms, through a heavy cannonade, and a shower of Musquett [sic] Balls. Nothing could exceed the gallantry and firmness of both Officers and Soldiers upon this occasion . They preserved their order, and pressed on with such unshaken resolution that they bore down all before them. The Enemy were routed in all quarters. Lt. Col. Lee had with great address, gallantry, and good conduct, turned the Enemys left flank and was charging them in rear at the same time the Virginia and Maryland Troops were charging them in front. A most valuable Officer Lieut. Col. Henderson got wounded early in the Action, and Lieut. Col. Hampton who commanded the State Cavalry, and who fortunately succeeded Lt. Col. Henderson in command, charged a party of the Enemy and took upwards of 100 Prisoners. Lieut. Col. Washington brought up the Corps de reserve up from the left, where the Enemy seemed disposed to make farther resistance, and charged them so briskly with the Cavalry and Captain Kirkwoods Infantry as gave them no time to rally or form. Lieutenant Colonels Polk and Middleton who commanded the State Infantry, were no less conspicuous for their good conduct, than their intrepidity and the Troops under their command gave a specimen of what may be expected from men naturally brave, when improved by proper discipline. Captain Lieutenant Gaines who commanded the three Pounders with the front Line did great execution, untill [sic] his pieces were dismounted. We kept close at the Enemy’s heels after they broke, untill [sic] we got into their Camp, and [a] great number of Prisoners were continually falling into our hands, and some hundreds of the fugitives run [sic]off towards Charles Town. But a party threw themselves into a large three story brick House which stands near the Spring, others took post in a picquetted Garden, while others were lodged in an inpenetrable thicket, consisting of a ragged Shrub called a black Jack. Thus secured in front, and upon the right by the House, and a deep Ravine upon the left by the Picquetted Garden, and in the impenetrable Schrubs, and the rear also being secured by the Springs and deep hollow ways, the Enemy renewed the Action. Every exertion was made to dislodge them, Lt. Col. Washington made most astonishing efforts to get through the Thicket to charge the Enemy in the Rear, but found it impracticable, had his Horse shot under him, and was wounded and taken Prisoner. Four six Pounders were ordered up before the House, two of our own, and two of the Enemy’s which they had abandoned, as they were pushed on [so much?] under the command of the fire from the House, and the party in the Thickett [sic] as rendered it impracticable to bring them off again when the Troops were ordered to retire. Never were pieces better served, most of the Men and Officers were either killed or wounded. Washington failing in his charge on the left, and the Legion baffled in an attempt upon the right, and finding our Infantry [galled?] by the fire of the Enemy, and our Ammunition mostly consumed, tho’ both Officers and Men continued to exhibit uncommon acts of heroism, I thought proper to retire out of the fire of the House and draw up the Troops at a little distance [?] the Woods, not thinking it advisable to p[ursue?] our advantage farther, being persuaded the Enemy could not hold the Post many Hours, and that our chance to attack them on the retreat was better than a second attempt to dislodge them, which, if we succeeded, it must be attended with considerable loss.

We collected all our Wounded except such as were under the command of the fire of the House, and retired to the ground from which we marched in the Morning, there being no Water nearer, and the Troops ready to faint with the heat, and want of refreshment, the Action having continued near four Hours. I left on the field of Action a strong Picquett, and early in the Morning detached General Marion, and Lt. Col. Lee with the Legion Horse between Eutaw and Charles Town, to prevent any reinforcements from coming to the relief of the Enemy, and also to retard their march should they attempt to retire, and give time for the Army to fall upon their Rear, and put a finishing stroke to our successes. We left two pieces of our Artillery in the hands of the Enemy, and brought off one of theirs.

On the Evening of the 9th the Enemy retired, leaving upwards of 70 of their Wounded behind them, and not less than 1000 stand of Arms that were picked up on the field, and found broke and concealed in the Eutaw Springs. They stove [in?] between 20 and 30 puncheons of Rum, and destroyed a great variety of other Stores which they had not carriages to carry off. We pursued them the moment we got intelligence of their retiring. But they formed a junction with Maj. McArthur at this place, General Marion, and Lieut. Col. Lee not having a force sufficient to prevent it. But on our approach they retired [to?] the neighbourhood of Charles Town. We have taken 500 Prisoners, including the Wounded the Enemy left behind; and I think they cannot have suffered less than 600 more in killed and Wounded. The Fugitives that fled from the field of Battle spread such an alarm that the Enemy burnt their Stores at Dorchester, and abandoned the Post at Fair Lawn, and a great number of Negroes and others were employed in falling Trees across the Road for some Miles without the Gates of Charles Town. Nothing but the brick House, and the peculiar strength of the position at Eutaw saved the remains of the British Army from being all made Prisoners.

