His speech produced the desired effect; not a man ventured, by disobeying, to put his threat to the test; and after gazing on them sternly a few moments in silence, he turned to McGary, who was sitting his horse a few paces distant, and said:
“Sir! you have acted unbecoming, both as an officer and a gentleman; and if we two live through an engagement which I fear is near at hand, and which your rashness will have brought about, I will have you put under arrest and tried by court martial.”
“As you please, Colonel Todd,” replied McGary, with a fierce look. “But you will bear in mind, sir, that at the council yesterday, you scouted at the proposition advanced by Colonel Boone, and seconded by myself and others, of waiting for the reinforcements of Colonel Logan, and insinuated that we were cowards. As you, sir, were so very brave, and so eager for a fight when at a distance, I swore that, if we came where a fight could be had, I would either draw you into action, or forever damn you as a coward in the eyes of your soldiers. If I have succeeded, I rest satisfied to let you do your worst.”
“Resume your place, sir! and break an order this day at your peril!” cried Todd, sharply, his face flushed with indignation.
As McGary slowly obeyed, Todd called to Boone, Trigg, and one or two others, with whom he held a short consultation as to the propriety of sending forward scouts before advancing with the main army. This being decided in the affirmative, Isaac Younker and another individual were selected from the ranks, and appointed to go on the dangerous mission; with orders to follow the buffalo trace and examine it carefully on both sides—particularly round about the ravines—and if they saw any traces of Indians, to hasten back with all speed; but if not, to continue their examination for a half mile further on, where the great trace gradually became lost in lesser paths, which branched off in every direction.
Immediately on the departure of these two scouts, the troops were drawn up in a long line, ready for action at a moment’s notice. Colonel Trigg commanded the Harrodsburgh forces on the right; Colonel Boone the Boonesborough soldiers on the left; and Colonel Todd, assisted by Majors McGary and McBride, the Lexington militia in the center. Major Harlan led the van, and Major Levi Todd brought up the rear. This was the order in which they went into battle.
THE BATTLE OF BLUE LICKS
In less than an hour, Isaac and his companions returned, and reported that they had seen no signs of Indians whatever. On the receipt of this intelligence, the order to march was immediately given, and the whole body of soldiers, under the scorching rays of an August sun, moved rapidly forward. Nothing occurred to interrupt their progress, until the van had reached within a few yards of the ravines before mentioned,