Friday, July 2, 2010

The Revolutionary War and Independence

From the book "The King's Passengers to Maryland and Virginia," by Peter Coldham, it appears that our grandfather, John Bates, may have been an indentured servant that immigrated from England in 1771 and he was born in 1744.

On page 267, we find the following:

Runaway Felons:

Bates, John, English, age 27. From Benjamin Howard, Anne Arundel Co MD (MG 8 June - 13 July 1771)
Bates, Rowland, age 23. From Caleb Dorsey, Anne Arundel Co. Md (MG 10 Jun 1772)

I have no verification that this is our grandfather, but the time frames and locations are right. This is what I believed happened. I would appreciate it if anyone has any information to the contrary, to please let me know.

Between 8 June and 13 July, 1771, when he was 27, John Bates came to America, coming to port near present day Annapolis, Maryland, on the Chesapeake Bay. He was an indentured servant of Benjamin Howard. Mr. Howard was a prominent landowner in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland, and the son of Phillip Howard. However, before John's seven-year servitude was completed, he ran away. Indications are that he ran away in the sixth year of his servitude, just as the Revolutionary War broke out. There does not seem to have been much of an effort to find him, because after he left, he got married and joined the Continental Army. Anne Arundel County is about 20 miles from Prince George's County, where I believe he met and married Rebekah Beall (b. 1762), daughter of James and Elizabeth Beall. They were probably married around 1777. John C,. Mary and Zachariah were born abt. 1777, 1780, and 1781 in Maryland or Virginia.

In Dec. 1777, John Bates enlisted in the Fourth Maryland Regiment, which was assigned to the Main Continental Army. Military records show that he was discharged on 1 Nov 1780. On 24 Feb 1779, John was paid $100 when he re-enlisted. The 4th Regiment was reassigned to the Maryland 2nd Regiment, under Col. Otto Williams.

The Fourth Maryland Regiment enlistees came from Baltimore, Anne Arundel, and Somerset counties. It originally had 782 troops, but was reorganized with 661 men in 1779. They saw action during the battle of Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, Camden, the Guliford Courthouse, and finally at the Battle of Yorktown where Cornwallis surrendered. They were in the thick of the action. Wikipedia mentions that the 2nd was in the encampment at Valley Forge, but I do not know if the 4th was still part of the 2nd at that time. The regiment was disbanded on 1 Jan 1783 at Charleston, South Carolina.

During his military action, John was in South Carolina twice, at the battle of Camden and in Charleston. This may have given him the idea to move to the York, South Carolina area. The battle of Kings Mountain was fought in York County, not long after the battle of Camden. The Maryland 2nd Regiment was assigned to the defense of the Carolinas during the period between Guliford's courthouse and Yorktown. John purchased 300 acres on the main fork (now called Stoney Fork) of Fishing Creek in New Acquisition (now called York County) on 17 Nov 1783. New Acquisition was ceded back to South Carolina in 1781 when the state line survey was formally completed that called into question an earlier survey where the surveyor followed the Broad River north instead of the Catawba River as indicated in the agreement documents.

Rowland enlisted in the Maryland 4th Regiment. Whether or not they were relatives or just acquaintances is not known. A Phillip Bates also joined the 4th Regiment. He was discharged 22 Mar 1779.

The following is a description of the battles the Maryland 4th Regiment was involved in:

September 11, 1777
Right flank commanded by General Sullivan with six brigades, consisting of divisions of Lord Stirling, of General Stephen, and his own. Left wing under the command of General Wayne. Regiments of Colonels Hazen, Dayton and Ogden on the right. Pennsylvania militia, under General Armstrong, on extreme left, but not called into action. Advance columns under General Greene; brigades of Muldenburg and Weedon. General Conway's brigade, the Third Virginia regiment under Colonel Marshall, regiment of Virginians under Colonel Stevens and one of Pennsylvanians under Colonel Stewart, distinguished themselves, as did Lafayette who was present as a volunteer, and the French officers, Maudit Duplessis, Louis de Fleury, and the Polish officer, Pulaski. Total force, including militia, about 15,000 men.

October 7, 1777.
Left wing, under General Greene, composed of divisions of Greene and of Stephen, flanked by McDougall's brigade. Right wing composed of divisions of Sullivan and Wayne, flanked by Conway's brigade. Lord Stirling, with brigades of Nash and Maxwell in reserve. Maryland and New Jersey militia on extreme left; General Armstrong with about too° Pennsylvania militia on the extreme right. Brigades of Scott and Mulhlenberg took part in the attack under General Greene. Brigades of Forman, Smallwood, and artillery under General Knox.

