Twitty's or Little Fort

Historical Marker #77 in Madison County commemorates the site of a Native American attack on Daniel Boone's trailblazing party while they constructed Boone Trace in the spring of 1775.

Boone and his men camped at this location on Taylor's Fork of Silver Creek on the night of March 24, 1775. The party mistakenly believed the potential for attack was minimal at this point in their journey. Therefore, they failed to post guards around their bivouac. In the early morning hours of March 25, while the party slept, shots were fired into the camp.

One shot went through the knees of Captain William Twitty (sometimes spelled Twetty). Although grievously wounded, he did not die immediately. However, Twitty’s slave, Sam, was killed instantly and fell into the campfire. Twitty was then rushed by an attacker who attempted to take his scalp. Twitty was temporarily saved by his bulldog, which was tomahawked to death in the process. Another member of the party, Felix Walker, was severely injured but eventually survived. Fearing for their lives, Boone and the other campers made an escape by fleeing into the dark wilderness. The surprise attack ended as suddenly as it had begun. After taking a couple of horses the Native Americans disappeared into the woods and the road cutters cautiously returned to the campsite at first light.

The injuries to Twitty and Walker were so severe that they could not be transported safely. A temporary log shelter was constructed for their comfort and as a protective defensive position for the rest of the party. Within a few days, Twitty died and was buried along with Sam at the site. The temporary structure became known as “Twitty’s Fort” or “The Little Fort” and continued to exist for many years. The location appeared on period court documents and early surveys and was used as a directional reference point.

A few days after the attack, Boone and the surviving members continued on their journey. The wounded Walker was carried on a litter between two horses. The group followed Otter Creek to the Kentucky River, and there, began construction of a permanent fort on April 1, 1775. This eventually became the town and fort of Boonesborough. Richard Henderson, who had initially hired Boone to open the trail, was at first quite alarmed by the attack. After receiving a determined letter from Boone, however, Henderson joined the party at Boonesborough a few weeks later.

Felix Walker, in his journal, was quoted as saying of Daniel Boone: "But let me, with feeling recollection and lasting gratitude: ever remembering the unremitting kindness, sympathy, and attention paid to me by Col. Boone in my distress. He was my father, my physical [physician] and friend; he attended me as his child, cured my wounds by the use of medicines from the woods, nursed me with paternal affection until I recovered without the expectation of reward. Gratitude is the only tribute I can pay to his memory."

Today, the marker for Twitty’s Fort is about one mile east of the actual location. To visit the site, travel south from the marker to Duncannon Road on Highway 421/25. Turn right and go 0.9 miles. Turn right into the Golden Leaf subdivision. Go north about one half mile to the intersection of Golden Leaf Boulevard and Cady Drive. The actual site rests in a clump of trees about 100 yards west of the intersection.