Did Your Ancestor Fight at the Battle of Monmouth?

Did your ancestor fight at the Battle of Monmouth during the Revolutionary War?

Painting: “Washington Rallying the Troops at Monmouth,” by Emanuel Leutze

Painting: “Washington Rallying the Troops at Monmouth,” by Emanuel Leutze, before 1854. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

My cousin Joel Pratt (1752-1844) did and his obituary records some of his personal recollections of that battle.

obituary for Joel Pratt, Times newspaper article 30 November 1844

Times (Hartford, Connecticut), 30 November 1844, page 1

We learn that in the Battle of Saratoga and the Battle of Monmouth, “…he carried the colors of his regiment.”

At the battle of Monmouth…he saw Gen. Lafayette …say, with his foreign accent, “Hold up your heads, my lads, we’ll pick at the fine clothes by and by.”

That must have been really cool.
Calling the Brits the “fine clothes” – the men would have loved that; a touch of Mel Gibson or John Wayne. A great line – glad I found it recorded in his obituary.

I wonder who else fought with him at the Battle of Monmouth? Are there more memories of the battle recorded in their obituaries?

Did these soldiers’ letters or diaries from that battle survive? Are these personal writings available and online today? Perhaps some of these old documents even mention my cousin, Joel Pratt.

One way you can find the answers to those questions is by searching the old newspapers by keyword for mention of the Battle of Monmouth.

screenshot of the GenealogyBank search box showing a search for the "Battle of Monmouth"

For example, a quick keyword search in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives for “Battle of Monmouth” generated over 3,300 search results.

screenshot of the search results in GenealogyBank for the search "Battle of Monmouth"

Great – that gives me a lot of relevant historical newspaper articles to go through.

I can sort this list of old newspaper articles chronologically and read about the battle as it happened – or I can read through them by topic. For example, I can look at the 70 obituaries that are cited to see what information is given in each one.

screenshot of GenealogyBank's search results for a search for the "Battle of Monmouth" showing how many obituaries there are

This obituary of Adam Hoffains (1756-1827) was published in the Boston Recorder (Boston, Massachusetts), 24 August 1837, page 135.

His obituary tells us that:

He was in the battle of Monmouth and was one of twelve who survived the battle, of a whole company. He was also at the battle of Bunker Hill.

In Captain Ephraim Whitaker’s (1755-1846) obituary published in the North American (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 16 July 1846, page 1, we learn that he was also in the Battle of Monmouth.

The battle of Monmouth was fought on one of the hottest and most sultry days in June (28th). Captain W. bore his full share in the heat, burden and danger of the day; he received a shot through his cap and another through his canteen, spilling the liquor with which it had been supplied in the morning.

Solomon Parsons (1757-1831) was also in the Battle of Monmouth. His obituary published in the Boston Traveler (Boston, Massachusetts), 24 May 1831, page 3, records:

He enlisted at the age of 20, and was at the battle of Saratoga and taking of Burgoyne. He continued in the army till the battle of Monmouth, in June, 1778, when he was discharged on account of the wounds he received on that occasion.

Going through each obituary, you learn about the lives of real men, the real stories of those that fought in the battle with Joel Pratt.

Newspapers are published every day, 365 days a year.
Look and find your ancestors’ stories and the experiences of those who fought with them.

Related Revolutionary War Articles:

Researching Records for Solomon Titus: A Revolutionary War Veteran

With its large collections of newspapers, historical books and documents, and government records, GenealogyBank provides a wealth of genealogical resources to help you research your family history.

One handy genealogy resource in GenealogyBank is the register of Revolutionary War Burials. The Daughters of the American Revolution issued a report every year of the burial sites of military veterans that served in America’s war for independence.

For example here is the military register entry for Solomon Titus, taken from the Forty-eighth report of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, April 1, 1944, to April 1, 1945, page 228.

burial report for Revolutionary War veteran Solomon Titus from Daughters of the American Revolution 1944-45 report

Graves of the soldiers of the Revolution, from 1944-45 Daughters of the American Revolution burial report

This DAR report tells us that Solomon Titus was:

  • A private in the Revolutionary War
  • In the Battle of White Plains (October 28, 1776)
  • In the Battle of Monmouth (June 28, 1778)
  • Buried in the Pennington, New Jersey, Presbyterian Churchyard
  • There is a file on him at the Veteran’s Administration (now at the National Archives)
  • W-2491

    casualty list from the Revolutionary War Battle of White Plains, published by the Freeman's Journal newspaper on December 3, 1776

    Casualty list from the Revolutionary War Battle of White Plains, published by the Freeman's Journal (Portsmouth, New Hampshire), 3 December 1776, page 2

We can then dig into GenealogyBank’s newspaper archives and find articles about each one of the military battles Titus fought in as the Revolutionary War unfolded. Historical newspaper articles such as this one, providing a summary of the soldiers killed at the Battle of White Plains, published in the Freeman’s Journal (Portsmouth, New Hampshire), 3 December 1776, page 2.

Or the many old newspaper articles about the pivotal Battle of Monmouth, such as this one providing George Washington’s own account of the famous military battle, published in the Continental Journal (Boston, Massachusetts), 23 July 1778, page 1.

collage of the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Monmouth, featuring a newspaper article from the Continental Journal newspaper and a painting of George Washington by Emanuel Leutze

Collage of the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Monmouth, featuring a newspaper article from the Continental Journal newspaper and a painting of George Washington by Emanuel Leutze

(Painting, Washington Rallying the Troops at Monmouth, by Emanuel Leutze. Wikimedia Commons.)

GenealogyBank is the only genealogy website complete enough to let us read about our ancestor’s experiences—like those of Solomon Titus in the Revolutionary War—day by day.

The Daughters of the American Revolution report said that the U.S. government had a file on Solomon Titus, and in the last column it gives the reference number W-2491.

W-2491. What does that mean?

It means that the widow of Solomon Titus applied for a military pension based on his service in the Revolutionary War. We learned in this report that he died on 19 December 1833. Looking in GenealogyBank we find that his wife applied for a widow’s pension and that it was approved in 1839.

page from the December 2, 1839, Journal of the House of Representatives showing recipients of Revolutionary War pensions

Page from the December 2, 1839, Journal of the House of Representatives showing recipients of Revolutionary War pensions

(Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States: being the first session of the Twenty-sixth Congress, begun and held at the City of Washington, December 2, 1839, in the sixty-fourth year of the independence of the said states on page 175.)

So, now we know that his wife’s name was Susannah Titus. A quick search of the early New Jersey marriages shows that her name was Susannah Read and that she and Solomon married in April 1779 in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

We can see a copy of Solomon’s military personnel file, available from the National Archives. Use “Standard Form 180” to make your request.

National Archives military records request form 1080

National Archives military records request form 1080

National Archives pension application request form 85

National Archives pension application request form 85

We can also request a copy of Susannah’s pension application by using Form 85. Be sure to include the pension number: W-2491.

We can gather so much information about our ancestors in the Revolutionary War era!

The Daughters of the American Revolution report also told us that Solomon Titus was buried in the Presbyterian Churchyard in Pennington, New Jersey.

 

A quick search on Google locates a wide-angle photo of that cemetery on flickr.

grave of Revolutionary War veteran Solomon Titus, buried in the Presbyterian churchyard in Pennington, New Jersey

Grave of Revolutionary War veteran Solomon Titus

Searching Google more, we find a photo of his grave on the website Find-A-Grave.

(Photo by Therese Fenner Boucher on Find-A-Grave.)