Burgoyne, Bruce E. Waldeck Soldiers of the American Revolutionary War, (Heritage Books, Inc., 2008.)
Burgoyne, Bruce E. The 3rd English-Waldeck Regiment in the American Revolution, (Heritage Books, Inc., 2008.)
Hoyt, Max Ellsworth and Frank Johnson Metcalf. Index of Revolutionary War Pension Applications, (National Genealogical Society, 1966.)
Krebs, Daniel. A Generous and Merciful Enemy: Life for German Prisoners of War during the American Revolution, (The University of Oklahoma Press, 2013.)
Lewis, James A. Neptune's Militia: The Frigate South Carolina during the American Revolution, (The Kent State University Press, 1999.)
Middlebrook, Louis F. The Frigate South Carolina: A Famous Revolutionary War Ship, (The Essex Institute, 1929.)
Moss, Bobby Gilmer. Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution, (Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., 1983.)
Revill, Janie. Copy of the Original Index Book: Showing the Revolutionary Claims Filed in South Carolina Between August 20, 1783 and August 31, 1786, (Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., 1967.)
The writer of this blog has decided to compose a new post concerning this specific member of the 3rd Waldeck Regiment who served on board the frigate South Carolina. This decision was made for two reasons. First, the writer of this blog realized that the previous post on the Waldeck soldiers who deserted their prisoner-of-war status in Havana, Cuba and signed on board the frigate South Carolina, ostensibly succumbing to the persuasions of German-speaking Commodore Alexander Gillon, was getting too lengthy. Second, he also realized that certain aspects of a member of the 1st (Grenadier) Company - Christoph Roemer - seemed to be somewhat "confused" in comparison to the other eleven members of the 3rd Waldeck Regiment. As the previous post began to take shape and develop in all it's "glorious" detail, these aspects of Christoph Roemer's life began to stand out in sharper detail. Subsequent research seems to indicate that Christoph Roemer may well have stayed on board the frigate South Carolina after it docked in Philadelphia, PA and that he was indeed present on board the frigate for her second, brief voyage when she was captured by the three British Royal Navy men-of-war on December 21, 1782 just off the Capes of the Delaware. It is the intent of the writer of this blog to prove that Christoph Roemer, known as "Christopher Romer" in many genealogical works, was indeed present on the second cruise of the frigate but, was recorded as Henry Roymer, Lieutenant of Marines on board the frigate South Carolina. But, as usual, the writer of this blog will leave the ultimate decision to his readership as to whether or not this information should indeed be interpreted as it is in the post below.
The most logical place to begin is in Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, section entitled "Appendix: Crew and Marines of the South Carolina", page 164. On this page there appear two entries, one right after the other, and these are as follows:
Christopher Romer (Rohmer) no "position" given
Henry Romer (Roymer?) Lieutenant of Marines
These two entries appear in the roster of the frigate South Carolina and form the nexus of this post. These are the two identities that may indeed share the same physical man and are the subject of this post. The readership will note that no "position" is indicated for Christopher Romer in Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia meaning that his rank and rating on board the frigate South Carolina are unknown or have remained unrecorded. Yet, in previous posts, he has been definitely proven to have been a former member of the 1st (Grenadier) Company of the 3rd Waldeck Regiment. This assertion is beyond a shadow of a doubt and has been definitively confirmed in the opinion of the writer of this blog.
The writer of this blog has made the decision to repeat the information concerning Christoph Roemer as found in the previous post entitled "'Another Group of German Soldiers on board the Frigate South Carolina' - Additional Biographical Information on Known Members of the 3rd Waldeck Regiment That Served on board the Frigate South Carolina, Pt. V" and dated "05/30/2016". This information will, by and large, be identical to the information provided in the earlier post referred to immediately above with the exceptions that the writer of this blog will insert assumptions related to the information that has been provided by various different sources. The writer of this blog will insert a notification to the effect that the following or additional information is an assumption or extrapolation drawn from earlier information and is therefore not to be taken as strict factual information. At the same time, some of this extra "included" information concerning Christoph Roemer will be obvious in nature but, hopefully, will serve to provide a fuller picture of Christoph Roemer and his life. Needless to say, these same assumptions and extrapolations will remain well within the realm of distinct possibility as far as Christoph Roemer and his service is concerned. This remarkable man's information is as follows:
Christoph Romer - According to Burgoyne's work, Waldeck Soldiers, page 118, Christoph Romer was born in 1749 in Hesperinghausen, Waldeck. No additional information is included as to his exact birth date or his parents' names or occupations. In this same work, he is cited as being an "evangelical" which indicates that he was a Lutheran.
