THE REVOLUTIONARY PERIOD.
Extent of Bedford County at the Beginning of the Revolutionary War—The Names of Some of Its Prominent Men at that Time—-Its Representatives in the bodies termed "Provincial Convention," "Committee of Safety," and " Conference" of 1776—-Bedford County Men join the First Pennsylvania Rifle Battalion and March to Boston, Massachusetts—-Brief History of that Famous Battalion—-Various Letters, Orders, Rosters of Companies, Extracts, etc., Gleaned from State Archives and County Records.
WHEN the revolutionary war began, Bedford county comprised the territory forming the present counties of Bedford, Fulton, Somerset, Huntingdon, Blair and Cambria. The Scotch element predominated in the region described, and among those who at once became prominently identified in the struggle for independence and national unity were Col. George Woods, Judge Barnard Dougherty, Col. David Espy, Samuel Davidson, Esq., Col. John Piper, Col. James Piper, Maj. John Cessna (the great-grandfather of Hon. John Cessna), Col. Charles Cessna, Maj. Edward Coombs, Col. Hugh Barclay, Capt. Andrew Mann, Col. Robert Galbraith, Capt. Robert Cluggage, James Martin, William Proctor, William Parker, Capt. Thomas Paxton, Col. Thomas Smith, James Wells, John Malott, Robert Scott, and Capt. James Francis Moore, besides the major portion of the inhabitants. We say the major portion because there was a large number in the aggregate, scattered through the county as then formed, who, in their endeavor to remain loyal to King George the Third, were denominated tories.
The destruction of the tea in Boston harbor and the enactment of the "Boston Port Bill" had aroused the colonists throughout the continent to concerted action, and of the deputies who met at Philadelphia on the 15th of July, 1774, to take action regarding the grievances of the Americans, George Woods, Esq., was present as the representative for Bedford county. Following this meeting came the "Provincial Convention," the members of which assembled at Philadelphia on the 23d of January, 1775, and continued in session six days. Committees were present from each county in the province, except those from Bedford and Westmoreland, who, doubtless, were prevented from attending, by reason of the great distance to be overcome during an inclement season of the year. This convention promulgated various recommendations to the end that the province might become self-sustaining, manufacture its own goods, etc., and thus avoid the importation of articles of English manufacture. The crisis to which the convention looked forward when framing the resolves and recommendations referred to had at last arrived. The battle of Lexington was fought, and time arbitrary acts of a hated parliament, located on the opposite side of the Atlantic, and more than three thousand miles away, were attempted to be enforced at the point of the bayonet.
In May, congress having resolved to raise an army, of which the Pennsylvania portion amounted to four thousand three hundred men, the assembly recommended to the commissioners of the several counties to provide arms and equipments for this force; they also directed the officers of the military association to select a number of minute-men, equal to the number of arms which could be procured, who should hold themselves in readiness to march at the shortest notice to any quarter, in case of emergency. To assist in carrying into effect these measures, on the 30th of June, 1775, a committee of safety, consisting of prominent inhabitants of the city and county of Philadelphia, and the counties of Bucks, Chester, Lancaster, York, Cumberland, Northampton, Berks, Bedford, Northumberland, and Westmoreland, was appointed. Barnard Dougherty was chosen as a member of the committee to represent Bedford county, but did not take his seat with that body until the middle of the following September. However, the committee immediately organized by choosing Benjamin Franklin president, William Garrett clerk, and Michael Hillegass treasurer. At the same date—-June 30, 1775—-Bedford county was called upon to furnish immediately, as its inhabitants regarded the "freedom, welfare and safety of the country," one hundred good firelocks, with bayonets, etc., "for the use of such officers and soldiers as shall be drafted from time to time."
The battle of Bunker Hill was fought on June 17, 1775, and within ten days after the news of time battle had reached the province of Pennsylvania, her first rifle battalion was ready to take the field. Col. William Thompson,* of Carlisle, was placed in command, and of the eight companies composing the battalion, the
*Col. Thompson was born in Ireland and was a surveyor by profession. He served as a commissioned officer with Col. Armstrong in the Kittanning expedition, and was captain of a troop of light horse in 1758. He assisted Smith and his "Black Boys" to capture Fort Bedford in 1769, and the previous year with John Fraser (both, at that time, being residents of Bedford) took part in the great Indian council at Fort Pitt. In 1774, he commanded a company of rangers in Westmoreland county. He was commissioned colonel of the First Pennsylvania Rifle Battalion, June 25, 1775 and brigadier-general March 1, 1776. Ordered to Canada in April, 1776, he was captured by the British at "Three Rivers," July 4, of that year. He was paroled and returned home in 1777, but was not regularly exchanged until October, 1780. He died at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, September 3, 1781, at the age of 45 years.
one commanded by Capt. Robert Cluggage was formed of Bedford county men. Robert Magaw, of Carlisle, the first attorney admitted to practice in the courts of Bedford county, also served as the first major of the battalion. Starting from Reading, the place of rendezvous, the command marched at once toward Boston, by way of Easton, through northern New Jersey, crossing the Hudson river a few miles north of West Point, and joined Gen. Washington’s forces in the trenches at Boston, on August 8, 1775. These were the first companies from south of the Hudson river to arrive in Massachusetts, and naturally excited much attention.
Thatcher, in his military journal, said of these men:
Several companies of riflemen, amounting, it is said, to more than fourteen hundred men, have arrived here from Pennsylvania and Maryland, a distance of from five hundred to seven hundred miles. They are remarkably stout and hardy men, many of them exceeding six feet in hight. They are dressed in white frocks or rifle shirts, and round hats. These men are remarkable for the accuracy of their aim, striking a mark with great certainty at two hundred yards’ distance. At a review a company of them (doubtless meaning Col. Cresap’s company of Maryland frontiersmen, one-half of whom were recruited in that part of Pennsylvania lying west of the Alleghenies) while on a quick advance, fired their balls into objects of seven inches’ diameter, at a distance of two hundred yards. They are now stationed on our out lines, and their shot have frequently proved fatal to British officers and soldiers who exposed themselves to view, even at more than double the distance of a common musket shot.
As a further matter of interest concerning the history of the First Pennsylvania Rifle Battalion, we insert the following, an extract from an article prepared by Hon. John B. Linn, deputy secretary of state, and published in the Philadelphia Weekly Times April 14, 1877:
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania has in its temporary possession a very interesting relic of the revolution. It is the standard of the First Pennsylvania Rifle Battalion, Col. William Thompson, of Carlisle, which was raised upon the reception of the news of the battle of Bunker Hill, and entered the trenches in front of Boston on the 8th of August, 1775. It was in all the skirmishes in front of Boston, and before the British evacuated that city it was ordered to New York to repel their landing there, Colonel Thompson was promoted brigadier on the 1st of March, 1776, and Lieut.-Col. Hand, of Lancaster, succeeded him. The term of the battalion expired on the 30th of June, 1776, but officers and men in large numbers reenlisted for three years or during the war, under Col. Hand, and the battalion became the 1st regiment of the Continental Line. It was at Long Island, White Plains, Trenton and Princeton, under Hand. On the 1st of April, 1777, Hand was promoted brigadier, and Lieut.-Col. James Chambers, of Chambersburg, became colonel. Under him the regiment fought at Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, and in every other battle and skirmish of the main army until he retired from the service, January 1, 1781.
Col. Chambers was succeeded by Col. Daniel Brodhead, and on the 26th of May, 1781, the 1st regiment left York, Pennsylvania, with five others, into which the line was consolidated under the command of Gen. Wayne, joined Lafayette at Raccoon Ford on the Rappahannock on the 10th of June; fought at Green Springs on the 6th of July; opened the second parallel at Yorktown, which Gen. Steuben, in his division orders of 21st of October, says "he considers as the most important part of the siege." After the surrender the regiment went southward with Wayne, fought the last battle of the war at Sharon, Georgia, May 24, 1782; entered Savannah in triumph on the 11th of July, and Charleston on the 14th of December, 1782; was in camp on James Island, South Carolina, on the 11th of May, 1783, and only when the news of the cessation of hostilities reached that point was it embarked for Philadelphia. In its services it traversed every one of the original thirteen states of the Union; for while in front of Boston, October 30, 1775, Captain Parr was ordered with a detachment of this battalion up to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to defend that point. I noticed this standard on exhibition at the Museum during the Centennial, but supposed it ‘the banner with a strange device’ of some revolutionary militia battalion. I identified it the other day at the rooms of the Historical Society from a description contained in a letter from Lieut.-Col. Hand to Jasper Yeates, in possession of Gen. Hand’s granddaughter, Mrs. S. B. Rogers, of Lancaster. It is dated:
"Prospect Hill, 8 March, 1776.— I am stationed at Cobble Hill with four companies of our regiment. Two companies, Cluggage’s and Chambers’, were ordered to Dorchester on Monday; Ross’ and Lowdon’s relieved them yesterday. Every regiment is to have a standard and colors. Our standard is to be a deep green ground, the device a tiger partly enclosed by toils, attempting the pass defended by a hunter armed with a spear, in white on crimson field; the motto, Domari Nolo."
ROLL OF CAPT. ROBERT CLUGGAGE’S COMPANY, FALL OF 1776.
Captain: Robert Cluggage.
First Lieutenant: John Holiday, commissioned June 25, 1775. Second Lieutenant: Robert McKenzie, died Feb, 12, 1776; Benjamin Burd, from third lieutenant.
Third lieutenant: Benjamin Burd, Oct., 1775, promoted second lieutenant.
Sergeants: James Holliday; Daniel Stoy, dis. at Long Island, July 1, 1776; resided in Somerset county, Pa., in 1818; Querinus Meriner, David Wright.
Corporals: Acquilla White, William Lee, Joseph McKenzie, Angus McDonald.
Drummer: Timothy Sullivan.
