Bill's Genealogy Blog

Bill Buchanan is a long-time genealogy enthusiast, living in Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada. This blog will describe my experiences as I research my family history and help others.

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Location: Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired online school teacher. I love family history. Since 2007, I have spent much of my time providing part-time support for the world's largest free family history site This is very rewarding. I have helped others with the Family Tree and related FamilySearch products.
Since April 2010, I have served in the Edmonton Riverbend Family History Centre. I have a FHC blog at Bill's Family History Center Blog For information the Latter-day Saints and family history click

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Tragedy and New Hope

Life has its tragedies and triumphs. Today I came across something I had written about my grandmother, Louisa Ellen Wright. I thought I would share it here. 

 Louisa Wright was born in London, England in 1884. She worked as a servant for some wealthy families, one was named Stokes. Lady Stokes entertained royalty from other countries - with their fine clothing and diamond jewelry. Louisa worked in the kitchen, but the girls who served the tables would leave the door open a crack so that the kitchen help (like Louisa) could enjoy the spectacle too.

Later, she too was employed serving the food, but she was never taught to bake. It was her husband, Richard who taught her to do farm chores like milking, churning butter and baking bread and pastries after they were married. Back in London, bread and milk were delivered to the homes.

Louisa was engaged to marry Wally, a merchant sailor on the "SS Montezuma", but on his last voyage before their marriage he drowned when the boat capsized while returning to the ship late one night. Louisa’s life was shattered! Wally had signed everything over to Louisa because of their impending marriage, but she refused to accept it, sending everything to his widowed mother.

Someone suggested she correspond with Richard Ing, an acquaintance of theirs who now lived in Canada. Their courtship took place by mail. (This was long before the internet!) He proposed marriage and she accepted! She traveled half way around the world to marry a man she had probably never met. That takes courage!

On her voyage to Canada in 1913, the Salvation Army band on shore played "God be with you 'til we meet again", and the passengers on the ship could hear the people singing as the ship moved out of hearing range. The Titanic disaster of the previous year was probably on everyone’s mind.

After the ship docked, Louisa traveled west on the Canadian Pacific Railroad. North of Lake Superior, the tracks were blocked by a landslide, which took several hours to clear away. Richard and some friends had traveled by horse and wagon from Altario, Alberta to Macklin, Saskatchewan, which was the closest point on the railroad. They waited for hours for the train to come. It finally arrived at midnight, so Richard Samuel Ing and Louisa Ellen Wright were married at midnight at the minister’s house in Macklin.

The next day they traveled to Altario, and then to Richard’s homestead. Louisa moved from a stately home in England to a homesteader’s shack on the bald prairie of Alberta, to begin her married life.

They had a wonderful marriage and 6 children, all of whom married and had families. Their home was place of love and laughter. Three of the children are still alive and are in their 90s.

Louisa loved to sing, and she sang constantly throughout the day as she did her work. Even when she was down on her knees scrubbing the floor she would be singing. She often sang the hymns "I Need Thee Every Hour" and "Will There Be Any Stars in My Crown?", but she had a large repertory of songs, and a nice singing voice. Many of her songs were the tragic songs popular in those times.

Louisa’s example of courage, hard work and good humor has been a powerful one in our family. She and her gentle husband Richard Ing were wonderful people!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Filling in the Gaps in a Life Story

Just when I think I have Great Aunt Margaret Matilda figured out, she has a surprise in store.  

I have known for 50 years that prior to her marriage to Robert John "Red Bob" Buchanan, my grandfather's brother, she was married to a man named Harvey Tibbetts. I had found them living in Iowa in the 1880 US census.

1880 United States Census
Census Place: Valley, Pottawattamie, Iowa
Source: FHL Film 1254361 National Archives Film T9-0361   Page 161 D
          Relation Sex Marr Race Age   Birthplace
Harvay TIBBETTS Self M M W 29 CANADA    Occ: Farmer Fa:VT Mo. CANADA
Margaret TIBBETTS   Wife F M   W 18   CANADA    Occ: Keeps House Fa: IRE.  Mo: IRE

This week Ancestry sent me this hint:
Iowa, Select Marriages Index, 1758-1996
Name: Harvey Tibbitts
Gender: Male
Marriage Date: 19 Feb 1880
Marriage Place: Pottawattamie, Iowa
Spouse: Margaret M. Abrahams
FHL Film Number: 1018502
Reference ID: P 275

The pieces all fit together except the surname Abrahams. She was only 18 at the time of this marriage so a previous marriage is possible but not likely. I try to keep an open mind, remembering that Maggie was not beyond inventing "facts" when she found it convenient. But in this case, why invent a different surname? 

She often said was given away by her mother Bessie Glenn when she was a small child.
Her granddaughter, Jean Hunter said “They dressed her up real cute and had her dance on the table so the neighbors would think she was cute and take her to live with them!” Also to kind of confirm this Mavis Johnson Buchanan (Uncle Eddie's daughter-in-law) told me years ago that "When Granny Gilberds [Bessie Glenn] hitched up with Henry, he did not want to have anything to do with the Buchanan kids!"

Maybe that foster family's name was Abrahams. This record shows some promise of being the foster family of Margaret Matilda Buchanan, my great Aunt: 

1871 Census of Canada 
Name:    Margaret Abraham
Gender:    Female
Age:    8
Birth Year:    1863
Birth Place:    Ontario
Religion:    Church Of England
Origin:    Irish
Province:    Ontario
District:    Perth North
District Number:    30
Division:    04
Subdistrict:    Elma
Subdistrict Number:    e
Household Members    
Name    Age
Thomas Abraham    50
Barbara Abraham    45
Robert Abraham    22
William Abraham    20
Joseph Abraham    17
Margaret Abraham    8

This fits nicely. I note the the 9 year gap between Joseph and Margaret, her age, the locality. Elma is where the James Buchanan family lived. The origin for the whole family is given as Irish, so it is not a useful clue.

Here is the James Buchanan family in 1861. Margaret was born about 1862.
1861 Census
Buchanan James Farmer Ireland Wes. Meth Elma 36 Married Male Lot 25 Concession 11
Buchanan Elizabeth Ireland Wes. Meth Elma 22? Married Female
Buchanan M. J. Upper Canada  Wes. Meth Elma 2 Single Female
Buchanan Andrew Upper Canada  Wes. Meth Elma 1 Single Male

According to the local history "The Elmanac", page 566, a William Abraham bought Lot 32 in Concession 12 in 1866. From the map in the Elmanac, this property looks to be about 4 miles from there the James Buchanan family was living in 1861, This would be the William Abraham aged 30 in the 1861 census of Elma, living with Thomas, and presumably a younger brother.

1861 Census  Canada West > Perth
28 Thomas Abraham Male 38 1823 Ireland Married
29 Barbary Abraham Female 40 1821 Ireland Married
30 Robert Abraham Male 12 1849 Ireland Single
31 W Henry Abraham Male 10 1851 Ireland Single
32 Joseph Abraham Male 8 1853 Upper Canada Single
33 Wm Abraham Male 30 1831 Ireland Single

This William is the only Abraham mentioned in The Elmanac, and there is no biography for him. 

The Thomas Abraham family appear to have moved to Pottawattamie county, Idaho in the late 1870s, which would explain how Maggie got there. 

The parents and the two youngest sons are in the 1880 census, but spelled Abram.
1880 United States Federal Census > Iowa > Pottawattamie > Valley > 188
Abram Thomas White Male 55 1825 Self Married Ireland Ireland Ireland
Abram Barbery White Female 55 1825 Wife Married Ireland Ireland Ireland
Abram William White Male 27 1853 Son Single Ireland Ireland Ireland
Abram Joseph White Male 25 1855 Son Single Canada Ireland Ireland

Maggie, of course is in the same census as Margaret Tibbetts. 
William and Joseph both married there as well. William married Mary Jane Armstrong.
Joseph married Sarah Armstrong. Both wives were born in Ontario, and may be sisters.

