My Ancestor's Brief Stint in the Continental Army

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fxdrider

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John Schnaudel/Snowdeal (son of Johann Wilhelm Schnaudel and Catherine Barbara, immigrants from Germany) was born in 1754 in Broad Bay (now Waldoboro), Lincoln Co, ME, and was in the first generation of the family born on American soil.

John enlisted in the Continental Army on 8 June 1779 (age 25) as a private in Lynn, MA where he was residing at the time. During his time in the army, he changed his surname to Snowdeal, possibly because it was easier to pronounce and less German-sounding.

He was discharged on 8 January, 1780 due to badly frozen feet and legs after being stranded in a boat for 3 days and 3 nights on the Hudson River in NY, while taking supplies to troops at West Point. He was eventually allowed a pension from the army, as of June, 1836. He died on 11 March, 1838 in South Thomaston, ME at age 84.

John was my Grandmother’s great-great-grandfather, and he did his part to help with the struggle against the tyranny of the British and the founding of this nation. I am very proud to have someone like him in my ancestry.
 

Alden

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Interesting stuff -- thanks for sharing, and welcome.

You never know what's gonna get ya, and it can get cold in the Hudson Valley... Half-a-century to get a pension -- how sad. Did he ever get a land grant!?
 

fxdrider

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I grew up in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy area, so I know the Hudson Valley can be a BEAR in the winter. I don't know about any land grants though. I know my grandmother and mother were both born in the South Thomaston, ME area - where John spent most of his post-Revolution life, so I'm assuming strong family ties there...possibly a family farm. In fact, much of this info I have comes from family there who kept track of the history of the family. Very thankful for that knowledge.
 

satx78247

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Brief stints in the Army were anything BUT uncommon during the AWI due to disease, accidents and of "undetermined causes", as well as wounds received in combat. = As one example, 3LT John McGruder Bankhead of my mother's side of the family was known to have served from VA but mother, my cousin Patricia (who is FAR better at research than I will ever be) and I all looked for his record of service & found exactly NOTHING. = NOT even his name on any available unit rolls.

It turns out that the ONLY known/actual records of his AWI service are in the Alexandria Public Library & the records of his funeral at Christ Church there. = Less than a week after he entered service, he was thrown from a horse, suffered a broken pelvis & a multiple compound fracture of the left leg and died of what is described as "Bilious Fever" 20 days later.
He was buried on the following Sunday at Mt Vernon Estate in an area "in the hillside nearby the old family crypt", according to the Chief Librarian at Mt Vernon.

There were many other Patriots who died in the service of the Colonies, who had equally brief periods of honorable service.
(The shortest period of AWI service, that I know of, was the death of PVT Renrick F. Hicks of The Georgia Line, who died on the second day after his enlistment from being struck by lightening.)

We HONOR the faithful service (at the sacrifice of his life) of your ancestor, PVT John Snowdeal, & the honorable service of all of our veterans of all wars.

yours, satx
 

Grumpa

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You have every right to be proud of your ancestor, Pvt. John Snowdeal, and his service to the Country. At an extremely dangerous and important time in our history, he stepped forward and risked all for his beliefs and his Country.

We are all of us the better for his effort and example. Thank you, for sharing. :hatsoff:
 

Spence10

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fxdrider said:
I am very proud to have someone like him in my ancestry.
A direct ancestor of mine, Lieutenant James McGuire, moved with his wife and child to the Fort at Boonesborough shortly after that first settlement began. He then moved to McGee's Station about two miles away and was still living there when he was killed at the battle of Blue Licks, August, 1782. The names of James, his wife and son are on the monument commemorating the early settlers at Boonesborough, and James is listed on the monument to the fallen at Blue Licks battlefield. I've stood on that battlefield, by the mass grave of the fallen, seen the bend in the river where it occurred. Whenever I do that, or visit Fort Boonesborough and see their names on the monument, I feel a sense of connection to those times in a way nothing else can elicit. It's a special feeling, hard to describe, but when I'm feeling it, I know that this is what my interest in the old days, the people and their ways is all about. I feel something similar when I visit other historic places and think about what happened there, but it's different and more special when it's your family who were involved. Can't really put it into words, but few things in life give me more pleasure.

In a weird way, all of my re-enacting/living history activities, my study of the old times, even my hunting in the old ways are a homage to Lt. James and those of his time. Strangely, it's a strong incentive to get it right, as though they deserve more than a wink and a tip of the hat.

Spence
 

okawbow

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My GG Grandfather, Samuel Davis, was a 16 year old farm boy in York County, Pennsylvania in 1777, when his father, Joseph was called up to fight with the PA. Militia. Joseph was old and infirm, so 16 year old Samuel went for him.

With almost no training, Samuel was marched to Branywine and saw action there. After the battle, he was assigned to guard British prisoners, and helped take them back to York Co., where he served out the rest of his 6 month enlistment as a prison guard.

After Samuel went home, his father was well enough to serve his enlistment, and Samuel stayed to run the farm.
 

satx78247

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Reading these comments, other comments on this forum & on other venues reminds me of the truth of the saying from the POW/MIA organization:
"All gave some; some gave all."

Every patriotic American should honor the service of your family members, imVho.

yours, satx
 

fxdrider

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Thanks for all of the responses. I really enjoy reading about people's ancestors who were actually there and participated in the conflict. It kind of adds a "real" face to the history books we've all read in school.

I hope they still teach about this stuff in schools today. I'm a big believer in learning from history to avoid its mistakes. It's also helpful to know the intent of our founders to help us stay on track.
 

