TWENTY
FULKERSONS

and Fulkerson descendants
in the
American
Revolution


Plus a map and Revolutionary War history of the Somerset County region where Fulkersons
were among our nation's early settlers, and among the first to fight for freedom.



Abraham Fulkerson

He and his brother James fought in the Battle of King's Mountain, 7 Oct 1780. There is a monument to him, in Scott Co., VA, erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Click here for the complete story and the descendants of Abraham.




Caleb Fulkerson

Caleb served as a fifer in the Somerset County militia and the New Jersey state regiment (First Battalion, Second Establishment) between 1776-1780. In October of 1780 he volunteered to go with a scouting party to spy on the British lines between Newark and Bergen.

The officers in charge lodged the scouts in a barn one night, and then went off to find better arrangements for themselves. The luckless scouts were discovered and captured by a larger force comprised of pro-British "refugees" (Tories). Now prisoners, the scouts were marched to New York City and imprisoned in the Sugar House, a dank, infested sugar refinery on Liberty Street. It was five stories high, built of stone, with two low-ceilinged rooms on each floor.

Caleb and hundreds of fellow prisoners suffered with no fuel for heat and almost no clothing through a long miserable winter. They formed themselves into groups of five, ten or twenty and, locking their arms together so that none would stop or fall, marched backward and forward to keep themselves from freezing. Caleb later said that his skin rubbed off like the scales on a fish. Many of the prisoners died from disease and the cold. Caleb was finally released in a prisoner exchange in June 1781. He returned to New Jersey and served four more months in two other regiments, helping with the 'blockade' of New York, before hostilities ended. Click here to view more of Caleb's story, or click here to view his Revolutionary War pension application.





Cornelius Fulkerson

Cornelius was listed in the Official Register of the Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Revolutionary War. Adjutant-General's Office, State of New Jersey.





Frederick Fulkerson

Frederick was appointed a Lieutentant of militia by the Committee of Pittsylvania Co. (now Patrick Co.) on September 27, 1775. Click here for more information about Frederick.




Fulkert Fulkerson

Fulkert served in Captain Ten Eycks Company, 2nd Battalion, New Jersey Militia. There were several Fulkerts/Folkerts/Volkerts alive in NJ at this time, but few of the typical age for military service. Based on evidence found in 2007, this is probably the Volkert FULKERSON of Somerset County, born in 1751. (A Casper BROKAW was pensioned for his Revolutionary War service, and claimed that he served under Lieut. James VAN DYNE in Capt. Fulkert FULKERSON's company of Elizabethtown, NJ....no other similar references have been found as of January 2008.)




Hans Fulkerson

Hans (a nickname?) enlisted from Somerset County. No further information is known at this time.





Henry Fulkerson

Henry enlisted from Somerset County and served in Captain Ten Eyck's militia company. He stated he was born about 1759 (the family bible was destroyed by the Britsh during the Revolution) and first enlisted in 1776, serving part of each year through 1780. He was at the Battle of Monmouth, where he said he nearly perished from fatigue and exhaustion in the hot weather. One page of his pension papers identified him as Hendrick Fulkerson and mentioned Middlesex County, which tends to imply he was Hendrick, the son of Jacob FULKERSON. A 521-page National Archive document at Ancestry.com includes him as Hendrick Fulkerson, serving with Crane's Troop of Horse in the Eastern Battalion from Morris County. His actual listing within that document has not been found. Click here to see his Revolutionary War pension application.





James Fulkerson

Born Jacobus Volkertson, he commanded a company in CAMPBELL's Regiment at the Battle of King's Mountain. James and hundreds of other backwoods pioneers - called "overmountain men" - literally crossed over mountains to meet the threat of an invasion by British Colonel Ferguson, who threatened to subdue the independence-minded backwoodsmen and lay waste to their homes "by fire and sword." With a loss of only 28 Americans, James and his fellow militia men killed 150 of the British and made 800 of them prisoners in just an hour's time on 7 Oct 1780. Click here for a page on the life of Captain James Fulkerson, or click here to see his line of descendants.




John Fulkerson

Born in 1754, he was just a year younger than his brother, Captain Philip Fulkerson and served in the "New Jersey Line" of the Continental Army. He applied for a Revolutionary War pension on 27 August 1832 and was awarded pension number W8836 on 16 Mar 1833 for the amount of $80 per year. John died on 15 Jan 1835 in Grayson Co., KY. Click here for more information on this founder of a Kentucky branch, or click here to view his Revolutionary War pension application.