Privates: Adam Anderson, resided in Westmoreland county in 1818; Philip Beechey, John Bowman; Thaddeus Broughdon, dis. Feb.10, 1776; Thomas Brown, George Bruner, John Campbell, Thomas Casek, Stephen Cessna, Patrick Clark, Philip Conner, James Corrowan; Joshua Craig, resided in Cumberland county in 1820; John Crips, Alexander Crugren, Thomas Cunningham, James Curran; John Davis, afterward adjutant Flying Camp; Cornelius Dilling; William Donelin, re-enlisted 1st Pa.: Matthew Dougherty, Laurence Dowling, Daniel Francks, George Freemhn, Amariah Garrett, Daniel Gemberland, Reuben Gillespy, Richard Hardister, Conrad Hanning; Francis Jamison, re-enlisted 1st Pa.; Andrew Johnston, enlisted June 25, 1775; promoted lieutenant 1st Pa.; Matthias Judy; John Kelly,— "Sept. 14, 1775, John Kelly, one of Capt. Cluggage’s men, shot one of Capt. Chambers’ men through the head for stabbing him."--Wright’s Journal; Peter King, James Knight, William Laird, Charles Lenning, Robert Leonard; John Lesley, re- enlisted in 11th Pa." Henry McCartney, dis. at Long Island, July, 1776, weaver, resided in Lycoming county in 1820; Daniel McClain, re-enlisted 1st Pa.; John McCune, John McDonald, Patrick McDonald, Thomas McFarlane, Thomas Magee, Daniel Mangaw, Michael Miller, Robert Platt, John Pitts, Samuel Plumb, Martin Reynolds, Daniel Rhoads; Philip Ritchie, re-enlisted 1st Pa.; Thomas Shehan, Francis Shires; Alexander Simonton, reenlisted 1st Pa.; Emanuel Smith, Henry Smith; Daniel Stoy, promoted sergeant; John Stuart, Jonathan Taylor, James Turmoil, Andrew Tweed, James Vanzandt; Daniel Vanderslice, re-enlisted 1st Pa.; Thomas Vaughn, re-enlisted 1st Pa.: Samuel Wallace, re-enlisted 1st Pa.; Solomon Walker, James Warford, Thomas Ward, Alexander Wilson; George Whitman, enlisted June, 1775, re-enlisted In 1st Pa.; Samuel Woodward.
Again turning our attention to matters occurring, meanwhile, in and about Bedford county, we learn from the Pennsylvania archives that on February 9, 1776, Col. David Espy, clerk for the county commissioners, in a letter addressed to the committee of safety, said:
We have but one Gunsmith in the County, who has engaged to make twenty-five Firelocks, and has been employed for these three or four months past, but has not got any of them compleated; yet we are in hopes he will soon have the twenty-five finished. He has been very industrious to procure Assistants or Journeymen, in order to undertake the whole, but cannot obtain any; and we also have endeavoured to employ others in the adjacent Counties, but are informed they are already engaged. We have provided Leather, and have employed a Saddler to make the Cartridge Boxes, agreeable to the Pattern sent us, and will take every necessary step in our Power, in order to have the whole completed.
In response to a circular issued by prominent men of the province, on June 18, 1776, deputies from the city of Philadelphia and the various counties met at Carpenter’s Hall, Philadelphia, to adopt such a form of government "as shall, in the opinion of the representatives of the people, best conduce to the happiness and safety of their constituents in particular, and America in general." Those who represented Bedford county at this conference were Col. David Espy, Samuel Davidson, Esq., and Col. John Piper. The conference at once unanimously resolved, "That the present government of this province is not competent to the exigencies of our affairs, and that it is necessary that a provincial convention be called by this conference for the express purpose of forming a new government in this province on the authority of the people only." Such a government was soon after formed, and thus ended forever the proprietary and royal authority in Pennsylvania.
In the summer of 1776 the necessities of the continental service caused the council of safety to place the state battalions of Cols. Daniel Brodhead, Samuel Miles and Samuel J. Atlee at the disposal of congress. They were marched to Long Island, where, with the continental regiments of the Pennsylvania Line, namely, Cols. Shee’s, Magaw’s and Cadwallader’s, they were engaged in battle on August 27, which resulted in the defeat of the American forces and the evacuation of Long Island. The Pennsylvania troops sustained, serious loss. Besides the many officers and men killed and wounded, Col. Miles and Lieut.-Col. James Piper, of the 1st riflemen, and Col. Atlee, of the 3d, with other officers, were taken prisoners. Regarding the battle of Long Island, Col. Brodhead, in a letter addressed to a friend, wrote as follows:
CAMP NEAR KING’S BRIDGE, 5th Sep’r 1776.
DEAR SIR: I doubt not the Hon’ble the Convention of the State of Penn’a is anxious to know the state of the Provincial Troops since the Battle on Long Island, and as I have now all the information to be expected concerning it for the present, will give them every circumstance that occurs to me. On the 26th of last month, Gen’ls Putnam, Sullivan and others came to our camp which was to the left of all the other posts, and proceeded to reconnoitre the enemie’s lines to the right, when from the movements of the enemy they might plainly discover they were advancing towards Jamaica, and extending their lines to the left so as to march round us, for our lines to the left were, for want of Videttes, left open for at least four miles, where we constantly scouted by Day, which besides mounting a Guard of one hundred men & an advance party of subaltern and thirty to the left of us, was hard Duty for one Reg’t; during the night of the 26th we were alarmed three Different times and stood to our Arms. As soon as it was light, Col. Miles, from
the right of our first Battn., sent me orders to follow him with the second, to the left of our lines; when I had marched about half a mile, I was ordered to the right about, to join Col. Willis’ reg’t of New England troops, but by the time I returned to the camp, Maj. Williams, on horseback, overtook me with orders from Col. Miles, to march Oliquely & join him, but could not say where I might find him; I Observed the orders and directed a Subaltern from the front of the Battn. (which was marching in Indian file) with a small party to the left of the Battn., and desired Maj. Patton to send a Subaltern & small party from the rear to the right of the front of the Battalion, which he mistook and took the one-half of the Battn. to the right, about two hundred yards, which immediately threw the half the Battn. so far to the rear as to render it very, difficult to join without sustaining great loss, for presently after we left our camp we discovered the Enemie’s horse & foot to the number of four or five thousand in our front, and as we could discover nothing of the first Battn. (meaning Miles’ command, of which James Piper was lieutenant-colonel) the Enemy being vastly superior to us in Number, I immediately ordered the Battn. to gain a Wood to the left and there formed, but seeing a Number of Artillerymen dragging a brass field piece & Howit through a clear field in order to gain a wood a little to the left of our Front, and knowing the Enemy were also in our rear, I ordered that part of the Battn. which was with me, to proceed to the second wood, & cover the Artillery and make a stand, but the New England Reg’t aforementioned coming up with us, and running thro’ our files broke them, and in the confusion many of our men run with them. I did all in my power to rally the musquetry & Riflemen, but to no purpose, so that when we came to engage the Enemy, I had not fifty men, notwithstanding which, we after about three Rounds caused the Enemy to retire, and as the Enemy’s main body was then nearly between us and the lines, I retreated to the lines, having lost out of the whole Battalion, about one hundred men, officers included, which as they were much scattered must be chiefly prisoners; during this time, four or five Reg’ts, among which were our musquetry & flyngi Camp, Delaware & Maryland Reg’ts, and some of our Riflemen who had joined them, were engaged to the left of us and right of the Lines. I had no sooner got into the Lines than the Enemy advanced up to them and kept up a brisk fire on us, but only one man was Killed in the Lines; as soon as we returned the fire with our rifles and Musquetry, they retreated, and if we had been provided with a field piece or two, of which we had a sufficient number elsewhere, we might have killed the greater part of their advance party; as soon as the Enemy were beaten from the Lines, I was ordered to a point about a mile and a half to the right, to cover the retreat of the Delaware Battalion and the other Troops that might come over the Constant fire of the Enemie’s field pieces and Howits; here I remained till almost night before I was relieved, notwithstanding the Generals there had been a number of Reg’ts who were not engaged, and had little or no fatigue.
Upon the whole, less Generalship never was shown in any Army since the Art of War was understood, except in the retreat from Long Island, which was well conducted. No troops could behave better than the Southern, for though they seldom engaged less than five to one, they frequently repulsed the Enemy with great Slaughter, and I am confident that the number Killed and wounded on their side, is greater than on ours, notwithstanding we had to fight them front & rear under every disadvantage. I understand that Gen. Sullivan has taken the Liberty to charge our brave and good Col. Miles, with the ill success of the Day, but give me leave to say, that if Gen. Sullivan & the rest of the Gen’ls on Long Island, had been as Vigilant & prudent as him, we might, & in all probability would have cut off Clinton’s Brigade; our officers & men in general, considering the confusion, behaved as well as men could do—-a very few behaved ill, of which, when I am informed, will write you. Our men are getting very sickly for want of Blankets and Clothing (having thrown away those they had in the engagement), which I fear they can’t be furn’sht with here. Gen’l Washington has ordered our three broken Battalions to be considered as a regiment under my command until further Orders, but as the Assembly and Committee of Safety by them appointed are now dissolved I should be glad to know from your Hon’ble House, whether we are considered as Volunteers in this part of the Continent, or as Troops of the State of Pens’a, subject to the order of Convention, and whether our Rank is to be settled upon a more respectable footing than at present, for as it now stands, a Lieut.-Col. commissioned by Congress as of yesterday, takes rank of me today. I should also be glad to know whether promotions will take place and the Reg’ts filled by Drafts, or recruits, also in respect of the exchange of Prisoners, for we apprehend that Continental Troops will always be exchanged before us. Col. Miles & Col. Piper are prisoners, and I hear are well treated, poor Atlee I can hear nothing of. Col. Perry died like a Hero. No allowance has as yet been made for the Lieutenant Coll’s and Majors Table Expenses, in case of separate commands. I hope we shall be put upon as respectable a footing on that acc’t as the Maryland officers are, our present pay being not more than half sufficient to support us according to our Rank in this Tory Country.
I am Dear Sir, in great Haste, your
Most H’ble Serv’t, DANIEL BRODHEAD.
P.S.— The Great Gen’l Putnam could not, tho’ requested, send out one Reg’t to cover our retreat.
ROLL OF CAPT. RICHARD BROWN’S COMPANY.
Captains: Richard Brown, appointed from Bedford county, March 19, 1776; taken prisoner Aug. 27, 1776; James Francis Moore, from first lieutenant, Oct. 25, 1776.
First Lieutenant: James F. Moore, appointed from Bedford county, March 19, 1776; joined the company Aug. 9, 1776; promoted captain Oct. 25, 1776.
Second Lieutenants: James Barnet, resigned July 28, 1776; Thomas Boyd, from third lieutenant of Capt. Shade’s company, Aug. 9, 1776; taken at Fort Washington; resided in Indiana county, Pa., in 1817.
Third Lieutenant: James Holmes, commissioned April 15, 1776; resigned Dec. 31, 1776.
Sergeants: Henry Stelts; James Anderson, missing since Aug. 27, 1776, paroled December, 1776, resided in Bedford county in 1813 ; Patrick Fitzgerald, Samuel Evans, Thomas Johnston, Jacob Hirsh.
Drummer: William Lever, missing since Aug. 27, 1776.
Fifer: Conrad Ludwick.
