searching for information on John McMullan's service in the American
Revolution, I found bits and pieces but nothing that was supported
with documentation. Thus I sought to find the information, to
know for myself and for others in the future just when and where
John did serve his new country.
locating the 6th Virginia Regiment records of one John McMullen,
there are over 50 cards available - company muster rolls and company
pay rolls - that track his military service from the time he entered
the American Revolution. The name McMullen is written McMullen,
McMullen and McMullin. There are other McMullins, McMillons and
McMullons who served, but they do not connect to the line of John
McMullen of Orange Co., Virginia.
10th Virginia Regiment of Foot was one of the six new regiments
ordered raised by the General Assembly in October 1776 to meet
Virginia's quota of fifteen regiments set by Congress on 16 Sept
1776. Edward Stevens, formerly Lieutenant Colonel of the Culpeper
Minute Battalion, was commissioned on 12 Nov 1776, to raise this
regiment. Unlike the nine regiments already in Continental service,
which had been raised by districts, the 10th Regiment was raised
at large in the counties of Augusta, Amherst, Fairfax, Culpeper,
Orange, Spotsylvania, Fauquier, Cumberland, Caroline, Stafford,
and King George.1
is unclear where John was living when he enlisted in the service
to his country, but it is known from his first Pay Roll card that
his "commencement of pay" began on 20 Dec 1776. Thus
this appears to be his enrollment date. He had to have been in
either Orange County or in Augusta County, Virginia, since Rockingham
County, Virginia was not created at this time.
McMullen began his service on or about 20 Dec 1776. He was in
the 8th Company of the 10th Virginia Regiment of Foot whose captain
was John or Jonathan Smye. It is probable that this is the stepbrother
or step-nephew of Patrick Henry, as Patrick Henry's mother was
married to John Smye before marrying Col. John Henry.
to author E.M. Sanchez-Saavedra, this company was raised on 3
Dec 1776 in Augusta, so this makes the writer believe John could
have been living in Augusta at this time even though he could
have been in Orange County and very close to Augusta County. Each
of the ten companies of the 10th Regiment was raised in a different
county of Virginia but all in the same geographical area.
the earliest muster roll available, John was listed in Capt. John
Syme's Company of Foot of the 10th Virginia Regiment. These muster
cards begin in May of 1777 but pay cards may have indicated earlier
involvement. From May-June there is no indication of where this
company was located. According to Sanchez-Saavedra, they were
"on the road" and this could account for no rolls recorded.
Sanchez-Saavedra states that the regiment marched north in the
spring of 1777. By April two companies were reported on the road--four
at Baltimore and four at Newcastle, Delaware. After reaching the
main army in June the regiment was placed in General George Weedon's
the June-July card, we find the first "term of enlistment"
given was listed as "for the War". Also on the July-August
muster roll, it lists John in the hospital. For the month of August
he does not show up as ill but is back in the hospital from September
until December of 1777. On 31 Dec 1777, Capt. Nathan Lammé
was commissioned to serve when John Syme resigned.
February 1778 pay roll shows John McMullin in the company of Lieut.
Lammé of the 10th Virginia Regiment, commanded by Major
Samuel Hawes. A footnote on the pay card and muster card states
that this company was designated at various times as Capt. David
Laird's and Lieut. Nathan Lammé's Company. John was also
back in the hospital.
the first time, in March of 1778, we find a location given on
the muster card. It states that Lt. Nathan Lammé's Co.
was at Valley Forge [Pennsylvania]. John also is listed on two
more muster cards as being at Valley Forge but is out of the hospital
at this time.3 Thus our John McMullan, soldier of the
American Revolution, was a soldier with George Washington at Valley
Forge during that terrible winter, although he is listed as in
the hospital one month. The hospital at that time most likely
was a tent and thus he would have suffered as greatly as any soldier
in Pennsylvania during that terrible winter.
is a card dated 8 April 1778, that is simply named "Roll."
It is for the 10th Virginia and John McMullen is listed as a private
in Lieut. Thomas Barbee's "compy." This is unusual since
the other cards, the muster cards, have him in Lammé's
company. There is a printed note on the card which reads:
B. The men were Inlisted in Dec' 76 and Jan' and they were mostly
for three years the Remainder for to Serve During the war which
are about four of them.
May-June muster card gives his terms of enlistment as 3 years.
