“…the new Regiment now raising”: Continuing the story of the Extra Regiment

The 2nd Maryland Regiment at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in 1781. This regiment was broadly the successor of the Regiment Extra. Courtesy of the Military Print Company.

In our last post, many of the contours of the Maryland Extra Regiment/Regiment Extra were outlined. This post aims to expand that story. It was pointed out that Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Lawson Smith (called Alexander Smith in the rest of this article), described as a “gentleman Who’s Conduct & Bravery deserves Your Excellency notice” by Harford County’s Richard Dallam in a letter to Maryland Governor Thomas Sim Lee on July 14, 1780, led the regiment. [1] Within this unit, Maryland 400 veterans Samuel Luckett, Josias Miller, John Plant, Charles Smith, and James Farnandis were all mid or high-ranking military officers. This post aims to outline the known members of the Extra Regiment beyond these six individuals using available information, telling more of the story of this regiment which is broadly lost to history. Sometimes this will overlap with what was said in the previous post, but generally it will be new information to expand existing scholarship on the subject.

Recruiting and desertion within the Extra Regiment

In July of 1780, to alleviate the “Exigencies of the War in the Southern Department” or southern theater of the Revolutionary War, the Council of Maryland ordered the creation of this regiment. Originally, it was supposed to consist of 531 men, with orders it be ready by July. [2] However, recruiting was so abysmal that hardly “one-half the promised number was obtained.” This means that there was less than 265 men, with exactly 228 in the regiment, commanded by Mr. Alexander Smith, by December, marching later that year. This was not only because the state did not have sufficient funds for the recruitment of individuals into the regiment, later giving men 1,500 pounds to serve for only a three-month period, a successful measure, but also trying to draw in former deserters. The latter was compounded by armed boats reportedly “maned by the torys” in the lower part of Dorcester County, suppressed by Lieutenant Jonathan Smoot, later a captain, who burned the houses of those who held pro-British Crown sympathies and hung others of the same political persuasion.

The other problems of deserters was outlined by Benjamin MacKall, recruiter for the regiment in Calvert County, who told Col. Uriah Forest that in July only one man joined the Extra Regiment, with two enlisted, and former deserters, escaping by “breaking through the Prison wall.” Adding to this was that fact that the local militia was not paying more than 5% toward procuring new recruits for the regiment, leading certain counties to not fulfill their quotas required to fill the ranks of new regiment. Still, in some counties, like Queen Anne’s, 31 men were enlisted by William Hemsley even with lackluster recruiting in general.

Other problems with recruiting the necessary men led to continuing pleas. As the “extravagant prices given to Soldiers” for the regiment reduced recruiting for other regiments, new recruits were even furnished “with meat” so that they would stay within the ranks. This confirms that the idea that Maryland abandoned the idea of an Extra Regiment after the Battle of Camden on August 16 is completely erroneous. Nine days after that battle, the Council of Maryland  wrote the wife of Governor Lee, Mary Digges Lee, saying:

We are very anxious to send forward the Regiment Extraordinary to reinforce the American Army. The Impracticability of procuring immediately by Purchase, a Sufficient Quantity of Linen, for Shirts for all the Men, induces us to solicit your Assistance at this Emergency, and to request a Loan of two hundred and sixty Shirts, which we will not fail to replace when you may deem it necessary to demand them.

In later months, the situation would seem to get worse. Fifty men within the regiment, as of September 17, were in the hospital, and “a number” deserted, but the Continental Congress still directed the state of Maryland to take certain measures “for the march of the new raised Regiment.” As the year progressed, the soldiers of the regiment were clothed, even with continuing desertions and defections to “the Enemy’s vessels,” and was given the appropriate supplies for its imminent march Southward. Some soldiers were even rejected by the state, but then were allowed to march again under certain circumstances. Even the paymaster of southern department, Joseph Clay, was given 2,060 dollars on October 25 by the Continental Congress to enable the “extra regiment…to proceed to the Southward.” [3] It was around this time that the Maryland legislature set the stage for the final dissolution of the regiment, by saying that “the non-commissioned officers and privates of the regiment extra ordinary be draughted into the old battalions of the quota of this state in the continental service, and that the field and commissioned officers of said regiment be recalled” with Mr. Alexander Smith holding “the rank of lieutenant-colonel, as a supernumerary officer of this state in the continental service.” This does not mean that the regiment was abolished as other records prove that the regiment stayed intact until the following year.

On September 21, Mr. Alexander Smith was given his orders for marching the regiment, which he would follow and execute when the unit marched in December to join the Continental Army:

“The board think proper to direct That you proceed from :Annapolis as soon as circumstances will permit, on your March to Join the Southern Army by way of Alexandria to orange Court House & from thence by Charlotteville to Hillsborough. Alexandria being but two or three days march from Annapolis. Your men can take Provisions enough with them to last them thither, should there be no Issuing Post between. You will write to Col James Wood Commanding at Charlotteville, informing him when you expect to leave Annapolis. & on your March give him information of your movements by every private opportunity, it will not be necessary that you send Expresses. If on your route to Charlotteville you should receive orders from Col. Wood to halt, or hasten your March you will obey them, & from thence forward put yourself entirely under his Command, but if Col Wood should not find it necessary to alter your destination, you will proceed as already directed.”

As discussed earlier, the extra regiment dissolved before the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, never seeing action under its name, with most of the regiment’s men, but not all, merging into the Second Maryland Regiment. Some, such as Samuel Hanson, one of the regiment’s ensigns, joined the 2nd Maryland. Lieutenant Colonel John Eager Howard wrote, as reprinted on page 87 of Cool deliberate courage: John Eager Howard in the American Revolution:

“there was a new regiment [Extra Regiment] sent out from Maryland which had been raised by the state, and it was thought that the officers had been more favored than the officers of the old regiments. It joined us a few days before the action and there were such jealousies among the officers that Genl Greene sent all the new officers home, and made a new arrangement of the two regiments. This was at the time my light infantry [troops who fought at the Battle of Cowpens] joined their regiments. The most of the new men were thrown into the second regiment which was very deficient of officers”

While some records show that some left the regiment on January 1st, it was not until February 12 that the Maryland General Assembly confirmed that the regiment was no more. Regardless, there is agreement among those who submitted pensions and with the existing records that the regiment was dismembered before the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, with the officers returning home as “Supernumerary” meaning that they stayed part of the Continental Army but were not “part of the regular staff,” the regular group of officers. This explains why, in February, Mr. Alexander Smith was allowed to “hold the Rank of Lieutenant Colonel as a supernumerary Officer in this State in the continental Service.” The following month, the General Assembly said that the regiment had been “reduced,” recalling the field and commissioned officers, along with non-commissioned officers and privates, within old regiments, which confirmed what had happened earlier that year. By June 11, the Council of Maryland noted that several former soldiers within the old regiments and extra regiment applied for their bounties and they wished to “do justice to them” by giving them the money they deserved.