Burgoyne's work, Waldeck Soldiers, page 118, indicates that Christoph Roemer had ten years military experience in the 1st Waldeck Regiment prior to joining the 3rd Waldeck Regiment. The initial detachment of the 3rd Waldeck Regiment sailed for America in 1776. Christoph Roemer was with the first regimental contingent when it sailed for the colonies. At the time of the sailing of the 3rd Waldeck Regiment for America, Christoph Roemer was 26-27 years old. Since we do not know his exact birth date, this is the closest we can come to determining Christoph Roemer's age at the time of the regiment moving to the North American colonies. So, if he indeed had those ten full years experience, he may have joined the 1st Waldeck Regiment in 1766, when he was either 16 or 17 years old. This could have been completely feasible since other soldiers of the 3rd Waldeck Regiment are documented as being this young when they joined the regiment and were sent to suppress the rebellious colonies. This last statement can be readily verified by checking each man's entry in the post cited immediately above and dated "05/30/2016".
At the time of the sailing of the regiment for America, Christoph Roemer was a corporal in the 1st (Grenadier) Company of the 3rd Waldeck Regiment. As is typical in most European armies of the 18th century, the Grenadier Company was the only such designated company in a regiment and was usually commanded by a proven, brave officer. According to Burgoyne's work, Waldeck Soldiers, page 61, the 1st Company commanding officer at the time of the sailing of the regiment for America was Captain Konrad Albrecht von Horn. He was promoted to Major, probably at some point in early 1777. On April 14, 1779, while on a recruiting mission back in Germany, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the 3rd Waldeck Regiment. He led the Recruit Shipment of 1779 for the regiment back to the colonies, arriving at Pensacola, FL on April 6, 1780, after the actual capture of his previous company by the Spanish at Fort New Richmond in Baton Rouge on September 21, 1779. At some point in August 1778, the original commanding officer of the 5th Company of the 3rd Waldeck Regiment was transferred to the 1st Company as commanding officer, ostensibly, to fill the vacancy of Major von Horn being detached for recruiting duty back to Germany. According to Burgoyne's work, Waldeck Soldiers, pages 47-48, this was Captain Georg Ludwig Ferdinand von Haacke. He was taken prisoner with his command on September 21, 1779. As an officer, he was exchanged back to British Crown control at some point in 1781 and was thereafter promoted to Major.
(Note: According to Burgoyne's work, Waldeck Soldiers, pages 47-48, Captain Georg Ludwig Ferdinand von Haacke spoke three European languages when the regiment sailed for America in 1776 - German, Dutch, and French. Evidently, while he served here in the colonies, he acquired English as a fourth language in his linguistic repertoire. The writer of this blog thinks it rather unusual that these were the same four languages in the linguistic command of Commodore Alexander Gillon, Commodore of the South Carolina Navy and commanding officer on board the frigate South Carolina.)
At this point in our narrative, the story of Christoph Roemer skips up to the 3rd Waldeck Regiment arriving in Pensacola, FL, the capital of British West Florida. According to Burgoyne's work, Waldeck Soldiers, section entitled "Chronology of Event", page xx, the total regimental contingent of the 3rd Waldeck Regiment landed at Pensacola, FL between January 30 and February 2, 1779. According to Burgoyne's work, Waldeck Soldiers, page xxi, in June of that same year, the 1st (Grenadier) Company of the 3rd Waldeck Regiment was ordered to board a transport ship and prepare for departure to the Mississippi River area. The 1st (Grenadier) Company boarded the transport on June 19, 1779 and sailed for the Mississippi River area the next day, June 20, 1779. Unbeknownst to these German soldiers, the Kingdom of Spain declared war on Great Britain the next day, June 21, 1779. Again, unbeknownst to these valiant German soldiers, already so far from the fatherland, they were headed directly into the eye of the Spanish storm. Corporal Christoph Roemer would have been among his company contingent at this time and thus on board this transport as it sailed to the Mississippi River.
