Monday, January 8, 2018

Revolutionary War Soldiers of Porter County

When recalling the military service of citizens of Porter County, rarely do we consider those that served in the American Revolutionary War. Given that Indiana statehood did not take place until 1816, 33 years after the conclusion of the war, and Porter County itself failed to exist as a political entity until 1836, it is understandable why the Revolutionary War would be a rather inconsequential military conflict within the annals of the county's history.

The American Revolutionary War began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen united former British colonies on the North American continent. The conflict would expand into a global war between several European powers. The war was the culmination of the political American Revolution, whereby the colonists rejected the right of the Parliament of Great Britain to govern them without representation, claiming that this violated the "Rights of Englishmen."

In 1775, revolutionaries gained control of each of the thirteen colonial governments, formed the Second Continental Congress, and created a Continental Army. Petitions to King George III to intervene with the parliament on their behalf resulted in the members of the newly established congress being declared traitors and the states in rebellion the following year.

Colonists responded by formally declaring their independence as a new nation, the United States of America, claiming sovereignty and rejecting any allegiance to the British monarchy. In 1777, the Continentals captured a British army, leading France to formally enter the war on the side of America in early 1778. France had been providing the Continental Army supplies, ammunition, and guns since 1776, thereby leveling the military strength of Britain.

Spain and the Dutch Republic, both French allies, also went to war with Britain over the next two years. Throughout the war, the British were able to use their naval superiority to capture and occupy coastal cities. Control of the countryside, where 90 percent of the population lived, largely eluded them because of the relatively small size of their land army. French involvement proved decisive, with a French naval victory at Yorktown in 1781 leading to the surrender of the British army. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris ended the war and recognized the sovereignty of the United States over the territory bounded by what is now Canada to the north, Florida to the south, and the Mississippi River to the west. 

Two individuals who served in the American Revolutionary War are buried in Porter County; namely, Henry Batton and Joseph Jones. A third individual, James Morgan, has also been mentioned as buried in the county. Research concerning Morgan, however, will show that this claim is untrue as a result of fact-based coincidences.

Henry Batton was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, in 1750. Like the majority of Revolutionary War veterans, Henry's military service record must be pieced together using United States Bureau of Pensions records and muster records maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration. It is known that Henry entered military service on August 15, 1776, in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, as a member of Captain William Harrod's Company in Colonel Thomas Gaddis' Regiment. Batton's volunteer service in the army would exceed two years. Below is what is known of Batton's Revolutionary War service record.
  • 1776, August 15 – Mustered into volunteer service in Captain William Harrod’s Company at Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Troops were marched from near Uniontown, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, to Atkinson’s Fort at the head of Ten Mile Creek in Monongalia County, Virginia (now Washington County, Pennsylvania) to serve as part of Colonel Thomas Gaddis’ regiment.
  • 1777, February – Discharged from service at Atkinson’s Fort.
  • 1777, April – Called into volunteer service and mustered into Captain William Cross’ Company. Troops were sent to Fort Pitt in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and Batton served as a sergeant under the command of General Edward Hand. Stationed at Fort Pitt for four months.
  • 1777, August – Discharged from service at Fort Pitt.
  • Called into volunteer service and mustered into Captain Theophilus Phillips' Company. Troops marched from near Uniontown, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, to Bell’s Fort along Ruff's Creek in Washington County, Pennsylvania, which was under the command of Colonel John Minor. Stationed at Bell’s Fort for two months.
  • Dismissed from service but was “required to be in readiness to march into service when called.” Dismissal period lasted approximately one month before called back to duty.
  • Called back into volunteer service in Captain Phillip’s Company and troops marched to Garrett’s Fort located in Greene County, Pennsylvania. Serviced at Garrett’s Fort for two months and then dismissed from service.
  • Dismissal period, length unknown.
  • Called back into volunteer service in Captain Phillip’s Company and reported for service at Fort Minor located in Greene County, Pennsylvania. Served at Fort Minor for two months and then dismissed from service.
  • Dismissal period, length unknown.
  • Called back into volunteer service in Captain Phillip’s Company. Troops marched to Stradless Fort in Virginia. Served at Stradless Fort for two months and then dismissed from service.
  • Dismissal period, length unknown.
  • Called back into volunteer service under Lieutenant Samuel McKinley. Troops marched to Martin’s Fort, which was situated on Crooked Run along the west side of the Monongahela River. Served at Martin’s Fort for two months and then dismissed from service.
  • Dismissal period, length unknown.
  • Called back into volunteer service in Captain Phillip’s Company. Troops marched to Henry Enoch's Fort on at the forks of the Cacapon River and North River [located today in Hampshire County, West Virginia]. Served at Henry Enoch’s Fort for two months and then discharged from service.
  • Discharge period, length unknown.
  • Called into volunteer service to report to Fort Van Meter on the head of Muddy Creek in Pennsylvania (today located in Ohio County, West Virginia) under Captain Philips and Lieutenant Colonel John Minor. Served at Fort Van Meter for two months.
  • 1778, September - Discharged from service.
Note that is is quite possible that prior to the Revolutionary War that Henry also served in Lord Dunmore's War in 1774, which was a conflict between the Colony of Virginia and the Mingo and Shawnee Indian nations.