Who served in the regiment?

As noted in the previous section, 228 men were in the regiment as of December 1780. Even with this number of men, only the names of 184, at most, including some who later deserted, are known through remaining digitized paper records. If the number of 228 is taken as a fact, then that means that 44 names are not known. But, if the number of 531 men, the number they were aiming for with the creation of this regiment, then 347 names, at most, would not be known. Based on the fact that the regiment had problems with recruiting, it is more likely that between 44-100 names are not known.

From available information, it is evident that there were eight companies led by Captains James Gillespie, from Washington County, Samuel Cock (7th Company), a “young man with some property and of a very credible family,” Mr. Charles Smith (Maryland 400 veteran), Benjamin Murdock (1st Company), Vachel Burgess, Samuel McLane, Henry Hill (son of Henry), and Montjoy/Mountjoy Bailey/Bayley, who later went on to be a captain in the Second Maryland Regiment and Seventh Maryland Regiment. [4] There was also Captain Archibald Golder, sometimes spelled incorrectly as Colder. But, he was described in numerous documents as the regiment’s paymaster. [5] Hence, it is not known if he commanded a company or not. If there were eight companies and each had 55 people, this means there was about of 480 people, but since 531 were originally requested for the regiment, this means that there may have been an idea to create 10, 11, 12, 13, or even 14 companies, although this did not occur.

According to the records, there were twelve lieutenants within the Extra Regiment. They were Francis Shepard/Sheppard, Samuel McLane, Ignatius Boone/Boon (earlier an ensign), John Plant (earlier an ensign), Samuel Hamilton, Samuel Hanson of Walt, John Lucas, Samuel Jones, Mr. Samuel Luckett, and Charles Magruder (earlier an ensign). [6] There are eight other mid-level officers known. These men include ensigns Basil Clements, James Bickham, Ignatius Blandford, Theodore Middleton, Nathaniel Magruder, Mr. Josias Miller, Basil Gaither, and Joshua Warfield. [7] There was also Major Edward Giles, an officer who was second-in-command of the regiment.

Luckily some information survives on promotion and resignation of certain ranks. On September 1, Mr. Charles Smith, Samuel Cock, Archibald Golder, Samuel Hanson, Mr. Josias Miller, and James Bigham? resigned their ranks, while Benjamin Murdoch, Vachel Burgess, Francis Shepard, Samuel McLane, John Lucas, Charles Magruder, Mr. Samuel Luckett, Ignatius Boone/Boon, Theodore Middleton, John Plant, Jacob Gray, and Basil Clements were promoted. When this happened, the newly appointed ensigns to the unit were told that if they accept this promotion, they will “repair as soon as possible to this Place, to take Command.”

The records of ordinary soldiers in the Extra Regiment are thin. A digital copy showing the return of those within Samuel Cock’s Seventh Company is incomplete. There is only one page with the full return, of 55 men, and another showing 60 men within the company. Other pages are ripped off, only showing 18 or 29 men respectively. [8] They were clearly drawn from Prince George’s, Charles, Queen Anne’s, Kent, Wicomico, Worchester, and Charles counties, to name a few, as the records indicate. Some are listed as sick, others on furlough or not joined. The full return, with most of the men with blankets, shirts, shoes, and other equipment, with a few exceptions. [9] By later September, only 37 of Cock’s company were present and able to march. The others were either sick in an Annapolis hospital, deserted from Annapolis, hadn’t joined the company, sick in a Philadelphia Hospital, were “on command,” or deserted at the Head of Elk earlier that month. [10]

There are scattered records of others who enlisted in the regiment. In July, there were 30 men who were described as the “1st 30 for Extra Regiment.” [11] Seventeen others were mentioned at the end of this list. It is not known if they enlisted in the regiment or not. [12] On August 16, six men enlisted in the regiment (William Gloury, Francis McClain, John Butler, Peter Scott, James Scott, and Thomas Beaver), all of whom went down to Annapolis aboard “the Sloop Liberty.” By November, there were 28 more within the regiment’s ranks, with numerous desertions and non-joiners not among them. [13] If this isn’t enough, there are assorted records for 24 individuals. One of them, John Hard, was “old & Deaf” and confined for desertion, which was different from the capture of John Collins, a private who had deserted to Kent County. [14]

Three other individuals seemed as people who wanted to join the regiment. In July 1780, William Hopewell of Salisbury, within Wicomico County, requested to have a command position within the regiment. Nothing else of Mr. Hopewell is known. The same month, Daniel Jennifer, in Charles County’s Port Tobacco, said that he would be “glad” to be officer as part of the regiment. The same goes for Jacob Bythe who was proposed as a lieutenant for the regiment but the story ends there. Constantine Wright was part of the regiment reportedly as well and Private Jacob Blake was possibly a soldier, but his enlistment has not been confirmed. In all, Matthew Garner, Samuel Hanson (whose father was undoubtedly Walter, who said this son was a prisoner in April 1781), Charles Magruder, Vachel Burgess, Francis Shepard, and John Bryan were veterans of the Maryland 400, as noted in our last post.

Pensions and closing

While existing records only show records for 184 men in the regiment, only a few actually wrote pensions. Specifically 19 men had pensions:

  1. Lt. Col. Alexander Lawson Smith [15]
  2. Captain Charles Smith [16]
  3. Captain Benjamin Murdock/Murdoch (includes a statement in which Montjoy Bayley asserts he was a captain in the regiment)
  4. Captain Montjoy Bayley [17]
  5. Captain Archibald Golder [18]
  6. Lieutenant Samuel Luckett [19]
  7. Lieutenant John Plant (previously an ensign) [20]
  8. Ensign Josias Miller [21]
  9. Ensign Theodore Middleton [22]
  10. Private John McKay/McCay (new person not previously mentioned)
  11. Private William Elkins (new person not previously mentioned)
  12. Private John Shanks (new person not previously mentioned)
  13. Private John McKay (new person not previously mentioned)
  14. Private William Groves (who may have later become an ensign)
  15. Private Jesse Boswell (new person not previously mentioned)
  16. Private Giles Thomas (new person not previously mentioned)
  17.  Private Philip Huston (new person not previously mentioned)
  18. Private Thomas Gadd (confirms regiment was broken up before battle)
  19. Private William Patton
  20. Private John Newton [23]

Others, such as James Hopkins, have no pension but are mentioned in other pensions, like his brother’s pension in this case. This means that less than 11% of the men within the regiment, currently known, wrote pensions. Even the pensions themselves don’t say much about the regiment as a whole. There may be even more since some of the names may be spelled differently in the pension records than those in the muster rolls.

