Jeremiah Clontz—American Patriot
Jeremiah Clontz was born on February 10, 1756 in Mecklenburg County (later Union County), North Carolina.
He enlisted as a Private in the North Carolina Continental Line in May of 1778 under Captain James Jack of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, where he was trained. Jeremiah later joined the Continental Army under General Benjamin Lincoln at Purensburg [sic] on the Savannah River.
During his service, Jeremiah and his unit maneuvered in Georgia and South Carolina until his 9-month service commitment ended. His officers were:
- Colonel Little (Regiment)
- Major Dixon (Battalion)
- Captain Goodson (Company)
- Lieutenant Hilton (Squad)
In 1780, Jeremiah married Catherine Long, whose family migrated to North Carolina from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. They remained together until Catherine’s death in 1838; Jeremiah survived Catherine by two years. He died in Mecklenburg County on November 30, 1840 and is buried in Union Cemetery on Brief Road in Union County, N.C.
- “Purensburg” is probably a misspelling for Purrysburg South Carolina. Purrysburg sits on the Savannah River a few miles west of Hardeesville, South Carolina.
- Benjamin Lincoln was appointed Southern Department Commander in September of 1778. Following his unsuccessful attack on British forces in Savannah, Georgia on October 9, 1779, Lincoln retreated to Charleston SC. The British army lead by Lieutenant General Henry Clinton surrounded Charleston and ultimately forced Lincoln to surrender that strategically-important port in May of 1779. Lincoln, a prisoner of war, was paroled and then exchanged (in the manner of the time). He was returned to full service after a Board of Inquiry did not return charges against him for the loss of Charleston. His service was exemplary and, as Washington’s second in command, he accepted Lord Cornwallis’s sword from British General Charles O’Harra when Cornwallis surrendered his army at Yorktown, Virginia in October 1781.