John Brown

1761 – 1827

I was a soldier who endured hardships but was there when we won the war.

I was born May 15, 1761 in Gloucester County. I was apprenticed to a house carpenter but the War of Independence cut that short. I enlisted on January 1, 1777 for the duration of the war in the Continental Artillery as part of Colonel John Lamb’s Second Regiment.

We fought in the Philadelphia Campaign at Brandywine on September 11, 1777. On September 21, we were with General Anthony Wayne at a place called Paoli. My captain was taken prisoner while we were moving our cannons, and when he tried to escape, enemy soldiers knocked him down and stabbed him eight times with bayonets. He was one of many men who were stabbed and killed by the British, in what became known as the Paoli Massacre.

I spent two very difficult winters, in 1778 in Valley Forge and the even worse winter of 1780 at Morristown. In between those, I fought at Monmouth. But then came our greatest moment. In 1781 we marched south to Virginia, and at Yorktown we won our independence in our victory over General Cornwallis.

I was discharged at West Point in May 1783. After the war, I returned home and married Anne Thackary. Later I served as a Methodist circuit rider, which is a kind of traveling preacher.

I lived until age 65 and died almost exactly 50 years from the day I enlisted, in Deptford, New Jersey, on January 2, 1827.



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