THE LUTHERS IN THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR
by Joseph Luther
The Maryland Convention had, on January 1st, 1776, resolved to establish a gun-lock manufactory at Fredericktown and had also resolved to put the province "in the best state of defense." This resolution called for the establishment of a force of 1,454 men, comprising eight companies of 68 privates each, formed into a battalion. William Smallwood was appointed General. The militia for Frederick County included seven battalions.
Among the Frederick County Militia was the Fourth Battalion, with Mr. Baker Johnson as Colonel; Mr. William Luckett as Lt. Colonel; Mr. Jacob Miller as first Major; Mr. Henry Darnell as 2nd Major; and Mr. Nicholas Tice as Quarter-Master. These Maryland forces were placed under the regimental command of General Smallwood. These were then part of the Brigade of Lord Sterling, under the overall command of General Sullivan.
The uniform of the land forces was decreed to be hunting shirts. See the attached picture of the Maryland soldier. Pay was established as $5.50 per month for privates. Rations were established as follows: one pound of beef, or three-quarters of a pound of pork, one pound of flour or bread per man per day, three pints of peas, at six shillings per bushel per week, or other vegetables equivalent; one quart of Indian meal per week; a gill of vinegar and a gill of molasses per man per day; a quart of cider, small beer, or a gill of rum, per man per day; three pounds of candles for one hundred men per week for guards; twenty four pounds of soft soap, or eight pounds of hard soap for one hundred men per week.
In the early battles on Long Island, the Americans were defeated and the Maryland troops suffered many losses. Washington retreated through Newark to Brunswick, joining forces with Lord Sterling. By the first of December, 1776, Washington had left Brunswick, retreating to Princeton and then to Trenton and eventually back into Pennsylvania.
At this time, General Washington's situation was most critical. His troops were reduced to a mere handful and it was uncertain if he would receive any reinforcements. Congress dispatched Colonel Ewing, of the Maryland flying-camp, on the 9th of December 1776 to the Maryland Council of Safety, with the news of the disasters that had overtaken the Army. Immediately, the militia of Cecil, Baltimore , Harford and Frederick counties were put in motion for war.
There being a great deficiency of arms in the State of Maryland, the urgency of the situation induced most of the militia to march without such weapons, in anticipation they would be supplied in Philadelphia.
Michael Luther and his brother George served together in the Maryland Militia. They entered the service on December 15, 1776 at Frederick, Maryland. Michael was placed in Fourth Battalion of Maryland Militia under the command of Colonel Baker Johnston and Captain Duvall, as part of Colonel Smallwood's regiment. Michael traveled the old wagon road through York, Pennsylvania and crossed the Susquehanna on the ice at Anderson's Ferry and then on through Lancaster County to Philadelphia where he was issued weapons.
Washington's army was at this time reduced to less than three thousand men, composed of Virginians, Marylanders, Pennsylvanians and a part of Colonel Ward's regiment from Connecticut. As a means of rousing the spirit of the people, as well as saving Philadelphia, Washington resolved, with this small force, to attempt to surprise a body of Hessians, commanded by Colonels Rahl, Lossberg and Knyphausen, encamped at Trenton.
Michael Luther was part of Smallwood's Maryland regiment which numbered about one hundred and sixty men. They were eventually attached to Lord Sterling's brigade in General Sullivan's division. Michael, as part of General Washington's force of 2500 men, crossed the Delaware at McKonkey's Ferry
(see Washington Crossing) nine miles above Trenton, New Jersey on Christmas night, 1776.
This was the historic "Washington crossing the Delaware" event.
Washington took personal command of the left wing of the American army, including Sullivan's division and moved them to McKonkey's Ferry, some nine miles above Trenton. The men were poorly clothed and in consequence half-frozen. They started on the 25th of December in a violent storm.