Hence, it is hard to know the full story of those within the regiment, but the information gathered in this article and put into sections, brings it into public view, which is helpful for those researching their family lineage and those interested in military history.

Notes

[1] Beverly W. Bond, Jr., “Chapter III: Military Aid” within “State Government in Maryland 1777-1781,” Johns Hopkins University Studies, Series 23, Nos. 3-4 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, March-April 1905), p. 38-39.

[2] While Mr. Alexander Smith resigned from the position of Lieutenant Colonel on September 1st, 1780, he was re-promoted by the Council of Maryland the following day to the same position!

[3] Journals of Congress, From January 1st, 1780 to January 1st, 1781 (Philadelphia: David C. Claypoole, 1781), 341-342.

[4] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1780-1781, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 45, 56, 241, 367, 370, 444; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1779-1780, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 43, 233, 234, 338; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1781-1784, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 48, 54, 60; “Autograph Letters,” American Historical Record Vol. I, No. 4, April 1872, p. 175. As Thomas Johnson notes in this July 16, 1780 letter, Mr. Cock requested to a captain in the regiment in July. Also see the pensions of Robert Green, Solomon Turner, Aquilla Smith, Wilson Moore, William Nick, John Ferguson, and Patrick Connolly for other mentions of Mr. Bayley, who has a service card on Fold3, but apparently no pension. He would later be listed as living in Frederick County, just like the rest of the Bayley/Bailey family in Maryland, and lived a total of 81 years.

[5] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1779-1780, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 43, 335; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1780-1781, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 45, 250, 253, 371; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1781-1784, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 48, 54, 94.

[6] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1779-1780, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 43, 233, 234, 262; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1780-1781, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 45, 325, 367, 370, 415; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1781-1784, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 48, 58, 60. A man named Edward Hood was “awarded a pension as a ‘maimed’ soldier in the 1st Regt. of the Maryland line” and says he “served under Captains Samuel Griffin, Samuel Jones and Nicholas Gassaway.”

[7] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1780-1781, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 45, 294, 334, 367; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1781-1784, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 48, 60, 94, 129; Congressional serial set (Washington: G.P.O, date not known), 133. Page 25 of Lawrence E. Babits’s A Devil of a Whipping: The Battle of Cowpens, notes that Edward Giles is part of the Extra Regiment.

[8] Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, folder 28, roll 0034. Courtesy of Fold3.com. Here are the 29 listed on the first and second pages of the record: Jonathan Deare, Jacob Hofselton, John Burk, William Devine, Jacob Guttinger, Jacob Hofselton (different from above), Christopher Hambert, Thomas Ball, John Smith, Thomas Burk, George Hamilton, Michael McGowery, Michael Redmond, William Gillisby, John Desmond, Michael Moon, ? Graydy, John Flowson, John Barker, Isam Coleman, Thomas Glifson?, James Hopkins, Isiah Mason, John Clark, Lenard Smith (close, but not his pension), John Jackson, Josias Miller, John Anderson, and ? Gibson (crossed out). Here are the 18 soldiers listed on pages 3 and 4 (and 5?) of the document: Michael Garner, Henry Savage, Christopher Miller, Michael Longisfetter?[full name cannot be read], Michael Redman, John Barker, Thomas Burke, William Devine, John Butler, John McCarty, John Burk, Morris Leary, Gary Hamilton, Chris? Lamford, Michael McGowan, John Morris, William Falton, and Philip Fitzpatrick.

[9] The following are those listed in the full return: William Ewing, Patrick Pharple? [unreadable], Theophilus Cumford, Joseph McLain, Michael Cofner, Laughlin Fannen, Michael Longisfetter [unreadable], Henry Savage, John Butler, John Morris, William Patton, William Preft, Joseph Wright, James Thomson/Thompson who was recommended for captain of the regiment by William Hemsley, Roger Swanson, Michael Mann, John Derr who is pardoned by the governor later on (there is a John Derr with a pension who served in the Maryland Line, number S. 12762, but it is not known if this is him although some indications seem to indicate it could be; he is described as a deserter at one point), Jacob Hartman, John Burk, William Devine (some indications that pension number R.2906 is him but this cannot be confirmed), Jacob Citleringer, Jacob Hofselton, Christopher Flamb, Thomas Ball, John Smith (there are eight John Smiths who have MD pensions as an ancestry search shows, but none of them seem to be him), Thomas Burk, George Hammilton, Michael McGowan, Michael Redmond, William Gibson, John Desmond,  John McCarty, Philip Fitzpatrick, William Siggs [unreadable], John Enerson [unreadable], Michael Stoelker, Peter Pomish?, John Reyler, William Deyler, John Ellison, Jonathan Parker, James Woodward, James Neel, Jacob Meyers, Morris Leary, Henry Creger, William Diach, David Crady, John Flower, John Barker, Thomas Gibson, John Colman, John C[?]Millan, James Hopkins, and John Clare.

[10] John Allison Service Card; Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, see pages 4-5. Courtesy of Fold3.com; John Burke Service Card; Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, see page 5. Courtesy of Fold3.com; William Divine Service Card; Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, see page 2. Courtesy of Fold3.com; John Clare Service Card; Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, see page 2. Courtesy of Fold3.com; William Gilasby Service Card; Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, see page 2. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Leonard Smith Service Card; Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, see pages 2-4. Courtesy of Fold3.com; William Ewing Service Card; Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, see page 2. Courtesy of Fold3.com; John Smith Service Card; Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, see page 2. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Michael Steeker Service Card; Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, see page 2. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Roger Sullivan Service Card; Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, see page 2. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Joseph White Service Card; Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, see page 2. Courtesy of Fold3.com. Specifically, the Fold3 muster rolls, not the serve cards, show that John Clare “deserted from Annapolis”  three were sick in an Annapolis Hospital, six deserted at Head of Elk on Sept. 3 (William Ewing, Joseph White, Roger Sullivan, John Smith, Michael [last name cannot be made out], and James Hopkins), six hadn’t joined (John Jackson, Josias Miller, John Anderson, Morris Leary, Thomas Gibson, John Neale), three were sick in Philly Hospital (William Gillaspie, Christopher Lambert, and Patrick Charro?), and four were on command (Josiah Mason, Thomas Burke, ? Woodward, and Michael Redman), leaving a company which is supposed to be 60, of actually only 37. Service Cards confirm this, showing that John Burke and William Devine were sick in an Annapolis hospital, that John Clare deserted from Annapolis, that William Gillaspie/Gilasby was sick in Philly hospital and Leonard Smith was sick on furlough, and having records of five who deserted at “Head of Elk”: William Ewing, John Smith, Michael Streeker, Roger Sullivan, and Joseph White. Also, a man named John Allison is mentioned on a return of Sept. 29, 1780 as present, but noting else is known.

