The Battle of Blue Licks pt 2

FTER noticing the large group that had gather'd round, I demonstrated the removal of a musket ball to the shoulder, and even the Trephine on the young lad who had come from the crowd to act as 'Patient'. They seemed genuinely interested and stood in the hot sun to watch as I finished up with the boy. I took questions at the end and sent the boy on his way with his family, none the worse for wear.

I had scarecly finished and was walking down the hill when miss Reasoner found me. Her manner of dress was different from the night before when I had met her, and I did not recognize her. She inform'd me that she was still willing to style my poor wig, but that she would not be at her leisure to do so until later that afternoon, that I should find her again then.

Reports went up that Indians had been spotted on the other side of the Licking River. Colonel Todd called a council and asked mr. Boone for his opinion. Boone advised his fellow officers that the Indians were trying to draw them into an ambush.

Major McGary, apparently eager to prove that he was not a coward urged an immediate attack. He mounted his horse and rode across the ford in the river, shouting, "Them that ain't cowards, follow me." Men began to follow, as did the officers, who hoped to at least make an orderly attack. "We are all slaughtered men," said Boone as they crossed the river.

Once across, they advanced up the hill, Todd and McGary in the center, Trigg on the right, Boone on the left. As Boone had suspected, Capt. Caldwell's force (leading the Butler's Rangers, an English force) was waiting on the other side of the hill, concealed in ravines. Although the British army under Lord Cornwallis had surrendered at Yorktown in October 1781, the war on the western frontier raged on.

As the militia reached the summit, the Indians opened fire with devastating effect. After only five minutes, the center and right of the Kentuckee line gave way; only Boone's men on the left managed to push forward. Todd and Trigg, easy targets on horseback, were quickly shot down.

The Militia began to flee wildly back down the hill, fighting hand-to-hand with the Indians who had flanked them. McGary rode up to Boone's company and told him that everyone was retreating and that Boone was now surrounded. Boone gathered his men for a withdrawal. He grabbed a riderless horse and ordered his son, Israel Boone, to mount and make an escape. Israel refused to leave his father, however, and was shot through the neck as Daniel searched for another horse. Boone saw that his son's wound was mortal, mounted the horse, and fled.

Upon word of the retreat, I broke camp, putting my instruments away into the blue box as quickly as I could. Once stow'd, I paid my respects to the Scot and Mr. D, left the Parson's table where I knew they would be able to find it again, jotted a quick note for mr. Moore and made haste for the Tennasee region.

Miss Reasoner offered me a bit of sanctuary and styled and cut my wig for me before I mounted up again and returned to the Cumberland Settlements and my home.

The land I travelled to and from the Licking River area was spectacularly beautiful. Green hills that roll'd along the landscape, swift moving rivers that cut deep valleys betwixt those hills, and game in great numbers. Why, I could hardly cast my eye to the left or right without gazing upon some manner of beast.

Upon my return home I came to discover that the black sealing wax I ordered from the sutler in Naples had finally arrived, allowing me to conclude a small bit of business with Capt. Johnson at Shoenbrunn Village.

Next, I shall travel North again to attend the Fair at New Boston. I look especially forward to the event this year, as I understand that in addition to the music and dancing, I will also be able to purchase copies of the New Boston Gazette, and attend a new play entitled "She Stoops to Conquer". It sounds to be a good bit of diversion after a fairly hard fought and bloody few months.

A full listing of their merchants, artisans and entertainers, as well as the Bill of Fare can be found in their rather detail'd advertisement.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't trust Doug either ;D