The Tracy Family History
Revolutionary War
the six Wallace brothers

    My mother recently passed away at the age of 86. She had a stroke a few weeks previously and knew that her end was near. For a few days she went through the family heirlooms one by one.
    This is an antique post card found in the estate of Aunt Beulah, who was my father’s sister. Beulah inherited it from her mother, Minnie May Elam Moon, Grandma Tracy. Grandma Tracy was the daughter of Lousannie Jane Moon, who was burned out of Missouri during the Civil War (chapter 8).
    It is of family interest and ties into our story. On the front is the famous painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware. 30 years ago I visited the crossing and looked at a roll of those soldiers who crossed with George Washington. I remember at the bottom were the names of 2 Wallace’s, maybe 3. I did not know of our connection then but always remembered the last names. I am sure they are ours.


    My mother recently passed away at the age of 86. She had a stroke a few weeks previously and knew that her end was near. For a few days she went through the family heirlooms one by one.
    This is an antique post card found in the estate of Aunt Beulah, who was my father’s sister. Beulah inherited it from her mother, Minnie May Elam Moon, Grandma Tracy. Grandma Tracy was the daughter of Lousannie Jane Moon, who was burned out of Missouri during the Civil War (chapter 8).
    It is of family interest and ties into our story. On the front is the famous painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware. 30 years ago I visited the crossing and looked at a roll of those soldiers who crossed with George Washington. I remember at the bottom were the names of 2 Wallace’s, maybe 3. I did not know of our connection then but always remembered the last names. I am sure they are ours.
    The post card is dated 1911. The postmark promotes the coming World’s Panama Exposition of 1915, to be held in San Diego. The mailing origin is dated --
    Oct 19, San Francisco. It is addressed to School Children, Hunter School (P.O. Hunters), Red Bluff, Cal. This is where my father and his sister went to school. Their story was previously told many pages ago.

It reads: San Francisco Cal
Oct 18, 1911.
Dear Children.
Always obey your teacher.
And be kind and true to her.
This will please your loving mother
And as will your dear father,
you must always remember, school.days will be over.
Then you have grown older.
And never regret the studies of younger.
When thanks should be, and forever,
Shown to you Kind Loving Teacher
Yours Truly
Little Willie Wagnier

    We are now back on the Borden Land Grant, which today is Rockbridge County, Virginia. A lot of our clan has settled here, and we assume are doing quite well for themselves.
    How did others fare in Virginia?
    There were those of great wealth, the aristocracy, who lived the lives of luxury, traveling about in their custom London built gilded coaches. They had the finest horses, finest carriages, finest clothes, largest plantations, finest of all money could buy, even the finest of indentured servants.
    For every one aristocrat traveling about, they would pass, especially on the frontier, hundreds of families living in cabins that were like poll churches, families that were desperately trying to make it through the day.
    My 6th great grandfather is Peter Wallace, Jr., whose wife is Martha Woods, sister of Magdelene. The two families live next to one another on the now mighty Borden Land Grant. They are the daughters of Michael Woods, Sr., of Blair Park and his wife Lady Mary Campbell.

Peter and Martha would have nine children; six sons and three daughters:

    Peter Wallace, Jr., would contribute all six of his sons to the Revolutionary War, which was only a few years away. Four would die in the war, and one would only survive the war by three years. Only John Wallace, my 5th great grandfather, would remain to live a full life.
    I do not wish to retell the reasons for the causes of the Revolutionary War. There are many books on this subject. I will only give enough background to introduce our family into the war.
    The American Revolutionary War was not just one war pitting the Americans against England. As always, there were alliances between the great powers. The European rulers were constantly at war with each other, or between wars preparing for the next war, or listening nervously to the rumors of war.
    Cornwallis was taken at York Town because the French fleet assisted in the battle after sailing from the West Indies where it was fighting the British fleet.
    Virginia was under direct English control. However, each colony had its own legislature, in Virginia it was the House of Burgesses. Remember, political dissidents, as in Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, ran some colonies.
    The Royal governors had certain powers of legislative veto, etc. In some colonies the Royal Governors rarely interfered with the Colonial legislatures. Having lived in England, I know that the people cannot understand why the Americans rebelled. From their viewpoint, they considered their treatment of the Americans to be quite liberal, which was true, according to the customs of the times. They even allowed the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre to be tried in a Colonial civilian court. Some colonies even elected their own royal governors. Compared to the rest of the monarchies, the British were one of the most liberal in the treatment of their subjects.
    After the end of the French and Indian War in 1763, the British government decided to maintain a large armed force in the colonies to protect against any attempt by the French to regain their territories. How were these British soldiers to be supported? The English rulers thought that because they were on America soil to protect the colonial people, then the colonial people should help pay for their upkeep. Now we get into a technicality, a big technicality, which would end in a war, which would change the destiny of the world.
    The British government simply levied a tax upon the colonies. The problem, the technicality, is that the taxes were levied "...without our privy and consent." In other words, "taxation without representation." The English government, with their convoluted logic, replied that Manchester, England, was also, taxed without representation. This argument didn't go down so well with the citizens of Manchester.
    Over the next few years the English government would impose differing taxes, each one being opposed by the colonists until the opposition became so violent that it turned into war. (There were other measures taken by the English government, besides taxes, which also irked our people.)

    In writing the family history from my viewpoint, I have given the impression that all of America was Scotch-Irish Presbyterian. In fact, at the time of the Revolutionary War the country was 80% English. In reality there were very few Scots in the colonies. It is estimated that no more than 7%, (probably 5%), of the colonists were Scotch or Scotch-Irish Presbyterians. That only leaves 13% for other nationalities. (5% is the same number of those of Scotch-Irish heritage in America today.)
    The 80% English were of English descent, most born generation after generation in the colonies. Their loyalty to the motherland was diluted to say the least. They considered themselves more American than English. As for the 13%, the, Dutch, French and the smattering of other nationalities, they came from countries that were historically the enemies of England.
    To put this into more understandable math: This countries’ first census was in 1790, which showed the population at nearly 4 million. A word of caution to all, from the beginning of mankind, censuses were used for two purposes: First, was for taxes. Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem to be counted, a census for taxation. Second, to determine who was available for military service. Many Americans avoided being counted on this first census. Thus the official figure has to be on the low side.
    Not all English belonged to the Church of England, and not all Scotch were Presbyterians. There were nationalities and religions on both sides of the conflict.
    The American Revolutionary War was fought by Protestants, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and Catholics.
As told previously in the family history, the Catholics were not in America (chapter 29). The Irish Catholics came to America to fight, not to stay.
    Ireland was under British dominion. A French Catholic observer said, "I would count upon the Catholics…the principle of their religion attaches them specially to the monarchical system…the fanaticism of the Presbyterians make them enemies of all civil or religious authority concentrated in a chief."
    At the outbreak of the war, the Irish Parliament voted that, "…it heard of the rebellion with abhorrence, and was ready to show its attachment to the sacred person of the king.” Lord North asked for 4,000 men and received eight regiments, which were shipped to America to fight the colonists.
    As for the few Catholics in Maryland: Their nationality was not American. Their loyalty was to the other Catholic nations from whence they came. The Jesuits in America persuaded their flocks to the side of Britain during the war.

For Our Catholic Cousins:

    George Calvert is highly placed, born to wealth, a member of Parliament, and Secretary of State. In the early 1620s he wishes to expand the British foothold in the Americas. He stays in England, but sends an immigration party, at great personal expense, to Newfoundland, Canada. Calvert makes three trips to Newfoundland to find out why the colony was failing. It was too cold!
    In the meantime, Calvert converts to the Catholic Church. This ends his political career. He now wishes to get out of England because of the persecution of Catholics. After some time, and considerable persuasion, he talks the king into giving him Maryland. (The king liked the guy.)
    I do not want to get into the Calvert family of Maryland, as there are several generations. So, I will just call all of them Calvert. In late 1633, a Calvert-financed ship with 150 immigrants left England for Maryland. What is of interest is that this is a Catholic-led immigration from a Church of England country. Calvert was not prejudiced and his Colony of Maryland welcomed all Christians of any denomination. Thus, from the first immigration, the Protestants outnumbered the Catholics in Maryland.
    By the end of the century the Protestants gained complete control of Maryland. (Although, in the 1680s England had a Catholic king.) The Church of England became the colonies' official religion, and the ungrateful Protestants began persecuting their Catholic founders. During the years that the Church of England held control, the Catholics had to pay taxes to support the Church of England's churches. Priests were denied the right to say mass, or baptize. They could not have schools. They could not vote. Lawyers could not practice. They could not convert anyone to the Catholic Church.
    That is why there were a few Catholics in Maryland from the beginning of the colony, and why they remained few at the beginning of the Revolutionary War.
    A simple, but good history of the Catholics in Maryland can be found in the children's book, titled The Maryland Colony, by Dennis Brindell Fradin.

