Facts about the Revolutionary War

“… America’s war for independence caused proportionately more human suffering than any other war in American history except the Civil War. Because to modern eyes the absolute numbers involved look comparatively small, it is easy to forget that with an estimated 6,800 to 8,000 Patriot deaths, 10,000 killed by disease in camps, and up to 16,000 or even 19,000 who perished in captivity, the number of Patriot soldiers killed in the Revolutionary War would be well over 3 million in terms of today’s population — and significantly more … if we consider Patriot deaths as a proportion of only the Patriot population in 1775 or 1783. More than ten times as many Americans died, per capita, in the Revolutionary War as in World War I, and nearly five times as many as in World War II. In addition, at least 20,000 British and thousands more American Loyalist, Native American, German, and French lives were lost. … At war’s end approximately 1 in 40 Americans went into permanent exile, the equivalent of some 7.5 million today.”

Scars of Independence — America’s Violent Birth, Holger Hoock, 2017

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“A Bill to Bring Traitors to Trial,” North Carolina, 1782

The Revolutionary War was a civil war, too, especially in the upcountry of North and South Carolina. In 1782, the North Carolina legislature prepared “A Bill to Bring Traitors to Trial.” Among the names of Loyalists branded as traitors is one with Logan ties, Moses Moore (“Moor” in the document), and his son, Benj. Moore (“Moor”).

Despite being one of the signers of the Tryon Resolves in Tryon County, North Carolina, in 1775, Moses Moore ultimately threw in his lot with King and country. In his mind, of course, he was a patriot.

His son, John Moore, was a Loyalist (Tory) leader at the Battle of Ramsour’s Mill.

A daughter, Sarah Moore, married Drury Logan. Another daughter, Hester, married Joshua Roberts. Both Drury Logan and Joshua Roberts chose the other side in the Revolution: the Patriot (Whig) side. Much of the Drury Logan profile in Logan Connections consists of his and Joshua Roberts’ efforts (as well as Joseph Lawrence who married Moses Moore’s other daughter, Ann) to work and litigate to protect their father-in-law’s land and other assets from confiscation. This was no doubt a sometimes unpopular path to tread, but Logan and Roberts’ bona fides as Patriots made their efforts acceptable to some at least, but most importantly, acceptable in the eyes of the law.

Benj. Moore, the other “Moor” named in the bill as a traitor, was Moses Moore’s son. We don’t know much about him, but he was said to be dead by 1785.

The Moores were two of the 36 men charged with Revolutionary War treason in Rutherford County, North Carolina, alone.

The Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War, also ended confiscation of Loyalist land and property. At that point, the North Carolina legislature passed “An Act of Pardon and Oblivion.”

Moses Moore ended up a refugee in Spanish West Florida, a haven for Loyalists originally engineered by the British King in what was then British West Florida.

Among the other “traitors” singled out from Rutherford County, North Carolina, who have a connection, although tangential, with some of our Logans are the Bickerstaff or Biggerstaff family. The Biggerstaffs, like the four Logan brothers, William, Joseph, John, and Thomas, were a family with split loyalties who fought at the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780. The “Bickerstaffs” named in “A Bill to Bring Traitors to Trial” in 1782 were Samuel, Aaron, and Benjamin. Aaron Biggerstaff, a Tory, fought at Kings Mountain. He was said to be mortally wounded, yet his name is on the list of “traitors.” Benjamin Biggerstaff was a Whig / Patriot, by many accounts, yet family tradition has him switching sides during the war as many did, depending on the fortunes of war and their and their families’ best interest. I believe Samuel Biggerstaff was the father — and a Tory.

In a further example of tangled loyalties, John Moore, Tory commander at Ramsour’s Mill and Moses Moore’s son, was a cousin of the Biggerstaffs.

When the Patriots left Kings Mountain after their stunning victory, Loyalist prisoners in tow, they stopped at the Biggerstaff plantation for a drumhead trial of alleged traitors captured at the battle. The selection of the Biggerstaff location was probably not coincidental. Several Loyalists were hanged there before the summary executions were stopped. It’s possible that some or all of the Logan brothers, except Thomas left wounded on the battlefield, witnessed these hangings.

