William Bratton

Historical Marker #1194 at the Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort commemorates William Bratton, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition who later served in the War of 1812.

Born in Virginia in 1778, Bratton moved to Kentucky with his family at age twelve. A trained blacksmith and gunsmith, Bratton joined the Lewis and Clark expedition and traveled across the continent with the explorers. In one episode, Bratton shot a bear but only wounded it; the enraged animal chased him for a half-mile before other members of the expedition killed the bear and rescued him. After the expedition, during which he was plagued with back problems, he returned to Kentucky.

During the War of 1812, Bratton served in Captain Paschal Hickman's company of the First Rifle Regiment of the Kentucky Volunteer Militia. At the Battle of the River Raisin, fought on January 22, 1813, he was captured and taken prisoner. He was released and discharged from the military in March 1813.

After the war Bratton lived in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. He died in 1841.


Kentucky War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission Logo

Kentucky War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission Logo

The Kentucky Historical Society is the administrative agency for the War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, an 18-member body established by the Kentucky legislature in 2010. Image Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society View File Details Page

"Remember the River Raisin!"

"Remember the River Raisin!"

Print from the National Guard Heritage series, "Remember the River Raisin!" On Aug. 15, 1812, Kentucky volunteers rendezvoused in Georgetown before marching into present-day Michigan. Upon nearing Frenchtown (now Monroe), Gen. James Winchester's Kentuckians attacked that town in order to secure supplies. On Jan. 18, 1813, Winchester's men took the settlement. British forces and their Native American allies counterattacked on January 22 in what has become known as the Battle of the River Raisin. Hit hard by artillery, the Kentucky troops ultimately retreated. After the battle, some Kentucky troops were taken prisoner and marched northwards, and between 40 and 65 wounded Americans were killed by Native Americans. "Remember the Raisin" soon became a rallying cry for Americans. Image Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Sanders, “William Bratton,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed June 24, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/71.


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