In this Newsletter…
A pension application from Tan Sisco
An Except from the Revolutionary War in the Hackensack Valley
From the Desk of Shanahan
From the Camp Kitchen
English Monetary System
Petition of Peter Wilson
Signature of Captain Outwater
18th Century Clothing Close ups
Part of Nataniel (Tan) Sisco Pension application
State of New Jersey
Bergen Common pleas
State of New Jersey }
Bergen County } ss
On the 31st day of October 1832, personally appeared in
open Court before the Judges now sitting, being a Court of record as
constituted by the laws of the State of New Jersey. Tan Scisco, aged
seventy years next May, a resident of Pompton Township in the County of
Bergen and State of New Jersey, who being first duly sworn, doth on his
oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of
the act of Congress passed the 7th day of June 1832.
That he entered service of his Country at Hackensack in
the State of New Jersey under Capt. Outwater the 1st of Jany. 1781 in
the State troops and served one year as will appear by the discharge of
Capt. Outwater the 1st day of January 1782 – was stationed to guar[d]
the lines from Acquackanonk, to Hackensack, Fort Lee and Closter on the
north River. Was engaged with British refugees at Munoukee in
Bergen County. The Enemy had come up the Hackensack river to
Munaukee point, to plunder the Inhabitants – here a battle took place
in which the Enemy was routed, and about twenty head of cattle
retaken. The enemy lost seven men killed and one prisoner.
Our Company had a number wounded, among which was John Lozier, shot
through the thigh.
Was in a battle at Fort Lee on the north river, Paul
Ruttan, Daniel Banta and Peter Van Voorhies badly wounded – took two
prisoners – a Lieutenant and one soldier.
Directly after being disbanded by Captain Outwater, I
enlisted for one year under Capt. Peter Ward, and served the whole term
of my enlistment – did not receive a written discharge – officers Capt.
Ward, Lieut. Catterlin and Ensign Van Brick – served at Hackensack,
Fort Lee and along the lines to Closter on the north River – had a
Skirmish with the British at Pamrapo, near Bergen Town – and another in
Bergen Woods. Was discharged on about the first of Jany. 1783.
I hereby relinquish every claim whatever to a pension or
annuity except the present, and declare that my name is not on the
pension roll of the agency of any State.
The said Tan Scisco further saith that he lives remote
from any Church and cannot obtain the certificate of a Clergyman to
whom he is known.
Tan X Scisco
Sworn & subscribed to in open
Court the day & year aforesaid
Abr: Westervelt Clerk
The Revolutionary War In The Hackensack Valley:
In the chapter on 1778: “Peter Wilson…was a member of the New Jersey
legislature throughout the war, an office he accepted at the bidding of
men like himself who were willing to come to the polls at the risk of a
rope around their necks or starvation in Sugar House. At one such
election, with the British two miles away at New Bridge, seven
Hackensack voters appeared, electing Wilson, John Outwater, and Isaac
Blanch to the legislature, Peter Harding to the council, and Adam Boyd
to the post of sheriff.” Page 154. It seems Outwater was a state
legislator while being Captain.
From the Desk of Shanahan
Glenn recently sent out an email advising the membership that he was
appointing me as “Provost Marshall” in charge of recruitment, and
“authenticity” in uniforming and camp life. I want to calm any
fears that some thread-counting, brash, dictatorial jerk has been
unleashed in the unit. I assure you, I never count threads!
When the officers met for a mid season executive meeting, three things
kept coming up in our discussions: the lack of participants at events,
the need to upgrade clothing and eliminate anachronisms in camp, and
the need for additional members. We have a mission to portray the
common soldier of the Revolutionary War and to educate the
public. In order to succeed, we all need to be quality
re-enactors; active re-enactors; enthusiastic and knowledgeable
re-enactors. We need to look good, act well and actively
teach. It’s what we do. Otherwise, we are just camping in
funny clothes. Let it be said of us what is said of the men at
Concord: “We knew what we were about.”
Our unit will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2019. It
sounds like a long way off, but it is not. We want to make a big
deal of this milestone. We want to maintain our place as the
premier militia unit in the country. Others will be looking at
us..maybe even potential members. We want to do honor to the
bravery and memory of John Outwater and his men.
New things are going to be introduced. Fun things that will
make our outings more exciting and enjoyable. But the best thing
YOU can do is look at your kit (“kit”=clothing, weapon and
equipment). I am sure you have already know of things which can
be improved or updated. Work on it. If you need
something or advice tell me or someone else in the unit. Jim has
plenty of free linen available for you. Don’t buy clothing from
Townsend. Before you lay out large sums of money, check with me.
If you buy it, and it isn’t right, you will have wasted your
I will probably wind up talking to everyone, one at a time, out of
earshot, about your kit or persona. Please don’t take it the
wrong way. No one of us is perfect, including me. I’m going
to make suggestions and find out what might be in your way. I’m
going to see if I or someone else can make it easier for you. We
are all going to work together on this and I promise not to be rude,
demanding or even confrontational. But I, and the unit,
need your cooperation in this effort, or we will fail. All for
one and one for all?
I would like to hold a School of the Militia this spring.
The purpose would be to discuss our kits, our clothing, weapons
etc. Each of us should have an idea of what we can work on over
the winter to upgrade our appearance. If we all make it a
priority to attend, and work at it, we will march out in the spring
really looking like something beyond ordinary. More to come.
If you haven’t read the research on Outwater’s Militia, you should.
It’s on the web site. If you haven’t read The Revolutionary War in the
Hackensack Valley, do so before the spring. You won’t regret
it. Outwater’s was a little different than the other New Jersey
Militia units. See if you know how. We have to know who we
are before we can re-enact it. Make sense?