Tracing Batton's whereabouts after the Revolutionary War is difficult. An application submitted in 1914 by John Onesimus Foster, a eighty year old clergyman from Seattle, King County, Washington, for membership in the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution indicates that Henry Batton was John's great-grandfather. The application stipulates that the name of Henry's wife was Elizabeth; this information reportedly being taken from a deed.

Interestingly, another application for membership in the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution was submitted in 1923 by Stephen Joseph Herben, the grandson of John Onesimus Foster. In his application, Stephen writes that "Rev. John O. Foster remembered 'Uncle Henry' well." Given that John was born in LaPorte County, Indiana, in 1833, he indeed very likely interacted his great-grandfather, who died when John was 12 years old. Though being John's great-grandfather, Henry Batton was probably called "Uncle Henry" by the entire community.

It is known that Henry had at least one child, Hannah Batton, born June 10, 1779, in Marion County, Virginia (now West Virginia). Some sources suggest that Hannah was Henry's sole offspring. Henry's wife, Elizabeth, would pass away in Virginia.

Hannah would marry John Hageman on March 22, 1798. John Hageman was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, on October 9, 1768. He would die in 1843 and Hannah in 1845, both in Porter County; they are both interred in their family plot at Gossett Cemetery in Porter County's Liberty Township.

Henry Batton most likely followed his son-in-law and daughter to Indiana. John Hageman and his family initially moved to Union County, Indiana, residing there for a short period of time. They then migrated to Montgomery County and thence to Fountain County, residing in or near the town of Rob Roy. A son, Henry Hageman, would move to LaPorte County, Indiana, in 1832, residing with his brother-in-law, John I. Foster. Along with Jacob Beck and William Gossett, Hageman and Foster would later move to Porter County, establishing the small community of Waverly north of Chesterton.

John Hageman, his wife Hannah, and Henry Batton would later move to Porter County.