According to Burgoyne's work, The 3rd English-Waldeck Regiment, pages 110-111, "the King of Spain had dictated that the principal objective of Spanish arms in America during the war with England was to drive the English from the Gulf of Mexico and the banks of the Mississippi. The local forces were not to await assistance from Spain but, were to use available forces to attack Mobile and Pensacola.". Don Bernardo de Galvez, the Spanish Governor of Louisiana lost little time in taking the offensive and by September 7, 1779, had captured the British post, Fort Bute, at Manchac. Several British ships plying the waters of the lower Mississippi River were also captured. Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Dickson of the 16th Regiment of Foot ordered all of his available troops back to Fort New Richmond at Baton Rouge. According to Burgoyne's work, The 3rd English-Waldeck Regiment, page 114, Spanish forces under Don Bernardo de Galvez invested this position on September 12, 1779"....which properly could only be called a field redoubt, having been built in just six weeks.". After nine days, Don Bernardo de Galvez had set up his heavy artillery and was now ready to open the siege of Fort New Richmond in earnest. According to Burgoyne's work, The 3rd English-Waldeck Regiment, page 114, "he [de Galvez] opened fire on September 21  and after a three-hour bombardment, the British at Baton Rouge surrendered.". Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Dickson surrendered a garrison of about 400 men, of whom around 200 of them were troops of the 3rd Waldeck Regiment. The entirety of the 1st (Grenadier) Company of the 3rd Waldeck Regiment was captured at the fall of Fort New Richmond, located in Baton Rouge, West Florida. Thus, Grenadier Corporal Christoph Roemer would have marched out into Spanish captivity with his company of fellow grenadiers. He could not have known at the time but, his period of incarceration with the Spanish would last for two and one half years.
As noted in the previous post, Burgoyne's work, Waldeck Soldiers, page 118, confirms that Christoph Roemer was indeed taken prisoner at the fall of Baton Rouge to the Spanish forces under Don Bernardo de Galvez on September 21, 1779. The entire garrison of Fort New Richmond was taken to New Orleans initially. According to Burgoyne's work, The 3rd English-Waldeck Regiment, page 123, "the [British Crown] soldiers made prisoners of Spain in the fall of 1779 in the Mississippi region were held for a time in New Orleans, where the Waldeckers were allowed to enjoy a relative freedom of the city.". Eventually, the prisoners became a burden and were removed, probably in the summer months of 1780, to Veracruz, Mexico. According to Burgoyne's work, The 3rd Waldeck Regiment, page 123, "some, if not all, of the Waldeck prisoners of war were sent to Veracruz, Mexico, in 1780, aboard the Nuestra Senora del Carmen.". The involuntary stay of the Waldeck troops in "...the legendarily cruel dungeons of Mexico..." - as Crytzer's work, Hessians, page 268, terms the prison in Veracruz, Mexico - was blessedly brief, their incarceration there lasting for a month or slightly more. Afterwards, according to Burgoyne's work, The 3rd English-Waldeck Regiment, page 123, in August 1780, the Waldeck prisoners-of-war were again transported from Veracruz, Mexico to Havana, Cuba on board the El Cayman. Their imprisonment in Havana, Cuba would be their lengthiest, lasting for over one and one half years until the early spring of 1782. Christoph Roemer would have experienced all of these places of incarceration from New Orleans, through Veracruz, Mexico right up to Havana, Cuba. By this point in time, he had not seen his homeland or his family in at least six years.
