EARLY STATIONS OR FORTS
By Dallas Bogan
Reprinted with Permission from Dallas Bogan.
Various ways were used in
the construction of a blockhouse. The stockades were built with posts
or logs solidly set in the ground and sometimes sharpened at the top,
and arranged so as to enclose a region. The stronger blockhouses were
generally built conforming to each angle, and the lines between them
filled with stockades or with cabins, one connecting the other, thus
completing an enclosure. The heavier built fortifications were constructed
of heavy hewn timbers and were sometimes of two or even three stories.
The smaller stations were built to accommodate fewer families and had
a single blockhouse with cabins close-by, and sometimes were without
THE BACKWOODS RIFLE
The backwoods rifle was a product of
the American frontier. Formally known as the "Pennsylvania-Kentucky"
rifle, this long barreled innovation became a standby throughout the
Appalachians. Precise workmanship was called upon, thus it was made
of the softest iron available. The inside of the barrel, or the bore,
was carefully "rifled" with spiraling grooves. This gradual
twist made the bullet fly harder and aim straighter toward its target.
The butt of the weapon was crescent-shaped to keep the gun from slipping.
All shiny or highly visible metal was blackened; some times a frontiersman
would rub his gun barrel with a dulling stain or crushed leaf.
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