This is the first time his enlistment has appeared this way. In
June Lammé's company was in Brunswick, New Jersey, and
the word "com'd" is listed in Remarks. In July the company
was in White Plains, New York, and again the 3-year enlistment
is given and under remarks, "On comd. Mower". I have
no idea what this means.
finds the company still in White Plains, New York, but now under
Lieut. Thomas Barbee and the command of Col. William Russell.
In September they are at Camp Robertson which may be in White
Plains but it is not stated that way.
14 Sept 1778, the 10th Virginia Regiment was re-organized with
the rest of the Virginia Continental units at White Plains, New
York. It was renumbered the 6th Virginia Regiment, and the 14th
Virginia Regiment was renumbered the 10th .4 And so
October through December of 1778 finds John in Lieut. Col. Samuel
Hawes' company of Foot belonging to the 6th Continental Virginia
Regiment commanded by Col. William Russell. This is the first
time we see John moved from the 10th to the 6th Regiment of Virginia
and Sanchez-Saavedra has explained why.
company under Lieut. Samuel Hawes (now under the command of Col.
John Green), remained at Camp Middlebrook, New Jersey, until May
of 1779. In May they were located in Smith Clove and John is listed
as "on duty." It was not until July that we see another
place, Camp Ramepan [but it could be Ramapo as there are mountains
by this name nearby] and they are listed in Smith Clove in August
and Camp Ramepan in September. It is very probable that is the
same place, one card listing the place and another the camp's
name. In July it is stated he was "on comd' and in August
"on duty". Possibly these mean the same thing.5
1779 we find the company in Haverstraw, New York6 and
in November in Camp ??, also listed as Morristown (New Jersey)7.
These cards all state his enlistment is for "the war."
The last muster roll we find is the one dated Nov 1779 - 9 Dec
1779. No more are listed. No more pay rolls or muster rolls are
on the microfilm.
seems likely to this writer that John had served his three years,
which was his commitment when he signed up in December 1776, and
he went home. Discharge papers were not given at this time and
with no muster rolls or pay cards beyond December 1779, it is
unlikely he was still in service. If conditions at Morristown
were worse than Valley Forge where John had spent a number of
months, this may have hastened his decision to return home when
his three years were up.
to Sanchez-Saavedra, the 10th regiment served at Brandywine and
through the remainder of the campaigns in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.8
reading the description of the Regiments from Sanchez-Saavedra,
it is easy to make an error. The 10th was renamed the 6th but
then the 14th became the 10th. At this point when following the
regiment John would have served in, you must follow the 6th and
I do not find anything in the Sanchez-Saavedra book that tells
of the location of the 6th after 1779.
references are to the 10th [the old 14th] and the officers are
all different from the ones who were in the "old" 10th,
now the 6th. Sanchez-Saavedra only states that the new 10th Virginia
Regiment was part of Muhlenburg's Brigade in 1778-1779 and part
of Scott's Brigade in 1779. In May 1779 the regiment was combined
with the 1st Virginia Regiment.
have seen written that John served until the end of the American
Revolution, but there is nothing to support this. Perhaps the
person who wrote this overlooked the renumbering of these regiments.
But it appears to this writer that in December of 1779, John McMullan
ended his service and went home.
the entire duration of the war, John remained a private. And he
was either in the hospital or on duty each and every month at
the muster roll. There are no furloughs ever listed. He fulfilled
his duty to his country, helping fight for independence and enduring
many hardships in doing so.
resolution, Sept. 16, 1776, Governor's Office, Letters Received,
Executive Department, Archives Division, VSL (This item was calendared
as "Resolutions. Re: revolutionary army" in Claudia
B. Grundman, comp., Calendar of Continental Congress Papers [Richmond,
1973], 1). See also Dixon and Hunter's Va. Gaz (Williamsburg)
Feb. 28, 1777
2"A General Return of the 10th Continental Virginia
Regiment, Commanded by Colo. Edward Stevens, April the 10"
1777," folder 13, William H. Cabell Papers, Executive Papers,
Executive Department, Archives Division, VSL.
3Illness, not musket balls, was the great killer. Dysentery
and typhus were rampant Many makeshift hospitals were set up in
the region. The Army's medical department used at least 50 barns,
dwellings, churches or meetinghouses throughout a wide area of
Eastern Pennsylvania as temporary hospitals. These places were
mostly understaffed, fetid breeding grounds of disease. All were
chronically short of medical supplies.
