SAR, DAR Members Hold Joint Meeting
STOCKTON — A combined group of SAR and DAR members heard a talk recently by Doug Arters about Gen. Edward Hand, a leader of Revolutionary War riflemen, mainly a commander of a Pennsylvania line and a medical doctor.
Meeting in a combined group, members of the Chautauqua County Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Benjamin Prescott Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution met at the Stockton Hotel. The meeting was led by Jeff Crossley, SAR chapter vice president.
Edward Hand, born in 1744 in Ireland, earned his medical certificate at Dublin, Ireland. He first entered the military with the 18th Royal Irish Regiment of Foot as a surgeon’s mate, which traveled to Philadelphia in 1767. He was commissioned an ensign in 1772 and marched with his unit to Fort Pitt. In 1774, he resigned his commission and began practicing medicine in Lancaster, Pa.
At the start of the Revolutionary War, he enlisted as a lieutenant colonel with the Pennsylvania Line, eventually participating in battles at Long Island, White Plains, Trenton and Princeton. Often times, American riflemen were under his command, such as at Long Island, and at the battle of Assunpink Creeek, N.J. Against overwhelming odds, 25 of his crack riflemen held off some 4,000 British soldiers in the region of Manhattan’s Throg’s Neck Peninsula, and later, his riflemen successfully skirmished against British Gen. Charles Cornwallis’ oncoming army at Assunpink Creek.
Hand was not the only leader of American riflemen. There was 6-foot-six-inch Col. William Campbell, King’s Mountain Battle; Capt. Michael Cresap in New York City; Col. John Sevier, King’s Mountain Branch and first governor of Tennessee; Col. Francis “Swamp Fox” Marion, southern guerilla leader; Ltc. Daniel Boone, ancestor of actor and singer Pat Boone; Col. Dan Morgan, commander at the Battle of Cowpens in January 1781, and others.
Hand, as adjutant general, and his staff played a significant role in preparing the regulations for the service of the siege of Yorktown, Va., resulting in the surrender of British Gen. Charles Cornwallis in October 1781, the last major battle of the war.
On. Sept. 30, 1783, Hand was promoted, by brevet, to major general, but without the corresponding pay. He then resigned from the Continental Army in early November 1783. He returned to Lancaster, Pa., resuming his medical practice. Later in 1785, Hand owned and operated Rock Ford Plantation, a 177-acre farm along the Conestoga River, a mile south of Lancaster, where he and his family resided in a Georgian-style brick mansion. The farm is open to the public now.
He died, age 58, in early September 1802, though the cause of death is not certain. Burial was at the St. James Episcopal Cemetery, Lancaster, Pa., where he had served as a deacon.
In other business, Harry Lent gave a report on the treasury, applications and the organization’s website, chautauquasar.org. Lent noted that one new application had been sent to the national headquarters in Louisville, Ky.
Arters and member Frank Stow gave a brief report on Liberty’s Way, the organization that provides assistance to veterans. The organization is located at 4519 Miller Hill Road, Lander, Pa. For more information, call 814-757-4713 or visit libertysway.org.