Discharge of the Battalion

By Kyle Willyard

More and more men were volunteering service in the new regular companies that were being formed. As these companies were being formed, they were sent to Williamsburg and Norfolk. The resulting shortage of weapons forced a partial disarming of the minutemen. On February 14, 1776, the Committee of Safety sent a message of thanks to the Culpeper battalion and ordered Colonel Howe to discharge the companies on guard at Norfolk and Hampton. However, due to a delay in sending regular troops to the area, the committee was forced to countermand the order and to postpone the discharge until March. Late in the spring of 1776, most of the minutemen finally were released from active duty. They turned their equipment over to their replacements and marched home. Some of the Minute Battalion remained on call until August.

By mid-summer most former members of the Minute Battalion had joined the regular Continental forces. Many of the subalterns, noncommissioned officers and privates of the Minute Battalion enlisted in Colonel Daniel Morgan's 11th Virginia Continental Regiment.

Many who served in the Minute Battalion would go on to see some of the toughest campaigns and greatest victors of the war. Young Philip Slaughter, who was present at the formation of the Culpeper Minutemen and recorded it in his journal so that we might have a glimpse of what it was like, soon returned home and later joined Morgan's elite rifle corps, and rose to command a detachment of it in 1777. Slaughter served in the battles of Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, and Stony Point, and was also with Washington's troops at Valley Forge during the winter of 77-78. Slaughter fared better than many of his fellow officers, however, and often accepted dinner invitations with General Washington when many had to decline because they did not have sufficient clothing. In 1781, he retired with the rank of captain. (Greene, p.4)

John Marshall, also present at Valley Forge during the harsh winters was a messmate with Phillip Slaughter and James Jamerson. Slaughter relates an incident in his journal when Marshall, was awaken in the middle of the night. He had raked up a pile of leaves to sleep on, and pulled off his stockings. When Marshall, who had the only pair of silk stockings in the regiment, was awaken in the middle of the night, he was unable to find the stockings. He then unwittingly set fire to the leaves and before he saw it burned a large hole in one of the pair. Thenafter, Marshall wore the pitiful looking stockings while on parade as a sort of joke. (Greene, p.47-48)

Edward Stevens, who had been named Lieutenant Colonel of the Minutemen and who was appointed over the detachment under Woodford, eventually rose to the rank of Brigadier General. General Stevens fought with distinction at the battles of Great Bridge, Brandywine, Germantown, Camden, Guilford Court House and Yorktown.

John Jameson, who was Captain of one of the original companies, would help to prevent one of the most treasonous acts ever to be conceived in our country. Jameson, now a colonel, was the officer responsible for capturing British Major, John Andre. A letter dated September 23, 1780 would reveal to General Washington details concerning the capture of Major Andre. This led to the exposure of Benedict Arnold's plot to betray General Washington and strategic forts at West Point. After Arnold's capture, Jameson was placed in command of the forts.

These are only a few of the more famous out of the original three hundred or so men that served in the Minute Battalion. Certainly others served with equal dedication, although history has long ago forgot their deeds. However, many of their names stlll exist from petition records in the Virginia State Library. Their names are listed below.

Copyright 1995 by Kyle Willyard


Colonel Lawerenee Taliaferro, 1775
Lieutenant Colonel Edward Stevens, 1775
Major Thomas Marshall, 1775.
Paymasters Henry Field, John Slaughter, 1776
Surgeon Samuel Boyd, 1776

COMPANIES 1775-1776

Captain Joseph Spencer, Orange County, October 1775
Captain James Jameson, Culpeper County, October 1775
Captain James Slaughter, Culpeper County; late 1775
Captain Elias Edmonds, Faquier County, October 1775
Captain William Pickett, Faquier County, October 1775
Captain William Payne, Faquier County, Qctober 1775
Captain William McClannachan, Culpeper County, October 1775
Captain Francis Triple tt, Faquier County, October 1775
Captain John Chilton, Faquier County (?), October 1775
Captain John Blackwell, Jr., Faquier County (?), October 1775
Captain Abraham Buford, Culpeper County, November 1775
Captain John Williams, Orange County, October 1775
Captain George Johnston, Faquier County, October 1775
Captain James Scott, Orange County, late 1775

