Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Acadians Who Fought In The Amerrican Revolution

In spite of everything the Acadians had been subjected to throughout the Deportation years of 1755-1763, numerous Acadian soldiers served in the U.S. Army during the American Revolution of 1775-1783. For the most part, these men were members of militia units raised in Louisiana, then Spanish territory.

However, in Massachusetts was Pierre Robichaud, the Acadian Minute Man who took part in the Lexington/Concord skirmishes. Recalling the Acadian Deportation and how young Acadian children were often taken from their parents and indentured by the British, then the presence of these Acadian names among Massachusetts soldiers are not surprising. Some of the names were originally mistaken as being Huguenots but with the knowledge we have acquired about how the names changed, etc., in prior research on the military of this war, it was eventually realized that some of these names were very Acadian such as Baririeu, Gautreau and Poirier. Could it be that some of these individuals had been post-deportation refugees?

Whatever the case may be, the following also served in Massachusetts:

Joseph Benoit - he served in Col. Ebenezer Thayer's 5th Suffolk County regiment, dated Braintree, January 20, 1778 on the list of return of mean enlisted into the Continental Army. He was enlisted for the town of Braintree; joined Captain Langond's company, Colonel Crane's regiment, enlisted for 3 years; reported a transient; mustered by Nathaniel Barber, Muster Master.

Jean-Baptiste Beriooit (Barrieu?) Return of mean, enlisted into Cont. Army from Essex County, subsequent to Feb. 11, 1778, dated Aril 18, 1778, residence, Amesbury: enlisted for the town of Amesbury; joined Capt E. Lunt's Co., Col. Henley's Regiment; enlisted for 3 years.

Jean Bernard - list of men mustered in Suffolk County by Nathaniel Barber, Muster Master, dated October 26, 1777, Col. Crane's Regiment.

Jean-Philip Bernard (this could be the same as the above) Return of men into the Cont Army from Capt Obediah Beal's Co. (no year given); residence; Cohasset; enlisted for town of Cohasset; joined Capt Langdon's Co.; Col. Henry Jackson's Regiment, enlisted for 3 years; mustered by Nathaniel Barber, Muster Master.

Stephen Gautraw (Gautreau?) Boston, private in Lieut. Hodijah Bayles's Co. of grenadiers; Col. Henry Jackson's Regiment; pay roll for February 1778, dated Gulph, Pennsylvania, service, 1 month; also, same co. and regiment pay roll for June 1778, sworn-to at Providence, service 1 month; also return certified at camp near Morristown, New Jersey, April 30, 1780, of officers and men belonging to Colonel Lee's, Colonel Henley's and Colonel Jackson's regiments, and men belonging to Massachusetts in Colonel Henry Sherburne's Regiment who were incorporated into a regiment under the command of Colonel Henry Jackson, agreeable to the arrangment of April 9, 1779, residence, Boston; rank - private; enlisted Nov. 20, 1777, enlisted for 3 years; reported killed in Rhode Island August 29, 1778; said Gautraw appears among men belonging to Col. Henry Jackson's Regiment who had been discharged from the rolls prior to above engagement.

Jockes Pouryea (Jacques Poirier) receipt dated South Hadley, Mass., March 26, 1782, signed by Noah Goodman, Superintendant for Hampshire County, stating that he had received said Pouryea, a solder engaged to serve in the Continental Army for the term of 3 years, to the credit of the town of Granby.

Simon LeBlanc (as well as Francois LeBlanc, whose record he shares) list of French prisoners sent from Halifax to Boston October 8, 1778 to be exchanged; reported a Seaman; letter from Bat. Fox, Commissary of Prisoners to the Commissary of Prisoners at Boston, dated en board the Rainbow at Halifax, October 8, 1778; accompanying list requests that said be exchanged for British prisoners.

Source: the now defunct Fleur de Lys of New Bedford, MA - The last issue of this publication was in 1980. The reference given was: Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolution.

Acadian descendants should be very proud of the many contributions their ancestors have made in honor of their adoptive country, America. After all that our Acadian ancestors went through with the Great Diaspora of 1755, some of the ancestors who had known the pain of exile or hiding, actually volunteered to fight in the American Revolution of 1776. At the time of the Revolution, a group of Acadians from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia enlisted in the Continental Army and fought as patriots under the leadership of Colonel Jonathan Eddy who was originally from Massachusetts.

Colonel Eddy and Captain Isaie Boudreau met with General George Washington on March 17, 1776 in Cambridge, Massachusetts to request aid and to discuss their strategy. This meeting is well documented in General Washington's correspondence to the Continental Congress.

One book that speaks of the participation of the Acadians in the American Revolution is The Siege of Fort Cumberland, 1776: An Episode in the American Revolution by Ernest Clarke. The publisher: McGill-Queens University Press, Montréal - 1995 - 302 pages.

The Acadians who participated in the American Revolution left numerous descendants. Many are not aware of their connection to the Acadians Patriots. Descendants of the Acadian Patriots are eligible for membership in the very prestigious women's organization The Daughters of the American Revolution - D.A.R.. The male organization is known as The Sons of the American Revolution - S.A.R. The application must be filed with the genealogical proof to your ancestor who would have fought in that war. As a member, an engraved Certificate indicating membership with the member's name and the name of the Ancestor Patriot is listed. Quarterly newsletters are also published and sent to members.

It is ironic that our deported ancestors, some born on other shores than Acadian, would have came back then engaged in a battle for freedom for those colonies that were at times so cruel to them. We can indeed be proud of these Patriots whether or not we descend from them.

The Acadian Patriots
in addition to the above from Massachusetts

Isaiah Boudreau
Peter Casey
L. F. Delesdernier
Baptiste Maylet (Maillet)
Peter LeBlanc
Michel Bourg - [Michel is my Patriot.  I was approved for D.A.R. membership on October 6, 2007.]
Benjamin Allen (Alain)
Maturin Gaudet
Joseph Legere
Chas Maylet (Maillet)
Jean D'Roches
Jean Gaudet
Joseph Bastarach
Maturin D'Roches
Michel Govin
Louis Gould (Doiron)
Jos. Boudreau
Paul LeBlanc
David Farrell
J. B. Troop
Isaac Tebodeau
Joseph Gaudet

Lincoln SS. Michias, Feb 12, 1778, this day Personally appeared before me Capt. Isaiah Boudreau and swore to the above Roll to be true & just in all the facts.

Benj. Foster, Justice Peace

Reverse/ April 29, 1778
Ordered a warrant be drawn on the treasury for this Roll.

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