Harvey Tibbetts seems to have died in 1881 or 1882, because Maggie married Robert John Buchanan in Minnedosa, Manitoba, Canada on 10 Dec 1883. In between, Maggie apparently went back to Ontario, then followed other Buchanans to western Manitoba. The other members of the Abraham family also moved back to Ontario. I find no records of Robert Abraham after 1871. William Abraham, the brother of Thomas stayed in Ontario, and married Elizabeth Fullerton, daughter of Thomas and Ellen Fullerton on 2 Apr 1880 in  Perth county, Ontario. He lists his parents as William and Mary Abraham of County Fermanagh, Ireland. 

Maggie later forgave her father, but continued to feel hurt that her mother had given her away. Her daughter Isabell (ever a peacemaker) told her, "I am sure that Grandma did what she thought was best for you. She probably couldn't provide for you." To which Maggie would reply, "No one is ever that poor! We raised 14 children!" Maggie and "Red Bob" had 8 children of their own, and raised 6 others. 

Maggie was one of the people for whom I have a special fondness. These records have filled in gaps in her personal story. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Villain or Victim?

As family historians we are serious about preserving family stories and passing them along to future generations. Hopefully, some of these stories will provide good examples to follow or bad examples to be avoided. But we need to be aware that some of the stories are biased and incomplete.

For example, in the following story, was "John" a villain or a victim? The undisputed facts seem to be that John and his wife "Mary" separated in 1944 or 1945. She became mentally ill and neglected the children for days at a time. Her illness may have started with severe postpartum depression, but she spent the rest of her life in institutions, gradually improving over time. John disappeared from the family's knowledge for nearly 20 years.

Ontario Child Protection Services removed the children from the home and prepared to place them for adoption. But Mary's mother did not want to lose her grandchildren. She used her limited resources to hire a lawyer and applied for custody of the grandchildren. She was eventually successful, and brought the children to Alberta. She and her other daughter's family raised the children, who grew up, married and raised families of their own.

Did John's abandonment of the family trigger Mary's mental illness, or did her mental illness cause her to evict him from her home? Opinions may differ. Obviously Mary was not responsible for her illness. Was John just another a "deadbeat dad" who abandoned his family when they needed him most? What sort of person was he?

In the past few days I received three snapshots of John taken when he was a young man.
This letter that accompanied the photos, gives an unbiased and unsolicited appraisal of his character.
I have sent these on to John and Mary's children and grandchildren.

Aug 28, 2016
Hi Bill,
Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. These are the only photos I have of [John] and family.
Please note, he was a good friend of my Dad and my Grandpa, and they always had positive things to say about him. Sometimes these kinds of affirmations come from without, don't they?
 When you view the photos and have anything to add, please get in contact with me

In the photos, I noticed that John is wearing a stripe on the sleeve of his uniform, so he was a lance-corporal (private first class). Obviously he was considered a good soldier. I also notice that the tee-shirt says CANADA ... ARMY TANK ... So he served in a tank regiment, which I had not been aware of, although I had researched his ancestors. We know almost nothing of his military service.

Maybe this letter will help us to appreciate a man who was largely unknown to his own family, but was still remembered and loved many years later by his friends as a good man. (Remember that Bill was looking for any of John's family when he found that I had been researching this family. I wasn't looking for him.)

And maybe I will be a little more cautious of giving one side of the story without trying to find the other side of the story. Maybe John and Mary were both victims of her illness. I would like to think so.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Our Trip to Utah

I have served in FamilySearch Support for several years, but I had never attended the annual picnic in Centerville Utah. This time we decided to go. My new supervisor was the person who hosted the annual picnic. And he volunteered to let us stay with him and his wife!

It is a long drive from Edmonton and we had been talking about replacing our old car for some time, but this seemed like the perfect time. We bought a 2017 Elantra with most of the creature comforts and some new safety features, and set off for Centerville.

