This post returns to the topic of a much older (in terms of the age of this blog) post that also dealt with the marines on board the frigate South Carolina for her second (and last), brief cruise. This blog writer has run across additional information that adds to what has already been found and included in this blog. It only seems fitting to include this information here - after two previous posts both concerning the marines who served on board the frigate South Carolina on her second and final cruise here in American waters. The writer feels that it is completely appropriate to cite the list of "Berks County, PA Men..." here and include along with it the "Appendix: Crew and Marines on the South Carolina" as found in Dr. Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, pages 135-170, as a type of cross reference for the two lists. Diana Quinones's list will appear first, followed by the Lewis listing, concluding with any "position" cited for the frigate South Carolina as listed in Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, pages 135-170.
Quinones's List Lewis's List Position
Arbrey, Augustus not listed -----------
Balty, Henry Balty, Henry Marine
Bearnes, Henry Bearns, Henry Marine
Clark, John Clark, John Marine
Deits, John Deats, John -----------
Greiner, Jacob Greiner, Jacob Marine
Hartman, Abraham Hartman, Abraham Marine
Heinlein, George Heinlein, George Marine
Houser, Anthony Houser, Anthony Marine
Houser, George Houser, George Marine
Kiehl, Frederich Kiel, Fred Mariner
Kuhn, John Kuhn, John Marine
Moyer, Henry Moyer, Henry Marine
Robeson, Abel Robeson, Abel Marine
Schlabig, Henry Schlappig, Henry Marine
Schultz, George Schultz, George Marine
Smith, Peter Smith, Peter Marine
Steel, John Steele, John -----------
Thompson, Henry Thompson, Henry Marine
Wagoner, Isaac Waggoner, Isaac Marine
Wicks, Henry Wicks, Henry Marine
(Note: Only one individual listed above, Augustus Arbrey, the very first entry, appears in Quinones list but, not on Lewis's list. An examination of possible alternate spellings of the last name "Arbrey" does turn up one listing in Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, Appendix: Crew and Marines of the South Carolina, page 135. The individual's name is listed as "Ahrberg, Augustus" and he is cited as being "German, supply sgt. (Captaine d'armes), Marine". His last name is also alternately listed as "Arberg". This could be the same man Ms. Quinones listed at the head of her list of Berks County, PA men who served on board the frigate South Carolina. But, on closer examination of the "Wills: Abstracts: Berks Co, PA 1792-1795 , contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by Thera", Augustus Arbrey does indeed appear, both on page 1 of the listings of will abstracts contained in the article as well as on page 39 where his actual will abstract appears. He is simply listed as "Arbrey, Augustus, marine on ship "South Carolina", July 7, 1794 LOA [letter of administration] on page 1. The same information is contained on page 39 except that there is also the concluding entry "Administered to Rudolph Lampe, a creditor". Thus, it is quite possible that Augustus Arbrey was missed or overlooked in Dr. Lewis's list contained in the "Appendix: Crew and Marines of the South Carolina", pages 135-170 in his work, Neptune's Militia.)
(Note: There are three other names, other than Augustus Arbrey, that have peculiarities about them. Two of these names have no "position" designation after their listings. These are John Deits/Deats and John Steel/Steele. Ms. Quinones definitely lists all the men as "marine" in her article, "Berks County Men Who Died on the Ship 'South Carolina' on December 19, 1782". Dr. Lewis only cites their names and no "position" for these two men. Then, there is Frederich/Fred Kiehl/Kiel who, interestingly, is listed as "mariner" instead of "marine". Sometimes, in the 18th century, this is how marines on board a ship were listed down - as "mariner" as well as "landsman" or "soldier".)
All of these men, cited in Ms. Quinones article, are definitely listed as "Marine" (except in the four cases cited above in two separate "note" addendums) in the Dr. Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia. There are no question marks (?) after any of their names as there are after so many of the men listed in the previous post. Of the 72 men listed in the above post dated 12/27/14 and entitled "Other Marines on Board the Frigate South Carolina" and taken directly from Dr. Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, "Appendix: Crew and Marines of the South Carolina, pages 135-170, 38 are listed as uncertain in that they have a question mark after their "position" designation - ie, "Marine?". All three of the men listed as sergeant, all three of the men listed as corporal, and 32 of the men simply listed as "Marine?", all have this uncertainty about their "position" designation. Yet, in Dr. Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, none of the 21 men listed by Ms. Quinones in her article as having died on board the frigate South Carolina are in question as to their "position" on board the frigate, except the four mentioned above.