We purued them as far as this place but not being able to overtake them we shall halt a Day or two to refresh; and then take our [old?] position on the high Hills of Santee. I think myself principally indebted for the victory we obtained to the free use of the Bayonet made by the Virginians and Marylanders, the Infantry of the Legion, and Captain Kirkwoods Light Infantry and tho’ few Armies ever exhibited equal bravery with our in general, yet the conduct and intrepidity of these Corps were peculiarly conspicuous. Lt. Col. Campbell fell as he was leading his Troops to the charge, and tho’ he fell with distinguished marks of honor, yet his loss is much to be regretted. He was the great Soldier and the firm patriot.

Our loss in Officers is considerably more from their value than their number, for never did either Men or Officers offer their blood more willingly in the service of their Country. I cannot help acknowledging my obligations to Col. Williams for his great activity on this and many other occasions in forming the Army, and for his uncommon intrepedity in leading on the Maryland Troops to the charge, which exceeded any thing I ever saw. I also feel myself greatly indebted to Captains Pierce, and Pendleton, Major Hyrne, and Captain Shubrick, my aids de Camp, for their activity and good conduct throughout the whole of the Action.

This dispatch will be handed your Excellency by Captain Pierce to whom I beg leave to refer you for further particulars.

I have the honor to be with the greatest respect,

Your Excellency’s
        most obedient and most humble servant

Nath. Greene

His Excely. the President of Congress

Published in: on March 27, 2022 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
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March 23, 1775: Liberty or Death

 

 

 

A fine video on the great “Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death Speech” of Patrick Henry delivered in the Virginia House of Burgesses on March 23, 1775.  It is a remarkable speech, made even more remarkable when we consider that Patrick Henry was in deep mourning for his beloved wife Sarah who, after years of fighting a losing battle with mental illness, had died in February of 1775.   ( Henry refused to have her committed, against the advice of his physician, to the appalling insane asylums of his day, one he inspected would have had his wife chained to a wall, and Henry cared for her at home, bathing her, dressing her and keeping her from harming herself.)

Henry was perhaps the greatest American orator in a time of great American oratory.  It was said of him that cold print did not do justice to the passions he roused in his listeners with his speeches.  American school children used to memorize passages from this speech, a custom I hope is revived, because his speech goes to the core of what it means to be an American.  Here is the text of his speech, as it has been reconstructed, as no manuscript of it survives and our text is based on the recollections of men who heard it: (more…)

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James Otis: Forgotten Founding Father

 

 

“The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the crown. It may be frail – its roof may shake – the wind may blow through it – the storm may enter – the rain may enter – but the King of England cannot enter.”

William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, March 1763, in his speech against warrantless searches allowed under the proposed Excise Bill before the British Parliament.

James Otis had a glittering career ahead of him.  At the age of 35 in 1760 he was Advocate General for the Admiralty Court in Boston.  His wife Ruth was heiress to a fortune worth ten thousand pounds.  He threw it all away and resigned his post to represent pro bono, he refused the fee they wished to pay him saying that in such a great cause he despised all fees,  colonial merchants subject to writs of assistance.  A writ of assistance was a court order that allowed British officials to search at whim houses and businesses of those suspected of smuggling without obtaining a search warrant.  These writs were in effect for the lifetime of the King during whose reign the writ was issued.  Bearers of writs of assistance were not responsible for any damage caused by their searches.  Otis viewed the writs to be a violation of Magna Carta, English case law and the traditional English legal doctrine that an Englishman’s home was his castle.

In a  five hour address that captivated listeners at the Boston State House on February 24, 1761, James Otis denounced the writs of assistance:

Your Honors will find in the old books concerning the office of a justice of the peace precedents of general warrants to search suspected houses. But in more modern books you will find only special warrants to search such and such houses, specially named, in which the complainant has before sworn that he suspects his goods are concealed; and will find it adjudged that special warrants only are legal. In the same manner I rely on it, that the writ prayed for in this petition, being general, is illegal. It is a power that places the liberty of every man in the hands of every petty officer. I say I admit that special Writs of Assistance, to search special places, may be granted to certain persons on oath; but I deny that the writ now prayed for can be granted, for I beg leave to make some observations on the writ itself, before I proceed to other Acts of Parliament.

In the first place, the writ is universal, being directed “to all and singular justices, sheriffs, constables, and all other officers and subjects”; so that, in short, it is directed to every subject in the King’s dominions. Every one with this writ may be a tyrant; if this commission be legal, a tyrant in a legal manner, also, may control, imprison, or murder any one within the realm. In the next place, it is perpetual; there is no return. A man is accountable to no person for his doings. Every man may reign secure in his petty tyranny, and spread terror and desolation around him, until the trump of the Archangel shall excite different emotions in his soul. In the third place, a person with this writ, in the daytime, may enter all houses, shops, etc., at will, and command all to assist him. Fourthly, by this writ not only deputies, etc., but even their menial servants, are allowed to lord it over us. What is this but to have the curse of Canaan with a witness on us: to be the servants of servants, the most despicable of God’s creation?