Sullivan's division formed up under the cover of the high ground behind McKonkey's Ferry. Several days of mild weather had broken up the ice that had formed on the river, bur the hard freeze was beginning to thicken a new skin of ice on the Delaware, sheathing the boats, the oars and the oarlocks in an icy coating and impeding the movement across the river.
Michael and George Luther had to wait, hour after hour, while Sullivan's forces assembled a the point of embarkation and the boats were brought down the river. The river crossing itself was laborious and dangerous; the soldiers crouched down together, lashed by wind and spray that froze on their hair and their blankets and their muskets.
The boats were freshwater freighters, cargo boats that normally carried iron, grain or whiskey. They were some sixty feet in length and eight feet wide, on the average, with a shallow draft of slightly more than two feet. They were pointed at both ends, propelled downstream by oars and upstream by poles. A single boat could hold one of Washington's depleted regiments.
The Delaware River, at McKonkey's Ferry, was some 300 yards wide and full of slabs of ice at this time. As snow and sleet fell, few men were able to keep their powder dry. It was easier to fire a cannon than a musket in this wet weather. It was four o'clock in the morning before the soldiers formed up on the east bank of the Delaware, ready to begin the final approach to Trenton.
Sullivan's force picked up the road to Trenton a mile and a half from the Ferry at a tiny village called Bear Tavern. It was three miles from here to the town of Birmingham. There General Sullivan sent word to Washington that in spite of all efforts to keep the firing pans dry, the muskets were wet and would not fire. "Tell your General, " Washington told the messenger, "to use the bayonet and penetrate into the town."
From McKonkey's Ferry to Trenton was a distance of at least nine miles. In daylight, under normal conditions, an average unit may be expected to cover some three miles and hour. At night, with a minimum of light, over rutted and uneven roads, and blinded by snow and sleet, Sullivan's forces managed to cover the nine miles in something less than four hours. Some soldiers froze to death where they collapsed.
Major Wilkinson of Maryland says he traced the march of these troops "... by the blood from the feet of those whose shoes were broken." These men were in miserable plight and destitute of almost everything. Through hail and snow, Washington's half-frozen army in two divisions under Sullivan and Greene, advanced into Trenton.
Sullivan's division hit the enemy outpost at the outpost south end of Trenton. See the attached map. The Hessian sentries did not panic; withdrawing, calling the alarm and firing as they went.
As the other American units moved into Trenton, Sullivan's forces blocked the bridge the south of the town. One of Sullivan's artillery sergeants described the action in these words; "We had our cannon placed before a bridge; The enemy came on in solid columns...then by signal, we all fired together...The enemy retreated ...Our whole artillery fired together...The enemy retreated...Our whole artillery was again discharged at them-they retreated again and formed...We loaded with canister shot and let them come nearer. We fired together again and such destruction it made, you cannot conceive - the bridge looked as red as blood, with their killed and wounded and their red coats. The enemy beat a retreat."
Washington attacked and defeated the Hessians at Trenton. The Hessians surrendered soon after their commander, Colonel Rahl, fell pierced by a musket ball.
The enemy forces were, at this time, in large force at Princeton and Brunswick. Washington, not wanting to risk another engagement, recrossed the Delaware with his prisoners and stores, returning to his old camp. The Hessian prisoners were transferred to Frederick, Maryland.
Encouraged, Washington again crossed the Delaware on the 30th of December and moved on Trenton once again. Michael Luther notes they arrived in Trenton the last of December or the first of January, 1777.
On the morning of the second of January, Washington received word that the entire British army, under Lord Cornwallis, was approaching. Hearing that Washington had re-established himself at Trenton, Cornwallis set out by the way of Princeton to drive him back over the Delaware or, more to be hoped, to pin Washington's army against the river and destroy it.
Cornwallis had under his command, as he left Princeton, some seven thousand soldiers including the Waldeckers and Von Donop's Hessians. As Cornwallis advanced towards Trenton, he met skirmishers at Maidenhead who withdrew in a classic delaying action. It was almost dark by the time Cornwallis reached Trenton. The British and American camps were within a mile of each other; campfires were lit on both sides of Creek.