[11] These men were Thomas Pendoor, James Bigwood, George Clarke, John Higgins, John Pickering, William Stewart (close, but not his pension), Daniel Bulger, John McGuire, Edward Daw, William Cox, John Maginnis, James Barrow, Joseph Floyd, John Harvey, Jesse McCarty, Henry Crane, William Curtin (related to Thomas Certain?), John Whealand, Thomas McBride, John McCoune in place of William Quinton, Thomas Maddin, John Buller, Patrick Smith, Richard Downes, John Smith, Patrick Cavenough, Thomas Shears, Thomas Ahair, Thomas Pennifield, and Richard Kisby.

[12] These seventeen others, not including dead James North or deserter John Tucker, are: Richard Whiley, Patrick Riley, John Butcher, John Robbins, Robert Ferrell, John Jones, Elijah Clarke, John Freeman, Anthony Wedge, William Groves, Thomas Elliss, Thomas Matthews, Stephen Fennell, Thomas Burch, Charles Reynolds (possibly mentioned in this pension), Timothy McLamar, and John Clayton.

[13] The list of “recruits and deserters,” were acquired by Queen Ann’s County officers, including William Hemsley, for the regiment, raised in July shows 2 people who deserted before joining (Thomas Fox and Valentine Saint Tee), three former deserters who never joined (Thomas Trew, Joseph Crouch, and James Chittendon), while three former deserters did join (David Willon, Thomas Terrett, and Benjamin Loftsman). Then there are the 25 regular people recruited who are not deserters: Thomas Yewell, George Duncan, Edward Legg, Charles White, Job Sylvester, Robert Legg, Thomas Gadd, William Aller, Daniel Dulany, John West Tate, Benjamin Lee, Richard Gemmeson, Edward Vickers, Elijah Barn, John Oliver (possibly him but cannot be confirmed), William Carter, John Moore, John West, Joseph Paggat, James Baver, Lambert Phillips, John Hickins, Richard Murphy, Timothy Connor, and Edward Dominie.

[14] The other 22 men are William Clements, James Bartclay, William Jeffries, Francis Rogers, Dennis Larey, John Cooper, Elisa Huff, George Plumbley, Bauer Wibb, Frederick James, Jesse Power (close but not his pension) William Hickin, Joseph Points, William Simmons (close but not his pension), Benjamin Smith (related to the other Smiths?), John Bryan, William Campbell, John Muir, William Holt, John Lewin, John Moore, and John Newton (“wounded in two instances” as a result of his fighting in the war).

[15] Pension of Alexander Lawson Smith, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 2208, pension number W. 4247. Courtesy of Fold3.com.

[16] Pension of Charles Smith, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, W 25,002, from Fold3.com.

[17] Pension of Mountjoy Bayly, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, S-12094, BLWt 685-300. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest.

[18] Pension of Sarah and Archibald Golder, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, W.943. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest.

[19] Pension of Samuel Luckett, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, S 36,015. From Fold3.com.

[20] Pension of John Plant, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1942, pension number W. 26908. Courtesy of Fold3.com.

[21] Pension of Josias Miller, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1728, pension number S. 40,160. Courtesy of Fold3.com.

[22] Pension of Theodore Middleton, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1720, pension number S. 11,075. Courtesy of Fold3.com.

[23] Pension of John Newton, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, S.35009. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest.

“Ready to march Southward”: The story of the Maryland Extra Regiment

These brown-lined red coats were worn by the MD Extra Regiment. in 1780. Courtesy of Historic Art Prints.

Editor’s Note: This post uses information from biographies of Maryland soldiers John Plant, Josias Miller, Charles Smith, James Farnandis, and Samuel Luckett, assembled as part of the Finding the Maryland 400 research project of the Maryland State Archives. Three of these bios were written by yours truly, but one, Luckett’s, was written by the project manager, Owen Lourie, and the other by a previous researcher, Sean Baker. Content that is used here is used in correspondence with fair use requirements under copyright law and in the interest of promoting further historical scholarship. This post is part of a series about

The year was 1780. Maryland, one of the key states within the fledgling United States was called upon to alleviate the severe shortage of armed men for the Continental Army and reinforce it. This was because of casualties emanating from the battles as part of the Southern campaign. In the summer, Maryland’s generals, as ordered by the Council of Maryland filled the regiment, called the Extra Regiment, Regiment Extraordinary, or the New Regiment, with former deserters, “a detachment composed Chiefly of Men left at the Hospitals” and a few “Recruited for the old Regiments.” [1] Even though it comprised a motley crew, the regiment’s men still wore uniforms of red-lined brown coats.

This new regiment was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Lawson Smith, a young man either in his 20s or 30s. Only one year earlier, he had been recommended for promotion by George Washington after receiving  recommendation from William Fitzhugh, a delegate representing Virginia in the Continental Congress. [2]

Samuel Luckett and Josias Miller, men in their twenties, a young man John Plant, mid-aged man Charles Smith, and a man named James Farnandis were among those in this new unit. These men were some of the remaining members of the “Maryland 400” who had fought in the Battle of Brooklyn so many years ago. In July, Luckett and Plant, both experienced soldiers, were made ensigns and later promoted to lieutenant in the fall. [3] While they experienced promotion, Miller joined the regiment as a lieutenant, and Smith as a captain, likely around the same time, or after, Luckett and Plant were promoted. [4] Still, becoming lieutenant, was, for Smith and Miller, a step up in rank from their previous positions in the Maryland Line. It is interesting that these combat veterans joined the regiment since it not only included former deserters, but also consisted of many who had little combat experience.

