Revolutionary War Veterans

General Robert Brown

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
March 26 1823 Page 3

Died at his residence in Allen township, Northampton county, Pa., on the 26th day of February last, in the 79th year of his age,

General Robert Brown, a patriot and soldier of the Revolutionary War. The deceased was universally respected. The urbanity and republican plainness of his manner - the uprightness and probity of his character, secured to him the affections and esteem of all who knew him.

He was a member of the Senate of Pennsylvania for some time. He was then called upon by the freemen of the District to represent them in the Congress of the United States, of which body he continued a member 16 or 17 years. His remains were interred on th 28th in the burial ground near his residence, and notwithstanding the severity of the cold, the concourse was unusually large. Not one half of those present could enter the church.

Colonel Thomas Butler

The Centinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
October 16, 1805 Page 4

From the Louisianna Gazette

Biographical Sketch of Col. Thomas Butler

The characters and actions of meritorious men, in all ages, have been read with pleasure. It is a tribute due to virtue to record the actions of those who are worthy of emulation. Our country is young and has long been at peace. War achievements and warlike men are almost forgotten unless when a newspaper announces in a few lines, the death of some revolutionary chief – and the type has not been employed in recording the death of one more lamented than the late Colonel Thomas Bulter.

If virtue, honor, benevolence, honesty, a found heart and a clear head, united with bravery, constitutes a good man, he possessed them. He was, in the year 1776 (the year so much boasted of – that tried men’s fouls) a student at law with the eminent Judge Wilson of Philadelphia: early in that year he quit his studies and jointed the army as a Sabaltern. Soon rose to the grade of Captain and continued in it till the happy and glorious close of the revolution. There were five brothers of the Butlers that jointed the American cause, and fought during the war, and left the service with the following grades, viz. Col. Richard Butler, Lieut. Pierce Butler and Lieut. Edward Butler – none of them now living but Pierce Butler.

Thomas Butler whole memory we wish to perpetuate, was in almost every action that was fought in the middle States during the war – at the battle of Brandywine he received the thanks of the illustrious Washington, on the field of battle through his aid de camp Gen. Hamilton, for his intrepid conduct in rallying a detachment of retreating troops, and giving the enemy a severe fire. At the battle of Monmouth he received the thanks of Gen. Wayne for defending a defile in the face of a heavy fire from the enemy, while Colonel Richard Butler’s regiment made good their retreat. History records the unfortunate events of that day.

At the close of the war he retired into private life as a farmer, where he enjoyed rural and domestic happiness into 1791 when he again took the field to meet a savage foe, that menaced our frontier, and the unfortunate 4th of November of that year is too well known!! He was dangerously wounded and with difficulty and great hazard, his brother Capt. Edward Butler got him off the field, where they left General Richard Butler a corpse.

In 1792 he was continued on the establishment as a Major and was promotes in 1794 in Lieut. Col. Commandant of the 4th Sub. Legion. He commanded Fort Fayette at Pittsburgh that year, when his name alone (for he had but few troops) prevented the deluded insurgents from taking the Fort. In 1797 he was named by president Washington as the officer best calculated to command in the State of Tennessee, when he marched with his regiment from the Miami on the Ohio, and by that prudence and good sense that has ever marked his character through life, he in a very short time removed all difficulties, to the satisfaction of those concerned – as a firm and lasting proof if it, he holds the respect and esteem of all virtuous men in the State. He made several successful treaties with the Indians while in the state of Tennessee.

In the year 1802 at the reduction of the army he was continued as Col. Of the 2d regiment of infantry on the peace establishment. Here his biographer stops – pauses – what can lie write more? He can announce to the world that Colonel Butler was arrested by the Commanding General in 1803 at Fort Adams on the Mississippi, sent to Fredericktown, Maryland, where he was tried by a general Court martial and acquitted honorably of all the charges, except that of wearing his hair, which he held as a gift of nature, and was of opinion that no power on earth had a legal right to take it from him – which opinion he held till his death. After his trial he was ordered to New Orleans there to take command of the troops, which he did on 20th of October 1804, and on the 20th of November following, was again arrested for not cropping off his hair!! - and not until the first of July did a court convene for his second trial – the result of their decision is not yet known.

