Monday, May 26, 2014

Stancliff’s Who Served America as Soldiers During the Revoltionary War

  Good Day World!

In honor of Memorial Day, I’d like to share some of my family history with you.

Since the Revolutionary War, Stancliff’s have served this great nation, often giving their lives in battle. I’m proud of my ancestors, and our tradition of defending this country.

I continued that military tradition when I fought in Vietnam (photo) in 1970. My father was a Marine who fought in the South Pacific during WWII.

Next Memorial Day, I’m going to feature Stancliff’s who fought in the Civil War – on both sides.

Special thanks for gathering this family history go out to Sherry, and her husband Robert C. Stancliff.

Stancliff’s in the Revolutionary War

Josiah Stanclift served during the Revolutionary War. He was in Captain Simons' Company of Col. Erastus Wolcott's Connecticut State Regiment and served in the Boston area. After the battle of Lexington, in April 1775, there was an alarm called the "Lexington Alarm" on which more than fifty Connecticut towns sent companies of soldiers with all haste to the point of attack. Josiah was on the Lexington Alarm List.

Joseph Stanclift enlisted Dec. 25, 1776 for a period of three months in Capt. Nathan Rowlee's Company of Lt. Col. Timothy Robinson's detachment of Hampshire County, Massachusetts Bay Militia and served until Apr. 3, 1777 at Fort Ticonderoga.

George Stanclift along with his younger half brothers, Thomas and James, was a member of a South Britain Militia unit as early as 1774 serving in Capt. Eleazer Mitchell's 12th Company of the 13th Regiment of Connecticut Militia. Responding to an urgent plea from General George Washington to Governor Trumbull of Connecticut for assistance at the desperate campaign in New York, "all able bodied men between the ages of sixteen and fifty years" were mobilized in Woodbury, Litchfield County, CT on August 10 and 11, 1776.

These men marched for New York on the 12th of August. George, James and Thomas Stancliff were in a Company commanded by Capt. Elijah Hinman of Southbury. They arrived in New York and there officially joined the 13th Regiment of Connecticut Militia on August 15, 1776.

George died just two weeks later on August 30. The date of George's death is consistent with the Battle of Brooklyn Heights, NY which took place Aug. 27, 1776 and the subsequent escape of the American Forces during the foggy night over the East River to Manhattan Island. This was the first defeat in General Washington's withdrawal from New York.

Thomas Stanclift enlisted during the Revolution, the term of enlistment covered the time between July 13, 1775 and Dec. 20, 1775. The Company, made up of men from the towns of Woodbury and Litchfield left the Parish of Bethlehem in the town of Woodbury on August 11, 1775. The 5th Company of Militia under command of Capt. Nathaniel Tuttle of South Britain marched to New London, CT to join the 7th Connecticut Regiment.

While in New London the Regiment answered an alarm in Stonington, some ten miles to the east on Aug. 30, 1775. Stonington was being attacked by three British frigates under the command of Commodore James Wallace, Master of the "Rose", a Man of War of twenty guns. The City of Boston had been surrounded by Rebel troops and was under siege. In an effort to provide food for the beleaguered British forces, Wallace was raiding the coastal areas to steal livestock and provisions. The Stonington patriots repulsed the British ships in their harbor.

The Connecticut Regiment left New London on September 19, 1775 heading for Boston. They marched through Providence, RI and arrived in Cambridge, MA site of Washington's camp on Oct. 1, 1775. From there they marched to the Fort located at Winter Hill in Charlestown, MA. At this Fort they remained as part of, or near to, General Israel Putnam's Connecticut detachment.

 The British "Regulars" had taken Bunker Hill in June, 1775. Jonathan Twiss, the drummer with this Regiment, told of sending a printed account of the battle home to his family, complete with pictures and verse. The British still occupied the town of Boston and the Rebel forces still surrounded the town of Boston through the extremely cold fall and winter of 1775.

