Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Green Mountain Boys: David Shepherd and Waite Hopkins in the Revolutionary War

On this blog, I've rarely gone back beyond the generation that joined the Church because there's so much information to cover in the closer generations, but since I'm on the topic of the Shepherd family and military service, here are a few notes about some of the ancestors on this line who fought in the Revolutionary War. They were from Vermont, so they were part of Ethan Allen's militia, the Green Mountain Boys.

The flag of the Green Mountain Boys.

The family members we're concerned with here are Samuel Shepherd's father, David Shepherd, his father-in-law, William Ray, and his grandfather Waite Hopkins.

The most useful source I've seen so far:
Goodrich, John Ellsworth. The State of Vermont: Rolls of the Soldiers in the Revolutionary War, 1775 to 1783. Rutland, Vermont: Tuttle Company, 1904.  
David Shepherd: pages 336, 388, 560, 606, 833.
William Ray: pages 166, 204. Is this the correct William Ray? Was he in Vermont during the Revolutionary War?
Waite (Weight, Captain, Major) Hopkins: pages 107, 109, 110, 623, 669, 682, 683, 776, 777, 814, 815, 828, 831, 836, 837. (Some references may be to his son Wait.)
There are probably uncles and other family members in the book as well.
Waite Hopkins

Here is some information about the Green Mountain Boys in the Revolutionary War. You can see Wait Hopkins listed as one of the Captains serving under Ethan Allen and Seth Warner. He began as a captain and became a major. (Whatever that means — I'm not going to look it up now.) This is from Goodrich, 813-815.

Here is the tragic story about the death of Waite Hopkins on Fourteen Mile Island in Lake George, New York. (Page 836.)

The story also appears in the book Life of Joseph Brant. (See footnote in pages 64-65.) See another account on the tourist website America's Historic Lakes:
Lake George's privately owned Fourteen Mile Island, is so named because it is some 14 miles from old Fort George at the southern end of Lake George (at least that is what Lt. James Hadden tells us in his Journal [6]). It has had other names in the past, among them are Beardsley's and Kenesaw Island. Hadden tells us "Here we encamped [July 27, 1777], there being only one House on the Island; we saw and killed a great number of Rattle Snakes..." Fourteen Mile Island was also the scene of another dramatic event that took place during the American Revolution. On July 15, 1779, a group of officers led by Major Wait Hopkins, accompanied by some civilians were on the island berry-picking. They were attacked by a scouting party of three white men and 24 Indians. Nine members of the Hopkins party were scalped and killed and the rest were taken prisoner.[7] 
[6] James Hadden. Hadden's Journal and Orderly Books: A Journal Kept in Canada and Upon Burgoyne's Campaign in 1776 and 1777, by Lieut. James M. Hadden, Roy. Art. Edited by Horatio Rogers. Albany: Joel Munsell's Sons, 1884,  104, 105
[7] Frank Leonbruno, Lake George Reflections: Island History and Lore. Purple Mountain Press, Fleischmanns, New York, 1998, 81, 85.
Waite Hopkins was 40 years old when he was killed. He left a wife, Mindwell Dewey Hopkins, and several children. After the war, his daughter Diadema (Diana) Hopkins married one of the soldiers in his company, Sergeant David Shepherd (see Goodrich, 336).

David Shepherd

Here's a service record for David Shepherd. This is a record created by the State of Vermont for Maurice Tanner's application to join the Sons of the American Revolution. (This Maurice Tanner was the son of Shepherd Leroy Tanner, not the son of Henry Martin Tanner.)

1 comment:

  1. I'm a descendant of Marcus de LaFayette Shepherd. I enjoyed reading your posts about the Shepherd, Hopkins, and Dewey families. THANKS!