Now, one of the most essential branches of English liberty is the freedom of one’s house. A man’s house is his castle; and whilst he is quiet, he is as well guarded as a prince in his castle. This writ, if it should be declared legal, would totally annihilate this privilege. Custom-house officers may enter our houses when they please; we are commanded to permit their entry. Their menial servants may enter, may break locks, bars, and everything in their way; and whether they break through malice or revenge, no man, no court can inquire. Bare suspicion without oath is sufficient.

Otis lost the case, but his bold stand was considered the start of the American independence movement.  John Adams was present during the speech and later wrote:

“The child independence was then and there born,[for] every man of an immense crowded audience appeared to me to go away as I did, ready to take arms against writs of assistance.”

In the years to come he helped popularize the phrase, “No taxation without representation.”  Mental illness cut short his services to the American cause, illness exacerbated by his receiving a blow to his head from a British customs inspector in 1769.  In years to come he would have alternating periods of madness and lucidity.  His wife Ruth, although her personal political sympathies were Tory, loyally stood by her husband and cared for him.

Otis did not let his madness stop him from bearing arms.  Hearing the artillery bombardment preparatory to the battle of Bunker Hill, he snuck out of his house, got a rifle, and joined the American troops on Breed’s Hill.  After the battle he walked home. (more…)

Published in: on February 17, 2022 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
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Don’t Fire Until You See The Whites of Their Eyes!

The man behind the quotation that serves as the title of this post was William H. Prescott.  Born on February 20, 1726, Prescott served at the siege of Louisbourg in 1745.  In 1755 he participated in the taking of  Fort Beausejour on June 16 of that year.  As an experienced officer, Prescott was made a colonel of Massachusetts militia and placed in charge of the militia company in Pepperell, Massachusetts.  On June 17, 1775 he commanded the American forces at the battle of Bunker Hill.  One of the secrets of commanding relatively untrained men is to make your commands simple.  His statement about not firing until his men saw the whites of the eyes of the British troops was to make certain that they did not waste their ammunition, which was in short supply, and it worked.  During the three charges of the British the Americans held their fire until the British were close enough so that their vollies would have maximum effect.  General Thomas Gage who was observing the American position prior to the battle with a spyglass.  Noting that Prescott  seemed to be in command, he asked his aide who knew Prescott whether he thought the Americans would fight.  The aide replied:  “Prescott is an old soldier, he will fight for as long as a drop of blood is in his veins.”   Prescott and his men, although ultimately driven from the hill, and sustaining 450 American casualties, of which 140 were killed, inflicted 1,054 casualties, including 226 dead on the British.

(more…)

Published in: on February 7, 2022 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Don’t Fire Until You See The Whites of Their Eyes!  
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Battle of Blue Licks

An often overlooked part of the Revolutionary War is the conflict in the trans-Appalachian region.  Very sparsely populated, American settlers fought against hostile Indians, Tories, and the British who supported them.  The war was usually waged with no quarter asked or given.  America emerged victorious from this savage conflict, which makes it ironic that one of the last battles fought in the American Revolution was an American defeat in this theater of the war.

A raiding party of 50 Tory Rangers and 300 Indians, led by Simon Girty, William Caldwell and Alexander McKee besieged the settlement of Bryan Station on August 15, 1782.  They abandoned the siege on August 17 when they learned that a force of Kentucky militia was on the way to relieve Bryan Station.  The militia, 182 men, arrived at Bryan Station on April 18.  Colonel John Todd was in overall command, with Lieutenant Colonels Stephen Trigg and Daniel Boone (yes, the famous Daniel Boone) underneath him.

Pursuing the raiding party the militia came to Licking River on August 19.  A few Indian scouts could be seen on the other side of the river.  Boone advised against crossing the river, stating that the Indians had been leaving a very obvious trail and that he suspected they were trying to lure them into an ambush. Boone’s advice was ignored.  He said as they crossed the river, “We are all slaughtered men.”

After crossing the river the militia dismounted and began to climb a hill.  As they reached the crest, the concealed Indians and Tories opened a devastating fire.  After 5 minutes the militia ran for their lives.  The militia lost 11 captured and 72 killed, among them Boone’s son Israel.  The Tories and Indians sustained loses of 7 killed and 10 wounded.

The battle had no strategic importance, but it did humiliate American pride.  An offensive against the Shawnees was undertaken in November during which five Shawnee villages were destroyed.

Published in: on January 27, 2022 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Battle of Blue Licks  
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