CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 2, Number 49
By Damon Veach
BAKER BOOK: The "Flying Camp" is a vaguely understood episode of the American Revolution. In May 1776, the Continental Congress authorized the formation of a force of 10,000 militia, conceived by General George Washington as a "mobile reserve" that would both defend the army’s garrisons in the Middle States and spread alarm amongst the British. Most, but not all, of the putative organization was to come from the states of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland.
In point of fact, the Flying Camp, as an idea and in actuality, barely survived the year. In the wake of the New York and New Jersey campaigns of 1776, it became abundantly clear that what Washington needed was a reliable and substantial Continental Army, not short-term, undersubscribed militia haphazardly organized under the chimera of a "Flying Camp." Despite its un-sustainability as a military concept, the officers and noncommissioned members of the various elements of the Flying Camp rendered important service to the Nation in the campaigns of Long Island, Trenton, and Princeton, among others.
The full story of Washington’s Flying Camp is told for the first time in Richard Lee Baker’s new book, Villainy and Maddness, Washington’s Flying Camp. Drawing on original sources, particularly the correspondence of the Continental Congress, state committees of safety, the George Washington papers, and more, Baker fills in the gaps in the history of the Flying Camp that have eluded historians until now. In his able hands, he traces the Flying Camp from its beginnings in Washington’s imagination, to the dispatches of the new Congress enjoining the Middle States to commit specified numbers of militiamen to this important cause, to the logistical difficulties in achieving the objectives in General Washington’s master plan, and to the actual service of Flying Camp militia in the campaigns of 1776.
The author devotes a separate chapter to Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, delineating each state’s response to the call for a Flying Camp contingent, difficulties in assembling the forces on a timely basis, and the unending problem of militiamen returning home to tend to their crops following their abbreviated terms of service. At the same time, however, Baker sheds light on the valuable service rendered by Flying Camp members on the battlefield as well as in their capacities as engineers, physicians, and artillerymen.
Genealogists will appreciate the many references to actual members of the Flying Camp throughout the narrative, including General Hugh Mercer, one of Washington’s best generals and a fatality at the Battle of Princeton. The work concludes with a list of Flying Camp commanders and officers, a comprehensive bibliography, and a full-name index.
The book can be purchased from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 260, Baltimore, MD 21211. The price, including postage and handling, for this soft-cover publication is $25.45. It is an excellent genealogical reference work and should be in all major library collections.
CHAPMAN GATHERING: The Chapman Family Association will hold its annual convention and reunion on June 10/11, 2011 at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, 122 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah. The program will consist of a variety of presentations, and there will be a photo contest, a silent auction, some sessions at the Family History Library, and a fantastic photo display. Sessions will include sharing information about Chapman Rogues, whether they are ancestors or not, and other historical and genealogical topics.
You do not have to be a CFA member to attend the convention, but registration is required. Registration can be made onsite. However, advance registration is highly recommended. Hotel reservations must be received by May 10, 2011 to get the special rates by mentioning the Chapman Family Association. The CFA group rate will be available three days before and three days after the convention for those wanting extra time for research, sightseeing, or just relaxing before returning home.
Further information is available by contacting one of the following: the CFA website at www.chapmanfamilies.org/ and going to “Annual Convention” and then “Salt Lake City, Utah,” or contact Liz Codding at LCodding@aol.com.
The next meeting of the DeSoto Parish Historical Society will be on Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 3 p.m. in the DeSoto Parish Library, Mansfield Branch, Mansfield, Louisiana. Membership dues for this fine organization are only $10 per year, and their quarterly publication “DeSoto Plume” is included.
The February issue again contains some excellent information, and as a former resident of this parish, I always appreciate the articles and genealogical data I glean from the material. The main article is about the beginning of the dairy industry in DeSoto Parish, and Henry Marshall is attributed to having the first dairy farm in the parish. The date of the first registered Jersey cow recorded is in 1886. This article was of special interest to me because not only did I grow up on a dairy farm, but it was located on the Marshall Road, about five miles north of Logansport. Genealogical research is always a quest to learn unanswered questions, and now I need to find out how this road came to be named. The farm is still owned by the Veach family, but the dairy is no longer operational.
The next article that was of special interest to me was a look at the International Boundary Marker, also located north of Logansport but on the State Line Road. This marker was placed by engineers on the current site in 1841. The Sabine River was the border between Louisiana and Texas, but the Sabine River veers off into Texas at Logansport, so the engineers had to shoot the line northward at this point, and this is the first marker separating the two areas between the United States and Spanish Mexico.
is only a short distance from the Veach property, and I have seen it many
times in my youth. In fact, the Foshee land grant borders the State Line
Road past the marker in the vicinity of the community of Logan, Texas.
Other members of my ancestry had land grants on the Texas side – the
Sinclair and Adams families. My cousin still lives on the old Foshee
property, and the original dogtrot home is still as it was except for the
enclosure of the middle portion of the house. Stepping into the home is
like it was when I was a child. Nothing has changed – the furniture, the
pictures, everything – even the old wash pot in the front garden where the
It is all recorded in the precious memories from my past.
FREE SERVICE: Correspondence to this column should be directed to Damon Veach, Cajuns, Creoles, Pirates and Planters, 709 Bungalow Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70802-5337. The e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Queries and book reviews are printed as space permits, and you are encouraged to take advantage of this free service. Claitor’s Publishing can serve as a distributor for self-published genealogy titles. Go to their homepage for details on how you can obtain this excellent service.
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