Privates: Ephraim Allen, Richard Allen, Henry Armstrong; Hugh Barkley, missing since Aug. 27, 1776; Hezekiah Biddle, missing since Aug. 27, 1776; George Biddleson, Thomas Bradley; William Bradley, missing since Aug. 27, 1776; Solomon Brown; Peter Carmichael, missing since Aug. 27, 1776; James Clark, George Clements, John Conrey, Michael Cowin; Samuel Crossan, missing since Aug. 27, 1776; James Dailey, Jeremiah Dawson; Peter Develin, missing since Aug. 27, 1776; John Dougherty; Timothy Dreiskel, missing since Aug. 27, 1776; Alexander Duke, James Evans; Samuel Evans, promoted sergeant; William Fitzgerald, dis. Oct. 18, 1776; Adam Growss, missing since Aug. 27, 1776; John Hagerty, John Harris; Jacob Hirsh, promoted sergeant; Alexander Henderson, Hugh Henry; Alexander Holmes, missing since Aug. 27, 1776; Robert Huston, missing since Aug. 27, 1776; Thomas Johnston, promoted sergeant; Joshua Jones, James Kelly; James Lever, killed at Staten Island July 26, 1776; Conrad Ludwick, Daniel Maguire; John Mallon, wounded by accident Aug. 12, 1776; Solomon Marshall, Daniel McIntire; John McGregor, missing since ____? 27, 1776; Michael McKittrick; Christy McMichael, missing since Aug. 27, 1776; John Mier, Aug. 4, 1776; William Moore, missing since Aug. 27, 1776; George Morris; Jonathan Nesbit, missing since Aug. 27, 1776; Tobias Penrod, Job Riley; Richard Roberts, missing since Aug. 27, 1776; Jacob Rush, Miles Ryan; Nathaniel Scott, missing since Aug. 27, 1776; Samuel Skinner, Philip Shaver; John Smith, Jr., dis. Sept. 1, 1776; John Smith, Sr.; Degory Sparks, missing since the battle, Aug. 27, 1776; Isaac Sparsell, Thomas Stanton; James Steed, dis. July 11, 1776; returned Aug. 23, 1776; reenlisted at Hancock, Md., in the 13th Pa.; Thomas Stockton; Robert Stokes, missing since the battle, Aug. 27, 1776; Richard Tull, Isaac Vanasdale, Albert Vorris, Mark Welsh.
Capt. Brown’s company was recruited in Bedford county in February and March, 1776, and formed part of the 1st battalion of the Pennsylvania Rifle Regiment, Col. Samuel Miles in command. The regiment, as part of Brig.-Gen. Lord Sterling’s command, fought in the disastrous battle of Long Island on the 27th of August, 1776, where many were killed, wounded and captured. Afterward it was engaged in the capture of the Hessians at Trenton, New Jersey, December 26, 1776; in the battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777; lay part of the ensuing winter at Philadelphia, and moved down to Billingsport in March, 1777.
Lieut.-Col. James Piper, of Bedford county was one of the field officers of the 1st battalion of this regiment. He was commissioned March 13, 1776. Captured at the battle of Long Island, August 27, 1776, he died in captivity leaving a widow, Lucinda, who resided in Cumberland county in 1791. He had proved to be an efficient officer during the French and Indian wars, and he it was who, while serving as county commissioner of Bedford county, met with the difficulties narrated in the preceding chapter.
CAPTAIN ANDREW MANN’S COMPANY.
Under authority of a resolution of congress, dated July 15, 1776 (Journal, vol. 1, 411— 419), the 8th regiment of the Pennsylvania Line was raised for the defense of the western frontier, to garrison the posts of Presque Isle, Le Boeff and Kittanning. It consisted of eight companies, seven from Westmoreland and one from Bedford county. Afterward two more companies were added. Its first field officers were Col. Aeneas Mackey (frequently written McCay), Lieut.-Col. George Wilson (the same who, while justice of the peace of Bedford county, wrested a loaded gun from a riotous inhabitant. See chapter entitled Organization, etc., of Bedford County) and Maj. Richard Butler. Col. Mackey and Lieut.-Col. Wilson both died in the winter of 1777, and thereupon Col. Daniel Brodhead became the commander of the regiment.
The Bedford county company was commanded by Capt. Andrew Mann* whose home was in that part of Bedford now known as Fulton county. No separate muster roll of his company has been preserved. But we learn that in December, 1776, it contained sixty-two enlisted men. The regiment performed most arduous service. It rendezvoused at Kittanning, from thence it marched in midwinter to New Jersey and joined Washington’s army, many of the officers and men dying from lack of medicines and other army supplies. After participating in the battles of Brandywine and Germantown, it was ordered to march to Pittsburgh, where it became part of Gen. McIntosh’s command. During the remainder of that year it waged an active warfare against the Indians. In 1779 it went up the Allegheny river on Gen. Brodhead’s
*In 1750 the brothers Jacob, Andrew and Bernard Mann emigrated from the German side of the Rhine and landed at Philadelphia. Soon afterward they settled in the "Tolonoway settlement," a region now embraced by Fulton county, Pennsylvania. One of the brothers finally removed to Kentucky and another to one of the southwestern counties of Pennsylvania; Andrew alone remaining an inhabitant of Bedford county. He was married to Rachel Egnor, a native of Wurtemburg, Germany, in 1760. He was commissioned captain in Col. Mackey’s regiment September 14, 1776, and he died January 13, 1818. The names of his children were Margaret, Jacob, Bernard, Rachel, John, Elizabeth, Andrew, David and Joseph.
Of these children Jacob was the father of Hon. Job Mann, and David was the father of the family known to present residents of Bedford. Hon. David Mann married Elizabeth Farquhar (a member of an old and prominent family in Frederick county, Maryland) December 20, 1810. Their children were James M., B. Franklin, Almira M. (Daugherty), Sarah E. (Reamer), William Findley, Bernard and David F. David Mann became a resident of Bedford soon after his election as prothonotary. He also held other positions of trust and honor. See Bedford county civil lists.
expedition, attacked the Indians and defeated them and burned their towns. On the return of the regiment, its time having expired, it was discharged at Pittsburgh. For a full account of the services of the regiment in the West, the reader is referred to Brodhead’s letter-book, published in the twelfth volume, first series, of the Pennsylvania Archives.
Among those who are known to have been members of Capt. Mann’s company were Robert Aikens, Abraham Faith (who resided in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, in 1825), Joseph Hancock (who resided in Wayne county, Indiana, in 1834), Jacob Justice (who resided in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, in 1820), Allen McComb (who resided in Indiana county, Pennsylvania, in 1810), James Mitchell (who resided in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, in 1810) and Philip Wolf (who resided in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, in 1790).
Benjamin Jennings, of the Turkey-Foot settlement, served in Capt. David Kilgore’s company of the 8th Pennsylvania as private. As late as 1840 he resided in Somerset county and was paid a pension. Several other residents of Somerset county served as members in the Westmoreland county companies, 8th regiment, but it is now impossible to designate them by name.
The facts relating to the history of Bedford county during the revolutionary period, in their entirety, are of an unsatisfactory nature—-only such, indeed, as can be gathered by scanning the county records and state archives—-hence, the remainder of this chapter will consist of letters, orders, muster-rolls, extracts, etc., gleaned from the sources above mentioned.
COL. JOHN PIPER TO COMMITTEE OF SAFETY.
SHIPPENSBURG, 31st Dec., 1776.
Gentlemn.: I would Beg Leave to Enform you that the Resolves of Congrass & Committee of Safety, for this State, of the 22 Novr, Directed to the Commanding officers of the Different Batt. of Beadford County, I have had the Honour of Recaveing, Requiring att Least one Company of Vallenteers out of Each Batt. to march & Joyne General Washington, I have in Consequence of sd. orders calld uppon Each Cap’. to turn out of his Company his quoto, in order to Compleate the said Company, a number of which is now upon their March; the Enclemency of the Wether & Depth of the Snow in this Mountainous Country, Render it very hard to Assemble the Different Partys into one body, we therefore give Each Capt orders to march his Party the Nighest & Best way to Pha, & there to wait till farther orders; so that I hope Gentn., youl take propper Notice of Each Party as they Com, & give them orders. I have likewise got Entiligence Since I left home, that the officers of the Other Batt. of Bedford are Ordered to give the Militia ten Dollars Advance, But as I have Not Seed any of the Gentn. Since their orders Com up, would be glad to know where I might be fornished with Cash for that Porpose; I Beg Lave to Refare to the Berer for forther Perticulars, & am, Gentn., with Grate Esteem
Your moust Obedant &
Very Humble Servant,
SOLDIERS OF 1777.
A Role of the officers and privets out of the 1st Battalion of Bedford county, who Marched to Camp under the command of Capt. Jacob Hendershot & Inroled 9th January & Discharged 10th March & allowed pay untill the 25th March, 1777.
Captain: Jacob Hendershot.
Lieutenant: Frederick Storts.
Sergeant: Francis Shives.
Corporal: William Steed.
Privates: Adam Hersler, William Pittman, William Andrews, John Peck, John Coombs, John Rush, Thomas Mitchell, Nelson Jolly, Jacob Hart, Abraham Clavinger, George Enslow, John
Slaughter, Richard Pittman, John Williams, Evan Jenkins.
Officers who marched with the company:
Lieut. Col. James Graham.
Maj. Edward Coombs.
Maj. John Cessna.
Capt. Obadiah Stillwell.
Lieut. Moses Reed.
Lieut. John Stillwell.
Ensign Stillwell Troax.
Lieut. Levi Linn with Capt. Paxton.
Private Cornelius Troax with Capt. Paxton.
rivate Joseph Troax* with Capt. Paxton.
The officers mentioned at the end of the above list—-Col. Graham, Majs. Coombs, Cessna, etc.—-marched as volunteers, and received but little more pay and subsistence than the privates. As another pertinent matter regarding this movement of the Bedford county troops we append the following:
The State of Pennsyl to the 1st Battalion of Bedford County. Dr.
From Dec. 13th, 1776, to Jan’y 19th, 1777.
To Cash pay’d by Col. George Woods to Col. Graham, Maj. Coombs & Maj. Cessna in actual service as appears by Bill £ 33 3 9
To Cash pay’d by Do to Capt. Cable for Do 7 10 0
To cash pay’d by Do to Lieuts. Chaney & Higgins 8 17 8
To Capt. Paxton’s Muster Role 349 12 2
To Capt. Hendershot’s Muster Role 223 11 2
To Lieut. William Frier’s Muster Role 187 6 9
To 300 miles subsistence alowed the whole 31 17 6
TOTAL £841 15 9
*Joseph Troax died in service February 15, 1777.
