Documents Pertaining To Daniel McLaughlin - Revolutionary Patriot & Soldier

Hampshire County Courthouse Romney, West Virginia Wills FHL Film # 1853709

Early Hampshire County Wills (Index) FHL Film # 1853710

Daniel McLaughlin 1830 Will No. 417 in Index

At a court held for Hampshire County the 15th day of February 1830 This last will and testament of Daniel McLaughlin, dc'd was presented in the court and proved by the oaths of Solomon Parker and William F. Taylor witnesses thereto and ordered recorded and on the motion of William McLaughlin the Executor therein named who -- made oath according to law -- certificate is granted him for obtaining a probate thereof in due form giving security whereupon he with Solomon Parker and William F. Taylor his securities entered into and acknowledged Bond in the penalty of Five thousand dollars conditioned for his due and faithful administration of the said testators estate.

Teste, John B. White, Clerk

In The Name of God Amen, I Daniel McLaughlin of the county of Hampshire and State of Virginia being of sound mind and disposing memory for which I thank Almighty God do make and publish this my last will and Testament in manner and form following (That is to say) First I give and bequeath unto my beloved son Daniel McLaughlin my black man Ned. I also give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Anner my slave Milley and her child and their increase (if any) also her choice of aney of the Horse Creatures I may die possessed of also a side-saddle and bridle also her choice of aney two of the Feather beds bedding and furniture belonging to the same, I also give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Anner two cows and two calves such as she may chuse of those I die possessed of, I also give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Anner all the Lands on the east side of the road leading to the mouth of the south Branch, including the House and buildings in which I reside which lands adjoins the lands of Murphys heirs and others also one equal half of a wooded tract adjoining which I give and bequeath to her and her heirs and assigns forever. All the balance of the lands I possess I give and bequeath unto my beloved son Daniel McLaughlin his heirs and assigns forever. It is further my will and desire that all the rest of my property of every description shall be sold by my executor whom I shall hereafter name, on such credit as he shall think proper to be sold at public auction and after payment of all my just debts and funeral expenses the ballance to be equally divided between my six children, William McLaughlin, Berryman McLaughlin, Daniel McLaughlin, Anner McLaughlin, Elizabeth Chapman, and Mary Collins. And lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint my beloved son William McLaughlin sole executor of this my Last will and Testament hereby revoking all former and other wills and Testaments by me heretofore made. In witness whereof I have set my hand and affixed my seal This twenty first day of June in the year of our Lord Eighteen Hundred and Twenty Nine.

Daniel McGlaughlin

signed sealed and declared as the last will and Testament of the above named Daniel McLaughlin in our presence who desired us to witness the same. William Donaldson, Solomon Parker, Wm F. Taylor, ___ Taylor

Transcribed 07 April 2001 by Patricia A. Johnson, 5th great granddaughter of Daniel McLaughlin.

Daniel McGlaughlin

American Revolutionary Soldier

02 March 1777 to 09 December 1779

by Patricia Craig Johnson

August 2001

Daniel McGlaughlin

American Revolutionary Soldier 02 March 1777 - 09 December 1779

by Patricia Craig Johnson

My 5th great grandfather is Daniel McGlaughlin. He is one of my favorite ancestors, and I have a good record of his military assignments, thanks to the Muster Rolls of the Continental Army. I would like to share some of what I have learned about Daniel.

Daniel was born to Daniel and Rachel Anner Disbury McGlaughlin on 10 February 1755. He was born on his father's farm on the South Branch of the Potomac River in Springfield, Hampshire County, Virginia. This part of Virginia (now West Virginia) is at the Northernmost boundary of Virginia, and just across the Potomac River from Allegheny County Maryland. It is, to this day, a very remote and hard to find area. In May 2001 I contacted a man that does photography of cemeteries in that area. He offered to take pictures of Daniel's tombstone and marker for me, but I had to give him directions. I contacted Tina McLaughlin of Oldtown, Maryland and she gave me the following directions. As I wrote these directions I could almost see in my mind, the place where Daniel McLaughlin was born and where he grew to manhood. The area is thickly wooded and the South Branch of the Potomac winds its way through the countryside like a lazy serpent. The McLaughlin farm remained in the family until 1919. Here is the way, if you should ever be in the neighborhood:

If you are coming from the Cumberland, MD area on Rt. 28 you will turn left in Springfield. There is a Green Spring/Oldtown sign there. There is a Ruritan bldg on the hill on the right immediately after you make the turn. Go to Green Spring where you make a right turn over the railroad tracks heading toward Oldtown. Turn right on Arnold Stickley Rd. The cemetery is approximately 3 miles out Arnold Stickley Rd.(possibly a bit further) on the right. The paving runs out before you get to the cemetery , which is almost to the end of the road. If you go under a railroad underpass (Just beyond Arnold Stickley Rd.) or get to the toll bridge that crosses over to Oldtown in MD., you have gone too far. Also there are some year round houses at the first part of Arnold Stickley Rd. but on closer to the river (South Branch of the Potomac) there are mostly camps.(1)

At the age of 18 Daniel married Mary Key. I have yet to find her parent's names, but marrying so young indicates to me that they were probably close neighbors. Daniel wasn't old enough to have done much World traveling yet (he would get his chance for this later). Mary Key (or possibly Kay) was born 15 February 1754. Their first child was a son, William, born 23 April 1774 and their second child was a son, Berriman, born 23 March 1776.(2) Berriman is my 4th great grandfather, and is my connection to Daniel, the Revolutionary Soldier.

Thanks to the muster rolls, received from the National Archives, I have been able to trace Daniel's military history in the Virginia Continental Line. This project has rekindled my interest in the history of The American Revolution, therefore I will embellish my story with items I have found during this project that are pertinent to Daniel McGlaughlin. I admit to taking literary license to help me visualize the time period of 02 March 1777 to 09 December 1779.

When Daniel McGlaughlin enlisted on 02 March 1777, he was age 22 and he had a son, William age 3 and a son, Berriman age 1. I am quite sure his wife Mary, and the two little boys remained on the farm with the elder Daniel and his wife Rachel Anner. Both of Daniel's parents were still alive in 1783. His father died in 1814 and his mother died after 1783.

The Virginia counties of Hampshire, Berkeley, Botetourt, Dunmore and Prince Edward was the area that the 12th Virginia Regiment was organized from. This takes in a varied portion of Virginia that is not in close proximity to each other. Hampshire and Berkeley counties are now in West Virginia, Dunmore county is now Shenandoah county and they are all three in what I would call Northern Virginia. Botetourt is in Western Virginia and Prince Edward county is in the South Central part of Virginia. I wonder where they all came together and became a Regiment.(3)

The 12th Virginia Regiment was authorized as early as 16 September 1776. On 12 February 1777 (three weeks before Daniel's enlistment) it was organized into nine companies in garrison at Fort Pitt (now Pittsburg, Pennsylvania), Point Pleasant, Tygert's Valley, and Wheeling. All of these places are within 200 miles of Daniel's home in Hampshire County, Virginia. I don't know where he was first garrisoned, but it seems likely that it would be Fort Pitt, as that was a major Army center, dating back to the first white settlers in the area in the 1730's. The 12th Virginia Regiment underwent many reorganizations and was combined with the 4th Virginia Regiment on 11 May 1777 and finally combined with the 8th Virginia Regiment on 12 May 1779. Trying to follow the forming, disbanding, reorganizing, splitting, renaming and renumbering of the Continental Army Regiments makes genealogy look simple. The Army was being reorganized with maddening confusion, and I wonder if General George Washington, himself, could keep it all straight.

Another consistent fact in Daniel's story is that he always served with Colonel James Wood. No matter what the Regiment number, his Colonel was James Wood. James Wood has an interesting history. In the summer of 1775, in the infancy of the American Revolution, Captain James Wood was sent by the government of Virginia to tour the Indian towns of Ohio. His guide and interpreter was, the then patriot, Simon Girty. The two men completed their daring mission and reported that the British were actively enlisting the Indians as allies against the Americans. The

Americans missed the boat in the race for making the Indians allies. Simon Girty was later to turn his loyalty to the British and became known as the "White Indian".(4) Our Daniel McGlaughlin rubbed shoulders with some very interesting people, and his neighborhood was a walk in the early history of our country.