This brings the story of Corporal Christoph Roemer of the 1st (Grenadier) Company of the 3rd Waldeck Regiment up to the time when he deserted from his prisoner-of-war status in Havana, Cuba and signed on to the frigate South Carolina. According to Burgoyne's work, Waldeck Soldiers, page 118, as well as Burgoyne's work, The 3rd English-Waldeck Regiment, page 224, Corporal Christoph Roemer deserted on March 31, 1782. He was among the last of the recorded prisoners-of-war from the 3rd Waldeck Regiment to sign on to the frigate South Carolina, there being three others from the 3rd Waldeck Regiment that signed on board the frigate that same day - Karl Kleine, Johann Henrich Weber, and Johannes "Jean" Tuitel being the other three members of the 3rd Waldeck Regiment to do so.
It is at this point in the narrative of Corporal Christoph Roemer that the overall story takes on an intriguing nature. In both of the two above cited entries in Burgoyne's works on the same cited page numbers, there is confirmation that Corporal Christoph Roemer rejoined the regiment (3rd Waldeck Regiment) as a private in December 1782. None of the other twelve Waldeck soldiers who deserted their prisoner-of-war status in Havana, Cuba has the same citation in their entries. Corporal Christoph Roemer is the sole former member of the 3rd Waldeck Regiment to have this citation included in his entry. But, according to Burgoyne's work, Waldeck Soldiers, page 118, the text goes on to say that "....but, [he] deserted again at Flatbush [New York] on July 2, 1783.".
It goes almost without saying that for Christoph Roemer to have rejoined the 3rd Waldeck Regiment he either deserted back to his former allegiance at some date after March 31, 1782 or at some date after his initial desertion was recaptured by British Crown forces and forcibly returned to German control. There is nothing more said on the matter of his manner of return to his former regiment or that he returned as a private instead of his former rank of corporal. The remainder of this post on Christoph Roemer is based mostly on speculation but, also on the presentation of evidence that points to a conclusion that is plausible and, at the same time, logical.
This lengthy, greatly expanded citation of the military service of Corporal Christoph Roemer ends at this point in the overall post. But, the intriguing nature of these final factual statements regarding him after his initial desertion on March 31, 1782 at Havana, Cuba and the scant factual evidence we have of his subsequent life form a facet of his continuing life story that begs exploration and illumination.
The actual, historical return of former Corporal Christoph Roemer under circumstances that were voluntary and constituted a premeditated decision to desert the patriot standard to which he had initially decided to desert would be almost completely and purely speculative in nature and would therefore almost be guaranteed to be incorrect. There exists no evidence of a voluntary return on his part to his former regiment and condition. But, evidence does exist that possibly points to a recapture and involuntary repatriation to German forces followed by a second desertion in New York state as the regiment was less than two weeks away from preparing to depart the colonies and return to the fatherland.
If the readership of this blog would indulge the writer of this blog in a bit of speculation at this point, it would help the "flow" of the narrative this specific post. Following this piece of speculation, the writer of this blog will present the evidence for the plausibility of this scenario. Once again, the writer of this blog states that this is, by and large, speculation but, there is evidence that some events along these lines must have occurred on board the frigate South Carolina between the initial desertion of Christoph Roemer from his prisoner-of-war status at Havana, Cuba on March 31, 1782 and his second desertion from the 3rd Waldeck Regiment on July 2, 1783. This speculative scenario is as follows:
Corporal Christoph Roemer of the 1st (Grenadier) Company of the 3rd Waldeck Regiment deserted his prisoner-of-war status at Havana, Cuba on March 31, 1782. About three weeks later, on April 22, 1782, the frigate South Carolina departed Havana, Cuba harbor to participate in the Spanish invasion of the British-held Bahamas Islands. After the successful capture of the Bahamas Islands, on May 14, 1782, the frigate South Carolina turned her head northwards towards America, arriving at Philadelphia, PA on May 29, 1782. During this time period, Christoph Roemer, being the experienced soldier that he was, performed well and was observed doing so by the officer cadre on board the frigate South Carolina. Once the frigate reached Philadelphia, PA and docked, whole sections of the crew members and marines of the frigate began to be discharged or desert from the service of the frigate South Carolina. It is possible that either prior to the docking, and in anticipation of the wholesale departure of the crew members and marines, that Corporal Christoph Roemer was asked by an officer, or even by Commodore Alexander Gillon himself, to remain on board the frigate and continue to serve the state of South Carolina. This request may have been as a result of