Henry Batton applied for a military pension on March 11, 1833, when he was an 83 year old resident of Fountain County, Indiana. Prior to applying for his pension, Henry swore under oath the details of his military service on January 27, 1833:
The State of Indiana Fountain County SS}
Before me John Bodley a justice of the peace in and fore said county personally came. Henry Batton who being duly sworn as the law directs [---?---] and saith that he was called into service of the Revolutionary War by authority of the State of Pennsylvania as a volunteer in the Month of August or September in the year 1776 under captain William Heoared was marched from near Uniontown in Pennsylvania to Atkinson's fort on the head of ten mile [creek] in the date aforesaid continued in the service [---?---] until the month of February 1777 when he was discharged. That during this service he was bound to the regiment of Col Gaddis as stated in the foregoing declaration. That in the month of April in the last named year he was called a second time into the service under Captain William Cross as a volunteer by a call from the Governor of Penna and went to Fort Pit[t] in Penna and continued stationed there for four month when he was again discharged. That General [Edward] Hand commanded at fort Pit[t] at that time . That both during the above [---?---] he was a [---?---] sargent. That he was called again into service by the same authority in the company commanded by Captain Theophilus Philips was marched from near Uniontown Penna to Bells fort in the same state was attached to Col Minor's regiment and continued in service two months when we were dismissed when we were required to be in readiness to march into service when called on and was called on again about one month after we were dismissed under the same officer and went to Garrets fort in the State of Penna when we were again dismissed after having continued in service two months. And he was called again unto service under the same officers to go to fort Miners on by [---?---] in Penna where we continued two months when we were again dismissed. Was called again into service under same officers and was marched to Stradless fort in the State of Virginia where we continued two months and was again dismissed. Called again into service under Lt. McKinley and was marched to Martins fort in the line between Pennsylvania and Virginia and continued there two months was called again into service under Captain Philips and marched to Enoch fort on 10 Mile Creek in Pennsylvania where we continued two months when we were discharged. On every tour he was an orderly sergeant. That he was called out to go to Vanmeters fort on the heads of Muddy Creek Pa under Captain Philips and Lt Col Miner. Continued in service two months. The he believes the he served in all twenty five months that he cannot state the periods of time at which all those short tours happened but is well satisfied he has served in all two years or upwards. Question 1 Where and what year was you Born. I was born in the year 1750 in Chester County Pennsylvania. Answer to second question I have a written record of my age copied from my father's Bible into my own. Answer to the Third question I lived in Fayette County Penna when called into service . since the Revolution I have lived in Pennsylvania in Virginia and Indiana & now live in Fountain County Inda. I was called in service each tour above stated as a volunteer and was acquainted with the above officers above stated have no discharge.

Sworn to & subscribed this 27th day of January A. D. 1833 before me.

J. Bodley JP {seal}
Henry Batton his mark

State of Indiana
Fountain County } SS
On this 11th day of March 1833 personally appeared in open Court of Fountain County, now sitting, the same being a court of record, Henry Batton a resident of Fountain County in the State of Indiana, aged eighty three years, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration, in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress, passed June 7th 1832. That he entered the service of the United States and was immediately appointed Sergeant in Capt. Harrods company under the following named officers and served as herein stated. Col Thomas Gaddis, Lt Col John Minor, Capt Wm Harrod and Capt Wm [---?---] and Lt Saml McKinley. Entered the service 15th August 1776, left the service September 1778. At the time of entering the service he resided near Uniontown, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, and entered the service as a volunteer, marched while in the service through the counties of Pennsylvania and Virginia. Served in a Battalion of volunteers from the State of Pennsylvania, and while in the service became acquainted with the following named company officers, Capt James Neil, Capt John Sparks and Lt John Hardin belonging to the regular service. That applicant is destitute of any documenting evidence to substantiate his claim, and has not the power of procuring the testimony of persons to his services.

He hereby relinquishes any claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present, and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the Agency of any state. Sworn and subscribed, the day and year aforesaid.

Henry Batton

That Solomon McKinney a clergyman residing in the county of Fountain Indiana and Frederick C. Paine residing in same county & state hereby certify, that we are well acquainted with Henry Batton who has subscribed and sworn to the above declaration, that we believe him to be eighty three years of age, that he is reported and believed in the enighborhood where he resides, to have been a soldier of the revolution, and the we concur in that opinion. Sworn and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.

Solomon McKinney
F C Paine

And the said Court do hereby declare their opinion, after the investigation of the matter, and after putting the interrogatorial prescribed by the War Department, that the above named applicant was a Revolutionary Soldier, and served as he states. And the Court further certifies that it appears to them that Solomon McKinney who has signed the preceding certificate is a clergyman resident in Fountain County Indiana and that Frederick C. Paine who has also signed the same, is a resident in the same county & state and is a creditable person, and their statement is entitled to credit.

John R. Porter
Evan Henton
Linus Hebeker
Henry Batton's sworn statement of his military
service during the Revolutionary War, dated July 27, 1833.
Source: National Archives and Records Administration.

