John Sharp

War of 1812

Submitted by George Sharp.

This is from the Marietta Register, May 13, 1884. This is not the entire article, only the part relating to the war. John Sharp was referred to as "Major" in the article, but I don't know his rank in the War of 1812.

Almost seventy years ago, the 18th of February, 1815, peace was declared between the United States and Great Britain and the soldiers of the War of 1812 were disbanded.

Crossing the Ohio river and driving up the West Virginia shore an hour or so found us at the comfortable farmhouse of Maj. John Sharp. Mr. Sharp, I found to be eighty-eight years old, tall, slim, a little bent. "Not much the matter with me" he said, "excepting I was born in the last century."

Mr. Sharp went out in the War of 1812 and was ordered with Capt. Steed's company to Norfolk, Va. five hundred miles away. It was the coldest winter ever known. The river at Norfolk froze over and the snow fell to a depth of six inches. The company was engaged in putting up breastworks and they suffered intensely from the cold. A more insidious foe than Englishmen attacked them and great numbers died with measles. As soon as a soldier was taken sick, he was marched through snow and sleet and mud to the hospital, Most of them took cold and death was a consequence.

"I pulled through" Mr. Sharp remarked, "because the doctor took down just as I did, so I never peeped but just laid still in my hut and got well. There wouldn't a been no John Sharp today, if that doctor hadn't a took it."

Mr. Sharp's pay was eight dollars a month, just what he receives now as a pensioner "but seems like it goes a heap further now than it did then!" he remarked meditatively. Mr. Sharp is one of the oldest residents of Virginia as he came to this place where his handsome farm is located, he said, "was nothing but bears and wolves and woods, and only six cleared farms around here." Hill land was worth twelve and one-half cents an acre, while cleared farms now bringing a hundred dollars an acre, then sold easily at seven per acre."