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Kelloch's in the American Revolution

This is from "Introducing The Kalloch Family 1867-1992", by Peter Richardson

The three brothers, John, Matthew and Alexander Kelloch, all enlisted.  The later, Lieut. Kelloch, seems to have been something of a "terrorist" in the early days of the War.  Later he was the first in the town of Warren to fly the nation's new flag.  John's sons, David Kellar, John, James and William all served.  William is said to have died a captive in Nova Scotia.

David, who served at Valley Forge, gave a hearty toast, "Here's to the States, and the memory of Gates, who fought with courage so fine.  In the year '77, by the blessing of Heaven, we trashed that old rascal, Burgoyne!"  Thus began the family poetic tradition.  Finley Keller III claimed to have been a Revolutionary soldier serving as a substitute for Joseph Robinson, Jr. in St. George.  However, he was only 11 at the time and much of his life is shrouded in mystery.

Kallochs have participated in all subsequent wars in which the United States has been engaged, particularly in the Navy, the highest ranking having been Rear Admiral Albert Sydney Snow.

In 1779 the American farmers who had just captured Heights at Castine, among them John and Alexander Kelloch I, looked with dismay as Commodore Dudley Saltonstall and the American warships under his command would not engage the British in a delaying action so they could finish their work.  It was a terrible defeat after such a stunning beginning!

More than a century later Alexander's great-grandson, Frank Seavey Kalloch, "the tinware man," in his annual trip in his peddler's wagon to "the islands," very likely sold tinware to Mrs. Richard Saltonstall of the Commodore's family at their summer home in North Haven.  Frank custom-made our Reunion coffee pot, valued more out of sentiment than for its beauty.  It has been present for most of our Reunions over the past 125 years.

By Edward Kalloch Gould, State Historian of Maine

Author of “Major-General Hiram G. Berry,” “British and Tory Marauders on the Penobscot,” “Storming the Heights, Maine’s Embattled Farmers at Castine in the Revolution,” “Revolutionary Soldiers and Sailors of Knox County, Maine, and Their Descendants” (Ms.), “Colonel Mason Wheaton, Revolutionary Officer and Captain of Industry.”


These papers contain a rich store not only of personal, but of war history; detached statements and broken fragments, to be sure, but none the less interesting and real.  They tell us in the very words of the actors in that war of Concord, Lexington, and Bunker Hill; of the siege of Boston, of Ticonderoga and Crown Point, of Monmouth, White Plains, of Trenton and Valley Forge; of the battles of Saratoga and Yorktown and the surrenders of Burgoyne and Cornwallis; of the gallant, but ill-starred attacks on Quebec, and the sufferings of the retreat from the frozen north.  In justice to my associates in the Sons of the American Revolution, I feel that they should get the benefit of their generous financial outlay by having at least the sketches of the Revolutionary Pensioners published, and they are offered herewith.

(Note: only two of these articles were listed as having come from the above book, (chapters XXIX & XXX).  However I think that all are probably from this source).

David (Kelloch) Kellar

David Kelloch of Cushing was mustered March 30, 1777, as a Private In Capt. Abraham Hunt’s Company, Gen. John Patterson's Regiment and while in Capt. Hunt’s Company spent the terrible winter at Valley Forge.  He was also a Private in Capt. Samuel Gregg’s Company, Col, James Cargill's Regiment, Massachusetts Militia, enlisted Aug. 25, and was discharged Dec. 31, 1775.  The Company was raised at St. Georges, Waldoboro and Camden.  He was also Corporal in Capt. George Ulmer's Company, Col James Hunter’s Corps, engaged April 26, and discharged Nov. 20, 1782.
In his declaration for pension he gives the following statement of his service.  He enlisted Dec. 18, 1776, as a Private in Capt. Wm. Cook’s Company Col. Joseph Bond’s Regiment Massachusetts line, where he served until about Dec. 18, 1776, when he was honorably discharged by Lieut. Col. Samuel Alden, who then commanded the Regiment. Immediately after his enlistment he marched from Prospect Hill in Charlestown Mass., to New London, then to Albany, thence to a place called Half Moon, thence to port George and then on to Ticonderoga.  Here the march was continued to Fort St. John's on Lake’ Champlain thence to Fort. Chamblee and thence to Sorel at which place his term having expired he was discharged.  After leaving the service he followed the sea for a living.

