Samuel M. Wilson, BATTLE OF THE BLUE LICKS, AUGUST 19, 1782 (Lexington KY: NP, 1927)

1927

Samuel M. Wilson, BATTLE OF THE BLUE LICKS, AUGUST 19, 1782 (Lexington KY: NP, 1927)

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<If, as Daniel Boone is reported by some to have advised, Colonel todd had despatched any considerable portion of his command to the upper ford of Licking, near the mouth of Elk Creek, some two miles north of the ford at the Blue Licks, with the view of these assailing the enemy in flank or rear, the danger of ill-timed co-operation bebtween the two widely separated wings of the divided army would have rendered such a movement extremely precarious and almost certainly have brought about the complete annihilation of one or both of the greatly overmatched groups.>

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    Created: 8/7/2017 5:29:46 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20526-26246
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20526-26246


1927

Samuel M. Wilson, BATTLE OF THE BLUE LICKS, AUGUST 19, 1782 (Lexington KY: NP, 1927)

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It was the practice of the Kentuckians to "impetuously assume the offensive," "to inflict punishment and take revenge." Samuel M. Wilson, BATTLE OF THE BLUE LICKS, AUGUST 19, 1782 (Lexington KY: NP, 1927).2:15

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    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20526-26247
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20526-26247


1927

Samuel M. Wilson, BATTLE OF THE BLUE LICKS, AUGUST 19, 1782 (Lexington KY: NP, 1927)

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The pursuit of the Indians from Bryan's Station: 182 men, 45 of them from Fayette County under the command of Lieutenant colonel DB.

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    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20526-26248
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1927

Samuel M. Wilson, BATTLE OF THE BLUE LICKS, AUGUST 19, 1782 (Lexington KY: NP, 1927)

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Levi Todd to Stephen Trigg, 8/16/1782: <I sit down in a very disagreeable posture, just now defeated by a body of Indians who are now 'round Bryan's. I am necessitated to apply to you for assistance, expecting you will deem it your duty before you can have an opportunity to Receive orders from your County Lt. I last night Received an Act. from Col. Boone of Captn. Holder's defeat at the Blue Licks, and agreeable to his express desire ordered twenty men to [join] others and go to the Blue Licks. They started this morning & about an Hour after an Express came from Bryan's that some Indians had shown themselvbes and they believed a body was Round the [fort]. I set [off] after the men & met them by 12 o' the [clock], at Bryan's we were attacked. The Horse broke -- some perhaps have got in, though I can't say, but a few have Returned. Our loss I cant judge of. Let your men assemble by party as quick as possible at Lexington. Let my Brother and Col. Logan have the Earliest notice. OUr situation Requires the greatest haste. I am, &c. Levi Todd.> Samuel M. Wilson, BATTLE OF THE BLUE LICKS, AUGUST 19, 1782 (Lexington KY: NP, 1927):33

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    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20526-26249
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1927

Samuel M. Wilson, BATTLE OF THE BLUE LICKS, AUGUST 19, 1782 (Lexington KY: NP, 1927)

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It first dawned on the men in pursuit that the enemy outnumbed them at Ruddle's station. Captain Gabriel Madison: <The pursuit amediately took place, following the Indian trail to Riddles, near [blank] miles, whare it was discovered that the Enemy was far superiour to the number supposed, and by information of Captn. Hoy to Col. Boon a large party of the Enimy was also discovered at the upper Blue Licks, 8 miles from the Lower.> Samuel M. Wilson, BATTLE OF THE BLUE LICKS, AUGUST 19, 1782 (Lexington KY: NP, 1927):39

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    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20526-26250
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1927

Samuel M. Wilson, BATTLE OF THE BLUE LICKS, AUGUST 19, 1782 (Lexington KY: NP, 1927)

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In the first hand accounts of DB, Levi Todd, Gabriel Madison, Andrew Steele, and Robert Patterson, and in the contemporary secondary accounts of Benjamin Logan and George Rogers Clark, there is not a word of McGary's misbehavior, nor any imputation of any panic or disorder on the part of the Kentuckians until after the action had commenced. Moreover, in the account of British Capt. William Caldwell there is no mention: <At half past seven, they advanced in three Divisions in good order; they had spied some of us and it was the very place they expected to overtake us. We had but fired one Gun till they gave us a volley and stood to it very well for some time, till we rushed in upon them, when they broke immediatly. We pursued for about two miles, and as the enemy was mostly on horseback, it was in vain to follow further." (This 8/26/1782) Samuel M. Wilson, BATTLE OF THE BLUE LICKS, AUGUST 19, 1782 (Lexington KY: NP, 1927):53, 59

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    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
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    ID: 27-40-20526-26251
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1927

Samuel M. Wilson, BATTLE OF THE BLUE LICKS, AUGUST 19, 1782 (Lexington KY: NP, 1927)

