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been at the Shawnee Springs. In consequence of Ray’s information, everything was done to strengthen the forts, and prepare for the expected storm. On the next morning, the Indians, with the precaution usual to them, not to prosecute an expedition immediately, after any circumstance has happened, calculated to put an enemy on his guard against it, appeared before the fort, on the 7th day of March, 1777.
The militia had been organized but two days before. The Indians began by setting fire to an out-cabin, on the east side of the fort ; this, the garrison not believing to be the act of the enemy, rushed out to extinguish. The Indians now attempted to intercept their return; but our people retreated, until they got to a piece of woods, which then covered the hill, now [in 1833] occupied by the courthouse in Harrodsburg; here each man took to a tree, or tree-ed, as it was called in the language of the times. In this conflict, on which so much depended in the infancy, the very formative state of the colony, one Indian was killed, and four of the whites were wounded, one of whom died. Our people made good their retreat to the fort; the Indians soon after retired. The early time, at which this first siege of Harrodsburg was laid, and the paucity of settlements in the country, only make this, generally speaking, insignificant affair, worthy of being related. But the capture of Harrodsburg would have incalculably delayed the settlement of the country, if it had not led to further and still more fatal triumphs of the enemy.
During this year , the Indians collected in great numbers round this devoted place; so much so, as to prevent any corn from being raised about the fort. During this period of danger and want, Ray, then but about 17 years of age, used to rise before day, and with an old horse, the only one left by the Indians, out of forty brought by his father-in-law, Major McGary, to the country, proceeded as cautiously as possible to Salt river, riding in the water, as well as in the bed of any stream in his way in order to conceal his route. On leaving the river, when sufficiently out of hearing, our young woodsman would kill enough to make a considerable load of meat; he would then take it to the suffering garrison by night-fall. This was accomplished, too, when older hunters, stimulated by these boyish exploits, attempting the same enterprise, were often killed by the Indians. These isolated facts derived from the lips of the gallant actor, with much more, that
may not be introduced, in these general views, are illustrative of the difficulties and privations of frontier life.
At this time [about 1777], Logan's garrison, of St. Asaphs, near the present town of Stanford, in Kentucky, that is the men capable of bearing arms, consisted of fifteen men only. The two other principal forts were each kept in alarm by the Indians; so that no assistance could be afforded by the one to the other. The distresses of the inhabitants, particularly of the women and children, may faintly be conceived; cooped up at this period of the year, in their confined stations, and surrounded by a merciless foe. “But aided by Logan, and encouraged by his example, the little handful under his command, not exceeding thirty-five, the men less than half this number, would not complain, much more despair.” Of this apparently insignificant number “two were killed, and a third wounded."* “The loss of the
any, was not known. Harrodsburg and Boonesborough were about equidistant, and the only places from which any assistance could be expected, had they not been in equal peril themselves.
On the 25th of July, 1777, a party of forty-five men arrived from North Carolina, and although they went to Boonesborough, the intelligence of it, in some way seems to have reached the beleaguered people of Logan's station. In this attack, the Indians made their approaches with more than their usual secrecy, or the garrison were not on the alert.
“The annoyance of the Indians still continued, after these successive sieges, in which they seem to have exerted all their arts of barbarian warfare, in vain; they infested the stations, they intercepted the hunter and the traveller.” “Some kept guard, while others labored; but while the women were milking the cows outside of the fort at St. Asaphs or Logan's station, they were suddenly fired upon by a large body of Indians, till then concealed in the thick cane,
which stood about the cabins. By this fire, one man was killed, and two others wounded, one mortally; the residue with the women got into the fort.
When having reached the protection of its walls, one of the wounded men was discovered to have been left on the ground. Capt. Logan distressed for his situation, and keenly alive to the anguish of his family, who could see him from the fort weltering in his blood, exposed every instant to be scalped by the savages, endeavored
• Marshall, I, 49.
for some time in vain, to raise a party for his rescue. rison was, however, 80 small, and the danger so appalling, that Logan only met objection and refusal ; until one John Martin stimulated by his Captain, proceeded with him to the fort gate. At this instant, Harrison, the wounded man, appeared to raise himself up on his hands and knees, as if able to help himself, and Martin deterred by the obvious danger withdrew. Col. Logan incapable of abandoning a man under his command, was only nerved to newer and more vigorous exertions to relieve the wounded man, who by that time exhausted by his previous efforts, after crawling a few paces, bad fallen to the ground; Logan rushed forth and took him in his arms, amidst a shower of bullets from the enemy, many of which struck the pickets about the direction of his head, brought the wounded man in safety into the fort, and restored him to his despairing family. This anecdote well indicates the intimate ties of friendship among the pioneers, who would venture everything for the rescue of a fellow-woodsman from danger. Does such an action tell less honorably to the human heart than similar devotion on a larger scale? Does it weigh less in moral estimation, because two men were principally concerned, instead of hundreds or thousands? To the mind of the author, the essence of exalted feeling and heroic affection is the same, upon all scales of action; and the numbers upon whom it may have operated, are only one of the extrinsic accidents.
