Tuesday, May 20, 2014
#15 Memorial Day—Honoring Andrew McKee
Each Memorial Day, because he fought in the Revolutionary War, the boy scouts in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania decorate my 4th great grandfather, Andrew Mckee’s (1747—1833) grave. Since that will happen this coming weekend, I thought I would blog about him. Born in Ireland, Andrew immigrated to America and settled near Chester, Pennsylvania. While there he married, Mary Bamford and with her had eight children.
Andrew McKee enlisted in March 1776 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. According to his pension application, which can be obtained from the National Archives, he served in Captain Robert Adams' company, Colonel Irvin's Pennsylvania regiment. He enlisted again in June of 1780 for 18 months in Capt. Ziegler's Pennsylvania Company, Col. Stewart's regiment. I was surprised that he was involved in battles that I had read about in my American history classes. He was at the Battles of Three Rivers in Quebec Canada, where the Patriots were defeated by the British forces. He also was at Saratoga where British General Burgoyne surrendered. Further, he was present at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, a battle that ended the Revolutionary War.
After the war, Andrew and his family moved to western Pennsylvania, first in Washington County, and then in Armstrong County. Because of his infirmities and advanced age, he applied for and received a pension from the government. Andrew died in June 18, 1835 and is buried in Union Cemetery, Cowansville, Pennsylvania.
If I could talk to him, I would want to know about his experiences in the war. Why did he enlist? Where was he in those battles? What was his reaction and those of the other soldiers when Cornwallis surrendered? How did his wife and family cope when he was away.