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like five hundred feet. In front of the column led by Johnson was a company on foot, while in front of those, mounted, was what was known as the "Forlorn Hope," in the courage and gallantry of which on that day was written one of the most heroic and sublimely brave acts which had ever been recorded of Kentucky men.
The "Forlorn Hope" consisted of twenty men. Colonel Johnson himself rode by its side. It was led by the grand old pioneer William Whitley, and was composed, so far as known, of the following persons:
William Whitley, of Lincoln, enlisted as a private in James Davidson's company; Benjamin S. Chambers, quartermaster, a lawyer from Scott County; Garrett Wall, forage master, Scott County; Eli Short, assistant forage master, Scott County; Samuel A. Theobald, lawyer, Franklin County, judge advocate; Samuel Logan, second lieutenant, Coleman's company, from Harrison County; Robert Payne, private, James Davidson's company, probably from Lincoln or Scott County; Joseph Taylor, private, J. W. Reading's company; William S. Webb, private, Jacob Stucker's company, Scott County; John L. Mansfield, private, and a printer, Jacob Stucker's company, Scott County; Richard Spurr, private, Captain Samuel Combs' company, Fayette County; John McGunnigale, private, Captain Samuel Combs' company, Fayette County.
These twenty men, with Colonel R. M. Johnson and the pioneer William Whitley, at once advanced to the front. The main line halted for a brief space, until this advance could assume position, and when once they were placed, at the command "Forward! march!" they quickly and calmly rode to death.
In the thickets of the swamp, in which lay Tecumseh and his red soldiers, they peered in vain for a foe. Not a man stirred, but the ominous silence betokened only the more dreadful fire when the moment of contact should come.
Along a narrow space they advanced. Stunted bushes and matted and deadened grass impeded their horses' feet, but these heroes urged their steeds forward with rapid walk, seeking the hidden foe in the morass that skirted the ground upon which they had aligned.
These were not unwilling victims to war's savage sacrifices. They understood and realized the dangerous and deadly mission upon which they were bent; six hundred comrades rode behind, but were partially removed from danger. This noble vanguard was the cynosure of all eyes, and their fellows watched with almost stilled hearts to hear the signal guns which meant wounding and death to these twenty men who were daring so much and who were ready to receive into their own hearts and bodies the leaden hail