Sunday, May 25, 2014

Daniel Joseph, Patriot, American War of Independence 1775-1783


4th Great Grandfather Daniel Joseph served in the Augusta County, Virginia Militia under Capt. Patterson according to Gwathmey’s Virginians in the Revolution.[1] I’m not certain what militia duties Daniel was required to perform or where or when. The regular Army was recruited by offering bounties, volunteers and drafts from the militia so it’s possible he saw some fighting.

Joseph A. Waddell, the author of ‘Annals of Augusta County, Virginia From 1726 to 1781’ provides this account describing militia life (page 244):

   The whole State [Virginia] was divided into military districts, and the militia were ordered to be embodied as minute-men. The counties of Buckingham, Amherst, Albemarle and Augusta constituted one district. Each district was to raise a battalion of 500 men, rank and file, from the age of 16 to that of 50, to be divided into ten companies of 50 men each. The officers were to be appointed by committees selected by the various county committees. The battalion was required to be kept in training at some convenient place for twelve days, twice a year; and the several companies to be mustered four days in each month, except December, January and February, in their respective counties.
    Every man so enlisted was required to “furnish himself with a good rifle, if to be had, otherwise with a tomahawk, common firelock, bayonet, pouch, or cartouch box, and three charges of powder and ball.” Upon affidavit that the minute-man was not able to furnish his arms etc., they were to be supplied at public expense. The officers were required to equip themselves, and officers and men were liable to a fine for failure in this respect.

Joan Ault, a Daniel Joseph descendant, provided me with copies of two military court proceedings for Daniel. By the way, Joan’s ancestor was Daniel Joseph’s daughter, Eve. Eve would marry John Gilliatt and settle in Orange County, Indiana.

On the 5th of May 1781 Daniel was fined for not appearing at a private muster while under Capt. Patterson’s command.[2]

Scanned Image from Personal Collection
Photocopy from Virginia Archives courtesy of Joan Ault

Daniel was ill along with three other men. They were exempt from duty temporarily until they 'come to their health'.[3]

Scanned Image from Personal Collection
Photocopy from Virginia Archives courtesy of Joan Ault

In England on February 27, 1782, the House of Commons voted against continuing the war in America. By March 1782, the British prime minister resigned with his replacement immediately beginning peace discussions. The War was going to end. The following month on the 19th of April 1782 Daniel contributed supplies to the cause of the American Revolution—920 barrels of flour, 5 flour barrels and 44 ½ gallons whiskey.[4]

After the war John Campbell and Daniel Joseph petitioned the General Assembly on Dec. 9, 1785 because the Army owed them for seizure of fifty-five cattle by army commissioners in 1780. They only received certificates from the Army when the cattle were taken and the people who they bought the cattle from were bringing court suits against them for payment.[5] Disappointingly, their claim was rejected by the Assembly. A transcription of the petition follows:

To the Hon’ble thee Speaker, and the other Gentlemen of the House of Delegates, the petition of John Campbell, and Daniel Joseph of Augusta County Virginia

Humbly Sheweth

That in the summer of the year 1780 your Honours Petitioners purchased a drove of cattle, in number 55, on and near the frontiers of Augusta and Rockbridge Counties, entirely at their own expense and Credit, but as soon as they were collected the Commissioners appointed under the Act for furnishing provisions to the Army violently seized and took away the whole drove, the Original cost of which amounts to nearly 270 Pounds Specie when Liquidated exclusive of trouble and expenses and all the compensation your Petitioners have as yet received for such a large share of their small property, is only a Certificate, which is very little consolation to either them or their Creditors; The situation of your Hon’s Petitioners are the more melancholy, as there are many suits commenced against them by persons from whom they purchased part of the Cattle, the principal, Interest, and the said Suits, appears to end in the ruin of your Petitioners and their families. Gentlemen as your Pet’rs have always contributed chearfully with their fellow Citizens for the support of Government, and Independence, their Case merits your Honours Consideration, it is distressing for them to feel themselves greater sufferers than their fellow Subjects

Therefore your Hon’s Pet’rs most humbly request that you may be pleased to consider their Case, and order them such redress as your Wisdom and prudence may think reasonable.

   And your Pet’rs with ever Pray
Dated October 3rd 1785

The Subscribers have for many years been acquainted with the above Pet’rs and always understood them to be hearty and Zealous friends to the United States of America
If their case is not redress’d, it deserves to be pitied!

Jno. Poages                            John Hamilton
Jacob Peck                             Robert Stuart
Thomas Fork                         H. King
Robert Aistrop                      Thos. Frame
Wm. Wilson                           [Unreadable]
R. Gamble                              John Hooke
Peter Hanger            
George Berry

No pension, service or bounty land applications exist for Daniel or his wife, Eve that I’ve been able to locate. Daniel died before Feb. 22, 1796 and Eve remarried Warner Peters in 1799.

As always, I would like to know more. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

[1] Historical Register of Virginians in the Revolution, Soldiers-Sailors-Marines 1775-1783 by John H. Gwathmey, page 431
[2] Virginia Archives courtesy of Joan Ault
[3] Ibid
[4] Augusta Co., VA Court of Claims
[5] Campbell, John & Joseph, Daniel: Petition, Augusta County, VA, 1785/12/09, Legislative Petitions Digital Collection, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va.


  1. John Henry and Eve (Joseph) Gilliatt are both currently buried in the Patoka Memorial Cemetery in southern Indiana. Patoka Lake (a man made lake) covers the area where some of the Gilliatts lived. The cemetery there had to be moved to higher ground so it was named the Patoka Memorial Cemetery.

  2. Thank you for letting me know about the Indiana branch of the family. I've had a lot of fun researching our Daniel Joseph.