Our thanks to Joe Logan and Dr. A.B. Pruitt for background sources and information.

Sources: Abstracts of Sales of Confiscated Loyalists Land and Property in North Carolina, Dr. A.B. Pruitt, 1989; “A Bill to Bring Traitors to Trial, 1782,” Grace W. Turner, The North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, Vol. XXVIII, No. 4, Nov. 2002, pages 420-426, researched by Joe Logan.

 

Some Cason family information

One of the major family groups among our cluster of DNA-linked Logans is that of William Logan and Joanna Cason Logan and their descendants. William Logan married Joanna Cason in (we assume) Edgefield County, South Carolina, in 1806. One of the many intriguing, but still dangling, aspects of our connected Logans and kin is that the Casons also were in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, the same county where our earliest William Logan is first found.

The following information is from Spotsylvania County, Virginia Marriage References and Family Relationships 1721-1800 by F. Edward Wright, 2013:

Cason, Edward of St. George’s Parish m. b. 3 Dec 1759 Joanna. Edward had sons William, Seth and Thomas and perhaps a daughter Susannah. Edward and Joanna were residing in Buckingham County in 1775.

Cason, Edward S. of Prince Edward County had a son John who had a son Edward of Hanover County, as of 1779.

Cason, Edward (b. 1752 in Spotsylvania County, resided in Hanover County, d. 1834 in Spotsylvania County) served in Revolutionary War as private.

Cason, Roger m. bef. 21 Aug 1756 Elizabeth, intending to remove to North Carolina.

Cason, William m. bef. 1 May 1776 Susannah.

Note: No Logans are listed in this reference.

 

History Thought of the Day: Revolutionary War

Drury Logan served in the Revolutionary War as did the four Logan brothers, William, Joseph, John, and Thomas. But in backcountry North and South Carolina, where our Logans lived, the war didn’t affect only soldiers and militia. Women and children were impacted as well — by destruction of crops,  livestock, farms, and houses; terror and intimidation; split families, communities, and churches; fleeing as refugees; and, occasionally, torture, wounds, and death. Here’s some “big picture” information about the Revolutionary War:

  • “The dislocated proportion of the American population exceeded that of the French in their revolution.”
  • The economic decline in the U.S. after the Revolutionary war lasted fifteen years. It was “a crisis unmatched until the Great Depression of the 1930s.”
  • “Patriots … kept one-fifth of Americans enslaved.”
  • After the Revolutionary War, “60,000 dispossessed Loyalists became refugees.”
  • “During the revolution, Americans suffered more upheaval than any other American generation, save that which experienced the Civil War of 1861 to 1865.”

Source: American Revolutions — A Continental History, 1750-1804, Alan Taylor, 2016

Benjamin Logan, Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions, Cleveland County, N.C., 1842: Declaration to obtain pension based on father, Drury Logan’s, service in Revolutionary War

Drury Logan, Benjamin Logan’s father, was a private in the Revolutionary War. Congress finally passed a pension law for Revolutionary soldiers in 1832. Drury Logan died in 1835 and his widow, Sarah Moore Logan, then became the pension recipient. Sarah died in 1840. In the following statement, Benjamin Logan indicates the living children and heirs of Drury and Sarah Logan are, as follows: Joseph Logan, Benjamin Logan, Levy Logan, Sarah Logan, and Aney Logan. Benjamin also states the year his father and mother were married: 1783. Benjamin signed by making his mark, being unable to write his name.

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Source: Research of Pat Phelps, Beverly Logan Craig, Joe Logan

The Moses Moore story: from Anson, Mecklenburg, and Tryon counties, North Carolina, to Mobile District of Spanish West Florida, later British West Florida

Moses Moore’s complicated life during troubled times is profiled in Logan Connections. It’s a fascinating story and, along the way, reveals some lesser-known American history, particularly concerning Spanish, later British, West Florida, designated by the King as an asylum for Loyalists — those “distressed friends of England” — during the Revolutionary War. That Moses Moore was one of the signers of the Tryon Resolves, yet remained a Loyalist, illustrates how the Revolutionary War — among other things, a civil war — was not as clear-cut, as black and white, as we may think of it today. For thousands of individuals and families, it was a murky, messier shade of gray.