John Fulkerson

John Fulkerson, son of Jacob Fulkerson and a first cousin of Captain Philip Fulkerson, was a 19-year-old private, officially listed as serving from 19 Nov to 3 Dec 1777 in Continental Army. He was also credited with serving one month under Col. Hunt, Somerset Co. militia, as substitute for his father (who was in his 50's and hard of hearing). He was awarded a pension, certificate #25855, on 17 Jan 1834, when he was a resident of Beaver Twp., Mercer Co., PA. Click here to read more about this founder of one of the Pennsylvania Fulkerson branches, or click here to view his Revolutionary War pension application.




John Fulkerson

Resident of Washington Co., VA. He served in the "Virginia Line" and was involved with Army wagon trains supporting outposts in the Ohio Valley. His name also appears on the roster of militiamen who fought at the Battle of King's Mountain. He applied for a Revolutionary War pension in 1832 while a resident of Washington Co., Tennessee. Click here to learn more about John and his Tennessee descendants, or click here to view his Revolutionary War pension application.




John Fulkerson

Born 17 Feb 1759 in Somerset Co., NJ, John served from Morris Co., NJ. He later married Catherine Slaught and moved to Tioga Co., PA, founding one of the Pennsylvania Fulkerson branches. Click here for more about John, or click here to view his Revolutionary War pension application.




Brandywine battlefield countryside

Sergeant Joseph Fulkerson

Joseph, older brother of Caleb [above], was born 7 March 1755. He enlisted as a Private in the fall of 1775 for a term of one year, under Captain John Polhemus in Col. William Winds' First Jersey Regiment, and served on the northern frontier at Fort Ticonderoga. In 1777 he reenlisted for three years' service under Captain Andrew McMyers [NJ state record: "Captain M'Mires' company, First Battalion, First Establishment."] and Colonel Matthias Ogden (his brother Caleb was a fifer in the same regiment). Joseph fought in the disastrous battles of Brandywine Creeek and Germantown. McMyers was killed at Germantown and Joseph was wounded - and subsequently transferred to his brother's company. They were both at the battle of Monmouth.

Joseph's discharge from service in 1780 was signed by Lt. Col. Francis Barber at Mendham Huts near Morristown, New Jersey. He then joined the crew of an American privateer (a privately-owned ship commissioned by the government to attack and capture British ships at sea - i.e., legalized piracy). We do not know what kind of success he may have had, but ultimately his ship was captured by the British.

Joseph was imprisoned in the infamous "Jersey," a damp, rotting prison ship moored in Wallabout Bay along the Brooklyn shoreline. [More than 11,000 American prisoners died on the "Jersey" and similar ships in New York harbor during the war.] Joseph was released from imprisonment in the fall of 1781 and received Revolutionary War pension #7620 in 1818 while living in Reading, Steuben Co., NY. He died in Ohio in 1840. Click here to learn more about Joseph and his descendants, or click here to view his Revolutionary War pension application.




Philip Fulkerson

Captain Philip Fulkerson was born in Somerset Co., NJ about 1755. He commanded the Second Battalion, Somerset County Militia in countless battles against the British Army from 1775 to 1780, interrupted only by a brief internment as a prisoner of war. Visit his page on this site for extensive details, or click here to see the extensive Kentucky branch he founded.




Phillip Fulkerson

Private Phillip Fulkerson was on the roster of Capt John Sebring's Company, First Battalion, Somerset County Militia




Richard Fulkerson

Richard is listed on the rolls of Washington County, Virginia, as a captain who served between 1770 and 1780. He is specifically listed on the roster for the Battle of King's Mountain. There were no known Richards or Dircks of military age in this area during the War. He may have been a son of Johannis Fulkerson, if indeed those rosters are correct.




William Fulkerson

Served as a Private from Somerset Co., New Jersey in "Lee's Legion, Continental Army." One affidavit said he was a soldier in the Revolution beginning in 1776, and another stated he enlisted in the Legion in 1779 as a "dragoon" (cavalryman) and continued to serve in that role until the end of the Revolution. William is listed in the Official Register of the Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Revolutionary War, Adjutant-General's Office, State of New Jersey. He is one of those 18th Century New Jersey Fulkersons whom we haven't been able to associate with a known family or branch, but we DID find his Revolutionary War pension application, made in 1818 when he was living in Bedminster, NJ. From Wikipedia, we have the following summary about that military unit:
Lee's Legion (also known as the 2nd Partisan Corps) was a military unit within the Continental Army during the American Revolution. It primarily served in the Southern Theater of Operations, and gained a reputation for efficiency and bravery on the battlefield.