    The few Jews in the colonies were all on the side of the Patriots.
    As to our side: "The Presbyterians of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and throughout the colonies arose as one man for the right and liberties of America…the quarrel to the last extreme were the Scotch-Irish whom the bishops, Lord Donegal and other of their kind, had driven out of Ulster…"
    The Scotch-Irish came pouring into the American army. Anywhere from 40% to half of the Continental army had a heritage of Ulster-Ireland. In addition, there were the Scots from the land of Scotland itself. The Penn (Pennsylvania) line was mostly Ulster-Irish. (Remember, we had a lot of our people in Pennsylvania.) One historian commented that the Ulster-Irish furnished some of Washington's best generals.
    The adopted son of George Washington, Mr. Custis, said, "Of the operations of the war, I mean the soldiers up to the coming of the French (in 1780, our allies), Ireland had furnished in the ration of a hundred to one, of any foreign nation whatever." (Again, by Ireland, the writers of the time were referring to Americans of Ulster-Ireland descent.)
    In many counties of the Carolinas only Gaelic was spoken.
    Many Presbyterian ministers took an active part in the Revolution, losing their lives their fortunes, and their sacred skin, not to mention their congregations and burned church buildings.

    Starting in 1768, the British had garrisoned Boston with a large number of troops to keep down the "disturbances." In April 1775, they sent soldiers on a sixteen-mile march to Concord to capture American military supplies. They reached Lexington where there was a "skirmish," then continued on to Concord where a battle ensued. In the retreat back to Boston the British were cut to pieces by the Americas fighting Indian style. (A year later Rockbridge County in Virginia was formed with the newly established city of Lexington, patriotically named as its county seat.)
    The Americans surrounded the British base at Boston with 18,000 militiamen. Pinned inside Boston were 6,500 British soldiers.
    The war had begun.
    Huge Daniel Morgan recruited 96 soldiers from his home in the Valley of Virginia to join the siege of Boston. (Family tradition says that Morgan's sister, Sarah, was the mother of Daniel Boone.) Morgan was half Scotch-Irish and half Pennsylvania-German. He marched through Pennsylvania "recruiting along the way.” One of the recruits was Malcolm Wallace of our six brothers. The Virginia militias enlisted for active duty for a period of only six weeks. They made the march of 600 miles in three weeks. Daniel Morgan was not one of our aristocrats. He was a bar room brawler.
    On the march the men were a rowdy lot, no discipline, not thinking of fighting the enemy but true to their Scottish tradition, only concerned with fighting among themselves. So obnoxious were our Virginians that the inhabitants of the lands they passed through were glad to see them go. Such was our peoples disdain for any form of discipline at the siege of Boston, that the great George Washington just hated them! It was observed that they were crack-shots.
    It was the nature of the Scotch-Irish to be a righteous people when at home. But, it was observed by a contemporary, that for every mile they traveled from home they became less righteous.
    We can only assume that Malcolm Wallace, being an officer and a gentleman, did his best to make his men behave. (He would have been named after the brother of William Wallace the great Scottish hero.)
    Our family is now in the war almost from the very beginning and would fight to the very end.
    The records show that “Malcolm, was in the army under General Morgan, at Boston, and died there in service in 1775.” Historians give differing accounts as to the death of Malcolm: "Hugh, Captain, (Malcolm ?) died of smallpox during Revolutionary War.”“ Died in the war of exposure in 1775.” I believe that Malcolm died as a militia man, possibly before the Continental Line was established. He was the first of our six brothers to give his life for his country.
    Keep in mind when doing research, or reading Revolutionary War history, that if a man were killed in combat it would be recorded killed or slain. Otherwise, if it is recorded that he died, this means he was not killed in combat but died due to other causes, which were quite prevalent during this war. Thus, Malcolm did not fall due to enemy bullets.
