Morrison's Pensions


Henry Murphy, Wounded at Johnstown
 by James F. Morrison

            In May of 1779, Henry enlisted as a private in Captain Adam Leipe's Company in Colonel Samuel Campbell's Regiment of Tryon County Militia (First Regiment) while he was living in the Village of Fort Plain. Henry was stationed at Fort Plank in May and June. In the middle of June, Henry went on a scout to Weaver's Lake and after a few days he returned to Fort Plank. In the middle of July, Henry with Peter Lambert, John Plantz and John Walrath left Fort Plank with a herd of cattle and took them to Fort Schuyler. After delivering the cattle to the garrison at the fort they returned to Fort Plank. Henry was stationed there until late in the fall.
           1780, in the spring, Henry enlisted in Captain Leipe's Company. He was stationed at Fort Plank and Fort Rensselaer (Fort Plain).  On October 19th, a battle was fought at Stone Arabia between the Loyalists troops under Colonel Sir John Johnson and the American troops under Colonel John Brown. Colonel Brown and about forty-five of his men were killed and the rest dispersed. Henry with a few others left Fort Rensselaer and joined the growing army under General Robert Van Rensselaer.  When he learned of Brown's defeat, General Van Rensselaer ordered Colonel Lewis DuBois to pursue Johnson. Henry with about 300 men under Colonel DuBois and Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Clyde crossed the Mohawk River in pursuit of Johnson.  Colonel DuBois and his men caught up with Johnson at Klock's and Failing's Flats. A fierce battle raged and it lasted until darkness fell on the battlefield.  Johnson and his men, under the cover of darkness, retreated back to Canada.  Henry returned to Fort Rensselaer where he was stationed.
            Again in the spring of 1781, Henry again enlisted in Captain Leipe's Company and he was stationed at Fort Rensselaer.  He was also stationed at Fort Dayton, Fort Herkimer and Fort House.  On July 9th, Lieutenant John Dockstader with about 300 Indians and Loyalists raided and burned Currytown and afterwards encamped in a cedar swamp in Sharon Springs.  Late that afternoon, Colonel Marinus Willett received word at Fort Rensselaer of the invasion of Currytown and Henry under Colonel Willett Left the fort in pursuit of the enemy.  Early in the morning of July 10th, Willett and his men found the encamped enemy and a fierce battle raged. The battle lasted for an hour and a half and the enemy believing that they were outnumbered retreated. Willett and his men pursued the enemy a short distance and then they returned to Fort Rensselaer. On July 18th, a party of militiamen were attacked on their return march after guarding cattle to a nearby fort. Peter Casler and Nicholas Wolleber were killed, John Wolleber was captured and Peter Wolleber although seriously wounded escaped. Henry with several others went in pursuit of the enemy but it was in vain.   On October 24th, Major John Ross and Captain Walter Butler with 607 men were in the Mohawk Valley burning and killing. Colonel Willett 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 that fort.  On the morning of October 25th, Henry under Colonel Willett left Fort Rensselaer in pursuit of the enemy. Willett and his men crossed over the Mohawk River to Caughnawaga and from there they marched to Johnstown.  Upon reaching Fort Johnstown, Willett was informed by the garrison that Ross had encamped near Johnson's Hall. Willett and his men left Fort Johnstown and marched to Johnson's Hall.  When Willett arrived, a fierce battle ensued; and ended with the coming of darkness and with the enemy retreating from the field.  In the heat of the battle, Henry was hit with a musket ball in his right arm and he was taken with the rest of the wounded to Fort Rensselaer.
           Once more in spring of 1782, Henry who was now healed of his wound, enlisted in Captain Leipe's Company and he was again stationed at Fort Plank and Fort Rensselaer.
            Henry was the son of Petrus Murhpy, married Anna Nellis, the daughter of George Nellis on December 27, 1791 by the Reverend D.C.A. Pick of the Dutch Reformed Church at Fort Plain. They were married at the home of Reverend Pick. Henry was born on December 14, 1762 and he died at Stark, Herkimer County on May 6, 1847.

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