Miscellaneous Notes

Miscellaneous Notes

  • “Coles Ferry was about 8 miles below Brookneal on the Staunton River. It had an ordinary, general store and post office. Von Steuben camped there and it appears that it was another in the long list of places that one G. Washington stayed in his perambulations.” Lyle E. Browning
  • “I am not absolutely positive, but strongly believe the site of Carter’s Ferry across the James River, upstream from Richmond, is the present day site of Carter’s Bridge, carrying Va. Rte. 45 from Cartersville in Cumberland Co. to George’s Tavern in Goochland County. The James is broad and fairly shallow there (I’ve “put in” an inner tube there and floated downriver) and there was a bridge there about mid-19th century. It has washed out a couple times during floods, but the old stone piers and part of the old deck were still intact when I tubed up there about 10 years ago.” John Hopewell, Library of Virginia.
  • “As an afterthought, I will add that Tarleton and the British army made several forays into Goochland and the James River basin in the summer of 1781. Jefferson’s property at Elk Hill in Goochland suffered much damage, particularly loss of stock and fences (used for firewood) and many citizens of Goochland submitted bills of damage to the local court (they will be found in “Military & Pension Records” in some distant day) and also list loss of stock, fences, even ladies clothing. In those days, of course, the James was an avenue of commerce, not a barrier as it is to us dependent on land travel, and so troops could be floated down or across the river whenever the situation required. Tarleton later burned part of Richmond before joining the rest of the British army at Yorktown.” John Hopewell, Library of Virginia.
  • “I went through the Records of the Public Store at Williamsburg (I have a copy) and found only two entries relating to Gaskins:
    • Paid to: George Robertson for Col Gaskins troops Jul 81 100 bu corn 65 bu oats
    • William Martin for Col Gaskins Regt Aug 81 18 bu corn
    • I believe this was in Chesterfield County.” Bob Davis, Fort Lee, Petersburg
  • Berg’s Encyclopedia of Continental Army Units states on page 124 that “The 1st Virginia Battalion” [Gaskins’ Virginia Battalion] was commanded by Colonel Christian Ferbinger (sic). However, we know that Febiger only commanded the battalion for less than thirty days until Lafayette corrected the situation. Berg goes on to say that “Ferbinger’s Battalion included a small band of music.” Looking at his source below, I think that the band of music was more of a personal “possession” of Febiger’s, and was probably used more for recruiting than for giving commands in the battalion. Here’s the full quote as published, attributed to a letter from Febiger to Washington, March 14, 1782, in the Washington papers:
    • “…Early in the War, I had often attempted to raise a band from British or German deserters or prisoners; but I soon found no dependence could be put on these people. – I determined to try natives. Mr. Sheldon my Fife-Major and several other young men native of this State, whose times expired in ’79 – intended to re-enlist – but to no purpose, until I proposed to form a band and if they would re-enlist during the War if I lived that long or as long as I lived to command whether War and peace and received their training, instruments, and extra clothing as a bounty for so doing, I would immediately enlist them – they agreed …. The men are enlisted to serve as musicians or fifers and to do duty as such. Their music had more influence on the minds and motions of the militia last summer in this State [Virginia] then (sic) would the oratory of a Cicero, and in the recruiting business they are at least as useful as a well-spoken recruiting Sergeant….I engaged a Master and 8 – one is dead. And one from a hurt he received is invalidated – I have put soldiers, fifers in their place and [of the?] continuing number – 7 are equal to any Band in this country the other two improving”

 

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