Friday, September 4, 2015

Esquire Phillips- Revolutionary Soldier

 O.K., so let's go tree climbing or back in time whichever one helps you follow this linage. The maternal grandmother of my husband was Ina. She was Ina Marie Reeder Augustus daughter of Minerva Jane Marsh Reeder and Edward Maurice Reeder. This week's Wordless Wednesday shows Great Grandpa and Grandma Reeder standing in front of a house that still stands in Jefferson, Iowa. This was probably in the 40's.

Minerva Jane moved to Jefferson, Iowa from Illinois when she was a teenager around 1876. There she met and married Edward Reeder. She was the daughter of Celestia and Richard Marsh.

Both Celestia and Richard were from Pennsylvania where they were married and had their first four children, one being Minerva Jane. They moved to Illinois in 1860 when Minerva was a baby.

Celestia was the daughter of Elijah and Ellen Thompson Phillips. She was also their oldest child.

  Celestia's father, Elijah, was the eleventh son of Esquire Phillips who was born in Prescott, Connecticut on 3 Aug. 1760  (or possibly 1759) and died (age 87 years 7 months) in 1848 in Pine Grove Township in Warren County, Pennsylvania.

The book Revolutionary Soldiers of Warren County, Pennsylvania has a section on Esquire Phillips, 4x great grandfather of my husband.

Born: 3 Aug. 1759/1960
Entered service 1 November 1775 ( about age 15 or 16))
Served as waiter for Capt. James Averill
Capt. Averill commanded a company of Militia of the Regiment of Col. Douglass
They moved to Providence, R.I, to Greenwich to Newtown, to South Kingston and to North Kingston.  The British were in possession of Rhode Island at this time.
Discharged April 1776
Re-enlisted "the following spring" in the same company as Minute Men for the term of one year.

The following are Esquire's words:

     "Soon after the company was organized we were ordered to march to Stonington Point, where we joined Col. Gallap's Regt.  [sic] as Col. Douglass was made a General.  We remained at Stonington Point two mons [sic], and were frequently sent out with scouting parties.  The Corps to which I belonged was called the Rangers.  After two months we were ordered to march to Little White Plains on North River near New York.  We arrived there after the battle that was fought there.  We were sent out with a scouting party and fell in with a party of British and Tories at the Great Swamp a few miles distant.  We had a skirmish with the British and made prisoners of about 70 British and Tories, and got 150 head of cattle and sheep.  We marched with the prisoners to Norwich Town in Conn.  Were then ordered back to Little White Plains, which was our headquarters.  Was there two months.  We were then ordered to march to New London, and were stationed there the remainder of the year until we were discharged.  Our entire service was exceedingly hard and severe during the whole year."
Esquire's service ended only to start again.  He says in his pension papers that he returned home and remained for three days. He then went as a substitute for Elijah Phillips as a private soldier. Many years later, he had a son named Elijah (Remember, the father of Celestia) Maybe this son was named for an uncle or cousin. Maybe this is the Elijah Phillips for whom he was named.  This service period for Esquire was at Fort Griswold in the company commanded by Capt. Avery. The commander of Fort Griswold was Col. Wm. Ledyard.  After 3 months he was discharged and went home.  The day before he arrived at home his father, Jonathon, was drafted for a 3 months tour in the Militia. Esquire took his place and returned to Fort Griswold, served, and was discharged when the 3 months expired.
Now isn't it fascinating to read an ancestors actual words. It is too bad when we study American History, we can't do it through the eyes of our ancestors. Those patriots in the books are just names we learn and usually remember. But the patriots that shared their DNA with us, give a whole new perspective to the Rebellion and the sacrifices they made for us... their descendants.
But wait! The story of Esquire Phillips Revolutionary Service is not finished. The story will continue next Friday.  See you then.  I guess this has turned into Phillips Friday.
Excerpt from The Revolutionary Soldiers of Warren County, Pennsylvania


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