Near Bighill in Madison County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
Site of Starns’ Defeat
Shortly after Daniel Boone and his party chopped out a trail to the Kentucky River in 1775, members of the Starns family came to Boonsborough from Southwest Virginia, made land entries and helped build the fort. Frederick Starn, Sr. had immigrated from Germany to New York in 1710. In the spring of 1744, he settled on the New River in Virginia with a family of five sons and a daughter.
Jacob was the first Starns to settle his family in Kentucky where they were besieged with the Boones and others in the fort when the Shawnees attacked in September 1778. During siege negotiations, he was seized by an Indian but broke away and ran back inside the fort. Pvt. Joseph Starns drove the pack horses in the Southwest Virginia Militia relief column that arrived just after the siege ended.
Revolutionary War Pension Application No. S 7600, Joseph Starns: "I was once in a company of four in the year 1779. April 7th over a water course in Virginia back of the settlements toward Boonesboro where we were fired on by about 25 or 30 Indians, and my father (Joseph Starns, Sr.), and my uncle Frederick Starns, (Jr.) and my brother-in-law, Michael Moyer were killed and... although they pursued me for a quarter of a mile and kept firing on me, but I made my escape in the cain and other undergrowth."
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The site of the attack on the Starns was less than a mile west of here. toward Robe Mt., on Blue Lick creek near the original location of Squire Boone's Rock, in an area the settlers called "buzzard pass."
Pension Application No. W 2992 of George Michael Bedinger: "In the spring of 1779... he arrived at Boonsborough, Ky., on 7 April. They found Capt. John Holden with only about fifteen men under his command and the fort in great distress and imminent danger in consequence of a Mr. Starns and a party of ten or twelve having left the fort a day or two before... Nearly all of them fell into the hands of the Indians. One who made his escape (Joseph, Jr.) got to the fort about two hours after they did and gave information of the defeat of Starns and his party. Fortunately for us, we had missed the path and at the time the Indians who killed Capt. Starns and his party were passing on it..."
Bayless Hardin, ed., Whitley Papers, Vol. 9 Col. William Whitley: 'Starns Defeat was in March (April) 1779 Frederick Starm, Joseph Starm & ___ Starm (Michael Moyer) was killed Blue Licks now Madison County I buryed them Frederick eyes were taken out by the Birds Joseph Starms foot I could not find and the other Starms was cut to pieces he being quite opulent & his heart taken out."
Erected by Starnes/Starns
Location. 37° 34.847′ N, 84° 12.584′ W. Marker is near Bighill, Kentucky, in Madison County. Marker is on McKee Road (U.S. 421) 0.6 miles north of State Highway 594, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8218 McKee Road, Bighill KY 40405, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Civil War Action (approx. 2 miles away); Encampment at Bobtown / Engagment at Bobtown / Advance to Kingston (approx. 2.6 miles away); Merritt Jones/Wayside Tavern / Jones Tavern/CSA Cemetery (approx. 3 miles away); Confederate Cemetery (approx. 3.3 miles away); Church of Christ, Union (approx. 4.4 miles away); For Mountain Youth (approx. 4.4 miles away); The Battle of Richmond Knocked at Berea's Door (approx. 4.9 miles away); Richmond-Prelude/ Richmond Battle (approx. 5.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bighill.
Categories. • Colonial Era • Native Americans • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 11, 2010, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. This page has been viewed 3,454 times since then and 332 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 11, 2010, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.