After his discharge he again enlisted and served in the continental for three years nine months.  In the war of 1812 he was a Private in Capt. J. Chapman's Company, 21st U S. Infantry, enlisting at Boston 2, 1813, for the war and was discharged at Sackett’s Harbor, May 24, 1815 by expiration of service.  He was born at St. George, age at enlistment 43 years, occupation farmer.  Prior to the Revolution, David had training as a soldier in the French and Indian war of 1755.  He was Corporal in Capt. Thomas Fletcher’s Company of Massachusetts Rangers serving from June 25 to Nov. 20, 1755.  The Company was engaged in scouting to the Eastward of what is now Warren.  The following year he served as "centinel" in Capt. Joshua Freeman’s Company, Massachusetts troops, from April 1st to Nov. 20, 1756, 33 weeks and 3 days.  The Company was engaged in scouting at St. Georges.

He received a pension of $96 per year, and died in 1846, aged 81 years.  He is buried in the cemetery at Wiley’s Corner. St. George, and his grave has a Revolutionary marker (in 1930).

On May 31, 1853, his widow, Mary Kelloch applies for a widow’s pension.  She states she was married to David July 25. 1833 at Warren Maine, by Rev. Jonathan Huse.  His first wife was Elizabeth Love of Boston, and his second was Mary Ross.  (Photo of David's gravestone).

James Kelloch

James Kelloch, of Cushing, (St. George) Maine, was mustered as a Private in Capt. Abraham Hunt’s Company, Gen. Patterson’s Mass., Regt.  He also served in the same company In Col. Joseph Vose’s Massachusetts Regiment from Jan. 16. 1777 to Dec. 31, 1779, enlisting at Valley Forge for three months.

He was also a, Private in Capt. Green's Company same Regiment from Jan. 1, to Jan. 16, 1780.  He was also a Corporal in Capt. Archibald McAllister’s Company.  Col. Primes’ Massachusetts Regiment entered service April 24 and was discharged Dec 21, 1780, Brig. Gen. Peleg Wodsworth to the Eastward.

James Kelloch was the son of John and Isabella (Cunningham) Kelloch and served in the same Company and Regiment with his brother, (John 2d).  He was with this company during the terrible winter at Valley Forge.  Eaton’s History of Thomaston, Rockland and South Thomaston states that he died in the Army of tie Revolution, but the Massachusetts records do not confirm this statement.

John Kalloch 1st.

John Kalloch 1st., of St. George, was a Sergeant in Captain Samuel Gregg’s Company, Col. James Cargill’s Regiment, and served from Aug. 25, 1775, to Dec. 31, 1775.  The Company was raised in St. Georges, Waldoboro and Camden, and stationed there for defense of the seacoast.  He was (also a member of Capt. Nath’l Fale’s company of Coast Guards.  Mr. Kalloch was married to Isabella Cunningham of Arrowsic.  He resided and died in St. George.

Cyrus Eaton in his Annals of Warren in narrating the events of the capture of Louisburg in 1745, states, “Many of the settlers at St. Georges; enlisted from the Upper Town, took their families with them some remaining at Louisburg three years and others never returning.  Among those who went to Louisburg were Walker, Kelloch and Gregg with their families also Bernard and Allen the latter of whom died there.”

The Kelloch referred to is Finley Kelloch, father of John, who must have been one of the family taken to Louisburg.  The capture of this important fortress of Louisburg was one of the outstanding achievements of the colonies of Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire and Connecticut.  Unfortunately the rolls of the troops serving with Gen. Waldo, who commanded the Knox County contingent have never been found.  So Finley and John’s service with this expedition cannot be verified by any record known to exist.

Later John Kelloch served with the Colonial troops in the Indian war of 1755.  He entered as a "Centinel" April 4, 1755, in Capt. Jabez Bradbury's Company of Massachusetts troops and served to July 20, 1755, at St. Georges and is reported discharged.  He immediately entered the service again as “Centinel” July 21, 1755, in Capt. Thomas Fletcher’s Company of Massachusetts troops, serving until Nov. 20, 1755.  This was a company of rangers which was employed in scouting to the Eastward.  Dec. 1, 1755, John Kelloch again enters the service as “Centinel” in Capt. Jabez Bradbury's Company and served to April 6, 1756, at St. Georges.  Again he enters service May 7, 1757, as a “Centinel” in Capt. Joshua Freeman’s Company of Massachusetts troops, serving until Oct. 31, 1757.

After the lapse of two years John Kelloch again enters the service March 31, 1759 as a Sergeant in Capt. James Cargill's Company of Massachusetts troops, serving until July 8, 1759 at Penobscot.

