The life of the Kentucky pioneer and backwoodsman was one of long and bitter struggle. His task was to hunt, clear the forest to plow, and to fight local Indian tribes. Small forts, or stations were established to help resolve local conflicts with the savages being driven from their hunting grounds. The pioneers were of necessity armed, and were their own soldiers. They built forts and fought under commanders which the community had chosen. The mode of warefare somewhat resembled that of the Indian, and was quite different than the old European-style of both sides queuing up in a field and shooting at one another. The early pioneers fought the enemy from ambush. There was no court system, thus, the backwoodsman was prompt to avenge a wrong. He was grimly stern back woodsman who loved his freedom, and easily swayed by stormy passions. The atrocities suffered at the hand of the Indians taught him to relaliate in kind, thus, in this way he was cruel an relentless towards his enemy. After hostilities with the Indians came to a close, development of towns in the mountains was slow, and the woods remained isolated and cut off. Not until the railroads spread their iron network through the mountains, tapping an almost inexhaustible coal veins and mineral deposits, did the frontiersmen emerge into the business of coal-mining.
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