Long Run Massacre

Marked on Shelbyville Rd. in eastern Jefferson County is the site of The Long Run Massacre. The marker of the event is easy to miss as it sits in front of Locust Creek neighborhood. While this photo shows the only thing to see today, it is quite an interesting piece of Kentucky history.

Long Run Massacre / Floyd’s Defeat Marker / Personal Photo

As I’ve previously mentioned in several of my posts, in the early years of our nation, Kentucky was a county within Virginia and had “stations” built throughout the area that were safe havens to settlers as they traveled. One of those stations was settled by Squire Boone, Daniel Boone’s brother. Squire’s safe haven was named Painted Stone Station and was located in present-day Shelby County.

By the Summer of 1781, Squire’s station had been exposed to several Indian attacks, resulting in the loss of several of its defenders. Leaving the safety of the station’s walls was dangerous, but Squire knew that his station had been weakened, and he feared a massive attack. He knew that staying was just as dangerous as leaving. He felt he had no choice but to plan for the abandonment of the station.

On September 13 of that same year, about 40 militiamen arrived at Painted Stone Station to lead its settlers northwest to Linn’s Station, near the Falls of the Ohio. (Squire and his family, along with the widow and children of Evan Hinton, stayed behind at the station.). The fleeing settlers followed Boone’s Wagon Road across Shelby County into present-day Jefferson County.

After traveling only 9 miles, the group lost 10 – 20 militia members who remained at the ford of Long Run Creek to protect Lt. James Welsh (from Low Dutch Station) who had taken ill.

The remaining settlers and militiamen continued another 3 miles (now approximately half the trek) towards the station. They were traveling a very narrow trail along Long Run Creek, so they were strung out in a single file line. Just as the group was most vulnerable, they were attacked by Indians. Many settlers were able to outrun or hide (as the group had previously planned), surviving the attack along Long Run Creek, making it to Linn’s Station safely that night. There were, however, about 15 who were killed during the attack.

As happens with most stories, the number of casualties differs from 15 to over 100. In recent years, historians have been able to more accurately account for 15 deaths. Due to the attack on and slaughter of women and children, this historical event is still referred to as a massacre.

While Squire Boone was not with the settlers during the attack, the event also became known as Boone’s Defeat because the settlers had left his station under his plan and advisement.

I have also posted a photo of the trail the settlers took. I happen to like this map since it shows present-day locations. It helps to better understand exactly where the events took place.

Map of the Route the Painted Stone Settlers Traveled to Linn’s Station / Personal Screen Shot

Floyd’s Defeat

Colonel John Floyd gathered up men to retrieve and bury the massacred settlers, leaving Linn’s Station towards present-day Eastwood, KY. Upon arriving, Floyd and his men, including Captain Peter A’Sturgis from Sturgis’s Station were ambushed by a group of American Indians.

East of Linn’s Station the men were divided into three columns. Colonel Floyd commanded the center column which marched in the road. Captain Peter A’Sturgis commanded the right and Lieutenant Thomas Ravenscraft commanded the left column. In this position they quickly marched east along the wagon road. They were headed for Painted Stone with all possible speed fully expecting to find it under siege. Ballard rode in the right column with A’Sturgis…

The nearly one mile stretch of old U.S. 60 – the Eastwood “cutoff” – follows the ridge and nearly the identical route of Boone’s old wagon road. It was along this stretch of old U.S. 60 at the site of the present-day Eastwood Cemetery that the defeat occurred.
The Indians were on both sides of the ridge, their shot crossing up the hill. Captain Peter A’Sturgis was in front. It was thought the first shot struck him. Although mortally wounded, he plunged his horse through the Indian lines and escaped…

Out of the twenty-seven men who rode out from Linn’s Station that morning only ten escaped from the defeat. Seventeen were either killed or captured on the spot. Captain A’Sturgis died somewhere between Floyd’s Fork and Linn’s as they retreated.

Painted Stone Settlers

It is believed that those men who did not survive the defeat are buried in a mass grave in current-day Eastwood Cemetery.

Headstone Marking the Mass Grave of the Painted Stone Settlers / Personal Photo
Eastwood Cemetery in Eastwood, KY / Personal Photo

As stated earlier, there really isn’t anything to see other than the historical marker and the memorial headstone.

NOTE: This “post” was originally written in 2021 on our Facebook page before our blog website existed. Following the Revolutionary War Stations posts that were recently published, I thought you might enjoy this brief post as it’s such a fascinating piece of history and almost a culmination to the previous posts. I do hope you enjoyed!

Happy Travels!

One thought on “Long Run Massacre

  1. VERY INTERESTING. Thank You for all of these posts. I enjoy bringing the markers to life with your research and commentary.

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