It is known that when Batton was residing in Fountain County, Indiana, that he was very poor. A letter from Covington, the county seat, dated March 26, 1834, and sent to the United States Bureau of Pensions asks for quick approval of Batton's pension since the "old man is very poor." A transcription of this letter follows:
Covington March 26, 1834

Dear Sir
I herewith send to you the papers in the pension case of Henry Batton. I saw and conversed with him yesterday. He is willing that his claim should be considered as a private. The old man is very poor so much so that he has been under the necessity of making application to the overseer of the poor for aid. Hoping you will transmit your decision soon as possible in this case.

I am your obedient servant

Honl I. L. Edwards
P[eter]. H. Patterson
Upon receipt of Henry's application for a pension, the Bureau of Pensions replied that he would not be able to claim a pension for serving as a sergeant unless he could provide additional proof of being enlisted at that rank. Instead, his pension would be at the lower rate for those veterans that served as privates. As the letter above shows, he accepted a private's pension rate. Hence, Batton's pension was approved and by 1839 he was receiving an annual pension totaling $73.33.

Evidence suggests that Batton removed to Porter County, presumably from Fountain County, Indiana, either in 1839 or 1840. On July 3, 1840, Batton united with the Presbyterian Church of Valparaiso via a letter from a congregation in Virginia. He was also instrumental in the construction of the Presbyterian Church in that community, which was completed in 1844.

Three factors likely motivated
his move north. First, he was ninety years old and likely needed some assistance in performing everyday household tasks. Second, his son-in-law and daughter were residing in the Porter County by 1840 and could provide the needed assistance. Third, even with his military pension, he would have probably had difficultly living on $73 per year and required some measure of financial assistance from his daughter's family.

Letter to U.S. Bureau of Pensions indicating that Henry
Batton would accept a pension at the rate given the those
veterans that served as private, dated March 26, 1834.
Source: National Archives and Records Administration.

Church records indicate that Batton passed away on February 1, 1845, at the age of 94 years. His funeral service took place at the newly constructed Presbyterian Church in Valparaiso. The Valparaiso newspaper, Western Ranger, reported that:
There were many groups from distant points attending the funeral of Henry A. Battan [sic]. Sleighs, cutters and bob-sleds filled the side streets, and every hitching rack around the square was occupied.

Father Battan would have been pleased to see that all the horses were well blanketed. There were visitors from Crown Point, The Corners, Hickory Point, Jackson Township, Coffee Creek and City West, and all nearby communities. The church was filled. Burial was in the Gosset
[sic] cemetery.
His remains were interred on the crest of a hill overlooking Salt Creek in the Gossett Cemetery in Liberty Township. The name Batton was engraved on the Gossett burial monument and Henry's burial tombstone was marked with a simple "H. B."

Though it was commonly recognized that Henry Batton was buried in Porter County, little was known about his military service. Mark L. Dickover, an active historian of the county, wrote a letter to the United States Bureau of Pensions on May 10, 1910, to ascertain any information that could be provided concerning Batton's activities during the Revolutionary War.

Letter to U.S. Bureau of Pensions from Mark L. Dickover
requesting military service information concerning
Henry Batton, dated May 10, 1910.
Source: National Archives and Records Administration.

The material gathered by Dickover was presumably maintained in county historical files. During the late 1920s and early 1930s, state and local chapters of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) began erecting thousands of memorials at the gravesites of Revolutionary War soldiers. The William Henry Harrison chapter of the D.A.R. located in Valparaiso was no exception. On Sunday, June 23, 1929, this chapter held a ceremony at 2:30 pm at the Gossett Cemetery to erect a bronze plaque to commemorate the military service of Henry Batton. The ceremony included a benediction, speeches, a laying of a wreath, the singing of the America, a firing of volley shots as a salute, and concluded with the playing of taps. An identical ceremony was held that day at 4:30 pm at Boone Township's Cornell Cemetery to mark the burial location of Joseph Jones.

In a letter sent to the United States Bureau of Pensions on November 10, 1930, by members of Fountain County's Richard Henry Lee Chapter of the D.A.R., a request was made to identify Henry Batton's "exact burial place." The members wrote that they were "extremely anxious to do this properly and are asking you [the Bureau] to help us." It appears that the Fountain County D.A.R. chapter believed that Henry Batton was interred in their county due to his military pension application originating from there.