When John North surveyed the St. Georges River by order of Gov. Pownell in 1760, John Kelloch was employed by him as a pilot for 10 days far which he was paid 1 pound 6 shillings and 8 pence.

John “Killoch” again appears with the rank of Sergeant on the muster roll of a company under the command of Brig. Gen. Jedidiah Preble entering service July 8, 1759, and serving to Aug 24, 1760 at the garrison at Fort Pownell, at the entrance of the Penobscot River. When his term expired he re-enlisted in Aug. 25, 1760, and served to July 5, 1761 and again enlisting July 5, 1761, he continued In service until June 13, 1763 during all this time at Fort Pownell.

Capt. Fletcher who commanded the company in which Kelloch was serving in writing to the Lieut. Governor states: “These are to inform your Honor, that this day (Sept. 24, 1755) the Indians fell on us; two men were out a small distance from the garrison; the Indians fired upon them; one escaped and the other is missing.  They began about twelve of the clock and continued firing on the cattle till almost night.  I immediately dispatched an express to the neighboring settlements.  I judge there is a great body of them by their appearance.  My Lieutenant was on a march with 30 men, but happily this evening returned.  This night I design to go out and try to meet them.”

Such occurrences as these, together with the forbearance which, up to the declaration of war, the commander was required to exercise toward the Tarratines, increased the dissatisfaction of the inhabitants on the St. Georges River and adjacent places, 59 of whom the following year signed long memorial to Gov. Shirley against the conduct of Capt. Fletcher in not allowing them to proceed against the Indians.

In the winter 35 soldiers only were retained in the garrison at St. Georges, in addition to the resident inhabitants.  In June, 1756 war was finally declared against France.  The settlements which the Indians seemed to have marked first for destruction this spring were those upon St. Georges River.  The stone block house in Cushing, commanded by Lieut. Burton was attacked March 24. and two of his men killed and another scalped and left half dead.  Other depredations were made upon the coast, and Sept. 26, one schooner was burned and two taken In St. Georges River, three men being killed and ‘three others missing.  A company on this river was this year commanded by Capt. Joshua Freeman in which Kelloch served but the company was discharged in the fail, it being customary for the Indians by that time to withdraw to their hunting grounds in the interior.

John Kelloch, 2d

John Kelloch, 2d, of Cushing (St. Georges) was a Private in Cap Samuel Greggs Company, Col. James Cargill’s Massachusetts Regimen enlisting Aug. 25, and was discharge Dec. 31, 1775.  The company was raised in St. Georges, Waldoborough, Camden and was stationed there for the defense of the Seacoast.

He was mustered by Nathaniel Barber, muster master far Suffolk County, Mass., March 30, 1777, as Private in Capt. Abraham Hunt's Company, General Patterson’s Massachusetts Regiment and served in the same company in Col. Joseph Vase’s Massachusetts Regiment from Jan 16, 1777 to Dec. 31, 1779.  He also enlisted at Valley Forge for three years and was reported sick in the Reading hospital.  He also served as a Private In Capt. Green’s Company, Col. Joseph Vase Massachusetts Regiment from Jan. 1, to Jan. 16, 1780.  Either he or his father John 1st was a Private In Capt. Archibald McAllister’s Company, Col. Prime’s Massachusetts Regiment enlisted April 24, 1780, and was discharged Dec. 21, 1780 service under Brig. Gen. Peleg Wadsworth at the Eastward.

Like his brother, James Kelloch, Eaton in his history of Thomaston, Rockland and South Thomaston states he died in the Army of the Revolution.  The Massachusetts records state he was discharged from the Army In 1780, which indicates he was very much alive when he finally left the service.  But like his brother, James, his name does not again appear in any record after the Revolution and he may well have died soon after leaving the service and probably did.

Matthew Kelloch

Matthew Kelloch, of St. George, in his declaration for pension declares, “That about the last of April 1775 I enlisted as a Private under Capt. Samuel Gregg in the Massachusetts Regiment commanded by Col. James Cargill; that I served in said Gregg’s Company and in the Regiment aforesaid from last of April until the first day of January, 1776; that I was then discharged by said Col. Cargill but not in writing.  I furthermore declare that about the middle of November 1778.  I enlisted under Samuel Gregg for the "Boston" frigate, commanded by Capt. Samuel Tucker, and entered on board about Feb. 17, 1779, and served on board said frigate till the month of December; that while on board said frigate we took 11 of the armed vessels belonging to the British, and that I finally left said frigate December, 1779.”  Matthew Kelloch removed from Thomaston to St. George, then a part of Cushing, where the census of 1790 places him.