While Cornwallis was busy collecting his resources for an all-out attack, avenging the Trenton fiasco, Washington's ingenious scheme was to slip away from Cornwallis's army during the night and attack, by forced march, Cornwallis's base of supplies at New Brunswick. Washington left a small covering force and marched his army, including Michael, to Princeton, by way of a circuitous route intending to surprise the British there.
Leaving at 1:00 AM, the American forces moved out of their camp at Assunpink Creek, with the wheels of their cannon wrapped in rags and the feet of the men and horses padded to muffle any noise. By dawn, Washington's army reached Stony Brook, a few miles southeast of Princeton.
General Mercer was almost at the Princeton-Trenton Road when he encountered the Seventeenth British Foot headed for Trenton to reinforce Cornwallis. As the battle developed, Washington rushed reinforcements to Mercer. Washington's force wheeled left and began to approach Princeton. The astonished British force realized it had engage the entire American army. General Sterling, with an American brigade, including Michael and George, advanced on the Fifty-Fifth Regiment, which was preparing to move in support of the Seventeenth British Foot Regiment.
The Fifty-Fifth Regiment established itself on a point of high ground just south of Nassau Hall at the College of New Jersey, where the men were protected by a ravine. The American forces, under General Sterling and General St. Clair, skirted the hill and entered the main street in front of the college. Captain Alexander Hamilton's artillery opened fire and the British forces soon surrendered.
On the third of January, the British forces, including the 17th, 55th and 40th regiments ere defeated at Princeton. Some two hundred redcoats surrendered and the rest retreated to Brunswick. Washington immediately occupied Princeton.
Word soon came that Cornwallis and his troops were rushing up from Trenton. The American army then withdrew to Kingston and then to Pluckemin. Washington took a position at Morristown ( See Morrisville, near Trenton) to keep Lord Cornwallis in check in Brunswick for the winter.
On January 7th, 1777, Washington's army began to build its winter quarters at Morristown, New Jersey. The men built huts of logs chinked with moss and clay and made themselves comparatively snug. General Washington established his headquarters at the Freeman Tavern on the town square.
Over the winter, the American soldiers seeing that there was to be no fighting, began to go home in large numbers. Soon there were hardly more than two thousand, supplemented by the militia, left in the army at Morristown.
General Washington dispatched a series of expeditions to root out any stray detachments of British or Hessian soldiers and to emphasize to the inhabitants of New Jersey that the British had abandoned the pretense of holding any substantial portion of the state outside of New Brunswick and Perth Amboy.
In the early spring, the total American forces in New Jersey did not exceed 4,000 -2,000 of Washington's Continentals plus a roughly equal number of militia. On the British side, General Howe had more than 10,000 soldiers in New Jersey.
Throughout the spring, there were frequent small engagements with the British and the Hessians. Intermittent raids by Washington's soldiers inflicted steady losses on the battalion of Seventy-first Highlanders, stationed at Bonham Town between Perth Amboy and New Brunswick. Michael and George Luther were encamped at Lord Sterling's Castle (Princeton), while the British under General Cornwallis were encamped at New Brunswick. Michael and George were involved in a small skirmish at Piscataway, about 16 miles from Sterling's castle, on the 1st of March, 1777. This was not the Battle of Piscataway, which took place in early May, after Michael and George were discharged.
Michael and George Luther completed their three-month enlistment and were discharged on or about the 1st of April, 1777. They returned with Colonel Baker Johnson to Frederick, Maryland.