In her earlier post, "Berks County Men Who Died on Board the Ship 'South Carolina' on December 19, 1782", Ms. Quinones stated that these 21 men, all from Berks County, PA, had died in action on board the frigate South Carolina on December 19, 1782 and had been buried at sea. All accounts of the final cruise and battle of the frigate South Carolina attest to the fact that most of that day (18 hours) was spent with the British frigates chasing down the frigate South Carolina and then (2 hours) firing a few bowchaser shots/broadsides to convince her that flight was futile. Sources state that few, possibly 6-8 if any, men on board the frigate South Carolina were killed during this one-sided exchange of cannon fire. Eventually, the frigate's officers saw (after 20 hours of pursuit by the enemy and the enemy's firing on the frigate South Carolina) the true gravity of the situation and struck her colors to her British pursuers, effectively surrendering the last ship of the South Carolina Navy to the British Royal Navy within weeks of the official end of the war.
(Note: Most other sources agree that the frigate South Carolina was actually captured just off the Capes of the Delaware (Cape Henlopen) by the three British frigates, HMS Diomede, HMS Astrea and HMS Quebec on December 20, 1782 and not December 19, 1782.)
This blog writer found it interesting that 21 men, all from Berks County, PA alone, had died on that fateful day when most other sources state that during the action, only 6-8 men were killed or wounded out of the total compliment of the frigate South Carolina. This blog writer found it more likely that these "casualties" were sustained not in the actual action that led to the capture of the frigate South Carolina but, rather in what happened after wards. Relying heavily on my previous post dated 10/27/14 and entitled "Berks County, PA Men Who Served on Board the Frigate South Carolina", the officers of the frigate South Carolina were all paroled and set at liberty within the city limits of New York City, to where the captive crew of the frigate had been taken. The NCOs and enlisted men, however, were sent to the various prison hulks moored in Wallabout Bay, NY across the river from the city itself. There they languished, awaiting the end of the war. The story would seem to end here.
But, in collecting pension applications related to the frigate South Carolina, this blog writer came across a pension application of one John Fox, "Pension Application of John Fox S2219", which sheds more light on this story that had ended so abruptly. John Fox is not listed in Diana Quinones list as having been from Berks County, PA but, he is listed in Dr. Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, Appendix: Crew and Marines of the South Carolina, page 147, as simply "Fox, John - boy, Marine". In his pension application, John Fox states "...that he enlisted in the borough of Reading County aforesaid in the year 1781..." Of course, the "...County aforesaid..." being Berks County, PA. Fox goes on to say that "...the ship & crew was taken prisoner by the British in sight of New York Light House, that he was placed with the rest of the prisoners on Board a prison ship called the old Jersey, that he was kept and treated as a prisoner of war until the end of the war, that from the time of his enlistment until released was upwards of one year, that during his imprisonment he suffered very much..." This appears to be the first application Fox submitted for his initial support through an Act of Congress, dated March 18, 1818. But, after he had unfortunately been struck from the pension rolls, John Fox submitted another application to have his small pension of $8.00 per month restored to him. This application, dated November 27, 1829, goes into quite a bit more detail concerning the imprisonment of John Fox and his fellow marines from Berks County, PA on board the British prison ship, Old Jersey.
The text, here directly quoted from the "Pension Application of John Fox S2219", picks up in the middle of the application for reinstatement of John Fox's pension. It states, "The British made us prisoners of War conveyed us to New York and confined us on Board the Jersey Prison Ship then lying at North River -- a Strong Hessian & British Guard was our doom in this Situation as Prisoners of War we remained at least 11 months treated by the Hessians & British with Savage brutality many many Died of Starvation others of the Extreme cold and Ill Treatment on some days 14 of the men Died out of our 70 men only 7 returned to their Homes of the surviving I am one and Michael Spatz of Redding and Jacob Fleesher [sic, Jacob Fleisher] of Berks County are as far as I can learn the only 3 who yet survive."
Another pension application, "Pension Application of Jacob Fleisher S2214", echoes these same thoughts and words of John Fox. Jacob Fleisher, evidently a friend of John Fox prior to his enlisting on board the frigate South Carolina, was also petitioning to have his small pension of $8.00 per annum restored to him, just as John Fox was doing. Fleisher wrote in his petition for reinstatement that "...on a certain day in the month of June of the year 1780 your petitioner met with an Officer in a public House in Reading County & State aforesaid who asked your petitioner if he would Enlist to him and said Officer said his name was Scull that he was Enlisting man (sic, men) for the service of the United States as Marines to fight against the Common Enemy I then said I was ready and we both appeared before a certain Mr. Reeser then a justice of the Peace in and for Berks County who administered to your petitioner the usual Oath and I received the bounty Money in the Name of the United States after remaining in Reading some time we Enlisted about 70 men we were then taken to Wilmington where we on board a Frigate called the South Carolina and were on duty as Marines outside the Capes we were taken by 3 British Frigates who made us all Prisoners of War conveyed us to New York and confined us closely in the Jersey Prison Ship then lying in North River where we had a brutal Hessian & British Guard who treated us with savage brutality in this deplorable situation we remained about 11 months prisoners of War during this period many died of Starvation and Cold some with frozen limbs the number of Prisoners amounted to about 1400 on the Prison Ship out of the 70 men which was of our crew only 7 returned home and only 3 thereof do yet survive myself Michael Spatz and John Fox."
The pension application of Michael Spatz, "Pension Application of Michael Spatz S3957" differs considerably from the applications for reinstatement of pensions filed by either John Fox or Jacob Fleisher. Michael Spatz goes into quite a bit more detail regarding his land service more than his service on board the frigate South Carolina. In regards, his sea service during the American Revolution, Michael Spatz simply states that "...he served 18 months as a Marine, and was on the ship South Carolina; was taken prisoner and confined on a prison ship in the North (or some) River; was subject to many hardships during his imprisonment,..." Michael Spatz, unlike John Fox and Jacob Fleisher, was not applying to be reinstated to the pension rolls. He was actually applying to have his pension increased from $40.00 to $60.00 per annum. This may account for the brevity of his account of his imprisonment on board the most infamous of British prison "hulks" or ships, the Old Jersey.
There is another mention of Michael Spatz in another document. In his work, West Virginians in the American Revolution, edited by Ross B. Johnston (Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1977) on page 102, Johnston mentions that Michael Spatz was acquainted with one H.A. Muhlenberg, a member of Congress, who supported Spatz's application for increase of his pension per annum. Johnston states on page 102 that "...much evidence is submitted by H.A. Muhlenberg, Member of Congress, in the case of (John) Fox and comrades. More evidence for Fox is found in the papers of Michael Spatz... Papers certified by Commodore Gillon. John Fox, Jacob Fleisher, and Michael Spatz served on board the frigate South Carolina as marines, under Gillon. Muhlenberg says they were alive June 7, 1832, and had been placed on the pension rolls in 1818." Not only was the application of Spatz supported by H.A. Muhlenberg, a member of Congress, but, it is pointed out that it was also certified by Commodore Alexander Gillon, the commander of the frigate South Carolina. This means that Gillon confirmed that Spatz, as well as Fox and Fleisher, served as marines under his command on board the frigate.
(Note: This is rather interesting because by the time the frigate South Carolina started out on her second, brief voyage, Commodore Gillon was no longer the commanding officer of the frigate. Evidently, the Chevalier de Luxembourg had made so much trouble for Gillon in Philadelphia, PA itself with lawyers and legal specialists making trouble with the leading men of the city, that Gillon had wisely turned over command of the frigate to Capt. John Joyner and left for South Carolina. So, technically, John Fox, Jacob Fleisher, and Michael Spatz would have served under Joyner and not Gillon on the last cruise of the frigate South Carolina.)
