It must be because January 3rd is my birthday that I returned today (January 2nd!) to my notes on a maternal ancestor Francis P. Power who enlisted in the 14th Continental Army under Col. John Glover on January 3, 1776, Marblehead Regiment. His enlistment was part of the push of January 1, 1776 to gain new recruits for many of the older soldiers’ service periods were up and they were anxious to go home (or, to not re-enlist–who can blame them given the difficult conditions of the army?)
For as the army’s Commander-in-Chief opined:
“The reflection upon my situation and that of this army produces many an uneasy hour when all around me are wrapped in sleep. Few people know the predicament we are in.” – George Washington, January 14, 1776
Well, it seems that Francis Power, grandfather of Polly Power who married Isaac Bennett Simmons of my mother’s paternal line, was one of those new recruits and though this armchair researcher is yet to find his name on any official list (though other researchers have, it seems), he was probably one of the mariner soldiers who ‘ferried’ General George Washington and his troops (one of which was Francis himself, I suspect) across the Delaware and took Trenton from Colonel Rall and the Hessians camped there. This victory changed–as was subsequently realized–the Loyalist sympathies of the people of New Jersey and that of many other citizens and redirected the course of the American Revolution.
Now I’m pressed for time this evening so this post is about to end quickly with hopes of adding more genealogical information later for those researching the Power/s or the Simmons families (and allied families, of course)–both families ended up in Georgia–for his service Francis Power received land in Wilkes County, a part of which became Madison County, GA, but I do want to recommend a book if you haven’t read it and are interested in the topic of Washington’s Crossing (2004) which I am now reading (among others!)
The book is authored by David Hackett Fischer and won a Pulitzer Prize in History so you can hardly go wrong for The Crossing (and recrossing) of the icy Delaware River during the howling blizzard of Christmas 25/26, 1776 was certainly a harrowing endeavor and We the People can be grateful that results turned out in favor of the Continental Army.