Friday, May 16, 2014

Incorporating Military Histories to Piece Together Overlapping Service

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As I read military histories about the skirmishes and battles in which our ancestors fought, I try to look for specific information about their regiments so I can piece together the movements and experiences they might have had. For instance, I am currently reading the book, Monmouth Courthouse 1778: The last great battle in the North, by Brendan Morrissey.

From our last post, you'll note that we found the names of Isaac Perkins' commanding officers: Captain Stevenson and Colonel Sheppard (North Carolina Militia), and Captain Clement Hall and Colonel John Patten (2nd North Carolina Regiment). According to Morrissey, Col. John Patten and the 2nd North Carolina were part of the main body of General George Washington's troops, serving in the right wing under Major General Nathanael Green (p. 86). There were seven Brigadier Generals commanding the right wing:

  1. Brigadier General William Woodford (Virginia), 
  2. vice Brigadier General Lachlan McIntosh (North Carolina), 
  3. Brigadier General Enoch Poor (New Hampshire and New York), 
  4. Brigadker General Jedediah Huntington (Connecticut), 
  5. Brigadier General William Smallwood (Maryland and Delaware), 
  6. Brigadier General Peter Muhlenberg (Virginia and German Battalion), and 
  7. vice Brigadier General George Weedon (Virginia).
McIntosh's troops were made up of the 1st North Carolina (Colonel Thomas Clark) and 2nd North Carolina (Colonel John Patten). 

Additional information about Asa Spelmore/Spelman
In looking back at Asa Spemore's Pension Application File, it was stated that he was a 
Private in the Regiment commanded by Colonel Davidson of the N. Carolina line....[that] he enlisted in the company commanded by Captain Quinn in the Tenth North Carolina Regiment Continental Establishment Commanded by Colonel Davidson.
It appears, however, that Asa Spelman possibly made an error in his recollections as Captain Michael Quinn was associated with the 8th and the 3rd North Carolina Regiments; and, Asa Spelman appears on the roll of the 8th NC Regiment. Note also that Quinn resigned his commission 14 Dec 1779 and became a traitor for the British cause, was captured in Edenton, NC in 1781 and was executed. Following his resignation, the remains of the 8th Regiment were added to the 2nd North Carolina Regiment.

According to the list of Lt. Colonels on The American Revolution in North Carolina website, Lt. Colonel William Lee Davidson changed regiments several times in his career. Starting out in the 4th North Carolina Regiment as a Major, he received a promotion to Lt. Colonel and transferred to the 5th, the 7th, 3rd, and then the 1st, all between the years of 1777 and 1779. It was noted that he served at the Battle of Monmouth as well. So while Isaac Perkins swore that he saw Asa Spelman while on duty in White Plains, they were both at Monmouth as well.

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