Source: Sanchez-Saavedra, p.16

The following are signers of Culpeper County legislative petitions in the 1770's on record in the Virginia State Library, they are presumed to have been Minutemen. (Culpeper Co. His. Society, p.39-41)

Gabriel Long William Baily James Pendleton James Thomas
Robert Long Benjamin Roberts James Slaughter Apperson
William Green A. Bradley Richard Yancey Henery Elley
Charles Davenport Samuel Stigler William Stanton Henry Coons
James Jett Aron Lane ____ Read Robert Pollard
D. Jameson, Jr. Goodrich Lightfoot Lewis Yancey Charles Chowning
John Waugh John Yancey Cad. Slaughter Thomas Slaughter
Joseph Roberts John Dillard Bradley William Jones
James Green, Jr. William Stevens Philip Waterfield Peter Cook
Laurence Slaughter George Turner Wm. Butts Adam Cook
Isaac Herrin Gabriel Long, Jr. Wm. Morris Michael Carpenter
James Jones Shadrack Jones Thos. Bywater Conrod Tilp
John Harrison Thomas Sullenger Wm. Robbinson Henry Crislar
John Taylor Thomas Wood James Thomas John Zimmerman
King James Inskeep Wilaam Corbin Geo. Crislar
Thomas Lanikin Ambrose Powell James Stubblefield John Fleshman
David Farmer James Collins Reuben Long Michael Utz
Armistead Green Jacob Ward James Nash John Wever
Baylor Banks Mumford Stevens Ware Long Roger McDanial
William Strode Humphrey Gains Frank Apperson George Slaughter
Edward Lightfoot William Alexander W. Bradley John Carpenter, Jr.
Thomas King Ambrose Medley E. Watkins .Geo. Utz
Richard Roberts Benaiah Bell Wm. Jett Martin Dur
Joseph Sanford Gervice Smith Henry Lewis Adam Garr
Peter Triplett George Wayt Stephen Layton Jacob Hendrixon
Benj. Partlow Absalom Bobo Rchd. Scales Moses Broile
William Abbitt James Clark Jas. Pendleton Peter Clore
_____ Abbitt Wm. Bledso William Williams Jno. Garr
_____ Allen John Forrester George Reazor Nath. Wilhoit
Edmond Beazley Jeremiah Kirtley Adam Tilp Jno. Blankenbaker
Enoch Marshall George Hume Peter Weaver Geo. Wilhoit
James Hudson Charles Hume Jacob Louther Jno. Stinesyfer
Henry Wuhoit Humphrey Sparks Matthias Wever Matthias Mock
Brumfield Long Gasper Hayns Godfry Yager Morton Christopher
Reuben Garnett John Leatherer John Smith John Clor, Jr.
William Cannady Reuben Medley Benjamin Garr Jacob Blankenbaker
Griffin Read William Booton Ephraim Kiugg Cyrus Broyle
Francis Duncan John Scott Henry Wayland Adam Fisher
Thomas Camp Jonathan Cooper Michael Cook Henry Wayman
David Hening Benj. Haynes Zachariah Smith Michael Flishman
Robert Miller Wm. Champe Daniel Tilp Adam Garr
James Sims Benjamin Lillard Dohn Dur, Jr. Jacob Blankenbecker
John Marshall William Field Robert Flishman Bernd. Fisher
Thomas Morris George Row Wm. Carpenter Wm. Chapman
James Campbell John Yancey Comrod Wilhoit Moses Garrot
Richard Haynie Benjamin Gaines George Utz, Jr. Jacob Tanner
John Barger James Gaines John Smith Moses Clore
John Wood Chas. Chowning Henry Miller Thos. Wright

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