the knowledge that the new marines for the frigate would be recruited from among the German-speaking populations in the immediate environs of Philadelphia, PA. The feelings among the officers may have been that to have a German-speaking officer in charge of the marines might be a positive benefit to the command of the frigate South Carolina. It is also possible that he chose of his own free will to remain on board the frigate South Carolina and let his desires be known to the leadership on board the frigate. For whatever reason, the experienced and battle-hardened Corporal Christoph Roemer was promoted to "Lieutenant of Marines" on board the frigate South Carolina. For some unspecified reason, he chose to begin to be referred to as Lieutenant of Marines "Henry" Roemer instead of Christoph Roemer as before. He was on board the frigate South Carolina in that capacity as she slipped her moorings and began to sail downriver towards the Capes of the Delaware in late December 1782. He actively participated in the eighteen-hour flight and two-hour battle of the frigate South Carolina before she struck her colors early in the morning hours of December 21, 1782 to the three pursuing British men-of-war who had pounced on her when she emerged from the Capes of the Delaware. Christoph "Henry" Roemer would have been identified as a former German soldier as the prisoners-of-war from the frigate South Carolina were being sorted through in preparation for transportation to New York City harbor. Once the three Royal Navy warships reached New York City harbor carrying their contingents of patriot prisoners-of-war, their rebel charges would have been paroled to Long Island if they were officers or they were committed to any of several prison "hulks" moored in Wallabout Bay, NY across the East River from Manhattan, if they were enlisted men or NCOs. But, Christoph "Henry" Roemer was sent to Hessian headquarters in New York City to await his fate at the hands of his former comrades. We do not know of any disciplinary proceedings carried out against him for his initial desertion from "his Prince's Standard" but, he was most certainly "broken" in rank from his former rank of corporal to that of private. He served in this lesser capacity until he realized that the regiment was scheduled to return to the fatherland. At this point, he chose to slip away again from the 3rd Waldeck Regiment and remain here in America. He effected this second desertion on July 2, 1783 at Flatbush, NY. On July 15, 1783, thirteen days after Christoph "Henry" Roemer deserted a second and final time, the 3rd Waldeck Regiment embarked for Europe. Evidence seems to indicate that Corporal Christoph "Henry" Roemer was not accompanying the regiment as it returned to Waldeck. More than likely, he never saw his homeland again.
The above account is purely speculative in nature and is a product of the imagination of the writer of this blog. But, there does exist evidence to support at least some aspects of this speculative narrative. Those will be presented at this point in this post. First, there is the issue of the actual existence of "Lieutenant on Marines Henry Romer". The only reference to a "Henry Romer" that the writer of this blog has encountered is found in Hoyt's and Metcalf's work, Index of Revolutionary War Pension Applications, page 972, and reads simply:
Henry Romer - N.Y., S43965
This indicates that the individual in question here was named Henry Romer. He was living in New York at the time that his pension application was filed for and that it was filed under the pension application number S43965, which means that he personally received the amount of the stub indent and not some one else. This is ascertained by the initial letter "S" which indicates "survivor", meaning that he actually served in the American Revolution and was personally filing the pension application.
There were a few other men who served on board the frigate South Carolina who were natives of the state of New York and chose to reside there after the conclusion of the American Revolution but, not many at all. This entry gives no indication that the individual cited here was an officer or performed his service in the navy of the colonies. Also, there are three supporting names mentioned in the pension application of Henry Romer. None of these names are cited in Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, section entitled "Appendix: Roster of the Crew and Marines of the South Carolina". This again lends credence to this named individual not being the man who served on board the frigate South Carolina.
"Lieutenant of Marines Henry Romer" does not appear in any of the other texts in which officers usually appear. He does not appear in census records, bounty land grant records, burial records of Revolutionary War veterans, or in documents concerning those who were incarcerated in British prisons. Even if he lived outside the state of South Carolina, if he did file a pension application, his name would be cited in Moss's work, Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution. His name does not appear in this work but, the name "Christopher Romer" does appear in this specifically cited text, Moss's work, Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution, page 830.
