Star Spangled LeonardsJul 1st, 2009 | By Leonard Legends & Legacies | Category: Real People, Real Stories
Independence Day is nearly upon us (or is wa-a-a-y off in the future, depending on when you read this). And what kind of Leonard would I be if I didn’t take note of our illustrious Revolutionary War ancestors?
As we celebrate the outcome of the Revolutionary War, let’s just ignore the fact that the Star Spangled Banner was written during the War of 1812, shall we? It’s our patriotic duty to go along with the star-spangled theme.
There are a handful of Revolutionary War vets in the Leonard line. I know of at least seven and I’m sure you’ll alert me to the ones I miss. We likewise have a number of esteemed members of the Daughters of the American Revolution in our midst. Dixie is one, if I’m not mistaken. Anybody else?
I, alas, am not a member of DAR. Something about the wrong set of genitals. And SAR just doesn’t have the same ring. But I digress. As is my custom.
Brothers Caleb Jr., Silas, and Isaac Leonard were all Revolutionary War soliders serving in Captain James Craven’s Company, Fifth Battalion in the Washington County, PA. militia. Caleb and Silas never rose above the rank of private, Isaac ascended to Lieutenant. Most western Pennsylvania militias were never mustered into the Continental Army, but served instead defending against Indian raids.
Beallsville Cemetery records indicate that the brothers’ father, Caleb Leonard Sr., was also a Revolutionary War soldier, but it seems unlikely as he would have been fifty years old at the start of the war.
Caleb Sr.’s brother, William, was also too old, but four of his sons were not. Brothers Lot, Amos, Jesse, and possibly Zeba all served in the New Jersey militia, which did see action under General George Herbert Walker Washington. You might check me on those facts, by the way.
As a matter of fact, feel free to correct me on anything you see here, as this was a last-minute idea for an Independence Day post and it comes from a memory prone to senior moments. I promise to do better next year.
Annie (below) is absolutely right, and we are talking about the same Lot Leonard, but he’s much more complicated than I let on. Lot served in the New Jersey AND Pennsylvania militias. And it took an actual Act of Congress for his heirs to collect his pension in 1836.
The entire story is on his bio page (click “Notes”), but the short story is that Lot served first under Captain Condit, in Morris County, NJ (guarding the coast) and then under Captain William Herod in Greene County, PA (fighting Indians). Lot was eventually elected Captain himself.
Stephen Banks Leonard (1793-1786) of Tioga County, New York wrote about the Leonards of New Jersey and their activities during the Revolutionary period. He also wrote of the Leonards listed as members of the Continental Army. While the lineages are often vague and sometimes suspect, it’s interesting reading nonetheless. The entire volume is online and downloadable courtesy of the Allen County Public Library.