Spence10

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Lt. James is the only ancestor of mine who was involved in the military during the early wars, but a lot of my wife's ancestors were. She is an avid amateur genealogist and has spent 50 years tracking down our families. She has 11 people who fought in various engagements, in militia, state and continental line, as regulators and Liberty Men, in F&I, AWI, War of 1812 and various Indian troubles. Their histories have added a great deal to my enjoyment and understanding of the early history of this country.

Spence
 

Captjoel

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Welcome fxdrider! I have to admit that I am envious of all of you who can find ancestors that served in our Revolutionary War! I did get as far back as the late 1700's in NY state while tracking relatives on my mother's side. If you really give it enough thought, no matter what length of service any particular participant gave to the cause of liberty, the deeds done on a day to day basis all add up to the ACTUAL history of our great country! I feel blessed to share in the pride you have regarding your veteran ancestor! :hatsoff:
 

Kuntry boy

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I enjoy hearing about kinfolk that have served our country. All I know about my mother's mother side came from France, 2 brothers they where mercenaries. They fought on the American side , we don't know if they got paid to fight or if they did it for free . When the war was over one stayed and the other one went back to France.The brother that staid changed his last name. We don't know how it was said in French , or spelt all that wasn't salvaged in my family's history. It was either smittty , smity or smit'e , but the brother that stayed changed it to Smith .He also had one of the biggest plantations in Rison , Arkansas but it was taken away after the civil war . I think it was pretty cool to find that out about my mom's side of the family. I also got Irish , German, and Cherokee in me .Lol I'm like a old Hines 57 bread .
 

HistoryNut100

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I have about 20 ancestors that I can prove were in the AWI and many more I am working on. I'm a member of SAR, SCV, and The Order of Washington. I also do living history and reenactments. I am currently working on membership for Descendants of the Battle of King's Mountain, The Mayflower Society, and Jamestown Society. So I'm a HUGE history nerd, lol.
 
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My 3rd great grandfather, Peter Dumm served under Captain Von Heers Light Dragoons. They were assigned to General George Washington as his "Life Guard". The unit was established from German speaking recruits from Pennsylvania. They were the first provost unit organized during the Revolutionary War. Peter moved to the Ohio Valley in 1818 to homestead.20200408_091018.jpg
 

HistoryNut100

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My 3rd great grandfather, Peter Dumm served under Captain Von Heers Light Dragoons. They were assigned to General George Washington as his "Life Guard". The unit was established from German speaking recruits from Pennsylvania. They were the first provost unit organized during the Revolutionary War. Peter moved to the Ohio Valley in 1818 to homestead.View attachment 28011
Had an ancestor that was in the "Lifeguard"
 

Rifleman1776

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Great story. He was a hero. Many suffered for our freedom. Short enlistments were common. Riflemen often signed enlistments that lasted only one week or so.
You are eligible for Sons of American Revolution. Hope you are a member or plan to join. I can't prove my lineage, wish I could.
 

Blaze

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Gentleman, thank you for sharing your family ancestors during the Revolutionary War. I find them very interesting.
I have also located, or should I say my wife located, at least two ancestor grandfather's who fought in the Revolutionary War, war of 1812, and the Civil War.
Jeremiah Williams enlisted March of 1777 and discharged March of 1780. Jeremiah Williams was in the Maryland 3rd. Line. J.W. is buried in Pennsylvania.
James Egbert enlisted in April of 1777 and discharged April of 1770 if my memory serves me. James Egbert was a 2L in the 4th Regiment of New Jersey Levies. Both were in regiments under control of the northern Army under General Washington's command.
I believe Egberts son was a member of a Militia in Middlesex County, New Jersey. Egberts also fought in War of 1812. George Strickling joined the Union Army from Seneca County, Ohio
Your right about the pride you feel when you hear about grandfather's who fought to make this country what it is.
Thank you for reading.
 

Treestalker

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My wife Janet has an ancestor who fought for the Americans; his name was Cunningham and that's about all I know. I have an ancestor named Francis O'Connor who fought in the Irish Loyalists out of Long Island, NY. His company was later inducted into the 155th (IIRC) Regiment of Foot. My wife rags me about being a Tory and I rag her about being a rebel.
 

bud in pa

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Recently found out that I had an ancestor who served in the AWI. Supposedly he served directly under George Washington. His name was Phillip Drum Jr. They were originally from Williams Twsp. Northampton County, PA. They moved To Luzerne County outside of Hazelton PA and settled a village named after them. They also were instrumental in settling Coyningham, PA. They were lawyers and judges, people who I don't associate with today. There is a village right outside of Drums called St. Johns with a Lutheren church and graveyard in which there are a lot of Drums from colonial time buried.
 

Snapper Petta

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I grew up on Long Island and when I was a kid my family went to a particular restaurant that my grandparents really enjoyed. The restaurant was in an old farmhouse and the one time we went there I was probably 10 or 12 years old. By that point I was already a history buff so was taken by surprise when we walked in the front door and there was a portrait of Washington. I asked why that would be in a restaurant and then I heard, as Paul Harvey used to say, the rest of the story. Apparently my grandparents' interest in this restaurant was due to it's history as one of the oldest farms on Long Island. It was originally built by a direct descendant of my Grandmother's and was used by Washington as his headquarters for the Battle of Long Island prior to his escape across the East River and into Manhattan. Unfortunately for me, we never went back as my Grandfather died just after Thanksgiving that year but it certainly left an impression in my young brain.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

snapper
 
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