General Joseph Martin Chapter
Cumberland Gap, TN
Cumberland Gap Patriot
Phillip Agle, born 1751, joined the German Regiment of
the Virginia line in 1776. Agle's first tour of duty was at Coryell
Ferry located near Philadelphia. Coryell Ferry was the site of an
ammunition depot and the major ferry that crossed into New Jersey. On
December 8, 1776, British General Cornwallis tried to seize Coryell
ferry, but Agle and the German regiment kept him from it. Also during
the month of December 1776, a Typhus epidemic broke out which is
sometimes referred to as Camp fever. Washington was concerned because
during the Siege of Boston (April 1775-March 1776), Typhus almost wiped
out the Massachusetts Militia.
At the Battle of Trenton (December 26, 1776), the German regiment talked the Hessians into surrendering. In August 1777, Agle and the German regiment was stationed on the Neshaminy creek, located near Bensalem, Pa. The German regiment was in charge of reconnaissance operations trying to determine Cornwallis's next move . At the Battle of Brandywine (Sept 11, 1777), Age was a part of Weedon's brigade. Weedon's brigade didn't see any action until 5pm, when the battle was almost over, making it the last offensive operation of the Continental army that day.
The British forced the German Regiment to retreat after a bayonet charge.
At Germantown (Oct 4, 1777), the German Regiment fought the British at Luken mill. At Luken Mill, the German Regiment broke through the British 1st Light Infantry Foot regiment during a bayonet charge . The fight continued until they reached Market House located in the downtown region of the Germantown suburb. At Market House, the German regiment was attacked on two sides by 3 new fresh British brigades under the command of Cornwallis. Cornwallis forced the German Regiment to retreat.
One humorous event that occurred during the retreat from Germantown. While the German Regiment was taking down a fence that blocked Limekiln Road that had been put up by the British, so that General Muhlenberg could pass, Muhlenberg fell asleep while sitting on his horse. His men refused to advance until Muhlenberg was awaken..
During August 1779, Agle participated in the Sullivan campaign. During the Sullivan campaign, Over 18 Iroquois villages were burned to the ground and 150,000 bushels of corn. During the Winter of 1779- 1780, it is estimated over 5,000 Iroquois starved to death due to lack of food.
In October 1779, Agle was sent to Fort Jenkins in Northumberland County PA to protect the settlers against Indian attacks. Agle stayed here until the end of 1780. After the war, Agle moved to Rowan County NC where he lived until he died.
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