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Re: Jacob Ringer, 1776 Frederick Co., MD
Posted by: Steve Smith (ID *****3655) Date: October 01, 2004 at 11:22:00
In Reply to: Re: Jacob Ringer, 1776 Frederick Co., MD by Marilyn Barber of 622

OK, here goes. Below is a timeline of references I've found relating to what probably happened in the fall of 1776 to Captain Creager's little company of men. Please keep in mind that I'm not a certified genealogist nor a historian, so please don't take any of this as absolute fact and PLEASE don't copy this to anywhere else on the Internet. Apologies for the length...

First, on your other questions. Yes, I came across an e-mail from someone else who stated that Jacob died in Indiana. (Funny - that's where mine ended up, too - in Gibson County).
I've no idea where my ancestor's bounty land might have been. There were some British estates divided up in Maryland after the war and handed out to the soldiers - mostly officers - but most bounty land was apparently in what was called the Ohio Military District. The story goes that the majority of soldiers sold their bounties for cash without ever seeing the land.
I'm not sure what records there are in Maryland or Frederick County, but I'm guessing there is a chance that there could be papers at the courthouse. However, I believe that some of the earliest Frederick County records had been moved to the Hall of Records at Annapolis. I've never been to Frederick County and that's my dream genealogy trip that I've been planning for years, but never seem to have the time or money to do it. Have you tried the DAR search facility?

In the following research, I am making somewhat of an assumption that Creager's company was indeed a "Flying Camp" and therefore under the command of Maryland's Brigadier General Rezin Beall. This fact has never been stated specifically in the records I have found so far, but the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of it. Specific military records for Creager himself have not been found, therefore I must research the movements of his superior officers, such as General Beall (who, unfortunately, also has no pension statement filed with NARA). It is entirely possible, that Creager and his company were absorbed into the main army upon arrival in New York and placed under a completely different commander.


Jan., 1776 - Act of Maryland Convention : "every freeman between 16 and 50 years to enroll in the militia by 1 March"
16 Aug., 1776 - The Flying Camps are placed under the command of Captain/General Rezin Beall; 4 battalions: Griffith's, Hall's, Ewing's, and "Eastern Shore".
10 Sept., 1776 - An Act is passed to form the company under Valentine Creager.
15-16 Sep., 1776 - Battle of Harlem Heights (NY) in which General Beall and Colonel Griffith are involved. Washington begins his retreat from New York. Creager most likely NOT present.
19 Sept., 1776 - Roll of Creager's Flying Camp "sent to Maj. Jenifer".
3 Oct., 1776 - Return of the muster roll of the Flying Camp in Frederick County under Captain Valentine Creager. The company is ordered to New York. They reportedly marched from "Bently's Tavern" outside of Frederick-Town.
3 Oct., 1776 - Commissions reportedly issued to the officers of the company. Valentine Creager's Company placed under the 2nd Battalion with John Carmack and Joseph Wood.
7 Oct., 1776 - The Flying Camps of Maryland are encamped 15 miles from White Plains. JCMCS 12-480. Creager most likely NOT present.
9 Oct., 1776 - Maryland Convention resolves to incorporate Flying Camps into the Continental Army. Beall to continue as commander of this New Corps.
12 Oct., 1776 - Second Battle of Harlem Heights. Colonel Griffith at Harlem Heights, Beall at York Island. The Flying Camps normal route is to travel via the Chesapeake to the "Head of Elk" (River). Then march to Philadelphia, up the Delaware, to Trenton, to Princeton to Brunswick, to Amboy to Elizabethtown, to Newark, and finally New York. General Smallwood states his men march 15 to 20 miles per day. Creager most likely NOT present as yet.
14 Oct., 1776 - Fort Washington, NY. Beall's brigade under Major General Putnam, second division under Major General Joseph Spencer. Putnam to "attend particularly to the Works about Mount Washington and to the obstructions in the River". Creager most likely NOT present.
24 Oct., 1776 - Maryland Councilman Benjamin Rumsey, makes the statement in Philadelphia that Creager's company was there awaiting officer's commissions for 3 weeks. (Since 3 Oct.) The Flying Camps are incorporated into the Continentals upon arrival in New York.
28 - 29 Oct., 1776 - Battle of White Plains and events at Chatterton Hill begins. A reinforcement including Gen. Beall's Maryland brigade arrives too late. This is probably the first field action that Creager's company would have seen.
31 Oct., 1776 - Washington withdraws from White Plains towards the Croton River.
31 Oct.-8 Nov., 1776 - General Beall's Brigade is stationed at Pine's Bridge over the Croton River.
5 Nov., 1776 - Payment recorded to Lt. Philip Smith on Acct of Captn Creager's Company.
7 Nov., 1776 - letter from Camp at White Plains stating the Flying Camp are about 16 miles from there.
8 Nov., 1776 - Beall marched to Peekskill, NY.
10 Nov., 1776 - Beall preparing to embark at Peekskill
11 Nov., 1776 - Beall crossed the Hudson River at King's Ferry.
16 Nov., 1776 - Fort Washington falls while Beall's troops are at Pine's Bridge. Beall ordered to preserve the stores at Fort Lee, NJ.
18 Nov., 1776 - Washington's army on the west bank of the Hackensack River. The army subsequently crosses the Passaic at the Acquackanonk Bridge, then down the Passaic Valley to Newark.
19 Nov., 1776 - Fort Lee troops identified as Beall's. Beall ordered to evacuate troops & supplies.
21 Nov., 1776 - Beall's troops ordered to move over to the west side of Hackensack River. Philip Greenwood sent to Barren's Point, arrives just after fall of Ft. Lee, then retreated with the main army to the Delaware River across to Trenton. Beall arrives at Acquackanonk Bridge. Fort Lee falls.
22 Nov., 1776 - 160 of Beall's brigade reportedly taken prisoner. No records that any of Creager's men taken.
23 Nov., 1776 - Return of troops shows Beall at Newark, NJ. Maryland troops who would not sign for 3 years were asked to stay on under Washington 4 additional months, until 10 March, 1777
26 Nov., 1776 - The army leaves Newark. The army splits in two, one column along the road to Springfield, Scotch Plains, and Quibbletown (now New Market), the other through Elizabeth Town and Woodbridge to New Brunswick and the Raritan River.
29 Nov., 1776 - Skirmish at New Brunswick Washington retreats to Trenton, then across the Delaware where the British army ceases it's pursuit for the winter.
1 Dec., 1776 - The term of enlistment of the Flying Camps expired. Beall's brigade departed. Conflicting reports as to how many remained.
3 Dec., 1776 - Resolution of Continental Congress to re-enlist Flying Camp soldiers for either 1 month, or until 10 Mar., 1777, or for 3 years.
7 Dec., 1776 - Battle of Tappan. Washington and remainder of army still at Brunswick.
16 Dec., 1776 - Flying Camp reported as returned to Frederick County and having left their guns behind in Philadelphia. There are some indications that Maryland was unable to replace these arms for some time in 1777, therefore their militia probably did not fight for some period that year.
19 Dec., 1776 - Militia of Frederick County ordered to march to reinforce Washington.
25-26 Dec., 1776 - Crossing the Delaware & Battle of Trenton, NJ. Maryland Militia arrives in Philadelphia, therefore were not involved in the Battle of Trenton.
After 25 Dec., 1776 - Maryland's militia arrives in Philadelphia and leaves their guns.
28 Dec., 1776 - Muster roll of Col. James Johnson's Battalion of Militia in Frederick County.
30 Dec., 1776 - Whole of the militia of Frederick County sent to aid Washington.