There is one reference to a "Henry Roymer" in relation to the frigate South Carolina. It is found in Middlebrook's work, The Frigate South Carolina, page 24, and reads:
Henry Roymer Lieutenant of Marines December 26, 1782 [Discharged] Headquarters
This final citation of "...[Discharged] Headquarters..." is the same designation after each of the names of the other former Hessian soldiers who were also found to be serving on board the frigate South Carolina when she was captured on December 21, 1782. This citation indicates that the recaptured Hessian soldiers were turned over the German authorities in New York City to be closely cross-examined as to why they were serving on board a rebel ship-of-war. All of these former German soldiers had been captured with General John Burgoyne at the surrender of his troops at Saratoga, NY in October 1777. But, for our purposes and those of this specific post, "Lieutenant of Marines Henry Roymer" received the same treatment and found himself answering for his earlier decisions at "headquarters" before a panel of German military personnel. This could only mean that he, too, had been identified as a former German soldier and thus also had endure the same cross-examination as the other former German soldiers.
In the two remaining issues, the man in question here will be referred to as "Christopher Romer" which is the manner in which he is referred to in the sources that address him. A second aspect in support of the speculative narrative above is the date of his "rejoining" the 3rd Waldeck Regiment. The citation for Christoph Roemer in Burgoyne's work, Waldeck Soldiers, page 118, states that he deserted his prisoner of war status at Havana, Cuba on March 31, 1782 but, rejoined his unit "...in December of 1782 as a private...". The date of his rejoining his unit coincides with the capture of the frigate South Carolina off the Capes of the Delaware on December 21, 1782. The best account of the "reintegration" of the former Hessian-German soldiers back into their respective regiments is provided by Krebs's work, A Generous and Merciful Enemy, page 240, and is cited a length below:
"The example of fifty Braunschweig-Wolfenbuttel and Hessen-Hanau prisoners of war, captured in 1777, who suddenly arrived in New York Harbor on British ships in late December 1782 is probably more telling than many lists and numbers. In contrast to the prisoners at Mount Hope these men had enlisted with American forces in the fall of 1782 and had agreed to serve as marines on the frigate South Carolina. Unfortunately for the prisoners, the British navy captured the ship on December 21, only a few days after it had left its harbor in Philadelphia. Brought to New York by the British navy, the fifty German defectors and new revolutionary marines were interrogated by their former officers. To the last man, they denied the charge of defection, claiming that their service on the revolutionary ship was part of a clever scheme to escape captivity. After five years in revolutionary hands, suffering from meager rations and crowded quarters, they had learned from loyalists around Philadelphia that British ships were lingering in Delaware Bay, waiting for the South Carolina to leave its harbor. They decided to enlist on this ship only because they knew it would soon be captured by the British, and that they would thus be brought back to New York and finally freed from captivity.
The officers accepted this tale, reinstated the former prisoners, and quickly accused the American revolutionaries of prisoner mistreatment. Within days, the men were again receiving their regular pay. What the officers did not know, and what their soldiers wisely concealed, was that they had actually fought very hard on the South Carolina, together with American seamen, to avoid British capture -- behavior that one would not expect from prisoners of war who were using the ship as a vehicle of escape. Like the prisoners at Mount Hope, these seemingly powerless captives manipulated the revolutionaries, the British navy, and German officers, playing them off against each other to their own advantage.".
The prisoners of war referred to in this passage were from the regiments of Braunschweiger or Hessian troops captured with Burgoyne at Saratoga, NY in the fall 1777. Christoph Roemer, as an ethnic Waldecker, would not have been "one of them" but, he would have been a fellow German prisoner-of-war also and spoke their heart language as well as they did. These prisoners previously spoken of would have wanted to dissemble the true reason for their desertion of their "Prince's Standard" and avoid severe punishment for their "unpatriotic" actions, which they seem to have successfully done. It seems from the passage contained in Burgoyne's work, Waldeck Soldiers, page 118, that Christoph Roemer was "broken in rank" from a corporal to a private but, appears to have also successfully avoided any further punishment. This would have set the stage for his second, and ultimately, successful desertion on July 2, 1783 at Flatbush, NY. Christoph Roemer is the only Waldecker who seems to have served on board the frigate South Carolina for her second, brief voyage that ended in her capture by elements of the British Royal Navy and the subsequent recapture of Christoph Roemer by Crown Forces. But, Christoph Roemer seems to have been determined to remain here in America and made his statement to that effect in deserting a second time just prior to the regiment's return to the fatherland. He was the only Waldecker of the twelve who served on board the frigate South Carolina to be recaptured and to desert a second time.