Regiment was slow to form. This was partially due to desertions from its ranks  and a lack of supplies. Before marching southward, the unit moved from Prince George’s County to Philadelphia, going to Head of Elk (present-day Elkton, Maryland), then going back down the Chesapeake Bay to Annapolis to gain more recruits for the beleaguered unit. [5]

In August, Uriah Forest, a high-ranking military man of Maryland wrote to George Washington, describing the state of the regiment:

“[your letter] to the Commanding Officer of the Maryland additional Regt was put into my hands yesterday…they have assembled at this place…three hundred & thirty [recruits]—a hundred & fifty more are daily expected from the more distant Counties, Returns of which have already come to hand. The Gentleman appointed to Command this Regiment not having Joined, & the Men being entirely destitute of Cloathing of every kind, has render’d the Execution of your Excellency’s orders with regard to their Marching altogether impracticable. The State Clothier is now busily employed, in getting them fitted with Shirts, Overalls and Shoes…It is with Real Concern I observe to your Excellency that there is no Prospect of procuring Men to fill up the Regiments. Almost the whole of the Horses and some of the Waggons required of this State are Obtained. I have the honor to be with Perfect Respect”

From then onto to the early winter, the regiment stayed in Annapolis, the state capital, for a “considerable time.” In the fall, some portions of the regiment, with Charles Smith, a Captain, among them, fought a small battle with the British near modern-day Fort Washington, Maryland on the Potomac River. [6] This skirmish occurred at Digg’s Landing or Digges Point, land owned by John Digges, with Smith’s company of Continentals fighting a small group of British soldiers who severely wounded him in the face by a cannon ball, as the story goes, bouncing off a rock. [7] The British, not long after, set fire to Want Water, the nearby house of Colonel William Lyles. After marching about 3.5 miles to the house, the Continentals took several prisoners. [8]

The whole regiment, not just one company, like Smith’s, soon began to march southward. In December, after gaining the “necessary Clothing &c. to equip them for the March,” it began marching to join Horatio Gates and General Nathaniel Greene at the Continental Army’s headquarters, then in Hilsboro, North Carolina, to assist in the Southern Campaign. [9]

Once the unit arrived in North Carolina, in January, a number of problems developed. It refused to join the main Continental Army because of disputes over rank. [10] General Greene took the side of veteran officers, who took charge when commanders of the unit who had trained the unit’s soldiers, for the past six months, were dismissed. As a result, the unit changed into the Second Maryland Regiment before the Battle of Guilford Courthouse on March 15, 1781. As a result, many of the regiment’s senior members, including but not limited to, Luckett, Miller, Plant, Smith, and Farnandis, likely resigned in January since they could not retain their rank in the new unit. [11] Following this, these officers would , return home, away from the battlefront in the Southern United States. As John McCay put it, in his pension, “soon after the [extra] regiment broke up, the men transferred to fill other regiments and the Officers [from the extra regiment] were sent home,” an account confirmed by William Groves. With the officers leaving, the ordinary soldiers stayed in the 2nd Maryland regiment, fighting in the battle previously mentioned in this paragraph, and others that were part of the Southern campaign, with some discharged in Annapolis at the end of the war, ending their “public service.”

In the years that followed, after the dissolution of the regiment, each of the soldiers would go their separate ways. Plant, by 1783, would become a small farmer and slaveowner, owning two horses, one cattle, and one enslaved black child, while Miller would later live in Franklin County, Ohio, possibly on his bounty lands. [12] Smith, on the other hand, would be married to a sixteen-year-old woman, from Prince George’s County, Mary Bowling, and have three children named Benjamin, John, and Polly with her. [13] Farnandis also married and stayed in Charles County. However, he married for the second time after his first wife, Elizabeth, died, married a woman named Chloe McPherson. [14] Luckett also returned to his family. His wife, a woman named Monica Kennedy, whom he married before he left for war in 1776, he had two children with her, William and Francis H., before her death sometime in the 1780s. [15]

As for Alexander Lawson Smith, one of the co-founders of the Society of the Cincinnati, he had a similar, but different, story. He married a woman named Martha Griffith in 1792, the same year that his brother, Patrick Sim Smith, a well-off a merchant and legislator within the state, sold him eight enslaved blacks. [16] Eight years later, in 1800, he was still living in Harford County. He was with three young children under age 10 (two female, one male), and two young people aged 16-25 (one female, one male), along with 21 enslaved blacks, his with Martha likely among them. [17] He died in 1802. Later, he would be listed in many pension and bounty land warrant applications by those who were in his regiment during the war while his wife would get half-pay of a captain from the Treasurer of the Western Shore. [18]

Notes

[1] “To George Washington from Uriah Forrest, 17 August 1780,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified March 30, 2017; Beverley Waugh Bond, State Government in Maryland, 1777-1781 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1905), 38; Journals of Congress: Containing the Proceedings from January 1, 1780 to January 1, 1781 (Philadelphia: David C. Claypoole, 1781), 341-342; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1779-1780, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 43, 216273; Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution, Archives of Maryland Online vol. 18, 342, 361362;  Pension of Alexander Lawson Smith, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 2208, pension number W. 4247. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1780-1781, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 45, 5.

[2] In the footnote, it describes Smith as from Maryland’s Harford County, serving “as a captain in Col. Moses Rawlings’s independent rifle regiment with a commission dating from July 1776.” It also says that “Smith later served briefly as lieutenant colonel commandant of a “Regiment Extraordinary” that Maryland raised and then disbanded in September 1780.” This sentence is erroneous, which is not mentioned in the only other letter on Founders Online with his name, as this posts shows. In his article in Volume 4, Issue 1 (p. 67) in the Maryland Historical Magazine, Christopher Johnson, in one of the articles of his genealogical series on the “Smith Family of Calvert County,” it cites the 1785 session of the House of Delegates, but since there are two sessions which cover that year, both were checked and no mention of information from Mr. Smith was given to the House of Delegates during this time.

[3] Order to pay Lt. Samuel Luckett, 17 October 1780, Maryland State Papers, Series A, box 22, no. 22/24, MdHR 6636-22-22/24 [MSA S1004-29-2635, 1/7/3/38]; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1779-1780, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 43, 234, 272, 273, 326, 327, 336, 337, 339, 340; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1781-1784, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 48, 58; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1780-1781, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 45, 445.

[4] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1779-1780, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 43, 234, 235, 272, 273; Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, folder 28, roll 0034. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Josias Miller Service Card (Regiment Extraordinary), Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War, National Archives, NARA M881, Record Group 15, Roll 0408. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Order to pay and recript by Josias Miller, February 21, 1782, Maryland State Papers, Series A, MdHR 6636-44-41/14 [MSA S1004-60-13467, 1/7/3/53]; Pension of Charles Smith; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1779-1780 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 43, 233, 234; Order to pay Captain Charles Smith, October 24, 1780, Maryland State Papers, Series A, MdHR 6636-22-24/40 [MSA S1004-29-8019, 1/7/3/38]; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1781-1784, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 48, 83.

As late as September 1780, the remaining roster rolls say that Miller had not joined the Regiment Extraordinary as an ensign. However, a pay receipt from 1782 shows that he was in this regiment and probably enlisted in October of that year. The pay order of Smith shows he was a captain in October 1780.

[5] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1780-1781, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 45, 24, 25, 56.