    The British evacuated Boston and soon the British invaded the New York Harbors with a massive fleet of more than 400 ships. In New York, the Americans were overwhelmed by a British army and navy of more than 40,000 men. They defeated the Americans time after time, which defeats can only be described as disasters. Then, the British established a chain of forts down the New Jersey.
    A feeling of gloom descended upon all of the colonies.
    Many British officers had only disdain for their American counterparts, and with good reason as they were shredding the rebel army to pieces. They never understood the minds of the people they were fighting. In England, being an officer was a profession, usually reserved for the upper class and aristocracy. The officers' commission was acquired through purchase. The family most often purchased their first commission, usually a low rank, when the soldier was still a teenager. For the rest of their lives they thought of no other profession, except when inactive and on half-pay.
    Many times the commissions were purchased, sold and resold. One's entrance, or advancement, into the military was often determined by what ranks were up for sale and at what cost. One’s career could be determined by the amount of money, or lack of, that the family had. Not having enough money to buy a commission for the son in a crack outfit, or branch, they would have to settle for whatever was left. This created interesting situations where many naval officers, including the famous Admiral Nelson, suffered from seasickness. However, the officers came from generations of military tradition and experience developed by the constant wars on the Continent.
    The British professionals considered their American counterparts to be merely toy soldiers. The top generals were a farmer, bookseller, apothecary (pharmacists), a lawyer, doctor, artisan, merchant, innkeeper, tanner, and a minister. None had any desire for power. After the war, most of the American military leaders went back to their civilian life. After the war, George Washington turned his back on politics and went home to Mount Vernon to be a farmer. Washington would then serve two terms as president of the new nation; again voluntarily gave up power and went back to being a farmer.
    The most powerful man of his times, Napoleon, on his death bed, saw the cause of his fall, the lust for power and glory. He also saw the road not taken: “I wish I could have been more like George Washington.”
    Not all foreign officers and leaders thought lowly of the America's fighting abilities. They remembered that the Americans had successfully fought the French and Indians just a few years before.
    However, the Americans had no experience at high command. In the French and Indian War, Washington's experience was limited to the command of only several hundred men over a 300 mile frontier. This was on a continent comprised of 200,000 square miles.
    There were no military schools in the colonies. In Europe not only were their military schools; but schools for artillery, cavalry, etc.
    It was observed that whenever an American officer was killed or captured, in his knapsack would be found two or three of the most recent books on military tactics. This was never the case with the officers of the foreign nations that fought in America. The Americans were learning.
    The Americans would lose more battles than they won. However, many of Europe’s top brass were impressed with the American fighting ability. Although, neither the enemy, nor our French friends, could understand the American philosophy of fighting the war as it was written by General Nathanael Green to the French Ambassador, "We fight, get beat, rise and fight again."
    When Washington brilliantly attacked Trenton and Princeton the British realized that their chain of forts in the Jersies could be picked off one-by-one. They had no choice than to abandon the forts.
    In September of 1777, the British captured Philadelphia. With a population of more than 30,000, (when not evacuated), Philadelphia was the largest city in the colonies, and also the rebel's capital. According to military tradition when one nation captured the capital of another nation the war was usually over. Knowing nothing of military tradition the Americans simply put everything into a wagon and moved the capital somewhere else.
    The British would come to find that Philadelphia held no strategic importance and, within a few months, abandoned the city, just as George Washington had predicted. Strategically, the British realized that Philadelphia could not be defended against the French fleet.

