F Heritage History | Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis
Contents 
Front Matter At Boonesborough Beginning of the Story Boone on the Yadkin Boone Moves his Family Ready for the Journey What we Wore Driving Cattle and Sheep Camping at Nightfall The Long Halt Jimmy Boone Goes to Clinch Murder of Jimmy Boone A Time of Mourning The Faint-hearted Return A New Home Making Moccasins Tanning Leather Governor Dunmore Our Home on the Clinch Household Duties Attacked by a Wildcat Fighting the Wildcat Boone and Father Return The Wilderness Road Building the Forts Boonesborough Gathering Salt Boonesborough Precautions Our Home in the Fort Ready for Cooking Furnishing the House The Hominy Block The Supply of Water Sports Inside the Fort Wrestling and Running Religion of the Indians Indian Babies Colonel Callaway Arives News from Eastern Colonies Venturing Outside the Fort Dividing the Land Who Owned Kentucky? Ready to Build a Home Billy's Hard Lot Preparing Flax Spinning and Soap Making Broom Making More Indian Murders Indian "Signs" Woodcraft and Hunting Pelts Used as Money Petition of the Settlers Making Sugar Building Fences Capture of the Girls My Willful Thoughts Finding the Trail The Pursuit The Story Told by Jemima Elizabeth's Heroism Rescuing the Girls Alarm Among the Settlers Indians on the Warpath The First Wedding The Wedding Festivities The Brides Home The Housewarming Attacks by the Indians Besieged by the Savages In the Midst of the Fight The Assault by the Indians Failure of the Assault Watchfulness of the Indians The Sortie My Father Wounded Our Wounded

Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis




Besieged by the Savages

Then, suddenly, the Indians whom General Hamilton, of Detroit, had sent against us could be seen in every direction around the stockade; but they took good care at first to keep beyond range. Many days later, we learned that the wretches had made an attack on Harrodstown and on a fort that had been built by a man named Logan. I heard father say to mother, when he believed Billy and me to be so far away we could not overhear the words, that at last the time had come when we must fight for our lives.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis

Then every boy large enough to raise a rifle to his shoulder was given a post of duty at one or another of the loopholes, while the women and girls were ordered to go from cabin to cabin, cleaning the guns which had become foul from rapid firing, or loading spare weapons when our people were sorely pressed at this point or that.

It was real war which had come upon us at last, and we knew that in case our men were overcome, we women and children would be taken captives. What our lives might be as slaves in the villages of the savages was a thought to make our blood run cold. Elizabeth Henderson, for one, declared that she would never be taken prisoner again.

On that dreadful morning when we could see the savages skulking behind the trees in every direction, only a few shots were fired. The Indians waited in the hope of being able to pick off some of our men without exposing themselves to danger, so we in the fort were unable to shoot with any hope of success.

Perhaps a dozen shots were fired from the stockade without effect, so far as we could see, when Flanders Callaway set up a shout of triumph, and the men declared that he was the first to bring down an enemy.

Slowly the feathered headdresses could be seen approaching the stockade. As the number increased, they grew bolder, until every man and boy inside the fort was forced to remain keenly on the alert; again and again Jemima and I loaded spare guns for this man or that, so hotly were the savages pressing us be-fore sunset.

How many we killed or wounded I know not; but certainly two of our men were wounded. John Holder had been shot through the shoulder and Benjamin Smith had been hit in the arm, although neither of the men was willing to admit that he had been hurt seriously.

Mother and Mrs. Boone insisted on dressing the wounds, and would have kept both men in our cabin, but they refused to remain idle when every rifle was needed, for the Indians might make a rush at any moment, and on account of their large numbers, it was possible they could succeed in climbing over the stockade or in setting fire to the logs.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis