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Revolutionary War Veterans


Jacob Deem

Burial - Mt. Zion Baptist Church Cemetery, located in Bonnie Vail community, section of Mineral Wells, Wood County, W.Va. (near Chesterville).

During this time, Diehm (German) was translated to Deem ( English).

Jacob Deem Sr, third son of Johannes Diehm, was born 1759 at Hagerstown, Maryland. He served in the Revolutionary War and also served as a scout in the Indian War. He married Eva Ann Cox, (also from Germany). Jacob and Eva settled in Wood County, Virginia at the head of Big Tygart Creek. On June 6, 1804, Jacob Deem took deed to 100 acres, recorded in Wood County Deed book 2, page 202. This land was on the waters of Little Tygart Creek, and here he built his cabin where Chesterville now stands. Jacob and his brother Adam Deem, served on a commission appointed by the County Court to view and mark a road from "Lee's Ripple" at the mouth of Lee's Run, just above Newark, to the mouth of Goose Creek, Adam Deem's home. Jacob lived on his home place until his death and is buried in the cemetery at Chesterville.

Jacob appears in the DAR Patriot Index, Centennial Edition, as having served as an Ensign in the Pennsylvania Militia.

A transcript of Jacob Deem's affidavit to the War Department substantiating his Military service:

Jacob Deem of the county of Wood nearly 70 years of age do hereby certify and depose that my brother Adam Deem, who made application to the county court of Wood do certify his dexlaration to the War Department to claim a pension at tern 1833 is my elder brother that at the time he enlisted we were both at home with our father John Deem in Fayette Co. Pennslyvania, that I was personally knowing to his enlistment and that he was in the service of the United States six months, that we have ever since lived in ________________? and our families never further than 20 or 30 miles apart, and I never heard it doubted or even questioned but Adam my brother a foresaid was a revolutionary soldier. Given under my hand this 17th Feb. 1834

Jacob Deem

Submitted by Robert S. Vail February, 2006.


George Kellar

My G-G-G-Grandfather, George Kellar, was born 19 Apr 1758 in Stoverstown, Shenandoah, Va. He volunteered at Staunton, Augusta County, Virginia, July 1779.

In his own words, Revolutionary Patriot, George Kellar, stated, " I fought under Captain Christee against the Cherokee Indians. We had to find our own rifles...We marched in the same month to Botecourt and into North Carolina on the Holstien River...in a few days we marched and after crossing the Tennessee River, burnt six Indian towns and six of the towns came in and made peace."

In April of 1780 he marched in Capt.Thompson's volunteer company of riflemen from Staunton to the West Fork of the Monongahela River to protect the frontier settlements against the Indians-- "one half of the men were stationed at West's Fort and the other half at Lowther's Fort... They remained there until August" (Note: West's Fort and Lowther's Fort were two seperate Forts). In November 1790,he marched in a Company under Col. Sampson Mathews to Falmouth and then to Hunter's works.From there they went back to Falmouth, then to Fredericksburg, down the Rappahannock River, and crossed the James River at Sandy Point, which was a mile below Cabin Point,and on to Suffolk."Than from Suffolk we went to Camp Carson...during the night we frequently marched to Portsmouth and back to camp the same day." From Camp Carson men were sent to Guilford where there was a battle. "During the winter we had several skirmishes with (General Benedick Arnolds troops)Arnold was an American traitor who was givin comand by the British. In one of the skirmishes Captain Cunningham from Augusta was wounded. Somrtime in the spring the volunteers were marched back to Staunton" Keller also fought in the Battle of Cowpens under Major Percy. After the engagement, Keller helped guard the prisoners in a march north to Redford,Va.

Submitted by Lawrence Paul Kellar, Jr. January, 2003.


David Williams

David Williams was born in Hampshire County VA, (now WVA) October 10, 1750, died Mercer County, Kentucky November 8, 1831. He was the son of Vincent Williams of the South Branch of the Potomac. Early pioneer of the area and killed by Chief Killbuck during the French and Indian War. He was quartered and his head stuck on a post.

David married Sarah Denton, daughter of Robert and Jane (Moon) Denton of Hampshire County (Lost River area WVA). They had several sons.

David was at the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774 and was with Capt. James Harrod.

From his home on the South Branch he responded to a second call for soldiers of the Continental Army by enlisting on January 8, 1777. He and the other enlistees immediately traveled to Morristown, New Jersey where General Washington had set up his headquarters. On February 20, 1777 he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant.

What David discovered upon arrival at Morristown must have been very discouraging. The winter was very cold the troops were hungry. The necessities were extremely scarce. There was an outbreak of Smallpox. Men were dying. Morale, discipline and sacrifice were at a low ebb. Men were leaving the camp to forage for themselves and some were even deserting.

Months later, battered by their many losses, weary from defeats and retreats, General Washington ordered his Main Army to move to Valley Forge.

