From the Memoirs of Capt. Micah Taul, company commander in Colonel Joshua Barbee’s 7th Regiment of Kentucky Militia. Barbee’s regiment was raised in the fall of 1812 and served in Ohio through the spring of 1813. Barbee’s regiment built Fort Barbee at St. Marys, Ohio on the orders of General Harrison. Taul’s memoir provides an interesting insight into the socio-martial dynamic among Kentucky volunteers during the war.
An incident occurred early one morning, a few miles from Lebanon, that is worth recording. My company was that day in front. An old lady, probably at least sixty years of age, and her daughter, a good looking young woman, came from a cabin near the road, each with a pail filled with buttermilk on her head, and in an Irish or Scotch Irish dialect
the elder lady addressed us, and asked if we would accept a “treat” of buttermilk from an old woman it was all she had to offer. With many thanks to her and her daughter, saying to them it was the most acceptable treat we could possibly have received, we drank the milk, there being enough for each of my men to get a little.
“You are from Kentucky, gentlemen, I suppose,” said she. “Yes, madam,” was the answer. Said she: “May God bless and prosper you, and give you health and strength to defend this country. Brave Kentuckians, we know that you are real men, of stout hearts, who will not run and leave the frontier unprotected, like our own cowardly men have done.”
Repeating our thanks to the ladies, we marched on, our strength and spirits greatly increased by the old woman’s buttermilk and compliments.
Taul would later command a regiment of mounted volunteers during the Thames campaign in 1813. After the war, he served in the 14th Congress, afterword resettling in Tennessee and later in Alabama until his passing in 1850.
Taul, M. (1848-1850). Memoirs. Private Manuscript. As found in “Kentucky in the War of 1812”. Anderson Chenault Quisenberry. Collection of the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, 1912-1915; Published Frankfort, KY, 1915.
Private Manuscript as quoted by A.C. Quisenberry – held by Mrs. Martin Thomson, Letcher County, Kentucky.