4A Guide to Virginia Military Organizations in the
American Revolution, 1774-1787. Compiled by E. M. Sanzhez-Saavedra.
Virginia State Library 1978.
5Smith's Clove is a narrow valley south of West Point
and about due west of Fort Montgomery. Since the main north south
road leading to the West Point area from north Jersey ran through
the Clove, the region was almost constantly occupied by Continentals
and/or New York militia from late 1776 on. Smith's Clove runs
from Suffern to Monroe NY. Thatcher's Diary refers to it as "Smith's
Clove is a fine level plain of rich land, situated at the foot
of the high mountains on the west side of Hudson River. It is
about fourteen miles in the rear of the garrison at West Point,
and surrounded on all sides by the highlands."
As mentioned, "clove" is based in the Dutch term for
"pass," other related English words found in the verb
"cleave" and, of course, "cleavage." GW's
headquarters noted in the dateline was Galloway's Tavern, a frequently
used ordinary. Galloway's was used throughout nearly the entire
summer of 1779 as Lord Stirling's HQ, his division remaining in
the Clove after the departure of the PA division from its camp
north of Smith's Tavern. and of the MD division from just south
The dating of the orders as July 22 reflects that period during
which GW was particularly devoid of intelligence as to the destination
of Howe's transport fleet, the army's pausing in the Clove being
his best compromise between anticipated moves to New England or
Philadelphia. As reports of the fleet moving southward began to
arrive, the C-I-C responded by moving the troops to the Neshaminy
camp, again halting at a position short of fully committing to
a move to Philly.
I received this information from Scott Smith, Am Revolutionary
War researcher from information he received from other AM War
Head Quarters, Slott's, 71 Sunday. June 6, 1779.
[Note 71: Stephen Slows (Slot). He was a captain in the Orange
County militia. His place was about 6 miles south of Galloway's
on the fork of the Clove road, which led to Suffem's.] Parole
Philadelphia Countersigns Peeks Kill, Poland.
The Pennsylvania division is to take post at June's or in the
Vicinity according to the situation of ground &c. and send
a light party of three or four hundred men into the passage of
the mountain, at the cross roads,72 where Colo. Malcom is, there
to remain 'till further orders.
72: The Haverstraw road entered the Clove from the east and joined
the Clove road at June's.]
The Virginia division to move to Smith's tavern.73 Baron DeKalb's
Division (except the two companies of Light Infantry ordered there
from, which are to remain at Suffren's) to move on by way of Slott's
and Galloway's and join the other troops. The whole to move at
the rising of the moon.
[Note 73: Smith's Tavern, in Smith's Clove, named from the "Horseblock"
Smiths, notorious Tories, of whom Austin Smith, Claudius Smith,
and Richard, son of Claudius, were the principal ones at this
period.] Scott Smith also supplied this from a fellow American
Revolutionary War researcher. email@example.com
Another researcher shared with Scott who shared with the author:
I'm just making guesses that it could be Haverstraw NY and could
Ramepan be Ramapo?
The reason I ask all of these are in an area on the New York/New
Jersey border (Rockland and Bergen Counties ... and a little north),
where there was a LOT of Continental Army activity. This area
is part of the Ramapo Mountains and Haverstraw NY is not too far
Morristown, New Jersey, in the winter of 1779-80 the army suffered
worse hardships than at Valley Forge. Congress could do little
but attempt to shift its responsibilities onto the states, giving
each the task of providing clothing for its own troops and furnishing
certain quotas of specific supplies for the entire Army. The system
of "specific supplies" worked not at all. Not only were
the states laggard in furnishing supplies, but when they did it
was seldom at the time or place they were needed. This breakdown
in the supply system was more than even General Greene, as Quartermaster
General, could cope with, and in early 1780, under heavy criticism
in Congress, he resigned his position. US Army Center of Military
8A Guide to Virginia Militarv Organizations in the
American Revolution. 1774-1787. Compiled by E. M. SanzhezSaavedra.
Virginia State Library 1978
John McMullan's Company Pay Roll, Company Muster Roll and other
military records, copied from microfilm records at Wallace State
College Library, Hanceville, AL. This microfilm is from the compiled
military records of the Soldiers of the American Revolution.
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