Notice the conflict in that the Maryland Flying Camps supposedly were on the march in early October, yet it's reported that Captain Creager's company was stranded in Philadelphia until October 24. See the Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, July 7:December 31, 1776, Volume 12, Page 397 - 400 (online).

I still have many unanswered questions about this period in history. Again, what I've concluded is NOT absolute fact. There are no official military records (so far) which specifically detail what happened to Captain Creager himself.

I suspect that many of the men from Creager's company also served in 1777, but, in a statement from the editor of the Maryland Archives, there are no service records surviving for that year.
This was something interesting I found that mentions Creager:

"Uniforms of the American, British, French, and German Armies in the War of the American Revolution, 1775-1783" by Lt. Charles M. Lefferts, p.107, "Maryland Militia of the Flying Camp, 1776",
"Captain Valentine Creager's Company of Maryland Militia Volunteers of Frederick County"
"Felt hat, gray cloth coat, brown waistcoat, leather breeches
Felt hat, gray coat, leather breeches
Short light colored jacket, long trousers, felt hat
Blue shalloon breeches, light colored coat
Yellow hunting shirt, long trousers
White hunting shirt, leather breeches, felt hat
White hunting shirt and trousers, felt hat
                                   (Pennsylvania Packet, Oct. 29, 1776)
Light colored coat, long skirted, scarlet breeches, felt hat
Fustian frock, light colored waistcoat, light blue breeches, felt hat
                                   (Pennsylvania Packet, Nov. 5, 1776)"


Thomas Paine was with Washington's army from the fall of Fort Lee down through New Jersey during his retreat in the fall and winter of 1776. It was during this time that he began his famous "American Crisis" papers, and it is theorized that reading of his "Common Sense" to the otherwise demoralized soldiers helped to turn the tide of the war in 1776 culminating with Washington's victory at Christmas.

I've got well over 100 references in my bibliography, but here are some quick Internet sources, with all due respect to the authors:

The muster roll - you probably know this :
(This is Yorktown, New York, not Yorktown, Virginia.)

Any other questions, let me know.

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