[6] Pension of Charles Smith, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, W 25,002, from Fold3.com.

[7] Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1732-1753, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 28, 553; Pension of Charles Smith; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1781, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 47, 192, 197, 198. The first phase of the battle was near present-day Fort Washington while the second phase was at the Lyles House on a tributary of the Potomac River, Broad Creek. The house was constructed by an influential protestant family in Maryland, the Addison family. The remains of this structure exist near Harmony Hall, which is still standing today. Interestingly, the only mention of the house being burned was in April 1781 when Governor Lee was told the following: “Yesterday a Sixteen Gun Brig appeared off Swann Point & sent a Boat with six hands to destroy a vessel on the Stocks near that place eight Militia under Col Harris attacked them and took the Boat & Crew, the Prisoners are Ordered to Annapolis. This morning all the enemys vessels which were above sailed down Potomack and were below Cedar Point at eleven O’clock — they have done no damage since I last wrote you, except destroying Col Lyles house of which you have no doubt been informed I expect we shall have frequent visits from these plundering Banditts & hope we will so well prepare as to repel their attack that they will find the business as unprofitable as it is disgraceful. We thank your Excellency and Council for your kind attention in forwarding the Arms.” No other mention could be found in the Archives of Maryland, meaning that this letter still does not invalidate the stories in Smith’s pension. Digges’s Landing could also be owned by George Digges, later a delegate in a Maryland House of Delegates for Prince George’s County.

[8] Pension of Charles Smith.

[9] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1779-1780, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 43, 335336; Pension of Josias Miller, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1728, pension number S. 40,160. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Josias Miller Service Card (First Maryland Regiment); Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, folder 28, roll 0034. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of Theodore Middleton, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1720, pension number S. 11,075. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Resolutions, laws, and ordinances, relating to the pay, half pay, commutation of half pay, bounty lands, and other promises made by Congress to the officers and soldiers of the Revolutionto the settlement of the accounts between the United States and the several states; and to funding the revolutionary debt (Washington: Thomas Allen, 1838), 415-416, 490. Other Maryland 400 veterans included Matthew Garner, Samuel Hanson (whose father was undoubtedly Walter, who said this son, an officer, was a prisoner in April 1781),  Charles Magruder, Vachel Burgess, Francis Shepard, and John Bryan. Another man who was in the regiment was Jacob Bythe.

[10] Lawrence E. Babits and Joshua B. Howard, Long, Obstinate, and Bloody: The Battle of Guilford Courthouse (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009), 70-71, 148; Robert K. Wright, Jr., The Continental Army (Washington D.C.: Center of Military History, 1983), 278; Patrick O’Kelley, Nothing But Blood and SlaughterThe Revolutionary War in the Carolinas Vol. 3: 1781 (Lillington, NC: Blue House Tavern Press, 2005), 504.

[11] Order to pay Lt. Samuel Luckett, 25 May 1781, Maryland State Papers, Series A, box 32, no. 109B, MdHR 6636-32-109B [MSA S1004-42-603, 1/7/3/46]; Order to pay and receipt by Captain Charles Smith, March 29, 1781, Maryland State Papers, Series A, MdHR 6636-32-65/2 [MSA S1004-29-8019, 1/7/3/45]; Order to Pay Captain Charles Smith, November 30, 1781, Maryland State Papers, Series A, MdHR 6636-33-112/3 [MSA S1004-44-12571, 1/7/3/47];

[12] John Plant assessment record, 1783, General Assembly House of Delegates, Assessment Record, CH, Seventh District, General, p. 9 [MSA S1161-52, 1/4/5/48]; Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck, Revolutionary War Bounty Land Grants Awared by State Governments (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2005), xxii-xxiv; Cyclopedia of American Government Vol I (ed. Andrew Cunningham McLaughlin and Albert Bushnell Hart, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1914), 168; C. Albert White, A History of the Rectangular Survey System (Washington, D.C.: Bureau of Land Management, 1991, reprint), 10; William T. Martin, History of Franklin CountyA Collection of Reminiscences of the Early Settlement of the County; with Biographical Sketches, and a Complete History of the County to the Present Time (Columbus: Follett, Foster, & Company, 1858), 12; Pension of Josias Miller, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1728, pension number S. 40,160. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Report from the Secretary of War (Washington: Duff Green, 1835), 58; Letter from the Secretary of War (Washington: Gales & Seaton, 1820), 642; Letter from the Secretary of War (Washington: Gales & Seaton, 1820), 642; Pension Roll of 1835, Vol. 4: Mid-Western States (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1968, reprint from 1835), 184; Mark Andrew Tacyn “’To the End:’ The First Maryland Regiment and the American Revolution” (PhD diss., University of Maryland College Park, 1999), 318. Bounty lands were concentrated in Ohio and Kentucky. The child was male and under age eight.

[13] Pension of Charles Smith; Will of Charles Smith, 1788, Charles County Register of Wills, Wills, MdHR 7290-1, Liber AH 9, p. 549, 550, 551 [MSA C681-10, 1/8/10/10].

[14] Charles County, Court, Land Records, V3 p. 303 [MSA C 670-35]; Charles County, Register of Wills, Wills, 1788-1791, AI 10, p. 386 [MSA C 681-11]; Charles County, Register of Wills, Wills, 1791-1801, AK 11, p. 333 [MSA C 681-12]; Charles County, Register of Wills, Wills, AI 10, p. 386 [MSA C 681-11].

[15] Newman, 61-62; Pension of Samuel Luckett, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, S 36,015. From Fold3.com; U.S. Federal Census, 1790, Charles County, Maryland; U.S. Federal Census, 1810, Fayette County, Kentucky; U.S. Federal Census, 1820, Barren County, Kentucky.

[16] A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al., Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 426, 747, 748. This account of selling of enslaved blacks is further confirmed by the 1790 census which lists a Patrick Smith as owning three enslaved blacks and living in Hartford County (First Census of the United States, 1790, Harford, Maryland, NARA M637, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, Roll 3, page 98. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest). Reportedly, Across the Years in Prince George’s County” by Effie Gwynn Bowie, and Vol. I of ” Early Families of Southern Maryland” mention Smith, but these books cannot be currently accessed and even if they could, it would only be a mediocre secondary source.

[17]  Second Census of the United States, 1800, District 2, Harford, Maryland, NARA M32, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, Roll 11, Page 46. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest. The 1790 census has 34 entries for people with the last name of Smith living in Harford, Maryland. Hence, he could have been related to any of these individuals. the 1800 census, where he is only listed as “Alexander Smith” is more straightforward. Other than this, Smith’s ancestry is not although clear, but confirmed by the Biographical Dictionary cited in Note 16.