Another danger soon assailed the little garrison of Logan's station: "there was but little powder or ball in the fort; nor any prospect of supply from the neighboring stations, could it even have been sent for without the most imminent danger."*
The enemy continued before the fort; there was no ammunition nearer than the settlements on Holston, distant about two hundred miles ; and if the garrison should be compelled to surrender, it would be to horrors worse than any ordinary death--the torture of the savages. Nor was the task very easy, to pass through so wily an enemy; nor were the dangers and difficulty much lessened even beyond the circle of the besiegers, owing to the mountainous charm acter of the way, it was necessary to pass, and among a foe scattered in every direction. Still Captain Logan was not a man to falter where duty called, although encompassed by danger. With two companions he left the fort in the night, and avoiding the
trodden way, by the Cumberland Gap, which was most likely to be waylaid by the Indians,'* explored his way over the Cumberland mountains with the hardihood of a soldier, and the sagacity of a hunter. Our hero went, where no man had been known to travel before, through brush and cane over rocks and around precipices, difficult enough to have daunted the most fearless and hardy.
In less than ten days from his departure, Capt. Logan having obtained the desired supply, and leaving it with directions to his men, how to conduct their march, arrived alone and safe at his "diminutive station," which had been almost reduced to despair. The escort with the ammunition, observing the directions given it,
rrived in safety, and the garrison once more felt able to defend itself, and that it was master of its own fortune.
Still they were under the necessity of hunting for their support, which daily exposed them to the Indians, who infested the whole neighborhood. The fort remained in this hazardous situation from the 20th of May, 1777, until the month of September of the same year: when, most unexpectedly, Col. John Bowman arrived with a reinforcement of one hundred men. A detachment, considerably in advance of the main body, upon its approach to the fort, was fired at by the besiegers, and several of them killed; the rest made their way into the fort. This soon led to the dispersion of the enemy.
On the dead body of one of our men were found proclamations by the British governor of Canada, offering protection to such of the inhabitants as would abandon the rebellious colonies, and denouncing vengeance against those who refused.
Thus was announced to these advanced posts of the western country, that the Indians and the British were united in the war against them. Logan, upon receiving these papers from the man who found them, thought it most prudent, in the harassed and distressed state of the garrison, rather than of the country, to conceal their contents.
The assistance of Col. Bowman was but temporary ; "his men were engaged but for a short time, and much of that had expired on the road.” Thus again, the garrison, deprived of its brief auxiliaries, was left to the resident inhabitants.t The Indians had not withdrawn from the country; and in addition to the distress of the exposed post, its ammunition was once more nearly exhausted. “Again Logan left his family and his fort, to visit the settlements on Holston ; with his usual promptitude and energy, he obtained the assistance sought, and returned in safety to his expecting friends.
* Marshall, I, 52.
Maishall, I, 53.
Soon after his return, the force was augmented by a party under Montgomery particularly acceptable after the departure of Bowman with his brief command. *
A second attack was now made upon Boonesborough on the 4th of July, 1777, by an Indian force of two hundred warriors. In this attempt of the enemy, the garrison not half their number lost one man, and had two wounded; while the Indians had seven killed, as was seen from the fort, altho' removed from the groundit is the pious and most tenacious custom of these people. This siege lasted “two days and nights,” when the Indians losing hope of success tumultuously departed, under the concealment of the adjacent hille.† Notwithstanding these various sieges, the fields adjacent to the fort were cleared of their timber, and cultivated in corn and vegetables;" some keeping guard while others labored, and each taking his turn as a hunter, at great hazard. Yet amidst these multiplied and hidden dangers, the intrepidity of our hunters found it a relief, to take an equal chance with the enemy in the open woods. “They thought themselves the best marksmen, and as likely to see the Indian first, as to be seen by him; while the first sight was equivalent to the first fire, and the most expert shooter held the best security for his life.” I The Indians had become shy of exposing themselves before the garrisons; and even in the woods took some precautions to avoid rencounters with equal numbers.
On the close of this most eventful year , "the Indians disappeared for a while;" and the permanent settlements yet formed in Kentucky were at Boonesborough with twenty-two men; at Harrodsburg with sixty-five, and at Logan's Fort, or St. Asaphs, with fifteen. In this army of Kentucky, amounting to 102, a few less than the first band of pilgrims who landed on “New Englands rock-bound shore,” the occasional militia, who visited the stations of Kentucky, are not counted.
With this small number of fighting men in the country, no lan
• Possibly John Montgomery, who commanded a company in the Illinois battalion, and became Lieutenant Colonel in the regiment of the same name.
Marshall, 1, 54.