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Source: The Zanesville Daily Courier, Zanesville, Muskingum Co., Ohio
Saturday, February 16, 1878, page 1, cols 1-3
Contributed by Ky Longley

The Early History of Zanesville
by E.H.C.

For the Courier,


    The early settlers of Zanesville, who laid the foundation of the city, marked out its streets, erected churches, built hotels, pointed the road to wealth, and population by the erection of manufacturing establishments, established commercial houses generly left behind them no record of their trials and struggles; their failures and successes, and in consequence, it is only here and there that we get a glimpse of the labors and trials and misfortunes which must be endured by pioneers, who go into the wilderness, to hew their way to fame and fortune, and aid in laying the foundations of cities which grow in wealth and importance, and population, as the years glide away. It looks at this distance as though it might have been a work of no great magnitude, because we are unable to comprehend the difficulties with which they were compelled to struggle and overcome. It was, indeed, and if fact a Hurculanean task. Ohio, stands to-day in the character of her inhabitants, head and shoulders about any State in the Union: Why? Because her early settlers were made up largely of the very best men in the nation - men of education and refinement, of sound judgement, eminent, worthy men who would be prominent in any community.

    How did it happen that the educated and refined gentlemen of the Easter and Southern States came to Ohio? The great war of the Revolution had just closed. Independence was achieved and that was all. Our ancestors sacrificed everything they possessed for that great boon. The country was bankrupt, the individuals were bankrupt. Men who had endured all the hardships and trials, and misfortunes of a long and bloody war, after peace came to cheer the heart, went to their homes to find that the misfortunes of war had rendered them bankrupt. There cam across the mountains a report from adventurers, scouts, Indiana fighters, and hunters, that away beyond the Alleghenies, beyond the beautiful Ohio river, there was a fertile country, with waving forests, beautiful streams, hills and dales, with a rich soil and healthy climate. These men who had fought the battle bravely, and won the prize, turned their faces to the West, and sought new homes in a new country. Among these pioneers was Gen. Isaac Van Horne, of whom a short sketch appeared in the COURIER last week. Among Gen. Van Horne's papers was found a sketch of his life, written by himself. Feeling that his sketch would be perused with interest by the numerous readers of the COURIER, we have succeeded in getting permission to publish it.


    Isaac Van Horne, formerly of Bucks county, Pennsylvania, who removed to Zanesville, Ohio, in 1805, descended from an ancient family of Hollanders, who emigrated to America at the time the dutch possessed New York, then called New Amsterdam. My great-grandfather resided in Bergen opposite the bay of New York city. My grandfather, Isaac, for whom I was named, and some of his brothers emigrated to Bucks county, Pennsylvania. My father, the eldest of three sons, named Bernard, died in the time of the Revolution on the farm left him by my grandfather Isaac. The youngest of my father's brothers was a carpenter and cabinet maker, to whom I went as an apprentice, while he was yet a single man. I was born January 13, 1754. When about 22 years of age I caught the mania of military parade, spent much time acquiring a knowledge of military exercise; was elected ensign of a company of militia.

    Several regiments of Continental troops being about to be raised, Lacy a neighbor (afterward General Lacy) being appointed a Captain in one of the regiments solicited me to become his ensign. I was appointed to ensign accordingly by the committee of safety, then sitting for the purpose in Philadelphia; January 1776 was assigned to Captain John Beaty's company in Colonel Samuel McGraw's regiment. After the regiment was raised, we marched to Philadelphia barracks, thence to New York, and commenced to Fort Washington twelve miles above New York on the Hudson where we were at work, on the 4th of July 1776, when the news arrived from Philadelphia of the Declaration of Independence. We were marched out, formed into a circle, and Col. McGraw delivered a very animated address on the occasion. At this time the British fleet lay at the Staten Island shore, and the army on the Island in full view. The battle of Long Island was fought in August, whilst we were at Fort Washington. The next day after we were ordered to Long Island, and being fresh troops, covered the retreat over to New York a few days later. I was left dangerously ill of fever in the city. In a few weeks, I so far recovered as to take a passage in a Gondola to the fort. Sometime after the enemy got possession of New York. Lord Perry came out against us on Sunday morning. The day was spent is skirmishing with but little loss on either side. Next morning the enemy had made good his retreat to New York. On the 16th of November following General Howe with the main body of his army had already taken possession of Kings Bridge above us.