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<I, Benjamin A. Cooper, of this State, formerly a resident of Madison county, Kentucky, state I was Lieutenant in Capt. Scott's company in Kentucky, and was in the battle of the Blue Licks, and was of Col. Trigg's regiment. I was married to a relation of Col. Daniel Boone, and was intimate with him. I knew Levi Todd, a Major in command that day, having been in several battles with him. I knew Col. John Todd, who commanded in chief, and I knew generally all the officers in the engagement. I joined the Fayette troops at Bryant;s Station the day the Indians left there, and the troops then collected, and marched in pursuit of the Indians towards the Blue Licks. I was with Col. Boone when he, by counting the IKndians fires, concluded there were at least 500 Indians -- when the troops came near the Indians, at the Blue Licks, there was a general council of officers held, at which I was present, and I knew the officers were of opinion and had decided not to fight the battle -- that they were too weak and the enemy too strong. . . . I haeard distinctly Col. John Todd's opinion. Levi Todd's and Daniel Boone's to the same effect. The action was forced upon us by the act of Major Hugh Magerey, who broke from the council, and called upon the troops who were not cowards to follow him, and thus collecting a band, went without order, and against orders, into the action, and in consequence of this act a general pursuit of officers and men took place, more to save the desperate men that followed Magary than from a hope of a successful fight with the Indians.> signed in Missouri, 11/9/1836. Collected by Mann Butler. Quoted in Samuel M. Wilson, BATTLE OF THE BLUE LICKS, AUGUST 19, 1782 (Lexington KY: NP, 1927):55-56

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    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
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    ID: 27-40-20526-26252
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1927

Samuel M. Wilson, BATTLE OF THE BLUE LICKS, AUGUST 19, 1782 (Lexington KY: NP, 1927)

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<The notion that Hugh McGary alone was the efficient instigator of the battle and the first and foremeost leader of the charging Kentuckians is not more firmly rooted, however, than the equally erroneous impression that the notorious Simon Girty was in command or quasi-command of the savage army. It is hard, perhaps impossible, to shatter a romance, at once so ancient, so wide-spread, and so rich in melodramatic flavor; but a proper regard for the facts in the case seems to require that the McGary episode shall be subjected to the tests prescribed by sound hbistorical ciriticism, and relegated to its rightful place in the tragic story.> Samuel M. Wilson, BATTLE OF THE BLUE LICKS, AUGUST 19, 1782 (Lexington KY: NP, 1927):65

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    Created: 8/7/2017 5:33:04 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
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    ID: 27-40-20526-26253
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1927

Samuel M. Wilson, BATTLE OF THE BLUE LICKS, AUGUST 19, 1782 (Lexington KY: NP, 1927)

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That McGary was guilty of some kind of insolence, insubordination, or other misbehavior on the eve of the battle, there can be no reasonable doubt.> Campbell reported this in his letter of October 3d (see my notes). And McGary himself refered to it in his letter to Logan of 8/28//1782: <I understand I am much sensured for incouraging the men to fight the Indians when we cam up with them. I should have informed you of a grand Scheam that was planed when I saw you only I thought perhaps it would cause a Riot and you may Judge the matter yourself only it is hard to Judge dead men, you saw Trigg did not wright to you untill he was shure you could not come up with us, and Todd took captn. Craig's word for the number of Indians, so we Marched in order to grain great applause with our men, as it was well known lyou would have the Command, as almost all the men was of our County, and their Scheam met with a sad misfortune which I am sorry for. So I suppose you have heard of my bad conduct, perhaps by some person that was conserned in the scheam and if you think I am faulty I should be fond to have a hearing in the Matter.> Samuel M. Wilson, BATTLE OF THE BLUE LICKS, AUGUST 19, 1782 (Lexington KY: NP, 1927):66-67

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    Created: 8/7/2017 5:33:21 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20526-26254
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20526-26254


1927

Samuel M. Wilson, BATTLE OF THE BLUE LICKS, AUGUST 19, 1782 (Lexington KY: NP, 1927)

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Wilson's version: McGary displayed bad temper, treated caution with contempt, may even have started forward without waiting for the command, exclaming his famous oath. <But the idea, as commonly understood, that he made a wild and headlong dash down the hill and across the river and up the steep bank and across the swampy bottom and then, for hnearly a mile, up and over the bare and rocky ridgbe right into the jaws of death, without ever stopping to look back or linger for assistance . . . is all too much for one's credulity.> Samuel M. Wilson, BATTLE OF THE BLUE LICKS, AUGUST 19, 1782 (Lexington KY: NP, 1927):69

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    Created: 8/7/2017 5:33:39 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
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    ID: 27-40-20526-26255
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1927

Samuel M. Wilson, BATTLE OF THE BLUE LICKS, AUGUST 19, 1782 (Lexington KY: NP, 1927)

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Why did no one point to McGary, or courtmartial him? <In the very act of following his unauthorized and mutinous lead, all became implicated in the blunder, not to say the wrong, that he committed.> Samuel M. Wilson, BATTLE OF THE BLUE LICKS, AUGUST 19, 1782 (Lexington KY: NP, 1927):72

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    Created: 8/7/2017 5:33:51 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20526-26256
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1927

Samuel M. Wilson, BATTLE OF THE BLUE LICKS, AUGUST 19, 1782 (Lexington KY: NP, 1927)

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Burying the bodies: it was difficult, but not impossible, and the names we have were probably obtained by identification of the remains.

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    Created: 8/7/2017 5:34:02 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20526-26257
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20526-26257














    

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