    The second brother to die in the war was James (Hugh). The historians give the nickname “Hugh” to Malcolm as well. I believe that this name really belongs to James. He was an Ensign in the 3rd Virginia Regiment. This would have been the Continental Line. (The rank of Ensign, or Coronet, was changed to Second Lieutenant in 1799.)
    One source says he died of smallpox at Valley Forge (1775). (Valley Forge was not established until December of 1777.) Another historian says that James died of smallpox in Philadelphia in 1776. The records of the known dead of the Revolutionary War says that he died in August of 1777. Another record shows he was an Ensign in the 12th Virginia Regiment. He enlisted on 16th December, 1776; died 24th August, 1776. Still another historian says that he was killed. I do not believe he was killed in battle.
    A soldier who knew James personally tells us: "That he was well acquainted with James Wallace who was a Lieutenant in Capt Rowland Madisons Company John Woods Regiment. Who died of the smallpox in Philadelphia. I think it was in May 1777--he died that day the Revolutionary army Marched thro Philadelphia…" (24 August 1777). Because it was first hand, this story is probably the truth as to the death of James Wallace.
    "No common man could handle the one (sword) carried by James."
    There was one thing about our Wallaces that historians have missed or not seemed to give much notice. Historically, many of our Wallace men were giants. I believe that all of the six sons of Peter Wallace, Jr., were tall men. One of our          
    Wallace cousins who served in the war was seven feet tall!
    In Olden Scotland, and even today, there are giants. Strangely, they are not all from the same clan. No one knows from whence they descend.
    Big Wallace men have carried down even to this generation. Surprisingly, many of our tiny Wallace women produce very tall Wallace men. For my Moon cousins, look at the photo of Martha Wallace with her son Harry (chapter 6). You can see that she is quite small and he is tall.
    Cousin Bonnie Horning says that "Uncle Doc" was a very tall man, "way over six feet."
    From the beginning of the war to almost the end, smallpox ravaged the colonies. Washington was forced to create isolation camps to treat these victims. There were other disease: yellow fever, malaria, typhus, tuberculosis, always dysentery, and exposure. But, smallpox was by far the biggest killer. 18% of the soldiers were unfit for duty at any given time due to disease or injury.
    It is estimated that between 184,000 to 250,000 Americans served in the war. Surprisingly few were killed in battle (slain), only 4,435. No figures are known for those who died of disease, but it is believed to be vastly higher. At Valley Forge alone, 2,000 men died in camp.
    "James, Ensign, 3rd VA, died small pox, 1776, at Valley Forge." (1 of the 2,000?)
    It does not seem possible that James would have been marching through Philadelphia with Washington's army on the day he died. He would have been at an isolation camp.
    Research can become difficult because a soldier could serve in different regiments during the war. Many times the same regiment would simply have its number designation changed from time to time.
    The 3rd Virginia Regiment was organized in December of 1775, made up of 10 companies. Congress asked for six battalions of Continentals from Virginia. This was the one that James served with. On 28 December 1775, it became a battalion for the Continental Line. The regiment was accepted by Congress on 13 February 1776, and served throughout the year in the Continental Army, then underwent massive reorganization in early 1777.
    From 13 February 1776, to 6 June 1776, Colonel Hugh Mercer commanded the regiment. (Historians say that if Hugh Mercer had lived he might have been the most capable officer in the American Army. Mercer even "outshown Washington." He was killed on 3 January 1777, at the Battle of Princeton. General George Patton of Second World War fame descends from this family, on his wife’s side.)
    12th Virginia Regiment was created in October 1776, and on 12 November 1776 was redesignated as the 6th Virginia Regiment ("which history was identical to 3rd. Virginia regiment of 1776.")
Malcolm died as a militia officer. James died as an officer in the Continental Line. George Washington realized the war could not be fought with temporary militia soldiers. Shortly after the war began a standing army was created, the Continental Army, or the Continental Line.
    The Continental Line was now a regular army with a three-year enlistment. Thus, almost all of the soldiers in the Continental Army were young and unmarried. The militiamen tended to be older, married, and at home tending to their farms and raising a family. The Continental Line was under the command of George Washington.
    It was the custom of the time for one son to go to war, do his duty for his country, and then return home. Then it was the next son's turn. It would appear that the six brothers did not rotate, but many served at the same time.
    Their father provided provisions to the American army.
    The Americans would face a British army of English, Irish and Scottish soldiers, Ireland and Scotland being under English rule. Not having enough British soldiers to meet their needs around the world, the British leaders found a few German princes who were willing to sell their soldiers for the right price. 30,000 Hessians would come into the war; 5,000 deserted, another 12,000 never returned. This number of Hessian soldiers alone shows the British leaders' determination and massive efforts to keep the colonies. The Hessians would make up one-third of the British forces in the war. (This is not taking into consideration that 50,000 Americans loyal to the crown, Loyalists, also enlisted on the British side.)