Michael was recalled to service in August, 1777 under the command, once more of, Colonel Baker Johnston and , now, Captain Hillary. Congress had feared an immediate invasion of Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland by the British and had dispatched General Smallwood and Colonel Gist to Maryland to organize the militia. Governor Johnson, in response, issued the following proclamation:
"This State being now actually invaded by a formidable land and sea force, and the enemy, in all probability, designing to land somewhere near the head of this bay, I have, in order to collect a body of militia to be ready to act with the continental army, which may soon be expected to meet the enemy, thought proper to issue this, my proclamation, hereby requiring and commanding the county lieutenants, to the field and other proper officers of the militia of the Western Shore of this State, immediately to march at least two full companies of each battalion of the militia to the neighborhood of the Susquehanna River in Cecil and Harford Counties, where they shall receive orders. To defend our liberties requires our exertions; our wives, our children, and our country, implore our assistance: motives amply sufficient to arm every one who can be called a man."
The Frederick County militia, with Michael and George, crossed the Susquehanna at Johnston's ferry where they met with General Smallwood and were placed under his command. From there they marched to the Oxford meeting-house in Pennsylvania (now Oxford) where they drew muskets and ammunition. They next marched to Downington on the Brandywine and then marched all night to Peoli (now Paoli) to meet General Wayne.
The Battle of Brandywine took place on the 11th of September, 1777. Both Michael and George were in the vicinity, moving with General Smallwood and Colonel Gist and the Maryland militia from Frederick County into this area of Pennsylvania. Of all the Maryland regiments involved in the Battle of Brandywine, only two were able to form. In the midst of the confusion at Chadd's Ford, the Maryland forces were routed. General Sullivan, for his bad generalship, was for a while relieved of his command. Smallwood and Gist, of course, were absent from their units, being in Maryland raising the militia.
Washington quietly retreated through Derby on the 12th, across the Schuykill to Germantown, within a short distance of Philadelphia. On the 14th, Washington re-crossed the Schuykill and advanced along the Lancaster Roads with the intention of once more engaging the enemy. The two armies met each other on September 16th, near Warren Tavern, 23 miles from Philadelphia. Wayne had a slight engagement with Donop and the Hessians before a violent thunderstorm drenched the cartridges of the American troops, forcing them to retire.
Congress, taking alarm at General Howe's approach to Philadelphia, adjourned to Lancaster on September 18th, where they assembled on September 27th. After a session of three days, Congress again adjourned to York, where they met on the first of October, 1777.
On September 20th, General Wayne was then ordered to meet with Maryland militia of General Smallwood and Colonel Gist. Smallwood was moving in from Dowingtown with 1100 Western Shore militia, including Michael and George Luther. These troops were given the assignment of cutting off Howe's baggage and hospital train.
General Wayne, however, while concealed at Trydraffin awaiting Smallwood, was surprised by General Grey in the night. About midnight, the enemy rushed Wayne's camp with bayonets, taking his men by surprise.
General Smallwood's Maryland militia was within a mile of Wayne at the time of the attack. But the Maryland militia, having no bayonets, fled when approached.
Michael and George were part of the general joining of Wayne's and Smallwood's forces the next morning at the Red Lion Tavern (outside Valley Forge). These troops then marched to Pottsgrove (now Pottstown) to cross the Schuykill River and eventually joined General Washington at Perkiomy Creek (now Perkiomen Creek, see Perkiomenville).
This surprise of Wayne and Smallwood at Paoli opened the way for the enemy to take Philadelphia and on September 25th, Cornwallis, with his grenadiers, took possession of the city.
Washington attacked the enemy at Germantown (now part of Philadelphia, see U.S. Highway 422 at Chelten Ave.) The American forces, including Michael and George, left Matuchen Hills on the Skippack at 9pm on October 3, 1777 for a night march of 14 miles to Germantown. The right wing of the American army, under General Sullivan, was composed of is own division, including the seven Maryland battalions; Hazen's regiment; Wayne's divison; Conway's brigade; followed by Washington with the brigades of Nash and Maxwell; with Lord Sterling's forces as reserves.
General Smallwood's Maryland militia were ordered to gain the old York Road by a circuitous route, and reaching the enemy's encampment by a route leading to the Germantown market-house, were to attack the right wing in front and rear.
