"First Attack on Fort Boonesborough"

What became known as the first attack on the Kentucky settlement of Boonesborough began at sunrise on Thursday, April 24, 1777.  A few days earlier, Daniel Boone, founder of the wilderness settlement, had received word from Simon Kenton that an attack on the fort by a large war party of Shawnee raiders, who had crossed the Ohio River, was imminent. Daniel Goodman and another man,  had gone about four hundred yards from the fort to drive in some horses and noticed that cows at the head of the lane had become quite cautious.  At this time they were fired upon by four or five Indians and were pursued to within sixty or seventy yards of the fort. Kenton and two hunters who had been standing at the gate rushed to their aid and killed the Indian who had caught up with, and killed Goodman with a tomahawk blow to the head and was trying to take his scalp.  By this time, Boone and ten others joined the fray and chased the remaining Indians to the edge of the forest. Kenton, who was in the lead, spotted an Indian aiming at them from the left and fired first.  As he reloaded and Boone’s men caught up, they saw a large number of Indians who had been hidden behind stumps and fence corners, jumping into the lane to cut them off from the fort.  At this point only eight riflemen remained in the fort to protect the women and children. According to eyewitnesses, Boone yelled something to the effect of “Boys, we have to fight, sell your lives as dearly as possible”.  The white men fired and charged through the Indians.  Michael Stoner had advanced further down the lane than the others and while aiming his rifle, he was shot through the right wrist, which made him drop his rifle.  While trying to retrieve it, he was knocked to the ground by a ball through his hip.  As he lay on the ground, two Indians who were trying to get his scalp were shot by his friends who had run up to help.  The Kentuckians helped him to his feet and covered the retreat of the men who had been wounded up to this point.  Stoner presented his loaded rifle to his protectors as William Bush came to his aid.  While Bush was helping his friend, Stoner realized that the two of them together made too large a target and convinced Bush to help cover their retreat while he struggled on alone.  Bush dumped powder down his barrel and as he retrieved a bullet, which he had been carrying in his mouth, he realized that he was standing alone.  He turned to sprint back to the fort and he felt extreme stinging in his lower legs.  He had left the fort wearing short breeches and nothing on his lower legs.  When he reached safety, he didn’t know if his bloody wounds had been caused by buckshot or dirt and gravel kicked up by the enemies’ fire.  By this time six men had already been wounded or killed and Boone was on the ground from a wound by a ball, which shattered the bone of his left ankle.  A warrior rushed up to tomahawk Boone, but he was dropped by a shot from Kenton, at point blank range.  Another brave with a knife rushed towards Boone, but Kenton clubbed him with the butt of his unloaded rifle.  As Kenton supported Boone, Jemima Boone (Daniel’s fifteen-year-old daughter) rushed from the gate to help her father travel the last several rods to safety. The Indians remained in the area for two more days and then disappeared into the forest from which they had come. 

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