Hamilton County Ohio
John A. Riechman
RIECHMAN, John A., mill supplies; born Cincinnati, O., Oct. 7, 1872; German descent; son of John G. and Louise M. (Freber) Riechman; fatherís occupation oil refiner and manufacturer; educated in common schools of Cincinnati, Ohio; in early life was clerk in railroad office; engaged in mill supplies and machinery business at Memphis, Tenn. since 1895, under firm name of Riechman-Crosby Co.; married Gladys Fox April 29, 1905; member F. & A.M. (Scottish Rite), Business Menís Club, Country Club, Chickasaw Club, Southern Machinery Supply Assn. (pres., 1906); fire and police commissioner city of Memphis since 1910. [Source: Whoís Who in Tennessee, Memphis: Paul & Douglass Co., Publishers, 1911; transcribed by K. Mohler]
Colonel John Riddle
COLONEL JOHN RIDDLE, of Cincinnati, was one of the most notable characters of the early day in the Miami purchase. He was of Scotch descent, but was a resident of New Jersey, whence he emigrated to this country in 1790, settling first in the little hamlet of Cincinnati. His earlier career in this place is noticed with some fullness in the annals of Cincinnati in this volume. He was five feet ten inches high, large and strong-boned, weighing two hundred and twenty-five pounds, and a man of herculean strength and great firmness of purpose, but withal of gentle disposition and rare kindness to the poor, as many persons still living can testify. He died at his homestead in the Mill Creek valley, near (the site of it now in) Cincinnati, on the old Hamilton road, at the age of eighty-seven, mourned by all who knew him. He left a brief memoir of the principal events of his life, which was printed in a pamphlet. It is now very scarce, and the following has been kindly copied for this volume by his grandson, Mr. John I. Riddle:
MEMOIR OF COLONEL JOHN RIDDLE.
In the month of April, 1778, I was called out, and entered the service of the United States at Elizabethtown, New Jersey, on a tour of six weeks; also a campaign in the months of June and July the same year, when the British retired from Philadelphia, and passed through New Jersey to Sandy Hook. Was in a skirmish at the draw-bridge below Trenton, and at the battle of Monmouth, where there were six or seven hundred dead and wounded laid on the ground; I was commanded by Colonel Frelinghuysen, afterward General Frelinghuysen, in the months of September and October. The same year I served another campaign at Elizabethtown, under Colonel Frelinghuysen and Captain William Logan. In the year 1782 I followed privateering under Captain Hiler (a brave and patriotic man), and sailed from New Brunswick, coasting around Sandy Hook and Long Island, as far as Cape May. The first vessel we captured was a sloop-of-war carrying two guns, having boarded her in the night and ransomed her for four hundred dollars. Same night boarded and took a six-teen-gun cutter, mounting ten eighteen-pounders and six six-pounders, having captured her in the midst of the British fleet, then lying at Sandy Hook; after running the prize past the guard-ship, up the bay towards Amboy, we ran her aground on a sandbar in the night. The next morning took off her fifty prisoners, and everything else we could, and then set fire to her magazine and blew her up. She was a double-decker, fitted out with provisions, ammunition, etc, for a cruise, with the intention of harassing and destroying our vessels. As we understood from the prisoners a hundred men were to have been put on board the day after we captured her; thirty of us boarded her. On another night the captain and fourteen of us, who had volunteered our services, sailed up the Narrows in New York bay, in a whaleboat, and on our return boarded a schooner, which we ransomed for four hundred dollars, and returned to our gunboats in Solsbury river, without injury or the loss of a single life. We had two skirmishes on Long Island; during the contest one man fell backward in my arms, mortally wounded. In one of these affairs, in our attack and defence, we came across a store of dry goods, etc., belonging to the British, the whole of which we carried away. On another occasion Captain Story, from Woodbridge, with a gun and whale boat, fell in with us in Solsbury river. Captains Hiler and Story, ascending the heights, observed four vessels at a distance, moored close to the Highlands, termed London traders-one of them, however, being an armed schooner, carrying eight guns, used as a guard-ship to protect the other three. There being a calm, and the tide being against them, we ran out on them, within a short distance of the British fleet. A severe cannonading commenced on both sides; at last the schooner having struck we captured the other two without difficulty. The guard-ship by this time coming up, poured her shot on us like hail, one shot cutting off the mast of our whale-boat, just above our heads; but at last we succeeded in running the schooner on a sandbar, where we burnt her in view of the fleet; the others were bilged and driven on the beach. Not long after the commander of the whale boat, myself and another man, in the night, took a craft laden with calves, poultry, eggs, butter, etc., going to the British fleet. A prize of this kind, at the present day, would be considered of small amount; but at that time it was far otherwise to troops in a starving condition. After running out of Solsbury river, we attacked a large sloop and two schooners, one of them armed with two three-pounders. They gave us a warm reception. After a