Since his last arrest he left his wife, who, like himself, was universally lamented by the good and virtuous. She died near Nashville, Tennessee. In consequence of her death and the deranged situation of his affairs he solicited leave from the Hon. Secretary of war and the commanding General to return to Tennessee so soon as the court martial was over. Alas! The application was passed over in silence, no answer ever given him!! He was advised to move out of the city which he did in the latter part of July, and on the 7th of September paid the great debt of nature, aged 51 years. He has left three sons and one amiable daughter to lament his loss: yes, and he has left the virtuous world of his acquaintance to lament his loss; and none will feel it more severely than the valuable part of the army of all grades.

The writer of this short biography does not wish to wound the feeling of the protector of the deceased: he himself is old and will soon have to pay the debt that Col. Butler has already paid. Comparison can then be made by the friends to virtue – which of their walks in life were most worthy of imitation.

Colonel Samuel Miles

The Centinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
February 5, 1805 Page 3

Biographical Sketch of the Life of the late Col. Samuel Miles

This worthy citizen of Pennsylvania whose name has been associated for nearly fifty years in the minds of all who have known him, with every public and private virtue, was born at White Marsh, in Montgomery county in the year 1738 or 9. His grandfather and grandmother were natives of Wales, and accompanied William Penn to the wilderness whilst afterwards received his name, in the year 1682.

In the year 1755, and immediately after the defeat, the subject of this memoir, in the 16th year of his age, under a sudden impulse of patriotism, joined a company of militia commanded by Capt. Wayne, the father of the late Gen. Wayne, and marched with him to Northampton county, which was then exposed to the incursions of the Indians. His activity and zeal in this service attracted the notice of Robert Hunter Morris, the then Governor of the province, who, unsolicited, sent him an ensigns commition in the provincial troops in the year 1757. In 1758 he was promoted to a lieutenancy and in 1760 he received the command of a company. During these three years he was engaged in active service, alternately with provincial and British troops. In a skirmish near Fort Legonier with a party of French and Indians, he was slightly wounded, in the year 1759.

At the close of the war he married Miss Catharine Wister, daughter of Mr. John Wister, a wealthy and respectable merchant, and entered into trade in Philadelphia, by which he accumulated such an independency as induced him to retire to the country in the year 1774. During his residence in Philadelphia, he was chosen by his fellow citizens to fill several public stations, among others that of a member of the legislature.

Upon the war breaking out between Great Britain and America 1775, he again felt the influence of a martial and public spirit. His neighborhood partook of it, and was formed by him into a regiment of militia. Into the year 1776 he accepted of the command of a regiment of riflemen, consisting of 1000 men, which was attached to the regular army under the command of General Washington. It was his misfortune to be made a prisoner in the battle of the 27th of August, on Long Island, where he remained in a painful state in inactivity for nearly two years. During his confinement, his country shewed her respect for him by creating him Brigadier General.

After his return from his captivity, he settled in Philadelphia, where his time and talents were constantly devoted to public objects. During the war, he executed the commission of deputy quarter master of the American army, for the state of Pennsylvania, and after the peace, he filled in succession the stations of member of legislature and of the council fo censors, a judge of the court of errors and appeals, member of the executive council, alderman and mayor of the city.

In the year 1792, he again retired to a farm to Montgomery county, where he employed himself with great delight in agricultural pursuits, and lived beloved and respected. “In the mild majesty of private life.”

In the year 1805, he yielded reluctantly to the wishes of his fellow citizens, and became a member of the legislature of the state. His journey to the seat of government, and his attention to public business, revived a disease with which he had been before afflicted, and compelled him to return to his family, in the bosom of which, he peaceably resigned his soul in the arms of his Savior, on the 29th of December, 1805, in the 78th year of his age.