Brought forward £841 18 9
To allowance of liquor for 7 men from Bedford to Phila
2 12 0
TOTAL £844 10 9
To the amount of Guns and Blankets per Bill 91 9 0
To amount pay’d expresses 3 1 6
To a Bill for Liquor for Paxton’s company 3 14 0
TOTAL £942 15 3
To additional pay to Col. Graham, Maj’rs
Coombs & Cessna, & Capt. Stillwell,
Lieuts. Reed & Stillwell & Ensign
Troax, nine days from home to Phila. 31 2 6
To one Month’s service from 3d Dec., 1776,
to Jan. 3d, 1777 (myself) 28 2 6
TOTAL £1,002 0 3
By Cash Received from David Espy, Esq., £261 5 0.
GEN. PUTNAM TO COUNCILS, ETC.
PRINCETON, Feb. 18, 1777.
GENTLEMEN: Last night Col. Neilson, with a party of about 150 men, attacked sixty belonging to Cortland Skinner’s Brigade, at Lawrence’s Island, under command of Majr. Richd Stockton, formerly an Inhabitant of this place—-the Enemy’s renowned land Pilot—-the Colonel took the whole, among which ware this Stockton, a Captain & three or four Subaltern officers; the enemy had four killed, and one wounded—-we had one killed—-this you may depend upon to be a fact. Col. Neilson is just arrived here. I shall forward the prisoners on in a day or two to you—-50 of the Bedford County Riflemen of your State, what I detached from this place, were with Col. Neilson—-the whole officers & men, both belonging to that County & the Militia of this State, behaved with great bravery, such as would do honour to veteran Soldiers; there are also thirty or sixty stand of arms, which I think the Middlesex Militia ought to have. The Bearer I send purposely to acquaint you with the Circumstance.
I am Gentlemen, with Esteem Your Hum, Serv’t,
COL. JOHN PIPER TO JAMES MARTIN.
SIR: Please to wait upon the Executive Council for this State and lay Before them the disadvantages we labour under in Executing the Business Committed to us, the art and influence of Some individuals in this County Has induc’d Maney of the inhabitants to deny the authority of our Present Legislators, So that whole townships are taught to deny all authority, nor will they Comply in one Single instance with the acts of our Present assembly, and the Great Caus why our Business is not Carry’d on with dispatch is owing in a great Measure to the two Gentn., viz. Cable and Brown, who were appointed Sub Lieuts., in the Western* district of this County, there Refus-
*Meaning that part now known as Somerset County.
ing to do their duty untill the Scence of the People are taken att Large, which throws Such Load of Business upon me that I find My Self unable to Perform, notwithstanding the number of Good People in this County that are active in their duty, Yet from the art and influence of these People there are So mutch oposition and So maney difficultys thrown in our way that our Business is mutch Retarded, therefore, Sir I hope you’l Lay this Matter before the House and Executive Council and Pray that they may Grant us Sutch Relief Either by apointing others to do the duty or Any other directions they in their wisdoms May think Proppair. Pleas to Enform that the County is Lay’d off in districks and Each districk Apointed their field officers, But the other Business is much kep’d Back for the want of Concurrance and assistance of the above named Gentlemen.
I am, Sir, your obed’t
JULY 20, 1777. JOHN PIPER.
DEMAND OF RECORDS.
THOMAS SMITH, Esqr.
SIR: I hereby demand of you the Books, Records and other Papers and Seals of Office of the office of Prothonotary, Register of Wills, Recorder of Deeds, and Clerk of the Orphan’s Court for the County of Bedford.
I am Sir yours &c, ROBERT GALBRAITH.
BEDFORD, September 29th, 1777."
In reply to this Thomas Smith verbally answered "that the sentiments of the people were to be taken for a new convention, and when that was known if there was a majority he would then immediately give them up, or if Robert Galbraith would call the township committee and they should say he (the said Thomas Smith) should give them up he immediately would." Subsequently, Smith gave up the books, papers, etc., and Galbraith became prothonotary. See a succeeding paragraph.
ROBERT GALBRAITH TO PRESIDENT WHARTON.
SIR: I have been at Bedford and opened the Courts without any opposition. The Sheriff held the election, and though but a small one, yet I hope it will answer a good purpose. Mr. Smith still refuses to deliver up the Records, as appears by the affidavits sent you by Mr. John Morris, Clerk of the Assembly. I’ve sent by Mr. Morris the Nomination of Bedford Justices of the Peace, which I expect the Council will take notice of, and send up the Commissions per first opportunity. I should be glad of some instructions relative to the Tavern-keepers; some have applied at the Court, and recommended, but I have no Licence nor orders to proceed in the matter. Mr. Woods (meaning George Woods) has taken the Oath of Allegiance, and wonders why himself and the other two Gentlemen recommended with him, are not Commissioned; he says he is now determined to support the Constitution, and most undoubtedly he can do a great deal of good or ill in this County at the present Time. If the Council thought proper to send for Mr. Smith, and dispose of him in some other way than confineing him in Bedford, it might answer a better purpose, for I am apprehensive he might be rescued here, and I am of opinion if he was brought before the Council he would agree to deliver them up; but this I leave to the wisdom and the prudence of the Council.
The generality of the People in Bedford County are well disposed to the Constitution, and a little Time, I am persuaded, will put matters upon, a good footing. I attended at Carlisle Court, and matters there went on middling well. Mr. Morris, who attended, also can inform you. I write this in York Town, where I have attended on behalf of the State; the Courts were opened here, but in manner, and under what circumstances, Mr. McLean, who intends waiting on you in a few Days, will inform. I intend returning to Bedford in a few Days, as soon as I can get Seals of Office engraved here.
With compliments to Mr. Bryan and the other Gentlemen of the Council.
I am with respect
your Excellencys most obedt.,
YORK TOWN, October 31st, 1777.
THOMAS SMITH ARRESTED.
To the Sheriff of Bedford County: Greeting.
WHEREAS, it is made to appear before the Supreme Executive Council of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, upon the Oath of Robert Galbraith and William Parker Esquires, that Thomas Smith Esqr. being a person who has acted as Prothonotary in the County of Bedford, hath been duly required and summoned by a demand in writing, to deliver up all and singular the books, records, papers and seals belonging to or in use in the office of Prothonotary, in and for the said county of Bedford, unto the said Robert Galbraith (he the said Robert Galbraith being the person who hath been appointed by the President and this Council to succeed him the said Thomas Smith in the said office) and that he the sd Thomas Smith hath neglected to comply with the sd demand, you are therefore hereby commanded to take the said Thomas Smith, and him safely keep in close custody in the common Goal of the said County of Bedford without bail or mainprize, until the said Robert Galbraith shall become possessed of the said books, records, papers and seals. Given under my hand at Lancaster this 17th day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy- seven.
COL. JOHN PIPER TO PRESIDENT WHARTON.
LANCASTER, Novr. 24, 1777.
SIR: I would beg leave to inform that in Consequence of a Commission from the Supream Executive Council of this State, apointing me Lieut. of Bedford County, for the Purpose of Mustering and Classing the Militia of sd County, notwithstanding the opposition and difficulty that atended the Business, we Have been able to goe so farr into it that we have formd the sd militia in Battalions and likewise into Companys, and Classed agreeable to an act of Assembly pass’d for that Purpose. But from our distance and other Disadvantages Have not been able to obtain Commissions, therefore Prays that Commissions may be granted, and as our Militia Have Been and are still a Calling upon not only to Guard our own frontiers, but likewise to Escort Provisions and other Carriages to Fort Pitt, and a number of our Militia Have Been call’d upon to joyne Gen. Hand, and as no Provision has ever been made for the Paymt or Equipmt. of these men, who, notwithstanding these difficultys, Have stepped forth in Defense of this Country and ar still Ready to appear in its Defence, I would, therefore, Pray in Behalf of sd. County, that Provision for the Pay and Equipmt. of these Men who are called into actual service, may Be Procured.
THOMAS SMITH AND GEORGE WOODS TO PRESIDENT WHARTON.
Nov. 27, 1777.
GENTLEMEN: The present situation of this County is so truly deplorable that we should be inexcusable if we delayed a moment in acquainting you with it, an Indian War is now raging around us in its utmost fury. Before you went down they had killed one man at Stony Creek, since that time they have killed five on the Mountain, over against the heads of Dunning’s Creek, Killed or taken three at the three springs, wounded one and kill’d some Children by Frankstown, and had they not providentially been discovered in the Night, & a party went out and fired on them, they would, in all probability, have destroyed a great part of that settlement in a few hours. A small party went out into Morrison’s Cove scouting, and unfortunately divided, the Indians discovered one division and out of eight killed seven & wounded the other. In short, a day hardly passes without our hearing of some new murder and if the People continue only a week longer to fly as they have done for a week Past, Cumberland County will be a frontier. From Morrison’s, Croyl’s and Friend’s Coves, Dunning’s Creek, & one-half of the Glades they are fled or forted, and for all the defence that can be made here, the Indians may do almost what they please. We keep out ranging parties, in which we go out by turns; but all that we can do that way is but weak and ineffectual for our defence, because one-half of the People are fled, those that remain are too busily employed in puting their families and the little of their Effects that they can save and take into some place of safety, so that the whole burden falls upon a few of the Frontier Inhabitants. For those who are at a distance from danger have not as yet offered us any assistance, we are far from blaming the officers of the Militia because they have not ordered them out, for if they had they really can be of little or no service, not only for the foregoing reasons, but also for these: not one Man in ten of them is armed, if they were armed you are sensible and take the country through there is not one fourth Man that is fit to go against Indians, and it might often happen that in a whole Class there might be a single Person who is acquainted with the Indians’ ways or the woods, and if there should be a few good men and the rest unfit for that service, those who are fit to take the Indians in their own way, could not act with the same resolution and spirit as if they were sure of being properly supported by men like themselves. The Consequences would be that the Indians, after gaining an advantage over them, would become much more daring and fearless, and drive all before them. A small number of select Men would be of more real service to guard the frontiers than six times that number of People unused to arms or the woods.
