Descendants of Pvt. Henry CarverGeneration No. 1
1. Pvt. Henry2 Carver (1) was born 1735-1745 in Ireland?, and died March 31, 1778 in winter, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. He married Mary Margaret 1725-1760.
This Carver Genealogy was provided on-line by James F. Carver and his brother. Their information can be found at http://www.zoomnet.net:80/~jcarver/carvfaml.html
Henry Carver is first found at the Stevensburgh settlement in Frederick Co Va. in the Shenandoah Valley. Henry purchased a total of 3 lots on 26 Dec 1761 for 10 lbs, Lot #10, Fairfax Street, 1/2 acres of land and a dwelling 20'l x 16'w with a stone chimney. Two additional lots were purchased, #36 on Crooked Land and #73 on Squirrel Lane, 5 acres of land each.
Henry was in the Fredrick Co Va Militia in 1774, commanded by Major Angus McDonald. McDonald directed raids on Indians towns along the Muskingum River. A unit commanded by Capt. Peter Helpinstone, of colonial soldiers, contained one Henry Carver, and they fought to maintain the safety of family & friends, Jun 1774 in action against local Indians who had been ambushing white settlers.
1776 is the year we gained out independence from the British. Much thought was put into which side they each wanted to take - for or against separation from Britain, for the deed was by no means final in 1776. Siding with independence meant declaring treason against England, a crime punishable by hanging (and possibly drawing and quartering) Henry Carver supported the move for independence and joined up with the American Revolutionary Army on 20 Jan 1777, officially enlisted with the 12th Virginia regiment of foot (infantry) under Col. James Jonathan Langdon and Capt. Benjamin Casey on 6 Feb 1777 from Frederick Co, for a 3 year term, for $6.67 per month. Before he left, Henry drafted his Will dated 15 March 1777.
Henry had survived the war against the Indians and was now one of the troops under General George Washington stationed at Valley Forge. Though there were military defeats the summer of 1777 many of the King's colonial subjects still had their fierce pride and continued to fight for independence. Brandywine, Germantown, Ticonderoga, Skensboro, Ft. George and Ft. Edward were the disappointing defeats and retreats.
After that, the weary army of General Washington marched wearily through the winter weather, to the hills at Valley Forge, to prepare for winter camp, where they would drill and train for the next season of fighting, in the spring. They were only 20 miles from Philadelphia, Pa where they suffered through the wet, snowy winter. Located at the junction of Schuylkill River and Valley Creek, it was high ground, a thickly wooded slope, 2 miles long, virtually impregnable. The artillery was placed on high ground for their protection from foraging British troops..
General Washington's philosophy of "adversity is the school of the good soldier" was key to his choice of Valley Forge as his winter camp, although it was also a stretigic location. They marched into this area in mid-December of 1777, the winter was a normal one, though harsh to the men, due to conditions in the camp as a result of greed and ineffeciency regarding both food and clothing.
Upon arrival at Valley Forge, the men were divided into groups of 12. They then built their own huts, 16' x 14', and 6 1/2' high. The corner had tiered bunks and a fireplace, but the green wood would not burn well, making much smoke and burning their eyes and throat. Oiled paper made the windows. They became a 2 mile long double row of log huts referred to as "Misery Road".
By December 23, there was so little food that Washington feared mutiny, which was barely averted. Cries to be heard from the leaky drafty huts were "No bread! No soldier!" and "No meat! No soldier!" Their diet was of water and firecakes (paste of flour & water cooked on a hot stone) for breakfast & supper. The men sat up through the night, beating themselves so as not to freeze to death. General Washington once referred to his army as "the naked and distressed soldiers".
The Marquis de Lafayette reported seeing legs, black from being frozen. Their owners had to be carried around, eventually to have the black limbs amputated at the Continental Army hospital, which often meant death. The hospital rooms, built to hold 8 men, were crammed with 20 & more, lying on old used and dirty beds of straw. Dysentery & pulmonary illnesses were prevalent and 9 of 10 men died if taken to the hospital. One Virginia Regiment sent 40 men there & only 3 survived! The men fought, quarrelled, bullied & robbed in such conditions, many helpless to defend themselves.
Workhorses starved & died by the hundreds. Twice a week the dead horses were buried by a work detail. When the weather grew warmer, the air reeked of the stench of decaying horse flesh, unwashed human bodies & other offending odors from the huts, inside & out. You can use your imagination, as there were no sanitary facilities and many of the sick men could not move far, if at all, from their huts to relive themselves.
The "meat wagons" rattled & creaked as they made their way thru the camp, daily collecting the bodies of those soldiers who had starved or frozen to death the night before. The bodies were piled high, the limbs like sticks. 1/2 of the bodies naked, and sometimes the shoes were stolen to either be worn or boiled & eaten. These "meat wagons" with their many sightless eyes staring, drawn mouths of the occupants, attracted rats, who became bloated from their meals.
A former aide-de-camp to King Frederick the Great of Prussia, Lt. General Steuben, arriving at Valley Forge in February, 1778, was was suprised that these men survived under these conditions, indicating he had never encountered such spirit before. Steuben found ways to overcome the language barrier by using a translater. He then assigned squads, leaders, training drill masters, installing military discipline & teaching military commands. Steuben was soon considered akin to an angel from Heaven & his language was a mixture of 3 countries, which made for much entertainment. Inside a month Steuben transformed the "rabble in arms" into an army.
Steuben noted the difference beetween a European soldier & an American soldier. "The genius of this nation is not the least to be compaared with that of the Prussions, Austrians or French. You say to your [European] soldier, 'Do this', and he doeth it. But [to an American] I am obliged to say, 'This is the reason why you ought to do that,' and then he does it"
Once Steuben was made inspector general, the supply problems at Valley Forge began to ease up. It was, however, necessary for General Washington to commandeer food from the locals, so he could feed his men. The civilians sympathetic to the British hid wagons of food and livestock in the woods, but General Washington's men found them. This was the only way to save the army. Once food was available, new recruits began to arrive and by spring, they were an army.
Henry Carver was one of more than 3000 troops that perished that first winter at Valley Forge. His death is recorded at the National Archives as well as on the rolls at Valley Forge, Pa, and was honored during military services there.
His services in the Revolutionary War for the State of Virginia as well as in theFederal Army made him or his heirs entitled to a free Land Grant. On 28 Apr 1783 under Pvt. Henry Carver's name a certificate for 200 acres of Bounty Land was issued by the State of Virginia in the Military Dist of Va, what is now Eastern Ky and Southern Oh. The exact location is not known. This is not listed in the Ky Land Grants book for the Va Military Dist. Wonder if they missed listing any in Ky?
James F. Carver, 610 Gay Street, Box 214 Portsmouth, Ohio 45662-0214
"George Washington's War: The Saga of the American Revolution" by Robert Leckie.
Other researchers: Larry & Carolyn Carver, Carver@inetone.net, 118 E. Anderson St., Fairlea, WV 24901
Copyright © 2012 by E. Carolyn Carver