Patriot Jehiel Gregory


"Ancestors and Descendants of Henry Gregory" by Grant Gregory, 1938 - click on image for larger view - Jehiel's grandfather, Nehemiah I
The Revolutionary War was not the first conflict in the Americas. The most famous war before that was what was called in America the French and Indian War (and in Europe the Seven Years War). Jehiel's father and grandfather, both named Nehemiah Gregory, apparently fought in this war -- Nehemiah Gregory was listed on the following Connecticut records:
• Muster Roll for the 1755-1762 French and Indians Wars in the 4th Regiment under the command of Colonel Elihu Chauncey in the 5th company under the command of Captain Samuel Hanford
• Muster roll for Captain Samuel Dunham's company
• 1758 pay roll for the 4th regiment under the command of Colonel/Captain David Wooster, 8th company under the command of Captain Isaac Isaacs
• Nehemiah Gregory Jr on a 1759 pay roll for the 3rd regiment under the command of Colonel/Captain David Wooster, 9th company under command of Captain Thaddeus Mead
• Half Pay Roll (and a victualing Role) for Nehm. Gregory in the second regiment, first company under command of Capt/Col David Wooster
It is curious that these records are all for Connecticut, and the 1759 payroll record (the only record that specified Jr) is around the time Nehemiah Gregory Jr married Lois Barnum on October 3, 1759, which seems to confirm that Jehiel was more likely born in CT than in NY. The "Ancestors and Descendants of Henry Gregory" page on Jehiel's grandfather, Nehemiah I (above right), attributes the 1755 and 1756 service in this war to the grandfather, who would be about age 44 (born circa 1712) at the time; I am not certain. The 40s is somewhat old to be enlisting for battle especially with five children at home, much less as a private; it would seem more likely to be the service for the son who would be in his 20s (born in 1731). Clearly the 1759 service is listed as being for Nehemiah Jr; I am wondering if all the service might have been for Jehiel's father rather than his grandfather. It is likely that Nehemiah Gregory Jr. was in the same company as Benedict Arnold, under whom his son served in the Revolution, as both were from Norwich.

20th century reenactment
Jehiel, son of Nehemiah Gregory Jr. and Ann Barnum, was born about 1755 in CT/NY (probably at Gregory Point (Norwalk), CT but perhaps Bedford (Westchester County), NY). His mother died approximately three years later, and his father married Lois Barnum (a sister or cousin), by whom he had two more children -- Nehemiah III born in 1762 in the town of Bedford (Westchester County, NY) followed by a daughter Annis circa 1765. Both Nehemiah Jr. and Lois died by 1770, probably in the late 1760s. The grandfather, Nehemiah Gregory Sr., died in 1771, and his 1770 will indicates that Nehemiah and Lois were both deceased. The three minor children appear to have lived in NY (Bedford), CT (Gregory Point/Norwalk) and VT (Monkton) with Barnum and Gregory relatives. Jehiel volunteered on August 3, 1775 at about age 19/20. Jehiel’s younger brother Nehemiah Gregory III was visiting at his Gregory grandmother’s in Norwalk, Connecticut on July 11, 1779 when British General Tryon burned down virtually the entire town. Although only 16, Nehemiah III immediately entered the militia.

In New England there were militia around for 150 years prior to the Revolutionary War, ever since settlement; men between the ages of 16 and 60 were expected to assemble at regular intervals to train to defend their communities. Separate from the local militia were “The Line” (the “regulars” or the “Continentals”), troops who were mostly 3-year volunteers. These “regular” troops could be deployed outside the state, unlike the militia. In theory, a regiment was 1,000 men led by a Colonel, including support troops such as quartermaster, engineers, and medical and clerical staff. Normal configuration would call for two to four Battalions broken down further into Companies. By Continental rule, a Regiment was allowed to have 10 Companies, but rarely were they ever close to that limit. Armies historically raised new Regiments rather than add men to old ones—usually since new regiments required new officers. Thus over time, older regiments decreased in size.

Bowles' "Seat of War" 1776 map of New England - click on picture for a larger image (areas of interest specially noted)
'American Forces during the Revolutionary War included many types of military organizations created by the Continental Congress, States, towns, and counties. Regular units that were authorized by the Congress formed the Continental Army, but this Army was frequently supplemented by units of militia and volunteers from the States. The Revolutionary War rolls reproduced in this microfilm [from which Jehiel's 1775 record below was taken] include those of regular units of the Continental Army and of units of militia, volunteers, and others who served with them. The larger entity is identified in this publication as the "American Army." ...