It is not for us to dictate what steps ought to be taken, but some steps ought to be taken without the loss of an hour. The safety of your country, of your families, of your Property, will, we are convinced, urge you to do every thing in your Power to put the Frontiers in some state of defence. Suppose there were orders given to raise about 100 Rangers, under the Command of spirited officers who were well acquainted with the woods and the Indians and could take them in their own way. They could be raised instantly, and we are informed there are a great number of Rifles lying in Carlisle, useless, altho’ all the back country is suffering for the want of arms. It was a fatal step that was taken last winter in leaving so many guns when the Militia came from Camp. About this place especially, and all the country near it, they are remarkably distressed for the want of Guns, for when the Men were raised for the army you know we procured every Gun that we could for their use, the country reflects hard on us now for our assiduity on those occasions, as it now deprives them of the means of defence. But this is not the only instance in which we bear reflections which are not deserved. The safety of our country then called loudly on us to send all the arms to the Camp that could be procured, and it now as loudly calls on us to entreat that we may be allowed some as soon as possible. As also some ammunition, as that which was entrusted to our care is now almost delivered out to the officers who are fortifying, and what remains of it is not fit for rifles. We need not repeat our entreaties that whatever is done may be done as soon as possible, as a day’s delay may be the destruction of hundreds.
We are in haste, Gentlemen,
Your most obedient, humble servant
COL. JOHN PIPER TO PRESIDENT WHARTON.
BEDFORD COUNTY, Janr. 20th, 1778.
SIR: I would beg leave to Enform, that on my Return from Councill the Distressing Situation of our frontiers oblidged me to Call upon the Subalterns to Consult upon measures to prevent our frontiers from Being Entirely Evacuated, when we were oblidged to Adopt the following measures, viz: to Give orders to Raise 30 men for the defence of the Settlement called the Gleads, 40 men for the Senter divission, Encluding Bedford, thirty men for Frankstown, and the same number for Sinking Valley, and thirty men to Guard the Inhabitants of Hart’s Log Settlement and Shaver’s Creek; the urgant Call for these men and the Exorbitant Prices of all articles, Lay’d us under the necessity of augmenting their pay to five Pounds Pr Month, time men to Be Engaged for the space of nine months, unless sooner discharged. These People have Repeatedly applyed to me, praying their Situation to Be Layd Before Council, and Assureing Council of their determination to make a Stand— if they meet with this necessary Assistance, they Likewise Pray that a Suitable Person may be Apointed to Lay a Small Store of Provisions at Each Post to Suply Scouting Party, or other troops who may be Employd as Guards. If these measures are aproven by Councill the People will Stand, and if Rejected I have the Greatest Reason to Believe, that upon the first alarm from Indians A great Part of our County will Be Left desolate.* * * *
COUNCIL TO COL. JOHN PIPER.
IN COUNCIL, LANCASTER, Feb. 2nd 1778.
SIR: Your letter of the 20th of last month, a petition from divers inhabitants of your County, and a representation of the situation of your County, signed by Lieut.-Col. Hugh Davidson, have all been laid before the Council.
The Council is much surprised to find that you have gone into the enlistment of men for nine months, as they cannot conceive how it is possible for the order of the 9th of December to be construed to give you any authority for so doing. They intended to authorise you to call out the Militia of your County for the immediate defence of the inhabitants, as a temporary measure, until Congress could obtain the necessary information from which to form a judgment of what force would be wanted to oppose those savages, and to take effectual steps at the Continental Expence as hath been done in the Southern States for chastising them, for which purpose a committee of Congress is gone to the westward. As it was expected that the people of your County would more cheerfully exert themselves in their own immediate defence, and more willingly turn out in this service than in one more distant from home, they were not called to meet and oppose the army of the British King, but were permitted to remain at home, while the Militia of most of the other Counties have been called out, and in many of them the whole eight classes have been called, and have either served their turns, found substitutes, or become liable to pay the hire of substitutes. Of this money, considerable sums are already paid in, and the remainder is collecting from the delinquents. There does not appear any good reason why the people of your county should not exert their strength in their own defence at such a critical time as this, on the same terms that time other parts of the State render their services.
The Militia of almost every state in America has been called into the field, and in many places rendered very important services and gained great honor.
Our Militia law points out the mode of calling the people together for their defence, this Council has no authority to adopt any other plan, or establish an army, however small, on any other principles than what the law has directed: And, indeed, the Confederation proposed by Congress is directly against the establishing of a standing force of any kind different from the Militia. But, were it otherwise, the enlisting of men for nine months appears to be wholly improper and unnecessary. It is very improper, as there is no fund for the payment of them, and it would be a most dangerous example to the other counties, who would each have equal right to claim an exemption from Militia service; and unnecessary, as the Militia, by a proper exertion, is certainly able to defend themselves against a much more formidable enemy than is at present reasonably expected to come against the western frontiers. As to the price at which it is proposed to pay the men, this alone is a sufficient reason against the measure, as the same pay would undoubtedly be immediately claimed by the Militia of the other Counties, and perhaps occasion an uneasiness in the regular army which might produce fatal consequences, from these circumstances alone, there cannot be a doubt but that Congress would disapprove of it, and refuse to pay such advanced wages.
The order of the ninth of December still exists in full force, and it is all that the Council have power to do for you.
Col. Davidson has an order on the Treasurer for the sum of two hundred pounds, to be delivered by him to you, and to be charged by the Treasurer to your account.
JOHN PIPER, Lieut., Bedford.
COL. ROBERT GALBRAITH TO PRESIDENT WHARTON.
ROCK CREEK, February 6, 1778.
SIR: These will serve to inform your Excellency that upon my going to Bedford, I put the Warrant I obtained from the Council into the hands of the Sheriff who took Mr. Smith into Custody, upon which he delivered up the Records, Seals, &c. Notwithstanding the Indian disturbances in the County, we had a pretty smart Court. The Grand Jury found several Bills, and a great many who were for some time past backward in taking the oath came into Court and took it, so that I have the pleasure to inform you matters wear a good aspect now in Bedford, with regard to the Constitution.
It seems that Galbraith was then acting as attorney for the commonwealth, for in the same communication he speaks of having attended courts at Carlisle, York Town, Northumberland, and other places.
COL. JOHN PIPER TO PRESIDENT WHARTON.
BEDFORD, May 4th, 1778.
SIR: An affair of the most alarming nature (and as I believe altogether unprecedented) has happened lately in a Corner of this County (meaning that part now embraced by the counties of Huntingdon and Blair), and which I could not think myself justifiable in not communicating to the Honorable the Supreme Executive Council of this State. ‘Tis as follows: a Number of evil minded Persons, to the amount of thirty-five (I think), having actually associated together, marched away toward the Indian Country in order to join the Indians, and to conduct them into the Inhabitance, and there united kill, burn and destroy Men, Women and Children.
They came up with a Body of Indians near or at the Kittannings, and in conferring with them, they, the Indians, suspecting some design in the white People, on wch one of their Chiefs shot one Weston, who was the Ring-leader of the Tories, and scalp’d him before the Rest, and Immediately (as if Divine Providence ever attentive to Baffle and defeat the Schemes and Measures of wicked Men) the rest fled and dispersed.
A very considerable number of the well affected Inhabitants having, as soon as their combination and march was known, pursued them and met five of them, and yesterday brought them under a strong Guard to the County Goal.
They confess their Crime and Intention of destroying both Men and Property; as these People thus in open rebellion are so numerous, there is great Reason to believe them as a part of a greater whole in some dangerous confederacy with the Common Enemy either at Phila. or Detroit.
COL. JOHN PIPER TO PRESIDENT WHARTON.
BEDFORD, May 15th, 1778.
SIR: The orders of Council requireing an Exact return of the arms Belonging to this State, are in our Possession, which orders I would gladly comply with, But the distressing Situation of our County att present renders it next to impossible to assertain an Exact List of all the arms in Possession of the inhabitants of this County, But as I am Enformed there are two Hundred Rifles, and one Hundred muskets, But as soon as I can obtain an Exact List of old arms shall make report to Council, the orders for warning four Classes to be in readyness upon the Shortest notice which may be issued, But it is impossable in our Present Situation that sd orders will be comply’d with as I have great reason to Believe that not less than one-third the men in our County are actually fled, and the rest who remain are Constantly on their watch Tower, and in dayly expectation of an attack from indians or torys, who seem at Present verey numeras and dayly Encreasing. Thus Sir, I have given a short sketch of our situation in Hopes yr Excellency will Pardon any difficiancy that may arise from our distressed Situation.
ROBERT GALBRAITH TO PRESIDENT WHARTON.
May 16, 1778.
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY: The Courts at Bedford, Carlisle and York are held with great regularity and propriety, and more business done in the sessions in a week, than used formerly to be dune under the old Constitution. It is with pleasure that I acquaint you that a reconciliation is effected in Bedford County, between the Inhabitants, who for some time past were opposed to each other with regard to time Constitution and political sentiments. The matter originated between Mr. Smith and myself, and our endeavors with each Party had the desired effect. Mr. Woods, Mr. Smith & Mr. Espy all applied at the Court for admission as attornies, and were by the Court admitted accordingly; previous to which they had taken the Oath of allegiance, and gave assurance of their sincere intentions of burying all past disputes in oblivion, and their hearty and sincere endeavors to assist government and its Laws and Officers to the utmost of their power. The Bench and Bar, as usual, Dined together two Days of the Court Week, and transacted business with great unanimity. I had sound reasons for joining with them (for I would inform, the application came from Mr. Smith to me), first, because a returning penitent ought to be admitted, and because they had it in their power to do a great deal of good or harm; they were old settlers, acquainted with business, still had the confidence of a number capable of giving uneasiness and trouble, notwithstanding we had brought them under the Law That "forced prayers are not good" is an old maxim, and "convince a Man against his will and he’d be of the same opinion still" is another I well remember. The application, coming from them, has every mark of sincerity; their getting admitted and bearing allegiance voluntarily, &c., is, in my opinion, not only a sufficient acknowledgment to Bedford County, but the State in general. That by their assistance and advice their mouths are stopped from finding fault, the present officers eased of a great deal of the Burthen of publick business, & the Council be no more troubled with long Epistles, &c, For had not this been effected at last Court, there would’ve been a number of Replevins and other actions commenced against the present officers that (well or ill founded) would’ve done more harm than good, and to avoid this they say they want nothing but friendship, and that Justice may be done them.
As I look upon myself bound to do every thing in my power for the good of the Cause in general, and Bedford County in particular, I would, at the request of Mr. Smith (for I believe he is almost tired of writing to Council himself), mention the Situation of some Townships in Bedford County with regard to Magistrates. George Woods, Sam Davidson and George Funk, were elected for Bedford Town, and returned some time ago. Whether it would be proper to Commission Mr. Woods, or not, as he is admitted an attorney at Law, I leave to the Council to determine; Mr. Davidson has been in the Commission before and made a good Magistrate; George Funk is an honest Man, and may please the Germans; William Proctor, Junior, was in Commission before, and made a good Magistrate; William Tod came to Bedford County to live shortly before I removed to York County, but as he has been elected with Mr. Proctor for Bedford Township may do very well. I am uneasy concerning Cumberland Valley Township. Colonel Charles Cessna and Thomas Coulter are the two fittest Men in that Township for the Commission, and yet these two men have not been upon good Terms these several years, and I imagine have had seperate Elections for that purpose. Mr. Coulter was in the Commission before, and made a good magistrate. The Council may receive information from Colonel Cessna, as I expect he is now in the Assembly.
