Lives Intertwined, Roots Buried Deep
In the course of my genealogic research into my ancestors and their siblings, in-laws and, sometimes, their foes, the lives that have been revealed to me have often been eerily intertwined in ways that one might never imagine.
For instance, I’ve discovered that ancestors of my great grand parents, Malinda Ellen Hopper Bullard and William Henry Bullard fought side-by-side to vanquish the English and their allies during the Revolutionary War almost 100 hundred years to the day before they married. Over-the-mountain man (**) from Burkes County, North Carolina, Captain Martin Davenport (Malinda’s great grandfather, maternal) and mounted rifleman Colonel Joseph Bullard (William Henry’s 2nd great grandfather, paternal) living in the Nolichucky settlement in eastern Tennessee joined the battle under two different leaders and from two different directions.
Gathering of the Mountain Men at Sycamore Shoals
Although they had cleared land, built cabins and brought up children in adjacent states the distance between their homesteads (that would be merely a partial day’s drive in modern times) was so significant it is unlikely they would have shared the same spot of land without such a dire threat to their freedom. Those two ancestors shared the victory of King’s Mountain. Marching to the battle from eastern Tennessee and from North Carolina, respectively, they accomplished the defeat of the despised young British Major Patrick Ferguson. Ferguson was young, boastful, brash, and talented. No dummy, he was the inventor of the Ferguson Rifle. (*) He was from Scotland but fought for the British Army. He was so antagonistic toward Patriots and, reportedly, harsh in his treatment of those he encountered that his name became a rallying cry that ultimately led to his defeat and death at the Battle of King’s Mountain.
Colonel Cleveland's War Prize Oct. 7, 1780
And the mention of Major Patrick Ferguson leads me to a further intertwining of lives and fortunes among my direct bloodline ancestors. Ferguson had adapted a rifle designed in 1720 and patented in December of 1776 as the Ferguson Rifle. “The largest battle in which the rifles were used was the Battle of Brandywine, in which Ferguson was wounded.” And research has disclosed that my 5th Great Grandfather, paternal line, Joshua Logan Younger, after surviving the deathly winter at Valley Forge, fought under General George Washington at the Battle of Brandywine. There he received a permanently disabling injury – possibly from one of those Ferguson rifles. Joshua Younger’s pension application of 6 Oct 1821 (Nicholas County, Kentucky) attests to that wound being the basis of his plea for recompense. (See attached my transcription of the original application.)
John Carter JofP
Kentucky, Nicholas County (to-wit)
James Fitchpartrick a credible person on oath declares on oath that he was in the same Company and Regiment with the above named Joshua Younger in the Revolutionary War and well knows that said Younger enlisted for during the war in the 12th Virginia Regiment as he has just stated in his affidavit and that he knows that sd. Younger was honorably discharged in the year 1780 of inability on account of a wound he rec’d in the Battle of Brandywine and that he knows this to be the same Joshua Younger ----