Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogical Fun

"Her there, genealogy buffs - it's Saturday Night, time for more Genealogy Fun!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1) Determine which event in your ancestral history that you would love to be a witness to via a Time Machine. Assume that you could observe the event, but not participate in it.

2) Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment on Facebook."

When I read tonight’s challenge, my first thought was of Luther Kallam, 1760-1845. Luther joined the fight against Britain when he was 16 and returned home from the war four years later. Here is a capsule review of his service gleaned from his pension record.

Luther Kallam served in Babcock’s Regiment commanded by Col. Lippett. They marched to New York Island under the command of General Washington; he participated in the retreat off New York Island and White Plains while he was under Capt. Lemuel Bailey. They went from White Plains, New York, to Kings Ferry, Morristown, New Jersey and crossed the Delaware at Easton and travelled on to Bethlehem where his term of service expired 1 Jan 1777. He immediately volunteered for one more month and crossed the Delaware River at Bridgetown. He was in the battle at Trenton and also Princeton, then on to Morristown and New Brunswick. He was discharged again 31 Jan 1777. He enlisted again under Captain Heeney in February 1777 for three months and marched to Providence, Rhode Island, in Col. Richmond’s regiment. Again his enlistment expired.

In the spring of 1780 he enlisted under Col. Jeremiah Halsey for nine months and was attached to Capt. Hall’s company, in Col. Swift’s Regiment, 1st Connecticut. They marched to Herrington, then down the Hackensack river, back to Herrington to the north river at King’s ferry, on to the Highlands where they assisted building the Barracks or “Hats”. He was discharged December 1780.

What student of history wouldn’t want to tag along with Luther during these four years! There was no certainty the revolutionaries would win and in fact many times it looked like they would be defeated. The crossing of the Delaware was treacherous and the victories at Trenton and Princeton were almost miraculous. The battles. The marching. The hunger. The frostbitten fingers and feet. The knowledge at the end of it all that he and his fellow soldiers had been instrumental in setting up a new nation. What a wonderful trip back in time that would be!

I will again highly recommend the book Washington’s Crossing by David Hackett Fischer for anyone interested in learning more about George Washington and this part of the war.

~Source: "Revolutionary War Pensions." Database and images. (, ( : accessed 23 Sep 2009); Luther Kallam; online images of pension application including affidavit.

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