Accounts of the Battle of Germantown note "...the whole line now advanced in gallant style and with such resolution, that the British light-infantry broke and retreated."
George Luther did not take part in this battle, having been detailed to guard the baggage at the battle, on October 4th, 1777. But apparently, Michael Luther did take part in the combat.
But, while it seemed that the Battle of Germantown was substantially won at this point, the Americans, despite efforts of their officers, turned away from victory. The cause of this was the exhaustion of ammunition (forty rounds issued to each man), lack of efficient organization, and confusion from dense smoke caused by the British firing the brush undergrowth. A general retreat ensued.
Smallwood's division of Maryland militia, as well as Forman's New Jersey militia did not meet up with General Greene's division as planned. Just as the militia arrived on the right flank of the British forces, a general panic seized the other American troops, causing them to retreat.
The Americans, including Michael and George, retreated to Perkiomy Creek; a distance of twenty miles. To give his army a rest, Washington remained here for a few days. Reinforcements arrived and Washington, so encouraged, drew nearer to Philadelphia via Sheppark Creek (see Shippack, Penn. at Evansburg State Park, northeast of Norristown); arriving at White Marsh (see Whitemarsh and Fort Washington State Park at intersection of I-276 and Highway 73 [Skippack pike], north of Philadelphia and east of Norristown) where he took a strong position within 14 miles of Philadelphia.
While at the fortification of White Marsh, several efforts were made to decoy Washington from his strong position. Washington sent out skirmishers to watch the enemy movements, at which time the Maryland militia provided good service. In a skirmish at Edge Hill, on the 7th of December, Colonel Gist of the Maryland militia had 16 or 17 wounded.
Before leaving White Marsh, General Washington discharged the remains of the Frederick County militia and they were marched by Colonel Johnston to Fredericktown where they were discharged by him on the 25th of December, 1777.
After a number of unsuccessful efforts on the part of the enemy to force Washington from his strong position at White Marsh, the American army - largely barefoot and without blankets - went into winter quarters at Valley Forge. General Sullivan was relieved of his command, composed of the two Maryland brigades, on December 19th. General Smallwood was placed in command of this division and given orders to proceed to Wilmington, Delaware to establish there a defense. There were no Maryland forces encamped at Valley Forge over the winter.
Washington writes, "We had in camp, on the 23rd inst., by a full return then taken, not less than 2890 men unfit for duty, by reason of their being barefooted and otherwise naked. Besides this number, there are many others detained in hospitals and crowded in farmer's houses for the same causes."
Jacob Luther was also apparently involved at the Battles of Brandywine and Germantown, under the command of Captain Hillary. In December, 1778, Jacob entered the service as a volunteer wagoner for the Maryland militia. He was under the command of Colonel Baker Johnson, and Captain William Dewold. Jacob Luther drove his wagon to Philadelphia and then to Trenton. He served until March, 1779. Around the first of December, 1779, Jacob Luther was pressed into the militia in Germantown and served for three to four weeks as a wagoner. Jacob was also pressed into service as a wagoner in the summer of 1780 at Nowland's Ferry on the Potomac. He carried baggage to Wright's Ferry near York, Pennsylvania and was discharged there in August 1780. Jacob Luther later involved in two other wagon movements to Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Georgetown, Maryland. His team of horses included his own and his father's, as well as two "pressed" horses.
In June 1781, Michael and George were again drafted into the service, under Captain Burged, traveling to Georgetown and Nolan's Ferry on the Potomac where they served by guarding the 2000 British, 600 Hessian and 500 Tory prisoners of Lord Cornwallis's army enroute to Fredricktown, Maryland until February 1782; then to Pennsylvania, including York. Between York and the Susquehanna ( see Wrightsville), they met the regular troops from New York who came to take charge of the prisoners; they returned to Frederickstown; did service guarding against Tory uprisings until April 1782; and were again discharged.
