Monday, July 20, 2009

Captain Hill’s Company 1812

The Marietta Register (Semi-Weekly), June 14, 1887

Mr. Editor: If the readers of your paper have not been “surfeited,” with reminiscences of the past, you can publish the following, which is a copy of the muster-roll of Capt. Alexander Hill’s Company of Infantry, recruited in Washington County, in 1813. The Company, including officers and privates, numbered ninety-five men, probably not one of whom, who once marched through the streets of Marietta, with elastic step, to martial music, is now living.

Perhaps the history of the operations of the company would be as interesting, at least, to many of your readers, as much of the newspaper matter generally published; yet, we will not publish that now, but will offer a few words in relation to the 96th man of the company, who was an African of herculean fame, named Towne. This man went out with the company as a servant, and was at one time a slave, and what he earned had to be paid to his master. But, asks some one, was Ohio ever a slave-state? Yes; Ohio was once, in a certain sense, a slave-state. The law that existed, at the time Ohio was admitted into the Union, provided, that owners of slaves in the slave-states, could come into the state with them and hold them as such, for a limited time.

Towne belonged to a Virginian named Taylor, and this man was in the habit of coming over with him, and hiring him out wherever and whenever he could; and, just before the expiration of the time specified in the law, taking him back into Virginia. After the time had expired, he would come over again, and renew the same business. Towne came back to Marietta, after the war, staid here a short time and then moved to Athens County, where he died, probably between the years 1825 and 1836. He must have obtained his freedom, but, whether he bought it, or whether it was given to him by Taylor, I am not informed.

I never heard any complaints against Towne, of a nonfulfillment of the duties of his station. When we see a man, who is an employe, scrupulously try to serve his employer, he at once excites our admiration and esteem. His conduct might be emulated by a great many that don’t feel inclined to do that. When the company arrived at Fort Erie, the British commenced throwing shells, which caused the officers to order the men, when they saw danger from them, to lie down. But shells came so frequently that the men got tired of that kind of exercise and did not obey the order except when the danger seemed imminent. Not so with Towne, whose frequent prostrations and peculiar gesticulations, which it would be difficult for any one but a colored man to imitate, excited something like a smile in the men, who did not attempt, however, to interfere with his strict obedience to orders. We don’t know what Towne’s feelings, outside of an idea of personal safety, were; but, doubtless, he thought no one ought to find fault with him for obeying orders.

It will be noticed that the majority of the men on the roll have readily recognized English names, which shows that the war of 1812 was antedated by the advent, to this place, of many men of other nations.

The first name of the privates on the roll is Armstrong, which is also the name of the first enrolled volunteer of the first company raised in Marietta for the war of the rebellion, if I am not mistaken.

Hiram A. Hill
Marietta, June 8th, 1887.

A copy of the muster roll of Capt. Alexander Hill’s Company, 19th Regiment U. S. Infantry, War of 1812:

Captain Alexander Hill
1st Lieut. Charles L. Cass
2d Lieut. John Carrel
3d Lieut. Alexander Patterson
Ensign, Nathan Reeves
1st Serg't. John Elliot
2d Serg’t. Stephen Worthington
3d Serg’t. Allen Lowry
4th Serg’t. Elijah Adams
5th Serg’t. Ambrose A. Ford
1st Corp. Manna Root
2d Corp. John Franks
3d Corp. William Wallace
4th Corp. Daniel Moore
5th Corp. Cyrus Baily
6th Corp. John L. Gordon
Christian B. Smith, musician
William Spurgon, musician

James Armstrong
William Arnold
Abraham Badgly
Nicholas Bumgarner
James Brooks
John Barker
Adam Bair
John Bowman
Ebenezer Buckly
Jacob Brosins
Thomas Clark
Nathan Cross
Israell Cross
John Cox
Lewis Clapper
Shirly Callogg
Samuel Cooper
Henry Crown
Joseph Dean
Jehu Dealy
Noah Demster
William Elliott
John Fishback
Samuel Fisher
Ira L. Foster
Joseph Fisher
Matthias Gates
John Gates
Jesse Graham
Thomas Grey
James Garner
Joseph Heaton
John Hill
Elisha Hiett
James Hillyard
Samuel Higby
Samuel Hemming
John Johnson
David Johnston
W. M. Lockhart
William Lyons
John Lyons
John Loveland
Ephraim Lucas
Jacob Montieth
Samuel Morfoot
William Morgan
John McCombs
Nehemiah Morse
John McMullin
John Mowry
George Osborn
Benjamin Patrick
Hira Pettie
James Prichet
John Potts
Daniel Paine
John Ridingour
William Reynolds
Gabriel Root
John Swiler
Oliver Stockings
John D. Smith
John W. Smith
John Silvus
Christian Standsbury
Philip Swagert
Benjamin Snyder
William Snyder
William A. Strong
Jesse Spalding
Nicholas Seel
John Taylor
Daniel Trimble

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