What was the "Battle of the Pen?"
The Civil War Magazine was an interesting source is the Civil War which published accounts of battles as written by various participatiing officers from both sides, the North and the South. As it turns out, the version provided by Southern officers won out, and this was the "Battle of the Pen."
How does your Past become Real?
One of the most notorious red coats in history is featured, viz: Banastre Tarleton.
Genealogists have some pretty unique experiences. There are times when I can almost see the past in its full regalia, the battlefield, and redcoats led
by Colonel Banastre Tarleton nicknamed "the butcher" because he cut down an American regiment under a bag of surrender. And I can imagine what it must
have been like to arise early in the morning and dress for war, serving only three months at a time because the crops also had to be planted and
harvested. Life had to go on in the New World apart from our English cousins. We fought those with whom we'd shared our daily chores, and, in the end,
won because ours was a cause against tyranny and the old ways. We won our freedom. Those persons fighting the battle were my ancestors. I share
their DNA and personal traits. And, churning within me is that same desire to preserve and protect my inalienable rights and freedoms. After all, we
are so much a part "of them". So now here comes "the butcher" dressed in his fancy English uniform and brags about his conquests. Although I was not
there, I feel a certain antagonism for his arrogant cruelties and gloat because Lord Cornwallis was too ashamed to present his own sword of surrender. My
ancestors were not the famous guys, such as General George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, but they were there, getting the job done. That makes the
great victories of the war, my accomplishments because I am part of that genetical makeup that made the whole thing happen. So, how does one discover
the battles in which the ancestors served? There are several answers. First, examine the application for a pension and note his description of his battles.
Next, is to find his bounty land. The Colonel under whom he served would have signed a certificate awarding specific parcels of land in certain
counties. The name of that Colonel is important, because he led the ancestors into battle. In other words, if you follow the battles of say, Colonel
Lee, you will have a better knowledge of when and where your ancestor served and the history surrounding his battles. Such details help to complete
the scene of an exciting drama. Now, your ancestor's participation in the war becomes more important to you. The sacrifice of the patriots
caused them to lose so much afterwards. They had to begin again. And they did so by accepting land grants for their service and starting a new life
somewhere else. In other words, it was the patriots who began constructing America into the great country that it is today. In order that the reseach not
be for ought, children need to hear the stories of past days from the lips of family members, and genealogists can share the personal details like
no one else! That is how the past becomes real.
Jeannette Holland Austin
Find the Old Family Homeplace