Sunday, October 16, 2011

We're in Kentucky

Today we walked where Lt. Col. Daniel Boone not only lost a battle, but also his son and nephew.

We’re at Blue Licks Battlefield State Park in north central Kentucky.The Battle of Blue Licks was fought on August 19, 1782, to avenge a three-day rampage where British and Indian forces burned nearby homes and crops.  It was the last battle of the Revolutionary War.
The story goes that when a lower-level officer of the Kentucky Militia suggested waiting for reinforcements before attacking, he was ridiculed for “timidity.”  Later, when Daniel Boone suggested a delay, the other officer -- still smarting from the earlier accusation -- yelled “All who are not cowards follow me.” (Or “Them that ain’t cowards, follow me” depending on if you are reading the park brochure or most other accounts.)  The men followed, but were ambushed by troops hiding in wooded ravines.  Sixty-four of the 182 members of the Kentucky Militia were killed, including Daniel Boone’s son, Israel, and nephew, Thomas. However, the defeat spurred over a thousand riflemen to later chase the Shawnee Indians from their villages near the Ohio River.  They also destroyed Chillicothe, a Shawnee town further north.  This was a final blow to the Revolution, as the Indians were essential to British efforts.
This hillside is where the battle of Blue Licks occurred.  The park brochure refers to the militia who beat the Kentuckians as “British” but other sources said they were probably American Loyalists and Canadians.  The British had actually surrendered 10 months earlier at Yorktown, but skirmishes like Blue Licks continued in the western part of the new country.

Burial place of some of the men who died at the Battle of Blue Licks, just yards from where the actual battle happened.  While Daniel Boone’s son and nephew were killed, two of Boone’s nephew also fought and survived.  Daniel Boone himself lived to be 85 and died in Missouri.
This monument lists the names of everyone who was in the battle.  As the men went forward on their own and the officers followed, Daniel Boone -- who suspected an ambush -- supposedly said “We are all slaughtered men.”  Another story says Boone hid his son’s body in a cave before leaving the battleground, but historians say it’s unlikely he had time.

On a way lighter note, Jim makes friends with our next-door, motorcycling neighbors at Blue Licks Battlefield State Park.  The three guys are all from Kentucky, and once made a trip to Utah and back in 16 days.  Their motorcycles pull trailers that turn into small tents.  You can see one of the tents behind the red cycle closest to Jim and the guys.  Our rig is on the far right.

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