We visited my mother in Leduc, and then spent Wednesday night with Judy's brother and his wife in Monarch, Alberta. We had a pleasant visit and viewed the new root cellar and the greenhouse they had built.

We left early on Thursday morning, because we had a long drive to our next stopping point, Idaho Falls. We stayed at the Snake River Motel 6, clean and affordable. While in Idaho Falls we bought 14"x17" pictures of Christ with a girl and Christ with a boy, for the children our son and daughter-in-law are planning to adopt. We also bought identical frames and a game for Laurel's family.

Then on to Utah the next morning. In Salt Lake City we visited the Family History Library (obviously!), the Church History Museum, and the Family Discovery Center in the JSMB. I was interested to see what activities were part of the Discovery Center so that I could report back to the director of my Family History Center. At Centerville we stopped for lunch and drove to Andy's farm. Andy and Joanne were not home so I phoned them and we waited. Soon they were there with big smiles, showing us around their home and land. The house was built by William Jennings, an early Utah entrepreneur, in 1887 and was made of adobe. Much of the furniture was also historical. Around the yard there was a collection of old horse-drawn farm equipment and tools, such as my dad was still using into the 1950s. I felt like I had been transported back in time 60 or 70 years. It was wonderful! Andy's grandparents bought the farm in 1910, so it has been in the family for over a century.

Judy helped Joanne make her special salsa. Andy and I helped with the setting up of the church where the dinner would take place the following afternoon. Part of this was a small discovery center. Judy and I slept in a historical bed under the protection of a muzzle-loading rifle on the wall. And in the morning we helped with preparations for the picnic. There were chairs and tables to set-up, and fruit to pick for the support missionaries. Andy got stung by a hornet while picking peaches. But it didn't slow him down or dampen his enthusiasm.

Before 2 PM support missionaries began to arrive. I recognized the names of some who serve in Family Tree support, and it was fun to finally meet them. Among them was Elder Lynn who serves as a leader in my group. He gave me a jar of honey from his bee hives and a jar of his special seasoning for meat. Among the other people there was Joseph (another of our supervisors), their manager Scott, and Scott's manager Bengt from Frankfurt Germany, and Bengt's manager, Diane (Assistant Director of FamilySearch). So these were real people (most were accompanied by a spouse and some cases children), not just names on a organization chart!

Besides meeting lots of people, I also had a chance to ride in the Herman's 1920 Ford Model T. It was an open "touring" model with a canvas roof. I sat up front beside the driver so that I could watch him shift gears using the pedals. (middle pedal for reverse, left pedal for low and high gears, the right pedal was the brake) I had not ridden in a Model T for probably 60 years. I enjoyed it. My 1932 Ford Model B was not much improvement, but in cold weather, the closed-bodied Model B was probably a lot more comfortable.

All too soon it was time to go to the church for the dinner. There I had the opportunity to meet my long-term supervisor, Emma, and two of her assistants, Sisters Craig and Hoffman. It was good to see some of my fellow group leaders: Elder Penrod, and Sisters Sorensen and Yost. We had a nice meal, and then talks by Bengt and Diane. And we visited until it was time to put away the tables and chairs and leave. It was a special occasion, and I was glad that I came. Would I come another year? Probably not. It is a very long drive.

The next morning we left about 7 AM so that we could attend church with Elder and Sister Moore in Mantua (pronounced "man 2-way") We missed the turn and were half way to Wellsville before we could turn around. We met up with the Moores and enjoyed worshiping with the friendly people of Mantua, before resuming our journey. Andy and Joanne provided us with lots of food for the journey. I was really exhausted by the time we reached Dillon, Montana, and we had some difficulty finding the Motel 6. But asking local people had served us well, and it proved to be the case once more. The room was larger than normal and had 2 double beds, refrigerator and microwave. While we watched Hunger Games 2, I sent a Skype message from my tablet to my missionaries.