The anxiety mentioned in the letter was probably due to the fact that the Fountain County D.A.R. chapter had already obtained a military tombstone from the federal government for installation at Batton's burial site. But where was Henry buried? It was soon determined that Henry was buried in Porter County. Thus, in November 1930 the military tombstone was delivered from the Fountain County D.A.R. chapter to Gossett Cemetery for installation.

If you visit the Gossett Cemetery, then you will not find the bronze plaque. The plaque was discovered to have been stolen in February 1966. In addition, vandals had dug two feet into the ground and physically removed the military tombstone that was ordered and installed by the Fountain County chapter of the D.A.R. in 1930. It is suspected that the vandals may have intended to steal the tombstone as well since it was placed against a fence on the opposite side of the cemetery from where Batton is buried.
Left: Rollie Bernhart, Vidette-Messenger reporter, points to
location where stolen bronze marker was located at Henry Batton gravesite.
Right: Jane Blachly examines Henry Batton's tombstone, which was
removed from gravesite to the cemetery's boundary fence.
Source: The Vidette-Messenger, February 12, 1966.

Note that there are some published facts concerning the life of Henry Batton that are most certainly untrue. A biographical sketch of of John Hageman published in 1894 states that his wife, Hannah (Batton) Hageman, "had three sisters, all of whom were born at one birth [i.e. quadruplets] and all of whom lived, married and reared twelve children each." This statement is clearly false given other documents state that Hannah was Henry Batton's only child.

A biographical sketch of Henry Batton written by William Ormand Wallace, better known as The Stroller, was published in the November 20, 1957, issue of The Vidette-Messenger. Like most stories written by The Stroller, the Batton tale is riddled with errors. For instance, Wallace writes:
In 1883 the Converse & Reeves stage was put in operation making the round trip [from Fort Dearborn to Detroit] in three or four days, and, to see 'what was on the other side of the mountain.' Henry Battan [sic] made this round trip.
By 1883, Batton had been dead for more than 37 years. And Henry's surname is misspelled throughout Wallace's column. All military service records and pension documents, including those submitted by Henry, consistently spell his surname as Batton. There were other individuals named Batton born about the same time as Henry in Chester County, Pennsylvania; how these individuals are related, if at all, is unknown.

Wallace was known to embellish his stories, making up facts in order to produce interesting regional history columns for the readership of The Vidette-Messenger. Therefore, columns written by the The Stroller should be questioned with regard to their historical accuracy.

Joseph Jones is the other known Revolutionary War veteran to reside in Porter County, Indiana. Jones was born in 1755 in Worcester, Worcester County, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph Jones and Nellie (Barbary) Jones. It is known that prior to reaching Porter County in 1841 to live in Boone Grove that Jones was residing in Holmes County, Ohio. He died soon after arriving in Boone Grove, passing away on October 28, 1841. It is suspected Jones may have moved to Porter County to be near one of his children due to either illness, infirmity, or old age. Alternatively, he may have migrated to Porter County after obtaining a land grant in compensation for his military service.

In 1775, Joseph Jones married Ruth Holden, a woman about seven years his elder. Ruth was born on May 2, 1748, at Harvard, Worcester County, Massachusetts, the daughter of Justinian Holden and Ruth (Robins) Sawyer Holden. Their union resulted in at least two children; a daughter Lydia was born on June 28 1775, at Mendon, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, and a son Moses was born on August 27, 1776, at Harvard. Ruth would pass way in August 1820 at Richland County, Ohio, at the age of 72 years.

Enlistment and discharge information
from Joseph Jones' muster roll records.
Source: National Archives and Records Administration.

Joseph Jones' military service records indicate that he served as a private in Colonel Timothy Bigelow's regiment, enlisting on January 1, 1776, and mustering out of service on January 9, 1777. He enlisted into military service again on November 10, 1777, for a three year term, serving as a private in Captain Sylvanus Smith's Company in the Battalion of Massachusetts State Forces commanded by Colonel Bigelow. He would encamp with General George Washington's troops at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, during the winter of 1777-1778. Joseph was discharged from service on November 10, 1780, at which time he was still serving as a private in Captain Sylvanus Smith's Company of the 15th Massachusetts Regiment commanded by Colonel Bigelow. Thus, Joseph Jones served nearly five years in military service during the war.