In 1775 the Continental Congress adopted as the Continental Army the military units of the New England Colonies that were beseiging Boston. In resolutions of November 4, 1775, the Congress increased the Army, at least on paper, to 20,372 soldiers and standardized regimental size. Each company was to contain one captain, two lieutenants, one ensign, four sergeants, four corporals, two fifers or drummers, and 76 privates. ... Many of the authorized regiments in this and later reorganizations were never completely filled. ...

The Continental Congress required the periodic mustering of regiments and companies for the verification of rosters by a commissary of musters. The primary function of the many Revolutionary War rolls maintained by the American Army was to provide basic information about the identities, numbers, condition, equipage, and pay status of the men and units that comprised the Army in order to facilitate administrative control.' -- introduction to the War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records, Record Group 93.

Note: most of the records of the American Army in the custody of the War Department were destroyed by fire on November 8, 1800.

Jehiel Gregory enlisted on August 3, 1775 at about age 20, serving under Captain Joseph Benedict in the 4th Regiment of the "New York Line" under General Clinton at Ticonderoga but after the "rebel" capture of the Fort in July, 1775; his cousin John Gregory was also in this regiment (see below). Note that this was prior to the official declaration of independence on July 4, 1776, and that the muster roll below stated the "United Colonies" rather than the "United States of America." I found a comment that he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant prior to the conclusion of his enlistment, but have found no confirmation of this comment. Together with Daniel Gregory, (brother) Nehemiah Gregory and Zekiel Gregory, and from a second source Isaac, he was in the second regiment of the NY Westchester county militia (dates unknown). According to 20th century records from descendants, Jehiel saw action at Ticonderoga and Crown Point and at the ill-fated Fort Montgomery battle under Colonel Clinton (see below); it is uncertain if stories of his service at Fort Montgomery were actually handed down in oral history, or if this was some assumption based on this being a famous battle involving General Clinton. Unfortunately Jehiel did not live until 1832 to file for a pension record, so there is no record found of a recount of his service by either Jehiel or his widow Elizabeth Andrews Gregory who lived until 1857. And, unnoted previously to 2010, Jehiel also saw action in VERMONT in 1778, together with cousin Richard Barnum. Finally, it is of interest that Jehiel served in the midst of some of the most intrigue in the Revolution -- traitors General Benedict Arnold and Captain James Holmes -- who were from Norwalk,CT and Bedford,NY respectively, and both were commanding officers of the units in which Jehiel served.