A Scotch nobleman was once complimented upon the number of offices he had filled under the British government, each of which was mentioned to him. “You have, forgotten (said his Lordship to his friend) to mention one of my honors, which I prize more than all the rest, and that is, - I have for many years filled the office of an elder in my parish church.” The same are pre-eminence in a ecclesiastical over civil honors was possessed by Col. Miles for many years in the Baptist church of Philadelphia.

A few words upon the character of this excellent citizen, shall close this short account of his life.

He was blessed with a temper so uniformly meek and gentle, that a person who had lived in a state of the most intimate friendship with him for nearly twenty years declared “he had never once seen him angry.” The benignity, and equanimy of his temper appeared in his countenance. It was at all times, serene and placid.

He was ahke happy in discharging with fidelity, duties apparently of a very opposite nature. He loved an cherished his country, as if he expected to lie in it for ever, and yet he served his God, as if he constantly felt that he was a stranger in this world, and that his citizenship and home were in Heaven.

But to appreciate the worth of this servant of God and man fully, it will be necessary to view him in private life. Here we behold him upright in business, sincere in friendship, modest in prosperity, resigned in adversity, patient in sickness, and preculiarly kind, and affectionate as a husband, a father and brother. The remembrance of his public services and virtues will probably soon descend to the same tomb, which is yearly consigning to oblivion the patriots and heroes of the American revolution, but the memory of his private virtues will never die in the hearts of his family and friends.

Capt. James Poe

Gettysburg Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
July 22, 1822 Page 3
Chambersburg, June 25

Another Revolutionary Patriot gone!

Capt. James Poe, died at his residence, in Antrim township, Franklin county, on Thursday night last, in about the 76th year of his age. How long this venerable patriot served in the revolutionary war we are not able to tell, but it was a considerable time, nor even in the late war with great Britain did the courage of this old veteran flag. He shouldered his musket, marched to Baltimore, and during the whole of the inclement season, that, that city was besieged by Lord Wellington’s invincibles, though in a delicate state of health, could the old hero be prevailed upon to leave the intrenchments, but fearlessly clung to his post until after their retreat. He filled several important civil offices – he represented this county in the state senate for about eight years. A few years more and not a star of ’76 will illuminate the American horizon! Peace to these departed heroes! May they all find a sure port and protection within the Battlements of heaven. As a husband, parent and citizen, he was much esteemed and admired. – Republican.

General Henry Miller

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
Apirl 21, 1824

From the York Gazette

Died on the 5th inst., at Carlisle, Gen. Henry Miller, for many years a distinguished and highly respectable inhabitant of this borough. By the death of Gen. Miller, another patriot and revolutionary worthy has passed into that invisible state beyond the grave, where soon all the heroes of the revolution will be gathered. They soon will exist only in the remembrance of a grateful county.

Gen. Miller was a native of Lancaster county, but when very young removed to York. In the year 1775, he marched from this place as a Lieutenant in Capt. Doudle’s Company to Boston, where he soon was promoted to a captaincy on the resignation of his captain. He held the commissions of Major, Lieutenant Colonel, and Colonel, in the war of the Revolution. Gen. Wilkinson, in his memoirs, states that Maj. Miller’s regiment was ordered by General Washington, to check the rapid movements of the enemy in pursuit of the American Army, whilst retreating across the state of N. Jersey; and the order was so successfully executed, and the advance of a powerful enemy impeded and embarrassed, that the author of the memoirs attributes the preservation of the American troops, which afterwards gained the independence of the Country, to the good conduct of Maj. Miller, which was admirably seconded by the late Gen. Hand.

Gen. Wilkinson, in a note to his valuable work, says “Gen. Henry Miller, of the City of Baltimore, was distinguished for his cool and deliberate bravery, and certainly possessed the entire confidence of Gen. Washington.” This shows the high estimation in which the father of his county held him. He was along side of General Craig (then Colonel) at the battle of Monmouth, and had two horses killed under him.