The third, and final, issue concerning Christoph Roemer is the exact amount of the certificate he received from the state of South Carolina and what this amount might imply. According to Revill's work, Copy of the Original Index Book, page 385, the following entry appears and is recorded here in full textual form:
Christopher Romer received a certificate form the state of South Carolina for 96p/10s/1d on September 13, 1783.
This was slightly over two months after his second desertion from the 3rd Waldeck Regiment. The amount awarded to Christoph Roemer, or to Christopher Romer, when compared against other known officers on the same list, was the amount of a certificate usually awarded to an officer who was a lieutenant. If Christopher Romer had been a common mariner or sailor, he would have almost certainly received a much smaller amount. As a matter of fact, John Henderson, a native-born Pennsylvanian and also a "Lieutenant of Marines" on board the frigate South Carolina for her second, brief cruise, received slightly more than one pound less than Christopher Romer received. This could easily indicate that Christopher Romer was indeed an officer - a "Lieutenant of Marines" - on board the frigate South Carolina for her second, brief cruise ending in her capture on December 21, 1782 by the three British men-of-war just off the Capes of the Delaware.
So, in conclusion, from evidence that does indeed exist, it is to be assumed that "Lieutenant of Marines" Henry Romer of the frigate South Carolina and former Corporal Christoph Roemer of the 1st (Grenadier) Company of the 3rd Waldeck Regiment are one and the same individual. Supporting evidence for this assumption is as follows:
(1) "Lieutenant of Marines" Henry Romer does not appear in any relevant or cogent documents concerning the American Revolution. A "Henry Romer" does appear in a single pension application, filed in the state of New York, under the number S43965. The writer of this blog does not have access to this document, so it cannot be examined by him. But, the supporting names included in the pension application do not match any of the names of others who served on board the frigate South Carolina as found in Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, section entitled "Appendix: Crew and Marines of the South Carolina", pages 135-170. Thus, it is to be assumed that this pension application was not filed by the "Henry Romer" in question who served as a "Lieutenant of Marines" on board the frigate South Carolina for her second, brief cruise in December 1782.
(2) The name of "Christoph Roemer" (or "Christopher Romer" or any variation on the spelling of this name) does not appear on any of the prisoner-of-war lists of the three British Royal Navy men-of-war that brought the captured crew and marines of the frigate South Carolina into New York City harbor between December 23-24, 1782. But, a "Lieutenant of Marines" Henry Roymer is cited as being among the prisoners-of-war. Yet, unlike the other officers of the captured frigate South Carolina who were immediately paroled on Long Island to await exchange back to the patriot forces, Henry Roymer's status is cited as "December 26, 1782 Headquarters". This special "status" was reserved for members of the crew and marines who were identified as having previously been former British, German or Loyalist soldiers who had been captured by the rebel forces and "defected" to the rebel side of the conflict, for one reason or another. Christoph Roemer had previously been a member of the 1st (Grenadier) Company of the 3rd Waldeck Regiment who had been captured at the fall of Fort New Richmond in Baton Rouge, West Florida on September 21, 1779. He deserted from his prisoner-of-war status at Havana, Cuba on March 31, 1782 by signing on board the frigate South Carolina.
(3) "Christopher Romer" did file a claim against the state of South Carolina for services he had rendered on board the frigate South Carolina during the course of the American Revolution. He received a certificate from the state of South Carolina on September 13, 1783 for 96p/10s/1d. There is no indication in this document, found in Revill's work, Copy of the Original Index Book, page 385, as to the rank or position Christopher Romer held on board the frigate South Carolina. But, a comparison of other amounts paid in certificates reveals that this is the general amount received by other officers on board the frigate who also held a similar rank. Thus, it is to be believed that Christopher Romer was an officer and, most likely, a "Lieutenant of Marines" since the amount received by Christopher Romer favorably compares with those received by other "Lieutenants of Marines" on board the same frigate.
