I'd been aware of the following article for decades, but never saw a copy
until I visited the DAR library in Washington, DC during July, 2012. It was
included as proof in the DAR application of Margaret McQuiston Milne
(3William Hugh McQuiston, 2Elizabeth Hogue,
1James Hogue), and is filed as document #6612457. The following
points should be noted:
- James Hogue's birth year does not match up with the
arithmetic of his stated ages, as spelled out in the first paragraph. The
Quebec occurred in December, 1775. If James was born in 1754, he would
have been about 21, not 16 or 17, as inferred here. It would make better
sense if he had been in Pennsylvania for seven or eight years rather
- A James Hogg is found listed in the "Battalion of Riflemen" and is noted
as having been captured. The entry in Pennsylvania in the War of the
Revolution further states that he was living in Cumberland county, PA in
1794, which doesn't agree with James's account.1
- There was a well-known Thomas
Walker whose story somewhat dovetails James's. Although also captured,
he was a relatively important person—apparently a politician rather
than a soldier—and would not have been handled in the same way James
was. There was an enlisted private of the same name in Col William
Thompson's company, also noted as being captured.2
- James Hogue married Margaret Irwin. Her parentage is unknown but it has
long been suspected she was a sister of James Irwin (1758-1847), who
received a pension for his service, and who had children Ann, John, Mary,
Jane, James, Robert, William, Nancy, David S, and George. If the following
was taken down by David, he might have been a nephew to James
- The narrative would have been fifty years old when it was published in
1878. Did the original copy travel from Ohio to Illinois with the Hogues or
(more likely) with the McQuistons? Is there any chance that the original
might still exist?
There is virtually no genealogical information in James's narrative, but
it makes for one hell of a yarn. To help determine its veracity, I've
linked to further information. Those nouns and terms that I've not been
able to identify are italicized.
Narrative of James Hogue
Who Served in the Revolutionary War Five Years and a Half
(Written by D. S. Irwin, Jan. 7 1827, and published in the Monmouth Atlas,
I was born in Ireland, in the year of 1754. At the age of fifteen, I came
to America. When I was about sixteen, I went to Carlisle, Penn., to reap.
After I had been there seven or eight days [years?], I enlisted in Captain
Henricks' Rifle Company. In three days we set out for Boston; and in a few
days after we arrived in Boston we were drafted to Quebec.3 We
got scarce of provisions—so scarce that each man had but one pint of
flour to subsist on for thirteen days. While in our distress, there came a
drove of cattle, of which we killed some to eat. After we had refreshed
ourselves, we marched on again until we arrived at Quebec. After we had
laid there two or three weeks, Gen. Montgomery arrived with an army and
laid siege to the upper part of the town; at the same time, Gen. Arnold
(the General under whose command we were) laid siege to the lower part of
the town. The battle then commenced, in which Gen. Montgomery and his
aid-de-camp were killed, and his army retreated.
When the British saw that Montgomery was dead, and that his army had
retreated, they took us prisoners.4 When we were taken, the
British General, whose name was Charlton
[sic], took down the names of all the English, Irish and Scotchmen, and
told us we must go to England and be hung, or enlist with him and fight
against America. So we chose to enlist with him.5
As soon as the Americans had left Quebec, we were sent to Montreal, to
keep garrison. We had not been there more than two or three weeks, till
Thomas Walker and I deserted. We had not traveled far till we parted.
Soon after I had left him, I was taken by five Englishmen. I escaped from
them, but they followed me about thirty miles and took me again, and put me
in a Quebec jail. There were twelve of us in one room. I had not been long
in till we broke jail; six of us made our escape and left six in jail.
After I escaped jail, I went to Walker again.
We lived one summer with the French, and then we were taken again and
sent to Montreal, tried by a court martial, and sentenced to be transported
to Bay Baudoras, to cut logwood.10 But we were not sent,
but sent to Quebec again, put on board a ship and sailed for England. While
were were sailing, we became very intimate with some of the sailors, so that
we might desert when we came on shore.
When we landed at Portsmouth, we were kept on board for eight days. So on
a day when there was a fair in town, the captain sent three of his men, with
fixed bayonets, to take us to prison. When we were going through the crowd,
we escaped from them and ran through the town till we came to an old cellar,
and stayed there till night, took off our soldiers' clothes and put on our
sailors' clothes. As soon as it became dark, we left the cellar and got on
the road that led to London.
We traveled all that night; in the morning we got our breakfasts, which
cost us twelve pence, which was all the money we had. After we had traveled
some distance, the Duke
of Glouchester [sic] (the King's brother) overtook us, and asked us a
number of questions and inquired what ship we belonged to. We told him that
we belonged to the Montreal
frigate. He asked us how we came to leave our ship. We told him that
we were left sick in the hospital, and had our choice to travel by land or
water, and that we chose to travel by land to see the country. So he gave
me a guinea and Walker a crown piece to get shoes for myself and bear our
expenses to London, and told us to stop at a certain tavern in Kingston and
get our dinner on his account, and then he left us.