From March 1777 through April 1778 there is no detail of where he was stationed. There are comments on his Muster Roll such as "sick in camp", "on guard", and "on command". Among the early campaigns of the 12th Virginia Regiment are Northern New Jersey and the Defense of Philadelphia. These campaigns happened before the Winter Encampment at Valley Forge for the winter of 1777-1778. Did Daniel see action at these places? On 19 December 1777, Washington's Army entered Valley Forge. It seems safe to assume that Daniel McGlaughlin was among those soldiers because the muster roll dated 02 May 1778 proves that he was at Valley Forge. It appears that the 12th Virginia Regiment was present at Valley Forge for most of the winter of 1777-1778. The organizational chart of Washington's Army at Valley Forge as it pertains to the Virginia Continental Line is as follows:(5)

General George Washington


3rd Division - Major General Marquis Gilbert Lafayette


4th Virginia Brigade - Brigadier General Charles Scott


4th Va Regiment

8th Va Regiment

12th Va Regiment

Staff Officers

Colonel James Wood; Lt. Colonel John Neville; Major George Slaughter

Company Officers

Captain Steven Ashby; Captain Andrew Waggoner

Captain Michael Bowyer; Captain Thomas Bowyer

Captain Benjamin Casey; Captain Rowland Madison

Captain William Vause; Captain Andrew Wallace

The VA 3rd Division 4th Brigade entered Valley Forge with 495 men and 164 fit for duty. The 12th Virginia Regiment left Valley Forge with the 4th Virginia Regiment. Previous engagements were Northern New Jersey, Defense of Philadelphia, and Philadelphia-Monmouth. See the map of Valley Forge Historical Park to locate the place Daniel McGlaughlin lived during that terrible winter of 1777-1778. He is at #14 and John's ancestor, Reuben Pew was at #26 with the New Jersey 1st Brigade.(6)

The Continental Army had suffered a devastating defeat at Germantown, Pennsylvania in October, 1777 and then wintered at Valley Forge. They entered Valley Forge with their "tails between their legs". They marched out of Valley Forge as a renewed Army, thanks to the training of Baron Frederich von Steuben. On a blistering, hot, and miserable, June 28, 1778, the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse was fought. The advance guard that hit the British at Monmouth Courthouse included the Virginians. It was a crucial victory for the Americans, as it instilled confidence in their ability as an Army. It was after this battle that Washington sent some of his Army north to protect the Highlands of New York This is where we next find Daniel McGlaughlin.

In June 1778 Daniel reported "absent with leave" from Camp Paramus. This camp was in New Jersey, near Morristown. Apparently he went home on leave after the winter at Valley Forge. The fact that he came back is a testament to his honor. By 03 August 1778 he rejoined his regiment at White Plains, New York. The Virginians were there to keep the British from gaining territory near West Point and from taking control of the Hudson River. On 03 October 1778 Daniel was reported as "sick at Fishkills". Fishkills, New York is across the Hudson River from Newburgh and north of West Point. It was very valuable as a military depot and an ideal site for magazines, a distribution center for provisions and for transportation by wagons, sloops, and boats.(7) Washington could not let his guard down in this strategic place.

By November 1778 Daniel was stationed at Middlebrook, New Jersey. He was at Middlebrook until April 1779. Middlebrook was Washington's Winter Encampment for the winter of 1778-1779. Can't find Middlebrook on the map? It is no longer there, as it has been absorbed by the town of Bound Brook, New Jersey. When Daniel entered Camp Middlebrook he was part of the 4th Virginia Regiment and when he left he was part of the 8th Virginia Regiment. The encampment was north of the village of Middlebrook and the Main Army, including the 4th and 8th Virginia Regiments, was along the base of the Watchung Mountains. It provided protection from the weather and had a good supply of trees for construction and firewood. When the troops began to arrive at the end of November 1778, they lived in tents while they built huts to live in. Each hut was 16'X14' and had walls 7' tall. Ten to twelve men lived in each hut.

Fortunately the winter was a very mild one. The encampment was visited by the French ambassador in March 1779 and issued new uniforms to the Army. They were either brown or blue, and perhaps this is the uniform that remained in the McGlaughlin family for so many years after Daniel's death. Thanks to Quarter Master General, Nathanael Greene, the troops never starved as they had the previous winter at Valley Forge.(8)

During his time at Middlebrook he was an "orderly in the hospital" in October 1778 he was "sick and absent" in December 1778 and "on furlough" in January 1779. He was back in February, March and April 1779.

In May 1779 Daniel is at Smiths Clove. I had a bit of a challenge in finding this place. Thanks to the Internet, I finally got a clue of where it is. It is in Orange County New York, and again, in that strategically important area along the Hudson River. While in camp at Smiths Clove, Daniel was sick and in June was sent to the hospital in "Summerset". I assume this is Somerset, New Jersey.

By July 1779 he was well enough to be on duty at Camp Ramepourt, New York. This is another place that is hard to find, however, I found that it is in Richland County New York. Very close to the New Jersey border with New York. It is near the present town of Hillburn, New York. Through October 1779 Daniel was stationed at Smiths Clove and Ramapourt. This depended on where his Company was needed in the overall plan of protecting the Hudson River.

