Militia & Associated Companies of Bucks County Pennsylvania

Officers of the Flying Camp

The "Flying Camp" was originally conceived by General George Washington as a 10,000 man strategic mobile reserve.  Under the command of Brigadier General Hugh Mercer, of Virginia, the flying camp was to be comprised of militia units from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.   Headquartered in Perth Amboy, this force would be expected to perform a number of vital functions in New Jersey while Washington''s army was preoccupied with the defense of New York.  Its duties would include guarding the vulnerable the Jersey coast, protecting the Continental Army's supply lines, suppressing roving bands of Tories and acting as a ready reserve should Washington have need of reinforcements.

On June 3, 1776, the Continental Congress resolved, "That a flying camp be immediately established in the middle colonies." For its part, Pennsylvania was called upon to provide a force of some 6,000 men. Delegations of one officer and two enlisted men from each of Pennsylvania's fifty-three associated battalions met in Lancaster, on July 4, 1776, for the purpose of selecting this force. Then, on July 10, 1776, the Bucks County Committee of Safety, citing "the Resolve of the late Provincial Conference for imbodying [sic] four hundred of the Associators of this County," appointed the following officers to command their contingent:

Colonel. Joseph HART

Captains.

John FOLLWELL
William ROBERTS
William HART
Valantine UP
John JAMISON

First Lieutenants.

John KROESEN
Henry DARRAH
Hugh LONG
Philip TRUMBOWER
Dennis MIDDLESWART

Second Lieutenants.

Abraham DUBOIS
James SHAW
Jacob DRAKE
Samuel DEANE
John IRWIN

Ensigns.

__?__ McKISSACK
William HIMES
Joseph HART
Stoffel KELLER
John McCAMMON

Adjutant, John JOHNSON

Surgeon, Joseph FENTON, Jr.

Quartermaster, Alexander BENSTEAD

In contrast, both the Pennsylvania Archives, 5th Series, Vol. V, and Davis', History of Bucks County, list the following officers for the county's Flying Camp battalion, near Amboy:

Colonel. Joseph HART

Lieutenant Colonel. William BAXTER

Captains.

John FOLWELL
William HART
John JAMISON
William NEELY
Valentine OPP
Robert RAMSEY
William ROBERTS

Lieutenants.

Matthew BENNETT, taken prisoner at Fort Washington.
Jacob DRAKE
John ERWIN, taken prisoner at Fort Washington.

Adjutant. John JOHNSON, taken prisoner at Fort Washington.

Surgeon. Joseph FENTON, Jr.

Quartermaster. Alexander BENSTEAD

Ensign. William BOOROM

The flying camp received little support from New Jersey. Pennsylvania sent some 2,000 associators, many of whom were quickly drafted into service by Gen. WASHINGTON in New York.  More men soon arrived from Maryland and Delaware, but despite the best efforts of Gen. MERCER the flying camp was fraught with difficulties almost from its inception, and never realizing its full potential was disbanded by the end of November, shortly after the fall of Fort Washington. 

Pennsylvania Archives, 5th Series, Vol. V;
History of Bucks County,
Davis; 
and Beyond Philadelphia, Frantz and Pencak.

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