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John Neal

Birth
Charles County, Maryland, USA
Death 22 Jul 1825 (aged 67–68)
Covert, Seneca County, New York, USA
Burial Unknown, Specifically: Considering the size of the town, he is buried in some cemetary there, but the exact one is not known
Memorial ID 181660663 · View Source
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This is the text of a bio I wrote in 2016 (http://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc3500/sc3520/016700/016719/html/16719bio.html) for the Maryland State Archives and has been reprinted here:

John Neal was born in 1757, likely in Charles County, Maryland. [1] His father, Benjamin was from Northern Ireland; his mother's name is not known.

On January 24, 1776, Neal, age nineteen, enlisted as a private in Captain John Hoskins Stone's First Company of the First Maryland Regiment at Port Tobacco, Maryland. [2] Many of those in the First Company were recruited from Charles County. The company trained in Annapolis until it departed for New York. [3]

The First Maryland Regiment was the first unit of 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. [4] 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.

Neal served with twenty-six-year-old Stone and his company at the Battle of Brooklyn in late August 1776. Unlike the companies of Barton Lucas, Daniel Bowie, Peter Adams, Benjamin Ford, and Edward Veazey, only fifteen percent of the First Company were either killed or captured, with these other companies suffering heavier losses. Few were killed, while the company's ensign, James Farnandis, was captured by British forces. [5] Even so, the loss of life by the other companies 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" even as the battle brought the men of the Maryland 400 together. [6]

The Battle of Brooklyn, the first large-scale battle of the war, fits into the larger context of the Revolutionary War. If the Maryland Line had not stood and fought the British, enabling the rest of the Americans to escape, then the Continental Army would been decimated, resulting in the end of the Revolutionary War. 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.

Neal survived the Battle of Brooklyn, like most of the First Company. On December 10, 1776, he re-enlisted in the First Maryland Regiment as a private. [7] He served in the regiment for a three-year term until December 27, 1779 when he was discharged in Morristown, in New Jersey's Somerset County. During this time, he fought, by his own recollection, in the battles of White Plains (1776), Brandywine (1777), Germantown (1777), and Monmouth (1778). [8] He was promoted to corporal in May 1778. [9] A few months later in July, he was promoted to sergeant and served in that role until he was discharged in 1779.

A sergeant, like Neal, had an important role in the Maryland Line. As non-commissioned officers, their duties included maintaining discipline within their company, and inspecting the new recruits. [10] Their other duties included carrying sick soldiers to the hospital as needed, reporting on the sickness of men within the ranks, and leading groups of men to guard prisoners or supplies if circumstances required it. [11] For these services they were paid more than corporals in Maryland, who they oversaw and worked with, to keep order in place in the company, including breaking up disputes between soldiers. [12] In order to get in this position, however, their field officers or captains had to recommend them for promotion. [13]

After his Maryland service ended, Neal stayed in Somerset County. On February 27, 1780, he married a local woman named Margaret Miller in Boundbrook, New Jersey. [14] They had two children named Benjamin (b. 1781) and Theodocia (b. 1802). While Neal was the state, he served in the militia in Somerset County, which fought off British incursions in New Jersey until the end of the war, serving at least one four-month term. [15] In the county, called the "crossroads of the revolution" by some, the destruction of the war had dissipated by the 1780s, with industry and commerce thriving in the final years of the war even as militiamen decried depreciation of Continental currency. [16]

By 1810, Neal and his family lived in the town of Ovid, New York, in the northern part of the state near the Finger Lakes, where he filed for his Federal veterans pension in 1818. [17] In 1820, he lived in the adjoining town of Covert, New York on a half-acre of land, with a wooden clock, a chest, and some cookery, a shabby wagon, small pigs, one cow, and eight sheep. [18] In his pension application, he claimed to be in "reduced circumstances" and that he had lost his discharge papers or any other paper records proving his service in the First Maryland Line, an appeal that was successful.

Five years later, on July 22, 1825, Neal died. [19] Years after his death, his wife re-married to a man named John Benjamin Smith. Still, she continued to fight for Neal's pension payments until at least 1850. At that point, she was living in the small town of Hector, New York, which was only about 16 miles away from Ovid, with another family. [20] She died in the 1850s, the exact date not known.

Notes

[1] Pension of John Neal, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1803, pension number W.19054. Courtesy of Fold3.com. Neal's last name is sometimes spelled Neale, Nail, Neill or Neall.

[2] Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution Archives of Maryland Online vol. 18, 6; Pension of John Neal.

[3] Mark Andrew Tacyn “'To the End:’ The First Maryland Regiment and the American Revolution” (PhD diss., University of Maryland College Park, 1999), 21.

[4] Arthur Alexander, "How Maryland Tried to Raise Her Continental Quotas." Maryland Historical Magazine 42, no. 3 (1947), 187-188, 196.

[5] Return of the Three Independent Companies and First Regiment of Maryland Regulars, in the service of the United Colonies, commanded by Colonel Smallwood, Sept. 13, 1776, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 93, Roll 0034, courtesy of Fold3.com; Return of the First Regiment of Maryland Regulars in the service of the United Colonies Commanded by William Smallwood, Oct. 11, 1776, p. 92-93, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 93, Roll 0034, folder 35, courtesy of Fold3.com; Tacyn, 95.

[6] Tacyn, 4.