The families of both Michael and George Luther were awarded pensions for their service in the Revolutionary War. Jacob Luther apparently had his pension application denied.
State of North Carolina Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions
Randolph County November Term AD 1832
On this 5th day of November AD 1832 personally appeared before the Justice of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions now sitting George Luther a resident of Randolph County North Carolina aged Seventy eight years March 1st past, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7 1832--That he entered the service of the United States under the following named Officers and served as herein stated: --viz--
He states that he was born in Strasburg on the Rhine, Germany, March 1st 1754, and imigrated to the United States about the year 1759, and his parents settled near Alexandria, D.C. where they remained about six years and removed to Frederick County, Maryland, where he resided untill the time he was called into service: that in December 1776 the regiment of militia of Frederick City Md in which he was enrolled was called into service under the command of Colonel Baker Johnston; and Captain Duvall, commanded the company to which he belonged, was marched through York County, Pa. crossing the Susquhania on the ice at Anderson's Ferry and then Lancaster, to Philadelphia; and drew arms and ammunition, thence to Trenton New Jersey, thence to Lord Sterling's Castle where they arrived about the first of February 1777. He states that they were under the command of Brigadier General Thos Johnston from the time they were called into service untill they arrived at Lord Sterling's Castle, where he was appointed Governor of Maryland, and then first after the Revolution and they were then under the command of Major Genl Sterling. He states that while thus stationed at Sterling's Castle, the British under Lord Cornwallis were stationed, and held their headquarters at Brunswick that on the 1st day of March '77 he was in a fight between about four hundred men and some of the Jersey militia on the American side and about twice the number of British: it was brought on between the picket guards--in which the American side was beaten. The skirmish took place at Piscataway town about 16 miles from Lord Sterling's. This was the only battle in which he was engaged. About the first of April '77 he was discharged, but received no written discharge.
He states that in August 1777 The Maryland militia was classed into eight classes and he thinks he belonged to class No. 1 In the same month the two first classes were called into service: he was marched under Capt. Hilary and Col. Baker Johnston, crossing the Susquehanna at Johnston's Ferry where they met with Gen. Smallwood and placed under his command, thence to Oxford meeting, where they drew ammunition--thence to Downington on the Brandywine, when they marched in the night to Peola to meet Genl. Wayne, but before they reached that place they learned that he had been attacked and defeated by Genl. Gray; they found him the next morning at the Red Lion; thence to the Schylkill crossing it at Potsgrove and found Genl. Washington's army at Perkiomy Creek sometime in September he remained with Genl. Washington untill the Battle of Germantown Oct. 4th 1777 in which he was not, having previously detached on picket guard untill the army moved for battle and he was then ordered to guard the baggage at that battle the Americans were defeated and he under Washington retreated to Perkiomy, where they remained several days, thence to Skippark Creek, thence to the White-Marsh where he was discharged by Genl. Washington and arrived at Fredericktown under Col. Johnston, where he was finally discharged, a little before Christmas 1777. He received no written discharge.
He further states that he was drafted in Frederick County Md. in December 1781, and served under Captain Hilary three months. His service consisted in being one of the guard that conducted the prisoners of Cornwallis' army consisting of 2000 British 600 Hessians and 500 tories, from Nolan's ferry to Fredericktown Maryland and in guarding them; he was discharged at Fredericktown, but received no written discharge. He states that at divers times he was called into service to guard and oppose the Tories, but does not know how long he served in this way, nor precisely at what times. He declares that the whole of his service amounts to more than twelvemonths. He states that he knows of no one by whom he can prove service, except his brother Michael who served with him the greatest part of his service. He expects to be able to prove his reputation and standing in the estimation of all good men by Micajah Hill a clergyman. He resided in Frederick City Md. until the year 1793 when he removed to this County where he has resided ever since. He knew and recollects Col. Cumby, who commanded the 4th regiment of regular troops in the Maryland line--also Col. Stricker a German who commanded the German Regiment and was promoted to that office early in the war--He has no written evidence of his service--he also recollects Col. Charles Bettes in 1777 and Col. Wm Bettes and Col. Joseph Wood who was not in service with him. He hereby relinquishes any claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of this -?- or any state.
