Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Smallpox during Revolutionary War #northcarolinapioneers #genealogy

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.

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