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California Joe (08 May 1829–29 October 1876), plainsman and army scout, was born Moses Embree Milner in Standford, Kentucky, the son of Sarah Ann and Embree Armstead Milner, planters. Plantation life in the Kentucky wilderness was hardly genteel; the Milner home was a log cabin, as was the schoolhouse where the young Milner was an able student. Along with “book learning,” Milner excelled in tracking and hunting, which meant his family always had fresh meat to eat. Even as a boy he was known for his skill in shooting his father’s long-barreled rifle, a talent his family regarded as wholly in keeping with his father’s past military experiences in ...

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Hardin, John (01 October 1753– May 1792), soldier and scout, was born in Fauquier County, Virginia, the son of Martin Hardin, a tavern keeper and landowner, and Lydia (maiden name unknown). At about the age of twelve, Hardin moved with his parents to George’s Creek in the unbroken wilderness of southwestern Pennsylvania, where he learned woodcraft and Indian ways and became such a proficient marksman that he was greatly feared by hostile natives. When he reached maturity, he married Jane Daviesse (or Davies), with whom he had six children. After their marriage the couple moved to Virginia. In early 1774 he volunteered as an ensign in Dunmore’s War against the Indians. Although wounded in a battle with the Shawnee while campaigning with Captain Zachariah Morgan, he refused to be invalided out of the service....