State of North Carolina Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions
County of Randolph November Term 1832
On this 5th day of November A.D. 1832 personally appeared in open court before the Justices of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions now sitting Michael Luther, a resident of the County of Randolph and State of North Carolina, aged eighty two years, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth upon his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7, 1832. That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated--viz:
That he was born in Strasburg - Germany March 7th 1751, and emigrated to this Country about the year 1759; his parents settled near Alexandria D.C.--and afterwards in Frederick County where he resided at the time he entered the service, in December, 1776. He states that the first two tours of his service were with his brother George--that all the circumstances of his service in said tours are detailed as far as he recollects them in his brother George Luther's declaration, to which he refers--that they served in the same companies under the same officers, and were discharged at the same times, down to Dec 1777, and that he received no written discharge.
He states that in June 1781 he was drafted, in Frederick City Md. and went into service under Captn. Burged and was marched to Georgetown D.C. thence to Fredericktown Md. where the tories had risen--He states that he had permission during the service occasionally to go home, which he did for short intervals--: that in the month of October he was marched to Nolan's Ferry, on the Potomac, whence he assisted in Guarding the prisoners of Lord Cornwallis's army to Fredericktown Md. where they remained until February 1782--thence he assisted in Guarding them to Pennsylvania, and between Yorktown, in York County and the Susquehanna, they met the regular troops from New York who came on to take charge of said prisoners; whereupon he with the rest of the militia was sent back to Maryland, and he was engaged in the tory service untill some time in April and he was discharged, in Fredericktown; but received no written discharge. He declares that his service amounted altogether to twenty months. He knows of no person by whom he can prove his service, except his brother George with whom he served as before stated--he has no documentary evidence of his service, and never had any--He recollects the officers mentioned in his brother's declaration and the regiments they commanded. He is well known in his neighborhood, in which he has resided since January 1790, that previous to that time after the war he resided in Frederick City Md. He expects to prove his reputation for service, and his character for veracity by the Rev. Micajah Hill, Benjamin Brookshire and Reuben Lamb--
He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except for the present, and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of any agency of any state.
Sworn to and subscribed his
the day and year aforesaid Michael X Luther
We, Micajah Hill, a Clergyman residing in the County of Randolph and State of North Carolina, and Benjm Brookshire and Reuben Lamb residing in the same County and State hereby certify that we are well acquainted with Michael Luther who has subscribed and sworn to the above declaration; that we believe him to be eighty two years of age; that he is respected and believed in the neighborhood where he resides to have been a soldier of the revolution, and that we concur with that opinion.
