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Ezekiel Pearce

Birth
Death 1805
Anne Arundel County, Maryland, USA
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 181599311 · View Source
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Biography I wrote when I was working for the Finding the Maryland 400 project (http://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc3500/sc3520/017200/017219/html/17219bio.html). Used here in hopes of connecting with existing ancestors.

Ezekiel Pearce was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, likely born in Anne Arundel County. Pearce had a brother, Aquilla Pearce, who served as a drummer and private in the Continental Army. [1]

In May 1776, Ezekiel enlisted in Captain Nathaniel Ramsey's Fifth Company, part of the First Maryland Regiment. [2] The First Maryland Regiment were the first soldiers Maryland raised at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. Maryland was more than willing to do its part to recruit the men needed to fill the Continental Army's depleted ranks. [3] A few days after independence was declared, the First Maryland Regiment was ordered to New York so it could join the forces of General George Washington. The regiment arrived there in early August, with the Battle of Brooklyn set between the Continental Army and the British Army, joined by their Hessian allies.

He and his company served at the Battle of Brooklyn in late August 1776. Ramsey's company, Ezekiel included, was placed at the front of the lines, but "hardly a man [in the company] fell," even though they took the first line of fire from the British. [4] This confirmed the assessment of the British Parliament's Annual Register which described how "almost a whole regiment from Maryland…of young men from the best families in the country was cut to pieces" but brought men of the Maryland 400 together. [5] Years later, Captain Enoch Anderson of the Delaware Regiment wrote about the Battle of Brooklyn, saying the following:

"A little before day, we marched towards the enemy, two miles from our camp we saw them. A little after daylight our Regiment and Colonel Smallwood's Regiment from Maryland, in front of the enemy took possession of a high commanding ground,--our right to the harbour. Cannonading now began in both armies...Colonel Smallwood's Regiment took another course,--they were surrounded but they fought hard. They lost about two hundred men, the rest got in. A hard day this, for us poor Yankees! Superior discipline and numbers had overcome us. A gloomy time it was, but we solaced ourselves that at some other time we should do better." [6]

The Battle of Brooklyn fits into the larger context of the war beyond the fact that this was the first large-scale battle of the Revolutionary War. If the Maryland Line had not stood and fought the British, enabling the rest of the Continental Army to escape, then the Continental Army would been decimated, resulting in the end of the Revolutionary War. [7] This heroic stand gave the regiment the nickname of the Old Line and those who made the stand in the battle are remembered as the Maryland 400. [8]

In the fall, after the battle, Ezekiel re-enlisted and stayed in the First Maryland Regiment. [9] During this time, the First Maryland Regiment was stationed mainly in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. As a result, Ezekiel probably fought in battles at Brandywine (1777), Germantown (1777), Monmouth (1778), and stayed at Valley Forge with the regiment. [10] While it is hard to know the circumstances of his capture and time as a POW, it is clear that he was not captured during a major battle since the Battle of Stony Point occurred two months after his capture. [11] He was dishcarged after he became a prisoner of war (POW) in May 1779, ending his 44 months serving in the Continental Army. [12]

Less than two years later, on Feburary 20, 1781, he married Eleanor Powell in Anne Arundel County. [13] They had three children named William, Elizabeth, and Eleanor. [14]

Ezekiel's immediate family did not survive him in the following years. Aquilla Pearce died in the South River region of Anne Arundel County, in February 1795 and left on heir except Ezekiel's daughter, Eleanor, his "niece and only heir at law." [15] As a result, Eleanor was able to fight for Aquilla's pension, which he had applied for after the revolution, and which included a bounty land warrant for 100 acres. [16] Despite this, it is not clear that she eceived the pension. Eventually, even Ezekiel, who died in the fall of 1805 in Anne Arundel County, was outlived by Eleanor, one of his three children. [17] By the time of his death he was clearly reputable farmer, like William Marr, possessing numerous possessions including "fatted hogs," cows, corn bushels, sheep, and iron pots. [18]

While Ezekiel Pearce was not a general, his role as a soldier in the Revolutionary War is worth remembering.