June 28, 1778.
First skirmish by reconnoitering party, New Jersey militia, under General Dickinson, select detachment advanced under Colonel Grayson; regiments of Colonels Butler and Jackson. Second Skirmish, under Colonel Butler, then in advance. General Lafayette, with light horse from Maxwell's brigade, reconnoitered. General Wayne on the left. Third skirmish: Charge repulsed by Colonel Butler, Colonels Jackson and Grayson in advance, flanked by Generals Maxwell and Scott. Oswald's artillery with guns from Varnum's brigade. Retreat by General Lee. The battle: Rallied by Washington. Greene on the right, Stirling on the left; Lafayette in command of the second line. Advance of enemy met by Wayne's line. Later, General Woodford's brigade advanced on the right, General Poor's on the left. Generals Muhlenberg and de Steuben marched with reinforcements. Among other regiments engaged were those of Colonels Ramsay, Stewart and Wesson. Livingston's New Yorkers, Cadwallader's Pennsylvania volunteers and General Woodford's Virginia brigade.

August 16, 1780.
HORATIO GATES, General in command.
Right wing, under Baron de Kalb, charged with line of battle ; Brigadier-General Gist with Second Maryland brigade; Delaware militia. Centre : General Caswell with North Carolina division, including General Gregory's brigade. Left wing: General Stevens with Virginia brigade, 700 strong. Smallwood's First Maryland brigade, with Captain Singleton's artillery in reserve. Advance guard: Colonel Armand's legion, cavalry. Colonel Porterfield with light infantry on right and Major Armstrong on the left. Colonel Dixon's regiment. In all about 3052 rank and file. Attack led by Colonel Williams' volunteers, under Lieutenant-Colonel Howard, followed by regiments of Stevens and Dixon.

BATTLE OF KING'S MOUNTAIN, N. C. (The 4th was not involved in this battle).
October 8, 1780.
Colonel Isaac Selby with a force from Sullivan county ; Colonel William Campbell with men from Washington county, Va., Colonel Benjamin Cleveland with men from Wilkes and Surrey counties; Colonel Charles McDowell from Wilkes and Rutherford counties, N. C.; Colonel John Seirer with men from Sullivan, and Colonel James Williams, of South Carolina. Total command, 1600 picked men.

March 15, 1781.
NATHANAEL GREENE, General in command.
First line formed by two brigades of North Carolina militia under Colonels Butler and Eaton, about 1100 men, with Lieutenant-Colonel William Washington's corps and two six-pounders on their right, and on the left Major Harry Lee's corps and riflemen. Second line formed by Virginia militia, a brigade from the southwestern part of the State under Colonel William Campbell and another under General Lawson. Third line commanded by Greene in person, First Maryland regiment, Colonel Gunby, and Continentals. Reserve, two Virginia regiments of Continentals. Total, 1651 regular troops, and more than 2000 militia.

(Surrender of Cornwallis).
October 19, 1781.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, Commander-in-Chief.
Muhlenburg and Hazen's brigades and the French forces commanded by Lafayette. Wayne's and the Maryland brigades, division of the centre, commanded by Baron de Steuben. Dayton's and Clinton's brigades on the left; the senior Continental officer to command the right wing and Count Rochambeau, the left. Stevens' and Lawson's brigades of militia to form the second line; the park of artillery, the corps of sappers and miners, and the Virginia State regiments posted between the two lines. General Knox in command of the artillery. General Lincoln, division commander.

I am grateful for the service my grandfather gave in our battle for independence. Whether his actions were great or small, we do not know. However, I believe it took great courage for him to be there for the entire war. During the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, the 2nd was positioned on the outer flanks and had to hold their position while the British shot at them for 6 hours. Men were falling on each side. They had to march past the wounded and dying while their new, young officers failed to give the orders to return fire. The 2nd eventually broke the line and fled, but still, it took great courage to hold the line for 6 hours under those conditions.

Personally, I have not been required to pay that type of debt for all of the things I enjoy. I appreciate the peace that my family has lived in, and all the comforts this country has given me. I sincerely appreciate the efforts of my ancestors, John in the Revolutionary War, Zachariah in the War of 1812, Thomas in the Civil War, and my father, James Bates in the Korean War, and my son-in-law, Derek, who currently serves in the Air Force. I pray that God will reward them for their efforts.

May God Bless America, and may we forever be beholden to Him.

In the name of Jesus Christ,


1 comment:

  1. interesting information--and Amen to your remarks on the service men! nicely said.