Sworn and subscribed Micajah Hill
the day and year aforesaid B Brookshire
And the said Court do hereby declare this opinion after the investigation of the matter, and after putting the interrogations prescribed by the War Department that the above named applicant was a revolutionary soldier, and served as he states. And the Court further certifies that it appears to them that Micajah Hill who has signed the preceding certificate is a clergiman, resident in the County of Randolph, North Carolina, and that Benjamin Brookshire and Reuben Lamb who have also signed the same are residents of the same County and State, and are credible persons, and that their statement is entitled to credit
I, Hugh M Cain, Clerk of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions aforesaid, do hereby certify that the foregoing contains the original proceedings of said Court in the matter of the application of Michael Luther for a pension.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand
and seal of office this Tenth day of November
Hugh M Cain CCC
Personally appeared before me the undersigned, a Justice of the Peace, in and for the County of Randolph, and State of North Carolina, Michael Luther, who being duly sworn, deposeth and saith, that he has a record of his age taken from the Church or Parish Register of his native Parish in Germany, that on or about December 15, 1776, he was called into service with the militia of Frederick County, Maryland, under Capt. Duvall, and Col. Baker Johnston, and was marched through York County, Pa--Lancaster, Philadelphia, where he drew arms and ammunition, Trenton, New Jersey, to Lord Stirling's Castle where they arrived the last of Feb. or the 1st of January in A.D. 1777--He states that they were under the command of Brigadier Genl. Thomas Johnston from the time they were called into service untill they arrived at Lord Sterling's Castle: they were then placed under the command of Maj. Genl. Sterling. While stationed at the Castle, the British under Lord Cornwallis were stationed at or near Brunswick, and on the 1st March 1777 there was a skirmish between the American and British Picket guards which brought on a smart engagement on both sides in which the Americans were beaten: this occured at Piscataway, 16 miles from the Castle. He was discharged on or about the 1st of April 1777--having served three months and 15 days: received no written discharge--//--He states that the Maryland militia were classed, into eight classes, and that he belonged to Class No. 1 to the best of his recollection; and in August, as early as the 15th of the month, the first two classes, No. 1 and No. 2. were called into service under Capt. Hilary and Col. Baker Johnston, crossing the Susquehanna at Johnston's ferry where they met with General Smallwood, and were placed under his command,--thence to Oxford meeting-house to Pensylvania, where they drew ammunition and some muskets, thence to Downington on the Brandywine, whence they marched in the night to Peoli to meet Genl. Wayne, but before they reached that place they learned that he had been defeated by Genl. Gray: they joined him next morning at the Red-Lion tavern, thence to the Schylkill crossing it at Potsgrove, and joined Genl. Washington's army untill the Battle of Germantown Oct. 4, 1777, in which the American army was defeated, and retreated to Perkiomy Creek, where they remained a few days, thence to Skeppark Creek,--thence to White Marsh, where the remains of the Frederick County militia were discharged from Washington's army and were marched by Col. Johnston to Fredericktown Md. and finally discharged by him to the best of his recollection on or about the 25 of December 1777, having served four months. He received no written discharge. His other services are specified, as well as he can recollect them in the Declaration above--He states that he has no documentary evidence of his service, and knows o no one by whom he can prove it or any part of it, except his brother George Luther whose certificate accompanies this amendment of his declaration: He states that by reason of old age, the consequent loss of memory, and the lapse of time since the events of service, he cannot swear positively as to the precise length of his service, but according to the best of his recollection he served not less than the period mentioned below and in the following grade: For twenty months, I served as a private, in the American Revolutionary armies and for such service I claim a pension.
Sworn to and subscribed Mil Lut Snr
before me March 11, 1833
B. Elliott, J. P.
I, George Luther, residing in Randolph County, do hereby certify that Michael Luther who has subscribed and sworn to the above Declaration and amendment served as he states, to wit: from Dec 15, 1776, to April 1, 1777, and that he was regularly discharged, also from August 15th 1777 or thereabouts to Dec 20 or 25th 1777 and was regularly discharged. That he was for many months in service, in the State of Maryland, against the tories and that he was one of the guard that guarded the prisoners of Cornwallis's army, at Nolan's Ferry, and to Pensylvania, as stated in his Declaration; and that he believes he (Michael) served at the least twenty months.
Sworn to and subscribed before
me at Asheboro March the 11, 1833
B. Elliott J.P.
I, Benjamin Elliott, Justice of the Peace as aforesaid do hereby certify that George Luther, who has subscribed and sworn to the above certificate is a credible man, and that his statement is entitled to belief.
March the 11, 1833
B. Elliott J.P.
I, Hugh M Cain, Clerk of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions for Randolph County, North Carolina, do hereby testify that the above are the official signatures of Benjamin Elliott Esquire, who was at time of making the same an acting Justice of the Peace in the County aforesaid, and that full faith and credit are given to his official acts.
In teastimony whereof I have
hereunto set my hand and seal of
office, this the 13th day of March
Hugh M Cain CCC