Notes

[1] Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution. Archives of Maryland Vol 18, 151, 314, 357, 443.

[2] Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution. Archives of Maryland Vol 18, 640.

[3] Arthur Alexander. "How Maryland Tried to Raise Her Continential Quotas." Maryland Historical Magazine 42, no. 3 (1957), pp. 187-188, 196.

[4] "Extract of a letter from New York: Account of the battle on Long Island." American Archives S5 V2 107-108.

[5] Mark Andrew Tacyn. "'To The End:' The First Maryland Regiment and the American Revolution" (PhD Diss., University of Maryland College Park, 1999), 4.

[6] Enoch Anderson. Personal Recollections of Captain Enoch Anderson: Eyewitness Accounts of the American Revolution (New York: New York Times & Arno Press, 1971), 21-22.

[7] Jeffrey W. Truitt. "'Animated by the Spirit of '76?': The Motivations and Aspirations of the Revolutionary War's Common Soldiers" (Senior Thesis, Washington College, 2014), 17, 46.

[8] Truitt, 18, 38.

[9] Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution. Archives of Maryland Vol 18, 149, 639; National Archives. Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783. Record Group 93. NARA M246. Roll 0033. Folder 4. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Service Card of Ezekiel Pearce. National Archives. Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War. Record Group 93. NARA M881. Roll 0398. Courtesy of Fold3.com.

[10] John Dwight Kilbourne. A Short History of the Maryland Line in the Continental Army (Baltimore: Society of Cincinnati of Maryland, 1992),. 11, 17, 21, 25.

[11] Kilbourne, 27.

[12] Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution. Archives of Maryland Vol 18, 149; Tacyn, ""To the End": The First Maryland Regiment and the American Revolution," 287.

[13] Pension of Aquilla Pearce. Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files. Record Group 15. NARA M804. Roll 1895. Courtesy of Fold3.com. Pension BLWt.1919-100; Marriage of Ezekiel Pearce and Eleanor Powell, Anne Arundel County Court, Marriage Licenses. MdHR 4752, p. 13 [MSA C113-1, 1/1/11/27].

[14] Pension of Aquilla Pearce; Balance and Distribution of Ezekiel Pierce, 1806, Anne Arundel County Register of Wills, Testamentary Papers. MdHR 4767-75-57 [MSA C149-87, 1/4/9/22].

[15] Pension of Aquilla Pearce.

[16] Pension of Aquilla Pearce.

[17] Testamentary Papers of Ezekiel Pearce, 1805, Anne Arundel County Register of Wills, Testamentary Papers. MdHR 4767-74-26 [MSA C149-85, 1/4/9/21]; Administration Bond of Ezekiel Pierce, 1805, Anne Arundel County Register of Wills, Testamentary Papers. MdHR 4767-68-69 [MSA C149-79, 1/4/9/18].

[18] Inventory of Ezekiel Pierce, 1806, Anne Arundel County Register of Wills. MdHR 4819-1, Liber JG 6, p. 123 [MSA 4819-1, 1/3/12/34]; Administration Account of Ezekiel Pierce, 1806, Anne Arundel County Register of Wills. MdHR 4829, p. 691-692 [MSA C29-6, 1/3/13/29]; Final Account of Ezekiel Pierce, 1805, Anne Arundel County Register of Wills, Testamentary Papers. MdHR 4767-75-1, oversize [MSA C149-87, 1/4/1/10]; Testamentary Papers of Ezekiel Pearce, 1805, Anne Arundel County Register of Wills, Testamentary Papers. MdHR 4767-74-26 [MSA C149-85, 1/4/9/21].


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  • Created by: historyhermann
  • Added: 20 Jul 2017
  • Find A Grave Memorial 181599311
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Ezekiel Pearce (unknown–1805), Find A Grave Memorial no. 181599311, ; Maintained by historyhermann (contributor 49112035) Unknown.