Friday, February 26, 2016

Smallpox during the Revolutionary War #genealogy #northcarolinapioneers

North Carolina Pioneers

Lincoln County Wills and Estates


Jeannette Holland AustinDiscovering More Details Concerning the Service of Revolutionary War Soldiers
By Jeannette Holland Austin

George Dameron served two years in the war from 1777 to 1779 when he was taken prisoner until the end of the war. He first enlisted under Captain John Dooly, commander of a horse in Pittsylvania County and was stationed at Ft. Dooly. From there he was at Herds Fort, and finally sent to the Georgia frontier under Lt. Cannon at a fort located on the Ogeechee River (Fort James) surrounded by Tories and Indians. Then, he was at Masons Fort on the Georgia frontier, then at Augusta under Captain Burrell Smith. To research the broad stroke which the pension of Dameron described his service, it is necessary to follow Captain Burrell Smith. This officer was killed on August 8, 1779 at Woffords Iron Works in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Dameron mentioned that his last service was in Savannah. Apparently, after Woffords Iron Works his regiment was sent to Savannah to participate in the siege during the fall of 1779 where he was captured.

Siege of Savannah

The siege of Savannah was the second deadliest battle of the Revolutionary War. It was the most serious military confrontation in Georgia between British and the Continental troops. During this confrontation, the Americans, with help from French forces, failed to liberate the city from its yearlong occupation by the British. The Continental army's failure to recapture Savannah was a signal victory for the British in a distinctly international affair. Therefore, while reading the pensions of Revolutionary War Soldiers, the genealogist has to research the surrounding history to ascertain all of the facts.

Smallpox during the Revolutionary War
By Jeannette Holland Austin

John Starrett served in the North Carolina State Militia under General Greene and was disabled by the loss of an eye " in consequence of the smallpox." During 1805 he appointed John Moon of Lincoln County to collect his pension because he was unable to go to superior court nor any other place. He could nor ride nor walk. The injury occurred sometime during February of 1781 he was drafted to serve 3 months as a militia soldier under General Greene to go against Lord Cornwallis. Upon being exposed to the cold, he was taken with smallpox and lost one of his eyes and has from that date suffered and been unable to do labor. George Cox and Captain Samuel Caldwell were both in service with Starrett when he took the smallpox between Guilford and Hi11sborough, North Carolina. Source: Treasurer's and Comptroller's Records, Veterans Pensions, N. C. Archives

The Revolutionary War along the eastern seaboard was plagued with instances of smallpox, 1776 to 1782. However, was already raging in Boston during 1775. During the siege of boston by General George Washington the disease broke out among both Continental and British camps. Many escaped slaves who fled from the British lines in the South likewise contracted smallpox and died.

Map of Lincoln County North Carolina

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