On the western expedition he was appointed Quartermaster General; these arduous and responsible duties he performed to the entire satisfaction of the public. Gen. Miller’s last services were performed at Baltimore, in 1813, when that city was menaced with imminent danger, by a large army and fleet in the Chesapeake Bay. He was appointed a Brigadier General by the later Governor, Levin Winder, and had the command of the troops stationed for its defence. His spirited and manly reply to a threatening letter of Admiral Warren, will never be forgotten.

Gen Miller was in many of the most important battles of the revolutionary war, and endured a large share of the trials and sufferings incident to that eventful period. He was also an excellent civil officer. He filled for many years the Prothonotary’s and Sheriff’s Offices of York county. He was the supervisor of th revenue for the district of Pennsylvania during the administration of President Adams and after this office was abolished he removed to Baltimore, where he resided for some years as a respectable and honest merchant. From that city he retired to a farm near the forks of the Juniata and Susquehanna rivers, devoting his attention to agricultural pursuits. He was then appointed by Gov. Hiester to the office of Prothonotary of Perry county. He was also a member of the Legislature of this state, and of the convention that framed the state constitution. He was the candidate in opposition to Mr. Gallatin for the U. State’s Senate. Mr. Gallatin being declared ineligible, and Gen. Miller declining to be a candidate again, Mr. Ross of Pittsburgh, was elected to that situation.

No man had more self possession and more fortitude to support himself against the darkening storms of adversity than the subject of these remarks. He was kind, liberal and sincere and with a mind characterized with peculiar strength and quickness of perception, he was prompt and firm in his decisions. He was decidedly at one time amongst the most popular men in the state, and so in part he remained during the many vicissitudes of party collisons. He now abides in that mansion where the wicked cease troubling and the weary are at rest, until the trumpet of the mighty angel shall awaken to a general resurrection those who have been sleepers for thousands of years.

Gen. Miller deceased at the age of 74 years, and at the time when the munificence of the Legislature had just made compensation for the important revolutionary services he rendered his native county – he did not live long enough to receive this righteous retribution. – G.

Colonel Michael Smyser

The Centinel, Gettysburg, PA, August 1 1810

York, Pa., July 14

As the rapid course of time bears onward to eternity its daily tribute, it is becoming in us to notice, in a particular manner, the departure of worth and excellence. A virtuous example is a proper object to record and the memory of the good, it delights to honor.

In the death of Colonel Michael Smyser, of this county, who died on the 7th inst., we have lost one of our best citizens. Patriotism has lost a votary - society an excellent member and religion an active supporter. He was one of the few survivors of that virtuous band, who in the gloomy period of 1776, when superior worth alone gave claim to distinction, were appointed to command. At the unfortunate capture of Fort Washington, he was taken prisoner; during the distressing captivity which succeeded that event, the zeal and animation with which he advocated his country's cause, inspired his desponding fellow prisoners with the cheering hope, that their labors were not in vain; while making use of the privileges attached to his rank as a captain, his unremitting exertions to alleviate their sufferings reflected honorably on his goodness and humanity.

In the time of the revolution, as well as since, Col. Smyser, was repeatedly elected a member of the legislature of this state, where, his intelligence and warm attachment of our political institutions enabled him to act with honor to himself and his constituents. The great and good Washington was the constant object of his admiration, and the precepts of the FATHER OF HIS COUNTRY, he regarded as the surest guides to national happiness and prosperity. Possessing an enlightened, honest and independent mind, he was liberal in his views, manly in his conduct and superior to selfish considerations.

In social commerce, Col. Smyser was the man of honor and integrity; the scenes of domestic life, under his influence were peaceful and happy, and in the relative duties of friendship and society, he was warm, disinterested and benevolent.

Formed by habits of temperance and moderation, the weight of almost 70 years had but partially affected his robust constitution. He lived to exult in the 34th anniversary of his country's independence, and died deservedly lamented by a long train of relatives, friends and fellow citizens.