THOMAS MCKEAN TO VICE PRESIDENT GEORGE BRYAN.
YORK TOWN, May 27th, 1778.
DEAR SIR: Your favor of the 21st came safe to hand, together with the extracts of Col. Piper’s and Councillor Urie’s Letters.
It may be well to make examples of some of the most wicked of the prisoners in Bedford (meaning the Tories of Weston’s party as soon as practicable; but when I reflect on the Savages having scalped eleven women & children, within five miles of the town of Bedford; that the people must be all in arms; that these criminals might escape for want of testimony or the Attorney General’s presence, who cannot well bear the expense of so long a journey without some salary; that before a Precept could be sent to time Sheriff of that county, and the legal time summoning Jurors, &c., being allowed, we should be in the beginning of harvest, with the Court; and more especially that in great probability the Enemy may soon evacuate Philadelphia, which happening, will require me immediately to resign my seat in Congress, and to repair thither, as there will be an absolute necessity for a Judge on the spot. I say, sir, when I consider these things I am rather of opinion it would be advisable to defer holding a court there yet. * * *
EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES OF THE SUPREME EXECUTIVE COUNCIL.
PHILADA, Sat. Aug. 15, 1778.
Thomas Smith, Esq’r, of the County of Bedford, attended in Council & represented that the Board of War had under their consideration the building of a Stockade Fort at the Town of Bedford, & that the said Board was desirous of being informed of the Sentiments of this Council respecting the propriety & necessity of it.
On consideration of the advantages to be derived from such a fortification in the keeping open the Communication with Pittsburg, especially while as expedition to the Westward is on foot, Council are of opinion that the erecting of such a fort will be very proper.
It is apparent, then, that the old provincial fort at Bedford, which was erected in the summer of 1758, had fallen into disuse and decay before the beginning of the revolution, but, riots withstanding the consideration of the matter am above set forth, it was not rebuilt during the war of 1775—83.
COUNCIL TO JOHN HUBLEY, ESQ.
PHILADELPHIA, 19th Septemr, 1778.
SIR: I am directed by Council to reiterate their request that you will give the publick your assistance on the Court of Oyer & Terminer, to be holden at Bedford for tryal of the Traytors who took the desperate Course of Joining the Indians against their Country. As this flagitious crime appears to have been committed by multitudes along the frontier there is the greater and louder call for immediate and exemplary Justice. It is hoped that your affairs will not so much interfere as to prevent your going up. Gen. Armstrong will, I understand, be there; But lest his infirmity of Body hinder, it would be very satisfactory to hear that you made a point of attending.
EXTRACT FROM THE BOOKS OF THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS.
BEDFORD, May 17, 1779.
Pursuant to adjournment the subscribers met at George Milligan’s with the Intention to assess and lay the Quota of the 62,000 Dollars as also the Taxes for the current year, but the Indians having made a recent and general Invasion into this County the unfortunate Inhabitants have generally been obliged to abandon their Habitations and either to fly or collect into Forts to save their lives, has made it impossible for a full Board to meet. To this Cause, & this alone, it is Owing that we cannot lay the Said Tax. We are anxious to Shew our Readiness to contribute our share towards the General expense and gratefully sensible of the Exemption that the Legislature has granted us in Consideration of our truly distressed Circumstances for the last year; but we cannot without incurring a large Expense to the County proceed to tax those very few Persons who have not suffered by the last year’s Depredations. As our present Position is so critical that We cannot with any Certainty appoint any fixed Time to meet again. Resolved, therefore, by the Members of the Board now present, that as soon as the least Interval of Peace and Safety will permit, this Board will meet for the Purpose aforesaid, of which the Commissioners do hereby engage to give notice.
Signed by James Martin and Samuel Davidson, county commissioners; Gideon Richey, county assessor; Thomas Crossan, Jacob Hoover and Jacob Hendershot, township assessors.
EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES OF THE SUPREME EXECUTIVE COUNCIL.
PHILAD’A, Saturday, May 29, 1779.
An Order was drawn on the Treasurer in favor of Thomas Smith, Esq’r (of Bedford), for time Sum of Fourteen Thousand Dollars, of which sum he is to deliver to Capt. Cluggage the sum of Six Thousand Dollars to be applied to the raising his Company of Rangers; And he is to deliver to John Carson, at Carlisle, the Sum of Eight Thousand Dollars, to be applied in purchasing of Arms for the several Companies of Rangers.
A return of an Election of Officers in Capt. Rhoads’ Company in the first Battalion of the County of Bedford, was read, by which it appears that the following Gentlemen were chosen, viz: James Hendricks, first Lieutenant Jacob Walker, second Lieutenant; & John Bowman, Ensign.
Ordered, That Col. John Piper, Lieut. of the County of Bedford, or the Sub.-Lieut. of the said County, be authorized to call out the Militia of the said County for their common defence, in case of actual invasion of the Country by the sudden incussion of the Common Enemy.
GEORGE WOODS TO THOMAS URIE.
BEDFORD, July 4th, 1779.
DEAR SIR: I have just upertunity as fare as Carlisle, to Convey you a few lines; last Saturday was a week, a man and his daughter, of the name of Braikinridge, in wood Cock valley, was kild & scalpt by the Indeans. The action was Don hard by hartsock’s Fort. Frenkstown is intirely Evequated. Mr. Holliday lives at the flat Spring in your Vally; we have all Indeverd, with Piper, what lies in Our power, to rease a fue men to Kape Frenkstown Settlement together but all to no purpose. Mr. Hohliday Applied to Colln piper for men to bring off the Stors, but was Obleged to Lave them there. The Indeans after doing the above mentioned Damages, Drove off a Considerable many horsis. When the Enemy are so fare into Our Contery you must Know the Situation we are all in; not a single Solger or Militia man appears in this County for Our Defence. I just now here that Colln. piper has got a guard at his hous. On Receiving the late Instructions from Council, per Colln. Smith, Mr. Martin has indevered to bring out a fue of the Militia from the Townships of Are and Bethul, but his Orders are immediately Countermanded by Colln. piper, as I understand. Dear Sir, you know well whate Situation Our County is in respecting the Conduct of the Lieutenants, you have often mentioned to me Some of their fealings & now Our poor Starving Contery, when they have Got Something on the Ground for Gethering, Dare not. Go out to Save it. Our County Seems to be pointed out for Distruction; every other frontier Settlement has Some Notice taken of them & assistance Sint them; in the name of wonder, if you are a member of Council for our County, will you never Get us taken Notice of or Git us a Share of Relefe according to the rest of our Contery. I wish you would Spake your mind as freely in Council respecting Some of Our officers as you do here; I think we would be soon in a better Situation. I am Certain you have a Gentleman now at the head of your Board that would not Suffer us to be used in this mannor Did he but Knaw it. Your Soon Robt. is Gon out with Capt. Erwin. I understand John Montower has Come into fort pitt, & some Indeans with him, I also understand he has taken in hand to bring in Simon Guirty. Capt. Brady lately retook two prisoners, five Scalps & kill’d One Indean, he is Gon out again, in company with Montower & two Indeans, in Order to bring in Girty, which I hope They will perform.
I am, Dr Sir,
Your Obt. Humble Servt,
To Thomas Urie, Esq., of Bedford County, member of the Supreme Executive Council, Philadelphia.
EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES OF THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS.
BEDFORD, July 5, 1779.
The Members above mentioned (meaning James Martin and Samuel Davidson) are still very desirous of contributing every Thing in their Power towards defraying the Common Expenses of the war, but find it is impossible for the other Members of the Board to attend at this Time, or for the Township and assistant assessors to do the Duty required of them by the Act of Assembly, as many of the Townships are chiefly evacuated, and the Inhabitants thereof obliged to leave their Habitations on account. of the many Ravages & Murders committed by the Savages on the Frontier. They, therefore, are wholly at a loss to know what is best to be done in the very distressed situation of the County at present, unless the Humanity of the House of Assembly will afford them Relief in the Premises.
PRESIDENT REED TO LIEUT. JOHN PIPER.
IN COUNCIL, PHILADA, July 24, 1779.
SIR: The letter of which the enclosed is an Extract has been laid before this Board, as this is the first Information we have had of any Late Ravages of the Indians, it has given us much Concern & Surprize. We trusted the inhabitants of your County were fully apprized of the Measures we took for their Relief as early as last March. Either Help must be drawn from the County itself, or its Neighbors— if the Militia Laws are supported & rigorously executed there can be no Doubt but a County would find in itself very powerful Resources against Danger & Destruction, but if Officers are harrassed by Suits, Replevins issued when the Fines are imposed, & every Step taken to harrass & oppose those who are acting to the best of their Judgment & Ability under the Laws of the State, the Consequences will undoubtedly be ruinous to the County— nor will their Neighbours be disposed to help them when they see them wanting to themselves. We hope these Remarks are not applicable to the County of Bedford, and that this Board might show the fullest attention to them, we ordd. 125 Men, properly officered, to march from York and Lancaster to cover the Inhabitants of Bedford during their Seed Time & Harvest. Why those Counties did not obey the Orders will be a proper Subject of Inquiry by the Members of Assembly. * * * To repeat our Order will, we apprehend, be quite unnecessary, as we do not know that greater Regard will be paid to the 2d than the first. We hoped that as long as Capt. Cluggages Company stayed in the County, & we understand it is yet there, it would have afforded the Inhabitants some Assistance. * * * If there are any Supplies necessary for your County, we desire you will acquaint us, as the Intimation that your County is pointed out for Destruction appears to us to have proceeded rather from Mistake than otherwise.
EXTRACTS FROM THE MINUTES OF THE SUPREME EXECUTIVE COUNCIL.
PHILADELPHIA, August 10th, 1779.
Colonel Piper, Lieutenant of Bedford County, having made a return of officers to be commissioned for the first Battalion of Militia of the said county, viz: Thomas Smith, Colonel; William Tissue* and Oliver Drake,* Captains; Christy Agency* and William Nicholls,* First Lieutenants; George Bruner* and Henry Abrams,* Second Lieutenants; George Shaver* and David Standiford,* Ensigns.
In the Second Battalion, John Galloway, Captain; and in the Third Battalion, Samuel Thompson, Captain.
Resolved, That the said commissions do issue.
EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES OF THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS.
BEDFORD, June 5th, 1780.
The Board met agreeable to adjournment and the assessors of Cumberland Valley, Air, Hopewell and Turkey Foot attended with their returns. Those from the other Townships do not attend. The board, upon examination, find that some of the Townships have made returns to different Periods, of the depreciation, & that in some others no assessment has been made since the Revolution began. That the frontier Townships being some of them altogether depopulated & others mostly so & that on account of the present distressed situation of the County by the ravages of the Indians, it is impossible to procure any return from them. This being the case, the Board find it utterly impossible to lay the Taxes which, as the whole county is invaded & in a state of war, they trust will be sufficient excuse to the Legislature.
*Then residents of that part of Bedford now known as Somerset county.
COL. JOHN PIPER TO PRESIDENT REED.
BEDFORD COUNTY, Augt. 6th, 1780.
SIR: Your favour of the 34 of June with the Blank Commissions have Been duly Recevd. Since which we Have been anxiously employed in raising our quota of Pennsylvania Volunteers and at the Same time defending our fronteers, but in our Present shattered Situation a full Company Cannot be Expected from this County when a number of our Militia Companys are Intirely Broke up and whole Townships Layd waste. So that the Communication betwixt our uper and Lower districts is Entirely broke, and our apprehentions of Emediate Danger are not lessond But Greatly Agravated by a most Alarming Stroke. Capt. Phillips,* an Experienced good woods man Had Engaged a Company of Rangers for the space of two Months for the Defence of Our fronteers, was Surprised at His Post on Sunday, the 16th July, when the Capt., with Eleven of His Company, were all taken and Killd. When I Recevd the Intelligence, which was the day following, I marched with only ten Men directly to the Place, where we found the House Burnt to Ashes, with sundry Indian Tomahawks that had been lost in the Action, But found no Person Killd at that Place. But upon taking the Indian tracks, within about one Half mile we found ten of Capt. Phillips’ Company with their Hands tyd and Murdered in the most Cruel Manner.
This Bold Enterprise so Alarmed the Inhabitants that our whole fronteers were upon the point of Giveing way, but upon Aplication to the Lieut. of Cumberland County, He Hath sent to our Assistance one Company of the Pennya. volanteers which, with the volanteers Raisd in our own County, Hath so Encouraged the Inhabitants that they seem Determined to Stand it a Little Longer. We hope our Conduct will Receve your Approbation, and you’l pleas to aprove it By Sending your Special Order to our County Commissioner to furnish these Men with Provisions and other necessarys untill Such times as other Provisions Can be made for our Defence. As Colonel Smith will Deliver this, I Beg Leave to Recommend you to Him, as he is verrey Capable to Give full Satisfaction to you in Every Particular of our Present Circumstances.
N.B. As Colonel Smith, the Bearer, promises to take Particular Care of what May be Committed to His Care By Council for the use of County, you’l therefore Pleas to Deliver Him, for the use of this County, the following Artickles, viz: Five Hundred wt. of Powder and Lead in Proportion, One thousand Gun flints, One dozen falling axes, Six Camp kittles, 1/2 Rheam Writing Paper. As we are mutch Distressed for want of the above Particulars, your Complyance will be a means of encouraging what Remains of the County to Stand this Season, as allso Serving the
*Capt. Phillips lived near Williamsburg (now in Blair county), Pennsylvania, and the affair took place in Woodcock Valley.
Publick & he who has the Honour of subscribing himself as Before. J.P.
FACTS GATHERED FROM THE MINUTES OF THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS.
In December, 1780, in proceeding to levy a tax upon the twelve townships of the county for the purpose of "raising the county’s quota of $620,000 for the use of the United States, and the sum of $5,700,000 for the current year of 1779," the real and personal property of the inhabitants of the county was rated as follows: Bethel township, £4,960; Air township, £2,120; Dublin township, £4,740; Barree township, £10,013; Hopewell township, £4,956 Colerain township, £3,286; Bedford township, £4,964; Cumberland Valley township, £1,764; Brother’s Valley township, £7,093 Turkey-Foot township, £4,727; Frankstown township, £17,251; Quemahoning township, £4,780.
At the same time, the points where appeals were designated to be held were Standing Stone (now Huntingdon) for Barree, Hopewell and Frankstown; Littleton, for Dublin, Air and Bethel; Bedford, for Bedford, Colerain and Cumberland Valley, and at James Black’s "in the Glades," for Brother’s Valley, Quemahoning and Turkey-Foot.
COUNTY-LIEUT. GEORGE ASHMAN TO PRESIDENT REED.
BEDFORD COUNTY, LITTLETON, May 19, 1781.
SIR: On Friday the fourth of this instant the Indians came into this County, killed one man, a woman and two children, and took one man prisoner within one mile of Cal. John Pipers on Yellow Creek. I have just received all the returns of the male white Inhabitants residing in this county that come under the Militia Law, in the whole fourteen Hundred and fifty-six, and am now forming them. I hope your Excellency will order one hundred of the Militia of Cumberland County to be ready to take post in this county when those that are now here are discharged, which will be on the fourteenth day of June, or send me such orders as will enable me to call out the Militia of this County from the interior parts of it by that time. If this is omitted I can assure your Excellency that a principal part of the Inhabitants of this County will move off, as many familys have already moved where the late damage was dun. I have been obliged to surply the Cumberland Militia with ammunition, therefore pleas to order three hundred of powder and six hundred of Lead to be sent for the use of this county as soon as possible, as the County is much in want of ammunition, you may depend that nothing shall be wanting of me in the execution of my office that is in my power.
GEORGE ASMMAN TO PRESIDENT REED.
BEDFORD COUNTY, June 12th, 1781.
SIR: I have to inform you that on Sunday the third of this instant a party of the rangers under Captain Boyd, eight in number, with twenty- five Volunteers under Capt Moore and Lieut. Smith of the Militia of this County had an Engagement with a party of Indians (said to be numerous) within three miles of Frankstown where Seventy-five of the Cumberland County Militia were stationed, commanded by Captn. James Young. Sum of the party running into the Garrison acquainting Capt. Young of what had happened he Issued out a party Immediatly and Brought in Seven more, five of Whome are wounded and two made their escape to Bedford, Eight kil’d and scalpt, Capt. Boyd, Captn. Moore, and Captn. Dunlap* with six others are missing. Captn. Young expecting from the enemy’s numbers that his garrison would be Surrounded sent express to me Immediately, but before I could colleckt as many voluntiers as was sufficient to march to Frankstown with, the enemy had return’d over Alligany hill, the warters being high occasion’d by heavy rains they could not be pursu’d, this County at this time is in a Deplorable sittuation a number of Familys are flying away daily ever since the late damage was dun, I can assure Youre Excellency that if Immediate assistance is not sent to this County that the whole of the frontiere Inhabitants will move of in a few days. Cob. Abm. Smith of Cumberland has Just Inform’d me that he has no orders to send us any more Militia from Cumberland County to our assistance which I am much surprised to heare, I shall move my family to Maryland in a few days, as I am convinc’d that not any one settlement is able to make any stand against such Numbers of the Enemy. If your Excellency should please to order us any assistance less than three hundred will be of but little relief to this County, ammunition we have not any, the Cumberland militia will be Discharg’d in two days. It is dreadful to think what the Consequence of leaving such a number of helpless Inhabitants may to the Crueltys of a savage Enemy.
Please to send inc by the first opportunity Three hundred pounds as I cannot possably doe the bussiness without money, you may Depend that nothing shall be wanting in me to serve my Cuntry as far as my abilities.
CAPT. JOHN BOYD’S RANGING COMPANY, 1781.
Raised in the County of Bedford.
Captain: John Boyd, late of 3d Pa.
Lieutenant: Richard Johnston.
Sergeants: Robert Atkins, Henry Dugan, Florence Grimes, David Beates and William Ward.
Privates: William Alligane, Stephen Archer, Isaac Arthur, John Arthur, Moses Bernan, Abraham Bodle, Joshua Burton, Daniel Covert, John Conrad, Richard Corps, Jacob Creviston, John Crossin, Ludwig Curtz, John Downey, Sr., John Downey, Jr., William Decker, Benjamin Frazier, Marshall Galloway, Daniel Glovert, James Grimes, John Grimes, James Hall, Samuel Haslett, George Jones, William Jones, Samuel Kennedy, Felix
*The second husband of Mrs. John Fraser.
McKinney, Joseph Martin, Samuel Moore, Michael Nicholas, James Paxton, Henry Simons, Solomon Sparks, John Thomas, William Tucker and John Whiteacre.
The duties assigned to this and other companies of rangers were to scout the forests and guard the settlements against surprise and attack from the hostile Indians.
The Third Batalion of Bedford County Militia commanded by Barnard Dougherty, Lieutenant Colonel, & John Woods, Major, containing Providence, Bedford, Quemahoning, Brother’s Valley, Turkey Foot and Muford Townships, bounded on East by the line of the First Batalion, on the South by the Maryland line, on the West by the county line, and on the North by the line of the Second Batalion, and sub-divided into eight parts, or companys, with their respective officers. First company commanded by Oliver Drake; second company commanded by Christopher Brigely; third, by George Hostadlor; fourth, by Samuel Moore; fifth, by Peter Ankeny; sixth, by Solomon Adams; seventh, by William McCall; eighth, by Phillip Cable.
The return of the above Batalion and officers mentioned is just & true as it stands now stated by orders of and superintended by James Martain, sub-Lieutenant of Bedford county.
Dated this 20th April Ano dom 1781.
The following document gives us an idea of what the militia were called upon to do in 1780:
These are to certify that Robert McKiney was employed six days with two horses carrying flower for the use of the militia and volunteers in actual service in defence of the fruntier of Bedford county, at a time when said county was invaded with Savedges.
Witness my hand the 24th day of May, 1780.
The State dr. to Lewis Davis.
To two busshels of wheat, 4 shillings.
To flower, 2 shillings, 6 pence.
To salt, 1 shilling, 6 pence.
The above articles advanced to Mrs. King for suport in the time of a tower of militia.
Lewis Davis (almoner).
The following indorsement is on this bill:
These are that the within articles was found for the relief of a poor militia man’s family when on a tower of duty, as witness my hand this 28th, 1783.
Edward Combe, sub-lieutenant, B.C.
The following bill was presented to the state by John Rankon for services therein named:
An account of the services done by John Rankon, Ensign of the fifth company of Bedford county Militia.
To warning militia, June 2nd, 1781, May 20th and August 25th, 1782, 7s. 6d. per day, September 23rd, attending the apeal according to orders to answer for the seventh class, 7s. 6d. September 29th, 1782 attending the place of rendevous in order to have the men equipt for marching, 7s. 6d.
