A Patriot Story
by Piper and Susan Wright
Martha Stewart Bulloch Society
A long, long time ago there were 13 colonies who wanted to be a country. The people who lived there called Patriots were tired of being under the rule of a king who lived so far away and treated them unfairly. Those Patriots came in all ages and from all of the colonies and we are going to hear about a few of them right now. In the New England area, there was Joseph Hoyt, who was 37 when the American Revolution broke out. He was a husband and father of 7 who worked as a farmer and a leather currier before taking up arms against the British in the war. He served throughout the war and even saved the life of his captain at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777. After the war he moved to Vermont with his sons and there is a monument there honoring him. It reads, “Erected by descendants in memory of Joseph Hoyt, 1739-1815, revolutionary patriot. By the blood and valor of this soldier and his compatriots, this great republic was founded among the nations of the earth.”
One of his fellow compatriots was Drury Morris, who lived in South Carolina. He enlisted in the Fifth Regiment of the South Carolina Militia on May 23rd, 1776. He was 18 years old, which makes him a kid patriot! As a Private, he saw action at the Siege of Savannah and served until 1780. He was married to Rachel Hampton during the war and together they had 10 children during their lifetime.
Robert Denny was born in 1753 and served in the Frederick County Militia in Virginia when he enlisted in 1779. He had many jobs including Private, Quarter-master, Ensign, Pay-master and was commissioned as a Lieutenant in 1780. He learned that sometimes war can be made even harder when your brother doesn’t support the same side you do. Robert was given the job of raiding his brother’s gun shop - that brother was a Tory and supported England. Robert was later put in charge of Hessian prisoners captured at Little York.
Daniel Parkison turned 22 in 1776 and was with General George Washington as he witnessed the battle for New York from across the river on a bluff at Fort Lee. He later told the pension officer, “I was witness to Washington’s tears at the death of his men by the Hessians at the capture of Fort Washington.” Later that year, he was a member of the Rear Guard at the Battle of Trenton on December 26, 1776.
Like many patriots, Ambrose Brown was a farmer before he joined the militia in 1781. That may seem late to join, but in 1781 Ambrose was only 16! He joined in Middlesex County, MA and his regiment later moved to Peekskill, NY where he came down with small pox, which is WAY worse than chicken pox! Luckily, he survived the pox, but remained weak throughout the remainder of his 3 year enlistment term.
Not all patriots were soldiers, though. In North Carolina, Samuel Sewall, Jr. provided service to a soldier by selling him a horse and later was a guard at the Salisbury Jail. Both of those were really important ways to help.
While a large number of Colonial militamen had never before been soldiers, an equally large number had previously fought in wars. Some had even fought with George Washington before. Like Moses Ayers, who fought alongside Washington in the French and Indian War that ended in 1763. He joined the Colonial Militia by taking an Oath of Allegiance in Pittsylvania County Virginia in 1777 and became part of Charles Kennon’s Militia Company in 1778. He fought in battles in the Virginia and North Carolina area - some as close as 50 miles from his farm! There were times when a father and son would enlist together, like Cary Cox and his son William who was 15 in 1776. Cary enlisted as a substitute in April 1776, in the village of Halifax, NC in Captain Caswel’s Company of the 5th Reg’t. He was wounded in 1778 and returned home, but William kept on fighting until the war was won. When William returned home, he told his brothers about all of the hardships he and his fellow soldiers had endured.
Brothers also went off to war together. The Hiott Brothers of the Pee Dee River area of South Carolina were boy soldiers together. Arthur Hiott joined the Continental Artillery at age 15. He qualified for Artillery because he could read, write and cypher. Two years later he became a Light Infantry Soldier. (light infantry ride horses to battle, dismount and then fight whereas regular infantry walk to battle). Arthur was captured by the British while on his way home on leave. They hanged him from a tree but the limb broke. The soldiers said "hang him again" but their officer said "No, this is a sign from God to let him live." They then released Arthur and he continued his journey home to the Pee Dee River Swamps. Once after Arthur had been home on leave, his younger brothers returned with him. Joel age 13 became a fifer, and Joseph age 15 became a drummer boy. They were in many battles together including the Battle of Savannah in 1779 and all survived the war. While we sit here at Bulloch Hall listening to the story of our heritage, I want to mention one more patriot - Daniel Stewart. While Daniel was a General when he fought in the War of 1812 against the British, he was only 15 when he fought the British during the American Revolution.
As you can see, patriots of all ages played a vital role in our fight for independence. Each of the patriots mentioned here today have a personal connection for families sitting in this room right now because they are YOUR ancestors! Joseph Hoyt is Alex Calloway’s ancestor. Drury Morris is Clark and Claire Gandy’s ancestor. Robert Denny is Sara and Eric Johnstone’s ancestor. Daniel Parkison is the ancestor of the Baker Family. Ambrose Brown is the ancestor of Avery and Davis Webster. The Jimenez ancestor was Samuel Sewall, Jr. Moses Ayers is the ancestor of Will Tims. Anna Elizabeth Bernier’s ancestor is Cary Cox, Sr. Lily and Piper Wright’s 5th Great-grandfather was Arthur Hiott. And lastly, Daniel Stewart was the father of our very own namesake, Martha Stewart Bulloch.
Without these brave patriots, young and old, America would not be the land we live in today. I am so thankful for each of them and for each and every one of you who have their blood running through your veins and their love of country in your hearts!