The pension applications of both John Fox and Jacob Fleisher are clear in the fact that the enlisted men who were captured on board the frigate South Carolina were taken to New York City and placed on board the British prison ship, Old Jersey. There were other British prison ships moored in New York harbor but, the Old Jersey was the most infamous. Fleisher points out that there were sometimes upwards of 1400 prisoners crammed into space that may have only been meant for half or even less than that number. The "prison hulk" quickly became a breeding ground for highly contagious diseases that were easily passed from man to man in this cramped environment. Fox states that on certain days, out of their original number of "about 70 men", fourteen would die and their bodies be taken out for burial along the shores of Wallabout Bay, NY. Some estimates place the number of shallow, unmarked graves lining the shores of Wallabout Bay in the thousands. All of these would have died on board the prison hulks, of which the Old Jersey was only one of them. Michael Spatz's pension application does not go into detail regarding the time he spent on the Old Jersey but, is short, direct and to the point simply stating that he "...was subject to many hardships during his imprisonment." According to both Fox and Fleisher, the death toll among the men from the hinterland of Pennsylvania was very high. Both Fox and Fleisher state that only seven men returned to their homes and at the point that they were petitioning to have their suspended pensions renewed, that only three men still were alive. They both mention themselves, the other one and Michael Spatz in their respective petitions as still being alive.
If the estimates of both Fox and Fleisher are accurate and there were "about 70 men" recruited from the hinterland of Pennsylvania and that only seven of these men returned to their homes at the end of the war, then the death toll was around sixty-three men or about 90% or the total of recruited men from Pennsylvania. There were those who died in the final engagement of the frigate South Carolina but, these only amount to 6-8 men and not twenty-one, much less sixty-three men. Yet, Diana Quinones in her "Berks County Genealogy Website" article, only mentions twenty-one men from Berks County, PA as dying on board the frigate South Carolina and "...probably buried in the Atlantic Ocean". There may be a number of explanations for this large discrepancy of deaths cited. First, all of the "letters of administration" filed for each of the deceased men were filed by surviving family members - fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, brothers-in-law, widows, one uncle and, in two cases, by creditors. The majority of these "letters of administration" were filed in 1794, two in 1792, one in 1795, and one as late as 1803. As a matter of fact, the majority of the letters filed in 1794 were filed in July 1794, frequently within days of each other. It may well be that the other men who died did not have someone who filed on their behalf to collect any monies due them after the war had concluded. This could be occasioned by the deceased being the last member of their family alive when he signed on to the frigate South Carolina or that the surviving family members had moved away from Berks County, PA by the time the others began to file their "letters of administration". Or, the surviving family members may have grieved for their dead and gotten on with the remainder of their lives, not knowing that they could have filed a "letter of administration" on behalf of their family member who had died in the service of their country. Second, these "about 70 men" could have been enlisted from other locales other than just Reading, PA or adjacent counties to Berks County, PA. This may be questioned, though, because the pension petitions of both John Fox and Jacob Fleisher imply that all the recruiting was done in Reading, PA. John Fox says "...we then Remained in Reading and there was about 70 men who belonged to us as Marines..." Jacob Fleisher says more directly than Fox that "...after remaining in Reading some time we enlisted about 70 men..." This information may serve to discount the possibility of the recruiting officer, Edward Scull in this case, moving around from county to county while recruiting men. Still, these men may not have been from Berks County, PA and had been caught up by the evidently smooth-talking Edward Scull, Lieutenant of Marines. These men might have been simply passing through Reading, PA , heard Lt. Scull there expounding the merits of life aboard ship, become enamored with his talk, and signed on with the frigate South Carolina. Ultimately, we may never know the full reasons for only twenty-one "letters of administration" being filed in Berks County, PA when it appears that three times that number of men from this one county died on board the British prison "hulks" moored in Wallabout Bay, NY. Rather than being "...buried in the Atlantic Ocean..." these men more than likely found their final resting place to be a shallow, unmarked grave along the sandy shores of Wallabout Bay, NY.