Today, we celebrate Independence Day, July 4, 1776, the day the American Colonies declared independence from the British Crown. The first battles of the American Revolutionary War had already taken place more than a year before on April 19, 1775, the Battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts, and the war raged on until September 3, 1783. While all these things seem so far removed in history and location, I remember my ancestors who lived just several generations before me, and who fought to obtain American Independence:
Jacob Farr, my 5th Great-Grandfather, was born about 1745 and died about 1803 in Warren County, Georgia. He served under the command of Lt. Col. Greenberry Lee, probably around 1779-1781. His unit appears to have been active in and around Ft. Augusta and St. Paul’s Parish, now Wilkes County, Georgia.
William Cason, my 3rd Great-Grandfather, was born on April 10, 1749, in Pitt County, North Carolina. He died on January 1, 1847, in Warren County, Georgia, at the impressive age of 97, and was buried there. He served seven campaigns during the Revolutionary War in South Carolina.
Jeremiah Duckworth, my 5th Great-Grandfather,was born in 1740 in Orange County, North Carolina. He died on November 6, 1809, in Warren County, Georgia, at the age of 69.
Joshua Whipps Stanford, my 5th Great-Grandfather, was born on October 28, 1740, in Maryland. He died on May 1, 1826, in Columbia County, Georgia.
Thomas Ansley, my 5th Great-Grandfather, was born on January 14, 1737, in Upper Freehold, New Jersey. He married Rebecca Harrison Cocke on November 1, 1760, in Ocean County, New Jersey. They had seven children in 16 years. He died on January 10, 1809, in Warren County, Georgia, at the age of 71, and is buried in Thomson, Georgia. Thomas Ansley built the Rock House in the 1780’s, and it is the oldest stone structure in Georgia.
William Johnson, my 4th Great-Grandfather, was born October 6, 1750, in South Hampton, Virginia, and he died May 6, 1830, in Warren County, Georgia..
Drury McCullers, my 5th Great-Grandfather, was born about 1740 in Cumberland, North Carolina, and died June 2, 1807, in Warren County, Georia.
John Sallis, my 4th Great Grandfather was born in 1754 in Granville, North Carolina, and he died July 3, 1815, in Warren County, Georgia. He was a Captain who served in North Carolina and received a Revolutionary War Bounty Grant.
On Independence Day we celebrate with bar-b-que, fireworks and family get-togethers. We do this because our forefathers fought in the cause that would win our nation’s independence. I honor these men, and the many others, who served as Revolutionary War Soldiers and fought to obtain my liberty. I celebrate the freedoms we have to speak freely, to worship freely, to gather freely, to travel freely. I celebrate because our nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles which have guided it for 239 years. I am proud to be an American.