AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY WAR SOLDIERS REMEMBERED
Two American Revolutionary War veterans were honorably put to rest in Rehoboth Cemetery of Smithfield Township on Armed Forces Day. They were Jacob Clark (1754-1841) and Joseph Chambers (1751-1841).

Flora VerStraten and Tammy Hosenfeld both of the Jefferson County Ohio Genealogical Society worked with the OHSSAR orchestrating the observance held at the restored Rehoboth Cemetery in Jefferson County Ohio. Smithfield Trustees of Smithfield Township, John Sebring and Ron Malin welcomed attendees and Bill Cermak uniformly joined the American Legion Post 525. The JCCOGS and Smithfield Township have been working to restore Rehoboth and Holmes Cemetery located on Township Road 130 just outside of Adena. Both were barren places of rest that were haphazardly overgrown. The JCCOGS is currently in the process of restoring them and many still remain unmarked. When the project began over a year ago, most all of the tombstones were found on the ground. John Sebring said that Smithfield Township helped the JCCOGS with the cemetery restoration but no funding, grant or otherwise, is designated to restore graveyards within townships.

Before the ceremony began, the weather was lightly raining and chilled with wind and overcast. All who were partaking and the public seemed thankful that the cleared for the circumstance. Compatriot Randall Crumpler said of the OHSSAR, "We had a Chaplain, Jerry Kirk who passed away two years ago and we used to ask Jerry to say a prayer before attending our dedication services to ask God for good weather." Crumpler sadly said, "I believe Jerry is watching over us today."

The Ebenezer Zane Chapter Ohio Society Sons of the American Revolution (OHSSAR) and Adena American Legion Post 525 were militarily arranged for the soldier's memorial service of both patriots. President Teddy Roosevelt nationally chartered both chapters in 1906. OHSSAR Compatriot George Livingston and Adena Legion Commander Gary DeNoble both said of the observance, "It is an honor and obligation to be here today."


[Standing at attention, the Adena American Legion Post 525]

Escorted by the OHSSAR, the Clark and Chambers families unveil the gravestones.

As the families gathered around, the OHSSAR Color Guard presented the colors and Frank A Kinsey, Compatriot of the OHSSAR greeted the public with a welcome. Compatriot's Chaplain, Myers Campbell, prayed the Invocation, and Norman B. Moran led the pledge of allegiance.

OHSSAR President, Compatriot George R. Ruch remarked at the opening ceremony, "We are indeed very grateful to return here with pleasant recollections of today." He added, "Thank you for helping us honor these two brave men."

Flora VerStraten, President of the Jefferson County Ohio OGS spoke regarding Jacob Clark (1754-1841). She began saying, " What a beautiful day it is today and it is an honor to be here today on behalf of Wilma Clark and her family who are direct descendants of Jacob Clark." She regretfully explained that Clark's family had experienced some serious illness and couldn't attend the grave dedication ceremony. VerStraten continued, " Today is Armed Forces Day, a day for the United States of America to pay tribute to all the brave men and women in all branches of the military who protect us and fight for our freedom." "One day of reverence hardly seems adequate to pay tribute for all of the sacrifices made for us today."

She read an interesting history regarding Jacob Clark from his descendants. Because Wilma couldn't attend, she expressed that the family sincerely appreciates the dedication, hard work, and hours spent to make it possible.

She wrote that Jacob Clark led a remarkable life. Jacob Nicholls Clark was born on the 13th of October 1754. In January of 1776 from Baltimore Maryland, Jacob enlisted in the Continental Army and served under Captain Samuel Smith in the First Regiment of the Maryland Line at White Plains New York commanded by Colonel William Smallwood. On the 28th of October 1776 and at Fort Washington, New York, he continued fighting with the Maryland Line on November 16, 1776 and again at Fort Lee, New Jersey on the 20th of November 1776.

Jacob was with General George Washington on the 25th of December in 1776 when the troops crossed the treacherous ice swollen Delaware River about 9 miles north of Trenton, New Jersey. Jacob was part of "The Crossing," which is notorious point of history in the Revolutionary War. A significant amount of brave men marched through ice and snow, many without shoes in ragged uniforms. Raging winds combined with snow, sleet and rain was one of the climate hardships of forbearance on Christmas day but these soldiers endured the first battle for independence. The following day, they fought again and were victorious at the Battle of Trenton, New Jersey.

