General Joseph Martin Chapter

Cumberland Gap, TN


Cumberland Gap Patriot

Henry Schaffner

Henry Schaffner was born on August 23, 1755 to his parents Michael Schaffner and Margaretha Vogleman in Frankfurt Germany. The Schaffner family has a long proud heritage. During the Middle Ages in Germany, The Schaffner family was responsible for caring for the great Cathedrals and monasteries of Germany. By 1759, Michael would move his family across the ocean to Philadelphia and then travel down the Great Wagon Road to Rowan County North Carolina. He would eventually move his family to a farm in present day Alamance county NC. Upon arrival in America the Schaffner name was changed to Schoffner
On May 16, 1771, Henry would watch in horror as the famous battle of Alamance was fought on their family farm. The battle of Alamance was a battle between  the State militia consisting of British Troops and local farmers over unfair taxation, land swindling and the constant seizure of land to help pay for the French and Indian war. Henry watched in horror as British troops fired upon the helpless farmers. Over200 farmers were killed turning the green pastures of Schoffner land blood red. This would have an impact on the rest of Henry’s life.
 In November 1778, Henry would enlist in the Mecklenberg County militia, a unit within the NC militia, as a private for 5monthsMost of 1778 was relatively quiet of Tory and Indian activity in Mecklenberg county NC so Henry spent most of the time out on patrols. In 1779 that all changed. The local Tories dressed up like Indians burning their neighbor’s cabins to ground if they supported the patriot cause. This caused local Indian wars which the Indians weren’t responsible for. In March, Henry was paroled at Turkey Creek near Savannah Georgia.
 Henry would reenlist under the command of captain John Starnes as a light horseman from 1779 until November 1781. During that time he participated in a Wilmington Expedition. In Early 1781, a British landing forced seized Wilmington. The Wilmington Expedition was an attempt to free Wilmington from British control but failed. Cornwallis arrived in Wilmington in April 1781 to march to Yorktown.
 Henry would also fight Tories in Charlotte NC. On September 1780, Cornwallis arrived in Charlotte. Cornwallis nicknamed Charlotte “The Hornet’s nest of the South. In a letter to General Clinton of the British Army, Cornwallis wrote Charlotte was an agreeable village, but a damned rebellious countryside and that the people of Charlotte were more hostile to England than anywhere else in the Colonies. Henry would continue to fight Tories until November 1781. After this Henry returned home to his wife Chloe Hart who he had married on August 1, 1780. From this union they would have 11 children.
In 1783, Henry would move to South Carolina. In 1790, He moved to Pennsylvania. In 1792, Henry would take his family through the Cumberland Gap to Mercer County KY. In 1799, Henry moved to Greene County KY where he would die on August 28, 1847 at the age of 92. Henry is buried in Saloma KY located in Taylor County KY. Descendents of Henry Schoffner are scattered all over Eastern KY including a Schoffner family in Bell county KY.


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