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In the war between England and her American Colonies the fault was with the immediate rulers rather than with the people. It was the perverseness and stubbornness of her Teutonic Sovereign and his Prime Minister, Lord North, rather than any unfriendly spirit of the masses that led to the collision. Upon the part of the Colonies the issue was unavoidable, and was simply a struggle for the bare privilege of existence. Resorted to as a measure of self-defense then, it never, upon their part, assumed the repulsive features of an aggression. The lofty statesmanship that dared conceive the possibility of living without the help and countenance of the mother country, and the loftier heroism that dared attempt the realization of the dream was tempered by a sublimer magnanimity that prevented all excess. Today the fabric of American liberty stands no less a monument to the moderation and forbearance of her people than their heroic endurance and fortitude. As such it is a heritage beyond all accident of name or fortune, and should be treasured up as a priceless heirloom by all who wear the badge of her citizenship.
Though its issues were made up and decided before the first settlement of Christian County, it is a pleasing thought that many of its most gallant spirits came with those who first adventured into its solitudes. They were principally from North and South Carolina, and a few from Virginia, and-first settled in the more broken portions in the northern part of the county. Among these it may be interesting to note the names of Col. Jonathan Clark, William Gray, William Dupuy, Robert Warner, Henry Brewer, Joseph Cavender, John Knight, Jerry Brewer, Samuel Johnson and James Robinson, and others there were whose names are forgotten. The first, Col. Clark, came to the county as early as 1803, and was long a Justice of the Peace and Sheriff. The following extract is taken from the People’s Press of 1851: ” Jonathan Clark was born on the 20th of May, 1759, in Bedford (now Campbell) County, Va. In the year 1773 he removed to Stokes County, N. C. In the spring of 1776 he volunteered as a minute man in Capt. James Shepherd’s company of North Carolina militia, was elected Lieutenant, and attached to Col. Martin Armstrong’s regiment. During this year he was mostly engaged in keeping in subjection Cols. Bryan and Roberts, whose loyalty induced them to raise two regiments of Tories, with whom he had several engagements on the Yadkin and Catawba Rivers, and although not in the battle of King’s Mountain with Cols. Cleaveland, Campbell and Shelby, was on duty near at hand, and joined them after the battle. Lieut. Clark rendered signal service in an engagement with Col. Wright, a Tory, at the Shallow ford of the Yadkin. He was then attached to Gen. Perkin’s division, and was in two skirmishes with the troops under the command of Lord Cornwallis. Before the battle of Guilford, in the year 1781, he was attached to Col. Smith’s regiment of cavalry, and had several engagements with Cols. Bryan, Cunningham and other Tory commanders, who mostly occupied the hills and would not give general battle, but would sally out in small parties and commit depredations upon the Whigs, requiring the united Whig force to keep them in subjection. In the year 1784 he removed to Pendleton District, S. C., and in 1803 to Christian County, Ky. Here he filled the office of Justice of the Peace and became Sheriff. He was a man of sterling virtues, of more than ordinary intelligence, and for the unwavering integrity of his character and goodness of heart was held in the highest estimation by his friends and neighbors. He died at his residence March 12, 1851, aged ninety-one years nine months and twenty-two days.”
Capt. William Gray was also an officer in the patriot army, lived for many years in the neighborhood of Mr. Lod Dulin, father of Rice Dulin, Esq., and was highly esteemed for his probity of character and general intelligence by all who knew him. But little is known of the part he took in the thrilling drama of those times, but that little is creditable alike to his courage and patriotism.
William Dupuy, familiarly known as “Uncle Billy,” served through the war and came to this county at an early day. He died at his residence near Hopkinsville September 11, 1851, at the ripe old age of eighty-six years. The Kentucky Rifle of September 13, 1851, says of him: ” He was one of the oldest citizens of this county, and was universally respected as one of the last of those noble old patriots who fought over the cradle of the young Republic, dealing the stalwart blows of freemen to the minions of royalty. We loved to see him lingering here to enjoy the surprising contrast between those days and these, and to suggest to all who saw him moving about, like one whose whole being belonged to the past, instructive reflections of the times that saw the first faint hope that at last Liberty had determined to found an empire and consecrate a home. But he has been gathered to his fathers, and sleeps well beneath the soil which he loved with that warm and peculiar devotion which forms one of the most characteristic traits of the broad and manly nature of the early settler. He was buried with military honors under the direction of Maj – Gen. Hays.”
