The Militia Battalions
          Of Bedford County

  Unlike the militia of the eastern counties of Pennsylvania, in which more than a single company might be formed from the recruits of a single township area (because of the larger number of residents available), the Bedford County Militia was composed of only a few companies in total. A single company was made up of men from a large region. As initially set up for the year 1777, and continuing until 1782, the Bedford County Militia was composed of three battalions.

  The First Battalion was made up of recruits from the Bedford, Brothers Valley, Cumberland Valley, Quemahoning and Turkeyfoot Townships (west/southern Bedford County).

  The Second Battalion was composed of recruits from the Ayr, Bethel, Colerain and Dublin Township region (eastern Bedford County).

  The Third Battalion was formed out of the remaining area of Bedford County, and included men recruited from the Barree, Hopewell and Frankstown Township region (northern Bedford County).

The First Battalion 1777

 In the year 1777, the region from which the First Battalion was recruited included what is the majority of present-day Bedford County and the whole of present-day Somerset County. (Bedford County being composed of what was Bedford and Cumberland Valley Townships; Somerset County being composed of Brothers Valley, Quemahoning and Turkeyfoot Townships.)

The Second Battalion 1777

  In the year 1777, the region from which the Second Battalion was recruited included basically what is today Fulton County.

The Third Battalion 1777

  In the year 1777, the region from which the Third Battalion was recruited included primarily what is today encompassed by Blair and Huntingdon Counties. (Blair County being composed almost entirely of Frankstown Township; Huntingdon County being composed of Hopewell, Barree and a portion of Frankstown Townships.)

The Patriots of the First Battalion 1777

 The First Battalion was commanded by Colonel William Parker in 1777. Charles Cessna was the battalion's Lieutenant Colonel, and Robert Culbertson was the battalion's Major. The various company Captains were as follows:

 Co. 1   Thomas Buck
Co. 2   Gideon Ritchey
Co. 3   Henry Rhoads
Co. 4   William Black
Co. 5   James Wells
Co. 6   Richard Dunlap

 In the year 1778 a company was also commanded by Captain James Anderson. It is not known how that company was numbered.

The Patriots of the Second Battalion 1777

 The Second Battalion was commanded by Colonel George Ashman in 1777. Colonel Ashman was assisted by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Paxton and Major Martin Longstrath. The various company Captains were as follows:

 Co. 1   James Martin
Co. 2   Hugh ---ther
Co. 3   Thomas Blair
Co. 4   John Hamilton
Co. 5   James Gibson
Co. 6   Abraham Covalt
Co. 7   James Warford
Co. 8   Evan Shelby

The Patriots of the Third Battalion 1777

 The Third Battalion was commanded by Colonel William McAlevy in 1777. The Lieutenant Colonel for this battalion was Samuel Jack, and the Major was Andrew Devinny. The various company Captains were as follows:

 Co. 1   William Simonton
Co. 2   John Thompson
Co. 3   Joshua Davis
Co. 4   John Shaver
Co. 5  Henry Black
Co. 6   William Johnston
Co. 7   John Little
Co. 8  Daniel Carpenter

The Patriots of the First Battalion 1781

  In the year 1781 the numbering of the Battalions and Companies changed. What had been the Second Battalion of the Bedford County Militia in 1777 now became known as the First Battalion. The township areas from which the men had been recruited for the Second Battalion stayed the same in 1781 when it became known as the First Battalion with the one exception that the area of Cumberland Valley was now included in this battalion's jurisdiction. It is not known who the new First Battalion's commanding Colonel was, but Charles Cessna remained on duty as Lieutenant Colonel and Andrew McCann became the battalion's Major. For 1781, the new First Battalion company Captains were as follows:

 Co. 1   Henry Rush
Co. 2   Thomas Davie
Co. 3   Evan Cessna
Co. 4   Samuel Paxton
Co. 5   Charles Taggart
Co. 6   George Enslow
Co. 7   Gideon Ritchey
Co. 8   James McKenny

The Patriots of the Second Battalion 1781

  In 1781, what had been the Third Battalion in 1777, now became known as the Second Battalion of the Bedford County Militia. The township areas from which this newly named Second Battalion drew its recruits stayed the same as in the year 1777 when it became known as the Third Battalion with the one exception of the inclusion of Dublin Township in its northern Bedford ranks. Hugh Davidson took the place of Samuel Jack as the battalion's Lieutenant Colonel, and John Shaver advanced from Captain to Major. The new company Captains for this 1781 Second Battalion were as follows:

 Co. 1   John Spenser
Co. 2   David Walker
Co. 3   John Dean
Co. 4   John Thorlton
Co. 5   George Wilson
Co. 6   Jacob Gonow
Co. 7   Gavane Clugage
Co. 8   Thomas Blair

 Click on the following link to access the 1782 Class Tax page in order to view an image of the 1781 Class Tax assessment for Frankstown Township, the male residents of which were probably included in the 2nd Battalion in 1781.
     

The Patriots of the Third Battalion 1781

  In 1781, the battalion that had been known, in 1777, as the First Battalion of the Bedford County Militia, now became known as the Third Battalion. The township areas from which the men were recruited stayed the same despite the number change. Bernard Dougherty took over the position of Lieutenant Colonel for this new battalion with John Woods becoming the Major. The new company Captains were as follows:

 Co. 1  Oliver Drake
Co. 2  Christopher Brigely
Co. 2  George Hostadler
Co. 2  Samuel Moore
Co. 2  Peter Angeny
Co. 2  Solomon Adams
Co. 2  William McCall
Co. 2  Philip Cable

Click on the following link to go to the Rosters Of Patriots Of The American Revolutionary War From Bedford County page.