Ancestral energy lives in the stars above us, the stones beneath us. Their memory gathers in oceans, rivers and seas. It hums its silent wisdom within the body of every tree.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ancestral Veterans

Burning of the USS Philadelphia, painting 1897.

War is in our history. It’s in every rise and fall of culture. The ghosts of battlefields long forgotten are littered with the blood of our ancestors. This year, for Veterans Day, I honor my ancestors who both waged war and stood defense, in service of their people.

Early Settlement
Captain Roger Clapp (1609-1690) was born in Salcombe Regis, England. He sailed to Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1629 on the Mary and John. In 1665 Captain Clapp was placed in charge of the Dorchester Company stationed at Castle Island, the oldest fortified military site in North America, in Boston Harbor. He held the post for 21 years and was given a nine gun salute when he retired.
William Pond (1622-1690) was a Sergeant in the colonial militia from Dedham, Massachusetts, first generation of his family born in the new colony. Peter Wolfe (1606-1675) was born in England and immigrated to Beverly, Massachusetts. He served as a Lieutenant in the colonial militia in 1646, in defense of Salem, Massachusetts. Jeremiah Gillette (1650-1707) was a Sergeant in the colonial service of Connecticut. He was also the first generation of his family born in America, having emigrated from England.
Isaac-Etienne Paquet dit Lavallee (1636-1702) came to Canada, at age 28, in the Compagnie de LaMotte, Regiment de Carignan-Salieres in 1665. The first French regular troops arrived in response to pleas from the colonists of New France for aid in dealing with the Iroquois. Immediately they were dispatched to Richelieu, to begin construction on the forts of Saint-Louis and Saint-Therese, as well as the roads between. In the spring of 1666, Isaac's company built Forst Saint-Anne at Lake Champlain. They were dispatched into Iroquois country in September of 1667, but could not rouse the Indians into battle. The Iroquois used the end of this expedition as a means of brokering peace and LaMotte's famous regiment was disbanded. Isaac was one of 400 soldiers who elected to stay in the colonies rather than return to France. He was married, with his own homestead, in I'lle D'orleans three years later.

1754-1763 French & Indian War
Lemuel Lyon (1728-1781), born in Stoughton, Massachusetts, served in Timothy Walker's company during the French and Indian War in 1755. He is listed on the muster of Captain John Carpenter’s regiment in August of 1757. He was involved in the 1758 Battle at Fort Ticonderoga and kept a 35 page journal of his time there, which has been published with some other soldier accounts in the book, Narratives of the French and Indian War (2): the Diary of Sergeant David Holden, Captain Samuel Jenks, Lemuel Lyon, French Officer at the Siege of Quebec.

1775-1783 American Revolutionary War
Oliver Lozier, also Delozier, (born 1747) was born into a family well-established in Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. He was a Bombardier, a noncommissioned officer, in Captain John Doughty's company, in Colonel John Lamb's regiment (2nd continental artillery). He was on the muster roll for April 1781 at West Point. Oliver enlisted in 1778 for the duration of the Revolution and was discharged April 4, 1783.
Born in Connecticut and taking up residence in Massachusetts, Freeborn Moulton (1717-1792) was Captain of a company of Minute-men of Monson. They were part of Colonel Danielson’s regiment which marched at the Lexington alarm of April 19, 1775 to Cambridge, where they remained until May 6, 1775.
Joseph Riddle (1763-1812), grandson of Captain Freeborn Moulton, enlisted young and served almost the full duration of the war. He was a Private in Captain Isaac Colton's company, Colonel David Brewer's (9th) regiment enlisting in 1775. In 1776 he is listed in Captain Joseph Munger’s company, regiment of Colonel Robert Woodbridge, the “Massachusetts Line.” By 1777 he shows as a Fifer in the 4th Massachusetts regiment under Captain Caleb Keep and Colonel William Shepherd, and later as a Drum-Major in General Glover’s brigade. He was at the battle of Burgoyne, charged with guarding the road to Albany as well as the battle of Monmouth, NJ in 1778. A year later he is mustered for the Continental Army in the 9th company for Colonel John Bliss’s 1st New Hampshire regiment. He was discharged from the Continental Army in June of 1780. Pension records list him as a cripple, so it was likely he was wounded.

1801-1805 The Barbary Wars
Peter De Lozier (1786-1849) was born in Connecticut. He joined the Navy and was on board the USS Philadelphia in 1803 when the government made moves to end piracy on the Barbary Coast. Commodore Edward Preble commanded the Mediterranean Squadron into a blockade in October. On Halloween, the USS Philadelphia ran aground on a coral reef. The entire crew, with their Captain, William Bainbridge, was captured and the ship was used by the opposing Navy as a gun battery. Peter De Lozier and his crew spent 30 months in a Tripoli jail. When the conflict was over, he mustered out of service and claimed residence outside of Lockport, NY. He married, took up cabinetmaking and had a daughter, but eventually left his family to return to the sea. He died of cholera in Connecticut without ever seeing his family again.

1812-1814 War of 1812
Martin Dutcher (1796-1872) was a Private in Captain Andrew A. VanDerzee’s “New Baltimore” company, Colonel Barnabas Carver’s 61st regiment in the War of 1812. He fought in the Battle of Plattsburgh, 1814. After the war he retired to Somerset, NY.

1861-1865 American Civil War
Adam Art (1836-1896) immigrated to New York from Hesse Darmstadt, Germany in the 1850s and served in the Civil War under Captain Levi Bowen, 29th Congressional district.

1914-1918 World War I
Royal Levant Eaton (1873-1931), a New York state prison guard, served in the National Guard during WWI.

Honoring Roots and Freedoms
I believe in peace and practices of non-violence. I know that I am able to believe in peace because I have known peace, and that I have known it because of the sacrifices those who came before me made, to acquire it for our country. Soldiers are men of principle and purpose who believe that the side they are fighting for is a just cause, no matter what history will later decide.
My ancestors were farmers, ministers, soldiers, crusaders and Norman invaders. In all of our histories, our ancestors were defenders and colonizers, pawns and pillagers, and brave men and women facing uncertain futures. They faced those futures for us, whether they knew it or not and we can honor them today by learning from our own history.
I have deep gratitude that soldiers past, present and future have and will risk their lives in the pursuit of freedom. They are more than regiments and companies. The most important thing I can remember is that an army of fighters is made up of men and women who have names and families. They are men and women who are husbands, wives, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters. They are people of flesh and blood, of dreams and desire.

I am,
that they were,
that they are,
that they will be.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.