NJGenWeb ~ Morris County, New Jersey
Robert Young is the third and final soldier in this series. Next will be Phebe Willis Kitchel's Declaration, and then some notes. Again, I engaged in some minor editing here, but left everything intact. A couple of words I could not make a out are marked (?).
Declaration of Robert Young age 87 July 3, 1838 "an aged citizen of Randolph township"
I am in the 87th year of my age , since 13th February 1838.
I was a soldier in the war of the Revolution & was personally well aquainted with William Willis , who was also a soldier in the same war, & who performed Militia service from 1776 until the end of the war. He married Phebe Wilson about the year 1773 or 74 , whom I know very well. She is now the widow of (?) Aaron Kitchel, who was her last husband , & who died some 12 or 14 years since. I think she was married to some other person after the death of Willis & before her marriage to Mr. Kitchel.
When a young man , I worked at Boonton Iron works as a blacksmith in Col. Saml. Ogden's employ & there became acquainted with William Willis , who lived near Boonton. Phebe Wilson ,afterwords Willis' wife, lived part of her times in Col. Ogden's family & I knew they were married before the war. The first Militia service in which I remember seeing William Willis engaged was at Springfield in the month of December , 1776, at the first battle of Springfield, under Gen'l Heard's command in Colonel Ford's regiment & in Capt. Josiah Hall's company, as I believe. After the fight, Willis and his co. were stationed below Springfield a month for defense of the frontier. A number of Hessians (70 or 80) were taken prisoner by Col. Spencer, who had his horse killed under him.
Captain Hall , after this term, enlisted a company of men to form 3 months & William Willis enlisted under him (?) this period in the winter & spring of 1777, in the neighborhood of Quibble town & Amboy, while the enemy lay in Amboy & Brunswick. I often saw him during that winter under Col. Seely & Gen'l Winds. There were many fights & skirmishes with the enemy that winter, in some of which Capt. Hall's co. were engaged. I recollect Willis performing a months' Militia duty in the neighborhood of Pompton & New Windsor in the fall of '77 before Burgoyne surrendered, in Hall's company, under Gen'l Winds & Col. Seely. I remember him on a months' duty at Elizabeth town in the summer of '77. He was also engaged in a months' duty at Redbank & Haddonfield near the Delaware, in Capt. Debows' company & Col. Seely's regiment. I recollect him also at the battle of Monmouth under the same officers & along the sound opposite Staten Island, between Amboy & Rahway, a month in the summer of '78.
I was with William Willis on a tour of duty near Trembly's point under Col. Seely, keeping guard along the shore between the point & Blazing star ferry, in the season of green corn & early apples.
I remember Willis at the battle of Acquackanonck bridge , in which Gen'l Winds commanded the Militia , aided by Colonels Seely, Hathaway, Frelinghuysen , Hays & others, in the early part of the fall. He was also with us at the battles of Springfield & Connecticut farms in 1780- the latter in May & the former in June. He was stationed below Springfield a month performing guard duty.
Some of his Militia tours were performed under the immediate orders of Captain Jonas Ward, but I cannot say which of them with certainty. Besides the tours mentioned , I often saw him out on alarms , for periods of 10 or 12 days.
I was also personally well acquainted with Joseph Willis , brother of William Willis, who came fron New England, working for Col. Ogden in the Boonton Iron works, slitting nail rods, which was a then a new business in New Jersey. I was then a young man, a blacksmith by trade, working in the same Iron works with the two Willises, my business being to keep their tools in good order. Here I also became acquainted with Phebe Wilson, now Mrs. Kitchel, who was much of her time in Col. Ogden's family, where she became acquainted with her husband. She is now living & is still the widow of Aaron Kitchel. Said Phebe had one child born in wedlock with William Willis before the war began & whilst we all lived at Boonton, & I think she had more than one before the war commenced , but of this I am not certain.
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