Jones' Will, dated March 11, 1840, appears in Porter County Will Book A (pp. 12-13); it was proven in open court on February 13, 1843. Where Joseph's body is buried is somewhat of a mystery. Records suggest that he was interred in Cornell Cemetery in Porter County's Boone Township. However, a National Archives and Records Administration military graves registration card indicates that he was buried at a Presbyterian Cemetery in Perrysville, Ashland County, Ohio. Indeed, there is a military tombstone at Perrysville Union Cemetery inscribed with the name Joseph Jones with birth and death dates identical to the Joseph Jones that died in Porter County.

It seems rather unlikely, however, that if Jones died in Porter County that his remains would have been transported to Ashland County, Ohio, for burial. There were no rail lines in either Porter County or LaPorte County until 1852. Transporting his body by ship via Michigan City to Sandusky or Cleveland, Ohio, and then south to Perrysville would have been an arduous, and probably expensive, task.

The Lewis Publishing Company's history of Porter County, published in 1912, mentions that "his [Joseph Jones'] remains rest in an  unmarked grave in the old Cornell Cemetery." Today, there is a headstone marking Joseph's burial site at the Cornell Cemetery.

For some time, it has been suspected that a third Revolutionary War soldier may have been buried in Porter County. This belief was likely prompted by the following newspaper item published in The Porter County Vidette on April 5, 1916, suggesting that a James Morgan of Porter County served in the American Revolutionary War:


Who knows the burial place of James Morgan, a revolutionary soldier, who died here March 1, 1840?

The Daughters of the American Revolution want to know, that they may give his grave the honor due. Until a letter was received here this morning, it was believed that only two soldiers of the revolution had been laid to rest here -- Henry Battan [sic, Batton] and Joseph Jones.

Mrs. H. W. Stone, of Caldwell, Ida., in communication to the county clerk's office, sought the first name of her great-great-grandmother, and the dates of her birth and death. In the same letter she gave the information about her great-great-grandfather, which is received here with much animation.

"My great-great-grandfather, Jas. Morgan," Mrs. Stone writes, "died March 1, 1840, in or near Valparaiso. He was a revolutionary soldier and a brother of General Daniel Morgan, 1737 [should be 1736]-1802. His wife died there also. Her last name was Cox. Can you give me her first name; also the date of birth and death?"

The letter was a revelation to those here interested in the history of the county. Everything possible will be done by the D. A. R. and Indiana centennial organization to bring to light the patriot's resting place.

Further information is being sought at Washington on the record of Henry Battan who was buried in the Gossett cemetery, that an appropriate monument may be erected there for him.
Indeed, research was conducted to determine the burial location of James Morgan based on the information provided by Louise (Finney) Stone in 1916 to the Porter County Clerk. The research, however, bore no fruit and uncertainty remained as to whether Porter County was the final resting place of a third Revolutionary War soldier.

Given the prominence of the Morgan family in Porter County's early history, it would seem quite plausible that a James Morgan was perhaps a resident of the county and buried within its soil. In 1876, A. G. Hardesty wrote of the Morgan's in his Illustrated History of Porter County, Indiana:
In 1828 Jesse, Isaac, and William Morgan, three brothers, left their native home in Monongehala [sic] county, Virginia, for Wayne county, Ohio, from where they moved into Laporte county, Indiana, where they were appointed to fill responsible positions in that county that had sprung into existence but a short time previous. But they were not yet satisfied with their location, and, in 1833, with their large families and worldly effects, they come by the way of the Old Soc [sic, Sauk] trail into this county in 1833. Isaac and William Morgan settled on the beautiful prairie that now bears their name. Jesse Morgan settled in what is now West Chester township, on section 6, on the Detroit and Chicago road heretofore spoken of.
The parents of these three Morgan brothers were James Morgan and Hannah (Cox) Morgan. Interestingly, James was a Revolutionary War soldier, as well as a soldier in Lord Dunmore's War against the Mingo and Shawnee Indian nations. James was born on January 10, 1755, in Frederick County, Virginia, and died on April 11, 1823, in Franklin, Wayne County, Ohio; he is interred at Butler Cemetery situated in Moreland, Wayne County, Ohio.

