Historical Marker #1609 in Greenville recognizes war hero Ephraim Brank, a sharpshooter during the War of 1812.
A native of North Carolina, Brank moved to Muhlenberg County in 1808. Known as a "crack shot," Brank served in the Kentucky Militia and fought at the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815. There, he earned his fame as a sharpshooter.
When British troops charged the American lines at New Orleans, they were met with a hail of gunfire and artillery. A British officer specifically recalled one Kentucky rifleman, who was likely Brank. He described him as "a tall man standing on the breastworks, dressed in linsey-woolsey, with buckskin leggings, and a broad-brimmed felt hat . . ." The officer said that this Kentuckian fired with accuracy. "Again," he wrote, "did he reload and discharge, and reload and discharge his rifle, with the same unfailing aim and the same unfailing result."
Another writer noted that "Brank brought down several British officers in their march up to our breastworks . . ." The American victory at New Orleans proved to be the last battle of the war.
After the war, Brank returned to Greenville. Recognized as a hero of the battle, he died in 1885.