General Joseph Martin Chapter

Cumberland Gap, TN

 


Cumberland Gap Patriot



Jonathan Meigs

Jonathan Meigs, a great Patriot who led the only successful campaign
against the British on Long Island was born on December 17, 1740 in
Middleton CT. In 1765, Meigs married Joanna Winbor and had 4 children.
In 1775, Meigs married Grace Starr and had 3 children from  this union.
      In 1772, Meigs was made a LT in the CT 6th regiment. In 1775,
Meigs was appointed a Major under the command of Benedict Arnold. in the
Invasion of Canada campaign with the purpose of capturing the city Of
Quebec City. the Invasion of Canada was the first major initiative under
taken by the rebels during the American Revolutionary war. On September
25, 1775, Meigs, a part of a 1100 man expeditionary force marched off to
Canada.
      The initial plan was to sail up the Kennebec River and march 180
miles to Quebec. From the start, the expedition suffered problems. The
rafts turned over losing most of the supplies. The maps were faulty.
What was suppose to have been  a 180 mile march became a 350 mile march
though a wilderness. Over 200 Men would starve to death before reaching
Quebec. On December 31, 1775, Arnold attacked Quebec. Meigs was captured
while trying to scale the walled city. Arnold was soon forced to leave
the battlefield after being shot by the British. This was Arnold's first
major loss to the British.
     On January 10, 1777, Meigs was paroled from a British prison. On
May 23, 1777, Meigs led the first successful invasion of Long Island
since the British occupied it one year earlier. Meigs defeated Lt. Col.
Delancey in a bayonet charge. Meigs also burned 100 tons of hay and 10
transport ships. Congress would give Meigs a Congressional sword, the
highest honor a soldier could receive at this time for his great
victory.
   On July 16, 1779, Meigs participated in the American victory at Stony
Point at Stony Point NY. Stony Point was the last major campaign of the
Northern campaign.
       In 1780 Meigs stopped a mutiny of  CT troops at Morristown NJ.
the Troops started the mutiny due to lack of Food and for not being paid
in 5 months. Meigs assigned Abraham Baldwin, chaplain for the CT line to
educate the CT soldiers after it was determined that most CT soldiers
didn't know why or what they were fighting for in this war.  In 1782, two
year later,  the CT line would start another mutiny , this time
threatening to fire their cannons at the newly elected CT State
legislature in the state House in Hartford CT, after the legislature
allowed  the soldier's farms to be seized for debts owed while they were
off fighting. Meigs helped put down  this mutiny as well.
      In 1787, after the war, Meigs joined an expedition to survey the
whole state of Ohio.. On August 1794, Meigs was a part of Anthony Wayne's
army at  the battle of Fallen Timbers. Fallen Timbers was the last
battle in the Northwest war, and an American Victory over Chief Blue
jacket and the Shawnee. In 1795, Meigs was present at the signing of the
Treaty of Greenville which ended the Northwest war and ceded the Ohio
territory to the United States.
  In 1801, Meigs moved to Tennessee and became a Cherokee agent. On
January 28, 1823, Meigs died and was buried at a small cemetery in
Dayton TN.
      Meigs, first son Jonathan Jr became the 4th Governor of Ohio
between 1810-1814. During the war of 1812, a Fort was named after the
Ohio Governor at Perryville Ohio. On  May 1, 1813, British troops
attacked Fort Meigs.  It was the Kentucky militia that was stationed
there that kept the British from taking the fort.
         During the Civil war, Montgomery Meigs, Great grandson of the
patriot Jonathan Meigs became the US Quartermaster for the Union army.
Meigs is credited for saving Fort Pickens located  at Pensacola Florida
from the confederates due to all the supplies Fort Pickens received
during the war.


 


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