Juniata Patriots of 1770
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Juniata Patriots of 1770

Port Royal Times
date unknown

No. 2

The following is taken from The Herald of April 19, 1894, and was written by A. Boyd Hamilton:--

In 1882 I prepared an article, setting forth the military services of two companies of militia former in Juniata county, under Capt. Gibson and Capt. Hamilton, "of Fermanagh," in 1775 and 1778. Hamilton's as it appeared upon the pay roll. Another roll of Captain Hamilton is printed in Penna. Arch., Vol. 16, 586. The service of this company was for two months, from Oct, 1777. This roll has the same commissioned officers, but no subalterns are given. Many of the names on this list are to be found on that of 1778. Of the 53 officers and privates almost every one was a resident in the ancient and ample territory of old Fermanagh. It is no more than justice to the very stalwart patriotism of this part of the Juniata Valley, that these names should be brought before a greater number of local readers, than the select circle who may possess copies of so rare a work as the 50 volumes of State papers.

Roll of John Hamilton, 5th class, October, 1777:
John Hamilton
First Lieut. William Williams
Second Lieut. John McConnell
Ensign John Henderson
James Howell (Harrell)
John Parker
John Moody
James McRoy (McIlroy)
John Taylor
George Sweesy
William Brown
Thomas Anderson
John Anderson
James Campbell
Robert Wilson
William Thompson
Richard Rankin
Abram Kipler
William McFarson
William Frederick
Charles Cunningham
Joseph (James) Stuart
John Johnstone
John Brisen
Hugh McAlister
Andrew Begle
James Taylor
Matthew Stall
John Purdy
George McCullough
Robert McDonald
William Gillespy
John Bringham
Daniel Sweesy
John Kingright
Robert Borwn
Wilson Willson
Samuel Wharton
Epenctus Hart
Wm. Ramson (Remson)
Richard Earl (2)
William Riddle
George Trexsell
William Jones
James Machlan
Thomas Patterson
John Gray
Nicholas Gooshorn
George Green
James Armstrong
James Harris
James Purdy, Jr.
Francis George

The Juniata men had sufficient employment defending their own firesides -- and crops from destruction, yet from a very sparse population, sent at least two battalions to the army on the sea coast before 1776 was ended. The enrollment of these home troops appears to have been negligently kept. Some rolls have come to us without any officers--some with a commander and a couple of privates, so that rolls as full as those which are noted herewith are of real historic value. We quote one under command of Capt. Hugh McAlister, of Cocolamus, as an illustration.

Captain Hugh McAlister, Aug. 1781 to Oct. 2, 1781.


John Nelson
Ebenezer Larrimer
Charles Graham
John Walters
William Patton
James Patton
William Shaw
James Dougherty
Daniel Livesy
Samuel Crocket
David Allen
Henry Lewis
Lewis McCulloch
Robert Gurell (?)
Stophel Walters
William Strech
John Reed
John Keplar
Henry Martin
James Winning
Samuel Beatty
Ebenezer Beatty
George White
Abraham Fry
Robert Moore

The years 1777 and 1778 were times of great excitement on the frontier, particularly in Cumberland, Northumberland and Bedford counties, a territory covering nearly one half of the State. Classes of militia were frequently "called out" under order for a service of two months, and sent to the frontier along Penn's Creek, Aughwick, Standing Stone, Kishacoquillas and other mountain streams.

In the various histories of old Cumberland county, covering nearly the whole valley of the Juniata river and its tributaries, there is no connected narrative of the "state of the country," that is, of the constant calls for military protection by its inhabitants. There is sufficient official data now accessible to do this in a most interesting form. Where traditions of family history agrees with official accounts such information could be used with great advantage. In most of the histories tradition has the foremost place. The future has a vast mine of information not within the reach of those who have heretofore undertaken the history. The brave women of that day did not march, but had to work. Seventy years ago I heard it stated that in 1778 there "were none to save the crops from Sherman's Creek to Kishacoquillas, except the old men and young wives."

The farmers and laborers of the Valley of the Juniata and Susquehanna were therefore not called upon, as were those of Lancaster, Berks, Chester and Bucks to defend the Delaware or sea coast region.

There is no roll of the company commanded by Capt. John Hamilton in service for nine weeks, from July 31, 1777, or of another under the same command, in service for 8 weeks from May 14, 1778. These companies guarded the mountain passes on the West Kishacoquillas and Tuscarora Creeks.

Capt. Hugh McAlister's company was stationed "on John Penn's Creek, along Jack's Mountain."
A. Boyd Hamilton

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