General Joseph Martin Chapter

Cumberland Gap, TN


Cumberland Gap Patriot

William McNeil

William Mcneil, Revolutionary war soldier of the Brandywine and Germantown Campaigns was born in Spotsylvania county Va in 1760. In June, 1777, Mcneil joined the Virginia 7th regiment under the command of Captain Thomas Posey.
 On September 11, 1777,  Mcneil participated in his first battle of the Revolutionary war at the Battle of Brandywine PA. Brandywine would become the largest Revolutionary war battle fought in the Northern Campaign. The Virginia line was located on the right flank with 2 brigades from the Pa militia line. The Virginia line was to prevent a possible British Flanking maneuver from both the North and South. The Virginians were unable to prevent the British from perforning a flanking maneuver. the Virginians were soon forced to retreat a church house on the battlefield named Birmingham meeting House. At Birmingham meeting house, the Virginians put up their greatest stance against the British on a hill nicknamed Battle Hill. the British assaulted the virginians at Battle Hill 5 times before the Virginians were forced to retreat. These Virginians  had refused to give up an inch without a fight. After the battle the wounded were taken to Bennetts farm located 10 miles from Brandywine.Mcneil helped escort some of the wounded to Bennetts farm after the battle.
      Mcneil's next battle was at the battle of Germantown  on October 4, 1777. At Germantown, the Continental army forced the British to barracade themselves into a mansion called Chew House. The Americans began firing their cannons. The Cannon fire was so loud that blood began to pur from the Cannoners ears. The Continental soldiers were winning the battle until General Adam Stephens showed up in a drunken stupor and accidently began firing on the Continental line.
 the Ninth virginia saw more action at Germantown than any other Virginia regiment. While escorting some British prisoners, the Virginia Ninth was ambushed in a market square. British General James Agnew was killed by a sniper named Hans Boyer from teh Virginia line from behind a nearby wall. This was Mcneil's last battle
   In 1781,Mcneil married Elizabeth Shephard in Wilkes county Nc.  In 1799, Ashe county Nc was formed from Wilkes county, and Mcneil is found living there. By 1816, Mcneil had moved to Mulberry gap in Claiborne county. Mcneil died sometime between 1820-1830 was buried somewhere in the Pleasant view area. Later, Mulberry gap  became part of Hancock county.
     Mcneil's wife, Elizabeth died sometime before 1840. During the civil war 20 Soldiers named Mcneil fought for the Union army from Tennessee. these 20 soldiers were part of the over 500 soldiers named Mcneil who fought for teh Union army nationwide. There were over 310 confederate soldiers named Mcneil who fought for the Confederacy

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