Jacob Clark entered one of the largest bloodiest battles of war history at Brandwine, Pennsylvania on the 11th September 1777 and six days later rode with General Washington's army to the Warwick Furnace in Chester County Pennsylvania. Their mission was to replenish rain-damaged ammunition. Here, Jacob met his future wife, Miss Tabitha Dennis, daughter of the furnace accountant.

On October 4, 1777, Jacob engaged in a battle at Germantown, PA and often told his children and grandchildren how "he raised his rifle, taking aim at one of the British" when suddenly a musket ball penetrated his head rendering him immediately unconscious. In a crude field hospital, a trepanning operation was performed to remove the ball and a portion of his crushed skull. Forever after, he wore a metal plate over his wound, held in place by a scarf tied around his head. He spent the rest of that winter recuperating at Valley Forge. He often told his family how he would hear General Washington praying to the Almighty to deliver his troops from their enemies.

When he recovered, he worked as a Recruiting Agent until the spring of 1778. On the 28th of June 1778, Jacob was engaged at the Battle of Monmouth County Court House in Freehold, New Jersey. That winter he re-enlisted with the Continental Army under the command of Captain Yates. Colonel John Hoskins Stone commanded this Regiment. Jacob states in his pension disposition that he stated with his disposition of the Army form 1779-1781. He achieved the rank of Sergeant while serving with Captain Yates.

In July of 1781, General Washington's army was encamped at Dobbs Ferry, New York. Jacob Clark fell ill and remained there while his Regiment moved on to the Siege of Yorktown. Later, while only partially recovered, he requested a map so that he could rejoin his Regiment in Virginia; however a Captain instructed him to wait and reassigned him to a scouting party of thirty to forty men who were following the movements of the enemy in New York.

Jacob Clerk now in the company of his new detachment marched to the east side of the Hudson River and on the third day were ambushed and captured buy a party of British and Hessian soldiers. During the night, Jacob escaped under the cover of darkness but was re-captured three or four miles away receiving a near mortal wound to his right side from an enemy bayonet. He was immediately transported to the notorious British prison ship, The Old Jeskey where he was confined until the end of the war. The conditions of his imprisonment were deplorable and few Americans survived. Jacob was discharged and released in Baltimore Maryland sometime between the signing of the Peace Treaty of Paris on April 15, and November 25 1783, when the last of the British Troops evacuated New York.


Flora VerStraten,Donald Broughtman and Lillian Wolfe.

Shortly after the war, Jacob Clark and his brother James ventured into the Indian Territory now known as Jefferson County, Ohio. They cleared land and built rustic dwellings. In April of 1784, Congress forced all settlers out, often setting fire to their meager homes. Negotiations were ongoing to purchase this lad from the Indians, as the Ohio Territory was not yet open to settlement. After raising his family in Cumberland, Maryland, Jacob returned to Make his home in Ohio where he died in 1841 at the age of 87.

Jacob had a profound respect for his country and instilled the same patriotism in his children. One son was a founding citizen of Washington, DC and fought in the War of 1812. Two of his grandsons fought in the Mexican War and six grandsons fought on both sides during the Civil War. One of these grandsons was the Confederate Brigadier General Charles Clark, who was elected Civil War Governor of Mississippi.

Donald Broughtman, of Greenville, Pennsylvania is the fourth grandson of Jacob Clark and attended the ceremony dressed Civil War apparel. Lillian Wolfe of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania escorted him. Broughtman belongs to the Tenth Pennsylvania Reserves of Civil War Reenactment. He spoke of the dedication saying, " This happens only once in a lifetime and it's important to keep tract of your ancestors."

Chris Mowery, who resides in Youngstown, Ohio spoke of his fifth great-grandfather, Joseph Chambers stating that his grandparents originated in Ireland and later founding Chambers, Pennsylvania. Mowery said, "Joseph Chambers was regarded as a man of sober, steady habits with good moral character." He explained that the large Chambers family is farmers, railroad workers, teachers, etc., with all walks of life.

