Morrison's Pensions


STEPHEN SHEW

     In June of 1778, Stephen while living at Fish House enlisted as a private in Captain Samuel Rees' Company in Colonel Frederick Visscher's Regiment of Tryon County Militia [Third Regiment].
     On June 2nd, Sergeant Solomon Woodworth, while on a scout to the Fish House, found some of the homes that he passed empty and he also discovered the tracks of a large raiding party. Woodworth now headed for the home of Godfrey Shew to warn him of a possible raid on his house.
     Early in the morning of June 3rd, Woodworth with Godfrey and John left the house in order to find the enemy's whereabouts. Jacob and Stephen stayed behind to guard the house. After traveling some distance, the scouting party was surprised and taken prisoners by a party of Indians under Lieutenant John Ross of the 34th Regiment. They were taken to the enemy's nearby encampment.
     Jacob who had been stationed on a knoll near the house that overlooked the nearby Sacondaga River saw a canoe coming down the river and he ran back home to inform his mother of the presence of the enemy. On reaching the house, Jacob was taken prisoner with his brother Stephen by another party of the enemy that came from another direction.
     The Shew home and barn were set on fire leaving Mrs. Shew with her smaller children homeless. The enemy took Stephen and Jacob back to their encampment. Mrs. Shew with her children started for Johnstown and they reached there on June 4th.
     The Shews with he rest of the prisoners were taken to the Caughnawaga Indian Village about nine miles above Montreal. John Shew with two others were kept by the Indians while the rest were given to the British troops as prisoners of war.
     Stephen with his father Godfrey and his brother Jacob with the other prisoners were taken to Montreal and put aboard a ship there. They were then taken to Quebec and then they were taken to Halifax.
     On December 1st, Stephen with his father and brother with other prisoners were put on ships and taken to Boston where they would be exchanged for prisoners held by the Americans. The Shews on being set at liberty started on their long journey home. On reaching Sudbury about twenty miles from Boston, Jacob took sick with smallpox. Jacob was left with a Patriot family to be cared for. Godfrey and Stephen continued on their journey home and they reached Johnstown on January 1, 1779. On March 17, 1779, Jacob arrived at Johnstown, cured of the smallpox.
     In the spring of 1779, Stephen enlisted in Captain Rees' Company in Colonel Visscher's Regiment. Stephen was stationed at Fort Johnstown.
     In the spring of 1780, Stephen enlisted in Captain Jellis Fonda's Company of Exempts in Colonel Visscher's Regiment. Stephen was stationed at Fort Johnstown at various times.
     In the spring of 1781, Stephen enlisted in Captain Fonda's Company and he was stationed at Fort Johnstown.
     On October 7, John Cook Jr. with about twelve men from the King's Royal Regiment of New Yorkers fired upon the sentry at Fort Johnstown. The sentry returned the fire and hit Cook in the knee. A few days later Sergeant Selah Woodworth and Stephen with several others on learning that they were hiding in the woods near Cook's father's house went there to take them prisoner. Cook with a few others were taken prisoners and were taken back to Fort Johnstown and from there to Albany.
     On October 24th, Major John Ross and Captain Walter Butler with 607 men were in the Mohawk Valley burning and killing. Colonel Marinus Willett who was in command of Fort Rensselaer, on learning of this invasion, sent messengers to Forts Clyde, Paris and Plank for additional troops while he would gather what men that could be spared from the fort and go in pursuit of the enemy.
     In the morning of October 25th, Colonel Willett and his men left Fort Rensselaer in pursuit of the enemy. Captain John Littel at Fort Johnstown on learning of this invasion, gathered a scout of twelve men to search for the enemy.
     Shortly after the scouting party left the fort, Major Ross and his men appeared before the fort. Stephen, then on sentry duty, fired at them and the men in the fort turned out to defend the fort. After a few minutes of musket and cannon fire the enemy retreated from the fort. The garrison including Stephen pursued the enemy through the Village of Johnstown when they were joined by Captain Littel and his scouting party. Captain Littel ordered the garrison back to the fort while he and the scouting party would follow the enemy.
     Shortly after the garrison had returned to the fort, Colonel Willett and his men arrived. The garrison informed Colonel Willett what had happened and that the enemy had encamped near Johnson's Hall. Colonel Willett and his men left the fort and headed for Johnson's Hall.
     On Colonel Willett and his men arriving at Johnson's Hall, a battle soon raged. The battle ended with darkness falling on the battlefield and with the enemy retreating.
     In the morning of October 26th, Stephen with several others went on a scout and captured two British Regulars that had gotten lost and took them back to Fort Johnstown.
     On October 30, Colonel Willett skirmished with the rear guard of the enemy under Captain Butler at West Canada Creek and Captain Butler with several others were killed.
     In the spring of 1782, Stephen enlisted in Captain Fonda's Company and he was stationed at Fort Johnstown.
     Stephen served at various times under Captain Jellis Fonda in his Company of Exempts in Colonel Visscher's Regiment.
     On Page 103 of the 1790 Census the Stephen Shew family of Caughnawaga Town, Montgomery County is as follows: 1 male over 16, 1 male under 16 and 2 females.
     Stephen was born in 1762 and he died on March 27, 1841. Stephen married Rachel Sammons but there is no further information on her. Stephen married for a second time in 1806. He married Susannah Wells in the Town of Providence, Saratoga County by the Reverend Jonathan Finch of the Baptist Church. Susannah was born in 1778 and she died on January 13, 1858. They are buried in the Evans Mills Cemetery, Town of LeRoy, Jefferson County.

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