William Kelloch

William Kelloch of St. George, enlisted as Private in Capt. Archibald McAllister's Company Cal. Samuel McCobb’s Regiment in expedition against Castine, and served from July, 11, 1777, to Sept. 24.  He re-enlisted in Capt. McAllister’s Company, Col. Prime’s Regiment 1777 under Brig. Gen. Wadsworth at the Eastward, and served from April 26, 1780, to Dec. 21. 1780, when be was discharged.  Nov. 13, 1779, he joined Lieut. Alexander Kelloch’s Co., stationed at Camden and St. George and served to Feb. 13, 1780.

Eaton’s History of Thomaston, Rockland and South Thomaston states that William died in Halifax prison, a captive soldier of the Revolution.  So far as the records available disclose his military services ended with his discharge Feb. 13, 1780.  The war did not end until April 11, 1783, and It possible he may have been captured privateering between 1780 and 1783.  What Eaton’s authority is for stating he was captured and died in captivity is not known.  The Massachusetts records do not bear out this statement, but It may be true nevertheless.  He was the son of John and Isabella Kelloch of St. Georges.

M. M. Marberry in his book "The Golden Voice" has a few references to the war

[page 13] "There had been no fallow years on the frontier to enable the settlers to put aside a reserve fund for the future, and then came the Revolution to ruin what little commerce Warren had.  Yet there was one compensation: Maine, which had been one huge battleground during the many Indian campaigns, fared easier in this war.  British ships nosed along the coastline, and Falmouth was destroyed, but there was no fighting on a large scale in the Province.  Most of the citizens of Warren and Thomaston had done their fighting in the Urquhart matter.  But not all.  Lieutenant Alexander Kalloch participated in the disastrous expedition against Biguydice but he saw little action elsewhere."

[page 14] "On December 13 [1781] a riotous thanksgiving was celebrated in Warren.  Washington and his army won a smashing victory at Yorktown, and soon Alexander was released from duty.  During the war the military spirit had flamed high in Maine, as well it could afford in a back yard of the conflict.  Alexander's commission meant something then.  After the war---and the story is an old one---the pendulum swung the other way and people wanted to have nothing to do with soldiers.  Alexander, now in his forties, returned to farming.  He had no medals, no citations to show for his service.  Indeed, he had no uniform.  He, an officer, had gone through the entire war wearing his *tow-cloth trousers in the summer, his small-clothes of deer in the winter."

*[the dictionary says that "tow" is "the fiber of flax, hemp, or jute prepared or spinning by scutching", "scutch" is to free flax or hemp fiber from the woody parts by beating.]

"The returning veterans talked some about demanding pensions.  Pension money, no matter how little, was sorely needed by the Kallochs because hard times had hit the baby republic.  Inflation set in and a leaping currency brought chaos.  Warren's main business, the exportation of lime, suffered with the depression and again the inhabitants had no hard money to by commodities from the outside.  Like their forefathers, they turned to the wilderness to provide food.  The valuable fur-bearers, the beaver, the sable, the otter, were becoming rare, but meat animals were plentiful.  It has been recorded that Matthew, Alexander's brother, shot fourteen bears during the blackberry picking season of 1784 without going out of his way to make the kills.  Bear and moose were plentiful but the settlers had to get at them to kill them and this was impossible during the winter of 1785-6, when the snow swirled down to bury the roofs of houses and became so hard-crusted that horses could be ridden over the fields and fences in any direction.  The night of January 18, was recorded as the coldest ever known in New England and some Warren people were unable to get wood for their fires and froze to death.  There was a shortage of bread and famine set in, broken only late in the delayed spring when the coasters resumed their run from Boston."

[page 22] It says that Matthew served under Commander Tucker on the frigate "Boston" during the Revolution. Nothing else is said about Matthew's military service.


Another Kalloch Revolutionary War connection is with Major General Henry Knox.   Knox County Maine where the Kalloch's settled is named after Henry Knox.  B. K. Kalloch in a 1922 newspaper article, "Two Centuries Back," states that his "two grandmother's lived in the family of Major General Henry Knox in the mansion 'Montpelier' at Thomaston two years."  Also historian Edward Kalloch Gould was Chair of the Trustees that built "Montpelier," the Knox Memorial.


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