James and Hannah had another son that did not migrate to Indiana, his name was James Morgan. James, son of James and Hannah, was born in 1794 and at some point in time migrated to Iowa. He died in 1840 and was buried at Spring Grove Cemetery in Des Moines County, Iowa. It was these two James, directly related to Porter County's pioneer Morgan brothers (Isaac, Jesse, and William), that most likely led Louise (Finney) Stone to believe that her James Morgan ancestor died and was buried in Porter County. James the elder was a veteran of the Revolutionary War, while James the younger died in 1840; those two facts match the information in Stone's letter.

Louise (Finney) Stone's ancestor, however, was another James Morgan that served in the Revolutionary War and coincidentally died in 1840. Her James was born on April 5, 1748, at Berkeley County, Virginia (now West Virginia) and was the son of David Morgan and Sarah (Stevens) Morgan. He would marry Margaret Jolliffe in 1786 in Uniontown, Fayette County, Virginia, and not Hannah Cox as suggested in Stone's letter. The union between James and Margaret yielded at least twelve children - five sons and seven daughters. James' date of death was March 1, 1840, which matches the date of death mentioned in Stone's letter to the Porter County Clerk; he died in Wauwatosa, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, and was buried in Wauwatosa Cemetery. A handsome plaque was erected in this cemetery in 2005 commemorating James Morgan's Revolutionary War service.

Records indicate that at least one widow of a Revolutionary War soldier is buried in Porter County. Susannah (Choate) Fifield, wife of veteran Benjamin Fifield (b. 1754, d. 1825), migrated from Enfield, Grafton County, New Hampshire, and located in Porter County early in the county's history. She may have been following her son, Thomas Hale Fifield and his wife, Alice (Carter) Fifield, to Porter County. Records of the Valparaiso Presbyterian Church reveal that Susannah Fifield was received into that congregation by letter on August 22, 1852.

Susannah would draw a military pension from the federal government as a result of Benjamin Fifield's military service, out of which she gave annually ten dollars to foreign missions. She would pass away in 1856.The location of Susannah's remains is unknown, but evidence suggests that she may rest in an unmarked in Valparaiso's Union Street Cemetery.

Benjamin Fifield served as a private in Captain James Osgood's Company of the New Hampshire Rangers, which was attached to Colonel Timothy Bedel's Regiment of the First New Hampshire Northern Army. Fifield's regiment fought in the frontier region of New Hampshire, as well as in Canada.

Given the evidence, it appears that only two veterans of the Revolutionary War, Henry Batton and Joseph Jones, are interred in Porter County. The fact that a second tombstone exists for Joseph Jones at Perrysville Union Cemetery in Ashland County, Ohio, however, does create some measure of uncertainty as to whether he is truly buried at Cornell Cemetery near Boone Grove.

Source Material

Beckwith, H. W. 1881. History of Fountain County, Together with Historic Notes on the Wabash Valley. Chicago, Illinois: H. H. Hill and N. Iddings. 494 p.

DeBolt, Mary M. 1909. Lineage Book: National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Volume LXXII. Washington, D.C.: National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. 397 p. [see p. 191, Membership No. 71536, lineage of Mrs. Louise Finney Stone]

Enoch, Harry G. 1999. Historical Records of the Enoch Family in Virginia and Pennsylvania. Privately published. 210 p. [see p. 77]

Goodspeed Brothers. 1894. Pictorial and Biographical Record of LaPorte, Porter, Lake and Starke Counties, Indiana. Chicago, Illinois: Goodspeed Brothers. 569 p. [see pp. 212-214]

Goodspeed, Weston A., and Charles Blanchard. 1882. Counties of Lake and Porter, Indiana: Historical and Biographical. Chicago, Illinois: F. A. Battey and Company. 771 p. [see pp. 78-79]

Hardesty, A. G. 1876. Illustrated History of Porter County, Indiana. Valparaiso, Indiana: A. G. Hardesty. 90 p. [see p. 23]

The Lewis Publishing Company. 1912. History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests. Volume I. Chicago, Illinois: The Lewis Publishing Company. 357 p. [see pp. 98-99]

National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. 1914. Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications. Volume 121. Louisville, Kentucky: National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. [National No. 24025, lineage of John O. Foster]

National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.1923. Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications. Volume 194. Louisville, Kentucky: National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. [National No. 38741, lineage of Stephen Joseph Herben, Junior] 

Linn, John Blair, and William H Egle. 1880. Pennsylvania in the War of the Revolution, Battalions and Line. 1775-1783. Volume I. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Lane S. Hart. 794 p.