Finally, about recruitment: if you know someone who is interested, or
who is always talking about re-enacting, invite them to an event or
even to the School of the Militia. Let me know they will be
coming. I would love to hear your thoughts on recruiting,
especially where to find people interested in the Revolutionary War to
the point of wanting to make it a hobby. We can’t stand
If you have any ideas, problems, concerns or protests, please feel free to talk to me.
Together, with a little work, Outwater’s will be known as “The New Jersey Militia”
From the Camp Kitchen –
They say an army marches on its stomach, and Outwater's is no
different. While at major events, we try very hard to cook authentic
18th century recipes, using 18th century methods, using what is in
season, like our fore mothers and fathers would have done. For the
recipe this month, I decided to share a unit favorite - Olie Bollen.
This doughnut type pastry has been part of Dutch cuisine dating back to
times well before the 1700's.
In her book, Food, Drink and Celebrations of the Hudson Valley Dutch,
food historian and author Peter Rose discusses this deep-fried delicacy
in depth, noting that both the name and recipes have changed over the
course of the last 300 or so years. There are many recipes available
for Olie Bollen, and the one below is my favorite. Note that it does
not use yeast, like many other recipes do.
• 3 Cups flour, an
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 2 eggs
• 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
• Raisins, or other dried fruit, if desired.
• Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, making sure to stir out all the lumps
• Add dried fruit, and mix thoroughly to distribute throughout the batter.
• Fry them by the teaspoon full, dropped in hot oil until they're golden brown.
• Roll the finished Olie Bollen in either powdered
sugar, white sugar, or my favorite, cinnamon and sugar, while they're
Your humble camp cook,
The British monetary system in the 18th Century.
There are 4 farthings in 1 pense, 12 pense in 1 shilling,
and 20 shillings in 1 pound.
A guinea is 21 shillings, or L1. s1. (1.1.0), and there are
4 crowns in a pound (1 crown being 5 shillings). A
half-crown, therefore is s2.d6, or 2 shillings, six-pense.
With this knowledge, we can convert pounds into shillings,
shillings into pense, & pense into farthings.
Some Book Recommendations from Bob Shanahan!
#1 MUST read for everyone in our unit: The Revolutionary War in the Hackensack Valley, by Adrian C. Leiby
#2. Washington’s Partisan War, Mark Kwasny (tells you the truth about militiamen)
# 3. Private Yankee Doodle, Joseph Plumb Martin. Martin wrote
this after the war. He was in nearly every major battle. Life of
an ordinary soldier.
Petition of Peter Wilson and Note Attached of John Outwater
[New Barbadoes, September 8, 1781 ]
May it please your Excellency
The perilous Situation of the frontiers of this County has induced me
to make this Application to your Excellency at the Request of the
Inhabitants, that a part of the Militia of the State should be called
out to the Assistance of the twelve Months Men stationed here for the
defence of the County. This Measure has become the more necessary as
the few Men who were raised for a Year are reduced in Number by
Enlistments into the Continental Army. One hundred & twenty Men
were designed for the Protection of this Frontier, not above one fourth
Part of which are now on duty here, while Closter which is also very
much exposed, is entirely open to the Depredations of the Refugees, who
are indefatigable in making nocturnal Expeditions for Horses, Cattle,
& Prisoners.(1) On the 9th. of August they carried off fourteen
Prisoners & a very considerable Number of Cattle & Horses-the
greater Part of the Stock they were obliged to quit, but the Prisoners
were safely lodged in
the Sugar House, and on the 30th. ult. they made another Attempt upon
this Quarter but were forced to leave all the Cattle & Horses they
had taken, & in Spite of the Fire of their Gun-Boat, & Grape
Shot to make a precipitate Retreat with the Loss of three men killed,
& 6 or 7 wounded two of whom, one of them the Capt. of the Gun
Boat, are since dead, some of the Others dangerously wounded, and one
taken prisoner. Capt. Outwatcr who commandcd the Year'.s Men &
Militia of the Vicinity who turned out On the Instant, had one man
wounded thro' the Thigh, & two others slightly scratched. A small
party of them succceded better at Closter last Wednesday night the 4th.
Instant having carried off 10 head of Cattle & 4 Horses, &
taken five white Men & a Negro prisoners. One Cole,(2) of the
Militia of that Neighbourhood, who had deserted to the Enemy a few days
before was their Conductor.
The Militia of this County have done so great a Surplus of
Military Duty that I could wish, if the Governor's Ideas coincide with
mine, to have one Class from one of the Regiments of the County of
Somerset, & one Class from this County called to our
assistance, to be Stationed at this Place & at Closter. I am with
the greatest Respect your Excellency's very humble Servant
PETER WILSON [Bergen County, September 10, 1781 ]
I am Parsaonelly Acquainted With the General Desire of the Publick, In
Regard to An Augmentation of the Guard, On this frontier, Your
Excelency I Am Convinced, Wants No Information, In Regard to the
Situation of this County from Your Parshaonel knowledge of the Strength
of the De[ . . . ] under my Command, & Capt. Demarests (3) at the
Bridges, You take the mater In Your Serius Consideration & Grant
the Above Request. I Am With the Gratest Respect Your Excellency's most
Obedient & Very Humble Servt.
Signature of Captain John Outwater
From the Pension application of Henry Denny, where Captain Outwater testified Denny served under him.
And with the winter months starting to creep in, an image of 18th century ice skating:
The Skater is a 1782 oil on canvas portrait of William Grant by the
American artist Gilbert Stuart. Note the cut of the breeches and jacket
as well as the neckerchief
And finally, speaking of neckerchiefs, here is a close up of a red
spotted neckerchief from the image: Watson and the Shark by John
Singleton Copley 1778 (above) and to “remember the ladies” note the
similar style (below) from “the reapers” by George Stubbs 1785.
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