[18] While some accounts say that he died in 1801, like Founders Online and Find A Grave, Christopher Johnson in “Smith Family of Calvert County,” (p. 385), an article in Volume 3, issue 4 of the Maryland Historical Magazine, describes Smith as one of 10 children (all with the last name of Smith: Patrick, 1742-1792; Richard, Dr. Clement, 1756-1831; Dr. Joseph Sim, ?-Sept 5, 1822; John Addison, unmarried sea-captain; Mary Sim, married Henry Huntt of Calvert County; Susanna, unmarried and died in 1824, and Rachel, unmarried and died in 1824) of Dr. Clement Smith (1718-1792) and Barbara Sim. It also says that Smith was born in 1754 and died in January 1802. Those dates cannot be independently confirmed beyond this article. The only other place they are mentioned is in Johnson’s  article in Volume 4, Issue 1 (p. 67-68) in the Maryland Historical Magazine, one of the articles within his genealogical series on the “Smith Family of Calvert County,” in which he says that Smith was (1) born in 1754 and died in January, 1802, (2) was “commissioned Captain in the Maryland Line 13 July, 1776,” (3) “was promoted to major in 1778,” (4)  that after the war Smith settled in Harford County, buried there on Jan. 26, 1802 as noted by St. George’s Register which is undoubtedly within this, (5) he married Martha Griffith (Sept. 16, 1771-Aug. 4, 1847) who later married Samuel Jay, and (6) Smith and Martha had three children: Samuel Griffith Smith (Dec. 25, 1794-?) who was unmarried, Francina Frenetta Smith (Nov. 10, 1797-Feb. 10, 1860) who was unmarried, and Mary Matilda Smith (Jul. 1, 1799-Sept. 14, 1860) who was unmarried. There are numerous other sources that mention Smith. A search of Google Books shows him mentioned on: page 603 of The Papers of Henry Clay: The Rising Statesman 1815–1820, Volume 2; page 364 of The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript, Volume 14; pages 229 to 230 of Congressional Series of United States Public Documents, Volume 462; page 88 of United States Congressional serial set, Issue 343; pages 328, 552 and 555 of the Journal of the Proceedings of the House of Delegates of the State of Maryland in 1838; pages 105, 128, 129, 216, and 331 of History of Harford County, Maryland: From 1608 and many others of which one can only see snippets.

Col. Gaither: Seven years on Georgia’s frontier

Reposted from Academia.edu and originally written when I worked at the Maryland States Archives on the Finding the Maryland 400 project, with some changes and revisions in this version.

Map, courtesy of the Library of Congress, that shows Georgia’s frontier in 1795.

A biography I wrote about Henry Chew Gaither, a Revolutionary War captain of the First and Fourth Maryland Regiments, expands on previous descriptions on the blog of the Maryland 400 project. [1] On the eve of the Battle of Brooklyn, he served as a witness for Daniel Bowie’s will. Unlike most Revolutionary War veterans, Gaither remained in the military after the war, serving two years in Ohio [2], seven years on the Georgian frontier, and two years in the Mississippi Territory as a U.S. Army officer. [3] In August 1792, Gaither, 41 years old at the time, received nine pages of instructions for his service in Georgia from Secretary of War Henry Knox, telling him to obtain a “healthy” place for his troops, be cordial to the Spanish and Georgian governments, and avoid a “heated” incident with their governments. [4]

Gaither was involved in many incidents in Georgian frontier [5] which involved the inhabitants of Georgia, the Creek Nation (Muskogee), and other indigenous nations. The Creek were divided into the Lower Creek, who intermarried with Whites, and the Upper Creek who were traditional and “less effected by European influences.” In one such incident, in the first months of 1793, inhabitants of Georgia’s upper frontier drove cattle to the fork of the Tallahatchie River. [6] Interpreter Timothy Bernard, a US Army major and the son of Timopochee Barnard, the chief of the Creek Nation, wrote Gaither, worrying that since the cattle would likely be driven away and killed by local indigenous people, including the Creek, bloodshed would result if the cattle were not withdrawn. [6] Despite this warning, Georgians continued to move cattle near the Tallahatchie River’s forks and the King of the Cussetah, part of the Creek Confederacy, blamed the Coweta, also part of the Confederacy, for stealing horses of Georgian inhabitants. [7]

In April and May 1793, Gaither relayed reports to Knox of the robbery and murder of two Whites on the St. Mary’s River and that James Seagrove, the Agent/Ambassador to the Creek Nation demanded retribution from the Creek Nation. [8] Hoboithle Micco, the Halfway House King, of the Upper Creek, and his loyal warriors responded to Seagrove’s demand for the supposed Creek perpetrators to turn themselves over to the appropriate authorities with a call to kill Whites, resulting in Gaither telling Georgia militia officers to stand guard. [9] Despite this call from the Upper Creek, Bird King, a chief of the Creek Nation, told Gaither that the “bad” town of Halfway House King caused trouble and that the Creeks did not want war. [10] Bernard confirmed this to Gaither, saying that three-quarters of the Creek Nation favored peace but he feared that some White men would not discriminate between innocent and guilty Creek people in an attempt to enact retribution. [11] While it seemed, at the time, that blood spilled across the frontier meant a “general war with the Creek and Cherokee Indians,” Gaither was still told by Knox to take efforts to “calm every attempt to raise a storm.” [12] Ultimately a war didn’t break out, and a treaty was signed three years later, in 1796, between the Creek Nation and the United States, with Gaither as a witness.

In mid-1794, Major General Elijah Clarke tried to launch an expedition to invade Spanish territory in Louisiana. [13] Letters show that Gaither, then established as lieutenant colonel commandant, was notified of this by Knox who told him to work with Georgia Governor George Matthews to suppress this “illegal combination of men.” Later, Clarke was apprehended after he refused to move his soldiers from the banks of the Oconee River, apparently in preparation for his expedition. [14] This incident was serious enough to merit concern from Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton and have it addressed publicly by President George Washington. In May, Washington told members of the House and Senate about “certain hostile threats against territories of Spain in our neighborhood” and that the expedition, “projected against the Spanish dominions,” was relinquished. If Clarke’s expedition had succeeded, it is possible that Spain may have not signed Pinckney’s Treaty the following year which dropped duties on “American trade passing through New Orleans” and voided “Spanish guarantees of military support…to Native Americans in the disputed region.” This treaty ended the supposed instigation of indigenous nations such as the Cherokee by “Spanish agents” in earlier years and served as a motivation for White settlers to continue their expansion westward. [15]

Our story ends by tying together loose ends. In 1800, Gaither was ordered to replace Senior Army Officer James Wilkinson at Fort Adams, on the Mississippi River, where Gaither served as a witness to a Treaty with the Choctaw in 1801 and gave a valedictory address to soldiers at the Fort the same year, until 1802, when he was honorably discharged. [16] In 1811, Gaither died, at the age of 61, on a plantation in present-day Washington, D.C., owning a few enslaved Blacks, and having a funeral procession in the city. [17] As for the indigenous nations, they didn’t fare as well. The Creek were defeated at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814 by Andrew Jackson, forcing them to acquiesce much of their land, and were forcibly removed in the brutal ‘Trail of Tears,’ along with other indigenous peoples. In the end, it is clear that Gaither was part of a history of indigenous people in North America and a post-revolutionary early republic.