Sources:
October 9, 1775 4th Regiment Muster Roll for Capt Joseph Benedict's Company under command of Col James Holmes - Jehiel enlisted 3 August in the NY Line
1775 Ticonderoga Muster Roll (source)
A Muster Roll for Capt Joseph Benedict's Company in the 4th Regiment of New York Forces under command of Colonel James Holms [sic] now in the Service of the United Colonies dated in the Camp at Ticonderoga the 9th of October 1775. ... Jehiel Gregory enlisted 3 August [1775] ... John Gregory enlisted 24 July [1775]. [Note: this muster roll was the source of the information included in the book: "New York in the Revolution" by Roberts -- page]
1778 Vermont Revolutionary War Rolls (source):
A Pay Roll of a Party of Men under the command of James Bently in taking thirteen Tories in Monkton on their way to Canada, viz, Benj. Cole, and his party, and for bringing them before the committee at Neshobe [Brandon] and guarding them to Ticonderoga. ... Richard Barnum -- 12 days -- Pr. Day: 0.9.0 -- 5,8.0; Jehiel Gregory -- 12 days -- Pr. Day: 0.9.0 -- 5,8.0 ... Oct. 3, 1778. Then personally appeared James Bentley signer to the above pay roll, and made solemn oath that the same is justly and truly charged, without fraud to the public or to any individual. Before me, Thos. Chittenden, Gov. [Note: sister Annis will marry Frederick Carter (also a Patriot) in 1785 and will live in VT; Jehiel's uncle Barnabus Barnum (his step-mother's [Lois Barnum's] brother), lived in VT by 1770, and was an original 1775 Green Mountain Boy (under Ethan Allen) who died there in battle on March 12, 1778; Richard Barnum who was with Jehiel on this pay roll, is thought to be Barnabus' younger brother. This branch of the Barnum family is from Litchfield,CT which is also where Ethan Allen (1738-1789 VT) was from.)]
1770s Bedford,NY Militia - Patriot Service: Aaron, Daniel, Jehiel, Nehemiah (in "Town of Bedford, Westchester County, New York, Bedford Historical Records, Vol VII")
(undated) Westchester Militia, 3nd regiment under Col. Thomas Thomas -- click here for full listing
1780? rosters of Westchester Militia, 2nd regiment under command of Col Thomas Thomas and Capt Noah Bouton (reference: NY in the Revolution, p.207-208, by Roberts source)(original muster rolls should be examined for more information, especially dates of service; 1780 is assumed to be at least one date as Nehemiah is known to have volunteered in July, 1779 in Connecticut, and in Westchester (Bedford) NY in 1780 according to his pension application below.)
1929 Oklahoma D.A.R. application by Emily Phelps Woodward (source):
Joheil [sic] Gregory was a private in the Westchester Co. Regt, commanded by Gen. Thomas. He was at Ticonderoga, Crown Point and Fort Montgomery under Col. Clinton. He served under Capt. Joseph Benedict in the 4th Regt, of N.Y. forces under Col. James Holmes. He enlisted August 3rd, 1775.
1938 Ancestors and Descendants of Henry Gregory (source):
Jehiel Gregory had an honorable career in Rev., War of 1812 and militia. He enl'd 3 Aug 1775 in Westchester co. mil., regt. of Col. Thomas Thomas, Capt. Moses St. John's co.; served also in Joseph Benedict's co., Fourth regt. N. Y. Line, under Col. James Holmes [sic - in error - enlisted for the Line on 3 Aug 1775, not the Militia]; service included Ticonderoga, Crown Point, Ft. Montgomery, under Gen. Clinton; ...
1938 The Official roster of the soldiers of the American Revolution buried in the state of Ohio (source):
GREGORY, Jehiel, Athens, Fayette and Madison co. Enl 1775 in Joseph Benedict co Col James Haolmes [sic] N Y Line. B. Gregory's Pt, LI 1755 [thought to be CT]; son of Nehemiah who with his son served in Westchester co Regt under Ben Thomas Frum [error: father Nehemiah deceased by 1770]. Soldr mar Elizabeth Andrews; one son was Andrews; one dau was Annis who mar Ozias Strong. Soldr d 1818 bur Yankeytown Fayette co but body of his wf and of him moved to cem at London by Theodore Annette Phelps Lincoln (first state regent of Ohio D.A.R.). Soldr came to O 1801; was a trustee of Coonskin Libry; first postmaster of Athens co; movd to Fayette co 1815; recd title of Col in war of 1812 his militia brigade being the first brigade mustered in Athens co; He with John Haver by special act of Legislature built first dam across the Hock-hocking R 1808; was memb of House Rep from Washington co 1811-12-14. Data fr Elizabeth Andrews Felton West Bainbridge and co Hists. Ref No. 1821 and No. 93975 D.A.R.
1938 The Official roster of the soldiers of the American Revolution buried in the state of Ohio (source):
Entry for Nehemiah Gregory supplies corrections in this second volume, regarding Jehiel's birthplace being Gregory Point Connecticut not NY, information supplied by William Perry Hay of Bradenton, FL. Also mentions incorrect service information for Jehiel (which must mean the information under Jehiel's listing for Nehemiah). Noteworthy that it mentions birthplace of Jehiel Grant Gregory Boston -- perhaps this was the start of the assumption that Jehiel's middle name was Grant.

In the middle of signing up to fight, he married Elizabeth Andrews in New York in 1775. Their first child, Jehiel Gregory, was not born until 1782, but he was followed by five more children (five in New York [1782-1780], and one in Pennsylvania [1797] on the way to Ohio). Jehiel remained involved in the military throughout his life, also serving in the War of 1812, in which he was a Captain and a Major. In Ohio, he was a farmer, merchant and member of the State Legislature. I was surprised to find no land bounty records for him, as I assumed the move to Ohio was based on Land Bounty—the most successful recruitment inducement for the entire Revolutionary War. Jehiel lived to age 63, and died in 1818. However, Elizabeth lived another 39 years, until she was 99 years old! She is the one who loved to regale her children with the stories of all the exciting events she witnessed that lead up to the founding of America. Apparently only the Patriot was allowed to apply for pension benefits in 1832, and as Jehiel was deceased, Elizabeth could not apply; Jehiel's brother's application is appended below, and is of interest since they both were members of the Westchester Militia, 2nd regiment (although their exact service periods probably did not match, some may have), and it provides a good "flavor" of the service in the Westchester Militia.

Finally, the lists might provide a clue as to with whom the children lived after their parents died ~1770. No Barnum family members are found, but there are references to Gregory cousins. The Westchester militia list includes Daniel Gregory, thought to be their uncle, who married Hannah Smith (Hannah is mentioned in her father's 1769 Bedford will). Nehemiah's pension application mentions he served in place of Silas Gregory in the Spring of 1782. This coincides with the timing of the birth of Silas' first child, and this service was in Connecticut. It cannot be ascertained, due to the commonness of the name, with which John Gregory Jehiel served on the Line.