There is no indication as to why he chose to use the first name of "Henry" when he became an officer on board the frigate South Carolina. This would have been while the frigate lay in Philadelphia, PA harbor and, most probably, would have occurred while Commodore Alexander Gillon would have still been the commanding officer on board the frigate. It is possible that if "Christoph Roemer" had a middle name it was "Henrich" and he chose to use the Anglicized form this middle name rather than his true, first name, again, for one reason or another.
Once again, the writer of this blog is compelled to write that indeed Corporal Christoph Romer lived a full, exciting life by anyone's standards. He was already experienced in military matters when he joined the 3rd Waldeck Regiment. He saw action in the vicinity of New York City before being sent south the Pensacola, West Florida. He was then sent further west to the Mississippi River area where he saw, no doubt, many of his comrades die of disease and sickness rather than as a result of combat. He endured the siege of Fort New Richmond and was among the troops taken captive there by the Spanish army. He spent time as a prisoner-of-war in New Orleans, later in the "legendarily cruel dungeons" of Veracruz, Mexico, and, finally, in Havana, Cuba, by which time he had completed two and one half years of incarceration at the hands of the Spanish. Then in late March 1782, he met an extraordinaire rebel commanding officer who, addressing the prisoners in German, offered him and his other imprisoned comrades a way out of Spanish captivity - by signing on as marines in the service of the frigate South Carolina. Corporal Christoph Roemer was one of the German captives that took that offer and became a marine on board of this rebel ship-of-war. He sailed with the frigate against the British-held Bahamas Islands and saw these same islands captured by the Spanish. He next traveled with the ship and her crew into American waters, looking for a friendly port city to receive them. Once in that city - Philadelphia, PA - Christoph Roemer saw all of his fellow Waldeckers leave the service of the frigate South Carolina and disappear into the vastness of America. But, former Corporal Christoph Roemer of the 1st (Grenadier) Company of the 3rd Waldeck Regiment seems to have taken a different path - one of continued service to the rebel Cause. Evidently, be was commissioned as a "Lieutenant of Marines" and continued to serve on board the rebel ship-of-war. She slipped her moorings in Philadelphia, PA, probably in the middle of December 1782, and began to move down the Delaware River. Once clear of the Capes of the Delaware, the frigate South Carolina found herself closely pursued by three British frigates whose combined firepower clearly outgunned her armaments. After a eighteen hour chase and two hours of exchanging broadsides, the frigate South Carolina struck her colors to the pursuing British men-of-war. "Lieutenant of Marines" Christoph "Henry" Roemer found himself a prisoner of the British and transported into New York City harbor. Once there, Christoph Roemer stood before a board of German officers who cross-examined him concerning whether or not he had deliberately betrayed his "Prince's Standard" and committed treason, which was punishable by death. Whatever transpired, Christoph Roemer found himself returned to the 3rd Waldeck Regiment as a private, having been "broken in rank" from his previous rank of corporal. This appears to be all that he had to suffer as a result of his desertion on March 31, 1782. But, in all of these travels, marches, battles and imprisonments he must have seen something that spoke deeply to his soul. Somewhere, somehow, he took in the true meaning and potential of America and what that meant to him. He saw a future here that held a place specifically for him in that future. We know this because on July 2, 1783, former Corporal Christoph Roemer of the 1st (Grenadier) Company of the 3rd Waldeck Regiment deserted a second time, this time at Flatbush, NY. He never returned from that desertion. The remainder of the personnel of the 3rd Waldeck Regiment left the shores of America less than two weeks later, on July 13, 1783, and sailed for the fatherland. Christoph Roemer was not among those who returned to the fatherland. He chose instead to remain here, in America, and help build a new future for himself and others who also called themselves Americans. Aye, that is truly the magic of America.