網頁圖片
PDF

of Kentucky retribution, and they were willing to make any march, face any danger, and engage in any conflict which should avenge the death of their fellow-citizens and restore the glorious record of their Commonwealth for courage and chivalry. Each man felt that he was engaged in historymaking; that aside from the personal glory which might result from the campaigns, there was something higher and nobler to be considered in this; the honor, the reputation and the fame of Kentucky was involved. No draft or threatened conscription had brought these heroes together. No fear or danger could drive them from their purpose. They were to follow leaders in whom they believed, and in whom they trusted with sincerest faith. The sight of their Governor, Isaac Shelby, was in itself an inspiration, and the vast number of Revolutionary soldiers, like William Whitley, Anthony Crockett, Joseph Desha, and William Henry, gave renewed inspiration to every military impulse. The future history of these men is the highest evidence and the surest indication of the magnificent spirit and of the noble impulse which impelled this little army. Vice-presidents, senators, congressmen, governors, ambassadors, consuls, and judges were all to be made from the men who gathered under the leadership of Shelby, Henry, and Desha. The men who there assembled at Urbana were, in a large measure, for half a century, to be leading factors in the development, growth, and government of Kentucky. Little discipline was needed. The crack shots now and then violated the rules by shooting-matches, and the army was now and then disposed to make free use of cartridges; but these military peccadillos detracted nothing from the splendid esprit de corps and the superb patriotism which governed, directed, and controlled this army. Every man was impatient to go to the front; with undisguised restlessness they hurried every movement; a large proportion of them would have been willing to have gone forward with nothing but guns. Many of them carried their Kentucky squirrel rifles; those who did not have these had been supplied with muskets either at Newport or at Urbana. They detested the slow march which was required to allow provisions and ammunition to keep up with the command, and everywhere officers and men demanded to be led forward in order that they might, on the battlefield, show not only their prowess, but their readiness to avenge the insults and dishonor which they felt rested upon their State by reason of the perfidious and barbarous treatment which had been accorded Kentuckians at Raisin and Fort Meigs. The officers found it difficult at first to restrain the men; their zeal outran all discretion, but, in a little while, calmer judgment and military discipline prevailed, and this brave, gallant, and chivalrous host submitted itself unmurmuringly to the leadership of their Governor and his chosen assistants. The staff appointments were men who, for intelligence and courage, could not be surpassed; and now, after nearly ninety years, as we look back we can realize what it meant to have aids like John Adair, John J. Crittenden, Matthews Flournoy, George Walker, and Robert P. Henry; secretaries like Thomas C. Flournoy and William T. Barry; adjutant-generals like Joseph McDowell; brigadier-majors like Gabriel Evans, Robert Poague, Anthony Crockett, and John Bibb. No army led and officered by such men could fail in meeting any call that duty could make. With brigadier-generals like Marquis Calmes, George Trotter, David Chiles, John Edward King, James Allen, and Samuel Caldwell; colonels composed of such material as Trotter, Donaldson, Poague, Montjoy, Renick, Davenport, Taul, Calloway, Simrall, Barbour, Floyd, and Williams, these troops could not, under any fair conditions, fail to meet every possible emergency.

Kentucky had already furnished far more than her just quota of the men who were engaged in the War of 1812, but the misfortunes and defeats and the massacres to which the men of Kentucky had been subjected had only aroused a higher degree of patriotism and a nobler resolve of consecration to the country's cause.

There were then fifty-six counties in the State. Some of the counties it would require four or five days to reach by messengers, and in some instances a week had elapsed before the Governor's proclamation had been read. When a month had passed forty-eight of the fifty-six counties were represented.

Scott, Woodford, Bourbon, Mercer, Jessamine, and Clark all had large representation in the troops then in the field, but nothing could stay the great tide of enthusiastic and chivalrous response which came from every part of the State, in answer to the demands of the Governor for an adequate force to repel British invasion.

Instead of the two thousand called for four thousand responded. Some came with only tomahawks and knives, some with swords and knives, many with their rifles, but all with brave, earnest, and patriotic hearts and all ready to do whatever their country and its cause should demand. A portion of them had seen service in the Indian wars, many of them had been Revolutionary soldiers. Although now well advanced in years, such men as Colonel Anthony Crockett and William Whitley, who by their age and devotion on the battlefield had won exemption from further sacrifice, gladly stepped forward to meet the call of the hour. Men who held high rank in the militia of the State willingly became privates in order to take part in the glorious victories which they felt would await them under the leadership of Shelby and Harrison.

After drawing such arms and equipments as could be had at Newport they marched from there to Urbana, Ohio, one hundred and twenty miles north of Cincinnati, and there the regular organization was completed.

General William Henry, a distinguished Revolutionary soldier and a great Indian fighter and a major-general in the Kentucky Militia, was given command of one division, while General Joseph Desha was given another.

The companies of Captain David Todd, Captains Matthews Flournoy and Stewart W. Megowan, of Fayette, and Captains Gustavus W. Bowers and Mason Singleton, of Jessamine; Captains Joseph Reading and John Christopher, of Woodford, formed the first regiment, under Colonel George Trotter.

The second regiment was composed of the companies of Captain Isaac Cunningham, of Clark; Richard Menifee, of Bath; George Matthews, of Fleming; James Mason, of Montgomery; James Simpson, of Clark, and Captain George W. Botts, of Fleming, and was to be commanded by Colonel John Donaldson, of Clark.

The third regiment was composed of the companies of Captain Aris Throckmorton, of Nicholas; Captains William Reed, Moses Demmitt, and Jeremiah Martin, of

« 上一頁繼續 »