Here is Rankon’s affidavit to the correctness of his account:
Bedford County SS. May 23, 1783.
Parsonaly appeared before me the subscriber one of the justices for the county of Bedford John Rankon, ensign, and, being duley sworen as the Law Drects, saith the within account of Days sarvices Dun by him in warning the malishia is just and true, and says he never receved aney satesfaction nor no parson by his orders. Sworen and subscribed before me
Thomas Paxton. John Rankon.
Capt. Henry Rush presented the following bill, which was paid by an order on the county treasurer:
December ye 29th, 1780.
By orders received from Col. George Ashman for to take a list of all the names and surnames of all the male white inhabitants of Bethel township between the ages of eighteen and fifty-three. Fifteen days in taking the above, return and returning the same to Col. George Ashman at Bedford town, January ye 19— 1781.
Among other documents is a small piece of paper bearing what appears to be the record of some game which was indulged in by a captain, two lieutenants and two ensigns, and the figures show that the captain "raked in the pot." Over the score these touching lines are written:
I am in debt for your good will,
Though I am but sumthing Bleat,
Instruction is as good to me as food,
When put in my numscull peat.
We strongly suspect that this verse was penned by Lieut. John Ferguson after the termination of the social game with his brother officers, as the record shows that he scored but one point. Hence his assertion that instruction is as good to him as food.
On the 29th of September, 1781, the sub-lieutenant of Bedford county ordered an election of officers for "the company of Bedford township." Arthur McCaughey and James Fletcher acted as judges, and John McCaughey as inspector. Solomon Adams was chosen captain, Allen McComb lieutenant, and Wm. Clark, Jr., ensign,
CAPT. CHAS. CESSNA TO COL. JACOB MORGAN, JR.
BEDFORD, June 30th, 1781.
SIR: The bearer, Mr. Isaac Worrell, one of my Deputys in the purchasing way in this County, goes to you for the express purpose of getting your advice in order to direct and govern me in the Departments. The distresses of this County are truly great, Murders and depredations are committed almost every week, and not a single Article can be had for the Money that’s now current; I am even threatened and inveighed against by the people, for not having suitable provisions for such as do Militia duty, and it is impossible for me to get them for the money I have. I am indebted to numbers in Consequence of such articles as we have purchased and so are my deputies, having engaged on the Credit of the Money and wch is now useless; and unless something be done in order to enable us to get provisions for such as are employed in protecting the County, I am afraid the settlement will brake up totally and that very soon. It is impossible for me to send you an accurate Return, having purchased on the credit of the Money which was in so fluctuating a state while it dubiously passed as to leave no room for a certain price in any Article; and now no person wou’d receive any quantity of it for a single Beef Cattle, I beg you will dispatch the Bearer with all due haste and I hope in such a manner equipped as will enable me and those that are employed by me in the Service, to do the requisite and necessary Duty expected of us.
EXTRACTS FROM MINUTES OF THE SUPREME EXECUTIVE COUNCIL.
PHILADA, Friday, Decem’r 14, 1781.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Ordered, That Colonel Lewis Farmer be directed to deliver to the Honourable John Piper, Esquire, forty coats, forty waistcoats, forty hats, forty pair of shoes, eighty shirts, forty pair of overalls, and twenty- two blankets, to be forwarded to the county of Bedford, for the use of Captain Boyd’s company of Rangers raised in the said county. On the 19th of the same month and year it was further ordered that Capt. Joseph Stiles, Commissary of Military Stores, deliver to the Honorable John Piper, Esquire, or his order, three hundred and fifty weight of gunpowder, seven hundred weight of lead, and eight hundred flints, to be forwarded to Colonel George Ashman, Lieutenant of the county of Bedford, for the defence of the frontiers of the said county.
PHILADELPHIA, Saturday, February 23d, 1782.
Ordered, That Lieutenant Richard Johnston,(8*) now at Yorktown, be directed to march with his company to Bedford forthwith, and there put himself under the command of the Lieutenant of the county of Bedford, for the defence of the frontiers of the said county.
*It will be noticed that Lieut. Johnston was the lieutenant of Capt. Boyd’s company of rangers.
BARNARD DOUGHERTY TO PRESIDENT MOORE.
PHILADA, August 19th, 1782.
SIR: I beg leave to lay before your Excellency and the Honorable Council, the present Situation of the County of Bedford: On the 8th, of this Inst., were found killed and scalped about eighteen Miles on this side of the Town of Bedford, and within half a Mile of the great Road one Peck, his wife and two children, his house burnt, and another who lived there is missing and thought to be taken away. The Enemy penetrating so far into the very heart of the country has struck a general panick, and the People are mostly fled. On my coming down I had occasion to pass thro’ the settlements of Brush Creek, Tonolowas, Licking Creek and the Big Cove, and most of the people were either gathered at different places, gone, or going away into Maryland, Virginia or Conegocheague, however, on my crossing Tuscarora Mountain leading from the Coves to Conegocheague, I met several families returning into the Coves.
I would likewise inform your Excellency that there are several Stations occupied at present in the County of Bedford, by the Bedford Pennsylvania Company of Rangers, and the Bedford County Militia, to wit, Frankstown, Heads of Dunning’s Creek, Fort Piper, the Town and Environs of Bedford, along the River Juniata, and some other inconsiderable small parties at other Stations, in all about one hundred and fifty or one hundred and sixty men; that there is not above one week’s provisions for their subsistence, and, that it was not possible for me to have got more, having not a penny to purchase with, and if there is not a speedy supply sent to those stations, they will, of Course, be evacuated, and as sure as Frankstown, Fort Piper, Dunning’s Creek posts, or any one of them are evacuated, lam of Opinion Cumberland County will become the Frontier, because these are the most Material stations in the County, and if it is heard once that any of them are deserted, the whole of the Country to which they are a frontier will immediately fly.
The other Frontier Counties are equally distressed by every report that I can hear.
I had almost forgot informing your Excellency that the notorious Girty has for some years past threatened the Town of Bedford with destruction, in like manner as he has that of Hanna’s Town, he has effected his design on the latter, and how soon he may effect a similar Destruction on the former, I know not, but I am greatly afraid he has it in Contemplation; This Information I thought myself under an absolute necessity of giving to your Honorable Board.
The massacre of the Peck family, above mentioned by Judge Dougherty, appears to have been the last of a long series of horrible outrages perpetrated upon the inhabitants of Bedford county by savages, paid and encouraged by the British government. The posts mentioned were revictualed and strengthened, and the Indians closely watched during the remainder of 1782.
On January 20, 1783, the preliminary treaty of peace between all the belligerents—-England, France and the United States—-was signed. The glad tidings were first received at Philadelphia, per the French cutter Triomphe, March 24, 1783. On April 11, following, congress issued a proclamation enjoining a cessation of hostilities; and on the 16th of the same month, the supreme executive council made public announcement of the happy event at the court-house in Philadelphia. Congress issued a thanksgiving proclamation, October 18, 1783, but the definitive treaty of peace with England was not ratified by that body (congress) until January 14, 1784.
The taxes levied upon the different townships in September, 1784, at the rate of "three pence in the pound of the clear yearly value of the estates of the Inhabitants" were, for Bedford, £63 3s 9d; Cumberland Valley, £21 1s 4d; Colerain, £23 6s ld; Providence, £32 19s 3d; Hopewell, £21 is 9d; Barree, £14 4s 7d; Huntingdon, £30 8s 3d; Brother’s Valley, £47 13s 4d; Quemahoning, £17 13s 5d; Turkey-Foot, £24 9s 2d; Milford, £27 6s; Dublin, £24 4s 6d; Shirley, £38 4s; Air, £35 8s 5d; Bethel, £49 2s 9d; Frankstown, not stated.
According to the sixth census the residents of Bedford and Somerset counties who were then receiving pensions for services performed during the revolutionary and Indian wars were as follows:
Bedford County.— Bedford borough: William Clark, aged 80 years. Cumberland Valley township: Frederick Simons, aged 78 years; Valentine Miller, aged 86 years, and William Drenning, aged 77 years. Hopewell township: John McNey, aged 75 years, and Mary Gordon, aged 92 years. Colerain township: Christopher Hart, aged 87 years, and Peter Morgan, aged 82 years. Union township: John Artis, aged 86 years, and Leonard Curl, aged 76 years. Broad Top township: John Lain, aged 85 years. Southampton township: William Davis, aged 83 years.
Londonderry township: William Masters, aged 83 years. St. Clair township: William Slick, aged 91 years. Napier township: John McCracken, aged 89 years, and William Frasey, aged 80 years.
Somerset County. — Allegheny township: Jacob Burchart, aged 2 years, and George Platz, aged 75 years. Brother’s Valley township: John Lowry, aged 81 years. Shade township: Christopher Burket, aged 93 years. Paint township: David Livingston, aged 79 years.
Milford township: Christian Rice, aged 77 years; Peter Henry, aged 80 years, and William Crichfield, aged 87 years. Southampton township: Peter Troutman, aged 84 years. Turkey-Foot township: Peter Gary, aged 77 years; George Bealer, aged 89 years; Benjamin Jennings, aged 81 years, and Jacob Rush, aged 85 years.
DEAD REVOLUTIONARY HEROES.
Names of revolutionary soldiers who died and were buried in the Turkey- Foot region Jacob Rush, Sr.; Oliver Drake, founder of Draketown; Obadiah Reed, James Moon, George Bealer and Robert Colborn, all buried in the "Jersey cemetery." Capt. Benjamin Jennings, a man of whom it is said he was possessed of great physical strength, a deep, heavy voice, and a very fair complexion. He was buried in the "old Ursina cemetery." John McNair, who served seven years under Washington, was buried at the "Six Poplars." Oliver Friend, who was buried in the old graveyard near Castleman’s Bridge at Confluence.
Capt. John Webster, for many of the early years a prominent citizen and innkeeper in the borough of Somerset, was also a veteran of the revolutionary war.
We close this chapter by adding that according to a census enumeration made in 1785, the male white inhabitants between eighteen and fifty-three years of age, in the townships which then embraced the whole of the present counties of Bedford and Somerset, were as follows: Bedford, 230; Colerain, 85; Cumberland Valley, 66; Londonderry, 101; Providence, 103 Hopewell, 113; Brother’s Valley, 230; Milford, 109; Quemahoning, 93, and Turkey-Foot, 90.
SOURCE: History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, pp. 81-98.
Return to Bedford County Genealogy Project
(c) Bedford County Pennsylvania Genealogy Project