Although the beginning of the winter was relatively mild it was still miserable for men with no shoes or boots, their feet bound in rags as protection from the icy roads. They lived in tattered tents with the cold winter winds blowing through the holes and tears.

The men were ordered to immediately start building log huts. The huts had fireplaces but the green wood didn't burn well so the smoke was a constant problem as it burned their eyes and throats. They huddled together through the winter and sat up at night and beat themselves to keep from freezing. The window coverings were oiled paper.

By Christmas there was so little food that Gen. Washington feared mutiny. There was no bread. There was no meat. Men were boiling their shoes and eating the leather.

By February death, disease and desertions had reduced the troops from 12,000 to 6,000.

The name of Valley Forge has come to stand, and rightly so, as a patriotic symbol of suffering, courage and perseverance. But, in the face of death by his enemies, starvation, disease and depravation, David Williams did not flinch but continued to serve and lead his men.

A Welshman by birth, and American by choice he fought bravely and well attaining the rank of 1st Lieutenant. He was engaged in the battles of Northern New Jersey, Defense of Philadelphia (Brandywine,Germantown and Whitemarsh), suffered the terrible winters at Morristown and Valley Forge, was engaged in the battle of Philadelphia-Monmouth and possibly at Stoney Point, where Gen. (Mad) Anthony Wayne had ordered no shot to be fired against the well fortified British encampment. All the fighting was to be done by bayonets.

David fought under the direction of Commander in Chief General George Washington, Major General Marques de Lafayette 3rd Division, Brigadier General Charles Scott 4th VA Brigade, Col. James Wood 12th VA.

(The 12th, merged with the 8th and 4th during the war)

Due to a reduction of forces, by Acts of Congress, Lt. David Williams was relieved of duty January, 1781.

At the end of the war, David was invited to join the Society of Cincinnati. He was one of the original members.

Sources for the History:
The War of the Revolution by Coakley and Conn
The Continental Army by Robert K. Wright

Submitted by Sandra Hess, December 2002


Civil War Veterans


Francis Marion Harless Born February 22, 1844 in Giles County Virginia. Died 1917 in Wyoming County West Virginia.

Francis Marion Harless served in the 1st Virginia State Line, in company H. He, later served as 4th Sergeant, Company D, 45th Battalion Virginia Infantry. He enlisted on July 9, 1863 in Logan County Virginia. Reported for duty on April 1, 1864. He was absent sick from September 18, 1864 until at least December 31, 1864. He was paroled at Charleston, WV on May 5, 1865 at the age of 21.

Submitted by James Larry Harless, October, 1998.


Sgt. Benjamin F. Evans, 7th WV Infantry, from Hardy County. He enlisted in December, 1861, 1 month shy of his 17th birthday. Joined the unit at Wheeling and saw action at Bloomery Gap early 1862. Saw action at 1st Kernstown and was on provost duty in Winchester. The 7th saw additional action at the Peninsular Campaign in 1862 and saw action at 2nd Manassas. They were heavily engaged at Antietam, Fredricksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. Benjamin re-enlisted in the fall of 1863 and was promoted to sergeant at age 19. The 7th participated in the Wilderness campaign, Spottsylvania Courthouse, the march around Richmond, siege at Petersburg and the final engagements near Appomattox. They witnessed the formal surrender at participated in the Grand March Review. The 7th WV Infantry was the only Wesy Virginia assigned to The Army of the Potomac and they were a member of the famed Second Corps commanded by General Winfield Hancock. The unit saw the highest casualty rate of all West Virginia units as they participated in more battles than any other unit. Thus their nickname, The Bloody 7th.

Benjamin married Frances Kessell and farmed in Hardy County. He attended the 50th Gettysburg Reunion in 1913 and died in 1918. He is buried at Kessell Cemetery, Kessell, WV which is in Hardy County. His descendants have caused a Civil War Medallion to be placed on his grave marker.

Submitted by Veerle Foreman , April 1999.


Private Benjamin A. Kight Born August 05, 1830 in Hampshire Co.Virginia. Benjamin married Effey Jane Westfall on February 24, 1853 in Gilmer CO. WVa. He died March 04,1916, at the age of 86, in Calhoun County West Virginia and is buried in Ayers Cemetery.

Benjamin Kight enlisted in Company C, 11th West Virginia Infantry on November 10, 1861 while a resident of White Pine in Calhoun County. He fought at Shenandoah. He became ill on the Hunter raid in June 1864 at Sulpher Springs, Greenbriar Cty. WVa and was taken to the hospital at Gallipolis Ohio until Oct. 1864. He suffered from Rheumatism and lost the full use of his right side. Benjamin was honorably discharged at Cumberland Maryland on December 24, 1864.

Submitted by Mike and Robin DeLine, August 2000


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