2 Replies Latest reply on Apr 24, 2017 10:38 AM by Jonathan Deiss

    I am looking for names of survivors from the 4 November 1791 Battle of Wabash (St. Clair's defeat). I am trying to determine if a possible ancestor who was killed in battle had his wife and 8 year old son with him in the follower's camp. The soldier's nam

    Marsha Wills

      I am looking for names of survivors from the 4 November 1791 Battle of Wabash (St. Clair's defeat). I am trying to determine if a possible ancestor who was killed in battle had his wife and 8 year old son with him in the follower's camp. The soldier's name was Private Thomas McCalvy/ McLevy/M'Calvy/McCalvey/McAlvey, who mustered out of Carlisle, PA with the Second Regiment Battalion, U.S. Levies in April 1791. How do I find out this soldier's age, marital status and next of kin?

        • Re: I am looking for names of survivors from the 4 November 1791 Battle of Wabash (St. Clair's defeat). I am trying to determine if a possible ancestor who was killed in battle had his wife and 8 year old son with him in the follower's camp. The soldier's
          Michael Chornesky

          Ms. Wills,

           

          Thank you for your question to History Hub.  Much of the information you seek would likely be found from two sources: the muster rolls to this particular regimental battalion (which you seem to have based on the specificity of your request) and the United States census, which will often contain much of the exact information you are looking for in ten year intervals, often geographically organized.

           

          All references to the particular units involved in this battle in NARA records relate to the War of 1812, and so likely will not be of particular help to your request (They are at this link- https://catalog.archives.gov/search?q=*:*&f.allAuthorityIds=10503850- if you're interested).  However, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania has ample records related to this battle from the Nicholas Biddle Personal Papers which may include reference to particular soldiers (see Papers of the War Department).  In addition, there is reference both to these units and to a Thomas McElvey from 1783 in these digital muster rolls from the Pennsylvania Archive (Full text of "[Muster rolls, etc., 1743-1787]" - do a "find" search for the name in question.

           

          However, with regard to your particular soldier and the family-related information you are looking for, the U.S. Census of 1790 (first ever done) is likely your best bet.  I would access this via Ancestry.com or FamilySearch.org and begin hunting.  Keep in mind that some of this information may be behind a paywall, but census requests are generally well served by those two resources.

           

          Best of luck with your search!

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          • Re: I am looking for names of survivors from the 4 November 1791 Battle of Wabash (St. Clair's defeat). I am trying to determine if a possible ancestor who was killed in battle had his wife and 8 year old son with him in the follower's camp. The soldier's
            Jonathan Deiss

            Thomas McClevy's Compiled Military Service Record can be found in NARA microfilm publication M905, roll 6.  It has also been digitized and available on Fold3.com.

             

            His unit was designated as Captain William Purdy's Company, and Captain Jacob Slough's Company, 2nd Regiment United States Levies, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel George Gibson (Levies of 1791-1792).

             

            He appears as a Private, and Present, on a roll dated 30 April 1791 for Captain Slough's Company, 2nd US Levies; noted as having enlisted 15 April 1791, and as received from Captain Purdy's Company.  He appears, as a Private, on a an undated Payroll, of Captain William Purdy's Company, in a battalion commanded by Major Thomas Butler; noted as traveling 675 miles (to desitination) from Carlisle, Pennsylvania; entered the service 15 April 1791, and left the service 4 November 1791, by reason of being killed.

             

            I examined the lists of names for which CMSRs were created, and there were no camp followers, no one except regularly enlisted soldiers.  It is accepted that a number of soldier's wives accompanied units, such as the Levies, as laundresses, but no effort was made at the time the CMSRs were being created to record their service.

             

            It is possible that you may find a record of them among the muster rolls and returns in NARA Record Group 94 (AGO), entry 54 (Muster Rolls Of Volunteer Organizations: War With Northwest Indians, 1790-1795).  The original records from which the CMSRs on M905 roll 6 were created are in this series, which is housed at the Wash, DC facility (A1).  It is also in the NARA Catalog : catalog.archives.gov (as NAI 654587).

             

            Camp followers, employees, nurses and laundresses were often issued rations, daily, and occasionally paid, monthly or bi-monthly.  They were seldom listed in any paperwork.

             

            Another possible series to examine would be NARA Record Group 94 (AGO), entry 19-A ("Post-Revolutionary War Papers," 1784-1815) (NAI 654838).  This series has some addition payroll and claims papers for that period, but it is not easy to search for individuals.  It is organized in an arcane fashion; while some files are chronological, others are filed by the name of a Paymaster or Clerk or agent, and seldom by soldier or unit.

             

            If you cannot examine the records in person, perhaps you can engage an Independent Researcher to assist you.

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