We left about 6 AM for Monarch. Somehow we ended up going into Butte, Montana. This was not our plan at all. But with some local help, we reached the interstate. We stopped for gas and bought subs at Subway at Shelby. Gas is sure cheap here, and this car barely sips it. 5.3-5.6 litres/100 km! I did not need to refuel until Devon, Alberta. In fact I could probably have made it home on the gas I bought in Shelby, but I like to be safe.

By 3 PM we were at Monarch. After supper we were talking about our preferences in reading. At some point I mentioned The Fire of the Covenant by Gerald N Lund, which tells the story of the Willie and Martin handcart companies of 1856, and things I had learned from the book that do not come up in casual conversations about the events. They mentioned that they had a film of the Willie handcart company, called 17 Miracles and asked if we would like to watch it, so we did. It agreed with the book but followed other people involved in the events, and was really excellent. I was really impressed by Levi Savage, one of the sub-captains. Before the crucial vote was taken at Winter Quarters (Florence), Nebraska, he was asked to speak and he strongly counselled them to not go west until spring. He was strongly rebuked by Captain Willie. When the vote was taken and the majority of the company wanted to go west, Levi fully supported their decision. Later experience proved that both Savage and Willie were right: there would be suffering and death if they went west that summer, but staying in Winter Quarters when the Martin handcart company of 800 people was due to arrive soon, was not a viable option either. I found it interesting that the film mentioned that the death rate in the Willie handcart company was similar to other groups of immigrants coming west. They lost about 14% of their people in the cold weather. I would have considered it high. Of course, the Donner party with the best of equipment fared much worse.

We left about 6 AM so that we could get Judy to her medical appointment at 1:15 PM. At Okotoks, we stopped for lunch. We stopped again in Leduc to see Mom but she was not in her room or the public areas of Extendicare. So we continued home, arriving about noon. Judy had no trouble getting to her appointment.
There were lots of things to catch up on after a 6 day absence. It was good to be home again.

Still, I was impressed by how well everything went. We had not been on a long trip like this since 2002. I wasn't totally convinced we could do it. We took out travel insurance, but fortunately we didn't need it.

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Peel of Buchanan

In a previous posting I referred to my search for "the old Buchanan castle". I had seen various references to this building, which existed in the 1600s and probably much earlier. It seemed  that it had to refer to the old manor house "Buchanan Auld House". But this seemed to be a "mansion" rather than a "castle". So where does the term "castle" come in? Finally I found references to the "Peel of Buchanan" which stood not far from the Auld House. A "peel" was a "tower house", a small castle resembling the "keep" of a large castle, but smaller, typically 4 or 5 stories high. From this description in the History of Stirlingshire, the Peel of Buchanan was definitely a castle, complete with a moat, and probably a drawbridge.

'We may now pass to another remarkable antiquity, which, like the last mentioned, has, hitherto, so far as is known, been unnoticed in print—" the Peel of Buchanan," about 200 paces in front of the mansion of His Grace the Duke of Montrose. The Enric [river] had had its course in this direction, though now flowing considerably to the southward. The ditch around this ancient fort was filled by the river, and crossed by a passage, probably a draw-bridge, from the north.'
The History of Stirlingshire, Volume 1, By William Nimmo, Robert Gillespie, page 59, published 1880

Friday, June 10, 2016

In Search of the Old Buchanan Castle

Buchanan Castle at Drymen, Stirlingshire is an interesting ruin, but a comparatively modern one. It was built in 1852-1858 by the Duke of Montrose to replace the manor house which burned in 1850. It was a classy residence in its day. But its day only lasted a century. In 1954 the roof was removed so that it could no longer be taxed as a residence, and the building has greatly deteriorated since that time. “A romantic ruin” is a frequent description of it. Let's go back in time.

Image result for buchanan castle

The photos above show Buchanan Castle as it used to be and as it is today.