The connection with our Logans came about because one of Moses Moore’s daughters, Sarah Moore (Serah Moor), married Drury Logan. Another daughter, Hester Moore, married Joshua Roberts. Much of the Drury Logan profile in Logan Connections concerns the legal actions brothers-in-law Drury Logan and Joshua Roberts (and, in the Moses Moore profile, another brother-in-law, Joseph Lawrence, who married Ann Moore) dealt with concerning their father-in-law’s property, including attempts by the newly-created Lincoln County government to confiscate Tory, Moses Moore’s, property. Here, too, societal, political, familial, and economic complexity is evident since Drury Logan and Joshua Roberts fought for the Patriot side in the war, yet, along with Joseph Lawrence, looked out for Moses Moore’s land and property. Drury and Sarah Moore Logan even named a son Moses Logan.

The information below comes from Dr. A.B. Pruitt’s “Abstracts of Sales of Confiscated Loyalists Land and Property in North Carolina,” 1969.

Lincoln County:

353. Report Oct. session 1783 by Thomas Espey, John Berber, &  John Carruth: 

m) sold at vendue — estate of Moses Moore  £29,828 curry.: land rented @£425 curry.

The following property ordered by Court to be returned to the former owners:

i) recd. by the Commrs. notes & bonds from the sale of the estate of Moses Moore to the amount of currency      £30,263

Notes: “Vendue” is a legal term meaning “public sale at auction.” “Curry.” is an abbreviation for “currency.” Note that immediately after the Revolutionary War, the legal currency used was still the British pound.

In addition to Logan Connections, there is excellent information about Moses Moore, Drury Logan, Sarah and Hester Moore, Joseph Lawrence, and more at Joe Logan’s Genealogy Site: logan-family.org.

 

A book recommendation on the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is a favorite American holiday. And rightfully so.

On this special day, though, it’s worth remembering that declaring our independence — which we celebrate today — and achieving it were two quite different things. We all know the basic story of the American Revolutionary War and, in our family’s case, the roles Drury Logan and the four Logan brothers at the Battle of Kings Mountain played in that long, bloody struggle.

But there was a second successful American Revolution: the challenging move from a thirteen states-based loose confederacy (The Articles of Confederation) to a Constitution and a truly national, Federal government.

A book which tells this amazing and too-little-known tale is The Quartet — Orchestrating the Second American Revolution 1783-1789 by Joseph J. Ellis, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2015.

“The quartet” of men who made this transition from a confederation of independent, parochial states to a nation happen were George Washington, James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton. (Helping them were Thomas Jefferson, Robert Morris, and Gouverneur Morris.) What makes the story remarkable is that the overwhelming majority of Americans — this small group and a few others excepted — had no conception of a national Federal government whatsoever. Not only did these self-selected few create what we know as the United States today, they created the vision itself, then educated enough people at the Constitutional Convention to make it happen, managed the politics of the situation, and finessed the outcome.  These men believed that if they failed in this second revolutionary idea, if separate states carried the day, the American Revolution would have been a failure.

It’s a wonderful story: the long, hard struggle from the Glorious Fourth to a truly United States of America, crafted by a visionary handful.

 

Pension file information: Hannah Williamson Thackston or Thaxton, based on the service of her husband, Thomas Thaxton or Thackston, Revolutionary War

Thomas Thackston / Thaxton and Hannah Williamson Thackston / Thaxton had several children (listed below). Two of their daughters, Matilda and Sarah, married two Logan brothers, William and Reuben, sons of Zachariah and Margaret “Peggy” Brown Logan. The William and Reuben Logan families moved from Allen County, Kentucky, to southern Illinois. Later, both families moved to Cherokee County, Kansas.

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