Joseph Chambers was born October 14, 1751 in Derry Twp., Lancaster Co., PA. His parents were James and Mary Chambers and he was just ten years old when his father was killed by Indians at the Battle of Muncy Hill, PA, near the end of the French and Indian War.

Chris claimed that Joseph must have been enthusiastic about the cause of Freedom because he enlisted even before Independence was declared, in May 1776. He served two tours as a First Sergeant with Captain Robert McKee's company, Colonel Alexander Lowrey's Pennsylvania regiment (1776 and again in 1779). After that he moved west, settling first in Washington County, PA where he married Rachel Pegg and started a family. Around 1806 the family moved to Jefferson County, OH where five more children were born, bringing the total to eleven. That Joseph was a patriot can even be seen in the names of his children. His final two sons, born during the war of 1812, were named after prominent generals in that war (Harrison and Jackson Chambers). Joseph spent the remainder of his days living in various places around Jefferson County, and finally dying in Smithfield Township on January 12, 1841.

His patriotic legacy survived him. At least one son, James, served in the War of 1812 (David Peck's Company) and his son-in-law Mareen Duval was a Lt. Colonel in command of the 2nd Ohio Militia Regiment in that war. Among his grandchildren, at least two fought and died in the Civil War. Andrew Jackson Duvall, the son of Col. Duvall and Joseph's daughter Polly, was killed at the Battle of Shiloh on April 8, 1862. Martin Van Buren Chambers, the son of Joseph's son Lee, died at Atlanta on July 5, 1864.

Today Joseph Chambers' descendants live all over the country, their stories as interesting and diverse as his. Mowery said, "I myself am his 5th great grandson, having been born and raised just an hour or so north of the place Joseph was laid to rest." Chris asked, "Why should he be remembered?" "I believe it is important to remember Joseph Chambers because the freedom he fought for in our War of Independence should never be taken for granted." He added, "All the blessings of freedom we enjoy today, the freedom to do as we please within the law, the freedom to worship God, the ideas of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - we have them because of the men who fought in the Revolution. "

He continued saying, "Men and women like him have kept us free in the 232 years since he first enlisted and if we forget who they were and why they fought, we may lose the very thing they fought to defend." "Every time we honor men such as Joseph Chambers, we honor what they stood for, and we remember why it was (and is) worth dying for." He asked, "Why are we (his descendants) coming to honor him?" "Our heritage is important to us and our stories are part of that legacy." " To better understand who we are, it's good to know where we've come from." He introduced his relatives in attendance saying, " Among those of us here are my grandmother, Connie Mower, and her brother Don Whittaker." "Their mother, Mildred Chambers Whittaker, was born in York, just down the road from Rehoboth Cemetery." He said, " Neither of them have ever been to the place their mother was born."

Mowery closed saying; " We are excited to honor Joseph Chambers and his legacy, because our stories are a part of that legacy." "We are excited to see the place our family once called home, and to discover a little more about who they were, and because of that, who we are." After observing that Chambers' grave was unmarked, he thanked all that took part in the military ceremony.

Piper Patrick Coughlan played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes. Coughlan was granted honorary membership of the Ebenezer Zane Chapter of the OHSSAR, headquarters in St. Clairsville of east central Ohio and the Northern Panhandle of Pennsylvania.

The Ebenezer Zane Color Guard escorted the descendants of Jacob Clark and Joseph Chambers, as the new grave markers were unveiled. The American Legion Post 525 of Adena Ohio fired the 21-gun salute with 03 Springfield rifles from WWI. Vice-president, Compatriot Norman Moran, played taps and the benediction by Compatriot Chaplain Myers Campbell concluded the patriotic ceremony.


Descendents of Joseph Chambers , L-R, Kay Leonhart, Patty Meszaros, Betty Whittaker, Dan Whittaker, Craig Mowery, Chris Mowery holding son Caleb Mowery,Connie Mowery, Ken Mowery, and Tara Mowery hold daughter Rachel Mowery.