Jonathan told of guard duty, of minor skirmishes with the enemy, of watching sheep put ashore to feed the hungry British troops at Bunker Hill, of disputes among the sometimes bored soldiers, of two enemy soldiers deserting to the American side and being fired upon by their own men, and of building additional sod breastworks or fortifications. For the most part they waited and watched the British Regulars.

Thomas once again enlisted in the service. This time he signed up in Elijah Hinman's Company made up of Woodbury men. Brothers George, and James were in the same Company. They arrived in New York and there officially joined the 13thRegiment of Connecticut Militia on August 15, 1776.

James Stancliff was one of the three sons in this family who belonged to Eleazar Mitchell's 12th Company of the 13th Regiment of Connecticut Militia from Southbury, CT subsequent to October 1774.

The names of James Jr, George and Thomas appear upon an unrecorded list handed down in the Mitchell Family. It is probable that these men saw service in some of the early alarms of the Revolutionary War.

Of the three brothers who marched off together in 1776, only James survived. George, Thomas and James all entered service in New York on Aug. 15, 1776 in Captain Elijah Hinman's 6th Company, of the 13th Regiment of Connecticut Militia.

There were twenty-four men in the Company including the Company officers. Brother, George Stanclift was the only man who was listed as having died in service during that tour of duty. He died "in New York" Aug. 30, 1776. Brother, Thomas Stanclift received wounds that resulted in his death soon after returning home.

During the time of their enlistment the Battle of Brooklyn Heights took place on Aug. 27th and Washington's troops were ferried from Long Island to Manhattan all during the foggy night of Aug. 29th. It is likely that the brothers took part in those maneuvers.

William Stanclift enlisted or was drafted into the Army for a period of three years on May 19, 1777. This was shortly after William's 16th birthday. He was inducted into the Service on May 23, 1777 by Lt Elihu Trowbridge acting for Captain Samuel Granger.

Capt. Granger's Company was part of the 2nd Connecticut Regiment of Foot, commanded by Col. Charles Webb. The Regiment joined the forces of General Israel Putnam at Peekskill, Westchester County, NY. General George Washington regarded Peekskill as a strategically important area.

It was possible that the British forces to the south would attempt to join the forces of General Burgoyne advancing down the Hudson River from Canada.

The encampment at Peekskill provided a natural position of advantage to forestall that eventuality and to provide access to the southern states. After General Benedict Arnold refused the post, the task of defending the Peekskill area fell to General Putnam and his Connecticut troops.

On June 30, 1777 William was taken prisoner by the British. The nature of the encounter is not specified, but at least 24 men from the 2nd Regiment were taken prisoner between June 30 and July 2, 1777. William was listed on the Company Muster Roll and the Company Pay Roll as "a prisoner in New York". The final Muster Roll was dated Dec. 24, 1777. William died in the custody of the British.

In 1775 John Stanclift was a Private in Capt John Strong's Second Company of the Torrington Train Band, a town Militia. On June 24, 1775 John and Comfort each appeared on the payroll for 12 days pay for service in the Train Band, records submitted by Zachariah Mather, Company Clerk.

David Stanclift, son of Lemuel told that John and Samuel were together at Germantown and that when the Americans were forced to retreat, the two of them escaped through a cornfield and "the man that was between them was cut in two with a field piece ball".

John spent time in the winter quarters at Valley Forge, PA, being discharged from that place Jan. 9, 1778.

David Miller Stanclift a great grandson of John said that John was with General George Washington when he crossed the Delaware River to surprise the Hessians at the Battle of Trenton, NJ and was at the Battle of Yorktown, VA.

John again enlisted in the Connecticut Line in 1780 but his brother, Comfort, served four months of that enlistment and another substitute satisfied the remaining obligation.

From book "Descendants of James Stanclift of Middletown, Connecticut and Allied Families", By Robert C. and Sherry [Smith] Stancliff

Time for me to walk on down the road…

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