Fragments of the old manor house, Buchanan Auld House, have been incorporated into the present Buchanan Castle Golf and Country Club building. As near as I can tell, the manor house was a large building but was not in the style of a castle.

There is a picture of the Place of Buchanan showing a white 3-story rectangular building, that was part of the “Auld House”.  John Buchanan, the last laird Buchanan of Buchanan, built a long one- story building as an exhibition hall. After his death, his estate passed to the Montrose family, and the First Duke of Montrose built 2 stories on top of the exhibition hall, added on to both ends, and finished the building attractively.

Buchanan Place

"The barons or lairds of Buchanan built a castle where the present house stands. Part of it exists, forming the charter-room. A more modern house was built by these chiefs, adjoining the east side. This also now exists. The last Buchanan in possession of the edifice was a collector of curiosities; and had constructed, for holding them, a long range of one story, called " the Volary," from the prevalence of its birds. The first Duke of Montrose, and grandfather of the present noble proprietor, erected on it two additional stories; which, with the volary, have been since used for inhabitation. Behind this long range, the late Duke built a kitchen, and some other apartments. On the east and west, his present Grace, some years ago, added two ends, in a very elegant stile of Doric architecture. They form parts of a plan, the centre of which has, in the drawing, a magnificent aspect. The architect was the late Mr Playfair."
History of Stirlingshire. Corrected and brought down to the present time  ... By William Nimmo (minister of Bothkennar.), 1817, pages 399- 400
The verbal description seems to match this 1787 drawing of the Place of Buchanan made by J. P. Neale, shown above, which can be seen about page 272 of

The chiefs of Clan Buchanan seem to have lived in this same location since at least the year 1225 when they were granted a formal charter. Did the older parts of the Auld House date back that far? Possibly. Was it the “old Buchanan castle”?

While searching for information I came across a reference to a stone “tower house” that was once part of the complex of buildings. It was called the “Peel of Buchanan”. A tower house was a small defensive castle and aristocratic residence, a fortified tower typically 4 stories high. I think I finally found the “Old Buchanan Castle”!

The Peel of Buchanan may have resembled this peel tower.

“There are now no visible traces of the Peel of Buchanan which is said (RCAHMS 1963) to have stood about 200 paces in front of Buchanan Old House. The site is now part of a golf course, and one of the green-keepers told the Commission's officer that he had come across traces of stone foundations in the area. A small stretch of water, about 400 yds to the SW, which appears to have been formed within an old course of the Endrick Water, is known as Peel Pond.” “The Peel of Buchanan was demolished before 1724. It comprised an 'old tower and a great many other buildings.'”

By this time in history, the skirmishes between clans were over, and the new fashion for aristocratic residences was the palace rather than the fortress. And the Peel was probably a decrepit eyesore compared with the newer buildings. See the article in wikipedia

In its glory days the Peel of Buchanan was surrounded by a water moat, as the Endrick river passed by. The course of the river subsequently changed, and the foundations of the Peel, and its moat, are now hidden beneath the green grass of the golf course. The only remnant of the old watercourse is Peel Pond. The History of Stirlingshire, Volume 1 By William Nimmo, Robert Gillespie, page 59.  

"THE families of note in Stirlingshire about the end of the 13th century, and subsequently distinguished, were the Levenax, the Callendars, the Livingstons, the Erths, the Mores, the Stirlings, the Buchanans, the Drummonds, the Napiers." History of Stirlingshire. Corrected and brought down to the present ... William Nimmo (minister of Bothkennar.), ‎William MacGregor Stirling - 1817

I suppose that the term "old Buchanan castle" may have been used to refer to the manor house or to the peel. I had always thought it referred to the manor house. But that was before I knew about the Peel of Buchanan. Tower houses were commonly called "castles" and I find that the Peel more closely matches the usual definition of a "castle". I feel saddened by its loss.

