General Joseph Martin Chapter

Cumberland Gap, TN


Cumberland Gap Patriot

Christopher Boston


Christopher Boston (also known as Stropher Bostain) was born on May 23, 1760 in Rowan county NC. His family was from a German community in Alsace France and made their way to Rowan County after their arrival in Philadelphia in 1759.

 In May 1781, Boston enlisted at the age of 21 in a regiment of Rowan county militia. His first battle was the battle of Ninety six which occurred on May 21, 1781.

 The battle of Ninety six was the longest siege of the revolutionary war. The British grew tired of the siege and wanted to surrender, but never received orders to do so because the sc militia kept capturing the British couriers from General Rawdon in Charleston ordering them to surrender. Greene was soon withdraw from the siege on June 19, 1781 upon hearing of reports that Rawdon, the British commander was coming with 2000 fresh troops from Ireland known as the Irish Brigade.

    In September 1781, Boston participated in the battle of Eutaw springs. This was the last major battle in the Carolinas. It is considered to be a draw by most military analyst. The battle began when the Americans surprised the British army camped at Eutaw Springs. The Americans were so hungry. They began to raid the British storehouses of food. Driven by hunger, the Americans failed to put up defenses around the camp to keep the British from returning.

 The British soldiers soon returned to camp and ran the Americans out of the camp .Casualties were high for both sides. The Americans had 138 killed and 375 wounded. The British had 85 killed and over 575 wounded. One patriot wrote in his diary that the blood was ankle deep from all the dead men and horses.

 The battle of Eutaw Springs is significant because it broke the British stronghold in South Carolina. The British fearing more raids such as this withdrew back to Charleston. There would be other skirmishes in South Carolina. The last battle fought in South Carolina was at James Island on November 1782.  From May 1780 until November 1782, South Carolina would have over 250 documented battles only 2nd to New Jersey and would cause more recorded patriot deaths of over 1309 to occur than in any other colony. The British would finally withdraw from Charleston on December 14, 1782.

After the war, Boston moved back to Rowan County. In 1812, Boston moved back to Carter County TN where he met and married Rebecca Pittman later that year. They would have 2 daughters from this union. In 1824, Boston moved to Buncombe County. Rebecca would die there later that year.

 In 1825, Boston moved to Claiborne County where he would live until 1834. In 1834, Boston moved to Monroe county TN where he would meet Elizabeth Blount Masters. They would have 2 children from this union.

 On June 9, 1849, Boston died and was buried on his family farm. Elizabeth would move to Macon county NC where she would apply for a widow pension in 1853.

 During the Civil War, Jesse Boston, son of Christopher Boston was captured while in the confederate army. He was sent to Camp Douglas in Chicago.

 Camp Douglas was nicknamed Eighty acres of Hell by the Confederates. Over 6000 Confederates would die there while in prison. During the Civil War, over 26000 thousand Confederate prisoners would die in Union prison camps. This was more than 2000 more deaths than the 24000 Union troops who would die in Confederate prisons.

 Boston’s grandsons in the Kirkland family joined the famous Kirkland Raiders. They terrorized East TN during the years of 1864-1865.

 In 1906, the United States court of Claims awarded the Cherokee nation a judgment of over 1 million dollars for treaty violations and forced removal during the years of 1835-1848. Any descendent of any Cherokee living could draw part of the settlement. Susanna Boston who had married James Kirkland, who was part Cherokee, who descended from a Cherokee chief named Nathan Kirkland, applied for benefits, but was turned down because they could not prove descent from Nathan Kirkland. Their family lines are listed in the Guion miller Pension application rolls from where they applied for benefits.       


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