    Another body from New York and the Highlanders having crossed the Harlem river, hemmed us completely in, and in the afternoon the American force of about 2,200 men, was surrendered prisoners of war. Our capitulation secured to us our lives, baggage and side arms, but as soon as the enemy took possession of the fort, abuse and plunder commences; side arms, watches, shoe buckles and even the clothes on our backs were wrested from us, and very few, if any of the officers, escaped being stripped of their hats. In the evening we were marched over to Harlem, strictly guarded, and threatened with hanging as Rebels. Thence we were marched to New York.

    After some delay the officers were quartered in the houses deserted by the inhabitants, and given their parole of the City, but the soldier were thrust into Bridewell, sugar houses &c., where they suffered almost every privation, and soon became diseased and died so fast as to induce the Commanding General to send out the remainder to be exchanged for prisoners were had or might take of theirs. A great many of them however died on the way home. It must be observed however that a great number enlisted with the enemy to save the while suffering, in close confinement, and for want of food. The Officers were finally removed to Long Island. In the winter of 1777-8, the Sound being frozen over, and the enemies lines much circumscribed, they were under apprehension that detachments from the American army might pass over the East river and rescue us. Hence we were shipped on board transports to the Bay of New York, and detained there about six weeks where we suffered much from excessive cold.

    In May 1777, about sixty officers of different ranks were exchanged, among which I was one. Soon after I got home, I repaired to Valley Forge (headquarters) but the regiment was filled up with officers, and I returned to Bucks county, leaving my baggage in camp.

    The enemy some time after evacuated Philadelphia, and our army broke up in pursuit, and my baggage was lost in the hurry.

    After the battle of Monmouth, a committee of Congress met the army at White Plains to reorganize it, and those who had been prisoners and exchanged, were notified that applications from them to join the army would be duly considered, upon which I, with many others, applied and was restored to the rank to which I was entitled in the regiment, then commanded by Col. James Harmer, upon which I again joined the army as First lieutenant. Some time after, I was appointed Captain-Lieutenant in said regiment, commanding a company.

    In 1781 after recruiting the regiment, then under the command of Col. Richard Hampton, the Pennsylvania line was ordered to the South, to join the forces of Marquis De La Fayette, rendezvoused at York, Pennsylvania. By a new arrangement of Congress, promotion which had previously been regimental, was new in the line of each State, and the Captain-Lieutenants were directed to remain in the State recruiting, to keep up the regiments.

    Disliking the recruiting service, I made an agreement with the Adjutant (Huston), who had a wife and family in Carlisle, to perform the Adjutant's duty while he remained in the State to recruit in my place. General Wayne and the field officers readily concurred with our arrangement, and I passed on with the brigade as Adjutant of Hampton's regiment. Passing through Maryland, Capt. McClelland, of the Second regiment, resigned and returned home, and General Wayne appointed Capt. Lieut. Stephenson of the said regiment to succeed him. After some time, when marching through Virginia, I got information of the new arrangement of Congress with respect to promotion, and being the oldest Capt-Lieut, called upon Gen. Wayne for the command of Capt. McClelland's company. He refused to appoint me, as he had already made the appointment to Stephenson, alledging he had no official knowledge of the new arrangement. I wrote to Philadelphia, and soon got an official copy, and again demanded Capt. McClellan's company, and again he persisted in the refusal.

    Near Charlottesville, we formed a junction with the Marquis De La Fayette, being fresh troops, we pursued Lord Cornwallis, who in his turn, retreated down the James river at Richmond. Hogsheads of tobacco had been thrown into the streets, and set on fire, and much other destruction committed. At Jamestown, we were marched over the causeway of considerable length over a swamp to seize the baggage and rear guards of the British army, the main body it was reported to have crossed over the James river to the west side, but on approaching the main body, they were all prepared to give us battle.

    There were about 700 or 800 of us in the face of about 6,000 of the enemy. The contest did not last long, but cost us the loss of a regiment in killed and wounded, and two pieces of artillery which Wayne had taken from them at Story point. The Marquis being several miles in the rear, on hearing the firing hastened to our relief.


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