October 1779 finds Daniel and his Company at Camp Haverstraw. This Camp is situated between Smiths Clove and Ramapourt. It is at the mouth of Haverstraw Creek, where it empties into the Hudson River. Haverstraw Creek, New York was to become very infamous after Daniel was stationed there. On September 23, 1780, just one year later, Major John Andre', a British officer (in civilian dress), was detained by three militiamen on duty at Haverstraw Creek. In searching him, they discovered a letter from American General Benedict Arnold. The letter was a confirmation of the plans for the surrender of West Point (by Arnold) to Sir Henry Clinton, the British Commander of the Northern New York Forces. It contained the plans of West Point. Major Andre' was later hung as a spy, due to the fact that he was not captured in military uniform. Many Americans felt that the wrong man was hung, and that it should have been Benedict Arnold! The price tag he agreed to was 20,000 Sterling, which would be about $1,000,000 today. Benedict Arnold fled to the British High Command in New York City and became a "man without a country". The British never trusted him and the Americans detested him. A great American hero that turned traitor. The three militiamen were each awarded a silver medal by the Continental Congress.(9)

By 02 December 1779, Daniel is in a camp near Morristown, New Jersey. This is the last muster roll of his file. Since he enlisted for three years on 02 March 1777, he is three months short of his enlistment duration. What happened in those three months, I do not know. Perhaps some of the muster rolls were lost.

Family tradition states that Daniel was present at the Battle of Yorktown and witnessed the surrender of General Lord Charles Cornwallis on 19 October 1781. I have not found in what capacity he was there. I suspect it may as be a member of a Militia Company. Perhaps further research will reveal the answer is to this mystery.

Daniel returned to his father's farm in Hampshire County Virginia, and to his little family. He and Mary Key had four more children after 1780.

One of the men Daniel admired was Major General Gilbert Lafayette. When Lafayette returned to America in 1826, he was greeted, everywhere he went, as a modern day rock star would be greeted. Among the men that made the effort to see him, was Daniel McGlaughlin. Daniel's son, Daniel had a baby boy that same year and our Daniel asked that the baby be named William Gilbert Lafayette McGlaughlin. This little baby boy later wrote a narrative of his remembrances, and his writing has enlightened many of Daniel McGlaughlin's descendants.

During his enlistment he was paid 6 2/3 dollars a month and had a 10 dollar subsistence allowance per month. I gather from this, that he had to find his own food and supplies with that 10 dollars. These were not American dollars as we know them. They were Spanish milled dollars. The financial state of the new country was in complete shambles, and inflation was terrible. George Washington stated that "a wagon load of money will scarcely buy a wagon load of provisions". The saying "not worth a continental" was born because of this time.(10)

Daniel's name was spelled various ways on his muster and pay rolls. McLoughlin; McGloughlin; McLaughlin; McGlothlin; McLochlin. I chose to spell it McGlaughlin, as that is the way my 3rd great grandmother spelled her name, Catharine McGlaughlin. Many descendants have settled on McLaughlin, and that is the most common way to spell it today. Any way you spell it, we can all be proud of our common ancestors, Daniel McGlaughlin and Mary Key. Mary is also a hero to me, as she kept the family intact while Daniel served our new country.

Was Daniel McGlaughlin a famous hero? No. Was he a great military leader? No. Was he a steady and dependable soldier in a very trying time? Yes. I am so proud to be his descendant, and feel he is typical of so many men that went to serve and did their duty as ordered. I don't find that he ever asked for a pension or a land bounty. He seemed content to get back to his life after the War.

End Notes

1. From Tina McLaughlin of Oldtown, Maryland (personal communication)

2. "The McLaughlins" by Steven K McLaughlin & Evelyn Z. McCann © 01 Sep 1988

3. Valley Forge WebSite //

4. "The Human Tradition In The American Revolution" by Nancy L. Rhoden & Ian Steele © 2000

5. Valley Forge WebSite //

6. "Not By Bread Alone" by Calvin E. Chunn, Ph. D. © 1981

7. "Fishkill And The Fortifications Of The Highlands In The American Revolution" by Colonel James M. Johnson. Published in the Dar Daughters Magazine February 1998.

8. New Jersey Revolutionary WebSite //

9. "The Revolutionary War" by Bart McDowell published by Nat. Geographic Soc © 1967

10."The Revolutionary War" by Bart McDowell published by Nat. Geographic Soc © 1967