    I tell little about the battles in the North. I believe our people were there and in great numbers, but almost nothing is known about where our people were or what they did. This makes our story about the War in the South.
    The battle of Monmoth, fought in June of 1778, was the last major battle in the North. Not much else was done in the North for remainder of the war. The British held up in the city of New York, protected by massive fortifications and heavy cannon. They lived a pretty good life protected by the British Navy. A massive merchant marine fleet provided virtually everything used by the military, from every chunk of coal to fodder for the horses. A supply fleet, that had many of its ships captured by the American privateers, imported everything. This enraged the private investors who saw their ships and supplies constantly taken by the brash American seamen.
    As usual, the British held balls for the Tory girls.
    The British did not look at American as a whole, but as 13 different colonies, as they had always been. By late 1778, the British strategy changed. Some on the British side were beginning to conceded the loss of the Northern colonies, but thought they had a pretty good chance of keeping some, if not all, of the Southern colonies. The war now shifted to the South.
    The key to the South was the city of Charleston, the largest in the Southern colonies with a population of more than 5,000. In fact, it was the only city in the South of any size. Its port was essential for the British invasion. Twice before the British had tried to take the city, in 1776 and 1779. This would be their third try.
    Washington sent all Virginia Continental Regiments to defend Charleston. The town soon had a complete American army of 5,400 men with full supplies.
    The British sent an invasion fleet, which was hit by a massive storm. So horrendous were the winds that one ship of 200 Hessians was blown all the way back to England. The losses were heavy: equipment, all the horses, heavy artillery and ammunition, much needed materials of war.
    But the British army succeeded in landing around Charleston in February 1780. It was 10,000 British soldiers against 5,400 Americans. The British began to surround the city. The American commander had time to escape his entire army, vacillated until it was too late. The Americans were trapped. On the 12th of May the full American army surrendered. It was the worse disaster of the war. Surrendered were the Continentals, militia, and all rudiments of war.
    Andrew Wallace, of our six brothers, was Captain of the 3rd Virginia. But he makes his escape as does Governor Rutledge of South Carolina.
    There are now no Continental soldiers in the entire South …except.

The truth is in the eyes of the beholder.
    There are two books that I will refer you to that draw opposite conclusions. Both authors would win the Pulitzer Prize two times, although not for these books. One is The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam, a best seller by Barbara W. Tuchman. She paints a picture of the English King and his advisers as being, incompetent and complete fools, leading their country into a war that could easily have been avoided. Recruiting would go so poorly that the King would be forced to hire the Hessian mercenaries. Some British officers resigned their commissions rather than fight an unjust war.
    The second book is 1776, also a best seller, by David McCullough. He takes the same set of facts and see an English nation ruled by a very able king and advisers. The parliament and people were strongly in favor of the war with no problems recruiting soldiers to go to the colonies and fight.
    Who is right and who is wrong? Take your pick. (Note: Beholder is a literary term for author.)

12th Woods Virginia Regiment, 1777-1778. Redesignated as the 8th Woods Virginia Regiment, Sept. 1778. Captured at Charlestown, May 1780. Disbanded, Jan. 1783.

15th, Mason’s/Innis’/Wallace’s Virginia Regiment, 1777-1778. Redesignated as the 11th Buford’s Virginia Regiment, Sept. 1778. Captured at Charlestown, May 1780. Disbanded, Jan. 1781.

Royal governors were “generally entire Strangers to the People they are sent to govern.” – London newspaper, 1770 

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