The Kentucky military has a long and storied past, with many remarkable battles fought by its members. One of the earliest engagements was the Siege of Bryan Station, which took place in August 15-17, 1782 in modern-day Lexington, Kentucky. This battle was part of the American Revolutionary War and was fought in the western theater. Another significant battle was the Battle of the Blue Licks, which occurred in August 1782.The events leading up to these battles began in early 1775 when Richard Henderson, a judge and land speculator from North Carolina, negotiated the Sycamore Shoals Treaty with the Shawnee and Cherokees.
This treaty allowed Henderson to purchase a large strip of land between the Cumberland River and Ohio. He then hired Daniel Boone to open a trail through the Allegheny Mountains to connect coastal colonies with the new communities he hoped to establish. On April 6, Boone built and named a fort along the Kentucky River - Boonesborough. Just thirteen days later, local militia clashed with Crown forces in Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts, thus igniting the American Revolution.
During the Civil War, Kentucky was a border state and its legislators initially preferred neutrality due to its strong ties with both sides. However, in September 1861 a Confederate army entered Kentucky, thus breaking its neutrality, and was followed by a Union army. Numerous guerrilla battles and campaigns were fought in Kentucky during this time and soldiers from the state served in both Union and Confederate armies.Today, visitors can explore Kentucky's Civil War sites including trails, museums, cemeteries, and battlefields to gain insight into this difficult chapter in Kentucky (and US) history.