July 4th not long past, Wiferino and I watched the miniseries “John Adams” (from HBO) on dvd. It was excellent and inspired me to read David McCullough‘s “1776.” (Davey the M wrote the biography of Adams on which the miniseries was based.)
In 1776, McCullough describes in great detail the Battle of Brooklyn and the Battle of Fort Washington against the British, the latter of which was an ill-considered rear-guard action to hold the British after Washington and the bulk of his troops escaped across the Hudson. The book led me to dug out the genealogy of my family, as my great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Francis, took part in the defense of New York.
Robert [Hopkins] was a Continental soldier who enlisted in the Third Pennsylvania Regiment, Capt. Thomas S. Boyle’s Company, in February 1776. Part of his service was in the Second Connecticut Regiment. He was pensioned in 1818. During the defense of New York in 1776, Robert was taken prisoner at Fort Washington, being released in March 1777. In 1818 Francis Hopkins deposed that he enlisted in Boyle’s Company at the same time with Robert Hopkins for the term of one year. He was also taken prisoner with him at Fort Washington…
These five Hopkins men [Robert, Francis, William, Henry & Gardner], all Revolutionary War veterans (four in the same company), came to Kentucky about the same time. Three of the five – Robert, Henry, and Gardner, are proven brothers. William and Francis are obviously from the same family. It is suspected they are also brothers.
Most of the Americans taken prisoner at New York were either packed into unheated barns or confined aboard derelict ships used as prisons, where a huge percentage died of disease.