Periodicals and Archived Microfilm
Anonymous. 1906. Graves of Revolutionary Soldiers. The Indiana Quarterly Magazine of History 2(2):97-99.

National Archives and Records Administration. 1912. Case Files of Pension and Bounty-land Warrant Applications Based on Revolutionary War Service. Compiled circa 1800 to circa 1912. Publication No. M804, Record Group 15, Roll 0178, Pension No. S 31542 (Henry Batton).  Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. 39 p.

National Archives and Records Administration. 1912. Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War. Compiled circa 1894 to circa 1912. Publication No. M881, Record Group 93, Roll 0454.  Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration.

Newspapers (listed by date of publication)
The Porter County Vidette, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; April 5, 1916; Page 4, Column 6.

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; September 24, 1927; Volume 1, Page 1, Columns 4-5. Column titled "Valparaiso Man Recalls Meeting Revolutionary War Veteran; 2 Found Resting Places in County."

The Lake County Times, Hammond, Lake County, Indiana; September 30, 1927; Volume 22, Number 73, Page 10, Columns 1-2. Column titled "Valpo Citizens Recall Veteran of Revolution. Saw Him on Platform at Cincinnati With Grandfather of Hammond Physician."

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; May 7, 1929; Volume 2, Page 2, Column 7. Column titled "D. A. R. Plan Mark Graves."

The Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; June 20, 1929; Volume 46, Number 15, Page 1, Column 4. Column titled "Honor Revolutionary Soldiers on Sunday."

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; June 21, 1929; Volume 2, Page 10, Column 4. Column titled "Patriotic Organizations Join in Paying Tribute to Porter County Soldiers of Revolution."

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; June 22, 1929; Volume 2, Page 1, Columns 4-5. Column titled "Patriot's Day Pilgrimage to Honor War Heroes, Sunday."

The Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; June 27, 1929; Volume 46, Number 16, Page 1, Columns 2-3 and Page 6, Columns 4-6. Column titled "Is Porter Porter?"

The Indianapolis Sunday Star, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; May 11, 1930; Volume 27, Number 340, Part 5, Page 11, Column 1. Column titled "Activities of Indiana D.A.R.," by Estelle Marshall Walters.

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; November 12, 1930; Volume 4, Page 1, Columns 2-3. Column titled "Find Grave of Revolutionary Soldier in Gossett Cemetery for Fountain County D. A. R."

The Lake County Times, Hammond, Lake County, Indiana; November 13, 1930; Volume 25, Number 105, Page 6, Columns 6-7. Column titled "Locate Grave of Revolution Vet in Porter."

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; August 6, 1935; Volume 6, Page 2, Column 6. Column titled "Stone Marker Put on Grave of Old Soldier."

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; August 18, 1936; Volume 10, Section 4, Page 12. Column titled Two Vets of Revolution Buried in Porter County."

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; October 25, 1941; Volume 15, Page 1, Column 1. Column titled "Plat Graves of War Vets Over County."

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; November 20, 1957; Volume 31, Number 118, Page 1, Column 8 and Page 6, Columns 6-7. Column titled "County Held Battan In High Esteem," by The Stroller [William Ormand Wallace].

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; February 12, 1966; Volume 39, Number 187, Page 1, Columns 4-5. Column titled "Cemetery Vandalism."

© 2018 Steven R. Shook. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Deb Brobeck HunterJanuary 8, 2018 at 9:46 AM

    Thank you, Steve! I have enjoyed reading your well-written, meticulously researched papers.

  2. very good research -- must have taken some time and travel.
    Good job!