Revolutionary War

Our Grandfathers were patriots

History in Textbooks

The American Revolution started in April of 1775 in Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts and ended eight years later in September 1883 with the Treaty of Paris. Like most people, I thought the Revolutionary War was pretty cool, but never paid much attention to the individual battles or really thought about the lives of those who fought in the war. Finding out that the Day Family has ancestors — all of whom are confirmed through DNA — who fought in the war, brings history to life. 

History in Family Stories

Our family members lived through this event and were actually participants! Somehow that makes it all personal. Below are stories of six of our grandfathers who played their parts. If you want more details on their lives, click on their bio’s for more detailed information about their lives


(Note: So far, we don’t have any evidence for the North Family participating in the war)  

The soldiers on the Day side of the Family

Capture of Fort Saint Jean

Seth Barnum, age 21

Fifth Connecticut Regiment, May - Dec 1775

Together with the New York troops, the Connecticut Regiments lay siege to the British Fort at St Jean in southern Quebec. The Fort’s nickname had been the Mosquitos Fort because of the swampy climate in the area. It started in July and was eventually successful in early November.  The 5th marched on into Canada and captured Montreal.  In December they disbanded at the well-known Fort Ticonderoga in New York.

The Battle of Bennington

Joshua Sprague, age 47

Enlisted four times and served from 1776 to 1779

The Battle of Bennington in Vermont on August 16, 1777 was a victory for the Americans.  A British army under the command of General John Burgoyne was marching south from Canada.  But John Stark commaning a 2000-man Brigade was waiting for them. He is famously quoted. “Yonder are the Redcoats.  We will defeat them or Molly Stark will sleep a widow tonight.”  

Battle of Stony Point

Frederick Sprague, age 16

Mar - Dec 1779 and 3 months in 1781

The Battle of Stony Point took place on July 16, 1779.  Stony Point is located in southernNew York State along the Hudson river and was a key crossing point during the war.  The battle was a result of a well planned and executed nighttime attack under the command of General “Mad Anthony” Wayne.  The British incurred heavy losses and it served as a huge morale boost for the Continental Army.

The soldiers on the McAninch side of the Family

The Quakers Volunteer

Philip Jacob Shinkle, age 28

Volunteered at the very beginning in 1775

Pennsylvania did not have a military because it had been founded by Quakers.  However, some Quakers organized themselves into local volunteer “associations” that were eventually sanctioned and formed into battalions that fought in the war.  All three Shinkle Brothers joined the Heidelberg Company which was called into service but did not participate in any engagements. Betsy Ross, a Quaker living in Pennsylvania, is credited with sewing the first American flag.

The Battle of Monmouth Courthouse

Christian Shinkle, age 22

Pennsylvania Third Battalion in 1778

After the grueling winter at Mount Vernon. The Pennsylvania Third Battalion as part of the Continental Army commanded by General George Washington pursued the British across New Jersey and engaged them at Monmouth. The result was a draw, and the first for the Continental Army which was seen as a moral booster.

In His Own Words...

Joseph Skidmore, age 19

Drafted in 1780 and 1781 and served for six months

Joseph filed for a pension in 1843 and he describes his service: He  was living in Botetout County Virginia when he was drafted to serve in the Continental Army.  His unit marched from Virginia to North Carolina, and joined Colonel Campbell’s Militia but after 3 months his term was completed and he was discharged. One month after his first term of service, he was again drafted and was going to join General Nathaniel Green’s Army but again the 3 month term expired.