With Independence Day drawing near, I wanted to take the time to talk a moment about my 5th-great grandfather, John Forbes. He is one of my ancestors who I know served during the Revolutionary War. His tale is a sad one and yet one that shows just how much our freedoms cost.
John Forbes was born in 1750 in Montgomery Co., New York. I’m not sure of the exact date but I do know that he married Anna Barbara House in 1765 in Little Falls, New York. John and Anna were living near the town of Danube at the start of the Revolution. John served in Col. Jacob Klock’s regiment. He was involved in one of the bloodiest battles of the revolution, The Battle of Oriskany, along with his brothers Bartholomew and Nicholas. Jacob Klock was John’s brother-in-law, having married John’s sister, Hannah Forbes. John was near to General Herkimer and helped protect him after he was shot. His brothers and Jacob Klock all survived.
Of course, as was the case in those times, men fought and then went home for a while and then gathered together to fight again. On April 3, 1780 John was at home near German Flats, New York when the town was attacked and burned. John, Nicholas, and Bartholomew were all captured. They were taken to a prison camp in Canada and held there for 3 years! According to affidavits given by his widow, John was kept in chains on his hands and feet. It was said that his wrists and ankles were scarred from wearing these irons. He was released in May of 1783. Upon his release, John returned home. He was broken and in ill health and died in 1788, at the age of 38.
I told this story because it shows what a lot of our forefathers went through to gain our independence! Some gave their lives on the battlefield and some just basically lost their will to live due to the war. Every time I look back at John Forbes, I am reminded of just what my freedom cost! Take the time to celebrate Independence Day in your own way, but also take the time to remember those who made your independence possible! Not only those who fought in the Revolutionary War, but all those who fought in wars afterwards that have helped to keep our freedoms.
Happy Independence Day to you all!