[7] Pension of John Neal; Pay receipt for John Nail in account of money paid sundry soldiers by General Smallwood, 22 December 1776, Maryland State Papers, Revolutionary Papers, MdHR 19970-6-7/3 [MSA S997-6, 1/7/3/11].

[8] Pension of John Neal; Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution Archives of Maryland Online vol. 18, 146.

[9] Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution Archives of Maryland Online vol. 18, 146; Tacyn, 301; Service Card of John Nail, Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War, National Archives, Record Group 93, NARA M881, Roll 0398. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Rolls of 1st Maryland Regiment, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, Record Group 93, NARA M246, Roll 0033. Courtesy of Fold3.com.

[10] James Thacher, A Military Journal During the American Revolutionary War, from 1775 to 1783 (Boston: A Richardson and Lord, 1823), 458, 468-470, 473, 475, 483-484, 520; Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, July 7-December 31, 1776 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 12, 145; Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution Archives of Maryland Online vol. 18, 335.

[11] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1781-1784 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 48, 343; Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, July 7-December 31, 1776 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 12, 125, 255; Journal of the Maryland Convention July 26 to August 14, 1775 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 11, 50; Proceedings of the Conventions of the Province of Maryland, 1774-1776 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 78, 23; Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, August 29, 1775 to July 6, 1776 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 11, 439; Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, January 1-March 20, 1777 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 16, 334.

[12] Thatcher, 45, 73, 476; Proceedings of the Conventions of the Province of Maryland, 1774-1776 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 78, 92.

[13] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1779-1780 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 43, 71.

[14] Pension of John Neal; Ronald V. Jackson, Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp. New Jersey Census, 1643-1890. Courtesy of Ancestry.com. It is likely that he knew Miller before he married her in 1780, possibly from his militia service.

[15] Pension of John Van Tuyl, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 2451, pension number W.22483. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Service Card of John Sebring, Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War, National Archives, NARA M881, Record Group 93, Roll 0641. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of Folkerd Sebring, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 2147, pension number W. 24926. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of Abraham Sebring, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 2147, pension number S. 22972. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of John Van Tuyl; Pension of John Haas, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1150, pension number S. 1,012. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of Isaac Manning, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1624, pension number W. 7400. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of David King, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1428, pension number S. 13655. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of Jacob Mesler, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1717, pension number R. 7143. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of John Swaim, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 2326, pension number W. 2486. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of Abraham Sebring; 2nd Battalion of Somerset rolls, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, Record Group 93, NARA M846, Roll 0063, folder 60. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of William Durham, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 0874, pension number R. 3160. Courtesy of Fold3.com; James P. Snell and Franklin Ellis, History of Hunterdon and Somerset counties, New Jersey, with illustrations and biographical sketches of its prominent men and pioneers (Philadelphia: Everts & Peck, 1881), 83, 98. Census records show a "John Neale" living in Burlington County in 1790 and 1800, but it cannot be confirmed this is the same person as John Neal.

[16] William A. Schleicher and Susan J. Winter, Somerset County: Crossroads of the American Revolution (Chicago: Arcadia Publishing, 1999), 7-8, 17-18, 22, 24-25, 34; Multiple authors, Somerset County Historical Quarterly Vol. VII (Somerville, NJ: Somerset County Historical Society, 1919), 18-20, 31, 79, 104, 170-172; Abraham Messler, Centennial History of Somerset County (Somerville: C.M. Jameson Publishers, 1878), 69-71, 74, 77-78, 81, 101, 109-110, 112-113; Richard A. Harrison, Princetonians, 1769-1775: A Biographical Dictionary (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1980), 28-29, 80-81. It may have been called the crossroads because competing Continental and British armies maneuvered in the county and Morristown was also located there.

[17] Pension of John Neal; Tacyn, 318; Pension of Abraham Sebring; Third Census of the United States, 1810, Ovid, Seneca, New York; NARA M252; Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29; National Archives; p. 252; Image: 00160; Family History Library Film: 0181390. Courtesy of Ancestry.com. Ovid included a town and village of the same name which was still small even in 1850 and to the present-day. A number of men named "John Niles" were living in the town of Oneida, as recorded by the 1800 census, which is about 81 to 96 miles away from Ovid, but it cannot be confirmed this is the same man as John Neal.

[18] Fourth Census of the United States, 1820, Covert, Seneca, New York; NARA M33; Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29; National Archives, p. 298, Image: 61. Courtesy of Ancestry.com. Covert was a town formed from part of Ovid.

[19] Pension of John Neal; Letter about John Neal, September 18, 1895. New York County, District and Probate Courts. Administration, Vol C-D, 1815-1883, p. 136. Courtesy of Ancestry.com. His wife, Margaret, was the administrator of Neal's estate after his death.

[20] Seventh Census of the United States, 1850, Hector, Tompkins, New York, NARA M432; Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29; National Archives; p. 420A, Image: 441. Courtesy of Ancestry.com.

Not the same as man: https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Neal&GSfn=John&GSbyrel=all&GSdy=1825&GSdyrel=in&GSob=n&GRid=58347180&df=all&


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  • Created by: historyhermann
  • Added: 22 Jul 2017
  • Find A Grave Memorial 181660663
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Neal (1757–22 Jul 1825), Find A Grave Memorial no. 181660663, ; Maintained by historyhermann (contributor 49112035) Unknown, who reports a Considering the size of the town, he is buried in some cemetary there, but the exact one is not known.