The original unit was raised June 8, 1776, at Williamsburg, Virginia, under the command of Light Horse Harry Lee for service with the 1st Continental Light Dragoons of the Continental Army. On April 7, 1778, the Legion left the 1st CLDs and became known as Lee's Legion. It included elements of both cavalry and foot, and typically was uniformed with short green woolen jackets and white linen or doeskin pants, somewhat mimicking the British Legion in appearance. When Lord Cornwallis moved his British Army into North Carolina, Lee's Legion entered South Carolina to protect that colony and to harass British expeditions. Often, the Legion served with Francis Marion and Thomas Sumter in these missions. In 1781, it participated in the Siege of Ninety Six.

The Legion saw considerable action at the Battle of Camden, Battle of Guilford Court House, and the retaking of Savannah, Georgia. It served through the Battle of Yorktown, which essentially ended the war. The Legion was disbanded at Winchester, Virginia, on November 15, 1783.
On 2 Apr 1783 he received Virginia Land Office Treasury Warrant #15275 [as an assignee for Daniel HENRY who was an assignee for Michael RYAN] for 1000 acres on the head of the East fork of Long Lick Creek in Jefferson County, Kentucky (Kentucky was then a part of Virginia and had only two counties; this property may now be in Bullitt County, KY). Click here to see the land grant record. In 1820 he again applied as a Revolutionary War veteran for a grant of 200 acres of Virginia "bounty land" Click here to see this Virginia bounty land application.




Aaron Ward

Aaron was a third great grandson of Dirck Volkertson De Noorman, and second great grandson of Dirck's daughter Grietje Dircks and her husband Barent Gerritszen Van Swol/Van Flaesbeck. His great grandparents were Henricus De Forest and Femmetje Van Flaesbeck. His grandparents were Abraham King and Susannah De Forest. He was the son of Nathaniel Ward and (Phebe?) King.

Aaron was born 23 Aug 1749 in Newark, Essex Co., NJ. He died 1 Sept 1838 in Warren Twp., Herkimer Co., NY. He married Elisabeth Wendell about 1771-73.

Aaron and Elisabeth lived in Lansingburgh, NY (now the northern part of the Troy area) when the Revolution started. On 15 June 1775 the residents of Lansingburgh drew up an Association Paper to declare they would cooperate with the Continental Congress in resisting the government of Great Britain. Aaron was one of the fifty signers.

He served as a sergeant in the militia from 1775 to 1781. Like most of the men on the east side of the Hudson near Troy, he served in the First Company of the Sixth Regiment under Captain Christopher Tillman, Lt. Col. Henry K. Van Rensselaer, Col. Stephen Schuyler. Aaron's pension papers of 11 Oct 1832 state that he was not engaged in any regular battle but in skirmishes with the Tories along the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers. (Pension papers of Aaron Ward, Survivor File 14800, Application 11 Oct 1832.)




Loving Bledsoe

Loving was the son of Susannah Fulkerson Bledsoe, who was the daughter of Frederick Fulkerson and a niece of Captain James Fulkerson. He served from southwest Virginia.




William Stuart

William was the son of Susannah Fulkerson Stuart. She was the daughter of Frederick Fulkerson and a niece of Captain James Fulkerson. William was a half-brother of Loving Bledsoe, above, both of them serving from southwest Virginia.



  Somerset County locations where Fulkersons settled, and where battles occurred,
include New Brunswick, Millstone, Raritan and Bound Brook. The map also shows
the locations George Washington selected for the Continental Army's winter encampments.


The Cockpit of the Revolution

Somerset and Middlesex counties became a focal point of the American Revolution beginning in late November 1776 and through the following years. George Washington lost the Battle of New York in late summer of 1776, and had been pursued across New Jersey by British General Cornwallis since October.

  The Continental Army rested for several days at New Brunswick, Middesex County, until the British arrived on December 1st. The rebels made their escape to Princeton, leaving behind a small force led by Alexander Hamilton and Henry Knox to destroy the Raritan River bridge and slow the British advance.