running fire of some time we came up with the schooner, and, when about to board her, Captain Hiler, damned the captain, said that if he put the match to another gun he should have no quarter. No sooner said, however, than the British captain seized the match from one of his men and directed a shot himself, which, owing to the rolling of the sea, did no execution. By force of our oars we soon were near enough to board, when Captain Hiler, springing aboard of the British vessel, aimed a blow at the head of the captain, who, springing backward, escaped, the sword merely passing down his breast Captain Hiler immediately made another pass which, the other receiving on his arm, saved his life, and then cried for quarter, which was granted him. After taking the sloop and two schooners, we sailed round the Jersey shore, where, having discovered another sail out at sea, our Captain cried out, "Men, yonder is another sail; we must have that," Springing to our oars as hard as we were able we came up with her, boarded her, and found her to be a prize that the British had taken at the capes, off the Delaware, and were sending her to New York. Three privateers coming up, which had been dispatched from the fleet in pursuit of us, we were obliged to cut and run, carrying with us the schooner last boarded, beaching the others (loaded with tar and turpentine), and running her into Sherk river. The next day we returned under British colors, and, coming alongside the fleet off Sandy Hook, dropped sail and ran into Solsbury. The same evening we passed through the narrow passage between Sandy Hook and the Highlands about sunset, when we spied a craft going across to the guard-ship, in pursuit of which our captain immediately sent the whale-boat But perceiving a line of British soldiers marching down the beach, with the intention of waylaying us at the Narrows, we rowed to shore and landed fifteen men, who were to attack in the rear, the British having in the meantime crossed the beach on the side we lay with our boat. We were but thirty strong, including the fifteen we had landed; the enemy about seventy. While we were looking over the beach for them from our vessel, they came suddenly round a point within pistol-shot of us. The first thing we knew was a volley from a platoon, having come up in a solid column. Twelve of our men fired with muskets, and in such quick succession that the barrels began to burn our hands, the other three managed a four-pounder, which the captain ordered to be loaded with langrage, crying out: "Boys, land, land; we will have them all!" When the four-pounder went off, accompanied with the fire of our musketry, we raised the yell. An opening by our four-pounder being made through their column the enemy broke and ran, and the fifteen men before landed happening to come up, charged and took the captain and nine of his men. In fact every day at Sandy Hook afforded a skirmish of some kind or other, either with small arms or cannon. At Toms river inlet we were twice nearly cast away; once at Hogg island inlet. On two occasions we narrowly escaped being taken prisoners by two different frigates; one the Fair American. Once in coming up from Sandy Hook to Amboy, with two gunboats and a whale-boat, Captain Hiler commanding, being in charge of a British gunboat, we ran in between an enemy's brig and a galley, that carried an eighteen-pounder in her bow; the gunboat had struck, but, before we were able to board her, an eighteen-pound ball passed through one of our gunboats, which obliged us to make the best of our way to the Jersey shore; and getting every thing out of the boat, under a continual fire of cannon and small arms (which lasted until 9 o'clock at night), we left her to the British, our ammunition being all spent.
After peace I returned home and followed the trade of a blacksmith until the year 1790. In the spring of that year I sold out, and came, about the close of October, to what is now Cincinnati, but at the time pretty much in woods. Having cleared a four-acre lot situate about a mile from the river, in the year 1791, I was the first that raised a crop of wheat between the two Miamis. While attending church the settlers rested on their guns to be ready on the first alarm from the Indians. In the spring of 1791, while occupied with clearing the said lot I ran a narrow chance of losing my scalp. Joseph Cutter was taken in a clearing adjoining mine, and a Mr. VanCleve was killed at a corner of my lot. The Indians were constantly skulking around us, murdering the settlers or robbing the stables.
From General St Clair I received an ensign's commission; was afterwards promoted to a lieutenancy; next chosen captain of the company; then major, and commanded the militia at Cincinnati and Columbia, seven miles up the river, during the time of Wayne's campaign. Afterwards elected colonel, and had the honor to command the troops at Greenville during the treaty held with the Indians, General Harrison and General Cass being commissioners. Soon after the war I resigned my commission to General James Findlay. The time that elapsed from my appointment as ensign until elected a colonel, was between twenty and twenty-two years; and during the whole of this period I never failed parading but one day, and that on account of sickness.
[Source: "History of Cincinnati, Ohio: with illustrations and biographical sketches"compiled by Henry A. Ford and Kate B. Ford. L.A. Williams & Co., 1881. - KS - Sub by FoFG]
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