Revolutionary War Pensions
The following application for pension is found on the county records:
This day Robert Warner came into open court and made oath that he is one of the Revolutionary soldiers, that he is now in the sixty-third year of his age, that he entered into the Continental service as a militia man, or a soldier in the militia service, in the year — in a company commanded by Capt. Robert Cravens, in a regiment commanded by Col. Benjamin Harrison, and that he served two tours of duty of three months each in said service, and was duly and regularly discharged, but he has lost his discharge papers, and that in the year 1778, as he believes, he enlisted in the Continental service under the command of Capt. Wallis, in a regiment commanded by Col. Richard Campbell, and in the Continental Army under the command of Gen. Nathaniel Greene, that he served from that time during the war, and that after the war he was duly and regularly discharged by Capt. Anderson, to whom he was transferred after the death of Capt. Wallis, who was killed at the battle of Guilford, and which said discharge he has lost. He states that he has never received anything, either land or money, from the United States of America for any of said services, and is now old, infirm and afflicted with palsy.
Signed and sealed the fifth day of March, 1822.
Appears in the County Court Record, is about all that is known of the war record of Samuel Johnson:
To the honorable, the Secretary of the Department of War of the United States of America.
The declaration of the undersigned respectfully showeth that in the autumn of the year 1775, in the County of Greenbrier, State of Virginia, he enlisted as a private soldier, in the company of Capt. Mathew Arbuckle. That the company of Capt. Arbuckle belonged to the regiment of the Continental line, commanded by Col. John Neville, that he joined his company at Lewisburgh, in the month of March, 1776, and marched from thence to Fort Pitt; from thence he marched with the company of Capt. Arbuckle to the mouth of the Great Kanawha, and remained with his company at that place until about. the month of October, 1778, at which time the station was abandoned and the troops stationed there discharged from the service of their country. That some few months after he entered the service, he became a sergeant, and for the last’ year of his continuance in service, he acted as Orderly Sergeant, and was discharged in good credit, that he now is a resident of the County of Christian, in the State of Kentucky, that he is now upwards of sixty-six years of age, and is by reason of his reduced circumstances in need of assistance from his country for support, he therefore prays that. he may be placed on the pension list.
STATE OF KENTUCKY,
(CHRISTIAN COUNTY COURT. }
Samuel Younglove, Joseph Meacham and Joseph Casky (the original founder of Casky Precinct) were Revolutionary soldiers, and moved to the county at an early day. There were doubtless many others who came about the same time, but their names have not been obtained. Several families of Tories also came to the county, but did not meet with much sympathy or countenance from the citizens at large. Among the number was Nicholas Pyle, who was the son of Col. Pyle of the British Army. He was very much depressed by the unfriendliness of his neighbors, and lived a life of comparative retirement. On the breaking out of the war of 1812 he was one of the first to volunteer in the defense of that country against which he had before fought. He was with Jackson at the battle of New Orleans, and deported himself so gallantly as to compel the admiration of all who knew him.
Afterward his old neighbors took him into their favor, and were wont to say: “Nick Pyle is a gallant fellow, and has redeemed himself.”
Dudley Redd was another Tory, but claimed to have been a soldier in the Continental Army. He had a deep scar on his forehead, which he claimed to have received in an encounter with the British. But an old negro man, the property of Lod Dulin, and who had formerly been a servant of Col. Billion, of the British Army, said he knew Redd well when he was a soldier under his master. The negro’s account, and which was probably true, was, that Redd was a Tory, and received the saber cut on his forehead at Kettle Creek, at the hands of a patriot soldier, who left him on the field for dead.
James Robinson, one of the earliest settlers of the county, served through the entire struggle for liberty, and came to Christian County in 1786. He is extensively mentioned in Chapter II, of this volume, and anything here would be but repetition.