HENRY CONNELLY, son of Thomas Connelly and Mary Van Harlengen, was born May 2, 1752 in Chester County, Pennsylvania, died May 7, 1840 in Oil Springs, Johnson County, Kentucky, and is buried in William Rice Cemetery in Johnson County, Kentucky.
He married (1) Ann Macgregor, daughter of Archilbald Magregor. (Archibald was born about 1720 in Scotland, and died about 1758 in Guilford County, North Carolina) and EDITH MACALPINE, in 1774. She was born February 14, 1756 in Guilford County, North Carolina, and died about 1830 in Oil Springs, Johnson County, Kentucky. Henry Connelly married (2) Temperance Hitchcock on March 8, 1832. She was born about 1781 in North Carolina, according to the 1850 Johnson County, Kentucky census, and died about 1855. Temperance Hitchcock married (1) John Hitchcock.
Henry Connelly was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and relocated to Guilford County, North Carolina as a young boy. His father, Thomas, traveled so much that Henry was raised by his grandparents, the Van Harlingens. This being the case, he developed their heavy Dutch accent. This accent stayed with him the rest of his life.
On July 7th, 1777, Henry joined the Colonial Army in North Carolina, where he achieved the rank of Captain in a cavalry unit. He commanded 100 men as State Troops of North Carolina, which were called "militia." His main concern was "keeping down" the Tories, and mainly a Tory by the name of Fanning. Tories were people who lived in this country but didn't support the Revolution. They instead fought on the side of the British.
Fanning was born in Johnston County, North Carolina, in 1754. It is said that he was born "of obscure parentage." He was raised in poverty and was eventually "bound out" for his support to a Mr. Bryant, who was a cruel and brutal master, and Fanning ran away when he was about 16. Some of his acquaintances found a home for him with a man by the name of John O. Deniell, who lived at the Haw Fields, in Orange County, North Carolina. Fanning had something called "scald head" and was not allowed to eat at the table with the family, nor was he permitted to sleep in a bed. After he was grown he always wore a silk cap and even his closest friends never saw his head uncovered. When he was about twenty years old he went to trade with the Catawba Indians, in South Carolina, and there he managed to acquire considerable property. Up to this time he had been a Whig. As he returned to North Carolina he was robbed of all his property by "some lawless fellows," whom he supposed to be Whigs. He immediately became a bitter and relentless Tory and sought every opportunity to wreak vengeance on Whigs indiscriminately and to injure the Revolutionary cause. He murdered, as he says, many patriots and burned their houses. He was bold and daring and captured the Governor of North Carolina whom he turned over to the British.
Fanning was a man of ability and the local leader of the Tories in the Carolinas. He was the man on whom the King's forces always relied and who never failed them. It was a distinct compliment to Captain Henry Connelly that he was selected to fight Fanning and keep him down, and he seems to have been able to cope with the daring Tory leader. Fanning said that many of his men were taken to Hillsboro and Salisbury and there hung by the "rebels" as he called the Revolutionary authorities. No doubt these prisoners were taken there by Captain Connelly.
The most famous battle that Captain Henry Connelly fought in was the Battle of Cowpens, on January 17, 1781. The Americans had been retreating from British forces and at a field outside of Spartanburg, South Carolina they made their stand. They fought among the fences and empty cow pens. The battle lasted a little more than an hour and eventually the British retreated, with a loss of over 100 troops. This was a major victory for the Americans and the beginning of the end of British rule here.
After the war Henry moved his family to Hager Hill, Kentucky, from North Carolina and this is where he lived the rest of his life. After his wife Ann died, Henry married Temperance Hitchcock. In 1833 he applied for a pension because he was a Revolutionary War veteran, which he was awarded. The attorney who made out the papers was Henry C. Harris, who had been the family attorney for a generation. In the files relating to the pension of Captain Connelly there is a letter written by Mr. Harris, in which he says:
"The old man is a Dutchman, and when I made out his statement I could scarcely understand everything he said."