"An Ancestor To Be Proud Of"
Seven generations back on my mothers side, I had an ancestor, Clemons
Gillihan, who fought in the Revolutionary War. After hearing about him
from my grandmother, his story has been of interest to me. I wanted to know
why this young frontiersman got involved in the American Rev. This is his
story. Clemmon lived with his Irish parents near the banks of the Monogahela River in what is now West Virginia. He learned early to be a skilled outdoors
man and was a free and independent person helping his parents eke out a living
hunting, trapping, and fishing. For years his family had existed free of interference of Government or regulations, living on the Western fringe of the Colonies. The Indians were their friends. Clemmon's family, along with the rest of their frontier neighbors had almost forgotten their ties to Great Britian even tho, the wilderness where they lived was pretty much established as a British possesion. Yet in Williamsburg, the Colonial Captial of Virginia, there were rumblings to claim that land for Virginia.
Clemmon's mother was and expert with a needle and sewed all the clothes for
the family from hides and furs. She made his hunting jacket with many
little hidden pockets where he could carry his gunsand knives. On a hunting expedition in early fall of 1776, he was tracking some game far to the Southwest of their settlement on the Winchester Road. He was come upon by some of Captain Terry's tories and captured, because he seemed to be a fighting patriot. The soldiers searched him, took his rifle and large hunting knife. They bound him and left him by the creek while they sought food for the British
Army. He managed to reach a fancy knife hid in one of the secret pockets. He
escaped and fled for home. That was the first time he'd lost his personal freedom and he vowed never again to let this happen. This experience made him start to think of the cause of the Revolution and what it really meant.
The following January 1777, he enlisted at Cheat River, Virginia. He was to
serve under Col. John Gebson's 7th Virginia Regement. Although, the records of
the French and Indian wars and the Campaigns with the Indians that followed, the name Harden is found amoung the soldiers. While in the war, Clemmons became a buddy of Mark Hardin who later became his brother-in-law. They went to explore Kentucky after the war. Later he married Mark Hardin's sister.
Clemmons Gillihan born about 1750 in Virginia (we think); lived in Washington
County Kentucky; married Nancy Ann Hardin; died 2 Feb 1840.