The chronology as I currently understand it goes like this:
1225 the Buchanan chiefs were living on the site, perhaps for 200 years. They probably lived in fortified houses but tower houses were uncommon at that time.
1400 The Peel of Buchanan was probably built about this time and the chiefs would be living there.
Over time, additional buildings were added.
1660s the exhibition hall or “volary” was built by the last John Buchanan of Buchanan
1683 the Montrose family acquired the Buchanan estates and moved in
1690s the Place of Buchanan was created by expanding the exhibition hall
1720s the Peel of Buchanan was demolished
1850 a fire destroyed Buchanan Auld House/Place of Buchanan
1852-1858 the new Buchanan Castle was built
1954 the roof was removed from Buchanan Castle and it was allowed to decay

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

A Family Divided by the American Revolution

I find the story of Thomas Sherwood and his family especially interesting. The American revolution has sometimes been called "the first American civil war", and this was very obvious in the case of the Sherwood family. The three brothers moved from Fairfield, Connecticut to a place 5 miles north of Fort Edward NY, to begin farming.

When the revolution broke out, brothers Seth and Adiel joined the rebels. But Thomas read in his Bible that he should fear God and honor the king. And in obedience to the scripture, he moved his family north to Quebec and joined the British cause. Various Sherwood cousins joined one faction or the other.

A family story that I find rather touching is that Thomas was given a letter from Seth's wife requesting financial help, as her husband was a prisoner of war and was unable to help. Thomas protested loudly that there must be a mistake as "No brother of mine would be a traitor to his king!" but somehow the sister-in-law received the help she had asked for. Even in the midst of war, family was most important.

His cousin, Captain Justus Sherwood was more famous, but this account mentions them both:

"On October 4, 1777....Towards dusk the Queen's Loyal Rangers and the other provincials were sent to reinforce Colonel von Breymann --- the officer who had been leading the reinforcements near Bennington --- at a redoubt on the north side of the British camp. The Germans were under attack by the Kentuckian Daniel Morgan and his corps of rifleman, and a few snipers of provincials might help turn the tide. As night fell the rebels overran the men at von Breymann's redoubt. Justus was ordering his men back within the camp when he felt hot iron pierce his thigh and he staggered and lost his balance. Lieutenant John Dulmage, swimming before his eyes, aided by a German soldier, was lifting him from the redoubt. As the second Battle of Freeman's Farm was ending, Dulmage, aided by men from the company, carried Justus past Burgoyne's own headquarters to the hospital tents on the north side of the camp, near the bank of the Hudson where the provision of bateaux were tied up.

"The hospital was a madhouse of shrieking men, surgeons sawing shattered  limbs on tables slimy with blood. Dlumage found an empty straw palliasse [straw mattress], and joined by Thomas Sherwood and Elijah Bothum, both very alarmed, they laid Justus down gently. With a knife his lieutenant cut away the breeches from around the bloody hole. In his agony Justus heard John say that he had stopped a musket ball but the bone was intact. Elijah brought a tumbler full of rum, which Justus sipped while awaiting a surgeon to attend to him.

Dulmage left to look after the company, while Thomas and Elijah sat with Justus and held him steady until the surgeon had extracted the ball. With teeth clenched, Justus wondered why the rum was doing so little good.

"Throughout the night Justus lay comforted by more doses of rum. In the morning Thomas Sherwood came in, and on asking about Brigadier Fraser, Justus was saddened to learn that he had died before dawn at the house where the Baroness von Riedesel was staying. The army's present predicament was not Fraser's doing. After a moment's silence Thomas reported that Burgoyne had ordered a withdrawal up the Hudson. The vanguard was leaving, although rain teemed down, beating on the walls of the tent. Outside the road was a sea of mud, guns towed by emaciated horses and oxen, pushed by men who had scarcely the strength to walk, let alone salvage the artillery. The most severely wounded men would be left behind, but John Dulmage had men making a litter for Justus. All refused to forsake their captain."

Loren Kelly

Buckskin Pimpernel: The Exploits of Justus Sherwood, Loyalist Spy by Mary Beacock Fryer - 1981 - 288 pages Page 18