Major Moses Van Campmen

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) January 20 1925

Pennsylvanians, Past and Present

Major Moses Van Campmen, Frontiersman and Daring Soldier of the Revolution, Born January 20, 1757

By Frederick A. Godcharles

Moses Van Campen, frontiersman Indian scout, officer of the Revolution was born in Hunterton county, New Jersey, January 20, 1757. He was the son of Cornelius Van Campen and his mother was a Dupue, of French ancestry.

Soon after his birth his parents emigrated to Pennsylvania and settled on the Delaware River, in Northampton county, near the Water Gap. There his boyhood was passed, he being the oldest of six sons and four daughters. The schools were few and but a limited education was to be had but Moses became a noted hunter and unerring shot.

The Van Campens removed to a beautiful location along Fishing Creek in Northumberland, now Columbia county, and were settled on a farm there when the storm of the Revolution broke out.

Moses had already experienced the life of a soldier serving in a company in 1775 sent to the Wyoming Valley to preserve order during the Second Pennamite-Yankee War.

In 1776 when but eighteen years of age, Moses enlisted in the patriot army, and marched with the Twelfth Regiment of the Continental Line, Colonel William Cooke, to Boston. He was then sent to join the command of Captain John Kelly; which was stationed at Big Island, on the West Branch of the Susquehanna, to protect the frontier. While in this service Moses assisted in building several frontier forts and accompanied General John Sullivan on his famous expedition into the country of the Six Nations Indians. While working on the construction of Fort Wheeler, on Fishing Creek, the Indians were repulsed in a bitter attack by the little band of defenders, but savage vengeance was not satisfied and nearly every habitation was burned.

In another attack, March 30, 1778, Moses, then a lieutenant, a cousin, and Peter Pence were taken prisoners. Moses’ father and brother and uncle were killed and scalped. The Indians hurried the three captives to a point near Wyalusing Flats, where the three made their escape from ten warriors in one of the most daring adventures ever recorded in frontier history. Van Campen had procured a large knife during the night he released the other prisoners, they grabbed the rifles and in a moment three of the Indians were tomahawked and as the other awoke they were instantly shot, when in a hand-to-hand combat the whites killed three of the remaining four, the tenth Indian making good his escape.

The liberated prisoners under the direction of Van Campen, then secured the scalps of their late captors, all their plunder and arms, and embarked on a hastily constructed raft, and after a series of adventures reached Wyoming in safety, then made their way by canoe to Northumberland.

In 1780 Lieutenant Van Campen recruited a company for frontier service, and a year later, while serving on the West Branch under Colonel Samuel Hunter, had another thrilling experience the equal of that along the North Branch. A scouting party in command of Captain Peter Grove, of which Lieutenant Van Campen was second in command came suddenly upon a band of thirty Indian warriors and in the desperate battle which was at close range, the savages left seven dead on the field. It was then learned that the Indians had killed and scalped three families, plundered every home and set fire to all the buildings for miles around.

In the spring of 1782, Van Campen was sent with a party of twenty men on a scouting expedition, on April 16, on Bald Eagle Creek, they met a large band of Indians, nineteen of his command were killed, himself and five taken prisoners to Fort Niagara. While held a prisoner Van Campen was discovered by Indians who had survived his first daring escape, they demanded the British officers yield him up to them, but Van Campen claimed to be a prisoner of war and urged that he be treated as such. He refused an equal rank with the enemy to desert, and his case was again desperate.

Several days later he was removed with forty other prisoners to Montreal, then later sent to Quebec. November 1, 1782, he was exchanged at New York and returned to service with the army. On November 16, 1783, he was finally discharged, with rank of major after a perilous service of more than seven years.

Major Van Campen married Margaret, daughter of James McClure of Bloomsburg, Pa. Five daughters were born to them. In 1831 Major Van Campen and his family became residents of Dansville, N.Y. He died October 15, 1849, aged 92 years.

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