  Washington took his army to Newtown, PA for the next three weeks, then made his historic crossing of the Delaware to capture the Hessian army post at Trenton on December 26th. Eight days later Washington marched north to capture the town of Princeton from the British. He then led his army north to Somerset County Courthouse, where they spent the night. A history of the Dutch church at Neshanic, a few miles west of Hillsborough, adds a bit more to the story: "When Washington’s troops were camped near the Millstone River in January of 1777 on their march from the battlefields of Trenton and Princeton to their winter encampment at Morristown, the patriotic [Reverend] Foering scoured his parsonage for all the food he could find and divided it up among the half starved troops, Foering preached a very patriotic sermon which lead to the formation of a company of soldiers from his congregation."

The Americans and British would skirmish at that location on January 20-23, 1777, when the British began a series of foraging raids against the small towns of New Jersey. During the remainder of the winter Washington kept his small Continental Army at Morristown, Morris County, New Jersey. At the same time, the British Army had 17,000 men stationed at New Brunswick, just a few miles east of Somerset County.

On April 13, 1777 his outpost garrison at Bound Brook in Somerset County was surprised and routed during the Battle of Bound Brook when 4,000 British Redcoats and Hessian mercenaries attacked. Cornwallis followed up by moving his entire army of 17,000 to the Somerset Court House. Washington then marched his army to the Middlebrook encampment (closer to Bound Brook) on May 28. During this time the Continental Army had to defend against British attacks at Somerset Court House on June 14, 17 and 19, 1777; at Millstone on June 17, 1777; at New Brunswick on June 22, 1777, and at Short Hills (nearby in Essex County) on July 26, 1777.

Washington planned to leave Somerset County in late June, after Cornwallis withdrew the British army to the distant town of Perth Amboy. However, Congress had just approved the new American flag. Washington waited for flags to be made and brought up from Philadelphia, and did not leave Middlebrook until July 2, 1777. The Stars and Stripes first flew over the Continental Army in Somerset County. British General Cornwallis, famous for his surrender at Yorktown, had temporary headquarters during 1777 at the Myers house in Bound Brook and at the Van Lieuw house in Franklin.

George Washington brought his Continental Army back to Middlebrook for a winter encampment from December 1778 to June 1779, after having endured the previous winter at Valley Forge. (Of the various locations where he wintered his army, it was said that Morristown was the worst.) He made his headquarters in the newly-built Wallace House on Somerset Street in Somerville.

Hosting the Continental Army for extended periods of encampment — twice in a two year span — must have posed some impositions on the residents of Somerset County. On 2 Jun 1779, George Washington wrote a letter of appreciation to the Dutch church at Raritan. (Click to see it.)

The war had ground to a stalemate when a mounted troop of 80 Queens Rangers from Staten Island raided Somerset County on 25 Oct 1779, burning both the county court house at Millstone and the Dutch Reformed Church at Raritan. The local militia reacted quickly, gave chase and captured several of the British raiders, including their leader, Col. Simcoe. The Story of New Netherland, by William Elliot Griffis, 1909, tells us that, "In the darkest hours, the Father of his Country found his safest asylum among the New Jersey Dutchmen....One of the Dutch parsons whom King George’s redcoats would have hanged, if they could have drawn a rope around his neck, was Domine Jacob Rutsen Hardenberg, brother of Washington’s staff officer. His church was at Raritan, New Jersey. He usually slept with a musket at his side. His public zeal so angered the Tories, that Colonel Simcoe once organized an expedition of the Queen’s Rangers to capture him. When they arrived at his church, and found their bird flown, they burnt the building to the ground.'

After 1779 the Continental Army and New Jersey militias generally succeeded in keeping the British confined to New York City area, although there were continuous small raids mounted by both sides, aimed at gathering prisoners, information and supplies. In August 1781 Washington removed most of his army from this siege duty and marched them, along with a French Army under Rochambeau, southward toward the Continental Army's final victory at Yorktown. During this march the armies camped near Pluckemin (August 22nd) and Millstone (August 23rd).

The Somerset County Militia

The Somerset County Militia was formed and led by Frederick Frelinghuysen, son of an old New Amsterdam family. (He was also a member of the Continental Congress in 1778 and 1782-83, and was a United States Senator 1793-1796.) According to various accounts, the Somerset County Militia was involved in the following events during the Revolution:

Battle of New York, NY 29 June - 16 October 1776
Battle of White Plains, NY 28 October 1776
Washington's Crossing of the Delaware, PA-NJ 25 December 1776
Battle of Trenton, NJ 26 December 1776
Battle of Brandywine, PA 11 September 1777 (unconfirmed)
Battle of Germantown, PA 3 October 1777 (unconfirmed)
Valley Forge, PA Winter 1777-78
Battle of Monmouth, NJ 28 June 1778