General Joseph Martin Chapter

Cumberland Gap, TN


Cumberland Gap Patriot

Hugh Robertson

Hugh Robertson was born on October 9, 1750 in Scotland.  Sometime before 1775. Robertson sailed to Virginia and lived near the city of Norfolk Va. In December 1775, Robertson joined the Virginia militia and fought at the battle of Great Bridge on December 9,1775. The battle of Great Bridge is responsible for removing Lord Dunmore from power and any vestige of British government in the State of Virginia. It was here Robertson saw his first use of  artillery when the British fired their two cannons for over 30 minutes at the Virginia patriots. the Virginia Patriots wee soon able to outflank the British and defeat them.
    On June 14, 1776, The Virginia Gazette, published a letter to the Virginia representatives at the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia Pa. In this letter it stated " It was a Revolution in Great Britain that seated the present ruling family on the throne of Great Britain, and it will be a Revolution that ends its tyranny over the Colony of Virginia". In July 1776, while the Virginia delegates were signing the Declaration of Independence, Robertson and  the Virginia militia were participating in the battle of Gwynn's Island, located off the coast of Virginia. On Cricket Hill, Robertson and other artillerist fired cannons at a British camp, forcing Lord Dunmore to flee Virginia for good. Robertson also fired hot shot at British ships turning several into a fiery inferno while Dunmore tried to board the vessels.
      On June 28, 1778, Robertson participated in the battle of Monmouth. For 8 hours, over 1600 cannon balls and grapeshot were fired at the British making it one of the fiercest artillery battles of the Revolutionary war during two seperate engagements at Combs hill and Perrine Ridge.  The Americans would fight the British to a draw  that fateful day showing them  the strength of their artillery.
        During the siege of Yorktown,starting on October 9, 1781 through October 17,,1781 Robertson and other American artillerist pounded the British with over 1700 rounds of  grapeshot a day. Degrasse,  a French admiral fired over 2000 cannons from his fleet at the British during this siege. On October 19, 1781, The British surrendered after one of the longest Artllery bombardments of the Revolutionary war.
      In 1787, Robertson moved to Caroline county Virginia where he met Sarah Ligon. They soon were married and had 11 children, with the last child being born in 1809. By 1820, Robertson had moved to Buckingham county Virginia  where he died and was buried.
 Robertson had played a major role in the artillery unit of  the Continental army, showing the British how effective  the Americans were at using artillery as a means of winning their freedom  from the tyranny of the Crown.

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