Notes

[1] Gaither was stationed or are mentioned in the 76 letters I looked at, at a number of locations in Georgia, some of which are highlighted in this post.

[2] The National Archives. M233. Registers of Enlistments in the United States Army, 1798-1914. NARA Record Group 94 National Archives Catalog ID: NARA M233. Registers of Enlistments in the United States Army, 1798-1914. Roll: MIUSA1798_102864. Roll Number: 5. Fold 3. In his two years in Ohio, he served in one of the final phases of Little Turtle’s War (1785-1795), included participating in the disastrous “St. Clair’s Defeat” in November 1791 in which an army led by Arthur St. Clair, assisted by the Choctaw and Chickasaw, was defeated by the British-allied Western Confederacy, later memorized in a ballad of the same name.

[3] June 7, 1792, The Federal Gazette and Philadelphia Daily Advertiser. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, page 2; “To George Washington from Henry Knox, 24 September 1791,” Founders Online, National Archives.

[4] “Orders for Deployment to Georgia,” Henry Knox to Henry Gaither, 11 August 1792, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.

[5]  It is worth remembering that the State of Georgia originally “claimed its western boundary extended to the Mississippi River” which includes the upper parts of the present-day states of Mississippi and Alabama.

[6] “A warning about the effect of white settler encroachments on Indian land,” Timothy Bernard and Henry Gaither, 18 February 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.

[7] “Letter from Timothy Barnard [Bernard] to Major Henry Gaither regarding translator Mr George Cornells, son of Joseph Cornells,” Timothy Bernard and Henry Gaither, 4 March 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. Letters that appear in searches for the terms Buzzard’s Roast, Tullapatchee River and Tallahatchee River reveal what happened next.

[8] This action by Seagrove divided the Creek Nation. “Letter from Major Henry Gaither to Secretary of War Henry Knox regarding murder and robbery at Traders Hill on St Marys,” Henry Gaither to Henry Knox, 7 April 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media; “Letter from Major Henry Gaither to Secretary of War Henry Knox on the robbery and murder at Traders Hill St Marys,” 17 April 1793,  Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.

[9] “To George Washington from Henry Knox, 18 April 1793,” Founders Online, National Archives; “His Warriors are Determined to Spill Human Blood,” Henry Gaither to Henry Knox, 19 April 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media; “Letter from Major Henry Gaither to Secretary of War Henry Knox on the robbery and murder at Traders Hill St Marys,” Henry Gaither to Henry Knox, 19 April 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media; According to pages 90, 158, 215-216 of Andrew K. Frank’s Peculiar breed of whites“: race, culture, and identity in the Creek Confederacy, Micco was originally a mixed individual and pioneer named James McQueen who later changed his name after integrating himself enough with the Creek.

[10] “Letter from Bird King Cussetas King to Major Gaither on trouble caused by Halfway King,” Bird King to Henry Gaither, 13 April 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. Also referred to as Bird Tail King.

[11] “Letter from Timothy Barnard [Bernard] to Major Henry Gaither regarding meeting with Cussetahs, scalpings, robbery and murder at Robert Seagrove’s store Traders Hill on St Mary’s River, Spaniard Dons,” Timothy Bernard to Henry Gaither, 8 April 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media; “Letter from Timothy Bernard to Major Gaither regarding Major James Seagrove’s demands in aftemath of violations,” Timothy Bernard to Henry Gaither, 20 April 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.

[12] U.S. Senate. Report by Mr. Elliott to the Military Committee. 17th Cong., 1st Sess. (S.Doc.64). Washington: Gales & Seaton, April 15, 1822. pp. 3. (Serial Set 60); “Conducting the Security of the Frontier in Georgia,” Henry Knox to Henry Gaither, 29 April 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media; “Letter from Major Henry Gaither to Secretary of War Henry Knox on Indian theft and murder,” Henry Gaither to Henry Knox, 6 May 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. John Elliott was a U.S. Senator representing Georgia at the time.

[13] Correspondence of Clark and Genet: Selections from the Draper Collection in the Possession of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin to Elucidate the Proposed French Expedition Under George Rogers Clark Against Louisiana, in the Years 1793-94. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1897, 936-943; “To George Washington from Henry Knox, 14 May 1794,” Founders Online, National Archives; “Extract of a letter from the Secretary of War, to Lieut. Col. Gaither, dated 14th May, 1794,” Henry Knox to Henry Gaither, 14 May 1794, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media; “Suppressing the Illegal Combination of Men,” Henry Knox to Henry Gaither, 14 May 1794,  Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.

[14] “From Alexander Hamilton to George Mathews, 25 September 1794,” Founders Online, National Archives.

[15] Report by Mr. Elliott to the Military Committee, 2.

[16] The Territorial papers of the United States: The Territory of Mississippi 1798-1817 (vol. 5, ed. Clarence Edwin Carter). Washington, DC: GPO, 1937. 124-5.; “To Alexander Hamilton from James Wilkinson, 25 February 1800,” Founders Online, National Archives; “To Alexander Hamilton from James Wilkinson, 7 March 1800,” Founders Online, National Archives.

[17] Assessments of 1793, 1795, 1796 and 1797, Montgomery County Commissioners of the Tax, Assessment Record, MdHR 20015-1-1, p. 115-116, 159, 228, 256, 268 (MSA C1110-1, 1/18/14/17); Assessments of 1813 and 1816, Montgomery County Commissioners of the Tax, Assessment Record, MdHR 20015-3-1, p. 53, 99, 130 (MSA C1110-3, 1/18/14/19); Assessments of 1798, 1801, 1802, 1804, 1811, Montgomery County Commissioners of the Tax, Assessment Record, MdHR 20015-2-1, p. 94, 33, 138, 146, 151, 163, 205, 265, 406, 424 (MSA C1110-2, 1/18/14/18); General Assembly House of Delegates, Assessment Records, 1783, 3-4, 18 (MSA S1161-78, 1/4/5/51).