I (DLH) signed up with the DAR under Jehiel Gregory to add in his Vermont service, and to correct birthplaces and descendants' genealogy.

page of actual 1832 pension application - click on picture for a larger image. See also p.2, p.3, p.4, p.5, p.6
Nehemiah Gregory’s Revolutionary War Pension Application (Jehiel’s brother) (received $83.32 per year)

State of New York
Delaware County

On this 9th day of October personally appears, in open court before the Judges of the Court of common pleas now sitting, Nehemiah Gregory a resident of Kortright in the County of Delaware and State of New York, aged 70 years who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7, 1832: That he entered the Service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated.

Nehemiah Gregory now resident in the town of Kortright in the county of Delaware was born the 29th August 1762 in the town of Bedford in the aforesaid County of Westchester, NY. His first service in the revolutionary war was in July 1779. He then residing in Bedford aforesaid but being at his grandmother’s house in Norwalk Connecticut, engaged as a volunteer in a company of militia under the command of Captain Marvin and repaired to Fairfield in Connecticut at the time that town was burnt by the British. When the enemy left that place he with his company fell back upon Norwalk and continued in service then until after that town was burnt by the enemy - was in two skirmishes with the enemy, during the day Norwalk was burnt he was discharged with his company after the enemy had gone on board of his ships. He was 12 days in service on this tour of duty.

On the 3rd of July 1780 then a resident of Bedford aforesaid he enlisted into a company of Rangers commanded by Captain Stevens, Abraham Van Gant first Lieutenant and ___ Peacock second Lieutenant. The company was annexed to Colonel Sheldon’s regiment though it served on foot. He served in this company on the line in Westchester and Fairfield Counties, until some time in the forefront of November following when it was discharged. He was in service for four months at this time. While he was in this service, Major Andre was taken, was in three skirmishes during this time of duty. In the year 1781 he belonged to a Militia company in the town of Bedford aforesaid of which Moses St. John was Captain, Isaac Clark was Lieutenant and Hezekiah Miller was Ensign. He was in service with this company during that season in case of alarm, on scouting and foraging parties and in (?) cowboys tories a large portion of the time. He recollects in particular that he was four times in that season in service at Blueridge a little north of White Plains to fight cowboys, recapture stolen property and on expedition of that season he distinctly recollects: It is this: He and eight or ten others of Captain St. John’s company, being advised that five Tories of Delantus Corps were lurking in the back part of the town of Bedford of aforesaid, repaired thither and captured the whole five of the enemy and brought them to Captain St. John who put us as guard over them and took them to West Point and delivered them up to the commanding officer there. He returned to Bedford with Captain St. John service then discontinued. In the five expeditions, he was in service at least 19 days that he can estimate from distinct recollection. In this year he was with Captain St. John’s Company twice down to White Plains and below then on foraging and scouting parties in connection with continental troops, in one of the tours was gone 12 days and the other 4 days. He is confident that the whole of his service as aforesaid during the year 1781 was at least 2 months and a half, and believe it was as much as 3 months.

Late in the fall of the year 1781, Colonel Sheldon had withdrawn from the line and the Continental troops had gone into winter quarters. Captain St. John received orders from Colonel Thomas Thomas for his company to guard the line and coast and he was called into service and actually served from and during two months. (?) all to be on guard and patrolling at night every third night. During this two months of service, he was under the command of Captain St. John and the Lieutenant, and when aforesaid Colonel Thomas Thomas commanding the regiment in which said company belonged.

He resided in Bedford until 1794 when he removed to Kortright where he has resided ever since.

His witnesses are Caleb Miller, Daniel Smith whose certificate is below.

In the month of May 1782 he went as a substitute for his cousin Silas Gregory for three months under both Ozias Marvin Lieutenant Taylor and performed on several __(?)__ the said three months in guarding in the __(?)__ along the Long Island Sound and not __(?)__ remembering whether had no written discharge.

He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any State.

Sworn to and subscribed
The day and year aforesaid
Nehemiah Gregory
Daniel Smith, Caleb Miller
C. B. Sheldon, Clerk
------------
[Notes: handwriting very hard to read. Cowboys were cattle-stealing Tories.]

In the "Military minutes of the Council of Appointment of the State of New York, 1783-1821, Nehemiah Gregory is listed in 1786 as an ensign. (source)

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