When we came to Kingston, we were afraid to stop for fear we would be taken
up. But when we came to the tavern at which we were to stop, the landlord
called to us and asked us if we were the men who were to dinner on the
Duke's account. We told him that we were. Then he took us in and gave us
our dinner and a mug of porter to drink. After we had refreshed ourselves,
we went on toward London, and arrived there that night.
When we came into the town, we thought it best not to lodge at any public
house for fear they would ask us too many questions. So we stopped at a
widow's house and called for some refreshments. While we were sitting at
the table (taking our refreshments) that stood near a window that fronted
the street, the press
gang came by the window and saw us. When they observed our dress, they
came in and took us prisoners and put us in the Savee. After we had
been there about two weeks, we made our escape. We had not gone far till
Walker and I parted. He said he would go back to London and try to get on a
ship that was going to America; but I said that I would never go to London
again unless I was compelled to go. So he went to London, and I went toward
Willedge, a little town on the Thames river.
When I got some distance, I saw a man on a gibbet, and a man watching
him, lest any person should give him bread, so the senty [sic] told me that
if I would go up opposite the town and hail a boat, they would come over for
me. Then I went up and called for a boat and there come one over for me,
but I had no money to pay them. So they said they would not ask anything.
They asked me what ship I wanted to go to. I told them a merchant vessel.
Then they took me to one and asked the captain if he wanted to hire a hand.
So he offered me £4 s. 10 per month and the river wages; but the boatsmen
told me that I could get higher wages at another ship. So they took me to a
bomb ship. When I
went on board, I found the wages lower that I was offered on the other ship;
but I soon found that I was obliged to stay. The name of the ship was
In three or four weeks she sailed round to Portsmouth. I took the fever
while at Portsmouth and was put into a hospital. After I recovered I was
put on board the guard ship. Soon after, I was drafted from the guard ship
to the Robust, a
ship-of-war, of 74 guns. In a few days we sailed, in company with
forty-nine other ships, for Halifax. Soon after we came to Halifax, we
sailed to New York, took in the English soldiers that were at New York and
sailed to Charleston, S.C. We had not been long at Charleston, till the
whole ship's crew took the scurvy and some died with it. After we had laid
three or four weeks at Charleston, we sailed again for Halifax, and after
we landed I went and engaged with the captain of an English privateer.
We went out, and after some time we fell in with an American privateer, and
we fought with them two hours and five minutes, and they took us prisoners.
After we were taken, I told the captain my narrative. So he told me that if
I would work my passage to Boston, he would give me a discharge, to go into
any part of America that I wished.
When we landed at Boston I went to the captain for my discharge; but he
told me that he could not give it without the permission of the Governor.
So there came to the ship a lieutenant of the Trumbull
frigate, and asked if there were any that would enter on board with him for
three months or the first intended port. So I said I would enter with him.
We set out and sailed to New York, from that to Baltimore. When we came to
Baltimore, there came out two English ships and chased us up as far as New
Castle, Delaware, and then left off to follow us. When they left us, the
captain told us that if we would take the ship safe to Philadelphia, that he
would give us our discharges.7 When we landed at Philadelphia, I
went to the captain time after time for my discharge; but he still put me
off.8 So I soon started without my discharge; but after I had
passed through Lancaster and Middletown, I was taken up by Captain
Smith, who was obliged to take any soldier that had no
pass.11 So he locked me up in his house, and I laid down and
slept until morning.
About the break of day his two daughters came to me and told me to get
up, take some refreshments, and start away before their father would be
up.6 So I set out again and traveled on till towards evening; but
I began to be hungry, so I stopped at a house and asked the landlady for
something to eat. Then she asked me if I had a pass. I told her that I had
none. Then she said I must be taken up. So she called to her husband, who
came and told me that I must be taken to Esq. Green. I asked him if
he ever knew a sailor to have a pass. Then he concluded that it was best to
let me go, so I arrived home in about two days after.
After some years, I went back to Philadelphia to get my pay. I got a
ticket of forty shillings for my service on the Trumbull frigate, which was
all the pay I got for five and a half years of service.
I was some years home before I was married. About the year 1784, we moved
from Pennsylvania to Kentucky.
In 1808, we moved to the state of Ohio; and now I reside in the state of
Ohio, the County of Butler; and I am now about seventy-two years old. As my
memory is now bad, and having kept no journal, I can give but a brief
All original portions ©
Michael Cooley, OrbitInternet.net -