Thursday, January 14, 2010

Daughters of the American Revolution

-by Rev. Jesse Halsey, transcribed by Dr. Samuel G. Warr

After the news of the Battle of Lexington had reached Long Island, Jesse Halsey (1739-1818) and his brother, Elias Henry, with three others rowed across Long Island Sound in a row boat and joined the Continental Army.

They signed the Articles of Association in May 1775, both Elias Henry and Jesse won the rank of captain in the Revolution. Both Jesse and Elias Henry were in Colonel David Mulford's regiment. Elias Henry became a captain of a privateer in the harbor of New London. He was killed in the Battle of Groton Heights on September 6, 1781.

Another brother, David Fithian, was also a captain in the Revolution and died in 1790.

Captain Jesse fought in the Battle of Monmouth and heard the famous reprimand given by George Washington to General Charles Lee when the later had ordered retreat of the regiment he was leading. The claim has often been made, in the effort to make Washington something more than a human, that he did not use profanity at this time. Captain Jesse said that his indignation was righteous and well timed. Captain Jesse lived to be 79 years old and walked with a crutch the remainder of his life.

He had eight children, seven of whom were born previous to 1776 and the youngest child, Abigail (Ludlow), was born after the Revolution. Six girls and one boy, Charles Fithian, lived to grow up, marry, and have families. Captain Jesse and his wife, Charity White, are buried in the Watermill Cemetery. It was discovered that no stones remained to mark their graves. Seventy-five descendants, paying one dollar each, contributed to the fund, which marks their final resting place. They secured a government stone for Captain Jesse and had one made like it for Charity, and placed a fund with the cemetery association which gives them perpetual care. The fund also provided a D.A.R. marker for Captain Jesse.

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