Here's a short and sweet frontier fact about a weapon that was neither. The Kentucky rifle was known across 18th-century America as a formidable weapon. Most were generally five feet long or a bit less. Loading the gun took about a minute though some could perform this feat faster. Imagine loading under fire! Daniel Boone was one of the very few who could actually reload his rifle on the run. He also became an expert on repairing these guns which earned him great favor with the Indians.
Sometimes men were shamed by women who could out shoot them. At Fort Boonesborough, two women in particular would dress as men in hats, shirts, and breeches and take positions at the loopholes in times of attack. I'm afraid I would have still been wearing a skirt, melting pewter plates for bullets in the back room. No bravado here.
According to one source, "Kentucky rifles had more personality than any guns ever made; they were loved by the men who used them and were given feminine pet names." I'm not sure if I'd like my husband naming his firearm "Laura" but there you have it. Some did. I suppose it was a high compliment. I've read that some men, given the choice, would have picked their rifles over their wives!
Only 9 more Fridays till The Frontiersman's Daughter is on shelves.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Frontier Living, Edwin Tunis