The Origin of the Corn Stalk Militia

From an article in the Glasgow Times, dated 9 November 1961 by Jimmy Simmons

“The oldest military force in Kentucky was the Militia. Kentucky has had a militia since the time of Boone and Harrod. Even today the State Constitution provides that every able bodied male between the ages of 18 and 45 shall constitute the militia. In the early days of our history, the Militia Law was the only practical method of defense that the pioneer had against the Indians. Each county was divided into companies and the men in that area were required to join that company; with the right to elect their own officers. Musters were held once each month (usually on a Saturday), and the numbers of each company were acquired to attend and furnish their own muskets or rifle.
“Those who could not afford a weapon were furnished with state weapons upon swearing a pauper’s oath. These musters were taken quite seriously until the end of the Indian threat; after that they were mostly a social affair. In fact, the Militia became jokingly known as the “Corn Stalk Militia,” due to the practice of many militiamen drilling with cornstalks rather than muskets.”


About Gclee

I am a long time genealogy and local history hunter from Barren Co., KY. I have many stories to share that may be of interest to other local genealogists and history buffs. I enjoy this as a hobby and hope I can be of encouragement to others. I also hope everyone enjoys my stories as much as I have enjoyed learning about them.
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2 Responses to The Origin of the Corn Stalk Militia

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